Rugby railway station

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This article is about the modern day railway station. For the disused Great Central Main Line station, see Rugby Central railway station. For the Amtrak station serving Rugby, North Dakota, see Rugby (Amtrak station).
Rugby National Rail
Rugby
Station entrance
Location
Place Rugby
Local authority Rugby
Coordinates 52°22′44″N 1°15′00″W / 52.379°N 1.250°W / 52.379; -1.250Coordinates: 52°22′44″N 1°15′00″W / 52.379°N 1.250°W / 52.379; -1.250
Grid reference SP511759
Operations
Station code RUG
Managed by Virgin Trains
Number of platforms 6
Live arrivals/departures and station information
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2004/05 0.972 million
2005/06 Increase 1.096 million
2006/07 Increase 1.155 million
2007/08 Increase 1.160 million
2008/09 Increase 1.293 million
2009/10 Increase 1.383 million
2010/11 Increase 1.565 million
2011/12 Increase 1.750 million
2012/13 Increase 1.823 million
History
Key dates Opened 9 April 1838 (9 April 1838)
Original company London and Birmingham Railway
Pre-grouping London and North Western Railway
Post-grouping London, Midland and Scottish Railway
9 April 1838 First station opened as Rugby
4 July 1840 First station replaced by second
5 July 1885 Second station replaced by third
25 September 1950 Renamed Rugby Midland
4 May 1970 Renamed Rugby
2006–2008 Remodelled
National RailUK railway stations
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Rugby from Office of Rail Regulation statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
Portal icon UK Railways portal

Rugby railway station serves the town of Rugby in Warwickshire, England. It opened during the Victorian era, in 1885, replacing earlier stations situated a little further west. Since the closure of the station on the now-abandoned Great Central Railway route through the town, it is Rugby's only station. Between 1950 and 1970 the station was known as Rugby Midland before reverting to its original title.

Situated on the West Coast Main Line (WCML) connecting London to Birmingham and the North West, the present station, managed by Virgin Trains, is located roughly half a mile north of Rugby town centre. On the WCML as a whole, it is located 82 miles north of London Euston, and 319 miles (513 km) south of Glasgow Central.

Current services[edit]

Main line train services into Rugby are operated by Virgin Trains. There are regular services to London and Birmingham with limited direct Virgin Train services to/from Holyhead, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool, Preston, Lancaster, Wolverhampton and Crewe these destinations are in the morning and evening peaks.

London Midland Class 350 unit stops at Rugby with a service to Birmingham New Street
A Virgin Trains Pendolino calls at Rugby.

Services operate between London / Northampton-Birmingham / Stoke-On-Trent/ Crewe (via Trent Valley Line, Stafford and Stoke-on-Trent) are provided by London Midland. In December 2005 Silverlink and Central Trains (the previous franchise holders) jointly introduced an infrequent semi-fast between Euston - Crewe service via the Trent Valley Line as a precursor to the revamped hourly services introduced in December 2008. This service now runs more frequent and is now also operated by London Midland.

The station gets one Virgin Trains service train to per hour to London Euston and one train per hour to Birmingham New Street, with a few additional trains during the peaks.

Since the timetable change of December 2008, Rugby's status as an important node on the Intercity Main line network has ended. Although the station is operated by Virgin Trains, the main user of the station is London Midland, which has significantly more services stopping at Rugby than Virgin Trains, most of which pass through without stopping.

Off peak weekday service in trains per hour (tph) is:

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Nuneaton   London Midland
London–Crewe
  Milton Keynes Central
(Long Buckby on Sundays)
Coventry   London Midland
London-Birmingham
Northampton–Birmingham
  Long Buckby
Coventry   London Midland
London-Wolverhampton
  Milton Keynes Central
Coventry   Virgin Trains
West Coast Main Line (London-Birmingham/Wolverhampton)
  Milton Keynes Central
Nuneaton   Virgin Trains
West Coast Main Line (Main Line route)
  Milton Keynes Central
Historical railways
Terminus   London and North Western Railway
Northampton Loop
  Kilsby and Crick
Line open, station closed
Brinklow
Line open, station closed
  London and North Western Railway
Trent Valley Line
  Terminus
Brandon and Wolston
Line open, station closed
  London and North Western Railway
Birmingham-London Line
  Welton
Line open, station closed
Disused railways
Terminus   London and North Western Railway
Rugby to Peterborough Line
  Clifton Mill
Line and station closed
Dunchurch
Line and station closed
  London and North Western Railway
Rugby to Leamington Line
  Terminus
Ullesthorpe
Line and station closed
  Midland Railway
Rugby to Leicester Line
  Terminus

Railway lines served[edit]

West Coast Main Line[edit]

Rugby station is located between two important junctions of the West Coast Main Line (WCML). To the east of the station, the original London and Birmingham Railway (L&BR) line (opened 1838) which runs directly to London, is joined at a grade separated junction by the Northampton loop line (opened 1881) which runs to Northampton before rejoining the line to London.

To the west of the station the WCML diverges again between the original London and Birmingham line, now referred to as the Birmingham Loop, which runs westwards to Coventry and Birmingham, and the Trent Valley line (opened 1847) which diverges at a flyover junction northwestwards towards Stafford and the North West of England and Scotland.

Closed Lines[edit]

Until the 1960s Rugby station served several other railway lines, which were closed mostly as part of the Beeching Axe. At one time railway lines diverged from Rugby station in seven different directions. The closed lines were:

A 1909 Railway Clearing House Junction Diagram showing (right) railways around Rugby

History[edit]

First station (1838–40)[edit]

The first railway station to be built in Rugby was a wooden temporary structure located around half a mile to the west of the present station. It opened on 9 April 1838 when the London and Birmingham Railway was constructed. The original station was located on the western side of where the railway crossed Newbold Road (the Rugby to Leicester tollpike road now the A426) because at the time this was the only road north from Rugby.[4][5]

Second station (1840–1885)[edit]

The first station lasted only a few years. When a junction was made with the Midland Counties Railway in 1840, a new station was built at the site of the junction, which opened on 4 July 1840; it was 990 yards (905 m) to the east of the original station, and 150 yards (140 m) to the west of the present station. A new road, Railway Terrace had to be built to link it to the town centre, because at the time it was located in open countryside.[6][5]

This second station was effectively managed by two companies – the London and North Western Railway and the Midland Railway – and for this reason grew up in a haphazard fashion. It was at first no more than a temporary wooden structure, but was gradually rebuilt into a more permanent structure over the following decade. This station consisted of platforms at each side of the track with one bay platform. The platforms were rather low and passengers complained of having to perform an "acrobatic feat" to board trains.[7]

The station was at the centre of a busy junction and often saw chaotic scenes. It featured, only lightly disguised, in Charles Dickens's story Mugby Junction.

The present station (1885–)[edit]

Rugby Station in 1917
The station in 1959

The second station lasted until the 1880s, when a new line from Rugby to Northampton (the Northampton loop) was built, the old station was deemed by the LNWR to be no-longer satisfactory, and in 1882, £70,000 was allocated to replace it with the current station which opened on 5 July 1885. Another £30,000 was allocated to build a hotel, although this was never built.[8][5] The Midland Railway retained the part of the older station which it had managed, however. One platform of the old station, separate from the new station, continued to be used by local trains on the Midland Railway's branch to Leicester until March 8, 1930. No trace of this now remains, however, as it was demolished in the 1960s to make way for the postal sorting office.[9]

When constructed the station consisted of one large island platform with bay platforms at each end for terminating local services.[8] In the 2000s the station was extensively reconstructed (see below). The original Victorian island platform and building has been retained but the bay platforms at the western end were removed. However a new platform has been added on the south side, normally used for northbound services. In addition to these, a new island platform numbered 5 and 6 is located on the north side of the station, normally used for southbound services. The main island platforms are accessed from a tunnel at road level and a ramp leading to the platforms.

When constructed the station had a large steel and glass roof which consisted of two spans of 117 ft (35.6 m) which covered the station platforms and the tracks on each side.[8] Originally the sides of the station had glass side screens but these were later removed.[10] The roof lasted more than 100 years until the structure became unstable and was replaced in the early 2000s with a modern 'gull wing' roof over the platforms.[11]

The station had one of the longest platforms of any British railway station, at 1,381 feet (421 m), but the two main island platforms were both shortened as part of the 2007–08 station upgrade. The platform was long enough to allow two trains to call at it at the same time time. This unusual feature was enabled by 'scissors crossings' halfway along the platforms. The scissor crossings were X-shaped junctions which allowed one train to pass another one already in the platform, and call into the same platform ahead of it, and allowed the train to the rear to pull out of the station, effectively doubling the capacity of the platform. The scissor crossings remained in use until the railway was electrified in the 1960s.[8]

In 1899 a second station, Rugby Central, was opened in Rugby. To distinguish it from the other station, the present station became known as Rugby Midland. Rugby Central closed in 1969, and Rugby Midland reverted to being called just Rugby in 1970.

The station came under the management of the London and North Western Railway (LNWR) (1885–1923), and then the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) (1923–1948), and then the nationalised British Railways (1948–1997). It is now owned by Network Rail.

2006/2008 upgrade[edit]

The new north island platform added in the 2008 upgrade. Containing platforms 5 and 6.

As a part of the West Coast Main Line modernisation programme, major track restructuring work was carried out to allow higher speed running through Rugby; three new platforms were added, along with a new ticket office and entrance.[12] Work began in September 2006 and was completed late in 2008.

It was at one time thought that remodelling of the track layout would entail complete demolition of the present station, but the final plans involved retention of the existing island platform and buildings. The track upgrades allow non-stopping trains to run through Rugby Junction at 125 mph, thus eliminating another bottleneck from the WCML.

The platform on the south side of the station opened for use on 29 May 2007 and as a result all of the platforms were renumbered. This platform became Platform 1, the former Platform 1 became Platform 2 and 2 became 4. The additional platforms on the north side of the station are numbered Platforms 5 and 6 and they opened on 27 August 2008. Platform 8 became Platform 3. The platforms originally numbered 3, 6 and 7 were removed.

Another distinctive feature of the local railway landscape also vanished at this time – the 'bird cage' bridge. This being a 'heavy' girder bridge of two substantial spans over the West Coast Main Line to the east (up side) of the station. This was the means by which the Great Central Railway crossed the London & North Western Railway competing line.

Motive Power Depots[edit]

Inside the Repair Shops at Rugby Locomotive Depot in 1953

A shed from three locomotives was opened here in 1838 by the London and Birmingham Railway and another in 1847. These were demolished to make way for two larger sheds in 1852, one for the use of the Northern Division locomotives and one by the Southern Division. The LNWR replaced these with a single 12-road shed in 1876, which was closed in 1965, but used for stabling diesel shunters. An adjoining 12-road shed was opened in 1886, but was closed and demolished by British Railways in 1960.[13]

Signalling[edit]

The "Rugby Bedstead" signalling gantry in 1895, prior to the construction of the Great Central viaduct

Rugby once had the largest concentration of mechanical signalling in the world and was home to one of the most impressive signal gantries in Britain.[14] Situated to the south of the station and erected in 1895, it spanned three tracks and carried forty-four semaphore arms. Every arm was duplicated due to sighting difficulties that resulted from the Great Central Railway's 'Birdcage' bridge crossing the WCML behind the gantry's location. The gantry acquired the nickname of "the Rugby Bedstead" on account of its appearance.

In 1939, the London, Midland and Scottish Railway resignalled the Rugby area with colour light signals, although the mechanical signal boxes were retained. The famous signal gantry became redundant, following which it was divided up into smaller pieces to form a number of smaller structures for re-use elsewhere.[15]

SGE was awarded a contract to resignal the Rugby area in preparation for electrification. Rugby Power Signal Box (PSB) opened in 1964. It is located east of the station, on the south (Down) side of the railway. The whole station area, together with part of the WCML stretching as far south as Castlethorpe, was controlled from this new box. It was equipped with an 'NX' (entrance-exit) panel. In 1991, Rugby PSB took over control of the Northampton area using Solid State Interlocking (SSI). Rugby PSB closed in May 2012 when control of Northampton was transferred to Rugby SCC.

Rugby Signalling Control Centre (SCC), located north-west of the station, opened in 2004. Initially, its area of control was limited to a portion of the WCML between Kings Langley and Linslade Tunnel. The current area of control is Kings Langley, Hertfordshire to Armitage in Staffordshire. Area of control also includes small portions of branch lines around Nuneaton; these include the Coventry-Nuneaton (from Three Spires to Nuneaton) and part of the Arley/Hinckley lines (Arley Tunnel to Padge Hall). In the longer term, the planned WCML South Rail Operating Centre (ROC) will be located here - this will supervise the signalling on the entire southern end of the WCML and associated branch routes[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Elliot 1985, pp. 14–20.
  2. ^ Elliot 1985, pp. 22–24.
  3. ^ Elliot 1985, pp. 24–26.
  4. ^ Elliot 1985, p. 10.
  5. ^ a b c Butt 1995, p. 201
  6. ^ Elliot 1985, p. 16.
  7. ^ Elliot 1985, p. 16&17.
  8. ^ a b c d Elliot 1985, p. 33.
  9. ^ Elliot 1985, p. 35.
  10. ^ Elliot 1985, p. 34.
  11. ^ Rugby local history.org
  12. ^ BBC coventry and Warwickshire
  13. ^ Griffiths, Roger (1999). The directory of British engine sheds and principal locomotive servicing points: 1. Oxdored: OPC. p. 154. ISBN 0860935426. 
  14. ^ Signalling Installations for British Railways – Part Six – London Midland Main Line Electrification. Harrow: S.G.E. Railway Signals Ltd. 1966. p. 2. RS75. 
  15. ^ Foster, Richard D. (1982). A Pictorial Record of L.N.W.R. Signalling. Oxford: Oxford Publishing Company. p. 80. ISBN 0-86093-147-1. 
  16. ^ Network Rail - Our Future Vision Network Rail Media Centre press release; Retrieved 2013-08-30
  • Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-85260-508-1. R508. 
  • Elliot, Peter H (1985). Rugby's Railway Heritage. ISBN 0-907917-06-2. 

External links[edit]