Station code PLG
DfT category D
Number of platforms 2
|Grid reference TQ582048|
Managed by Southern
2011/12 0.942 million
|Address Polegate BN26 6AQ, United Kingdom|
Similar Pevensey Bay railway station, Pevensey & Westham railway st, Bexhill railway station, Hampden Park railway st, Glynde railway station
Polegate railway station serves Polegate in East Sussex, England. It is on the East Coastway Line, and train services are provided by Southern.
The first station opened on 27 June 1846 when the London and Brighton Railway built a line from Brighton to Hastings via Lewes. The station was built at Polegate to serve the nearby towns of Hailsham and South Bourne, the latter now part of Eastbourne. The first station was on the site of the present station. It then became a junction station on 14 May 1849 when an east facing branch headed northwards to Hailsham was opened and another southwards to Eastbourne, the station had enlarged to three through platforms and a bay platform for Hailsham services. The station then also had a one road engine shed and small freight yard complete with granary and weighing machine.
In 1881 the second station was opened in connection with the construction of a new westward facing line to Hailsham and the 1880 extension of the Cuckoo Line to Eridge, and the re-aligned branchline to Eastbourne which the present line follows today. The second station had four through platforms. The East Coastway line through Polegate was electrified in 1935 bringing in faster more frequent services. In 1965 the Cuckoo line north of Hailsham was closed followed in 1968 by complete closure of the branch to Hailsham. On 6 January 1969 the spur line to Pevensey (Stone Cross Junction) was closed and the up line was lifted, leaving the down line open for departmental trains until 1974 when the line became a mile long engineers siding with access only from Stone Cross Junction, this was then lifted in August 1984. and once extensive goods sidings were gradually closed and removed.
The station closed in 1986 when a newer station opened 440 yards west, although caused controversy when the subway under the station connecting the platforms was also closed as it offered a short cut for non rail travellers to cross from one side of the town to the other without walking towards the high street and using the level crossing. The level crossing is the only means from crossing from one side of the town to the other.
The current building is the third station to be built in Polegate on the site of the original station and was completed in 1986 by Network Southeast, and officially opened by Ian Gow in 1987. The station has a booking hall, and three waiting rooms. A footbridge connects both platforms although step free access is available by the Level Crossing. The site of the goods yard is now developed with a shopping precinct and car park to the north of the station and a housing estate to the south-east of the station.
The closed lines to Hailsham and Pevensey are still evident, the Hailsham branch now being a cycle path, the cuckoo trail, through to Heathfield. The trackbed to Pevensey is mostly intact with the A22 road cutting though the route. The second station is now a Restaurant, called The Old Polegate station, the restaurant area is upstairs above the original booking hall. The west bound platform is still in existence although cut back for passing trains.
In its heyday, Polegate had three signal boxes, Polegate 'A' or West, Polegate 'B' or East and Polegate Crossing. Polegate 'A' signal box was situated at the western end of the station and controlled the junction for the Cuckoo Line to Hailsham and Eridge and the goods yard. Polegate 'B' signal box, situated at the eastern end of the station controlled the junction for Eastbourne and Hastings based services. Polegate Crossing which controlled the level crossing was abolished in February 2015. The Polegate Crossing signal box was subsequently demolished overnight between the 14th and 18th November 2016.
The typical off-peak service is: