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Wellingborough railway station

Wellingborough railway station is a Grade II listed[1] station located in the market town of Wellingborough in Northamptonshire, England. It lies on the Midland Main Line, it is 65 miles (104 km) from London St. Pancras. East Midlands Railway (EMR) operate the station and run most of its services using Meridian trains.

Wellingborough National Rail
The entrance to Wellingborough Station
Local authorityBorough of Wellingborough
Coordinates52°18′14″N 0°40′35″W / 52.304°N 0.6764°W / 52.304; -0.6764Coordinates: 52°18′14″N 0°40′35″W / 52.304°N 0.6764°W / 52.304; -0.6764
Grid referenceSP903681
Station codeWEL
Managed byEast Midlands Railway
Number of platforms3
DfT categoryC2
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2013/14Decrease 0.922 million
2014/15Increase 0.945 million
2015/16Increase 0.969 million
2016/17Increase 0.990 million
2017/18Increase 1.016 million
198?Platform 4 removed
Listed status
Listed featureWellingborough Railway Station
Listing gradeGrade II listed
Entry number1191880[1]
Added to list5 May 1981
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Wellingborough from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.

The station is the closest to the towns and large villages of Higham Ferrers, Irchester, Raunds, Irthlingborough, Rushden and Wollaston although there is no direct link from the station itself to any of the destinations from the station apart from Irthlingborough. It is also the nearest station to the Rushden Lakes Shopping Centre.

With Northamptonshire's history in the shoe industry, the film Kinky Boots filmed in the county and featured Wellingborough station but branded it as Northampton. In late 2009 Wellingborough was made a Penalty fare station by East Midlands Trains, which means valid ticket or Permit to travel must be shown when requested.


Charles Driver's decorative building

Wellingborough (Midland Road) was built by the Midland Railway in 1857 on its extension from Leicester to Bedford and Hitchin. At the time the station was known as Wellingborough Midland Road to distinguish from one built by the LNWR in 1866 at Wellingborough London Road for the Northampton and Peterborough Railway which closed in 1966. A curve linked the two stations from west to north.[2]

The buildings, designed by C. H. Driver, still exist, though in altered form. Much of this occurred when the branch to Higham Ferrers was built in 1894, when the up main platform was substantially altered, removing the original canopies.[3]

Wellingborough also had a large locomotive depot with two roundhouses, the first built 1868, the second in 1872. One of the buildings still exist next to the main station building. On 2 September 1898, the station was the scene of a serious rail accident when a trolley ran off the platform in front of a Manchester express train. The crew and five passengers were killed and sixty-five injured.

British Rail removed the fourth track between Kettering and Sharnbrook Junction in the 1980s for cost cutting reasons making platform 4 unused. The platform still does exist, overgrown and no link to the rest of the station. A building is left derelict on it and there are proposals for the platform to be reopened.

There were originally five platforms at Wellingborough station - Platforms 1 & 2 still exist as they were, platform 3 was the bay platform for Northampton trains, which ceased on 4 May 1964. The bay is still there, but fenced off from platform 2. In 1964 Platform 4 (the then down slow platform) was re-numbered platform 3. Platform 5 was taken out of use when the Rushden and Higham Ferrers services ceased in 1959.

Station MastersEdit

  • George Renshaw 1867 - 1893[4]
  • George Turner 1893 - 1908
  • Mr. A. Roper 1909 - 1930 (formerly station master at Finedon)
  • W.J. Wearn 1930[5] - 1937
  • Oscar Best 1937 - 1940[6] (afterwards stationmaster at Huddersfield)
  • V.L. Ward 1940 - 1943[7] (afterwards station master at Derby)
  • S. Curtis 1947[8] - ????

General informationEdit

Wellingborough has three platforms: two are regularly used, one occasionally, and another platform face with no trackwork. The station was formerly the junction for a branch to Higham Ferrers and there is now a preservation movement to reopen this route (see Rushden, Higham & Wellingborough Railway).

The station has the PlusBus scheme where train and bus tickets can be bought together at a saving.

From Bedford to Kettering the Midland Main Line is unusual for being a three-tracked main line. Other instances of this occurring are on the Cross City Line in Birmingham. Before rationalisation this formation was part of the longest continuous four-track layout in the UK, extending from London St. Pancras to Glendon Junction (north of Kettering) and with rail freight and passenger demands rising, Network Rail are now in the process of reinstating the fourth line from Sharnbrook Junction to Kettering.

East Midlands Trains launched a new timetable in December 2008, with one train fewer running during the morning peak period, and four fewer during the evening peak. Some journey times increased, with the quickest train taking 47 minutes at peak times.


Most services in 2019 are formed from Class 222 'Meridian' diesel units
A Map of East Midlands Trains InterCity services showing the current off peak service pattern each hour

There is a half-hourly service to London St. Pancras and hourly services to either Nottingham via Leicester or to Corby, both operated by Meridian trains. During peak, one Nottingham services is extended to start and finish at Lincoln via Newark and one Corby service goes to and from Melton Mowbray.

Faster East Midlands Railway services to/from Leeds, Sheffield, Derby and Nottingham run through Wellingborough at high speed, but do not call outside of peak hours. Interchange with faster services can be made at Leicester.

At the weekend there is one train per day to York, and in the summer months the York service on a Saturday is extended to and from Scarborough.[9]

Preceding station   National Rail Following station
Kettering   East Midlands Railway
Midland Main Line
  Historical railways  
Line open, station closed
  Midland Railway
Midland Main Line
Line open, station closed
Disused railways
Line open, station closed
  Midland Railway
Midland Main Line
  Wellingborough London Road
Line and station closed
Terminus   Midland Railway
Rushden, Higham & Wellingborough Railway
Line closed and station open
   Proposed Heritage railways
Terminus   Rushden, Higham & Wellingborough Railway   Rushden
Line closed and station open

Travel timesEdit

Travel times to London, Corby, Melton Mowbray, Nottingham & Lincoln (from May 2009) All services operated by East Midlands Railway.


The new platform 4 under construction in 2019
Station improvements[10]

As part of the Department for Transport access for all programme, Network Rail have announced to extend the station platforms and improve access by providing lifts, which would replace the flat barrow crossing at end of the platforms.[11] In August 2010 the local council gave planning permission for Network Rail to build lifts and to fit new internal toilets one of the disused buildings in the station.[12]

As Wellingborough is part of the North Northamptonshire growth area, a major housing development is due to take place and provide 3,000 new homes on the east side of the station. Along with this another housing development is planned north of the town meaning that the importance of the station will rise. Currently (2010) Network Rail and Borough Council of Wellingborough plan to have platform 4 back into use and for a new station building to be built for the 'Stanton Cross' development which is due to be completed in 2021.[10]

The Midland Main Line from Bedford to Corby is also in the process of being electrified, and it is expected that this will mean that trains serving Wellingborough will be electric services between London and Corby, and the direct connection to Leicester will be lost. Electrification and new services are now expected by the end of 2020.

Car parking
Wellingborough South Car Park sign.

The new 'South' car park has been built as a replacement for the 'North' car park which is still open. The replacement was built because of the Wellingborough East (Stanton Cross) development, as a new road bridge would start where the 'North' car park is situated and then go over the railway.[13]


  1. ^ a b Historic England, "Wellingborough Railway Station (1191880)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 4 January 2017
  2. ^ Radford, B (1983). Midland Line Memories: a Pictorial History of the Midland Railway Main Line Between London (St Pancras) & Derby. London: Bloomsbury Books.
  3. ^ Preston Hendry, R., Powell Hendry, R. (1982). An historical survey of selected LMS stations. Vol. 2. Oxford Publishing.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ "Resignation of the Midland Station Master". Northampton Mercury. England. 25 August 1893. Retrieved 3 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  5. ^ "New Stationmaster at Wellingborough". Grantham Journal. England. 25 August 1893. Retrieved 3 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  6. ^ "Mr. O. Best". Yorkshire Evening Post. England. 4 November 1940. Retrieved 3 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  7. ^ "LMS stationmaster at Derby going to Preston". Derby Daily Telegraph. England. 8 December 1943. Retrieved 3 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  8. ^ "Wellingborough's New Stationmaster". Northampton Mercury. England. 18 July 1947. Retrieved 3 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  9. ^ East Midlands Trains: Midland Main Line Timetable
  10. ^ a b The Borough Council of Wellingborough: Growth Area Development May 2009 Archived 15 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine accessed 22 November 2009
  11. ^ "Network Rail CP4 Delivery Plan 2009 Enhancements programme: statement of scope, outputs and milestones" (PDF). Network Rail. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 June 2011. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
  12. ^ Northants Evening Telegraph: Footbridge and lift for town's station (9 August 2010) Accessed 29 August 2010
  13. ^ The Borough Council of Wellingborough: Growth Area Development November 2007 Archived 15 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine accessed November 2009

External linksEdit