Coventry railway station

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

National Rail
Three trains stopped at Coventry railway station - - 1597063.jpg
Coventry railway station platforms
General information
LocationCoventry, City of Coventry
Coordinates52°24′04″N 1°30′49″W / 52.4010°N 1.5136°W / 52.4010; -1.5136Coordinates: 52°24′04″N 1°30′49″W / 52.4010°N 1.5136°W / 52.4010; -1.5136
Grid referenceSP33057822
Managed byAvanti West Coast
Transit authorityTransport for West Midlands
Other information
Station codeCOV
Fare zone5
ClassificationDfT category B
Original companyLondon and Birmingham Railway
Pre-groupingLondon and North Western Railway
Post-groupingLondon, Midland and Scottish Railway
Key dates
2016/17Increase 7.378 million
2017/18Increase 7.683 million
2018/19Increase 8.208 million
 Interchange Increase 0.562 million
2019/20Decrease 7.877 million
 Interchange Increase 1.054 million
2020/21Decrease 1.747 million
 Interchange Decrease 0.133 million
Listed Building – Grade II
FeatureCoventry Station, including attached platform structures
Designated24 November 1995
Reference no.1242849[1]
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road

Coventry railway station is the main railway station serving the city of Coventry, West Midlands, England.[2] The station is on the Birmingham loop of the West Coast Main Line (WCML); it is also located at the centre of a junction where the lines to Nuneaton and to Leamington converge. It is situated on the southern edge of the city-centre, just outside the inner ring road, about 250 yards to the south of junction 6.

Coventry station has regular services between London Euston and Birmingham New Street on the WCML. Other services are extended to/from Wolverhampton, Shrewsbury, Preston, Glasgow and Edinburgh Waverley. There are also long distance CrossCountry services to Manchester to the north and Oxford and Bournemouth to the south. Local services also operate between Coventry-Nuneaton, Northampton and Leamington Spa.

The station has the PlusBus[3] scheme where train and bus tickets can be bought together at a saving.


The original station was built in 1838 as part of the London and Birmingham Railway and could be entered from Warwick Road, where two flights of stairs took the passengers down to the platform. Within two years it had been replaced, with a new larger station, a few hundred feet nearer to Rugby, this time, accessed via Eaton Road. In the late 19th century the Coventry tram network extended to the station at Eaton Road. The original station remained in service as the station masters offices, until the station was redeveloped in the early 1960s by the London Midland Region of British Railways.

Coventry station in 1962, shortly after being rebuilt

The new 1840 station saw a significant number of modifications and extensions over the years, there was an engine shed, water column and turntable, in its later days an inclined walkway from the platform directly to Warwick Road for summer excursions, and a parcel depot formed from old carriages. However, the station was constrained by bridges at either end of the station, Stoney Road Bridge to the south, and Warwick Road bridge to the north. The bridges effectively restricted the station to two lines, and prevented the platforms from being extended.

In 1881 the London and North Western company planned extensive alterations and improvements at an estimated cost of £12,000 to £13,000 to remedy the sitauation.[4] The up and down platforms were extended beyond the bridge and a new siding installed near Quainton Road. A new line of 2¾ miles was laid from Coventry to Wainbody Wood to ease congestion and delays on this branch line. The cutting opposite the signal box on the Leamington Line was widened and the stone bridge in Stoney Lane replaced with an iron girder one. An accident occurred during the installation of the iron girder bridge when as the iron girder was being lifted into position. The hook of the pulley holding the girder broke in two and the girder fell, smashing the wagons beneath. Fortunately there were no injuries, although many workmen had a lucky escape.[5]

In 1902 the London and North Western Railway company carried out some improvements at the station at a cost of £25,000. The contractor was Mr. Parnell of Rugby and the work was supervised by Mr. Brunsdon. The plan involved converting a garden rented by the station-master to utilise as a siding. The left-hand side of the Warwick Road bridge was widened by around 12 feet (3.7 m). The up platform was raised by 9 inches and extended 95 yards beyond the Stoney Road bridge.[6] The interior of the station was extended to where the current entrance was, and the refreshment rooms, telegraph and other offices were built on the space formerly roof-in as a cab stand. The cab stand was planned to move further in the direction of Eaton Road. A foot bridge with lifts was provided between the up and down platforms[7] The new booking office opened in February 1903.[8] It was 25ft 9n by 27ft and in the centre of a new block of waiting rooms and offices.

However, it proved inadequate for the growing business at the station. Work on expansion was due to start in 1914, but was delayed by labour shortages and the outbreak of the First World War. Work started in August 1915 on enlarging the booking hall.[9] The new booking hall had a 60ft open frontage to the street with six booking windows, and extra entrances and exits to the up platform. The booking office was also much larger. The contractor was Mr. Heap of Northampton.[10]

By 1935 the station needed additional facilities and a plan was prepared to provide a new island platform of 920 ft in length on the down Birmingham side at a cost of £70,000 to £80,000.[11] Although the railway company had wanted a larger scheme of improvement, the full plan could not be delivered at this time, so the island platform was the first stage. Work did not start until early 1938 when the costs had risen to £100,000[12] (equivalent to £6,790,000 in 2021).[13] The bookstall on the up platform was moved, rebuilt and equipped with electric light. A new electric lift was provided for the movement of luggage. The existing general and women’s waiting rooms, and the enquiry office were converted into new refreshment rooms. The construction of the island platform did not start until 1939[14] but was put on hold by the outbreak of the Second World War and never completed to the original LMS plans.

In the early 1960s both bridges were widened, and the old station finally demolished and re-built, this time with room for four platforms instead of two. At the time it was demolished in 1960, some parts of the old station were 120 years old. The station comprises a two-storey height booking hall with reinforced concrete frame, linked across an adjoining platform by a bridge to an island platform and a single sided platform. It was built to the designs of W R Headley, Regional Architect of the London Midland Region of British Railways and Derrick Shorten, the project architect.[1] It was formally reopened on 1 May 1962.[15][16][17] In 1995 it became a Grade II listed building.[1][18][19]

The new station featured a new parcel depot, used to manage the large number of mail order catalogue packages coming into Coventry at the time. The depot was serviced by its own platforms from the Rugby end. The depot has now been replaced by a multi-storey car park, although some of the platforms and an electrification gantry remain.

A £91 million redevelopment of the station commenced in 2019 and was completed in 2022.[20] The redevelopment consists of a new concourse, footbridge and a new multi-story car park. [20]From the mid-2020s Coventry station is also planned to be served by the Coventry Very Light Rail system.[21]

Motive power depot[edit]

The London and Birmingham Railway opened a small motive power depot at the west end of the station in 1838. This was replaced by a larger depot in the fork between the Leamington and Rugby lines, in 1866. This was enlarged in 1897 and rebuilt in 1957 but closed 17 November 1958 and was demolished.[22] Locomotives were then serviced at the former Great Western Railway depot at Leamington Spa.


Coventry station from above in 2018

The station is served by Avanti West Coast, CrossCountry and West Midlands Trains. In the past, it has also been served by Silverlink, but these routes were transferred to Central Trains in 2004. Central Trains and Virgin CrossCountry services were respectively transferred to London Midland and CrossCountry in 2007.

There is a small yard at the Birmingham end of the station, in front of the shopping centre that was once part of Coventry's yard, that is used by London Midland for the stabling of electric traction units, no heavy work is carried out at Coventry as that is done at either Soho TMD (for Class 323s) or Northampton Siemens depot (Class 350s). All diesel units are stabled at Tyseley TMD where they are cleaned, maintained and refuelled. These units are only used on the local service to Nuneaton.

Until 2004, Coventry had a direct service to Nottingham via Leicester, but this was discontinued because Network Rail took away the ability for trains coming from Coventry to cross to the Leicester line at Nuneaton.

As of December 2019, the off-peak day time service pattern is:

Service summary[edit]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Leamington Spa   CrossCountry
Bournemouth-Manchester Piccadilly via Macclesfield
and via the Coventry to Leamington Line
  Birmingham International
Rugby   London Northwestern Railway
Euston or Northampton – Birmingham
Terminus   West Midlands Railway
Rugby-Birmingham-Stafford Line
Coventry Arena   West Midlands Railway
Nuneaton-Leamington Line (via Coventry)
Rugby or
Milton Keynes Central or
Watford Junction or
London Euston
  Avanti West Coast
London - West Midlands/Birmingham
  Birmingham International
Milton Keynes Central   Avanti West Coast
West Coast Main Line
  Birmingham International
Rugby or
Watford Junction
  Avanti West Coast
  Birmingham International

Station facilities[edit]

The main station building

In addition to the usual ticket office, the station has a travel centre for information, tickets for advance travel, ferry services, for rail passes, and other services. Buses to Coventry city centre can be caught from the station car park.


  • Daniel McIver 1840 - 1864[25]
  • William Stokes 1864[25]- 1872[26]
  • John Clench 1872[25] - 1880
  • Thomas Rivetts 1880 - 1888
  • Charles Toogood 1888 - 1896[27] (formerly station master at Kenilworth, afterwards station master at Stockport)
  • John Appleton 1896 - 1898[28]
  • Thomas C. Baraclough 1898 - 1907[29]
  • William Parsons 1907 - 1928[30]
  • John Tompkins 1928 - 1934
  • E. Barnett 1934[31] - 1943 (formerly station master at Stockport)
  • Henry S. Turrell 1943[32] (afterwards station master at Carlisle)
  • A. Johnson 1943 - 1948 (afterwards station master at Leicester)
  • H.A. Went 1948[33] - 1951 (formerly station master at Bristol St. Phillip’s)
  • John Stanley Peck 1952 - 1955
  • Robert A. Slater 1955 - 1957
  • A.H. Kemp 1957 - 1959[34] (formerly station master at Wakefield Kirkgate)
  • Ronald Salt 1959 - 1966


  1. ^ a b c Historic England. "Coventry Station, including attached platform structures (1242849)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  2. ^ AA Street by Street. Coventry Rugby (2nd ed.). AA Publishing. May 2003. p. 2. ISBN 0-7495-3973-9.
  3. ^ "Plus Bus Official Website". 4 October 2019. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  4. ^ "Proposed Extensive Improvements at Coventry Railway Station". Rugby Advertiser. England. 2 July 1881. Retrieved 9 February 2022 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  5. ^ "Accident at the Railway Station". Warwick and Warwickshire Advertiser. England. 24 December 1881. Retrieved 9 February 2022 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  6. ^ "Topics of the Week". Coventry Evening Telegraph. England. 15 November 1902. Retrieved 9 February 2022 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  7. ^ "Coventry Railway Station. Work of Extension Commenced". Coventry Evening Telegraph. England. 30 January 1902. Retrieved 9 February 2022 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  8. ^ "The Extensions at Coventry Railway Station". Coventry Evening Telegraph. England. 16 February 1903. Retrieved 9 February 2022 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  9. ^ "Future of Coventry". Coventry Herald. England. 29 October 1915. Retrieved 9 February 2022 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  10. ^ "Coventry Railway Station". Coventry Evening Telegraph. England. 13 August 1915. Retrieved 9 February 2022 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  11. ^ "Coventry Railway Station". Coventry Evening Telegraph. England. 18 November 1935. Retrieved 8 February 2022 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  12. ^ "Reconstruction of Coventry Station". Coventry Herald. England. 22 January 1938. Retrieved 8 February 2022 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  13. ^ UK Retail Price Index inflation figures are based on data from Clark, Gregory (2017). "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved 11 June 2022.
  14. ^ "Reconstruction of Coventry Station". Coventry Standard. England. 22 July 1939. Retrieved 8 February 2022 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  15. ^ "Coventry Station Reconstruction" Railway Gazette 13 March 1959 page 316
  16. ^ "New Station at Coventry" Railway Gazette 4 May 1962 page 526
  17. ^ "Rebuilding Coventry Station" Railway Gazette 11 May 1962 page 544
  18. ^ "Around the Regions" Rail Magazine issue 250 12 April 1995 page 46
  19. ^ "1960s railway structures given listed status" The Railway Magazine issue 1137 January 1996 page 11
  20. ^ a b Bancroft, Carrie. "Coventry Railway Station officially opens". Coventry City Council. Retrieved 19 July 2022.
  21. ^ "Trams to run on Coventry's streets for first time since The Blitz". Coventry Telegraph. 14 March 2019. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  22. ^ Roger Griffiths and Paul Smith, The directory of British engine sheds:1 (Oxford Publishing Co., 1999), p.163. ISBN 0 86093 542 6.
  23. ^ GB National Rail Timetable May 2016, Table 51
  24. ^ GB National Rail Timetable May 2016, Table 63
  25. ^ a b c "1841-1878 Coaching". London and North Western Railway Operating, Traffic, Coaching Depts: 123. 1841. Retrieved 8 February 2022.
  26. ^ "Proposed testimonial to the late Station Master". Coventry Standard. England. 16 February 1872. Retrieved 8 February 2022 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  27. ^ "Testimonial to a late Coventry Stationmaster". Kenilworth Advertiser. England. 17 April 1897. Retrieved 8 February 2022 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  28. ^ "Presentations to Coventry Stationmaster". Kenilworth Advertiser. England. 9 April 1898. Retrieved 8 February 2022 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  29. ^ "Coventry's Late Stationmaster". Coventry Evening Telegraph. England. 23 July 1907. Retrieved 8 February 2022 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  30. ^ "Stationmaster of Coventry. Mr. William Parsons to Retire". Coventry Herald. England. 13 October 1928. Retrieved 8 February 2022 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  31. ^ "Coventry's New Stationmaster". Coventry Evening Telegraph. England. 23 October 1934. Retrieved 8 February 2022 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  32. ^ "New Coventry Stationmaster". Midland Counties Tribune. England. 26 February 1943. Retrieved 8 February 2022 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  33. ^ "Coventry's New Stationmaster". Coventry Standard. England. 20 November 1948. Retrieved 8 February 2022 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  34. ^ "City Stationmaster's New Appointment". Coventry Evening Telegraph. England. 11 June 1959. Retrieved 8 February 2022 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  • An Historical Survey Of Selected LMS Stations Vol. One Dr R Preston and R Powell Hendry. Oxford Pub. Co. (1982, Reprinted in 2001) ISBN 0-86093-168-4

External links[edit]