Seaford branch line

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Seaford branch line
Newhaven Harbour - - 867316.jpg
Looking out toward Seaford from Newhaven Harbour
Type Heavy rail
System National Rail
Status Operational
Locale East Sussex
South East England
Termini Southerham Junction
Stations 5
Services Southerham Junction–Seaford
Branch to Newhaven Marine (station closed)
Opened 1864
Owner Network Rail
Operator(s) Southern
Character Rural
Rolling stock Class 313
Class 377 "Electrostar"
Line length miles 66 chains (12.59 km)
Number of tracks 2 (Southerham Junction–Newhaven Harbour)
1 (Newhaven HarbourSeaford)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Electrification 750 V DC Third Rail
Seaford Branch Line
East Coastway Line
to Lewes
51 mi 11 ch
82.3 km
Southerham Junction
East Coastway Line
to Eastbourne and Hastings
53 mi 40 ch
86.1 km
55 mi 58 ch
89.68 km
Newhaven Town Yard
56 mi 25 ch
90.63 km
Newhaven Town
56 mi 51 ch
91.15 km
Newhaven Harbour
56 mi 55 ch
91.23 km
Newhaven Harbour Jn
56 mi 67 ch
91.47 km
Newhaven Marine
57 mi 34 ch
92.42 km
Bishopstone Beach Halt
Bishopstone Tide Mills
58 mi 03 ch
93.4 km
58 mi 77 ch
94.89 km
Mileage from London Bridge via Plumpton

The Seaford branch line is a rural railway line in East Sussex constructed in 1864 primarily to serve the port of Newhaven and the town of Seaford. It now sees fairly regular trains across the line except for the Newhaven Marine branch, which is still technically open but is fenced off from the public and not on any timetables.


Engineered by the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway's Chief Engineer Frederick Banister,[1] the first section of the line was opened in 1847 to aid the transport of goods to and from Newhaven. The line was extended in 1864 to serve the holiday town of Seaford. There used to be extensive sidings at Newhaven Docks and even a railway swing bridge over the River Ouse to connect to the other side. These have now been removed or have become overgrown, as has the defunct Newhaven Marine station, which has been fenced off from the public. Once a thriving station serving ferries to and from France, the walk of just under 1/4 mile to Newhaven Harbour station and the cessation of winter ferries forced its closure. The line was electrified (750 V DC third rail) by the Southern Railway in 1935. The line between Newhaven Harbour and Seaford was reduced to single track to save costs in 1975.


Train services[edit]

Train services are operated by Southern. Class 313s and Class 377 "Electrostars" are used on the line to transport passengers to Lewes, Brighton and London.

The normal off peak train service on the line is two trains per hour between Brighton and Seaford calling at London Road, Moulsecoomb, Falmer, Lewes and then all stations on the branch line.

Occasional peak hour services continue towards London Victoria via Haywards Heath, Gatwick Airport and East Croydon.

At off peak times, connections with services towards London can be made at Lewes.

Passenger volume[edit]

Comparing the number of passengers in year beginning April 2002 to the year beginning April 2010, Southease has increased by 96%, Newhaven Town by 45%, Bishopstone by 58% and Seaford by 56%. Newhaven Harbour has declined by 51%.[2]


  1. ^ "Federick Dale Banister". Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  2. ^ "Station Usage". Rail Statistics. Office of Rail Regulation. Retrieved 7 January 2013.