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Brighton Station
Brighton, East Sussex, UK
associated engineer
John Urpeth Rastrick
F.D. Banister
H.E. Wallis
date  October 1840 - September 1841, 1882 - 1883
UK era  Victorian  |  category  Building  |  reference  TQ308051
ICE reference number  HEW 435
Brighton Station was the southern terminus of the London & Brighton Railway, construction of which began in July 1838. Engineer John Rennie decided on the site for the station, John Rastrick designed the train shed and David Mocatta designed the entrance building.
Brighton Station served connections westwards to Shoreham-by-Sea, and eastwards to both London and the county town of Lewes. The station was originally lit by gas lamps installed by the Brighton & Hove General Gas Company.
Rastrick’s original train shed was timber trussed and had three bays, averaging 17m in width. In 1852-4, the station building was enlarged and the platforms extended, and in 1861 a fourth bay was added to the roof of the train shed.
In 1882-3, there were major alterations. Mocatta’s building façade was obscured by a canopy of glazing and lacy ironwork, which inspired the street lamp design. F.D. Banister (chief engineer of the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway) carried out alterations including installing the concourse clock and extending the 11 platforms to accommodate two trains each.
Rastrick’s roof was replaced by two main bays spanning 34m and a shorter bay of 14m span on the east side. The train shed curves to a radius of 305m and is 183m long. The glazed ironwork arched bay roofs are ridged, and rest on wrought iron trusses with elliptical bottom chords. The new roof was designed by H.E. Wallis, and was renovated in 1999-2000.
The trusses are supported on fluted cast iron columns with moulded square plinths, set at approximately 9m centres. Lattice girders, carried on cast iron angle brackets, provide longitudinal stability for the columns.
During the 19th century, a goods yard was built on a site lower down the valley, accessed by a tunnel beneath the station. The tunnel entrance was sealed once new tracks were laid to the goods yard. Part of the tunnel was converted into offices during World War II.
In 1932, Platform 4 was filled in and the remaining 10 platforms were renumbered and extended for use by electric trains. Platform 10 closed in 1971, when the car park opened.
Isetta cars were built for a short time in part of the railway works, when railway manufacturing stopped in the 20th centruy. The goods yard site has been redeveloped into the New England Quarter.
The station building was designated Grade II* listed in April 1973 for its architectural merit, and in 1988 it was made part of the West Hill conservation area.
Other improvements include a travel centre (December 1979), a new ticket office (August 1980) and an electronic indicator board (1987).
More than seven million passengers use Brighton Station every year.
Architect (station building): David Mocatta
research: ECPK
reference sources   CEH South

Brighton Station