Sunday, 9 May 2010

oxted 1973


(All 2.1.1973 © Steve Sainsbury/Rail Thing)


Three dull and cold shots taken at Oxted in Surrey on 2 January 1973. These lines were worked by a rather boring procession of rail blue DMUs, at one time these routes were even under threat of closure! They are likely to undergo a transformation in the future with the reopening of the Eridge-Tunbridge Wells Central, Lewes-Uckfield and possibly even the Eridge-Polegate 'Cuckoo) line, offering a huge number of possible routes. Railways were just about at their nadir in 1973, with empty trains, crumbling infrastructure and unhappy customers. I hope these pictures capture that atmosphere a little!

More info (from Wikipedia)

Oxted railway station serves the commuter town of Oxted in Surrey, England. A relatively busy interchange station and terminus, all rail services are provided by Southern. The station is the busiest suburban station on the Oxted Line and is a terminus for some services on the Uckfield branch of the Oxted Line. Trains depart to London Victoria via Clapham JunctionLondon Bridge via East Croydon stationEast Grinstead and Uckfield in East Sussex.

History

Oxted was built as a joint London, Brighton and South Coast Railway/South Eastern Railway station when the South Croydon to East Grinstead line opened on 10 March 1884. The three platforms are connected by a subway which runs under the track. In addition, a lift is provided for entry to Platforms 2/3. There are tunnels at each end of the station:
  • Oxted Tunnel 1 mile 23 chains (2.07 km) at the London end
  • Limpsfield Tunnel 551 yard (501 m) at the country end
In 1951 the station had a train every thirteen minutes of the day, services running to Victoria and London Bridge in the up direction and to Tunbridge Wells, Eastbourne and Brighton in the down. Locomotives using the station on an average weekday would be of the following classes: BR4 2-6-4T's (14), C2X 0-6-0 (2), H 0-4-4T (12), L 4-4-0 (1), LM2 2-6-2T (5), LM4 2-6-4T (38), N 2-6-0 (2), Q 0-6-0 (8), U 2-6-0 (1) and U1 2-6-0 (2). In addition, diesel 10800 was a regular visitor to the station four times a day between 1952 and 1954.
The station was the scene of a bomb attempt by suffragette sympathisers in 1913 – Harold Laski (later a professor at the London School of Economics and chairman of the Labour Party) and a friend placed the device in the men's toilets. Although it did detonate the damage was limited as the fuse failed to ignite the petrol contained in the device. A similar device (containing some pieces of metal and a watch in addition to the explosive charge) was planted at the Bank of England on 13 April 1913, which was successfully defused.

Facilities

On the London-bound platform is a manned ticket office (staffed daily till late) and two standard quick-pay self-service passenger-operated ticket machines in Southern branding are located outside the station on the London-bound side and at the entrance to the underpass on Platforms 2 and 3 side (Uckfield/East Grinstead bound.) The station is the biggest served solely by Southern on the line, and is staffed 17 hours a day. The station accommodates a cafe, refurbished toilets, two waiting rooms and a line control centre in a large concourse.
All of the platforms are linked by a subway which also links the two main streets in Oxted together as well as the local supermarket and the town's leisure complex.
There is an underground car park located under the adjacent supermarket.
The station acts as a terminus for the Uckfield branch of the Oxted Line and trains use platform three on a regular basis after termination for both train maintenance and cleaning. The present signal box opened in the 1980s and covered control of the Uckfield line in January 1990. It replaced the previous original wooden structure located at the end of platform 2/3
The station was also the first station and terminus on the Southern network to receive two fully DDA-compliant ticket windows which will move down to accommodate easy use by wheelchair users. The station is also linked to the Southern Control Centre in Croydon, by two help points (one on each platform) where passengers can receive help 24 hours a day externally.

Improvements

In 2010 the station was refurbished a new lift installed, followed by a deep clean and internal rezoning.
In May 2010, Platform 1 and 2 were lengthened by Balfour Beatty to take 12 car trains.
During January 2011, Southern installed a number of ticket gates on the Main Concourse as well as the exit and indoor area in between platforms two and three. Gate-line staff operate at the station also.

Services

As of October 2011 the typical off-peak service is:
  • 2 trains per hour (tph) to London Victoria from East Grinstead
  • 1 tph to London Bridge from Uckfield
  • 2 tph to East Grinstead from London Victoria
  • 1 tph to Uckfield from London Bridge
Sunday and some peak-hour services to Uckfield start from this station. All services are currently operated by Southern.
Annual rail passenger usage*
2004/05  1.236 million
2005/06Increase 1.268 million
2006/07Increase 1.310 million
2007/08Increase 1.851 million
2008/09Decrease 1.430 million
2009/10Increase 1.431 million
2010/11Increase 1.470 million
2011/12Increase 1.555 million
2012/13Increase 1.579 million
2013/14Increase 1.692 million

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