How did I start with something like this? How indeed. I had been toying with the idea of investigating some of Brighton’s railway history for a long time. Between 1999 & 2006 I lived in Stanford Road in Brighton, in a flat overlooking the Lovers Walk maintenance depot and the old Pullman Works. I have always been interested in local history and, living so close to the railway (25feet), I began to develop an interest in the town’s old railway network. This comprised of the Brighton Goods lines, Engine Works & Goods Yards and The Kemptown branch line, but also less well known are the Hollingdean Abattoir and the LBSCR Coal & Gas Works.

Until quite recently most of the area encompassing the old Goods Line and The Works that hadn’t been redeveloped was fairly accessible to the public. However, in recent years the site has been changed beyond all possible recognition as bulldozers and cranes moved in to redevelop this enormous site. The effects of this were twofold. Firstly, a lot of attention was drawn to the site as a sort of “Green Haven” in the centre of town, which a lot of people felt should be used as community space. Secondly that as interest in the area grows, more and more of it appeared to be fenced off or else hidden behind boards or irretrievably lost as tonnes of its relatively unknown history disappeared down the road in tipper lorries full of meaningless rubble.

Also, as I began to uncover more and more of the Railway Works site and found little glimpses of it's past on the internet, so I began to wonder about what remained of the other railway sites around the town.

I have therefore taken it upon myself to try and document as much as possible of what remains of the various railway sites, at various stages of their respective pasts. To this end, the purpose of my study into these sites is to try and give some idea of what exists today, alongside a potted history and both new and old photographic records and maps for comparison where possible.

I hope that you will find as much awe and fascination in my investigation as I found in collating the masses of information, and watching the Ghost trains of Brighton past come to life again.