National Rail
General information
LocationWinchelsea, Rother
Coordinates50°56′01″N 0°42′08″E / 50.93374°N 0.70222°E / 50.93374; 0.70222
Grid referenceTQ899183
Managed bySouthern
Other information
Station codeWSE
ClassificationDfT category F2
Opened13 February 1851
2018/19Decrease 9,048
2019/20Increase 9,688
2020/21Decrease 3,448
2021/22Increase 9,322
2022/23Increase 12,004
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road

Winchelsea railway station is a railway station in East Sussex, England. It is about 0.62 miles (1 km) from Winchelsea and is actually in the neighbouring parish of Udimore. It is on the Marshlink line 9.3 miles (15 km) north east of Hastings, and train services are provided by Southern. The station originally had two platforms, but in 1979, the line was singled and only the up platform is now in use. The former down platform and station building are now converted to a private house.


Winchelsea station, August 1982

The station is in an isolated location.[1] It is not a convenient way of getting to or from Winchelsea, especially outside daylight hours. The route from the station to the town involves walking down an unlit and winding country lane, then walking along the A259 trunk road before climbing a steep hill to reach the town.[2] The journey takes about 20 minutes on foot. However, local people may book a free lift to and from the station via a voluntary scheme run through Winchelsea Farm Kitchen.[3]

As an alternative to trains, Stagecoach runs bus route 100 between Hastings and Rye, which stops in the town.[4]

Despite its isolation, the station is used by walkers visiting the Brede Valley.[citation needed]


The buildings have been sold into private ownership and so this station is unstaffed.[5] There is a ticket machine at the station.

Free parking facilities are available at the station.[6]


The station was opened by the South Eastern Railway (SER) on 13 February 1851 as one of the first stations on the line from Ashford to Hastings, along with Ham Street, Appledore and Rye.[7] The station, like several others on the line, was built with staggered platforms on the belief that it would be safer for passengers to cross the railway behind a departing train.[8]

Traffic was very sparse and the station closed on 1 September, in part because it was impossible to access the town without crossing private land. The Mayor of Winchelsea campaigned for reopening and negotiating access with the respective landowner, and the SER agreed to open the station on 4 December.[9] A resignalling programme took place in the early 1890s.[10]

The station gradually reduced its facilities. In 1961, the station building was sold off, and has since been in private hands.[11] By 1969, the signal box and goods siding had been removed, and by the early 1970s the shelter canopy was removed and the post of crossing keeper was discontinued.[12] On 1 October 1979, the line was reduced to single track to reduce operational costs. The down platform (to Hastings) was removed; since then all trains have stopped at the one remaining platform.[13] A 20 miles per hour (32 km/h) speed limit was imposed on the line approaching Winchelsea.[14] The wooden shelter on the remaining (up) platform was replaced by a conventional modern shelter in 1984.[15]


The typical off-peak service at Winchelsea is one train per hour each way between Eastbourne (via Hastings) and Ashford International.[16] All services are operated by Southern using Class 171 DMUs.

Service history

Until 2005 the station was served by hourly services each way between Ashford International and Hastings. However, in the 2005 timetable change, trains on the line were extended to run to/from Brighton (via Eastbourne and Lewes) and operated as express services; as a result, service frequency at Winchelsea (as well as neighbouring Doleham and Three Oaks) was greatly reduced, to just 3 trains per day each way. This led to the creation of a campaign the by Three Oaks and Winchelsea Action for Rail Transport (THWART) and the Marshlink Line Action Group (MLAG), which aimed to restore regular services from these stations.

This campaign was successful, and from December 2010 the weekday and Saturday service frequency at Winchelsea and Three Oaks was increased to 1 train every 2 hours each way (with services calling alternately at each station), plus a few additional stopping services during the peaks.[17] The Sunday frequency has also been two-hourly each way since December 2015.[18] In May 2018, the Brighton express services were replaced by stopping services to/from Eastbourne.[19]

The May 2023 timetable change saw hourly services fully restored, with all trains now calling at both Winchelsea and Three Oaks 7 days a week.[20]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Doleham or Three Oaks   Southern
  Historical railways  
Snailham Halt
Line open, station closed
  South Eastern and Chatham Railway
Line and station open



  1. ^ Course 1974, p. 67.
  2. ^ Locke, Tim (2017). Slow Travel Sussex: South Downs, Weald & Coast. Bradt Travel Guides. p. 273. ISBN 978-1-784-77042-6.
  3. ^ "Town life". Winchelsea Corporation. 23 May 2016. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  4. ^ "Winchelsea, East Sussex". National Trust. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  5. ^ Mitchell & Smith 1987, fig. 35.
  6. ^ "Essential Information" (PDF). Winchelsea Walk. East Sussex County Council. March 2004. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
  7. ^ Gray 1990, p. 210.
  8. ^ Mitchell & Smith 1987, fig. 33.
  9. ^ Gray 1990, pp. 210–212.
  10. ^ Gray 1990, p. 213.
  11. ^ Course 1974, p. 69.
  12. ^ Mitchell & Smith 1987, figs. 35, 36.
  13. ^ Sissons 2008, p. 411.
  14. ^ "Letter from Bexhill Rail Action Group to RUS Programme Manager" (PDF). Network Rail. 2009. p. 6. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
  15. ^ Glasspool, David. "Winchelsea". Kent Rail. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  16. ^ Table 196 National Rail timetable, December 2021
  17. ^ "All Change on the Old Diesel Marshlink line". Kentish Express. 21 October 2009. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  18. ^ "Sunday trains resume at Winchelsea and Three Oaks". Rye and Battle Observer. 1 December 2015.
  19. ^ "Plans to axe unpopular two-carriage Eastbourne train service". Eastbourne Herald. 4 July 2017. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  20. ^ Train Timetable – Train Times – Southern Railway


  • Course, Edwin (1974). The railways of southern England: secondary and branch lines. Batsford.
  • Gray, Adrian (1990). South Eastern Railway. Middleton Press. ISBN 978-0-906520-85-7.
  • Mitchell, Vic; Smith, Keith (1987). South Coast Railways - Hastings to Ashford and the New Romney Branch. Middleton Press. ISBN 0-906520-37-1.
  • Sissons, Rob (2008). Single Track Obsession: A Book of Extraordinary Railway Journeys. Trafford Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4251-6239-9.