The story of the Epsom Downs Branch is a colourful one.
Here is a small railway line which is still running today and which, in the course of nearly 150 years of existence,
and has undergone many changes which transformed it almost completely on several occasions.
It is a piece of English railway history which is quite extraordinary, and the fact that the Epsom Downs Branch continues to be a part of the contemporary railway system makes it almost unique.



A story of changes and contrasts: Left, one of the oldest photographs of Epsom Downs terminal, and probably the most famous one too, taken on Derby day in 1877, the original of which reputedly hung in the station master's office for years. Right, the same location 125 years later is virtually unrecognisable, with eight out of nine platforms gone.
(Lens of Sutton / Robert Oakes) [click for larger images]

The beginnings and the heydays of the branch as part of the London Brighton & South Coast Railway
The Southern Electrics era: third rail electrification and commuter traffic
The Network SouthEast era: modernisation and change
Privatisation - The Network SouthCentral franchise
The Connex SouthCentral era: neglect and dereliction
The South Central Trains era: recovery and change for better
South Central is rebranded as (New) Southern (Railway) before becoming part of the Thameslink, Southern & Great Northern "super franchise"

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Page last revised on 17 September 2022