Dorking Town

The station now called "Dorking West" was opened by the Reading, Guildford and Reigate Railway in 1849 and from the outset it was leased and worked by the South Eastern Railway. The station was originally named just Dorking and lies on the ex-SER route from Redhill to Reading. In 1923 it was renamed Dorking Town by the Southern Railway to avoid confusion with the other Dorking station on that company's ex-LB&SCR line, then known as Dorking North. There is a third Dorking station, at Deepdene (the site of the wartime headquarters of the Southern Railway), a short way to the east of Dorking Town. All three stations have survived the cutbacks of recent years, though have all been renamed. Dorking Town is now Dorking West, whilst Deepdene has become Dorking Deepdene and Dorking North just plain Dorking.

To avoid having to provide a footbridge the platforms were arranged in a staggered fashion so that passengers could cross behind trains if both platforms were occupied simultaneously.

Never as busy as its counterpart on the north-south electrified route, Dorking Town slumbered down the ages, gaining coal drops and a subway between the staggered platforms. The small goods yard was closed on 6th May 1963 with the station becoming unstaffed from 1967. A short while after this the buildings were demolished, to be replaced by "bus-stop" style shelters, with the exception of the goods shed which found a new purpose in life as an industrial unit.

The SER originally ran trains from here to London Charing Cross via Redhill. Latterly the service ran on to Tonbridge in Kent. In 2004 First Great Western took over the former Thames Trains franchise and run services between Reading and Gatwick Airport using Class 165 and Class 166 Turbo Diesel Multiple Units

Dorking Town The staggered platforms of Dorking Town station are shown to good effect in this 1950s view, looking east towards Deepdene and Redhill.

photograph by Stephen Hughes, courtesy of Terry Heeley

Looking west towards Guildford and Reading. The buildings across the line are not in railway use but are those of a scrapyard. The goods yard is out of sight to the left of this photograph.

photograph by Stephen Hughes, courtesy of Terry Heeley

Dorking Town
Dorking Town An unidentified Wainwright 4-4-0, as rebuilt by Maunsell, runs in with a train for Redhill.

photograph by Stephen Hughes, courtesy of Terry Heeley

The same spot a decade later sees N class 31827 pulling into the station. Not much has changed on the far side of the tracks!

photograph by Keith Harwood

Dorking Town
Dorking Town A very wintry scene on 28 December 1964. A train has just left in the Redhill direction and another train is signalled towards Guildford. The goods yard is now closed but the tracks to the goods shed remain in situ for the time being.

photograph by Keith Harwood

A close-up view of the hand crane with period vehicles in the background.

photograph by Stephen Hughes, courtesy of Terry Heeley

Dorking Town

A series of photographs was taken by Douglas Green on 26th August 1976

Dorking Town With all the station buildings now gone but with the former goods shed still in evidence a view looking west towards Guildford
Looking towards Guildford again with a "tadpole unit" nr 1204 at the westbound platform Dorking Town
Dorking Town A general view of the westbound platform shower the passenger shelter and the subway entrance and with the goods shed in the background
The platform shelter on the eastbound side complete with adornments and draught proofing Dorking Town
Dorking Town looking east towards the Ranmore Road bridge
The signal box has gone - all train control is now from Reigate - but the crane in the adjacent yard is still in evidence Dorking Town
Dorking Town The subway entrance on the westbound side

All photographs are copyright

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This page was updated 12 June 2014

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