Station Name: ELMERS END - Addiscombe branch bay platform

 

[Source: Nick Catford]



Date opened: 1.4.1864
Location: South side of Elmers End Road
Company on opening: Mid Kent Railway
Date closed to passengers: 2.6.1997 (bay platform only- last train 31.5.1997)
Date closed completely: 2.6.1997 (bay platform only)
Company on closing: Railtrack (South East Trains)
Present state: The bay platform has been partially rebuilt to accommodate trams. It remains at its original height but the track bed has been raised. At the south end part of the original platform remains. There has been no alteration to the station buildings
County: Surrey
OS Grid Ref: TQ357684
Date of visit: 2.6.1997 & March 2007

Notes: The station was originally known as Elmer's End but the apostrophe was later dropped from the name.

Elmer's End was initially the only intermediate station on the line from Beckenham - Addiscombe, it was provided with two platforms. Following the opening of the Hayes branch on 29th May 1882, Elmer's End station was completely rebuilt to handle the additional traffic.

The platform height was raised and two bay platforms were provided. The

bay on the up side was for Addiscombe trains while that on the down side was for Hayes trains. A new main station building was provided on the up side with a footbridge to the down platform.

During WW2 the down side platform was badly damaged in an air raid and a few months later and Addiscombe train received a direct hit as it stood in the bay platform.

Freight traffic was withdrawn from Elmers End on 6.5.1963 with closure of the goods depot.

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE BECKENHAM - ADDISCOMBE BRANCH LINE
In 1861 the South Eastern Railway jointly promoted a Bill with the Mid Kent Railway to build a branch line from Beckenham to Croydon with a terminus in Addiscombe Road.

This bill received Royal assent on 17th July 1862 and the line was completed in a little less than two years. After passing a Board of Trade inspection the 3 mile branch, with one intermediate station at Elmers End, was opened by the Mid Kent Railway 1st April 1864 with the service provided by the SER. In July 1864 a further Act of Parliament allowed the SER to purchase the MKR outright.

A proposed extension to Redhill was opposed by the London Brighton & South Coast and was dropped.

The line brought prosperity to the area with new suburban growth and a second intermediate station was provided at Woodside in July 1871, this station also served the nearby Croydon Racecourse. From 1st April 1880, the SER began operating a service between Addiscombe Road and the Great Eastern terminus at Liverpool Street using the new connecting spurs onto the East London Line near New Cross.

The line brought new prosperity to the area with new suburban growth and a second
intermediate station was provided at Woodside in July 1871, this station also served the nearby Croydon Racecourse (site now Ashburton Community School). From 1st April 1880, the SER began operating a service between Addiscombe Road and the Great Eastern terminus at Liverpool Street using the new connecting spurs onto the East London Line near New Cross.

On 10th August 1885 the Woodside & South Croydon Joint Railway opened a line from a junction beyond Woodside to a junction with the LB & SCR at Selsdon and on 29th May 1882 a further branch between Elmers End and Hayes was opened.In 1889 the SER merged with the London Chatham & Dover Railway to form the South Eastern & Chatham Railway.

Addiscombe Road Station was rebuilt in 1899 but it was nearly a mile from Croydon town centre and was never able to compete favourably with the LBSCR's East Croydon station.

In the early 1920's there was a proposal to extend the East London Line from New Cross to Addiscombe Road but differences in current collection was one of several major stumbling block and the plans were eventually dropped in 1930.

Addiscombe Road was renamed Addiscombe on 1st April 1925 and the line was electrified the following year with trains into central London every 30 minutes. To service the new electric units, a four road depot was erected on the east side of the line at Addiscombe.

The Woodside & South Croydon line was never popular and lost its regular passenger services at the beginning of 1917. In 1934 however, the Southern Railway announced that the line would be electrified and re-opened on 30th September 1935.

WW2 brought drastic reductions in the service to Addiscombe from which the branch never really recovered. From 16th October 1939 Addiscombe was served by a shuttle to and from Elmers End. Through weekday trains to London were reinstated in the spring of 1948 but traffic on the branch was in decline and these services were withdrawn again in 1950. As the years progressed even the pear hour trains were poorly used.

The Woodside & South Croydon Line was closed in 1983, the Addiscombe branch remained open but there was little demand with some off peek trains running empty. By 1993, Woodside station had become unstaffed and Addiscombe booking office was only open during the morning peak hours.

Following the announcement that the line from Elmers End to Woodside was to be incorporated into the Croydon Tramlink scheme, it was apparent that the terminus at Addiscombe would close. As closure approached Addiscombe was totally unstaffed after a ceiling collapsed, the main entrance through the booking hall closed with passengers using a side door.

The last day of service was Saturday 31st May 1997 with a Networker unit shuttling back and forth with hand-written commemorative stickers on its cab windows. The final service train was the 21.40 to Elmers End and the last train was an enthusiasts' special, this train had also travelled over the West Croydon - Wimbledon line which closed on the same day. By early 1998 the track between Elmers End and Woodside had been lifted.

After closure the South Eastern & Chatham Railway Society announced a proposal to preserve the terminus, together with its adjoining car sheds and establish a working transport museum. Unfortunately both Railtrack and Croydon Council failed to offer any support to the scheme and after a five year campaign to acquire the site the battle was lost. In 2000 Bellway Homes bought the station site with outline planning permission for a housing estate with 65 homes; shortly afterwards Addiscombe station was demolished.

Historical source: London Railway Record No. 14 January 1998 - Published by Connor & Butler

To see other stations on the Beckenham - Addiscombe branch click on the station name: Woodside, Addiscombe - see also: Bingham Road on the
Woodside - Selsdon line


Tickets from Brian Halford & Bill Kelsey

 

An Addiscombe or Selsdon train in the bay platform at Elmers End before October 1907
Copyright photo from John Alsop collection



An Addiscombe or Selsdon train in the bay platform at Elmers end in September 1974
Photo by Nigel Mundy

An Addiscombe 'networker' in the bay platform at Elmers End on the last day of passenger service on the Addiscombe branch (2nd June 1997)
P
hoto by Nick Catford


Click on thumbnail to enlarge

 

 

 

[Source: Nick Catford]


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