England's railway boom of the 1830s led to two competing companies driving lines through the area. The first, the London and Croydon Railway (L&CR), established a station on New Cross Road close to Hatcham in 1839. The second, the South Eastern Railway (SER), established a station near Amersham Way in the heart of New Cross in 1849. Both companies called their stations "New Cross", and the earlier station became "New Cross Gate" when they came under the common ownership of the Southern Railway on 1 January 1923. During the 19th century, New Cross (Gate) became an important junction where the South London Line, the East London Line, and the Bricklayers Arms Line diverged from the Brighton Main Line to London Bridge. The original station was officially opened on 1 June 1839 by the London and Croydon Railway and became fully operational on 5 June 1839. It was intended to become the main freight depot and locomotive workshop for the company. In July 1841 the line (but not the station) was also used by the London and Brighton Railway, and between 1842 and 1849 the SER. The Croydon and Brighton companies merged to form the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LB&SCR) in July 1846. Between February and May 1847 the station at New Cross was the northern terminus of the atmospheric propulsion system introduced by the L&CR, but in the latter month the system was abandoned by the new company. On 1 October 1847 the newly formed LB&SCR closed the existing New Cross station, replacing it with another at Cold Blow Lane 0.25 miles (0.40 km) to the north, in an attempt to secure passengers from the planned North Kent Line of the SER. This move was not a success and was subject to much local criticism, so on 1 May 1849 the LB&SCR rebuilt and re-opened New Cross on the original site.
The current station dates from 1849 but was again rebuilt in 1858 to allow for the quadrupling of the Brighton Main Line. Further rebuilding was undertaken in 1869 when the East London Railway opened a line from New Cross to Whitechapel and Liverpool Street. The line through the station was electrified in 1928 by the Southern Railway using the third rail system, although the majority of services continued to be steam hauled until the electrification of the Brighton main line in 1932. The East London Railway (ELR) was owned by a consortium of railway companies. Passenger services were operated by the LB&SCR between Croydon and Liverpool Street, and from 1884 by the District Railway between New Cross (Gate) and Shoreditch. LB&SCR services ceased on 31 March 1913, when the line was electrified using the fourth rail system and thereafter all passenger services were operated by the Metropolitan Railway. A separate ELR station was built but this was closed in 1886 and the trains were diverted to the adjacent LB&SCR station. The ELR station was then demolished and the site used for sidings. The East London Line closed on 22 December 2007 and reopened on 27 April 2010 as part of the new London Overground system. The service was also closed between 1995 and 1998 due to repair work on the tunnel under the River Thames. The East London line extension included a flyover north of New Cross Gate allowing trains to run through from West Croydon, plus the construction of a train servicing facility nearby. Platform 1 and adjacent track (southbound) were refurbished, with the line continuing under New Cross Road, before merging with the down slow line. LO services terminated here until 23 May 2010 when services were extended south. Ticket barriers were installed to all platforms in time for the London Overground services to commence. The station is in Travelcard Zone 2 and has wi-fi, payphones and help points but no toilets.
Connections: National Rail. London Buses routes 21, 53, 136, 171, 172, 177, 321, 343, 436 and 453, and night routes N21, N89, N136, N171, and N343 serve the station.