Watlington railway station

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For the closed railway station of the same name in Oxfordshire, see Watlington railway station, Oxfordshire.
Watlington National Rail
Watlington railway station.jpg
Watlington railway station in 2005
Place Watlington
Local authority King's Lynn and West Norfolk
Grid reference TF612110
Station code WTG
Managed by Great Northern
Owned by Network Rail
Number of platforms 2
DfT category E
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2004/05 85,231
2005/06 Increase85,423
2006/07 Increase91,250
2007/08 Increase100,664
2008/09 Increase111,612
2009/10 Decrease107,956
2010/11 Increase113,898
2011/12 Increase129,014
2012/13 Increase137,874
27 October 1846 Opened (Watlington)
1 June 1875 Renamed (Magdalen Road)
9 September 1968 Closed
5 May 1975 Reopened
3 October 1989 Renamed (Watlington)[1]
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Watlington from Office of Rail Regulation statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
UK Railways portal

Watlington railway station serves the village of Watlington in Norfolk, England. Watlington station lies on the Fen Line from Cambridge to King's Lynn, which is electrified at 25 kV AC overhead.


Watlington station, originally part of the East Anglian Railway, became part of the Great Eastern Railway in 1862, and was renamed Magdalen Road in 1875 (a name which, perhaps, better reflects its lonely rural location in the middle of the flatlands of the East Anglian Fens). From 1848 onwards, Watlington was a junction, as the line once branched off from there to Wisbech. The branch, along with Magdalen Road station, was closed in 1969.

Due to local efforts, however, Magdalen Road station was re-opened in 1975, and in 1989 returned to its original title of Watlington. The signal box at the station, in active use today, still bears a Network SouthEast sign with its post-1875 name. The current southbound platform, behind the signal box, dates from the early 1990s; the original station buildings on the southbound side have since been converted into a private residence. The original wooden waiting room on the northbound platform was replaced around the same time, though the original platform still survives as part of an extended platform.

Before electrification, services were normally operated by InterCity (latterly Network SouthEast) locomotive-hauled trains, normally pulling British Rail Mark 2b coaches (many services featured restaurant cars). The locomotives were usually Class 37 diesel-electrics, sometimes Class 31s or 47s. Off-peak links were often provided by Metro-Cammell diesel multiple units.

The station is mentioned by author Lisa St Aubin de Teran in a memoir as being the station closest to her Norfolk home - she reminisced about conversations with the train guard who was checking tickets, where she requested that the train stop at the station (for many years, most trains only called at the station if a passenger requested it, rather than it being a regular timetabled stop).[citation needed]

Current services[edit]

The station is served by Great Northern as part of their 'Fen Line' service from London King's Cross to King's Lynn. Outside peak hours the services run non-stop between London and Cambridge as part of the half-hourly "Cambridge Cruiser" service. These services now normally use former-British Rail Class 365 electrical multiple units, although for some years Class 317 units were used (these units are still used on services operated by Abellio Greater Anglia into London Liverpool Street).

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Downham Market   Great Northern
London-King's Lynn
  King's Lynn
  Abellio Greater Anglia
Liverpool Street - King's Lynn
(peak hours only)
Historical railways
Line open, station closed
  Great Eastern Railway
Fen Line
  St Germain's
Line open, station closed
Disused railways
Magdalen Gate
Line and station closed
  British Rail
Eastern Region

Wisbech branch
  King's Lynn
Line and station open


  1. ^ Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations, Patrick Stephens Ltd, Sparkford, ISBN 1-85260-508-1, pp. 152 & 243.
  • Oppitz, Leslie (2002). Lost Railways of East Anglia. Countryside Books. ISBN 1-85306-595-1. 
  • Adderson, Richard; Kenworthy, Graham (2002). Mitchell, Vic, ed. Ely to King's Lynn, including the Stoke Ferry branch. Middleton Press. ISBN 1-901706-53-2. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°40′22″N 0°22′58″E / 52.67273°N 0.38270°E / 52.67273; 0.38270