Brockley Station - the shocking truth

Design for London - the Mayor's design advisers - have carried out a heritage audit of the East London Line's stations as part of the preparation for the modernisation programme due to take place at stations along the line over the next three years.

The report concluded that... Brockley Station has "little of heritage value except for the footbridge linking the two platforms, which is of some interest. There is therefore significant scope for new station facilities to improve passenger amenities."

So while the prefab hut didn't seduce them, they do compliment the recent landscaping and reveal some interesting details about the station's history:

Brockley Station was opened in 1871 - hitherto there were no intermediate stations between New Cross Gate and Forest Hill as the line passed through farmland with little settlement.


In the 1850s and 1860s the area to the east of the railway grew rapidly as large family houses were built on broad tree lined streets. In 1872 the rival London, Chatham & Dover Railway opened a station called Brockley Lane immediately to the east of the overbridge which crossed over the platforms of Brockley Station.


This was served by Victoria to Greenwich Park services until the station closed in 1917.


There was a substantial two  storey gabled station building on the west (up) side fronting Mantle Road and another single storey red-brick building on the down platform, both with generous canopies.

The existing station building is a prefabricated 1960s structure on the east side which replaced the 1871 station. The system-built CLASP (Consortium of Local Authorities Special Projects) structure is of a type widely used by the public sector in this decade especially for schools, hospitals and railways. It is a two storey flat roofed utilitarian structure composed of concrete panels. 


The lack of architectural merit in what remains should mean an uncomplicated modernisation programme (hinted at by the signs up currently, saying that work has begun to lengthen the platforms to accommodate longer trains - has anyone seen any evidence of this work?) over the next few years.

You can download the report here, including some great pictures of the station and its verdict on other stops along the line. Thanks to Barry for sending it to us.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

The report is from 2008 so the planting is just for the bit by the gate to P1 and not the latest addition? Still great obviously...unless you're mad.

Oh Yeah... said...

Whatever happened to the improved access/west side entrance that the company behind the new building Jude Court was going to do? (as part of their planning permissions as I understand)

Headhunter said...

I wonder what happened to the original station buildings? I've seen them on photos posted here before but no mention of why they were replaced with the concrete pillbox we have now... Were they bombed in WW2?

Anonymous said...

Will the 'improvement of passenger amenities' include actually making trains to central London accessible for people? Are there plans to accommodate people using wheelchairs?

mb said...

Yep... as part of the "Access for All" programme isn't it, 2013? Assuming funding isn't cut of course, supposedly it's ring fenced.

drakefell debaser said...

So, who gave the go ahead to demolish this substantial two storey gabled station building on the West and build a horrid prefab on the East? Also, was this substantial building where those awful grey prefab things now sit on the left hand side of the Western exit?

Add that to the abortion that Conway’s have constructed and called ‘stairs’ I think Brockley is due compensation.

Lou Baker said...

I was in Austria recently and there they have a brilliant idea which helps make trains accessible.

When the doors on a train open at everydoor a ramp automatically lowers on to the platform - making it easy for wheelchair users and people with buggies to board. I'd never seen it before but it seems like a brilliantly simple idea and I'm amazed we don't do it.

Trains are, after all, replaced far more frequently than stations. And although it would take some decades to complete it would really help.

Making overground stations accessible also isn't hard. We make much more of an issue about it than we should. In fact it's a disgrace it hasn't already been done.

There is more of an excuse with the underground - though even there there are solutions. The main problem is a lack of willingness and a lack of ambition.

As for Brockley station, it's a hole which needs demolishing and starting again. Hopefully, at the same time, they'll reopen Brockley High Level as part of an extended Bakerloo Line. Finally bringing the tube to Brockley - rather than this dodgy orange beast that we have now.

Mb said...

I was going to reply but a lack of ambition stopped me.

Matt-Z said...

The Tube, specifically the Victoria Line, has recently employed 'platform humps' to give level/step free access to at least one carriage of the train.

I wonder what the pros and cons of introducing a similar system on London's rail are?

pip said...

This redevelopment represents a great opportunity to improve the face of Brockley - let's hope they don't mess it up. The first thing is to make sure Conways don't get within a mile of it.

Realist said...

Jesus here we go again banging on about accessibility. When did this PC need to give anyone in a wheelchair the God given right to go anywhere come from? I'm sorry but sometimes people have to accept that it's not possible for everyone to have everything.

Surely it's much more convenient for everyone if people with mobility issues just just got a cab. Most stations and the underground simply weren't designed for use by people in wheelchairs. The money saved on this retroactive fitting, which is seldom used anyway, if ever, and then barely up to the job, could be better spent elsewhere.

The reason they got rid of the routemasters was for accessibility reasons and yet I've never seen a wheelchair on a bendy bus.

Some people won't be happy until there's a wheelchair ramp up to the top of Everest.

And before everyone attacks me for being some callous bastard, how many para-olympic tickets have you all bought?...

drakefell debaser said...

A couple, you callous bastard.

that's funny. said...

That's hilarious. I love the way you equate one's concern for disability issues by challenging everyone on whether they like the para-olympics. I haven't bought any para-olympics ticket - or olympics tickets for that matter, as both would bore the pants of me.
Still think we should have wheelchair access at Brockley though.

mb said...

sigh.....

Why should not having the use of your legs prevent you from working in the city and paying taxes or spending that money in shops? Accesability also includes those with shopping, pregnant or the elderly. The elderly in particular, they may have worked all their lives, payed taxes to pay for a network and are now denied it's use. Even more relevent now that the demographic is aging and we are expected to work longer.

What have the Paralympics got to do with the price of cheese?

Making a station accesable from it's inception is actually not a massive issue. Making existing station accessable is more of an issue, thats why not all stations are or will be.

To right off a growing section of the population is both wrong and counterproductive.

Mouse said...

Something along the lines of the second image on page 6 would be a big improvement on the current station. Though that ramp gradient does not look very wheelchair friendly...

Anonymous said...

platform lengthening is fully underway at Honor Oak Park, sure I saw the same at Brockley

brockley loz said...

a quick one to let you know i am workong on the platform lengthening project - 35 stations in all including all the local ones. Much work being done in the background re design, signalling etc and relatively close deadlines. Keep the faith people ....

brockley loz said...

a quick one to let you know i am workong on the platform lengthening project - 35 stations in all including all the local ones. Much work being done in the background re design, signalling etc and relatively close deadlines. Keep the faith people ....

Anonymous said...

"platform lengthening project" - cue the BDS . . .

Mb said...

Ah loz, a fellow train industry type person. Lou will be telling you how it's easy, just a bunch of concrete and paint. Signalling is just traffic lights, too expensive etc, etc....

brockley loz said...

mb .... and all. thee really is nothing to it, just a but of signal relocation, a bit of concrete, a bit of making sure of this and that and hey presto, all done!

Mb said...

Excellent.....crack on.

Lou Baker said...

@mb

I don't doubt that carrying out the actual work is hard.
I wouldn't fancy lengthening a platform.

But what is easy - that we make hard - is the process of planning this stuff.

Take the French. They decide they want a high speed railway line and the following day they start building it. It's operational within a few weeks. (Well a few years but listen to my point ......)

We decide we want a brand spanking new railway and then it has to go through Parliament - and someone objects. Then there's a public inquiry and the plans change. Then MPs get to look at it again and the scope gets downgraded and then after 20 years - when the price has increased 100 times - we decide to build an inferior version to what was originally planned. That is why Thameslink 2000 will be finished in 2019 and is still incredibly unambitious and will be full within a few years.

It's why Crossrail - although welcome - is basically pathetic addition to our infrastructure compared to what we could, and should, have had.

It's why we still use a creaking Victorian railway and not one fit for 2011. We make do and mend - but sometimes it's not enough. We've been darning the socks that are our railways for 100 years - at some stage we need to buy a new pair.

Mb said...

Really? I had no idea. With that and your "I've seen some cranes, the construction industry is in fine form" analysis I guess I ought to bow out.

Anonymous said...

...actually I think we all have missed out one fundamental key issue.
There should be a new lift installation at one end of the footbridge to allow disable and pram access.
This does not need to be excessively expensive, as there are numerous examples on the DLR Stations and Forest hill Station. There should be no excuses that we should n't have it installed especially with the numbers of young families living in Brockley in additional to comply with the disability discrimination. act.
There is a ramp recently implemented and completed it would be a great shame not to have a lift to make the station totally wheelchair/pram accessible.

Lets fight for access for all!!!
TT

Huxley said...

Access for all, seats for no one (apart from those in wheelchairs of course).

Can't help but think we're missing something in this brave new world.

Mb said...

Huxley, I think you're missing the point in a fairly spectacular fashion. Especially considering that you cannot see the irony in your pen name, the dystopian "brave new world" where those not considered perfect were legislated against to maintain their second class status.

Brockley Nick said...

Man is born free and everywhere he is in chairs.

BrockleyFox said...

I think their lengthening the platform at New Cross gate. As for brockley, i'm pretty sure those platforms can accommodate 12 carriage trains anyway cant they?

pedant said...

Ce n'est pas que: L'homme est né libre, et partout il est dans les chaînes.

Brockley Nick said...

@Pedant - yes, it was a little joke about the guy who believes we live under the jackboot of those in wheelchairs.

Matt-Z said...

@Anon 21:34 - Brockley is on the list for the Access for All programme. Rather than a lift it is likely to take the form of a second entrance onto Mantle Road. It is a question of when, not if. According to Network Rail's most recent update (July) New Cross Gate, Brockley and Honor Oak Park are all slated for completion in 2013.

@Brockley Fox - Brockley's platforms are currently only long enough for 8-car trains. They'll be extended to 10-car shortly. The latest RUS suggests further lengthening to 12-car. If only the former happens Southern will need to buy some new trains to replace the 4-car 455 units or add a car to the newer 377 units so they can run in multiples of five, or there'll be longer platforms with no trains to run on them. If we get 12-car platforms then it opens Brockley up to full length Thameslink services from 2018/19.

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