Bishop's Stortford railway station

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Bishop's Stortford National Rail
Bishop's Stortford Station.jpg
Place Bishop's Stortford
Local authority District of East Hertfordshire
Coordinates 51°52′01″N 0°09′54″E / 51.867°N 0.165°E / 51.867; 0.165Coordinates: 51°52′01″N 0°09′54″E / 51.867°N 0.165°E / 51.867; 0.165
Grid reference TL491208
Station code BIS
Managed by Abellio Greater Anglia
Number of platforms 3
DfT category C2
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2011/12 Increase 2.660 million
– Interchange  Increase 73,066
2012/13 Increase 2.820 million
– Interchange  Increase 79,512
2013/14 Increase 2.920 million
– Interchange  Increase 82,687
2014/15 Increase 3.030 million
– Interchange  Increase 85,714
2015/16 Increase 3.104 million
– Interchange  Increase 73,276
Original company Northern and Eastern Railway
Pre-grouping Great Eastern Railway
Post-grouping London and North Eastern Railway
16 May 1842 (1842-05-16) Station opened
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Bishop's Stortford from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal
Bishop's Stortford Station in 1961

Bishop's Stortford railway station serves the town of Bishop's Stortford in Hertfordshire, England. The station, and all trains serving it, are operated by Abellio Greater Anglia; this includes the two trains per hour Stansted Express service.


The station was opened by the Northern and Eastern Railway as a temporary terminus on 16 May 1842, and became a through station on 30 July 1845 when the line was extended through to Norwich.

In 1843 the train from London to Bishop's Stortford was timetabled to run at 36 miles per hour (58 km/h), exclusive of stops - the fastest booked run on any English railway at the time.[1]

The station site included a large goods yard occupying the land now used for car parking as well as sidings running as far west as the riverside wharves of the Stort Navigation. To the east, a small turntable and engine sheds lay on land recently used as a garage and (as of 2012) earmarked for supermarket use. During the station's heyday, the station had two signal boxes, "South", located opposite the current building and behind platform 3, and "North", controlling access to the Bishop's Stortford-Braintree Branch Line.

For most of the station's life, four lines passed through it (as opposed to the current three lines); up and down main lines to the west of the now much extended island platform, and a branch line and passing loop (with access to turntable) to the east of the island platform, the northern end of which was located where the footbridge is today.

Bishop's Stortford was also a junction station for the cross-country route to Dunmow and Braintree, which opened to passengers on 22 February 1869 and closed on 3 March 1952. The line continued in use for freight trains and occasional excursions, closing in stages with the final section to Easton Lodge closing on 17 February 1972.[2]

The station was the scene of a fatal crash on the last full day of the General Strike of 1926 when a southbound goods train manned by a volunteer crew crashed into the rear of an earlier train sitting in platform two. The platform canopy was demolished and a waiting passenger killed.


The typical off-peak service is:[3]

On Sundays this is reduced to:

  • 4 tph to London, of which:
    • 2 call at Tottenham Hale only
    • 1 call at Sawbridgeworth, Harlow Town, Broxbourne, Cheshunt and Tottenham Hale
    • 1 call at Sawbridgeworth, Harlow Mill, Harlow Town, Roydon, Broxbourne, Cheshunt, Tottenham Hale and Hackney Downs
  • 2 tph to Stansted Airport, both running non-stop
  • 2 tph to Cambridge, of which:
    • 1 calls at Audley End and Whittlesford Parkway
    • 1 calls at Stansted Mountfitchet, Elsenham, Newport, Audley End, Great Chesterford, Whittlesford Parkway and Shelford

Other services[edit]

On Mondays to Fridays a small number of trains during the peak hours are extended beyond Cambridge to terminate at Ely and King's Lynn. At other times it is necessary to change at Cambridge for onward travel using services provided by CrossCountry, East Midlands Trains or Great Northern, Great Northern services also serve King's Lynn.

The station today[edit]

The station has three platforms. Platform 1 is for services towards Stansted Airport and Cambridge. Platform 2 is used for services to London Liverpool Street and Stratford. Platform 3 is used for some trains that terminate at Bishops Stortford. It is also used by a few services to/from Cambridge via Stansted Airport which only start/terminate here. In the days before 1985 when Bishop's Stortford was the northern limit of electrification it was used for slow trains to London Liverpool Street and to Cambridge; therefore platform 2 was used for fast trains (Stansted Express). The station has two entrances. One from Station Road where there is ticket hall, waiting room and real time information. The other entrance is for direct access to Platforms 2 and 3. Ticket barriers have been installed at the station to prevent fare evasion. In 2014 the station underwent extensive modernization resulting in the construction of a new ticket office, barrier line, retail outlets and a new platform canopy.[4]


  1. ^ Red for Danger by L.T.C. Rolt publ. 1955 page 28-29
  2. ^ ;Body, Geoffrey, Railways of the Eastern Region Volume 1: Southern Operating area, page 27, Guild Publishing, 1986
  3. ^ Table 22 National Rail timetable, May 2016
  4. ^ "Bishops Stortford Station Modernisation Project", Retrieved on 19 October 2014.

Further reading[edit]

  • Peter Paye, (2010). Bishop's Stortford, Dunmow and Braintree Branch. Oakwood Press. ISBN 978-0-85361-708-2. 

External links[edit]

Preceding station National Rail Following station
or Harlow Town
or Tottenham Hale
or Terminus
  Abellio Greater Anglia
West Anglia Main Line
  Stansted Mountfitchet
or Audley End
or Terminus
Harlow Town
or Tottenham Hale
  Abellio Greater Anglia
Stansted Express
  Stansted Mountfitchet or
Stansted Airport
Disused railways
Terminus   Great Eastern Railway
Stortford-Braintree Branch Line
  Hockerill Halt
Line and station closed