Bishop's Stortford railway station

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Bishop's Stortford National Rail
Bishop's Stortford Station.jpg
Place Bishop's Stortford
Local authority District of East Hertfordshire
Coordinates 51°52′01″N 0°09′54″E / 51.867°N 0.165°E / 51.867; 0.165Coordinates: 51°52′01″N 0°09′54″E / 51.867°N 0.165°E / 51.867; 0.165
Grid reference TL491208
Station code BIS
Managed by Abellio Greater Anglia
Number of platforms 3
DfT category C2
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2004/05 Increase 2.215 million
2005/06 Decrease 2.181 million
2006/07 Increase 2.295 million
2007/08 Increase 2.464 million
2008/09 Increase 2.487 million
2009/10 Decrease 2.346 million
2010/11 Increase 2.464 million
2011/12 Increase 2.660 million
- Interchange 73,066
2012/13 Increase 2.820 million
- Interchange Increase 79,512
Original company Northern and Eastern Railway
Pre-grouping Great Eastern Railway
Post-grouping London and North Eastern Railway
16 May 1842 (1842-05-16) Station opened
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Bishop's Stortford from Office of Rail Regulation statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
UK Railways portal
Bishop's Stortford Station in 1961

Bishop's Stortford railway station serves the town of Bishop's Stortford in Hertfordshire, England. The station, and all trains serving it, are operated by Abellio Greater Anglia; this includes the two trains per hour Stansted Express service.


The station was opened by the Northern and Eastern Railway as a temporary terminus on 16 May 1842, and became a through station on 30 July 1845 when the line was extended through to Norwich.

In 1843 the train from London to Bishop's Stortford was timetabled to run at 36 miles per hour (58 km/h), exclusive of stops - the fastest booked run on any English railway at the time.[1]

The station site included a large goods yard occupying the land now used for car parking as well as sidings running as far west as the riverside wharves of the Stort Navigation. To the east, a small turntable and engine sheds lay on land recently used as a garage and (as of 2012) earmarked for supermarket use. During the station's heyday, the station had two signal boxes, "South", located opposite the current building and behind platform 3, and "North", controlling access to the Bishop's Stortford-Braintree Branch Line.

For most of the station's life, four lines passed through it (as opposed to the current three lines); up and down main lines to the west of the now much extended island platform, and a branch line and passing loop (with access to turntable) to the east of the island platform, the northern end of which was located where the footbridge is today.

Bishop's Stortford was also a junction station for the cross-country route to Dunmow and Braintree, which opened to passengers on 22 February 1869 and closed on 3 March 1952. The line continued in use for freight trains and occasional excursions, closing in stages with the final section to Easton Lodge closing on 17 February 1972.[2]


The typical off-peak service is (two or three more trains are added for peak times):

On Sundays this is reduced to:

  • 3 tph to London, of which:
    • 2 call at Tottenham Hale only
    • 1 call at Sawbridgeworth, Harlow Town, Broxbourne, Cheshunt and Tottenham Hale
  • 1 tph to Stratford, calling at Sawbridgeworth, Harlow Mill, Harlow Town, Roydon, Broxbourne, Cheshunt, Waltham Cross, Enfield Lock, Brimsdown, Ponders End and Tottenham Hale
  • 2 tph to Stansted Airport, both running non-stop
  • 2 tph to Cambridge, of which:
    • 1 calls at Audley End and Whittlesford Parkway
    • 1 calls at Stansted Mountfitchet, Elsenham, Newport, Audley End, Great Chesterford, Whittlesford Parkway and Shelford

Other services[edit]

On Mondays to Fridays four trains per day during and around the evening peak are extended beyond Cambridge. Two terminate at Ely and two to terminate King's Lynn. At all other times it is necessary to change at Cambridge for onward travel to Ely using services provided by Cross Country Trains, East Midlands Trains or First Capital Connect, the last of these three train operating companies also serving King's Lynn.

The station today[edit]

The station has three platforms. Platform 1 is for services towards Stansted Airport and Cambridge. Platform 2 is used for services to London Liverpool Street and Stratford. Platform 3 is not used as much as the other two, it is normally used for some trains that terminate at Bishops Stortford rather than going on to Stansted Airport. In the days before 1985 when Bishop's Stortford was the northern limit of electrification it was used for slow trains to London Liverpool Street and to Cambridge; therefore platform 2 was used for fast trains (Stansted Express). The station has two entrances. One from Station Road where there is ticket hall, waiting room and real time information. The other entrance is for direct access to Platforms 2 and 3. Ticket barriers have been installed at the station to prevent fare evasion. In 2014 the station underwent extensive modernization resulting in the construction of a new ticket office, barrier line, retail outlets and a new platform canopy.[3]


  1. ^ Red for Danger by L.T.C. Rolt publ. 1955 page 28-29
  2. ^ ;Body, Geoffrey, Railways of the Eastern Region Volume 1: Southern Operating area, page 27, Guild Publishing, 1986
  3. ^ "Bishops Stortford Station Modernisation Project", Retrieved on 19 October 2014.

Further reading[edit]

  • Peter Paye, (2010). Bishop's Stortford, Dunmow and Braintree Branch. Oakwood Press. ISBN 978-0-85361-708-2. 

External links[edit]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Tottenham Hale   Abellio Greater Anglia
West Anglia Main Line
Liverpool Street-King's Lynn (peck hours only)
  Audley End
Harlow Town   Abellio Greater Anglia
West Anglia Main Line
  Audley End
or Terminus
Sawbridgeworth   Abellio Greater Anglia
West Anglia Main Line
  Stansted Mountfitchet or
Stansted Airport or
Tottenham Hale or
Harlow Town
  Abellio Greater Anglia
Stansted Express
  Stansted Mountfitchet or
Stansted Airport
Disused railways
Terminus   Great Eastern Railway
Stortford-Braintree Branch Line
  Hockerill Halt
Line and station closed