On 28th Sept 2015 Croydon’s Streets and Environment Scrutiny Committee recommended to Croydon Council that it should support Network Rail’s proposals to improve East Croydon Station by installing two extra platforms and two new tracks up to Selhurst, to help improve the flow of trains through Croydon and increase the number of services we receive.
East Croydon Station is a key transport hub for Croydon and is vital to the economy of Croydon and to the residents of Addiscombe. Local Councillor, Sean Fitzsimons, chaired the cross-party group of councillors, who have been reviewing the performance and future plans of rail operators, such as South GTR, and Network Rail, who is responsible for the building and maintaining the infrastructure.
As all rail commuters know, its been a tough time since the building works at London Bridge started. The aim of these works by Network Rail is to improve the capacity of the Thameslink line, by increasing the frequency and length of the trains, plus London Bridge Station gets rebuilt. This work will complete by 2018. Croydon will benefit from these works with more trains, but more improvements can be achieved if the bottleneck next between East Croydon and the tracks north of East Croydon up to Selhurst and Norwood Junction were improved. To get the greatest benefit East Croydon Station needs two more platforms, which would significantly increase the number of trains by allowing each platform to be either a north bound or south bound line, which some are not currently.
Network Rail made it very clear that it would not be possible to install the two new platforms next the current platforms at East Croydon. Instead they are working on proposals that effectively moves the station by about 100 metres to the north of the newly built Pedestrian Bridge. the advantage of this is that as well as two new platforms it would allow the reduction of the gradient on the existing slopes from main concourse by lengthening the slopes down to the platforms. New pedestrians exits would also be needed further north to avoid overcrowding of the new footbridge.
With a growing Croydon the existing station is struggling to cope with the increase passenger numbers, and it is clear that a new world-class station is needed for one of England’s busiest transport hubs. A final decision may not be taken for a while yet but there is a strong chance that East Croydon Station will finally have a station fit for the 21st Century.
If you want to know more about the what may be happening to our local rail lines, or transport issues generally, then I suggest visiting the London Reconnections website. As always, they have done an in-depth review of Network Rail’s recent Sussex Route Study.