The early enthusiasm soon waned so that when the service was reduced during the war little inconvenience was caused by the loss of the Sunday trains and the curtailment of the Saturday afternoon services. The coal traffic over this route increased considerably during the war years with through trains and local deliveries to Sydenham Gas Works. Two late trips are well remembered by residents living close to the line at Coombe Road. Their sleep was regularly shattered by the 22.30 and 01.50 Norwood Yard to Sydenham Gas Works runs which passed Coombe Road at 23.10 & 02.25 with their heavy loads, whistles screaming as they approached the tunnels. There was just time to get off to sleep again before the empties returned at 00.50 & 03.37. These trains ran until the late fifties.
After the war the Sunday service was not reinstated and the off peak trains were terminated at Elmers End to connect with the Hayes trains to London. The line never regained its previous level of passenger use and inevitably the announcement came from B.R. that the line was to close from 4th March 1963 in order to save an estimated £8000.00 per year. Opposition to the closure took B.R. by surprise. The Croydon Transport Users' Association was formed to fight the proposals, and did so twice within three years. The Transport users' Consultative Committee for London held its public meeting at Caxton Hall on 7th March and reported to the Minister of Transport, Ernest Marples that there seemed to be no alternative transport available and as they could not make any recommendations for the relief of hardship caused to the 650 people using the service each day, the line must remain open.

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