Brighton Main Line

Brighton Main Line

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Brighton Main Line

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The Brighton Main Line is a British railway line from London Victoria and London Bridge to Brighton. It is about 50 miles (80 km) long, and is electrified throughout. Trains are operated by Southern, First Capital Connect, and Gatwick Express, now part of Southern.

History and geography of the line

Original proposals

There were no fewer than six original proposals to build a railway between London and Brighton. The London and Brighton Railway (L&BR) emerged with an Act of Parliament of 15 July 1837, after a prolonged and expensive battle, for the most direct of these alternative routes. The scheme was to build a line from a junction with the London and Croydon Railway (L&CR) at Norwood to Brighton. The existing L&CR route from Norwood to London Bridge would also be used. One complication however, insisted on by the UK Parliament, was that the new railway should share its line between Croydon and Redhill with the South Eastern Railway main line to Dover. This clause in the act gave rise to sixty years of disputes between the two companies concerned.

Brighton line

The countryside between London and Brighton was largely rural. The new line was planned to traverse the North Downs, the Wealden ridge and the South Downs while avoiding steep gradients.

Due to the difficult terrain and relatively limited population between Croydon and Brighton, the line by-passed several towns and villages on the London-Brighton road, such as Reigate and Crawley. Even...
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