The railway comes to Brighton

By the mid 1830’s the steam locomotive had proved itself and there were six plans under consideration by Parliament for a railway between London and Brighton.

On the 15th July 1837 the ‘Direct Line’ surveyed by Sir John Rennie received the Royal Assent. This provided for the main line and also a branch to Shoreham and another to Lewes and Newhaven. John Urpeth Rastrick was appointed Engineer and contracts were awarded for the construction.

The branch to Shoreham opened on 11th May 1840, with the line from London opening to Haywards Heath on the 12th July 1841 and to Brighton on 21st September of the same year. The line to Lewes opened on the 8th June 1846 and was extended to Bulverhythe near Hastings on 27th of June. The branch from to Newhaven opened the following year.

Westwards the line was also extended reaching Portsmouth in 1847. On 27th July 1846 all the above lines amalgamated to became the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway Company (LB&SCR) which was to provide Brighton’s rail services until grouping in 1923 when the Southern Railway was created.

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