The main entrance is in the centre of a shopping arcade on Station Approach, with a secondary entrance from the car park on Old Station Yard.
The station is served by Southeastern services from Charing Cross and Cannon Street. It forms the suburban terminus for trains on the Hayes line. For historical reasons, and to avoid confusion with Hayes & Harlington, the station is still referred to as “Hayes (Kent)” on most timetables.
The Mid-Kent line was built by the Mid Kent and North Kent Junction and was operated on opening as far as Beckenham Junction on 1 January 1857 by the South Eastern Railway (SER). The line was extended to Addiscombe in 1864 and Elmers End (the future junction for the Hayes branch) was opened that year.
The Hayes branch line from Elmers End was built by the West Wickham & Hayes Railway, but was sold to the South Eastern Railway on the opening day, 29 May 1882. Initially the 13 weekday and four Sunday services operated as far as Elmers End where they connected with Addiscombe to London trains. The initial layout at Hayes consisted of a single platform with a locomotive turntable at the far end. A goods yard was provided on the south side of the station and a 33-lever signal box was provided.
In 1898 the South Eastern Railway and the London Chatham and Dover Railway agreed to work as one railway company under the name of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway and Hayes became a SE&CR station.
By 1912 services had increased to 15 each way but only two of these actually operated through to London the rest terminating at Elmers End. In 1909 however the 8:37 a.m. Hayes – Charing Cross service was formed of Continental boat train stock where on arrival it was used to work the 10:00 a.m. Charing Cross- Folkestone boat train.
The early single-storey, clapboard building was enough for the initial demand in an area of London that saw urbanisation relatively late. Usage remained low until electrification was completed in 1925 with electric services commencing on 21 September that year. As suburban development gained pace, the station was modernised in 1933 with shops being incorporated into the entrance and the goods yard extended in anticipation of more coal traffic. On the night of 15/16 September 1940, the station building was badly damaged by a bomb and subsequently repaired in 1956.