Oxted & District History Society - Talk
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Oxted & District History Society

Stuart Dennison, a railway enthusiast, gave an illustrated lecture to the Oxted & District History Society on the ‘Origins & Development of the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway’.

In 1839 the London Bridge to West Croydon line was opened, followed by Shoreham Station in 1840, necessary for the transport of materials and in 1841 the London to Brighton line was opened.  This was extended to Chichester and Hastings in 1846 and the Eastbourne extension was opened in 1849.  Early experiments with atmospheric propulsion were found to be not very practical and soon dropped.  An Illustrated London News edition of 1846 showed engravings of accommodation in the 3 classes.  The 3rd Class carriages were like cattle trucks with no seats but passengers paid only 1d. per mile.  In the 1850s, windows were introduced in the 3rd Class.

Initially foreign travel was via Shoreham and Dieppe but Newhaven was soon set up as a ferry terminal, with steamers jointly owned by the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LBSCR) and French Railways.   The economic crisis of 1866 nearly bankrupted the LBSCR, as it had over-stretched itself but it managed to survive.  The Oxted line venture failed in the 1860s, eventually opening in 1884.  Following the 1921 Railways Act, LBSCR became part of the Southern Group.


Origins of the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway’.