Doncaster railway station

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Doncaster National Rail
Doncaster Station - - 827198.jpg
The frontage at Doncaster
Place Doncaster
Local authority Metropolitan Borough of Doncaster
Coordinates 53°31′21″N 1°08′22″W / 53.5225°N 1.1395°W / 53.5225; -1.1395Coordinates: 53°31′21″N 1°08′22″W / 53.5225°N 1.1395°W / 53.5225; -1.1395
Grid reference SE571032
Station code DON
Managed by Virgin Trains East Coast
Number of platforms 9
DfT category B
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2011/12 Increase 3.883 million
– Interchange  Increase 1.284 million
2012/13 Decrease 3.835 million
– Interchange  Decrease 1.278 million
2013/14 Decrease 3.409 million
– Interchange  Decrease 1.250 million
2014/15 Increase 3.678 million
– Interchange  Increase 1.320 million
2015/16 Increase 3.752 million
– Interchange  Increase 1.374 million
Passenger Transport Executive
PTE South Yorkshire
Zone Doncaster
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Doncaster from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal
At the station in 1953
Down Express departing in 1957
A Deltic locomotive coupling to the Hull-King's Cross train, July 1975

Doncaster railway station serves the town of Doncaster, in South Yorkshire, England. It is situated on the East Coast Main Line 156 miles (251 km) north of London King's Cross and managed by Virgin Trains East Coast. It is a major passenger interchange between the East Coast Main Line and Cross Country Route and local services running across the North of England. It is also the point for which Virgin Trains East Coast services from London divide, either branching off to Leeds or continuing north to Scotland via Newcastle and the North East.


The railway station was built in 1849 replacing a temporary structure constructed a year earlier.[1] It was rebuilt in its present form in 1938 and has had several slight modifications since that date, most notably in 2006, when the new interchange and connection to Frenchgate Centre opened.

In May 2015, construction commenced on a new Platform 0 to the north-east of the station adjacent to the Frenchgate Centre on the site of the former cattle dock. It will be used by terminating Northern services to Hull, Beverley, Bridlington and Scarborough. This will allow these services to operate independently of the East Coast Main Line.[2][3] It is joined to the rest of the station via a fully accessible overbridge.[4]


The station has nine platforms on three islands. Platforms 1, 3, 4 and 8 can take through trains. Platforms 2 and 5 are south-facing bays, and 0, 6 and 7 are north facing bays. A First Class Lounge is available on platform 3A.

Platform 0 is scheduled to take almost exclusively Northern services to and from Hull, Beverley and Bridlington. The brand new platform opened on 12 December 2016.[5]

Platform 1 is scheduled to take almost exclusively southbound Virgin Trains East Coast trains towards London Kings Cross from Leeds and Edinburgh; and Grand Central services from Bradford Interchange to London Kings Cross, which operate non-stop from Doncaster.

Platform 2 has no scheduled trains and is not normally for public use. From 2017, East Midlands Trains services to Lincoln Central will move to this platform from Platform 5.

Platform 3A is scheduled to take some southbound East Coast Main Line trains towards London Kings Cross - Virgin Trains East Coast services here usually originate in York calling all stations along the route (Retford, Newark North Gate, Grantham, Peterborough, and Stevenage); and the platform is scheduled to take most southbound Hull Trains services to London Kings Cross.

Platform 3B takes services to Sheffield and Manchester / Manchester Airport, operated by Northern and TransPennine Express and will take services from Sheffield when there is congestion.

Between platforms 3 and 4 are the high speed up and down lines from London

Platform 4 is scheduled to take northbound Virgin Trains East Coast services towards York, Newcastle and Edinburgh; Hull Trains services to Hull; Northern through services to Bridlington from Sheffield; and TransPennine Express services to Cleethorpes. However, southbound CrossCountry services towards Birmingham New Street and beyond also depart from this platform.

Platform 5 is a bay platform used for Northern and East Midlands Trains services to Sheffield and Lincoln Central (some of which extend to Peterborough).

Platform 6 is a bay platform used almost exclusively for Northern commuter services to Leeds.

Platform 7 is seldom in public use, but when it is, is used for Northern services towards Scunthorpe via all stations.

Platform 8 is used for northbound East Coast Main Line services towards Leeds; and CrossCountry services to Newcastle; and local services to Sheffield and Adwick. The platform is also it is used for Northern local services to Scunthorpe via all stations. Southbound CrossCountry services are also scheduled to use this platform, but only at times when the station is otherwise congested.

There are presently no ticket barriers in operation at this station; however on Race Days (at Doncaster Racecourse), manual ticket checks are in operation in the subway.

The station has been recently refurbished and is now directly connected to the Frenchgate Centre extension in Doncaster town centre. The station now has a new booking office for tickets and information, three new lifts, refurbished staircases and subway. There is a newsagent and some food outlets.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 9 August 1947, a passenger train was in a rear-end collision with another due to a signalman's error. 18 people were killed and 188 were injured.[6]
  • On 16 March 1951 a derailment occurred south of the station in which 14 passengers were killed and 12 seriously injured.


Seven train operators (or TOCs) call at Doncaster, which is equal in number only to Crewe in the UK. Train operators include the following:

CrossCountry have dropped most Doncaster to Edinburgh services. They offer an hourly service to Newcastle and Reading with one service per day running through to both Edinburgh Waverley and Guildford or Southampton Central.[7] All CrossCountry services at Doncaster use 4-car Voyager DEMUs (Class 220s).

East Midlands Trains
East Midlands Trains offer a limited direct service to London St. Pancras and to Leeds and York. Services to London (St Pancras) run via Sheffield, Chesterfield, Derby and Leicester but less often than Virgin Trains East Coast, and take considerably more time than Virgin Trains East Coast services. They also operate a local service to Lincoln which occasionally extends to Sleaford and Peterborough.[8]

Hull Trains
Hull Trains operates services between London and Hull or Beverley via Selby.

TransPennine Express
TransPennine Express serve stations towards the east to Cleethorpes, and to the west towards Manchester Airport. TransPennine services operate hourly in each direction generally.[9]

Grand Central
Grand Central Railway offers four trains a day between Bradford Interchange and King's Cross. All Bradford-London services call at Doncaster. Southbound the next stop is King's Cross with a journey time of around 90 minutes - the fastest on the route due to the non-stop nature of the service.

Northern generally offers services from Doncaster to stations within Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, such as Sheffield, Leeds and Lincoln. It provides stopping services, stopping at every station along-route, and 'fast' services, stopping at just the principal stations. It is possible to travel on Northern Rail to Retford from Doncaster, via Sheffield, on a direct train. However, this involves a journey of 80 min. The direct Virgin Trains East Coast service takes, on average, just 14 min.[10]

Virgin Trains East Coast
Virgin Trains East Coast offers regular direct trains services to London, which can be reached in 100-115 mins, depending on the service. All trains to Leeds call at Doncaster, and an hourly service to Newcastle or Scotland (Edinburgh and the once daily Glasgow Central service). Virgin Trains East Coast also offer services to cities such as Leeds (terminating services), York, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Aberdeen.[11]

There were plans to add platforms 9 and 10 to cope with Eurostar trains but this project was cancelled when it was decided that Eurostar would not serve Britain outside the South East of England.

Preceding station National Rail Following station
Retford or
Newark North Gate
  Virgin Trains East Coast
Peterborough or
  Virgin Trains East Coast
  Wakefield Westgate
Grantham or
  Virgin Trains East Coast
London-West Yorkshire
  Wakefield Westgate
Newark North Gate or
  Virgin Trains East Coast
Newark North Gate   Virgin Trains East Coast
London - Edinburgh/Scotland express
Retford or
Newark North Gate
  Virgin Trains East Coast
Newark Northgate or
  Virgin Trains East Coast
London - Hull
One train per day
Terminus East Midlands Trains
East Midlands Trains
London St Pancras-Scarborough/York
Retford   Hull Trains
London - Hull/Beverley
TransPennine Express
Terminus Northern
Wakefield Line
King's Cross
  Grand Central
West Riding
  Pontefract Monkhill
Wakefield Kirkgate
Historical railways
Terminus   Great Northern and Great Eastern Joint   Bessacarr
Line open, station closed
Line open, station closed
  Great Northern Railway
East Coast Main Line
Line open, station closed

In the media[edit]

In 1973 the station was featured in the first episode of Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?, entitled Strangers on a Train, featuring James Bolam and Rodney Bewes. Although it is not stated where the scenes in the station were filmed, signs for Grimsby Town and Scunthorpe are visible in the background.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Doncaster to get a Platform 0 in £21m upgrade" The Railway Magazine issue 1371 June 2015 page 81
  3. ^ Nigel Harris, ed. (24 June 2015). "Roll up, roll up for Doncaster's Platform 0". Rail. No. 777. p. 15. ISSN 0953-4563. 
  4. ^ "WATCH: Incredible time-lapse footage of new bridge being installed at Doncaster rail station". Doncaster Free Press. 26 April 2016. Retrieved 13 December 2016. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Hoole, Ken (1982). Trains in Trouble: Vol. 3. Redruth: Atlantic Books. p. 3. ISBN 0-906899-05-2. 
  7. ^ Table 51 National Rail timetable, May 2016
  8. ^ Table 18 National Rail timetable, May 2016
  9. ^ Table 29 National Rail timetable, May 2016
  10. ^ Table 31 National Rail timetable, May 2016
  11. ^ Table 26 National Rail timetable, May 2016

External links[edit]

Media related to Doncaster railway station at Wikimedia Commons