Following on from yesterday’s post – I was retracing my steps to Crystal Palace station. Time for a little bit of history. Crystal Palace station is located in part of Anerley and was built to serve The Crystal Palace which was relocated from Hyde Park to Sydenham Hill after the Great Exhibition of 1851. There were originally two stations built by rival railway companies to serve The Crystal Palace as you can see on this section of an Ordnance Survey map of the area, circa 1900…

Ordnance Survey map courtesy of National Library of Scotland maps and re-used under creative Commons CC-BY-NC-SA

…The station at the bottom of the map was known as Crystal Palace (Low Level) to differentiate it from the High Level station located alongside Crystal Palace Parade, opposite the palace itself.

In 1936, The Crystal Palace was destroyed by fire which resulted in a decline in passengers but both stations remained open. Bomb damage resulted in the closure of Crystal Palace High Level station during WWII and although it re-opened subsequently, with further declining traffic and reconstruction being needed, it closed in 1954. It was demolished in 1961. That left only Crystal Palace (Low Level) which is the station that remains in use today.

Now I should apologise. There is a lot of historical interest around Crystal Palace Park but that wasn’t the purpose of my visit on this occasion. I think I will have to return sometime soon and do a proper photographic post on the subject of The Crystal Palace, its park and the stations.

Returning to my visit last Thursday, having disembarked from the train I took the opportunity to photograph the main station building. If you look again at the map, this shot is from the platforms on the line leaving the station to the south…

Crystal Palace Station

The large retaining wall encloses the stairs to the platforms and supports an overall roof across the through and bay platforms of the line from Sydenham (visible in the top right corner of the map). The small station building in the right foreground serviced the through tracks of the line from Beckenham Junction to Gipsy Hill and also two further bay platforms that were located where you can see grass beyond the chain link fence on the right. Sticking up above the station is a mast. That is Crystal Palace TV Transmitter, and it serves the whole of London.

The ground rises steeply beyond the station buildings to the summit of Sydenham Hill. As a result, the railway line plunges into a tunnel immediately to the east of the station…

377143 at Crystal Palace

…377143 emerges with a service to West Croydon.

To reach the platforms from street level, you have to descend a lot of stairs within the station. These give an opportunity for the photographer to play with light…

Lets Go Spotting

I haven’t yet mentioned why this station is on my Project list. It is the terminus for London Overground services from Dalston Junction. Here’s 378139 waiting to begin its return trip…

378139 at Crystal Palace

I took a Southern train back to Clapham Junction with the intention of trying to get another Class 455 operated service from there but that turned out problematical as a points failure at Victoria was causing disruption. After assessing the options, I decided to head back to Waterloo and then home via Waterloo East, London Bridge and Farringdon. At Farringdon I decided that the wait for a service calling at Kentish Town was a bit too long, so I took a train to Moorgate and picked up the Northern Line home from there. It proved to be a prescient decision for Kentish Town station was closed when we passed through!

I hope to be out on another Freedom Pass trip on Tuesday and, with luck, get some more Southern Class 455 photos during their last week of serviceπŸ˜€πŸ‘