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Lewisham is a National Rail and Docklands Light Railway station in Lewisham, south-east London which first opened in 1849. On the National Rail network it is 7 miles 61 chains (12.5 km) measured from London Victoria and is operated by Southeastern.[7]

Lewisham Docklands Light Railway National Rail
Lewisham station MMB 08.jpg
Lewisham is located in Greater London
Location of Lewisham in Greater London
Local authorityLondon Borough of Lewisham
Managed bySoutheastern
Docklands Light Railway
Station codeLEW
DfT categoryC2
Number of platforms6
AccessibleYes(DLR and 4 NR platforms) [1][2]
Fare zone2 and 3
DLR annual boardings and alightings
2012Increase 9.519 million[3]
2013Decrease 9.387 million[4]
2014Increase 10.733 million[4]
2015Increase 11.541 million[4]
2016Decrease 11.468 million[5]
National Rail annual entry and exit
2013–14Increase 8.670 million[6]
– interchange Increase 1.840 million[6]
2014–15Increase 9.218 million[6]
– interchange Increase 2.003 million[6]
2015–16Increase 10.595 million[6]
– interchange Increase 3.577 million[6]
2016–17Increase 10.750 million[6]
– interchange Increase 3.756 million[6]
2017–18Decrease 10.713 million[6]
– interchange Decrease 2.201 million[6]
Key dates
30 July 1849Opened
1 January 1857Renamed (Lewisham Junction)
7 July 1929Renamed (Lewisham)
1999DLR extension
Other information
External links
WGS8451°27′55″N 0°00′48″W / 51.4653°N 0.0133°W / 51.4653; -0.0133Coordinates: 51°27′55″N 0°00′48″W / 51.4653°N 0.0133°W / 51.4653; -0.0133
Underground sign at Westminster.jpg London transport portal

Station layoutEdit

There are four platforms for main-line trains: 3 and 4 on the North Kent Line, and 1 and 2 on a loop off the South Eastern Main Line (which are also known as the mid-Kent route).

Elaborate cast iron brackets

The current station which dates from 1857 is constructed of yellow stock brick with stone dressing and has an unusual survival of a wooden clapboard building at the back. The facade has a pleasing symmetry of three windows, three entrance doors, and three windows.

Original doors sash windows skirting tiling and banisters are present inside. The original corniced ceiling of the main hall is currently concealed by a lowered fake ceiling. Platform 3 has kept its original canopy with its elaborate cast iron brackets which depict cherries. some of the original chamfered wood and cast iron supports of the original canopy survive on platform 2.

The station has similarities with other listed stations built at around the same time such as the listed Ladywell railway station, Blackheath station and Gravesend railway station which has the same elaborate cast iron supporting brackets as can be found at Lewisham.[8]

Platforms 5 and 6 are served by Docklands Light Railway trains to Bank and Stratford. The Docklands Light Railway station opened in 1999 following a southward extension from Island Gardens. The original canopy over platform 4 was demolished at some point post 1990.

The original canopy over the main entrance was demolished in 2009 at a cost of £790k [9] and replaced with a steel version.

Lewisham station entrance

From December 2009, Lewisham was fitted with electric ticket gates, in line with the Government's new strategy to give all Greater London National Rail stations Oyster card accessibility and closing access to those who attempt to travel without tickets. This was controversial as it involved the closure of the gate on Platform 4 and led to a petition signed by over 1,000.[10]

British Transport Police also maintains a neighbourhood policing presence at Lewisham.[11]


Opening and early years (1857-1922)Edit

The North Kent line opened on 30 July 1849 by the South Eastern Railway linking Strood with the London and Greenwich Railway route to London Bridge. The original station was located east of the Lewisham Road overbridge with access off Lewisham Road. With the opening of the mid-Kent line in 1857 a new station was built to the west so both lines could be served.[12]

The station was built to enable interchange between the north Kent and mid Kent lines. The Mid Kent line was opened on 1 January 1857.[13] For a period Old Lewisham Station was also kept open [14]

Platform 1, Lewisham station

Eleven passengers were killed in the Lewisham rail crash (1857) when a train ran into the back of a stationary train.

In 1898 the South Eastern Railway and the London Chatham and Dover Railway agreed to work as one railway company under the name of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway.

Southern Railway (1923-1947)Edit

Following the Railways Act 1921 (also known as the Grouping Act), Lewisham became a Southern Railway station on 1 January 1923.

The Mid-Kent line was electrified with services commencing on 28 February 1926.

The North Kent Line was electrified with the (750 V DC third rail) system. Electrification was initially to Dartford (6 June 1926) and was extended to Gillingham by World War Two.

In 1929 large-scale remodelling of the junction was undertaken to enable cross-London freight traffic to be routed via Nunhead and Loughborough Junction. The new route utilised part of the former Greenwich Park branch (which had closed in 1917) and included a flyover.

The loop between Lewisham and the main line towards Hither Green, which had opened in 1929, was electrified on 16 July 1933 allowing Sidcup and Orpington local electric services to call.[15]

The Nunhead line was electrified in summer 1935 and opened to electric traffic on 30 September 1935 with services from the Bexleyheath and Sidcup to St Paul's (Blackfriars). This service was cancelled during World War 2 as an economy measure recommencing on 12 August 1946.[15]

British Railways (1948-1994)Edit

After World War II and following nationalisation on 1 January 1948, it fell under the auspices of British Railways Southern Region.

On the 4 December 1957 the Lewisham rail crash occurred to the west of the station with 90 fatalities.

As part of the London Bridge re-signalling a new loop line was opened with a reversible track down to the west (Fast Line) side of St Johns which opened up on 1 April 1976.

Upon sectorisation in 1982, three passenger sectors were created: InterCity, operating principal express services; and London & South East (renamed Network SouthEast in 1986) who operated commuter services in the London area.[16]

Franchise (1994-present day)Edit

Following de-nationalisation of British Rail on 1 April 1994 the infrastructure to St Johns station became the responsibility of Railtrack whilst a business unit operated the train services. On 13 October 1996 operation of the passenger services passed to Connex South Eastern who were originally due to run the franchise until 2011.

On 22 November 1999 Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott opened the 4·2 km Lewisham extension of London's Docklands Light Railway with trains running through to Bank.[17]

Following a number of accidents and financial issues Railtrack plc was sold to Network Rail on 3 October 2002 who became responsible for the infrastructure.[18] [19]

On 27 June 2003 the Strategic Rail Authority decided to strip Connex of the franchise citing poor financial management and run the franchise itself.[20][21] Connex South Eastern continued to operate the franchise until 8 November 2003 with the services transferring to the Strategic Rail Authority's South Eastern Trains subsidiary the following day.

On 30 November 2005 the Department for Transport awarded Govia the Integrated Kent franchise. The services operated by South Eastern Trains transferred to Southeastern on 1 April 2006.

The loop line to St Johns was doubled in 2013.

There was formerly a bus terminus within the station, but this was relocated to Thurston Road as part of the Lewisham Gateway project.


  • On 4 December 1957, the Lewisham rail crash occurred to the west of the station with 90 fatalities. A plaque at the station commemorates this incident.
  • In the early morning hours of 24 January 2017, a GB Railfreight train travelling from Grain to Neasden derailed at Lewisham. Although no railway workers or passengers were injured in the derailment, it caused widespread disruption across the Southeastern system, with numerous delays and cancellations for the day.[22][23]
  • On the evening of 2 March 2018 during exceptionally cold weather, several trains were delayed close to the station and passengers evacuated themselves onto the tracks.[24]

Planned London Underground servicesEdit

Fleet line serviceEdit

In 1971 and 1972, parliamentary approval was given for construction of Phases 2 and 3 of the planned Fleet line.[25] Phase 3 on the proposal would have extended the line from Fenchurch Street to Lewisham, with new platforms constructed underground.[25] Further plans for Phase 4 of the extension considered the line taking over the mainline tracks on the Addiscombe and Hayes branch lines. Preliminary construction works were carried out elsewhere on the extension before the plan was postponed by lack of funds. Following a change of name to Jubilee line, the first part of the line opened in 1979, but the remaining plans were not carried out. When the Jubilee line was extended in 1999, a different route to Stratford was followed.

Bakerloo line serviceEdit

Tfl is currently considering extending the Bakerloo line to Lewisham. Both line options stop at Lewisham. If progressed the station is currently expected to open in 2030.[26]

In its draft Kent Route Utilisation Strategy,[27] Network Rail mentions the possibility of extending the Bakerloo line from Elephant & Castle to Lewisham, and then taking over the Hayes branch line. Network Rail states that this would free up six paths per hour into central London and so increasing capacity on the Tonbridge main line, which would also relieve the junctions around Lewisham.


Lewisham is the southern terminus of the DLR, the previous station being Elverson Road. It is on the boundary of Travelcard Zone 2 and Zone 3 and is a major transport hub, with many buses passing through or terminating here.

There are a number of freight trains that are generally routed through platforms 3 and 4. In 2012 these include freightliner trains (Isle of Grain), gypsum (Hothfield), aggregates (Angerstein Wharf) and nuclear material (Dungeness).

The typical off-peak service in trains per hour is:

Southeastern (National Rail)Edit




Docklands Light RailwayEdit


Docklands Light Railway trains operate to Canary Wharf DLR station, and continue onward to Westferry, Limehouse, Shadwell and Bank with a weekly additional services to Poplar, All Saints, Langdon Park, Devons Road, Bow Church, Pudding Mill Lane and Stratford (peak hours only).


London Buses routes 21, 47, 75, 89, 108, 136, 178, 180, 181, 185, 199, 208, 225, 261, 273, 284, 321, 380, 436, 484, P4 and 621 and night routes N21, N89, N136 and N199 serve the station.


  1. ^ Tube Map
  2. ^ Southeastern: Lewisham Archived 29 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Transport for London (12 February 2013). "Freedom of Information DLR usage 1213". Transport for London. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  4. ^ a b c "Up-to-date DLR entry/exit statistics for each station" (XLSX). What Do They Know. Transport for London. 18 March 2016. Retrieved 2 April 2016.
  5. ^ "Passenger Numbers - Docklands Light Railway Limited" (XLSX (after downloading zip)). What Do They Know. Transport for London. 8 June 2017. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Station usage estimates". Rail statistics. Office of Rail Regulation. Please note: Some methodology may vary year on year.
  7. ^ Southeastern -Station facilities: Lewisham Archived 9 July 2007 at
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ British Transport Police, London South Area Archived 21 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Jackson, Alan A (1999). London's Local Railways (2nd ed.). Harrow Weald: Capital Transport Publishing. p. 47.
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ a b Jackson, Alan A (1999). London's Local Railways (2nd ed.). Harrow Weald: Capital Transport Publishing. p. 17.
  16. ^ Thomas, David St John; Whitehouse, Patrick (1990). BR in the Eighties. Newton Abbot: David & Charles. ISBN 0-7153-9854-7.
  17. ^ "On November 22 Britain's Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott opened the 4·2 km Lewisham extension of London's Docklands Light Railway". Railway Gazette. Railway Gazette. Retrieved 27 March 2016.
  18. ^ Network Rail closer to Railtrack takeover BBC News, 1 April 2016
  19. ^ "Accounting for Producer Needs: The case of Britain's rail infrastructure" (PDF). Centre for Management and Organisational History. p. 18. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  20. ^ "BBC NEWS - UK - England - Train firm loses franchise". BBC News. 27 June 2003. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  21. ^ Basher Bowker pulls the plug on Connex The Telegraph 29 June 2003
  22. ^ Telegraph Reporters (24 January 2017). "Southeastern passengers face major delays after freight train derailment near Lewisham station". The Telegraph.
  23. ^ Network Rail. "Lewisham Derailment - 24 January, 2017". YouTube.
  24. ^ BBC News
  25. ^ a b Horne, Mike (2000). The Jubilee Line. Capital Transport. p. 36. ISBN 1-85414-220-8.
  26. ^
  27. ^ [1], Network Rail - Kent Route Utilisation Strategy: Draft for Consultation (April 2009) at paragraph 10.8.2 p. 172

External linksEdit