Ben Craig of Network Rail explained that adding an additional two platforms and building an office development over East Croydon station were ideas that his team had begun to work on.
Speaking as a panellist at the ‘Next Stop Croydon’ session, he said: “The mainline from East Croydon to the coast is full and in the longer term needs to be upgraded.
“The critical bottleneck is East Croydon. What we do with the Brighton mainline is about what we do in central Croydon.
“East Croydon passenger numbers are higher than what’s available on the route. We need to expand East Croydon station. My team are remitted to develop what that might look like.”
He explained to the audience that increasing the total number of platforms to eight could be achieved by placing them across the station but about 100m further north on the west side than at present.
In terms of financing the scheme, he added: “Development above East Croydon station will almost certainly generate quite a lot. We think it will be an office development about the size of Ruskin Square.”
At the next Develop Croydon conference, in a year’s time, Network Rail hoped to have pictures of what the new station might look like as well as seeking a development partner to take it forward.
“There’s no reason why it can’t be a transformative scheme like Kings Cross or St Pancras,” he added.
Craig Marks chief executive of developer, Menta was also on the panel and spoke about the regeneration around East Croydon station including his own company’s delivery of 300 homes, a second phase of 450 in the pipeline and Stanhope Schroders office development on the other side of the track.
He said: “Capacity issues affect those who have invested, bought new homes and brought their employees here. I’m fully behind plans for a new station.
“The new station would be an axis of focus for London. Croydon is just 15 minutes from Gatwick, 45 minutes until you board a plane. What other European city offers that? We could see the axis really swinging southerly,” he added.