York railway station

York railway station is on the East Coast Main Line serving the city of York, North Yorkshire, England. It is 188 miles 40 chains (303.4 km) north of London King's Cross and on the main line it is situated between Doncaster to the south and Thirsk to the north. As of June 2018, the station is operated by London North Eastern Railway.[2]

National Rail
York station & Great Northern Hotel (6679871819).jpg
General information
LocationYork, North Yorkshire,
Coordinates53°57′30″N 1°05′35″W / 53.9583°N 1.0930°W / 53.9583; -1.0930Coordinates: 53°57′30″N 1°05′35″W / 53.9583°N 1.0930°W / 53.9583; -1.0930
Grid referenceSE596517
Owned byNetwork Rail
Managed byLondon North Eastern Railway
Other information
Station codeYRK
ClassificationDfT category A
Key dates
25 June 1877Opened
2015/16Increase 8.848 million
 Interchange Increase 1.419 million
2016/17Increase 9.264 million
 Interchange Increase 1.449 million
2017/18Increase 9.832 million
 Interchange Decrease 1.142 million
2018/19Increase 9.991 million
 Interchange Decrease 1.034 million
2019/20Increase 10.089 million
 Interchange Decrease 0.775 million
2020/21Decrease 1.836 million
 Interchange Decrease 0.116 million
Listed Building – Grade II*
FeatureStation buildings
Designated1 July 1968
Reference no.1256554[1]
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road

York station is a key junction approximately halfway between London and Edinburgh. It is approximately five miles (eight kilometres) north of the point where the Cross Country and TransPennine Express routes via Leeds join the main line, connecting Scotland and the North East, North West, Midlands and southern England. The junction was historically a major site for rolling stock manufacture, maintenance and repair.

In Britain's 100 Best Railway Stations by Simon Jenkins, the station was one of only ten to be awarded five stars.[3]


The first York railway station was a temporary wooden building on Queen Street outside the walls of the city, opened in 1839 by the York and North Midland Railway. It was succeeded in 1841, inside the walls, by what is now York old railway station.[4] In due course, the requirement that through trains between London and Newcastle needed to reverse out of the old York station to continue their journey necessitated the construction of a new through station outside the walls.

The present station, designed by the North Eastern Railway architects Thomas Prosser and William Peachey and built by Lucas Brothers,[5] opened on 25 June 1877. It had 13 platforms and was at that time the largest in the world.[6] As part of the new station project, the Royal Station Hotel (now The Principal York), designed by Peachey, opened in 1878.

York station in the early 20th Century

In 1909 new platforms were added, and in 1938 the current footbridge was built and the station resignalled.

The building was heavily bombed during the Second World War.[7] On one occasion, on 29 April 1942,[8] 800 passengers had to be evacuated from a King's Cross-Edinburgh train which arrived during a bombing raid.[7] On the same night, two railway workers were killed, one being station foreman William Milner, who died after returning to his burning office to collect his first aid kit. He was posthumously awarded the King's Commendation for Brave Conduct.[9] A plaque in his memory has been erected at the station.[7][8] The station was extensively repaired in 1947.

The station in 2010

The station was designated as a Grade II* listed building in 1968.[1]

The track layout through and around the station was remodelled again in 1988 as part of the resignalling scheme that was carried out prior to the electrification of the ECML shortly afterwards by British Rail. This resulted in several bay platforms (mainly on the eastern side) being taken out of service and the track to them removed. Consequently, the number of platforms was reduced from 15 to 11. At the same time a new signalling centre (York IECC) was commissioned on the western side of the station to control the new layout and also take over the function of several other signal boxes on the main line. The IECC here now supervises the main line from Temple Hirst (near Doncaster) through to Northallerton, along with sections of the various routes branching from it. It has also (since 2001–2) taken over responsibility for the control area of the former power box at Leeds and thus signals trains as far away as Gargrave and Morley.

In 2006–7, to improve facilities for bus, taxi and car users as well as pedestrians and cyclists, the approaches to the station were reorganised. The former motive power depot and goods station now house the National Railway Museum.

The station was renovated in 2009. Platform 9 has been reconstructed and extensive lighting alterations were put in place. New automated ticket gates (similar to those in Leeds) were planned, but the City of York Council wished to avoid spoiling the historic nature of the station. The then operator National Express East Coast planned to appeal the decision but the plans were scrapped altogether upon handover to East Coast.[10]


  • Edward Oates ca 1850–1880[11]
  • William Lackenby 1880–1890[12]
  • John Bradford Harper 1890[13]–1893
  • Samuel Holliday 1893–1897[14] (afterwards stationmaster at Newcastle)
  • James Brown 1897–1902[15]
  • William Thompson 1902–1913[16] (afterwards stationmaster at Newcastle)
  • Thomas Clements Humphrey 1913–1923[17] (afterwards stationmaster at Newcastle)
  • Frank Wilfred Wheddon 1923[18]–1926
  • Harry A. Butcher 1926[19]–1932 (afterwards stationmaster at Newcastle)
  • George W. Pattinson 1932[20]–1939
  • Edwin Oliver Wright 1941–1946[21]
  • G. W. Anson 1946[22]–1949
  • W. H. Burton 1949–1950 (afterwards station master at Newcastle)
  • Harold Gardner 1950[23]–1953

Accidents and incidentsEdit

  • On 31 March 1920, a passenger train was derailed as it entered platform 8.[24]
  • On 5 August 1958, a passenger train crashed into the buffers at platform 12.[24]
  • On 18 January 2006, a freight train wagon derailed on points entering platform 3 before re-railing 400 sleepers later causing extensive damage to trackworks through the station. The derailment happened due to faulty suspension on one of the bogies causing the load to sit unevenly across the axles, lifting the axle off the tracks as it went round the corner over the points.[25]


The entrance to the station, as seen from the City Walls

All the platforms except 9, 10 and 11 are under the large, curved, glass and iron roof. They are accessed via a long footbridge (which also connects to the National Railway Museum) or via lifts and either of two pedestrian tunnels.[26] Between April 1984 and 2011 the old tea rooms housed the Rail Riders World/York Model Railway exhibition.[27]


The platforms at York have been renumbered several times, the most recent being in the late 1980s to coincide with a reduction in the number of platforms from 15 to 11. The current use is:[28]

  • Platform 1: South-facing bay platform mostly used for services to Hull or Sheffield via Moorthorpe and for stabling empty stock.
  • Platform 2: North-facing bay platform connected only to the Scarborough branch, used mostly for stabling a spare TransPennine Express unit along with the accompanying station siding.
  • Platform 3: Main southbound platform, but is signalled bi-directionally, accessible directly from the station concourse. Fast and semi-fast southbound London North Eastern Railway for London King's Cross generally use this platform. CrossCountry services, Grand Central and some westbound TransPennine Express services also use it.
  • Platform 4: Northward continuation of platform 3 connected only to the Scarborough branch, used by TransPennine Express services from Scarborough.
  • Platform 5 (split into 5a and 5b): Main northbound platform (but is signalled bi-directionally). Fast northbound London North Eastern Railway services to Scotland use this and generally call at Darlington and Newcastle only. Accessible by footbridge or tunnel. Also used by some CrossCountry services northbound. North/eastbound TransPennine Express to Scarborough generally use this platform. Southbound London North Eastern Railway services also stop here both fast and semi-fast, the latter of which generally call at Doncaster, Newark, Peterborough and London King's Cross.
  • Platform 6: South-facing bay platform used mostly by Northern Trains commuter services to Leeds and Blackpool North; and by terminating London North Eastern Railway services that return south to London King's Cross.
  • Platform 7: South-facing bay platform used mostly by Northern commuter services and London North Eastern Railway services to/from London Kings Cross.
  • Platform 8: North-facing bay platform used almost exclusively by Northern Trains on the Harrogate Line.
  • Platforms 9, 10, 11: Bi-directional platforms used by semi-fast and some fast London North Eastern Railway services heading north to Newcastle and Scotland, CrossCountry services north and southbound via Leeds, TransPennine Express services westbound to Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Airport and northbound to Newcastle and Redcar. Some Northern Trains services to Blackpool also use this platform.

Platforms 10 and 11 are outside of the main body of the station. Another siding, the former fruit dock, exists opposite platform 11.

Recent developmentsEdit

The southern side of the station has been given new track and signalling systems. An additional line and new junction was completed in early 2011. This work has helped take away one of the bottlenecks on the East Coast Main Line.[29]

The York Rail Operating Centre

The station has also become the site of one of Network Rail's modern Rail Operation Centres, which opened in September 2014 on land to the west of the station[30] This took over the functions of the former IECC in December 2018 and will eventually control much of the East Coast Main Line from London to the Scottish border and various subsidiary routes across the North East, Lincolnshire and South, North and West Yorkshire. During Christmas 2020, major track replacement occurred, with Network Rail releasing time lapse footage of the works.[31]

In 2022, work began to redevelop the area outside the station. Queen Street Bridge, built to cross the lines into the old York station within the city walls, will be demolished.[32]

York CentralEdit

Located adjacent to the station, York Central is one of the largest city centre brownfield regeneration sites in the UK. The 45 hectare site has been designated as a UK Government ‘Housing Zone’ and has also been awarded ‘Enterprise Zone’ status, which offers commercial occupiers significant incentives. Outline planning approval was given for the site in March 2019. It is anticipated that development of the full site could take between 15 and 20 years to complete.[33]

Platforms 4, 5 and 8 seen from the north


York railway station from the air
The arched roof over the platforms
Replica zero post for ten lines of the North Eastern Railway.

The station is operated by London North Eastern Railway and is used by the following train operating companies:

London North Eastern RailwayEdit

London North Eastern Railway operates regular services that stop at York between London, Newcastle and Edinburgh. In addition, there are infrequent services to Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness. The fastest southbound services run non-stop to London, completing the 188 mile journey in 1 hour and 52 minutes.[34]

Rolling stock used: Inter-City 225 (Class 91 electric locomotive & DVT), Class 800 bi-mode trains and Class 801 electric trains


CrossCountry provides a number of services that run across the country, running as far north as Aberdeen and south as Penzance and Southampton Central via Birmingham New Street.[35]

Rolling stock used: Inter-City 125 (HST), Class 220 and Class 221 Voyager diesel multiple units.

TransPennine ExpressEdit

TransPennine Express provides a number of express services across the north of England (to Manchester Piccadilly, Liverpool Lime Street, Newcastle, Scarborough and Middlesbrough).[36]

Rolling stock used: Class 185 Desiro diesel multiple units, Class 68 locomotives with Mark 5a coaching stock and Class 802 bi-mode trains

Grand CentralEdit

Grand Central runs an open access service between Sunderland and London.[37]

Rolling stock used: Class 180 Adelante trains.

Northern TrainsEdit

Northern Trains operates a mostly hourly service towards Hull, Blackpool North and Leeds (both routes) serving most stations en-route (plus three per day to Sheffield via Pontefract Baghill).[38]

Rolling stock used: Sprinter (Class 150/153/155/158) and Civity Class 195 units. Pacer (Class 142/144) diesel multiple units were in regular use on the Harrogate and Sheffield lines until December 2019, but have now been phased out.

Former servicesEdit

Until May 2021 East Midlands Railway provided one weekend return journey between York and London St Pancras via the Midland Main Line, this service has since ceased in the May 2021 timetable.

Rolling stock used: Class 222 Meridian diesel multiple units.

Preceding station   National Rail Following station
TransPennine Express
North TransPennine
London King's Cross   Grand Central
Doncaster or
  London North Eastern Railway
Doncaster or
Retford or
  London North Eastern Railway
London King's Cross or
Doncaster or
  London North Eastern Railway
London-Newcastle/Edinburgh/Scotland express services
Leeds   London North Eastern Railway
Northern Trains
Dearne Valley Line
Northern Trains
Harrogate Line
Northern Trains
Hull-York Line
Northern Trains
Micklefield Line
  Future services  
Leeds   TBA
Northern Powerhouse Rail
Sheffield   TBA
Northern Powerhouse Rail
East Midlands Hub   TBA
Northern Powerhouse Rail
  Former services  
East Midlands Railway
St Pancras-York (Route Ceased May 2021)
  Historical railways  
Terminus   Y&NMR
York to Scarborough Line
Station closed; Line open
Disused railways
Terminus   NER
York to Beverley Line
Naburn   NER
East Coast Main Line


  1. ^ a b Historic England. "Railway Station (1256554)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  2. ^ "Station facilities for York". National Rail. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
  3. ^ Morrison, Richard (9 December 2017). "Review: Britain's 100 Best Railway Stations by Simon Jenkins" – via www.thetimes.co.uk.
  4. ^ Historic England. "Old station and former station hotel (1256403)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
  5. ^ "Obituary: Charles Thomas Lucas 1820-1895". Minutes of the Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers. Institution of Civil Engineers. 124 (1896): 440. 1896. doi:10.1680/imotp.1896.19616. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
  6. ^ "Opening of the York Railway Station. The largest station in the world". Sheffield Daily Telegraph. England. 26 June 1877. Retrieved 2 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  7. ^ a b c "Yorkshire". How We Won the War. Series 1. Episode 4. 27 September 2012. BBC. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  8. ^ a b Plaque #10489 on Open Plaques
  9. ^ "No. 35774". The London Gazette (Supplement). 3 November 1942. p. 4823.
  10. ^ "East Coast Main Line Company Pledges to improve Services and Invest for the Future" (Press release). East Coast. 13 November 2009. Archived from the original on 17 November 2009. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
  11. ^ "Retirement of the York Station Master". Yorkshire Gazette. England. 5 June 1880. Retrieved 12 February 2022 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  12. ^ "Death of the York Station Master". York Herald. 18 January 1890. Retrieved 2 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  13. ^ "Prominent Rail Official". Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer. Leeds. 18 April 1935. Retrieved 2 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  14. ^ "The York Commercial Travellers' Association". Newcastle Daily Chronicle. England. 16 November 1897. Retrieved 12 February 2022 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  15. ^ "The York Stationmaster". Hull Daily Mail. England. 21 July 1902. Retrieved 12 February 2022 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  16. ^ "News of the North". Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer. England. 15 March 1913. Retrieved 12 February 2022 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  17. ^ "York Railway Appointment". Leeds Mercury. England. 9 November 1923. Retrieved 12 February 2022 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  18. ^ "Today's News in Brief". Yorkshire Evening Post. Leeds. 22 December 1923. Retrieved 2 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  19. ^ "York's New Stationmaster". Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail. 16 July 1926. Retrieved 2 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  20. ^ "New Station Master for York". Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer. Leeds. 30 April 1932. Retrieved 2 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  21. ^ "Former Driffield Station Master Retiring". Driffield Times. 13 April 1946. Retrieved 2 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  22. ^ "LNER appointments". Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer. 27 April 1946. Retrieved 2 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  23. ^ "Batley Man to be York station master". Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer. 8 February 1950. Retrieved 2 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  24. ^ a b Hoole, Ken (1982). Trains in Trouble: Vol. 3. Redruth: Atlantic Books. pp. 24, 42. ISBN 0-906899-05-2.
  25. ^ "Freight Wagon Derailment - Accident Report" (PDF). November 2006.
  26. ^ "York Station Plan". National Rail. Archived from the original on 12 June 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  27. ^ "Model Railway heading to Lincolnshire after 27 years at York Station". Scunthorpe Telegraph. 10 January 2011. Archived from the original on 16 February 2015. Retrieved 16 February 2015. York Model Railway is making tracks to Lincolnshire after 27 years in its current home. The tea rooms at York Station have been host to the exhibition since its inception
  28. ^ NRE - York Station PlanNational Rail Enquiries; Retrieved 13 June 2016
  29. ^ "Faster trains and more services at York" (Press release). Network Rail. 3 January 2012. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
  30. ^ Network Rail’s biggest ROC opens in YorkRail Technology Magazine, 16 September 2014; Retrieved 8 September 2015
  31. ^ "Network Rail: York Station - Time Lapse Video and Security". WCCTV.
  32. ^ Wilcock, William (15 February 2022). "York Station Front improvement works begin". City of York Council. Retrieved 20 February 2022.
  33. ^ "York Central". York Central Partnership. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  34. ^ Table 26 National Rail timetable, May 2016
  35. ^ "Train Timetables". CrossCountry Trains. Archived from the original on 16 August 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  36. ^ "Our Timetables". First TransPennine Express. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  37. ^ "Sunderland timetable". Grand Central. Archived from the original on 29 July 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  38. ^ "York Station Information". Northern Rail. Retrieved 14 January 2017.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit