The first railway to the area was approved in 1839. It was to run along the coast from the West as far as St Leonards and eventually opened in 1846. It was an extension to the London Brighton and South Coast Railways (LBSCR) line to Lewes.
In 1899 the SER and LCDR merged as the South East and Chatham Railways or SECR. Southern Railway (SR) was formed in 1923 and incorporated them both, as well as the London & South Western Railway.
A second line was completed in the area in 1851 by competing railway company South Eastern Railways (SER), which reached as far as Hastings and came in from Ashford in the East.
Shortly after, the SER where responsible for the construction of two tunnels from Hastings to link up with the existing LBSCR line at St Leonards and its own line through Battle to London. Services started in February 1851 but the two rival companies fell out, resulting in an unsatisfactory service between Hastings and St Leonards which wasn't resolved until the end of the year when a court order ended the fude. Soon after the sharing of receipts at Hastings Station was agreed.
SR became one of the 'Big Four' railway companies in the UK at the time. British Rail was formed in 1948 and and was eventually privatised. The railways are currently run by Connex.
Electrification of the railway in the area started in July 1935 which reflects the economical growth of Hastings and St Leonards at that time.