Unblocking the Croydon bottleneck – The Croydon Area Remodelling Scheme

As part of our long-term plans to upgrade the Brighton Main Line we’re proposing to unblock the Croydon bottleneck to give Brighton Main Line passengers faster, more reliable services and improved connections across the region. 

This animated video shows our proposals consulted on in summer 2020.  Further development is now taking place to understand changes in passenger behaviour following the pandemic.


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 that journey times will always be constrained, and we won’t be able to run the additional trains needed to meet passenger demand or serve new destinations, in the future.

Our proposals

CARS is the largest and most complex part of our longer-term Brighton Main Line upgrade proposals.  CARS would remove the Croydon bottleneck. Our proposals consist of the following:

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

The benefits

Public consultation

Where our proposals require work to take place outside the railway boundary we need to submit a Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) application. These elements of the wider CARS proposals are known as the ‘East Croydon to Selhurst Junction Capacity Enhancement Scheme’ and we’ve ran two public consultations on these proposals.

We held our first public consultation in 2018 where more than 90% of respondents supported the proposals. You can read a summary of feedback here – View the feedback summary report

From Monday 1 June to Sunday 20 September 2020 we ran our second public consultation.

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 help shape our final designs.

While further development work is now needed, we will continue to engage with local people and stakeholders as our plans develop.

Programme revision

Further development of CARS has been affected by issues such as the significant uncertainty about future passenger behaviour and demand following the COVID-19 pandemic and funding constraints following the Governments 2020 Spending Review.

Given the significant investment required to deliver this scheme, we are now taking time to consider how the pandemic may affect passenger behaviour and travel patterns in the future, and how any such changes should be reflected in infrastructure investments such as this.

Please get in touch

For more information on our proposals you can email us at crsouthern@networkrail.co.uk. You can also visit our contact us page or call our 24-hour national helpline on 03457 11 41 41 or you can contact us on Twitter at @NetworkRailSE