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Littlehaven

Littlehaven

The combined booking office and signalbox at Littlehaven, photographed in September 1985.

photograph by Mark Westcott

The railway line from Three Bridges to Horsham was opened on 14 February 1848 and, with the exception of Crawley, passed through an area of very sparse population. Littlehaven barely existed when the line was built, but in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was developed with villas of the period for the population of Horsham, moving out as that town grew in size. This led to the opening of a station in 1907, initially called Rusper Road Crossing Halt, then Littlehaven Crossing Halt and finally renamed Littlehaven Halt, all within the same year! Further building development between and after the two world wars ensured a steady supply of traffic for the station, which was subsequently renamed as Littlehaven in 1969. There are no signs of the original buildings as the station has been completely rebuilt with minimal facilities. A Signalbox that is basically just a crossing gate box, doubles up as the booking office at certain times of the day. The station is, however, something of an enigma in the twentyfirst century as (like Plumpton) it retains its crossing gates, thus requiring the Signalbox to be manned 24 hours a day, whilst also having a state of the art LED signal for the up starting signal, which also protects the crossing.

Littlehaven

The booking office cum signalbox in 2006. This is the sum total of railway buildings at Littlehaven, all on the east end of the down platform.

photograph by Peter Richards

Littlehaven

Class 377 Nº377154 pulling into Littlehaven's up platform with a train for Victoria.

photograph by Peter Richards

Littlehaven

The passenger information display. Although the station is unmanned outside these times, there is, of course, a Signalman always present whose 'box doubles up as the booking office when required.

photograph by Peter Richards

Littlehaven

Class 377 Nº377132 pulling into the down platform. No footbridge is provided so any passengers requiring to use the booking office and then catch a train from the up platform have to use the level crossing.

photograph by Peter Richards

Littlehaven Crossing

Without a doubt the most interesting feature of Littlehaven station was its gated level crossing, operated by a gate wheel in the Signalbox. Manned 24 hours a day whilst the crossing gates remained, two shifts of 12 hours starting at 9am and 9pm were required.

Littlehaven

The gate wheel and lever frame in the Signalbox. The two brown levers operated the gate locks manually whilst the red levers operated the down home and up starting signals, both of which were power worked.

photograph by Peter Richards

Littlehaven

The closed gates viewed from the road with the flashing lights warning road users of an approaching train.

photograph by Peter Richards

Littlehaven

The gates photographed from the up platform whilst in the midst of opening for the road. The rodding for the gates can clearly be seen towards the left side of this picture.

photograph by Peter Richards

Littlehaven

The crossing gates on the opposite side of the road from the station. Note that despite being of traditional design a modern flashing red lamp in a yellow plastic case has replaced the original one. One gate has obviously been repainted more recently than the other!

photograph by Peter Richards

Littlehaven

The up platform starting signal. This is a three aspect LED signal, though only requires one "lens" which makes it reminiscent of the searchlight signals of previous years.

photograph by Peter Richards

All this came to an end in October 2012 when the crossing gates were replaced by full barriers controlled by CCTV from Three Bridges.

This page was last updated 25 June 2020

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