Lewes railway station

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National Rail
Lewes Station - geograph.org.uk - 255600.jpg
LocationLewes, Lewes
Grid referenceTQ416098
Managed bySouthern
Other information
Station codeLWS
ClassificationDfT category C2
Key dates
2016/17Decrease 2.242 million
 Interchange Decrease 0.415 million
2017/18Increase 2.478 million
 Interchange Increase 0.458 million
2018/19Increase 2.580 million
 Interchange Increase 0.505 million
2019/20Increase 2.607 million
 Interchange Increase 0.508 million
2020/21Decrease 0.767 million
 Interchange Decrease 0.121 million
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road

Lewes railway station serves the town of Lewes in East Sussex, England. It has five platforms and is on the East Coastway Line, 49 miles 74 chains (80.3 km) from London Bridge via Redhill. Train services are provided by Southern.

The station has a café and there is a taxi office on the main forecourt. There is a small taxi rank outside.


RCTS Sussex Rail Tour in 1962

The first station in Friars Walk opened on 8 June 1846 was originally built as a terminus on the Brighton line. However, this station became inconvenient after an extension to Hastings opened on 27 June 1846. The new railway met the Brighton line at a junction just west of Lewes Station (i.e. towards Brighton), requiring trains serving Lewes to reverse. The director of the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway called the station "the most incomplete and injudicious station ever erected".[1]

On 2 October 1847, the Keymer Junction to Lewes line opened. New platforms (called Pinwell) were built opposite the terminus, west of the Hasting line branch. On 1 November 1857, a new station was built at the divergence of the Keymer Junction line. The old station closed; the original booking hall with grand classical columns outside survived until the 1960s before it was demolished.[2] The new building was built in the style of a Swiss chalet.[3] A new junction for the realigned Wealden Line opened on 1 October 1868. The new alignment went through part of the station goods yard of the original terminus.[1] Before this change, the Wealden line joined the Keymer line at Hamsey Junction between the north portal of Lewes Tunnel and Cooksbridge Station.[4]

The second station was rebuilt in order to increase platform capacity and reduce the narrow curvature of the track. It opened on 17 June 1889.[5] On 1 October 1889 all passenger services were diverted from the original loop line between Lewes and Southerham Junction onto this alignment. The original route was retained for goods only.

On 5 November 1960, severe flooding of the track caused the suspension of all electric services, and replaced by whatever steam locomotives were available. The Borough Surveyor requested that the London-bound platforms at Lewes station should be blown up to allow flood water to escape via the railway track-bed. However, the British Railways district engineer declined to co-operate.[6] The line to Wivelsfield remained inoperable for some time.[7]

In the 1960s, the original 1846 terminus building fronting the public street (Friars Walk), was demolished.[8][9][10] The line to Uckfield closed on 23 February 1969, in order that a relief road in Lewes could be built over the redundant trackbed.[11]


Forecourt at Lewes Station

The station is located at a junction, where two western branches of the East Coastway line (from London and from Brighton) join together to continue eastwards towards Eastbourne. Each of the two branches has its own set of platforms (the junction itself is immediately east of the station). The two sets of platforms together form a "V" shape, with a large open area (as well as the main station building) between platforms 2 and 3.

London branch[edit]

Platforms 1 and 2 serve the London branch. Both platforms are long enough to accommodate a 12-carriage train.

  • Platform 1 is an eastbound side platform used by trains originating in London running towards Eastbourne and Hastings;
  • Platform 2 is usually served by westbound services towards London Victoria or London Bridge via Gatwick Airport, although it is also signalled for eastbound departures, meaning it can be used by trains that reverse at the station to run to and from the east.

Brighton branch[edit]

Platforms, 3, 4 and 5 are located on the Brighton branch. These platforms are considerably shorter than those on the London side – platforms 3 and 5 are only long enough to accommodate six carriages, while platform 4 can hold seven.

  • Platform 3 is an eastbound platform served by through trains from Brighton towards Seaford, Eastbourne and Hastings;
  • Platforms 4 and 5 are both signalled bi-directionally, but in normal service they are used by westbound trains towards Brighton; through services usually use platform 4, while those that start and terminate here normally run from platform 5.


The typical weekday off-peak service pattern from the station, with frequencies in trains per hour (tph), is:

During peak times there is an additional 1tph to London Bridge and the frequency of services to Eastbourne increases to 5tph.

Until 2018, the station was served by hourly services through to Ashford International. These services were discontinued as part of the May 2018 timetable changes; reasons given were long journey times, as well as insufficient rolling stock (the line to Ashford is served by 2-car DMUs) which caused overcrowding particularly on the section between Brighton and Eastbourne. Since then, services to and from Ashford have only run as far as Eastbourne.[12]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Plumpton or
East Coastway Line (London branch)
Falmer   Southern
East Coastway Line (Brighton branch)
    Glynde or
Falmer   Southern
Seaford Branch Line
  Southease or
Newhaven Town
Disused railways
Line and station closed
  London, Brighton and South Coast Railway
Lewes and East Grinstead Railway
Barcombe Mills
Line and station closed
  London, Brighton and South Coast Railway
Wealden Line



  1. ^ a b Mitchell & Smith 1985, pp. 49–50, Lewes.
  2. ^ Mitchell & Smith 1985, Lewes.
  3. ^ Marx 1982, p. 22.
  4. ^ Mitchell & Smith 1985, p. 49, Lewes.
  5. ^ Mitchell & Smith 1985, p. 50, Lewes.
  6. ^ Mitchell & Smith 1985, Lewes, Fig. 65.
  7. ^ Glover 2001, pp. 142–143.
  8. ^ plate 48, Brighton to Eastbourne by Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Middleton Press, 1985, ISBN 0-906520-16-9
  9. ^ maps opposite plate 50, Brighton to Eastbourne by Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Middleton Press, 1985, ISBN 0-906520-16-9
  10. ^ London, Brighton & South Coast Railway Album, Klaus Marx, Ian Allan, 1982, ISBN 0-7110-1187-7
  11. ^ "Uckfield to Lewes rail line: 50 years of hurt". Uckfield News. 23 February 2019. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
  12. ^ "Plans to axe unpopular two-carriage Eastbourne train service". Eastbourne Herald.


  • Glover, John (2001). Southern Electric. Hersham: Ian Allan. pp. 142–43. ISBN 0-7110-2807-9.
  • Marx, Klaus (1982). London, Brighton & South Coast Railway Album. Ian Allan. ISBN 0-7110-1187-7.
  • Mitchell, Vic; Smith, Keith (1985). Brighton to Eastbourne. Middleton Press. ISBN 0-906520-16-9.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°52′15″N 0°0′42″E / 50.87083°N 0.01167°E / 50.87083; 0.01167