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Canterbury West railway station is the busier of the two stations in Canterbury in Kent, England. All services are operated by Southeastern with both main line and high speed trains serving the station.

Canterbury West National Rail
Canterbury West railway station platforms.JPG
The platforms, viewed from the passenger bridge
Local authorityCanterbury
Grid referenceTR145583
Station codeCBW
Managed bySoutheastern
Number of platforms2
DfT categoryD
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2013/14Increase 2.223 million
– Interchange Decrease 85,895
2014/15Increase 2.336 million
– Interchange Increase 96,584
2015/16Increase 2.406 million
– Interchange Increase 98,439
2016/17Increase 2.468 million
– Interchange Increase 0.108 million
2017/18Increase 2.581 million
– Interchange Increase 0.119 million
Key datesOpened 6 February 1846 (6 February 1846)
Listed status
Listed featureCanterbury West Station
Listing gradeGrade II listed
Entry number1242649[1]
Added to list7 September 1973
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Canterbury West from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.

Although called Canterbury West, the station is about 12 mile (0.8 km) due north of Canterbury East station, and only about 20 yards (20 m) to its west.

The station and its line was built by the South Eastern Railway, while Canterbury East was built by the London, Chatham and Dover Railway.



The station opened on 6 February 1846[2] when the South Eastern Railway began services to Ashford. Two months later in April services were extended to Ramsgate, and to Whitstable after conversion of the Canterbury and Whitstable Railway and closure of the North Lane terminus. The station was built with two central through tracks and three platforms, one for the Whitstable branch.[3]

On 1 July 1889 the Elham Valley Railway reached Canterbury from Folkestone[4] and at this time the run-in boards read Canterbury (SER) Change for Whitstable and Elham Valley Line.[3]

The Whitstable branch closed to passenger traffic on 1 January 1931,[5] and traffic from the Elham Valley into Canterbury ceased from 1 December 1940. Following the Southern Region Kent Coast Electrification Scheme Phase 2 electric services started on 9 October 1961. Freight services were withdrawn on 13 September 1965 and the central through tracks were removed later in 1979.[3]

In 1973 the station buildings were Grade II listed[1] by English Heritage.

In December 2009, Canterbury West became part of the Southeastern High Speed service to London St Pancras using the High Speed line from Ashford, significantly reducing journey times to London.

In 2010, the railway station was refurbished to improve the station's accessibility. Funded by the Department for Transport's Access for All Scheme, the main change was the construction of a new footbridge allowing a step-free route between the station entrance and both platforms using two lifts. Other improvements include new tactile paving along the edge of the platform, new toilet facilities, new customer information screens and lighting, the redecoration of the ticket office and changes to the car park layout.[6]

In December 2013, a £535,000 upgrade to the station's forecourt and car park was completed.[7]


Platform 1 (Ashford bound) houses the main ticket office with 2 public window counters and 3 self-service machines, Pumpkin Cafe and public toilets. Platform 2 (Coast bound) houses the main waiting room.

There was an additional cafe attached to the main waiting room and additional toilets. These were since removed from 1986, by the Department Of Transport, citing safety and accessibility concerns.[citation needed]

Car ParkingEdit

The station has 2 public car parks. Car park 1 has marked spaces for 63 vehicles, of which most are reserved for season ticket holders before 09:30 on Mondays to Fridays. Car park 2 is roughly-surfaced and marked in an ad-hoc manner with 36 parking bays. In addition, 3 disabled parking bays, the taxi rank, and 6 pick-up/drop-off 20 minute parking bays are located in the station forecourt.


As of December 2011 the typical off-peak service from the station per hour was:

The typical off-peak service is

Preceding station   National Rail Following station
Chartham   Southeastern
Ashford to Ramsgate
(via Canterbury West) line
Ashford International   Southeastern
High Speed 1
Disused railways
Terminus   British Rail
Southern Region

Canterbury and Whitstable Railway
  Blean & Tyler Hill Halt
Terminus   Southern Railway
Elham Valley Railway
  Canterbury South

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Historic England, "Canterbury West Station (1242649)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 26 June 2017
  2. ^ "Opening of the Canterbury Branch of the South-Eastern Railway". London Evening Standard. England. 7 February 1846. Retrieved 27 June 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  3. ^ a b c "Canterbury West". Kent Rail. Retrieved 22 January 2011.
  4. ^ Oppitz, Leslie (2003). Lost Railways of Kent. Countryside Books. p. 109. ISBN 1-85306-803-9.
  5. ^ Oppitz, Leslie (2003). Lost Railways of Kent. Countryside Books. p. 19. ISBN 1-85306-803-9.
  6. ^ "Canterbury West Re-opened" (Press release). Southeastern Railways. 20 December 2010. Archived from the original on 5 January 2011. Retrieved 22 January 2010.
  7. ^ "Forecourt work complete at Canterbury West station" (Press release). Southeastern. 11 December 2013. Archived from the original on 19 December 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2013.

External linksEdit