Darlington railway station

Darlington railway station is on the East Coast Main Line in the United Kingdom, serving the town of Darlington, County Durham. It is 232 miles 50 chains (374.37 km) north of London King's Cross and on the main line it is situated between Northallerton to the south and Durham to the north. Its three-letter station code is DAR.

National Rail
Darlington Railway Station (geograph 5909901).jpg
LocationDarlington, Borough of Darlington,
Coordinates54°31′15″N 1°32′48″W / 54.5207294°N 1.5466938°W / 54.5207294; -1.5466938Coordinates: 54°31′15″N 1°32′48″W / 54.5207294°N 1.5466938°W / 54.5207294; -1.5466938
Grid referenceNZ294140
Owned byNetwork Rail
Managed byLondon North Eastern Railway
Tracks4 (2 bay platform)
Other information
Station codeDAR
ClassificationDfT category B
Original companyNorth Eastern Railway
Pre-groupingNorth Eastern Railway
Key dates
31 March 1841Opened as Darlington
1 October 1868Renamed Darlington Bank Top
1 July 1887Resited
1 September 1934Renamed Darlington
2015/16Decrease 2.244 million
 Interchange Decrease 0.390 million
2016/17Increase 2.270 million
 Interchange Increase 0.403 million
2017/18Increase 2.325 million
 Interchange Decrease 0.402 million
2018/19Increase 2.394 million
 Interchange Increase 0.406 million
2019/20Decrease 2.388 million
 Interchange Increase 0.471 million
Listed Building – Grade II*
FeatureOriginal North Eastern Railway station building
Designated6 September 1977
Reference no.1310079[1]
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road

The station is well served, since it is an important stop for main line services, with trains being operated by London North Eastern Railway, CrossCountry and TransPennine Express, and it is the interchange for Northern services to Bishop Auckland, Middlesbrough and Saltburn. Darlington is the location of the first commercial steam railway: the Stockton and Darlington Railway. The station building is a Grade II* listed[1] Victorian structure and winner of the "Large Station of the Year" award in 2005.[2]


The first railway to pass through the area now occupied by the station was built by the Stockton and Darlington Railway, who opened their mineral branch from Albert Hill Junction on their main line to Croft-on-Tees on 27 October 1829. This branch line was subsequently purchased by the Great North of England Railway a decade later to incorporate into their new main line from York which reached the town on 30 March 1841. A separate company, the Newcastle & Darlington Junction Railway continued the new main line northwards towards Ferryhill and Newcastle, opening its route three years later on 19 June 1844.[3] This crossed the S&D at Parkgate Junction by means of a flat crossing which would in future years become something of an operational headache for the North Eastern Railway and LNER. The original Bank Top station where the two routes met was a modest affair, which was rebuilt in 1860 to accommodate the expanding levels of traffic on the main line. By the mid-1880s even this replacement structure was deemed inadequate and so the NER embarked on a major upgrade to facilities in the area. This included an ornate new station with an impressive three-span overall roof on the Bank Top site, new sidings and goods lines alongside it and a new connecting line from the south end of the station (Polam Junction) to meet the original S&D line towards Middlesbrough at Oak Tree Junction near Dinsdale. These improvements were completed on 1 July 1887, when the old route west of Oak Tree closed to passengers (although it remained in use for freight until 1967).

60129 Guy Mannering entering the station in 1961

The new station, with its broad island platform was designed by T.E. Harrison chief engineer, and William Bell, the architect of the North Eastern Railway.[4] and cost £81,000 (equivalent to £9,070,000 in 2019)[5] to construct[6] and soon became a busy interchange on the main East Coast route, thanks to its rail links to Richmond (opened in 1846), Barnard Castle and Penrith (1862/5) and the Tees Valley Line to Bishop Auckland (1842) and Saltburn (1861).

Down freight passing the station in 1961

The lines to Penrith (closed in 1962), Barnard Castle (1964)[7] and Richmond (1969) have now gone (along with the bays at the northern end of the station, now used for car parking), but the main line (electrified in 1991) and the Tees Valley route remain busy. It is also still possible to travel to Catterick Garrison and Richmond from here, by means of the Arriva North East-operated X26 and X27 buses (which have through National Rail ticketing arrangements). The same company also operated the Sky Express bus service to Durham Tees Valley Airport from the station, but this was withdrawn in January 2009 due to declining demand.[8]

Station mastersEdit

  • Thomas Waldie 1840 - 1866[9]
  • Robert Wood 1867 - 1873[10]
  • Richard Thompson 1874 - 1878
  • James Bell 1878 - 1900[11]
  • Thomas William Smith 1900 - 1902[12] (afterwards station master at Sunderland)
  • G.H. Stephenson 1902[13]
  • George W. T. Laidler 1902[14] - 1907
  • J. Pattinson 1907
  • Matthew William Seymour 1907 - 1912 (formerly station master at Bishop Auckland, afterwards station master at Boroughbridge)
  • T. Pearce 1912 - 1920
  • Irving Richard Beeby MBE 1920 - 1931
  • Edwin Weavers 1932 - 1941[15] (formerly station master at Middlesbrough)
  • Thomas Allen 1942[16] - 1949 (formerly station master at Sunderland)
  • W. Lake 1950
  • W.H. Campbell 1950 - 1952 (afterwards station master at Newcastle)
  • W.J. Thomas 1952 - 1956
  • George Renton 1956[17]
  • N. Darby 1963 - ????
  • T. Hutchinson 1965
  • S.F. Potts 1965 - ????

Accidents and incidentsEdit

  • On 16 November 1910, an express freight train overran signals and was involved in a rear-end collision with another freight train.[18]
  • On 27 June 1928, a parcels train and an excursion train were involved in a head-on collision. Twenty five people were killed and 45 were injured.[19]
  • On 11 December 1968, a Newcastle to Kings Cross express train was derailed at the south end of the station after passing a signal at danger. No-one was hurt.[20]
  • On 16 February 1977, an express passenger train hauled by Class 55 locomotive 55 008 collided with an empty stock train after failing to stop at Darlington. The guard of the express was slightly injured. The cause of the accident was that the brakes on the carriages had become isolated whilst the train was moving in a freak event. The train had struck an object on the track, which had caused a traction motor cover to come lose. This struck the handle of the brake isolating cock, closing it and thus separating the brakes between the locomotive and train. Following the collision, the train was diverted onto the Tees Valley line, where it was brought to a halt by the operation of the communication cord in one of the carriages.[21]
  • On 3 October 2009, a Class 142 unit, operated by Northern Rail, hit the rear end of a departing National Express East Coast service. Three passengers from the Northern Rail train were taken to hospital with minor injuries.[22][23]


As noted previous, the station is fully staffed; the ticket office is open throughout the week (06:00-20:00/21:00 weekdays, 06:30-19:45 Saturdays, 07:45-20:00 Sundays). There is a waiting room and a first class Lounge on the platform, with the lounge open between 06:00 and 20:00 each day (except Sundays, when it opens at 08:00). Self-service ticket machines are also provided for use outside the opening hours for the booking office and for collecting pre-paid tickets. Various retail outlets are located in the main buildings, including a coffee shop, grocers and newsagents. Vending machines, toilets, a photo booth, payphone and cash machines are also provided. Train running information is offered via digital CIS displays, announcements and timetable posters. Step-free access to all platforms is via ramps from the subway linking the platforms with the main entrance and car park.[24]


London North Eastern
Railway Routes
Falkirk Grahamston
Glasgow Central  
Edinburgh Waverley  
Alnmouth for Alnwick
Bradford Forster Square
Wakefield Westgate
Hull Paragon
Newark North Gate
London King's Cross  

Darlington is well served by trains on the East Coast Main Line, with regular trains southbound to London King's Cross via York and northbound to Newcastle and Edinburgh Waverley operated by London North Eastern Railway. Two trains per hour run south to London and north to Newcastle for much of the day with hourly services to Edinburgh Waverley. There are also several daily services to Aberdeen and also daily direct services to Stirling (two) and Inverness (one).[25] Due to the introduction of the new ECML timetable on 22 May 2011, LNER only now provide one daily direct service each way between London King's Cross and Glasgow Central which calls at Darlington. The northbound service to Glasgow departs Darlington at 18:09 and the southbound service from Glasgow arrives into Darlington at 10:00.

CrossCountry services between Edinburgh, Newcastle and Birmingham New Street and beyond to (Reading and Southampton Central and to Bristol Temple Meads, Exeter St Davids, Plymouth and Penzance) also call here twice each hour. Certain CrossCountry trains extend beyond Edinburgh to Glasgow Central, Dundee or Aberdeen.

TransPennine Express run two trains per hour in each direction. Northbound; one service runs to Newcastle with a second extending to Edinburgh Waverley. Southbound; one service runs to Liverpool Lime Street via York, Leeds, Huddersfield, Manchester Victoria and Newton Le Willows with the second running to Manchester Airport via the Ordsall Chord. There is also one train early morning service to Redcar Central via Middlesbrough.[26]

Northern run their Tees Valley line trains twice hourly to Middlesbrough, Redcar and Saltburn (hourly on Sundays), whilst the Bishop Auckland branch has a service every hour (including Sundays).[27] The company also operates two Sundays-only direct trains to/from Stockton and Hartlepool.


Platforms 1 and 2

Darlington railway station has five main platforms:

  • Platform 1: This is the main southbound platform, with, in order of frequency, London North Eastern Railway services to York and London King's Cross, CrossCountry services to Reading and Southampton or Birmingham and Plymouth, via York and Leeds, TransPennine Express services to Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Airport or Liverpool Lime Street, via York and Leeds, and Northern services to Saltburn via Middlesbrough, from Bishop Auckland.
  • Platforms 2 and 3: These platforms are south-facing bays used exclusively by Northern services terminating at Darlington from Saltburn and Middlesbrough. Platform 2 is used most frequently.
  • TransPennine Express trains also terminate in Platforms 2 & 3 when there are delays in order to allow them to run their southbound services back on time.
  • Platform 4: This is the main northbound platform, with, in order of frequency, London North Eastern Railway services to Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow, CrossCountry services to Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow, TransPennine Express services to Newcastle and Northern services to Bishop Auckland.
  • Platform 4a: This is a southern extension of platform four catering for trains waiting at Darlington such that they can be bypassed by trains stopping at platform 4. It is the only platform that is not under the station roof. It is used predominantly by Northern services for Bishop Auckland. Since the introduction of Class 802, TransPennine Express will use Platform 4a if they need to terminate early whilst using one of these trains due to Platform 2 & 3 not being electrified.


As part of the Tees Valley Metro, two new platforms were to be built on the eastern edge of the main station. There were to be a total of four trains per hour, to Middlesbrough and Saltburn via the Tees Valley Line, and trains would not have to cross the East Coast Main Line when the new platforms would have been built. The Tees Valley Metro project was, however, cancelled.

Services on the Bishop Auckland branch are also to be improved to hourly throughout the day, as part of the new Northern franchise (awarded to Arriva Rail North in December 2015) from the December 2017 timetable change.[28]

High Speed 2Edit

The new high speed rail project in the UK, High Speed 2, is planned to run through Darlington once Phase 2b is complete and will run on the existing East Coast Main Line from York and Newcastle. Darlington Station will have two new platforms built for the HS2 trains on the Main Line, as the station is built just off the ECML to allow for freight services to pass through.

HS2 Phase 2b[29] is scheduled to start running in late 2033.


  1. ^ a b Historic England. "Bank Top Railway Station (Main Building) (1310079)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  2. ^ "It's a hat-trick for award-winning GNER". Great North Eastern Railway. 2 September 2005.
  3. ^ Body, p.56
  4. ^ "Darlington New Railway Station". Leeds Mercury. England. 1 July 1887. Retrieved 29 December 2016 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  5. ^ UK Retail Price Index inflation figures are based on data from Clark, Gregory (2017). "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
  6. ^ Body, p.60
  7. ^ Body, p.58
  8. ^ Tees Valley Airport - Airport Bus Service Comes to An End Archived 21 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine Tees Valley Airport Media Centre; Retrieved 30 January 2009
  9. ^ "Presentation". York Herald. England. 5 January 1867. Retrieved 9 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  10. ^ "Death of Mr. Wood Stationmaster Darlington". Northern Echo. England. 7 June 1873. Retrieved 9 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  11. ^ "The Darlington Station Master". Northern Echo. England. 19 February 1900. Retrieved 9 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  12. ^ "Mr. T.W. Smith". Yorkshire Evening Post. England. 5 February 1902. Retrieved 9 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  13. ^ "Mr. G. Stephenson". Leeds Mercury. England. 22 February 1902. Retrieved 9 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  14. ^ "The New Stationmaster at Darlington". Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer. England. 19 April 1902. Retrieved 9 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  15. ^ "Darlington Loses Stationmaster". Newcastle Journal. England. 18 December 1941. Retrieved 9 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  16. ^ "Wearside Echoes". Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette. England. 21 February 1942. Retrieved 9 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  17. ^ "For Darlington". Berwickshire News and General Advertiser. England. 6 March 1956. Retrieved 9 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  18. ^ Hoole (1982), pp16-17.
  19. ^ Hoole (1982), p27.
  20. ^ "Accident at Darlington on 11th December 1968" Railways Archive
  21. ^ "Report on the collision that occurred on 16th February 1977 at Darlington in the Eastern Region of British Railways" (PDF). Department of Transport. 13 July 1978. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  22. ^ Trains collide at rail platform; BBC News website Retrieved 9 October 2009
  23. ^ "Report 10/2010 Collision at Exeter St Davids station 4 January 2010" (PDF). Rail Accidents Investigation Branch. para. 70. Retrieved 13 February 2010.
  24. ^ Darlington station facilities National Rail Enquiries; Retrieved 15 February 2017
  25. ^ GB National Rail Timetable May 2018 Edition, Table 26
  26. ^ "Timetables | Download timetables | First TransPennine Express". www.tpexpress.co.uk. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  27. ^ Table 44 National Rail timetable, May 2018
  28. ^ Northern Franchise Improvements - DfT Retrieved 22 August 2016
  29. ^ [1]


  • Body, G. (1988), PSL Field Guides - Railways of the Eastern Region Volume 2, Patrick Stephens Ltd, Wellingborough, ISBN 1-85260-072-1
  • Hoole, Ken (1982). Trains in Trouble: Vol. 3. Redruth: Atlantic Books. ISBN 0-906899-05-2.

External linksEdit

Preceding station   National Rail Following station
TransPennine Express
North TransPennine (Limited Services)
Northallerton   London North Eastern Railway
York   London North Eastern Railway
London-Newcastle/Edinburgh/Scotland express or
Tees Valley Line
  Future services  
York   High Speed 2
High Speed 2(Phase 2b)
York   TBA
Northern Powerhouse Rail
  Historical railways  
Croft Spa
Line open, station closed
  North Eastern Railway
York, Newcastle and Berwick Railway
Line open, station closed