The S.E.R. provided the locomotives and rolling stock for the initial service of ten trains a day in each direction, using Cudworth 2-4-0s with an assortment of four and six wheeled coaches, and vans as required. The S.E.R. continued to operate the service until 31st December 1886 when the L.B.S.C.R. took over using a Terrier from West Croydon shed and a close coupled set of four wheeled coaches. Locos known to have been used on this service are N0.70 'Poplar', No. 71 'Wapping' and No. 72 'Fenchurch'. The L.B.S.C.R. continued to operate the service until they had run the same number of passenger miles as the S.E.R. The S.E.R. resumed the running on 1st July 1888 and from then on the two companies alternated each year. By 1903 the Brighton Terrier was being provided by Stoats Nest (Coulsdon) shed and was required to perform shunting duties between its passenger trips at Selsdon Road and Sanderstead. During the early years of the century the railways saw increasing competition from tramways and omnibuses, so in common with many other branch lines it was decided that railmotors might be the answer to this loss of passenger traffic. Two new halts were constructed for this new venture, one between Selsdon Road and Coombe Lane and the other between Coombe Lane and Woodside, being named Spencer Road Halt and Bingham Road Halt respectively.
The two halts were identical in appearance being constructed from old sleepers at a cost of £205-11-7d the pair. The only features on the one hundred feet platforms were the wooden name boards and a row of posts for the hanging of oil lamps during the winter months. The halt at Bingham Road, originally to have been called Addiscombe Park, was situated near the tram terminus in Lower Addiscombe Road andattracted a fair amount of traffic, unlike Spencer Road which was isolated in a residential area and approached only by a footpath.
The S.E.C.R. inaugurated the improved service of sixteen trains a day on 1st September 1906, using a Kitson railmotor supplied by Bricklayers Arms shed. The railmotor worked down to Addiscombe with the 06.17 from New Cross and then ran light to the bay platform at Woodside to form the 07.16 to Selsdon Road. The Kitson railmotors were painted in S.E.C.R. Lake and had highly polished brass domes. The ride was very rough and the compartment next to the engine got uncomfortably hot, 56 passengers could be accommodated on the wooden seats which were arranged back to back with a centre gangway.