Level Crossing over Forest Hill station!?

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Falkor
Posts: 1371
Joined: 10 Feb 2006 17:45
Location: Surrey Quays

Level Crossing over Forest Hill station!?

Post by Falkor »

I was reading that apparently, in the very early days of Forest Hill station when they had a different booking office, traffic could travel from London road carrying on directly over the train tracks via a Level Crossing!? If so, where did London road come out? Perry Vale? Apparently, the subway was still there, so what about the drop in height? Anyone shed some light on this?

Greg Whitehead
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Joined: 11 Apr 2005 15:44
Location: SE26 5RL

Post by Greg Whitehead »

I was thinking about you last night on the train home...allow me to rephrase Falkor. I though about this question Giles.

The only place I could think of where the gradient wouldn't have been too steep would have been Clyde Vale? It's a shallow incline from Dartmouth Road - from looking out I could only think of there. Perhaps on the other side of the tracks the level crossing would have come out where the Royal Mail depot now is?



Intrigued of Sydenam

Falkor
Posts: 1371
Joined: 10 Feb 2006 17:45
Location: Surrey Quays

Post by Falkor »

Greg, that sounds like a more realistic way of getting over the railway line; Clyde Vale seems like a more likely spot to have built a level crossing I agree... All we've got to go on is this quote from the green Forest Hill and Sydenham book, which leaves me wondering...

"The booking hall of the original Dartmouth Arms station of 1839 stood just south of what is now the line of the subway. A level crossing then took London Road directly across the tracks."

!!!

Did somebody forget to finish the paragraph or what? :D Anyone have anymore details about this? :?:

BTW, the 2nd booking hall was built in 1854 and the 3rd in 1883.

Steve Grindlay
Posts: 606
Joined: 4 Oct 2004 05:07
Location: Upper Sydenham

Post by Steve Grindlay »

The source for that information is "The Croydon Railway", published in 1839 to celebrate the opening of the line. This is the full quote, with the writer describing the journey through FH station:

"As we pass along the embankment, we perceive ahead an orange-red disc on top of a white pole; suddenly it revolves and becomes invisible, by which we are assured that the gates at the station, placed across the railway to protect persons travelling along the road - which is here intersected on a level - are thrown open and we may proceed"

There was a level crossing from 1839 to 1844 when, because of the number of accidents, the road was diverted into Waldram Crescent, as today.

An 1839 railway map in the above book shows London Road continuing in a straight line across the track. But, as Falkor says, it is impossible to relate that to the considerable drop in height.

One source suggests that the subway was created in 1852, when the original two tracks were increased to four. There was a central platform and the subway was created to give access to that platform (you can still make out the bricked-up entrance in the subway wall).

Falkor
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Joined: 10 Feb 2006 17:45
Location: Surrey Quays

Post by Falkor »

"As we pass along the embankment, we perceive ahead an orange-red disc on top of a white pole; suddenly it revolves and becomes invisible, by which we are assured that the gates at the station, placed across the railway to protect persons travelling along the road - which is here intersected on a level - are thrown open and we may proceed"
High level!
An 1839 railway map in the above book shows London Road continuing in a straight line across the track. But, as Falkor says, it is impossible to relate that to the considerable drop in height.
So there's no way of knowing? There must have been a ramp there or something...
One source suggests that the subway was created in 1852, when the original two tracks were increased to four. There was a central platform and the subway was created to give access to that platform (you can still make out the bricked-up entrance in the subway wall).
Some good info there, Steve! I don't remember there being a central platform, so presumably they've demolished it. Will look out for this blocked up entrance...

Jules
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Joined: 19 Sep 2006 09:14
Location: sydenham

Post by Jules »

I find this all so very interesting.
On my home tonight I shall pay for more attention to Forest Hill Station.
I've heard about the centre platform before. It is still there, although very narrow.

gismo67
Posts: 1
Joined: 24 May 2020 17:59

Re: Level Crossing over Forest Hill station!?

Post by gismo67 »

I live in Ian Court Dacres Road and I think I have worked out where the level crossing must have been. Probably directly across London Road very close to where the foot tunnel is now. Why we cannot see it nowadays is that I believe the railway tracks have been lifted in height by about 8 feet. this would have been done in order to build the new railway bridge.
I have seen old paintings of a train coming into the station in the direction from London. The buildings on the left are still there but the track is noticeably lower than now.
The ground floor of the Furniture Repository is no longer at the height of either the track or the platform. The platform height now is very much higher when compared to the main platform entrance of the repository - it is almost at 1st floor height.
At the rear of Ian Court is a brick retaining wall holding the tracks some 8 ft higher.
In a piece of wasteland in the back of Ian Court you can find in the undergrowth parallel concrete plinths which are track width apart.
I believe the old coal yard, which became the car park and the industrial estate, has been lifted to match the new track height. Look at the concrete retaining walls behind Perrystreete flats.

simon
Posts: 933
Joined: 11 Oct 2006 15:35
Location: Longton Avenue

Re: Level Crossing over Forest Hill station!?

Post by simon »

Thanks for clearing that up gismo, its only taken 14 years!
Welcome to the forum; cracking first post.

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