Network Rail gets funding for the expansion of East Croydon

Transport correspondent JEREMY CLACKSON on an announcement coming next week which really could help to transform Croydon

Network Rail is about to announce funding for a major expansion of East Croydon Station

Network Rail is about to announce government funding for the design and consultation work to provide extra platforms at an expanded East Croydon Station and to build “flyover junctions” north of the station to remove what is known as “the Croydon bottleneck” on rail services between London, Gatwick and Brighton.

The funding announcement, expected early next week, is, at this stage, just for the preliminary work, rather than for the major engineering which will be required. But it is expected to lead to an enabling Act of Parliament for the works to be passed at Westminster by the end of 2019.

This funding has come on top of the £300million engineering investment agreed last year for works on the Brighton mainline.

Croydon has always been a transport hub, and the East Croydon rail link remains the town’s main economic calling card. So next week’s announcement could prove more significant than any stuttering prospect of a shopping mall.

Inside Croydon has seen an internal memo from Network Rail which confirms that long-held plans are about to be put into action.

Network Rail suggests that the Croydon scheme “would, if built, transform railway performance for the 300,000 passengers who travel on the Brighton mainline each day”.

Potentially, it could allow more trains to run between London, Gatwick Airport and the Sussex coast.

It’s been a long time coming…

Work has already started to use the £300million government funding on the Brighton mainline to improve the resilience of infrastructure on key routes, including the replacement of a junction near Redhill, which starts tomorrow and continues for the next two weekends, and a track upgrade in the Gatwick area over the May bank holiday.

But Croydon is the central element of the Brighton mainline upgrade programme.

The “Croydon bottleneck” is just outside East Croydon Station, to the north, where several routes to and from central London converge. Network Rail proposes the construction of a series of new grade-separated junctions, which would act like motorway flyovers and will replace the existing flat junctions, where trains have to wait at red signals to allow others to pass in front.

East Croydon Station would be expanded from six platforms to eight – there is some land to the west of the station which the owners of the Ruskin Square development have agreed to release – and there is also the promise of new concourse areas with better access to the platforms and surrounding areas. Presumably, Network Rail’s lawyers are working night-and-day on coming up with agreements with property speculators and developes, the likes of Menta, to ensure they provide full and proper access to the Bridge to Nowhere, or any other similar projects.

The Network Rail memo says, “This would improve the train service, transform the station itself and contribute to the ongoing redevelopment of Croydon town centre and the growing local economy.”

Network Rail will now begin to work up detailed designs for the track and station work and carry out a full public consultation.


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About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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13 Responses to Network Rail gets funding for the expansion of East Croydon

  1. derekthrower says:

    So Network Rail are building high to create new capacity around East Croydon. No doubt will be planned and implemented by the same team who have made such a Pig’s Ear of the London Bridge upgrade. Still we do not know how advance the plans are for this, but they do have an ample supply of unused land this time to utilise. As with most major infastructure plans that move from funding to application the benefits will not be seen for at least a decade. Further i have a funny feeling other vested interests will be calling for last minute changes to plans and that the budget set now will be a fraction of what is finally paid out.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent news. A vote of confidence in Croydon.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lewis White says:

    How quaint, that an Act of Parliament is still needed before major railway works of this kind ! It conjours up visions of top-hatted Victorian railway entrepreneurs, sitting in velvet-padded luxury compartments of their private trains, and their horse-drawn carriages, returning triumphant from parliament, brandishing hand-illuminated copies of the Act, and furled up plans of the Works, to their country estates, to the cheers of crowds of speculators in the “bitcoin boom” of those times, “Railway mania”.

    Closer to our own, less excitable era, it`s a bit odd that Network Rail should be having to buy back a chunk of the old goods yard that they ( aka we the public) used to own, to enable the new platform to be built. Surely someone should have had the fore-thought to forsee the future need for another platform, and exclude this area from the sale, some years ago?.

    Will the developer of Ruskin Square will be seeking top dollar for the land now?
    Let`s hope that they will be altruistic on this one.

    Let`s also hope that the proposed works don`t cause too much delay to the long-suffering rail commuter. I look forward to seeing the plans of the line layout in due course.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. derekthrower says:

    The requirement for a Parliamentary Act shows how slowly this infastructure investment will progress. This extra platform alongside Ruskin Square was always designed into the project and so must assume there is some legal agreeement to facilitate this. Further Westfield and other developments in Croydon are dependent on improving the inadequate transport links. This would suggest Westfield will not be commencing this side of the current decade and these people are notoriously fickle about specifications and collaborations with the state over infastructure. They only want sure fired bets with the state underwriting most of their losses.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Rog Laker says:

    Slack reporting on the ‘Act of Parliament’ bit. Such already exists, from 1992, the Transport & Works Act. What’s needed now is an application for an Order under that Act, which is the usual way to progress these schemes.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Network Rail gets funding for the expansion of East Croydon – LondonBiz WordPress Blog

  7. The act of Parliament is needed as they will need to buy some land around St James Rd Bridge. At the moment there is 5 tracks under the rather worn out bridge, the plan is to add another 2. This means a new bridge, and the loss of houses and or Gardens on Gloucester Rd. For more information see here, the latest developments may be found in the comments…
    https://www.londonreconnections.com/?s=East+Croydon

    Now just imagine the time St. James Rd. will be closed to demolish the old bridge and build a new longer one. and then just imagine how much disruption will be caused by the removal of platforms 1&2 to build two new island platforms, let alone all the new track work to the north of St. James’ Rd bridge.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Lewis White says:

    Thanks, St Bede Soc., for the above clarification and link to two articles about the Brighton Line and its Windmill Bridge area pinch-point, which turned out to be written by a “pedantic of Purley”. Clearly the Croydon area must be well-represented when it comes to transport “observeurs”

    Apparently, the Windmill Bridge junction, where the Northbound lines from W and E Croydon meet, is the busiest place on the UK rail system

    Bridges ( of the modern, box girder type) don`t necessarily cause much disruption as the piers are built , then the bridge is craned in or cantilever- pushed out over the course of a single day.

    The railway proposal I really think we need is actually a South London undreground arc, linking Lewisham, Bromley, Beckenham, Croydon, Sutton, North Cheam, and Kingston/ Richmond, with a link to the Morden Underground. .

    Any experts out there who can enlighten us as to this possibility?.

    Like

  9. I hope the opportunity is taken to provide more space outside the station, especially at the George Street frontage. This could help to alleviate the congestion which seriously hampers buses at present, especially buses moving out of the bus station eastwards towards Addiscombe Road.

    Like

  10. Nick Davies says:

    All down to Batman and the Boy Wonder, dontcha know!

    Is Vidhi going for a Private Eye OBN?

    Liked by 1 person

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