About SideTracked - Eltham
Until 1985 there were two railway stations in Eltham on the Bexleyheath Line.
Eltham Well Hall (originally just 'Well Hall'), which opened on 1 May 1895, was about 200 metres to the west of the current station on the other side of Well Hall Road.
Eltham Park station which opened 1 May 1908 was about 500 yards further east of the current station with its main entrance adjacent to the London-bound platform and footpaths both to Westmount Road and Glenesk Road. An additional footpath linking the country-bound platform with Westmount Road was available at peak times.
Both railway stations were closed and replaced by the current station which opened on 17 March 1985 when a section of the A2 - the Rochester Way Relief Road - opened. A bus station, located on a raft over the A2, was opened at the same time.
The platforms and buildings of the disused Eltham Park station still survive. There is no trace of Eltham Well Hall station the site of which is west of Well Hall Road where the A2 passes under the railway.
It is known for the Eltham Well Hall rail crash in 1972. The Eltham Well Hall rail crash was an accident on the British railway system that occurred on 11 June 1972 at approximately 21:35.
An excursion train returning from Margate to Kentish Town derailed on a sharp curve at Eltham Well Hall station, Eltham, London. The driver and five passengers were killed, and 126 people were injured. At the subsequent public inquiry it was revealed that the driver had been intoxicated by alcohol. The inquiry also revealed that the train took the 20mph curve at about 65mph.
There is a copy of the report at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eltham_Well_Hall_rail_crash. It is also referred to in “Red For Danger” by L.T.C.Rolt ISBN 0 7153 8362 0.
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