Brighton Station

Underground cobbled street

By Irene Dobson (nee Budd)

I was lucky enough to have a look at the old cobbled street under Brighton Station today. It runs all the way along the underneath of Platform 7 bearing left at the end where there are some small arch stables.

The street would then have gone upwards into the station but this has now obviously been blocked off. It feels very much like going back in time apart from being used to store some modern items. 

Does anyone have some information about this area?

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Brighton Station' page

Photo by Irene Dobson (nee Budd)

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Brighton Station' page

Photo by Irene Dobson (nee Budd)

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Brighton Station' page

Photo by Irene Dobson (nee Budd)

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Brighton Station' page

Photo by Irene Dobson (nee Budd)

This page was added on 03/11/2016.
Comments about this page

During Brighton Festival Fringe, a colleague, Jackie Marsh-Hobbs does guided tours of the Station. Watch out for the BFF programme for the May events.

By Geoffrey Mead (06/11/2016)

Great pictures! I remember accompanying one of my children on a school tour of Brighton Station, and seeing these passageways underneath the platforms. Can't remember their exact function, but it was pointed out to us that the grooves made by the wheels of horse-drawn hansom cabs were still visible on the walls.

By Janet Beal (06/11/2016)

In 1992, to celebrate 150 years since the inauguration of the LBSC Railway Line, I also went down this tunnelled roadway. The guide we had on the day told us that the horse-drawn carriages of the day used to go down Trafalgar Street and then turn into this roadway below platform 7 and queue there before coming up onto the concourse ready to pick up arriving passengers. The brick-made road surface was still rutted on both sides from the carriage wheels and along the centre by the horses hooves.

By Alan Phillips (06/11/2016)

I worked at the Brighton locomotive works from 1948 until 1950 but I found these pictures amazing as I had no idea they even existed. Thank you for displaying them.

By Garry Lockwood (09/11/2016)

I started my first (and only) proper job in 1965. It was working for British Railways accounts office in a converted locomotive shed in the shunting area at the end of platform 7. It was the time of mods and rockers. I was definitely a mod. The guv'ners at BR kindly allowed me to park my cherished Lambretta in these arches underneath platform 7. Actually, the photos revived long-forgotten memories. Thanks.

By Ken Gray (11/11/2016)

This passage is a survivor from the earliest days of the railways in Brighton. Access to the original goods depot was from the Shoreham line, and passed in a tunnel under the main approach lines to the station. At that time, the station was smaller than it is today, and before the locomotive works had really began to develop.

All this changed when Upper Goods junction was opened about half a mile to the north, and the goods depot rebuilt slightly further east to accommodate the growing loco works. The old goods tunnel was then blocked off at the Hove end, and converted into the station's cab road, being rerouted up onto platform 7 for the purpose. So this tunnel in its time has carried trains as well as Hansom cabs!

By Mark Thompson (13/11/2016)

Mark I don't think that is quite correct - the old "goods" tunnel which (still) runs diagonally under the platforms, is not the same as the "cab" passage which starts in Trafalgar Street and comes up onto platform 7.

The old goods tunnel does run from the West side by the Shoreham line, (but now blocked off) below all 8 platforms to the old lower goods yard. The lower goods yard tunnel entrance can still be seen in Trafalgar Arches.

The Hansom Cab passage entrance is further up Trafalgar Street next to the Toy Museum.  It's a short tunnel, with a tight 180 deg turn, and far too steep for trains, it has only been used for horse drawn cabs.

By Peter Groves (15/11/2016)

Thanks for that, Peter - I didn't know they were 2 separate tunnels. Do you know how much of the old goods tunnel still survives, or what state it's in? There's so little information about it. Also, I remember a staircase which descended from (I think) platforms 5/6. It was always locked out of use, deep and dark. Do you happen to know where this led to?

By Mark Thompson (17/11/2016)

Hi Mark, the old tunnel which drops down under the incoming lines from the west side is still there, and mostly still complete.  I viewed it about 15 years ago during a tour by Jackie Marsh-Hobbs, and I think the tour is still carried out during the Festival.  It was used during WWII as a rifle range because of its very long straight length. Also I believe some sort of underground communications office.  You are correct about the stairs from platform ? perhaps they link into the tunnel but I don't know.  Look out for the tour next May, perhaps I will join you and do it again!

By Peter Groves (18/11/2016)

My late husband used to say there was a military firing range under the station?

By A Copelin (23/11/2016)

Hi Peter, I would be interested to join this tour, so if you do see any dates perhaps you could let me know - also could I join you if you go on it? My email is Billtimson@gmail.com

By Bill Timson (23/11/2016)

The stairs on P5/6 lead to the rifle range, I was down there courtesy of a station manager a few years ago. The far end of that tunnel is blocked off, but joined up with the cab road at the north end.

By Christine Reves (23/11/2016)

Hi Christine, I don't think it joins the cab road as the cab road and old goods tunnel are some 500 yards apart. If you email me pedrogroves@googlemail.com, I will send you a screen shot of where the two tunnels are; they are too far apart to be linked at the cab tunnel area. 

By Peter Groves (24/11/2016)

Hi all, I have just got my copy of the Fringe mag, and noticed that the Station Tour is on this year, and with Jackie March-Hobbs, it's well worthwhile. Dates all through May and some early June, both 11am and 2pm. Although I said I would be interested in doing it again, there is so much other Fringe stuff I want to do, probably I will give this a miss, but from my past experience it's well worth doing and you should see both tunnels, which to the best of my memory are separate and not connected.

By Peter Groves (15/03/2017)

The cab tunnel runs parallel and this adjoins the old stables which were run by my great grandfather James Urben who lived with his family at the back of the station in the adjoining cottage in the goods yard from approx. 1911 to 1926.

By Jayne Davis (14/05/2017)

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.