Tuesday, 14 October 2014


Before opening.

The subway in 2002.

(Copyright Chris Bedford Dumpman Films)

How it is now.

Nestling in a gap in the South Downs a few miles north of Chichester is one of the most fascinating closed stations of all.

Singleton's a small, fairly quiet village, but it holds a secret! A big closed station, now masquerading as a vineyard. 

If you're driving up from Chichester there's a clue as to why Singelton had such a big station Goodwood Race Course, which sits high on the Downs to the east of the village.

Singleton was on the Chichester to Midhurst line, opened in 1881. Traffic was always fairly sparse, but Singleton was different. It was designed as the station for Goodwood. It had four platforms connected by a subway, buffets, holding sidings for trains, a large goods shed and TWO signalboxes!  Whilst popular with King Edward VII the hoi polloi preferred Chichester station as the walk to Goodwood was easier!

Other stations on the line were far more basic with single platforms, but all sported elegant tile hung buildings in a similar style to those on the Bluebell and Cuckoo lines. Passenger trains finished in 1935, freight on this section continued to 1953 and the final section (south of Lavant) lost its trains in the late 1980s.

But the stations are still there (apart from Midhurst) although serving very different purposes these days. I never had the guts to sneak into Singleton and take pictures unfortunately, but Lavant was a regular haunt for me in the early 1970s. This was a fantastic line cutting as it did through the Downs. Hopefully it will return in the future.

Film of the route (plus loads of other great Sussex stuff!!)

More info (via Wikipedia) 

Singleton railway station served the village of Singleton in the county of West Sussex in England. The station was on the former line between Chichester and Midhurst. It was opened on 11 July 1881.
The station, designed by T. H. Myres, was built in a grand way by its owners the London Brighton and South Coast Railway, which included four platforms, with a subway linking them and the 'Country House' style station building, buffets, long sidings for awaiting trains, a large goods shed for dealing with freight, and two signal boxes to control the station. The main reason for this large building was to deal with visitors to the Goodwood Racecourse, but passengers preferred to use Chichester Station mostly due to the walk uphill to the course from Singleton. It was one of the most visited stations by the LBSCR Royal train as the prince of Wales (later Edward VII) used to 'weekend' with the James family at West Dean House. Little other traffic was ever found, and despite all of the grand hopes, passenger services were withdrawn on 6 July 1935. Freight services remained until these were withdrawn on 28 August 1953 by British Railways. The station is now in use by a vineyard owner.

1 comment:

  1. please do more research on this station - I'd love to help