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British Industrial History

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Brighton Lewes and Hastings Railway

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The Brighton Lewes and Hastings Railway was an early railway in southern England running between the three East Sussex towns.

The company existed from February 1844 but only operated trains for a few weeks during June and July 1846 before it was amalgamated with other companies to form the London Brighton and South Coast Railway (LB&SCR) on 27 July 1846.

The 1837 Act of Parliament establishing the London and Brighton Railway (LBR), authorised the construction of branch lines to Shoreham and to Newhaven (East Sussex), but only the first of these was built.

A new company was created in 1844 to build the second such a line, with an extension to join the South Eastern Railway at Hastings, which would be operated by the LBR. The new company received Parliamentary approval in 29 July 1844, with permission for the directors to sell their concern to the LBR.

The sale took place in 1845, although the company continued as a separate entity.

The line involved constructing the London Road viaduct at Brighton, together with a long bank and tunnel at Falmer. The engineer was John Urpeth Rastrick.

Construction started in September 1844 and the section between Brighton and Lewes was opened 8 June 1846.

The company ceased to exist when it was merged with others to form the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway the following month.

Further work on the line was completed by the LB&SCR.

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