Attleborough railway station

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Attleborough National Rail
Attleborough railway station 1.jpg
Local authorityBreckland
Coordinates52°30′51″N 1°01′16″E / 52.51428°N 1.02119°E / 52.51428; 1.02119Coordinates: 52°30′51″N 1°01′16″E / 52.51428°N 1.02119°E / 52.51428; 1.02119
Grid referenceTM051950
Station codeATL
Managed byGreater Anglia
Number of platforms2
DfT categoryF1
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2013/14Decrease 0.154 million
2014/15Steady 0.154 million
2015/16Steady 0.154 million
2016/17Increase 0.159 million
2017/18Increase 0.160 million
30 July 1845Opened
12 September 1966Closed to freight
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Attleborough from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.

Attleborough railway station is on the Breckland line in the east of England, serving the town of Attleborough, Norfolk. The line runs between Cambridge in the west and Norwich in the east. Attleborough is situated between Eccles Road and Spooner Row, 108 miles 19 chains (174.2 km) from London Liverpool Street via Ely.

The station is managed by Greater Anglia, which also operates most of the services calling at the station. Some East Midlands Trains also stop at Attleborough.


The Bill for the Norwich & Brandon Railway (N&BR) received Royal Assent on 10 May 1844. The line was to link with an Eastern Counties Railway (ECR) project of a line from Newport in Essex to Brandon in Norfolk. Once complete the line would enable trains to travel from Norwich to London. Work started on the line in 1844.

One month before the N&BR opened a Bill authorising the amalgamation of the Yarmouth & Norwich Railway with the N&BR came into effect and so Attleborough station became a Norfolk Railway asset.[1]

The line opened on 30 July 1845 including the ECR Brandon to Newport line. However, the line only got to Trowse, in the suburbs of Norwich, as the contractors were having to build a swing bridge to cross the navigable River Wensum. Attleborough station was, as it is now, situated east of Eccles Road station and west of Spooner Row station.

Two years after opening the Norfolk Railway closed Spooner Row in September 1847. This meant Wymondham was the next station east of Attleborough.

The ECR and its rival the Eastern Union Railway (EUR) were both sizing up the NR to acquire and expand their railway empire. The ECR trumped the EUR by taking over the NR, including Attleborough Station on 8 May 1848.

Seven years after the ECR took over the NR Spooner Row reopened on 1 December 1855.

Five years after its reopening Spooner Row closed for a second time on 1 August 1860, once again leaving Wymondham as the next station east of Attleborough.

Two years after Spooner Row station closed the railways in East Anglia were in financial trouble, and most were leased to the Eastern Counties Railway, which wished to amalgamate formally but could not obtain government agreement for this until an Act of Parliament on 7 August 1862, when the Great Eastern Railway (GER) was formed by the amalgamation. Actually, Attleborough became a GER station on 1 July 1862 when the GER took over the ECR and the EUR before the Bill received the Royal Assent.[2]

20 years after the GER was formed Spooner Row reopened for the third and final time.

The system settled down for the next 4 decades, apart from the disruption of First World War. The difficult economic circumstances that existed after World War 1 led the Government to pass the Railways Act 1921 which led to the creation of the Big Four. The GER was absorbed into the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER). Attleborough became a LNER station on 1 January 1923.

On nationalisation in 1948 the station and its services came under the management of the Eastern Region of British Railways.

The station's ticket office was closed in the 1960s.

Upon privatisation in the 1990s the station and most of its services were transferred to Anglia Railways, with services to the Midlands being transferred to Central Trains.

On 1 April 2004 management of the station passed on to National Express East Anglia, then known as "one".

On 11 November 2007, services to Liverpool were transferred to East Midlands Trains upon the breakup of the Central Trains franchise.

In 2008 NXEA opened a new ticket office at Attleborough as part of its Rural Stations Restaffing Initiative, almost 41 years to the day since the original office was closed. This has also been closed (exact date unknown), and has been replaced by a ticket machine.

On 5 February 2012, the station and most of its services were transferred to Abellio Greater Anglia.

Wooden level crossing gates adjacent to the station used to be opened and closed manually by a signaller in the local signal box. However, in 2012 the signal box was closed and the crossing was renewed with automatic barriers with warning lights.

There is no footbridge at this station.


As of December 2015, from Monday to Saturday there is typically one train per hour eastbound to Norwich operated by Greater Anglia. There are also three trains per day to Norwich operated by East Midlands Trains.[3]

There is typically one train per hour westbound to Cambridge operated by Greater Anglia. There are three trains per day to Ely operated by East Midlands Trains; from Ely these services continue to Liverpool Lime Street via Peterborough and Nottingham.

On Sundays there is typically one train per hour to Norwich and one to Cambridge, operated by Greater Anglia.


  1. ^ Allen, Cecil J.[full citation needed]
  2. ^ Allen, Cecil J. (1956) [1955]. The Great Eastern Railway (2nd ed.). Ian Allan. p. 46.
  3. ^ GB eNRT December 2015 Edition, Table 17

External links[edit]

Preceding station   National Rail National Rail   Following station
Abellio Greater Anglia
Abellio Greater Anglia
Limited services
East Midlands Trains
Limited services