Lee and Bexley (South Eastern Railway) Station buildings

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Roger1973

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A slightly niche question -

Lee (SER) Station (my local station for much of my formative years) had a more substantial station building and booking office on the down side platform then the up side.

I only remember it as being used by the coal merchant who continued to use part of the goods yard even after rail access was removed, and only the up side building (since replaced) being in use as a booking office.

Bexley also had a larger down side building (which is still in use) than up side (which has been demolished)

Some years ago, I was given the explanation that the line had opened with right-hand running, so these would have been the up side buildings. I can find some references to the London and Greenwich being right-hand running initially, but not the SER lines. In hindsight, I think this may have been one individual's attempt to find an explanation that satisfied them, rather than being based on any information.

Did the Sidcup line open based on right hand running?

Is the simple explanation that most of the intending passengers would have approached from the north (i.e. down side)? The majority of Bexley Station's catchment area is still to the north of the station, and with Lee Station (at one time 'Lee for Burnt Ash'), the 'Burnt Ash' area to the south of the station did not really develop until after the railway opened.

Or is there some other explanation that I am missing?
 
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pdeaves

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I would have thought that the main station buildings will be on the side that (at the time of construction/planning horizon) had the most custom (or at least the wealthiest custom). Disclaimer: I don't know the area to know how the catchment was laid out.
 

John Webb

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A slightly niche question -

Lee (SER) Station (my local station for much of my formative years) had a more substantial station building and booking office on the down side platform then the up side.

I only remember it as being used by the coal merchant who continued to use part of the goods yard even after rail access was removed, and only the up side building (since replaced) being in use as a booking office.

Bexley also had a larger down side building (which is still in use) than up side (which has been demolished)

Some years ago, I was given the explanation that the line had opened with right-hand running, so these would have been the up side buildings. I can find some references to the London and Greenwich being right-hand running initially, but not the SER lines. In hindsight, I think this may have been one individual's attempt to find an explanation that satisfied them, rather than being based on any information.

Did the Sidcup line open based on right hand running?

Is the simple explanation that most of the intending passengers would have approached from the north (i.e. down side)? The majority of Bexley Station's catchment area is still to the north of the station, and with Lee Station (at one time 'Lee for Burnt Ash'), the 'Burnt Ash' area to the south of the station did not really develop until after the railway opened.

Or is there some other explanation that I am missing?
According to the Middleton Press book "Lewisham to Dartford" (1991, ISBN 0 906520 92 4) which covers both the Bexleyheath and Sidcup lines, the latter line was opened in September 1866 by the SER and was double track with normal left-hand running. The map extracts in the book indicate that the majority of housing (edit:) even some years after the time the line opened were on the north side of the line, which I think is the reason the main station buildings were erected on that side of the line at most of the stations. (The book does not give a specific explanation.)
 
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30907

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John is right : the main access to Bexley is still only on the down side; Lee seems to have had both, but the goods facilities were on the down. Availability or suitability of land may have been another factor at Lee - I've never explored.
 

John Webb

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Apologies - the map extracts in the Middleton Press book I mention in post #3 above are mostly from the 1890s, but even then show the housing to be predominately to the north of the line. I've slightly amended my post to reflect this.
 
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