The Brighton and Chichester Railway opened Bognor Regis train station in 1846. This first station regularly switched names from Woodgate to Bognor and back again, before finally closing in 1864. The second station opened that same year, and, although there was no such identity crisis, it was first blown down in a gale in 1897 and then burned down two years later. The building standing next to the track today dates back to 1902.
The fate of Bognor was largely decreed by the arrival of the train station. Eager for a slice of seaside living, several well-to-do Victorians bought property in the area, and subsequently, Sir Richard Hotham developed a seaside resort. In 1929, advisors to King George V awarded Bognor its royal suffix, and it became Bognor Regis. Butlin’s resort followed in the 1960s. Today, Bognor Regis maintains its seaside-destination status with sandy beaches, the 1,000-foot Bognor Pier Leisure and various watersports hire options, mere minutes from the station.