Hellingly Hospital Railway - Construction and Opening

Construction and Opening

In 1897, East Sussex County Council purchased 400 acres (160 ha) of land at Park Farm, about three miles (5 km) north of Hailsham, from the Earl of Chichester, to be the site of a new county lunatic asylum which would eventually become known as Hellingly Hospital. Construction work on the hospital began in 1900, to the design of George Thomas Hine, who had designed the nearby Haywards Heath Asylum. Building materials were transported to the site by means of a 1 1⁄4 mile (2 km) standard gauge private siding, from the goods yard at Hellingly railway station on the Cuckoo Line. The connection was built by the asylum's construction firm, Joseph Howe & Company, and was authorised by the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LBSCR) on the condition that East Sussex Council paid the estimated cost of £1,700.

A small wooden platform was built at Hellingly railway station, opposite the main line platform. This had no connection to the station buildings and was used only for the transfer of passengers between mainline and hospital trains, and kept chained off when not in use. Coal yards and sidings were also built at Hellingly station. The hospital opened to patients, and the railway to passengers, on 20 July 1903.

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