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Orpington station celebrates its 150th birthday

PUBLISHED: 07:00 19 March 2018

Rail minister Jo Johnson (centre left) cuts the birthday cake with Southeastern managing director David Statham (centre right) and colleagues at the 150 years celebration at Orpington railway station. Picture: Southeastern.

Rail minister Jo Johnson (centre left) cuts the birthday cake with Southeastern managing director David Statham (centre right) and colleagues at the 150 years celebration at Orpington railway station. Picture: Southeastern.

Archant

Orpington station was the cause for celebration last week (March 9), when Southeastern marked its rich history on its 150th birthday.

The event, which was attended by dignitaries including local councillors and business groups, featured a historic photo exhibition put on by station staff, and even the cutting of a special birthday cake.

Opened on March 2 1868 by the South Eastern Railway, the station was built on a new, more direct line between London and the Kent coast.

The original station was rebuilt in 1905 with additional platforms – the station that is familiar with passengers today.

Electric trains reached Orpington in 1925, and over the past 150 years, the station has played a crucial role connecting the edge of the Greater London commuter belt with the centre of the capital and the wider South East.

Today, Orpington station is used by over 1.1 million passengers each year.

Since 2006, Southeastern has made a number of improvements to the station including additional ticket machines, modernisation of the station environment, improved information screens, the installation of lifts and a new footbridge.

Jo Johnson, MP for Orpington and rail minister, said: “Orpington station’s 150th birthday underlines the central role of railways in our society and our economy.

“Before the railway arrived, Orpington was a tiny village with a population of less than 1,000.

“Today it’s a mega-hub serving seven central London stations, with five million passenger journeys each year and soon to benefit from new Thameslink connections to Luton and Bedford.

“I’d like to thank all the staff at Southeastern for their hard work, and in particular for doing all they could to keep the rail network running in really difficult conditions during the recent snow and icy weather”.

David Wornham, passenger services director at Southeastern, added: “This is a very special day for Orpington and our dedicated station employees.

“Today’s passengers living in and around Orpington have fantastic rail connections to London, Kent and East Sussex, and we continue to focus on improving the station in the areas that matter most to our passengers, including plans for a redesigned station forecourt and secure cycle parking later this year”.

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