In 1839 the London and Croydon Railway opened Jolly-sailor station — "Jolly-sailor near Beulah Spa" on fares lists and timetables — at the north end of the High Street, adjacent to the Portland Road level crossing. From 1841 the lines through Norwood were used by the London and Brighton Railway and from 1842 the South Eastern Railway, but neither of these companies used the station. In 1844 the L&CR was given parliamentary authority to test an experimental atmospheric railway system on the railway. A pumping station was built on Portland Road to create a vacuum in a continuous pipe located centrally between the rails. A piston extended downwards from the trains into a slit in the pipe, with trains blown towards the pumping station by atmospheric pressure. The pumping station was in a Gothic style, with a very tall ornate tower that served both as a chimney and as an exhaust vent for air pumped from the propulsion tube. As part of the works for the atmospheric system, the world's first railway flyover was constructed beyond the south end of the station to carry the atmospheric line over the conventional London & Brighton Railway steam line. At the same time the level crossing at Portland Road was replaced by a low bridge across the road. In July 1846 the L&CR merged with the L&BR to form the London Brighton and South Coast Railway, and the station was renamed Norwood in the same year - it became Norwood Junction by 1856. The LB&SCR abandoned atmospheric propulsion in 1847 but the flyover remained in use as part of what is sometimes known as Windmill Bridge Junction.
It is from this station that the villain Jonas Oldacre takes his train to London Bridge in the Sherlock Holmes story The Adventure of the Norwood Builder. Platforms 1 & 2: Platform 1 is the first platform when entering via the main entrance and is the only platform accessible without having to negotiate the subway via stairs. Its main use is for trains northwards to Highbury & Islington, London Bridge and London Victoria; most stop at all stations. They mainly come from West Croydon, Caterham and Sutton. The platform is also used for London Overground. Platform 2 serves the same track as Platform 1 but passengers are not able to join or alight as the doors open only on the Platform 1 side. Platform 3: Platform 3 is for faster services to London Bridge. It is the only northwards platform served by Southern trains from Tonbridge. Most services come from Horsham, Tattenham Corner and Reigate, with the occasional service from Brighton and Uckfield. When the Thameslink Programme is complete, First Capital Connect trains to Bedford will use this platform. Platforms 4, 5 & 6 are for southbound trains, to West Croydon or East Croydon. Platform 4 is for fast trains from London Bridge to Uckfield, East Grinstead, Gatwick Airport, Tonbridge, Tattenham Corner and Horsham; Platform 5 for suburban stopping services, mainly high-frequency trains from Highbury & Islington to West Croydon and from London Bridge to Caterham; Platform 6 is usually used only when platform alterations are required. Trains to Coulsdon Town from London Victoria via Crystal Palace usually use Platform 5 but sometimes use Platform 6. Platform 7 is disused and the line is covered by vegetation. However, with the planned two-year blockade of Thameslink trains through Central London while London Bridge station is under reconstruction Network Rail is reinstating and electrifying this line though whether as a 'dead-end or as the present loop is not known. This will see some additional services via Crystal Palace which would otherwise need to go on to Beckenham Junction terminate here. The station is in Travelcard Zone 4 and has wi-fi, help points, payphones, cash machines, boarding ramps, a bridge, and a waiting room and toilets.
Connections: National Rail. On the Portland Road side are two stops for routes 197 (Croydon Town Centre - Norwood Junction - Peckham) and 312 (South Croydon, Bus Garage– East Croydon - Norwood Junction). The High Street 'Clocktower' stop serves routes 75 (Croydon Town Centre – Penge - Lewisham Station), 157 (Morden – West Croydon - Crystal Palace) and 410 (Wallington – Croydon - Crystal Palace). The Grosvenor Road stop serves routes 130 (New Addington– Addington Village - Thornton Heath, Parchmore Road) and 196 (Norwood Junction – Brixton - Elephant and Castle). Route 75 was formerly a 24-hour route but that facility was withdrawn in favour of a higher frequency of buses on a Sunday by Selkent when it took the service over from Stagecoach London. Metrobus won the contract from April 2009 and works the route from its Croydon garage. Nowadays, the route is operated by Stagecoach London (Used to be Selkent). The stop on Night Bus route N68 is half a mile away on White Horse Lane. Other service operators are Arriva London, Abellio and Metrobus.