Network Rail buys Croydon sites to support railway upgrade plans

The old Royal Mail and Volkswagen sites next to East Croydon station have been bought by Network Rail to support its plans to unblock the railway bottleneck at Croydon.

The railway through Croydon is the busiest and most congested in Britain with 1,700 trains and 300,000 passengers travelling through it every weekday.  The complex layout of the railway in the area and the lack of capacity at East Croydon station means that the impact of even the most minor incident is magnified, causing delay  across the Brighton Main Line, its branches and the wider network.

To remove the Croydon bottleneck, Network Rail is proposing to rebuild East Croydon station, with two extra tracks and a larger concourse, and remodel the railway through the Selhurst triangle, adding extra track, new flyovers and diveunders. The Royal Mail and Volkswagen sites are key to making the upgrade possible. 

John Halsall, Network Rail route managing director, South East route, said:

“For too long passengers travelling on the Brighton Main Line have had to put up with an unreliable service. Unblocking the Croydon bottleneck is the only practical way to improve punctuality to a level passengers deserve and provide the extra capacity needed to accommodate rising passenger numbers.

“The detail of our proposals is still being developed  and the plans will be the subject of ongoing consultation with passengers, local residents and businesses. However, by securing these important sites we have taken another step towards making the proposals a reality.  

“While we continue to develop our designs, consult with the public and make the case for investment in our proposals, we will work with local stakeholders to explore options for temporary uses of these sites.”