Northampton railway station

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For Union Station in Northampton, Massachusetts, see Union Station (Northampton, Massachusetts).
Northampton National Rail
A London Midland train at Northampton railway station.
Place Northampton
Local authority Northampton
Grid reference SP747604
Station code NMP
Managed by London Midland
Number of platforms 5
DfT category C1
Live arrivals/departures and station information
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2004/05   1.855 million
2005/06 Increase 1.970 million
2006/07 Increase 2.145 million
2007/08 Increase 2.239 million
2008/09 Decrease 2.234 million
2009/10 Decrease 2.209 million
2010/11 Increase 2.496 million
2011/12 Increase 2.714 million
2012/13 Increase 2.779 million
Original company London and North Western Railway
Post-grouping London, Midland and Scottish Railway
London Midland Region of British Railways
16 February 1859 Opened as Northampton Castle
1880-1881 Rebuilt
1965-66 Remodelled
18 April 1966 Renamed Northampton
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Northampton from Office of Rail Regulation statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
Portal icon UK Railways portal

Northampton railway station is a railway station serving the large town of Northampton and other parts of Northamptonshire in England. It is on the Northampton Loop of the West Coast Main Line.

The station is served by London Midland local services southbound to London and northbound to Birmingham New Street. Virgin Trains also run infrequent semi-fast services to London only at the extremes of the day.

Until the 1960s, the station was known as Northampton Castle station, as it is built on the site of the former castle of that name. As part of the station's redevelopment, it has been proposed to rename the station back to Northampton Castle.[1]


Northampton is served by London Midland services to London Euston, Milton Keynes and Birmingham. London Midland maintain their fleet of Class 350 EMUs at the Siemens depot just to the north of the station, as well as maintaining a Train Crew Depot at the station.

The typical Monday-Saturday off-peak service consists of:

The service along the Trent Valley line to Crewe via Nuneaton and Stafford no longer calls here (as of December 2012) - this now runs direct (via Weedon) between Milton Keynes & Rugby as part of London Midland's plans to run 110 mph regional services on the West Coast route.[2] Passengers wishing to travel to destinations formerly served directly now have to change at Rugby. There are still a few Crewe services from Northampton in the mornings and evenings, and an hourly service on Sundays.

Virgin Trains operate two trains per day from Northampton to London Euston (southbound only); one in the early morning and one in the late evening. These services originate from Birmingham New Street, but no northbound Virgin services are timetabled as serving Northampton. The lack of fast services to Northampton is caused by the fast lines of the West Coast Main Line bypassing the town. Connections to Manchester and other long-distance destinations can be made by changing at Milton Keynes Central.

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
(Long Buckby on Sundays)
towards Crewe/Birmingham
  London Midland
London - Crewe
  Milton Keynes Central
towards London Euston
Long Buckby
  London Midland
Northampton Loop (West Coast Main Line)
towards London Euston
Long Buckby
towards Birmingham
  London Midland
Northampton Loop
  Virgin Trains
Birmingham New Street to London Euston
(West Coast Main Line)
  Milton Keynes Central
Disused railways
Pitsford and Brampton
Line and station closed
  London and North Western Railway
Northampton to Market Harborough line
  Northampton Bridge

Line and station closed
Terminus   London, Midland and Scottish Railway
Bedford to Northampton Line
Line and station closed
Historical railways
Church Brampton
Line open, station closed
  London and North Western Railway
Northampton Loop
Line open, station closed


A 1911 Railway Clearing House map of railways in the vicinity of Northampton

Although projected to be on the first London to Birmingham railway, Northampton was skirted by the final choice of alignment; a loop to remedy this had to wait for several decades. At one time there were three railway stations in Northampton: Northampton (Bridge Street), Northampton (St. John's Street) and Northampton (Castle). The latter was named after Northampton Castle which formerly occupied the site and now survives as the town's only station.

Bridge Street station was the first station in Northampton, opening on 13 May 1845; originally named simply Northampton, it became Northampton Bridge Street in June 1876.[3] The first railway line to be built into Northampton was the Northampton and Peterborough Railway from Blisworth to Peterborough East. Northampton was served on this line by Bridge Street station.

1900s postcard of the exterior of Castle station.

Castle station (as it is still sometimes known to this day)[4] was the second station to be opened. It was opened with the Northampton and Market Harborough Railway on 16 February 1859 by the site of the historic Northampton Castle.[5][6][7][8][9] At the time, it was only a small station and handled only passenger traffic; goods traffic continued to be dealt with at Bridge Street.[10] In 1875, the London and North Western Railway obtained powers to quadruple the main line north from Bletchley, with the two new tracks (the "slow lines") diverging at Roade so as to form a new line (the "Northampton Loop") through Northampton.[11] Castle station was rebuilt and expanded over the site of Northampton Castle, the remains of which were purchased and demolished in 1880 to make way for the goods shed.[11] In response to concerns expressed by local historians, the castle's postern gate was moved to a new site in the boundary wall of the new station where it remains to this day.[12] The Loop Line north to Rugby was opened on 1 December 1881, followed by the line south to Roade on 3 April 1882.[11]

A third station was opened by the Midland Railway for their services from Wellingborough (via the Northampton and Peterborough Railway) named Northampton on 1 October 1866; it closed on 10 June 1872[3] with the opening of the Midland's branch line to Bedford.[13] The station's site was subsequently reused for Far Cotton locomotive shed.[14][15][16] A replacement station, which served both lines, opened the same day, and was again named Northampton, but was renamed Northampton St. John's Street on 2 June 1924.[17]

Station frontage in 2007.

St John's station was an early victim of closure, closing to passengers and freight on 3 July 1939,[18] the services being diverted to Northampton Castle.[19][20] Bridge Street station survived until 4 May 1964[3][20] when the Northampton to Peterborough line was closed, leaving only Castle station serving the town.[12] As a result, it was renamed Northampton on 18 April 1966.[3][21] The current station is the result of extensive British Rail remodelling in 1965-66[12] as part of the electrification of the West Coast Main Line.[22] The current was switched on for the first time between Hillmorton Junction to Northampton on 6 June 1965 for insulation tests, with steam locomotives being withdrawn from the area on 27 September 1965.[22]

The 2005 film Kinky Boots featured a station named 'Northampton', although the scenes were filmed at nearby Wellingborough on the Midland Main Line.[citation needed] To the north of the station is a five-road Siemens rolling stock maintenance depot which officially opened on 27 June 2006; the depot is responsible for the entire Class 350 Desire fleet which were introduced in June 2005.[23]


The present station, which dates from the 1960s, is being redeveloped with an expected opening date of August 2014. The redevelopment includes a new station building nearly twice the size of the present one, a new multi-storey car park, a new footbridge and platform canopies, and also new approach roads and associated junction improvements.[24][25]

Motive Power Depot[edit]

A wooden engine shed was opened here in c.1850 by the London and Birmingham Railway, but was blown down in 1852. A brick built replacement was opened in 1855. This was replaced by another shed in 1871 which was closed in 1881 and became a carriage shed. A large 10-road shed was opened in 1881, which was re-roofed in 1949 and closed and demolished by British Railways in 1965.[26]



  1. ^ "Northampton rail station's £200K name plan attacked". BBC News Online. 9 April 2014. Retrieved 13 April 2014. 
  2. ^ London Midland Reveals Details of "Project 110"; Retrieved 2012-08-30
  3. ^ a b c d Butt (1995), p. 172.
  4. ^ "Castle Station Development". 2005-09-02. Archived from the original on 3 October 2006. Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  5. ^ Leleux (1984), p. 54.
  6. ^ Harrison, Chaz (2009-08-11). "Ever wondered what lies beneath?". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  7. ^ William Page, ed. (1930). "The borough of Northampton: Introduction". A History of the County of Northampton 3. pp. 1–26. Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  8. ^ "Northampton Central Area Design, development and movement framework (Final Report)" (PDF). November 2006. para. 2.15. Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  9. ^ Quick (2009), p. 295.
  10. ^ Kingscott (2008), p. 69.
  11. ^ a b c Leleux (1984), p. 56.
  12. ^ a b c Kingscott (2008), p. 70.
  13. ^ Kingscott (2008), p. 140.
  14. ^ "Northampton Far Cotton (London & Birmingham Railway)". 2005-09-02. Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  15. ^ Clinker (1978), pp. 169-170.
  16. ^ Cobb (2006), p. 223.
  17. ^ Butt (1995), pp. 172–3.
  18. ^ Butt (1995), p. 173.
  19. ^ Kingscott (2008), p. 143.
  20. ^ a b Mitchell & Smith (2007), fig. 62.
  21. ^ Mitchell & Smith (2007), fig. XVII.
  22. ^ a b Milner & Banks (2001), p. 66.
  23. ^ Mitchell & Smith (2007), fig. 70.
  24. ^ "Redevelopment of Northampton rail station a step closer". West Northamptonshire Development Corporation. Retrieved 2013-01-20. 
  25. ^ "Preparations for £20m Station to commence". West Northamptonshire Development Corporation. Retrieved 2013-01-20. 
  26. ^ Griffiths, Roger (1999). The directory of British engine sheds and principal locomotive servicing points: 1. Oxdored: OPC. p. 157. ISBN 0860935426. 


  • Butt, R. V. J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-8526-0508-1. OCLC 60251199. 
  • Clinker, C.R. (October 1978). Clinker's Register of Closed Passenger Stations and Goods Depots in England, Scotland and Wales 1830–1977. Bristol: Avon-Anglia Publications & Services. ISBN 0-905466-19-5. OCLC 5726624. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Healy, John M.C. (1989). The Last Days of Steam in Northamptonshire. Gloucester: Sutton. ISBN 0-86299-613-9. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°14′18″N 0°54′26″W / 52.2383°N 0.9071°W / 52.2383; -0.9071