Royston railway station

Royston railway station serves the town of Royston in Hertfordshire, England. The station is 44 miles 72 chains (72.3 km) from London Kings Cross on the Cambridge Line.[1] Trains serving the station are operated by Thameslink and Great Northern.

Royston National Rail
Royston railway station.JPG
The two platforms
Local authorityDistrict of North Hertfordshire
Grid referenceTL353412
Station codeRYS
Managed byGreat Northern
Number of platforms2
DfT categoryD
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2014/15Increase 1.394 million
2015/16Increase 1.435 million
2016/17Increase 1.483 million
2017/18Decrease 1.478 million
– Interchange Increase 22,670
2018/19Decrease 1.467 million
– Interchange Decrease 21,255
Key datesOpened 1850 (1850)
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Royston from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.

The station is an important stop on the commuter line between King's Cross and Cambridge as the majority of semi-fast services between London and Cambridge stop at Royston - one exception being the 'Cambridge Cruiser' fast services from London. It is also the last station before Cambridge with platforms capable of handling 12-car trains. Therefore, it is used by many commuters, not only from Royston but also from smaller stations north of Royston who transfer from stopping services to faster trains at the station.

The station was opened by the Royston and Hitchin Railway in October 1850 as its initial eastern terminus. The line was subsequently extended as far as Shepreth the following year and through to Cambridge by the Eastern Counties Railway in 1852. The latter company took out a lease on the Royston company from then until 1866 and ran trains between Cambridge and the Great Northern Railway's main line junction at Hitchin until its lease expired. Thereafter the GNR took over and began running through trains from Cambridge to Kings Cross from 1 April 1866.


The railway from London King's Cross to Royston was electrified in 1978. Class 312 electric trains from King's Cross terminated at Royston; passengers wishing to travel to Cambridge had to change to a connecting diesel multiple unit train. From 1988 the whole line from London to Cambridge was electrified, ending the need to change trains at Royston. Full services commenced on 2 May 1988.[2] Network SouthEast commissioned the electrification from Royston to Cambridge as a 'fill-in' scheme to link the wired routes either side (the ex-ECR main line electrification north of Bishops Stortford had been inaugurated the previous year).


Both Up and Down lines through Royston station are signalled bi-directionally,[3] meaning that Royston is the only place on the Cambridge Line where a train can overtake one ahead of it. The Signalling is controlled by Kings Cross Power Signal Box.[3]

The station is located on a long sweeping curve, reducing the line speed[4] in the Up direction to 50 mph,[3] and a differential speed of 50/65 mph[3] in the Down direction.


Thameslink and Great Northern serve Royston on services up to London King's Cross and down to Cambridge. Trains are formed of either Class 700,[5] Class 387 or Class 365 electric multiple units.

Trains to London King's Cross are either slow or semi-fast, departing at approximately half-hour intervals. Slow services call at all major stations to King's Cross (not inner suburban-only stations), taking 62 minutes to arrive in London at an average of 43.5 mph (70.0 km/h)[6] Semi-fast services call at Baldock, Letchworth, Hitchin, Stevenage and Finsbury Park. During early morning peak-time there are some fast services (including a few that start or finish here) running non-stop or stopping only at Letchworth, reaching London in under 40 minutes.

Two trains per hour also operate towards Cambridge.[6] Slow trains call at all stations and take 26 minutes to arrive at Cambridge, operating at an average of 30.1 mph (48.4 km/h).[6] Fast trains run non-stop to Cambridge, taking 17 minutes at an average of 46.0 mph (74.0 km/h).[6] Some Cambridge-bound services continue to Ely and King's Lynn.

Thameslink trains call at Royston on the Cambridge-Brighton route.

From the completion of the Thameslink Programme in 2019 it is proposed that there will be a 2tph to Maidstone East service.[7]

Preceding station   National Rail Following station
Great Northern
Great Northern
Cambridge to Brighton


  1. ^ Padgett, David (October 2016) [1988]. Brailsford, Martyn (ed.). Railway Track Diagrams 2: Eastern (4th ed.). Frome: Trackmaps. map 24C. ISBN 978-0-9549866-8-1.
  2. ^ "Cambridge - Its Railways and Station"Disused Stations Site Record; Retrieved 23 August 2016
  3. ^ a b c d "NR London North Eastern Sectional Appendix / LN125 Seq 001-005" (PDF). Network Rail. June 2015. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  4. ^ Network Rail Line Speed article Retrieved 2015-06-28
  5. ^ More class 700s start Great Northern duties Retrieved 2018-07-10
  6. ^ a b c d Table 25 National Rail timetable, May 2016
  7. ^ Kent RUS (Draft) - Network Rail

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 52°03′11″N 0°01′37″W / 52.053°N 0.027°W / 52.053; -0.027