Branch Line Britain - celebrating Britain's minor railways

Southern - East Grinstead Review 1

East Grinstead railway station

27/2/08 Hurst Green to East Grinstead

Cost of ticket £6.10 (Cheap Day return from Upper Warlingham to East Grinstead)

Dept East Croydon: 12.10  Arrive East Grinstead: 12.47   

Journey time: 37 mins  (double track all the way)

Distance: 8 ¾ miles    Weather: sunny/cloudy

Train type: Class 377 4-car  EMU 

Railway company: Southern

Frequency of trains - one every half hour

Trains start at: London Victoria


The train to East Grinstead doesn't stop at South Croydon, apart from in the rush hour, but it does stop at all stations after that. However the Uckfield train only stops at Oxted and Hurst Green on this stretch. I get on at East Croydon a week later after going to Uckfield. After stopping at five stations we come into Hurst Green station. Hurst Green is a quiet country station built out of prefabricated concrete. It has a waiting room, toilets and ticket office though. Although it is the final station before the two branch lines split, the guard tells passengers to change at Oxted, the previous station, which is much bigger and "important". We leave the Uckfield line almost straight after leaving Hurst Green and move south, speeding up quite quickly as we go past lots of modern housing, before the countryside appears. It is quite wooded here and we are soon going at 70 mph. We go under the Tonbridge to Redhill line and pass an oast house in the distance as well as a few industrial units as we speed on south. Eventually we slow down for Lingfield. There are a lot of new houses on the right hand side of the track. It has a pleasant station building on the right with the original canopy and covered footbridge, whilst on the left platform there is a new aluminium bus shelter. The station sign says "Lingfield Park Racecourse and Gold Club" as just to the right of the station is the racecourse, which is also a golf course.  We are on the flight path into Gatwick here and as we leave Lingfield a Jumbo Jet shoots past us as it descends towards Gatwick. The scenery here is quite wooded and soon we emerge from the trees at Dormans, which has a huge school next to the station. There are two bus stops on the up platform but nothing on the left platform. We leave Dormans and go into a small cutting, then onto a viaduct over a small lake. We then curve sharply to the right as more modern housing appears along with some small factory buildings and then we come into another cutting. This one is very deep and is the pathway into East Grinstead station, which was originally on two levels. There are two platforms here along with some carriage sidings beyond the platforms. The station building is a modern one, being rebuilt in 1970.

Summary: A busy suburban branch line, which will continue for years to come. MC