Welwyn Garden City railway station

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Welwyn Garden City National Rail
Welwyn Garden City Platform 1
Place Welwyn Garden City
Local authority Borough of Welwyn Hatfield
Coordinates 51°48′04″N 0°12′14″W / 51.801°N 0.204°W / 51.801; -0.204Coordinates: 51°48′04″N 0°12′14″W / 51.801°N 0.204°W / 51.801; -0.204
Grid reference TL240129
Station code WGC
Managed by Great Northern
Number of platforms 4
DfT category C1
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2002/03  1.717 million
2004/05 Increase 2.002 million
2005/06 Increase 2.021 million
2006/07 Increase 2.322 million
2007/08 Increase 2.502 million
2008/09 Increase 2.522 million
2009/10 Decrease 2.385 million
2010/11 Increase 2.432 million
2011/12 Increase 2.478 million
2012/13 Increase 2.629 million
Key dates Opened 20 September 1926 (20 September 1926)
Original company London and North Eastern Railway
Post-grouping London and North Eastern Railway
1 September 1920 First station Welwyn Garden City Halt opened
20 September 1926 First station closed; present station Welwyn Garden City opened
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Welwyn Garden City from Office of Rail Regulation statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
UK Railways portal

Welwyn Garden City railway station serves the town of Welwyn Garden City in Hertfordshire, England. The station is approximately 20 miles (32 km) north of London Kings Cross on the East Coast Main Line. Welwyn Garden City station is managed and served by Great Northern.


A station named Welwyn Junction was opened with the Hertford and Welwyn Junction Railway on 1 March 1858. This station ceased to be used for services on 1 September 1860.[1]

A halt named Welwyn Garden City Halt opened on 1 September 1920,[1] shortly after the town was incorporated; this was on the now defunct Luton/Dunstable branch line,[2] slightly further north than the present station. This line cuts west and north through Sherrardspark Wood, and on towards Wheathampstead via what is now Ayot Greenway.

The present Welwyn Garden City station opened on 20 September 1926; Welwyn Garden City Halt was closed at the same time.[1][3] Prior to this, services to Luton and the Hertford line, which cut east through the town, were handled from nearby Hatfield. The Hertford branch line was closed to rail passenger traffic in 1951 and to goods in 1966, whilst the Dunstable line fell victim to the Beeching Axe in April 1965 (although goods traffic survived until 1971).[4]

When the Howard Centre shopping centre was opened in October 1990, the original ticketing hall was demolished. It is now inside the Howard Centre with steps linking down to the original bridge and then platforms.[citation needed]

The line near the station has seen two serious train crashes, one in 1935, and another in 1957.


Welwyn Garden City was semi-refurbished by First Capital Connect during 2007, which saw improved lighting installed, new bus -shelter-style waiting rooms and improved toilets on each platform island. The refurbishments also saw the installation of Ticket Gates.[5] There is also a station cafe located on Platforms 1 & 2, recently reopened as "The Garden Line".

The station has direct access to the Howard Centre. The shopping centre also incorporates the station's ticket office on the first floor. There are 4 ticket machines; 3 standard touch screen machines and one "card only" machine. There are also help-points located within the station.[6]

Towards the end of 2007 Welwyn Garden City was awarded "Secure Station" status, along with many other stations along the Great Northern route as part of a stations improvement programme. As part of this award, many additional cameras were installed at the station.[7]


Monday to Saturdays, trains operate half-hourly on Great Northern's "London-Cambridge/Peterborough" line towards London Kings Cross and hourly towards Cambridge and Peterborough respectively. On Sundays there is an hourly service southbound to London and northbound to Cambridge (passengers for stations to Peterborough must change at Stevenage or Hitchin).[8]

Welwyn Garden City is a terminus for Great Northern's "London - Welwyn line" stopping service. Trains depart every 20 minutes to Moorgate in London on weekdays until 10pm these run every half hour to London Kings Cross and also run to London Kings Cross on weekends.[9] A rail flyover was constructed south of the station in 1977 when the line was electrified to allow the Moorgate trains to arrive and depart from Platform 4 without conflicting with main line trains. There is also a limited stop service from Welwyn Garden City to London King's Cross on weekday nights, notably just after 10pm where the service only calls at Finsbury Park and 11pm where the service only calls at Potters Bar.[10]

The station is also served by various buses operated by Arriva, Centrebus and Uno (bus company)

After the completion of the Thameslink Programme in 2018 a 2tph service from Maidstone East to Welwyn Garden City is proposed.[11]

Station layout[edit]

The sidings at Welwyn Garden City consist of 6 bays, currently used for the twice-weekly reversal of empty gypsum wagons returning from Hitchin to Peak Forest along occasional Rail tamper units and departmental wagon storage.

The carriage sidings, just north of the station currently, consist of 9 sidings with the 8-car 317/365's able to use only 5 of the sidings because if they used the other sidings, they would block the siding next to it.[3]

Platforms 2 (southbound) & 3 (northbound) are in regular use for services to/from London Kings Cross, Peterborough and Cambridge. Platform 3 is also used for terminating trains for the carriage sidings and where trains from the carriage sidings form into passenger service - a few southbound trains start from here at peak times rather than platform 4 as they can access the flyover onto the Up Slow line.

Platform 4 is used for services to/from Moorgate, also used for terminating trains for the carriage sidings and where trains from the carriage sidings form into passenger service.[3]

Platform 1 (the outer face of the up island) sees only occasional use as it has no direct access from the carriage sidings for originating southbound trains (ECS sets must either shunt across the flyover or arrive empty from Letchworth or Hitchin).

The West exit off the passenger footbridge leads into the Howard centre where the main station ticket office is located on the first floor while the East exit leads to the Broadwater industrial area.


Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Hatfield   Great Northern
Great Northern Semi-Fast
  Welwyn North
Hatfield   Great Northern
Great Northern Stopping
Disused railways
Line and station open
  Great Northern Railway
Dunstable Branch
Line and station closed
  Great Northern Railway
Hertford and Welwyn Junction Railway
  Cole Green
Line and station closed



  • Body, G. (1986). PSL Field Guides - Railways of the Eastern Region Volume 1. Wellingborough: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 0-85059-712-9. 
  • Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-85260-508-1. R508. 
  • Conolly, W. Philip (January 1976). British Railways Pre-Grouping Atlas and Gazetteer (5th ed.). Shepperton: Ian Allan. ISBN 0-7110-0320-3. EX/0176. 

External links[edit]