A party of the shareholders in this undertaking went down the line on Tuesday morning as far as Hayward's-heath, near Cuckfield, about 15 miles distant from Brighton. The journey down to Hayward's- heath was performed in about two hours, including stoppages by the way.
The cuttings are very numerous, and some of them exceedingly deep, the line being in one place flanked on each side by a perpendicular wall of chalk and sand about 90 or 100 feet in height, and the embankments are in some places very lofty.
There are two tunnels, each of which was passed through by the train in about three minutes. By far the most interesting feature on this railway is the large viaduct over the valley of the Adur, about five or six miles from Cuckfield, the height of which is 150 feet.
As a work of art it is magnificent, and its solidity is quite equal to its grandeur of appearance. The stations on the line are, generally speaking, large and commodious, and the country traversed, for the most part, beautiful and romantic. Some parts of the line are still in a very unfinished state, but we are nevertheless informed that it will be opened the whole distance to Brighton in the month of September.
Judging from the trial of Tuesday, it may be inferred that the entire journey from London-bridge to Brighton may be easily performed in about two hours and a quarter (including stoppages), and perhaps even less.
The Times, 8 July 1841
Contributed by Malcolm Davison.