Sydenham Platform

Sydenham Platform

Sydenham Entrance

Sydenham Entrance

Sydenham Platform

Sydenham Platform

 

Sydenham station is on the site of the former Croydon Canal which was purchased and drained by the London and Croydon Railway and re-opened as a railway on 5 June 1839. Around 1844 the 'Up' (London bound) platform was re-sited during the installation of the Atmospheric railway equipment used by the railway. An atmospheric railway uses differential air pressure to provide power for propulsion of a railway vehicle, the early runs proved much faster than the steam engines but a series of unfortunate events occured to cause public disillusionment. The railway became a part of the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway in July 1846 and the following year 'Atmospheric' working was abandoned. The 'Down' (Croydon bound) platform had to be moved to the north of the road bridge in 1852 as a result of the construction of the branch line to Crystal Palace railway station. The 'up'(London bound) platform had also to be moved north of the road bridge in the 1980s. Sydenham Hill in the Boroughs of Lewisham and Southwark runs alongside Dulwich and Sydenham Woods on one of the highest points of Greater London being 112 meters above sea level. From here, the City of London skyline is visible. Sydenham Hill has an abandoned railway tunnel from the Crystal Palace and South London Junction Railway located within the Woods.

 

Originally known as Shippenham, Sydenham began as a small settlement, a few cottages among the woods, whose inhabitants grazed their animals and collected wood. In the 1640s, springs of water in what is now Wells Park were discovered to have medicinal properties, attracting crowds of people to the area. Sydenham grew rapidly in the 19th century after the introduction of the Croydon Canal in 1809 which linked the Grand Surrey Canal to Croydon and a reservoir was constructed in Sydenham. Before May 2010, Southern was the only TOC serving the station with 6 trains per hour during off peak periods. However, when the London Overground's East London Line opened this changed with Southern reducing its services into London Bridge to 4 trains per hour by withdrawing trains to Sutton, supplemented by an additional 8 trains operated by London Overground - giving the current total of 12 trains per hour. Like all intermediate stations between New Cross Gate and Norwood Junction, Sydenham has two platforms, facing two (up and down slow) of the four tracks with the two fast tracks run between the two slow lines. There are three entrances - the ticket office on platform 2 from Sydenham Station Approach, entrance on platform 1 from Peak Hill Gardens and a gate on platform 2 which isn't unlocked regularly. A locally owned small cafe named On The Hoof which also has locations at other stations on the line, is located in the main station building. The station is in Travelcard Zone 3 and has wi-fi, help points, boarding ramps, a car park, a bridge and waiting room but no toilets.

 

Connections: National Rail. London Buses routes 122, 176, 197, 202 and 450 serve the station. While routes 75 and 194 run close by.