The Anonymous Widower

Beeching Reversal – Re-Opening of Camberwell Station

This is one of the Beeching Reversal projects that the Government and Network Rail are proposing to reverse some of the Beeching cuts.

Some of Lord Beeching’s relatives and friends, may consider it a bit of a cheek to add this project to a list of Beeching Reversals, as the station closed in 1916.

This station re-opening project has been around for donkeys years and endless studies have analyse, whether Camberwell station should be re-opened.

Under Possible Re-opening, Wikipedia says this about a possible Thameslink service and costs.

Steer Davies Gleave produced a TfL-commissioned report discussing the possibility of the station’s re-opening in 2026 in three future land use densities across three levels of operational use (four 8-car trains per hour, six 8-car trains per hour and six 12-car trains per hour) to give a total of nine scenarios. It estimated the capital cost of an 8-car station at £36.74m and a 12-car station at £38.50m.

It also says this about the business case.

In September 2018, TfL published a strategic business case to explore the station’s reinstatement. It acknowledged the area’s poor transport connectivity and that the reopening of the National Rail station was the best of eight option examined. While it concluded the local area would benefit from the station’s re-opening, its conclusions were similar to Steer Davies Gleave’s 2017 report.

This map from shows the various lines in the area of Camberwell station.


  1. The station had four platforms, which if they followed the pattern of Elephant & Castle station to the North would be numbered from the West.
  2. Trains would appear to use all four lines at Elephant & Castle, but only stop in Platforms 1, 2 and 4.
  3. Thameslink services go through Platforms 1 & 2 at Loughborough Junction station and Platforms 3 & 4 at Denmark Hill station.

This Google Map shows the area.


  1. The railway cuts across the North-West corner of the map.
  2. There is a bridge over the busy A202 road.
  3. The original station appears to have been close to where the railway and the A202 road cross.
  4. The area is well served by buses and even has a bus garage close to where the station will probably be built.

It would appear that it is a good location for a new station.

Redevelopment Of Elephant & Castle Station

Two big projects and a smaller one may affect Elephant & Castle station in the next few years.

  • The whole area is to be redeveloped, with probably better connections between the three different Elephant & Castle stations.
  • The Bakerloo Line may be extended from Elephant & Castle to Lewisham.
  • Elephant & Castle station will get step-free access.

Would a functioning Camberwell station help, if Elephant & Castle station needed to be closed at times during all the construction work?

Thameslink And Elephant & Castle And Camberwell Stations

Thameslink run four services through Elephant & Castle station and the site of the proposed Camberwell station.

  • St. Albans City and Sutton via Loughborough Junction and Mitcham Junction
  • St. Albans City and Sutton via Loughborough Junction and Wimbledon
  • Luton or Catford and Orpington via Denmark Hill and Catford
  • Welwyn Garden City or Blackfriars and Sevenoaks via Denmark Hill and Catford


  1. All services are run by eight-car trains.
  2. All services have a frequency of two trains per house (tph)

This means that Camberwell station would only need to be able to handle eight-car trains. I would suspect that it would be built, so that platforms could be extended in the future, but certainly only short platforms would be needed with the present Thameslink service.

Could costs be saved, by ensuring that all services went through Camberwell station in the pair of Eastern platforms; 3 and 4? I suspect from looking at the pattern of trains, that both Elephant & Castle and Camberwell stations could work as two-platform stations.

Both stations would be built, so that access to the other lines could be added in the future, if needed.

There is certainly scope for cutting the cost of building the station, through good design.

The Current State Of The Station Site

These pictures show the current state of the station site.

It’s not very tidy, but it did appear to be in a similar state, than when I last saw it.

It almost looks to me, to be in a state of partial demolition.

  • All these railway arches have been taken over in a massive £1.5 billion deal from Network Rail by Blackstone and Telereal Trillium.
  • On looking at these properties, did they take a look and see them as development potential.
  • In fact, the whole area could do with a makeover and there are two bus garages nearby, which might also be rebuilt with towers on top.

So is there a plan from Blackstone behind this reopening of the station?

These viaducts are often very sound and can scrub up well, as these [pictures show.

I wonder if a good architect could squeeze in, a quality modern step-free station and half-a-dozen business units, that would enhance the area.


I very much feel, that money for this project to sort out the various design, building and project management issues would be money well spent.

I wonder if this is a project promoted by Sir Peter Hendy, of which he has experience of his time in London.

As I said, Blackstone and their partners might want to turn an underperforming asset into something that all stakeholders would be proud of.

Could it be one of those projects, where the sums don’t add up, but Sir Peter and others with a nose for these projects, feel that if the station is re-opened, the passengers will use it in droves?


July 3, 2020 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , ,


  1. […] Chord Re-Opening of Camberwell Station Unlocking capacity and services through Bramley (Hants) Aston Rowant Extension Of The Chinnor […]

    Pingback by Beeching Reversal: Fifty Disused Rail Lines On Track To Reopen « The Anonymous Widower | July 3, 2020 | Reply

  2. No brainer this one and the slack timings in the the Sutton loop services shouldn’t cause any pathing issues.

    Actually the Sutton Loop service should have been in the hands of London Overground terminating at dedicated platforms at Cricklewood. Too much fresh air is being run up the MML because of lack of suitable turnaround points as well as causing pathing issue on the Fast Lines.

    Comment by Nicholas Lewis | July 3, 2020 | Reply

    • The Class 700 trains may have ironing boards for seats, but there’s nothing wrong with their station dwell times, which must be better than the Class 319 trains, so there should be no problems with an extra station.

      As for the Sutton Loop, British Rail wanted to stop it at Blackfriars, but MPs objected.

      Perhaps, the best place to turn them would be at the new Brent Cross Thameslink station. Or there could be a compromise and have a slip solution, with two terminsting at Brent Cross and two at St. Albans. Perhaps Kentish Town services, should be extended to Brent Cross too?

      Comment by AnonW | July 3, 2020 | Reply

  3. It appears that quite a few of these projects have been lumped under Beeching reversal for convenience and were never cut during that era. The Carto map states that Camberwell was closed in 1916. Walworth a bit further up the same track and many other inner London stations closed in this period. I feel that the private train companies used the excuse of WW1 to close them, as at the time they were being hammered by the cheaper trams into central London.
    But no matter what heading they are put under, we can never get enough of them; more of these reversals/new constructions please.

    Comment by Dave | July 3, 2020 | Reply

  4. The London Overground, the Borders Railway and other schemes have shown, that if you open a quality railway with better trains, you can be sure that it will attract lots of passengers. A property developer once told me, that if you develop by a quality station, you make a lot more money.

    Comment by AnonW | July 3, 2020 | Reply

  5. […] Beeching Reversal – Re-Opening of Camberwell Station [July 2020] […]

    Pingback by Camberwell railway station: latest reopening proposal gets a small boost – Brixton Buzz | July 7, 2020 | Reply

    • “A property developer once told me, that if you develop by a quality station, you make a lot more money.”

      All they have to do is contribute to the station, as it is worth their while.
      Read Wheels of Fortune by Fred Harrison.

      Comment by John | July 7, 2020 | Reply

  6. He told me about a terrible station, which had been an eyesore with an ugly office block on top. He told me, that he was able to convert it into low-cost housing for a housing association with half a dozen very luxury flats on top, with excellent views. He said sadly, that sound ugly office blocks are not very common. These developments come with no car parking, so not everyone likes them.

    Comment by AnonW | July 7, 2020 | Reply

  7. […] Camberwell […]

    Pingback by Ashington Targets 2023 Opening « The Anonymous Widower | April 9, 2021 | Reply

  8. If Camberwell Station is reopened why not use the original station which still exists at ground level and therefore allows ample platform space. It was clearly of similar architectural design to Elephant and Castle station. It is currently occupied by a car repair workshop and is just to the south of your proposal in (surprise, surprise) Camberwell Station Road.
    It was closed as a wartime measure during WW1 like a number of other stations in London. The reason for not reopening as was originally planned was that there was a good tram service to Camberwell at the time which allegedly made it unnecessary.

    Comment by Keith Chambers | November 3, 2021 | Reply

    • Thanks for that!

      With today’s electric trains having a much better performance at stops, that WW1 steam trains we can probably have more stations and still run the same timetables.

      Comment by AnonW | November 4, 2021 | Reply

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