We're proposing to unblock the Croydon bottleneck to provide Brighton Main Line passengers with more reliable, more frequent and faster services, and to provide the capacity needed for future growth. 

Public consultation

From Monday 1 June to Sunday 20 September 2020 we ran our second public consultation on our proposals for unblocking the Croydon bottleneck.

We received 1,428 responses and overall, with 90 per cent of respondents indicating they either ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’ with our proposals.

The five most common themes in the feedback we received are:

  • Desire to complete the project and deliver the benefits quickly
  • Concerns over service disruption during construction
  • Concerns about highways disruptions
  • Matters related to impacted land and property
  • Integration with buses, trams, taxis and cycling at East Croydon station

Download summary of the consultation (777 KB, PDF).

This feedback, along with other ideas and suggestions, will be used to shape our final designs which we will share next year.

Thank you to those who took the opportunity to find out more about our proposals and provide feedback via our chat facility, consultation hotline and via email. View the consultation materials.

Residents and businesses that could be directly impacted by the proposals can continue to engage directly with Network Rail’s project team at any time and are strongly encouraged to get in touch using the contact details below.

You can find out about our next steps below.


The Croydon area is the busiest, most congested and most complex part of the country’s rail network.

The lack of capacity at East Croydon station and the complex series of junctions north of Croydon, the Selhurst triangle, delays trains across the Brighton Main Line and the wider network every time an incident occurs.

It also means there is no capacity to run more trains to meet future passenger growth, which will lead to overcrowding in the years ahead unless action is taken. 

Our proposals

Our proposals to unblock the Croydon bottleneck and provide more reliable, more frequent and faster services include the following key elements: 

Indicative internal view of the East Croydon platform area
Indicative internal view of the East Croydon platform area
Indicative aerial view of the Selhurst Junction area, looking south
Indicative aerial view of the Selhurst Junction area, looking south

Current constraints

The station currently has six platforms which means that incoming trains often have to queue outside the station for a platform to become available, resulting in delays.

Accessibility at the station is limited as the existing access ramps are steep and congested, the small concourse regularly becomes overcrowded and passenger facilities are limited.

Our proposal

A rebuilt station with two additional platforms, a larger concourse with improved facilities for passengers and better connections with the town centre and other transport links, supporting the ongoing regeneration of Croydon.

Find out more about our proposals.

Current constraints

The frequency of trains and large numbers of flat junctions in this area make it one of the most complex parts of the rail network. Trains often have to wait at red signals for other trains to pass causing delays and making it difficult to recover the service when an incident occurs.

Our proposal

We propose to grade separate junctions by building new viaducts, bridges and dive-unders to separate the tracks as they cross each other. This means trains will no longer have to wait at a red signal for others to pass.

Find out more about our proposals.

Current constraints

To provide more platforms at East Croydon station and allow the Selhurst triangle junctions to be remodelled, we need to expand the railway north of East Croydon from five to eight tracks.

Our proposal

We propose to rebuild the bridge over the railway, increasing its span, to provide space for three additional tracks.

Find out more about our proposals.

Current constraints

The current track and platform arrangements limit the number of fast services able to call at Norwood Junction. This is because stopping and non-stopping services share the same tracks. The current subway is also in a poor condition and does not meet accessibility requirements, making it difficult for passengers to change platforms.

Our proposal

We propose to modify the track layout to provide dedicated tracks for fast and non-stopping services, lengthen and widen platforms to allow longer trains to stop at the station for the first time and build two footbridges, one with lifts, to provide step-free access to the platforms.

These works are not proposed to form part of our Transport and Works Act Order application for the Scheme.

More information about our proposals for Norwood Junction is available here.

The benefits

By improving track layouts, remodelling the Selhurst triangle and constructing new tracks and two new platforms at East Croydon station, we would remove the bottleneck which causes delays and disruption, improving the punctuality of services.

More tracks and remodelled junctions would also mean we would be able to speed up some services through the Selhurst Triangle.

Once we deliver our proposals to unblock the Croydon bottleneck to improve the reliability of existing services, we would then be able work with train operators to consider running more trains.

As the main route connecting the capital with Gatwick Airport and the south coast improving the Brighton Main Line will provide a significant boost to the regional and national economy.

The expanded and enhanced station would deliver better passenger facilities, improved transport links and support the ongoing regeneration of Croydon.

Managing impacts

A major redevelopment such as this will result in changes to services but we are planning our proposals to keep trains moving and minimise disruption to passengers.

We will also be undertaking a detailed Environmental Impact Assessment to identify potential effects on the environment and local community as a result of the construction and operation of the Scheme. The assessment will also identify mitigation measures to address construction and operational impacts.

Find out more on how we are managing impacts.

Next steps

To deliver our proposals we need to obtain powers to work outside the railway boundary through a Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO). We are currently in the process of preparing an application for these powers, referred to as the East Croydon to Selhurst Junction Capacity Enhancement Scheme (‘the Scheme').

Following the public consultation held from Monday 1 June to Sunday 20 September 2020, we are using feedback received to further develop our designs and prepare a TWAO application ahead of our targeted submission date in late 2021.

In 2018 we held our first public consultation on the Scheme. The detailed feedback we received has been used to further develop our designs, and common concerns have been considered and factored into our construction programme.

We held 11 public events in the Croydon area, over 20 passenger engagement events across the route and people could also view and comment on the proposals on-line.

A total of 840 people responded to our consultation. Of the 840 responses, 70% came from Croydon and South London residents, while the remaining 30% came from across the route and some from further afield.

Consultees were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with the concept of unblocking the railway bottleneck at Croydon. Over 90% of people who responded either agreed or strongly agreed with the proposals. 7% were undecided and 2% disagreed or strongly disagreed with the proposals.

Some of the most common comments were;

    • to progress as quickly as possible
    • more information please
    • concerns over disruption during construction, both to the train services and the
    • road network; and
    • strong support for Norwood Junction station redevelopment.
    • View the feedback summary report

Sign-up for email updates

Sign-up with your email address to receive updates on the Unblocking the Croydon bottleneck project and information on projects taking place across the Southern region.

Our privacy notice applies to the personal information that Network Rail collects about you, or that you provide to us. It explains how and why we use your personal information, who we disclose it to and how we protect your privacy.

Contact us

For more information on our proposals you can e-mail us at consultation@cars2.networkrail.co.uk

You can also call Network Rail’s national helpline on 03457 11 41 41 or contact us on Twitter @NetworkRailSE

View our privacy notice for The East Croydon to Selhurst Junction Capacity Enhancement Scheme.