Downham Market railway station

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Downham Market National Rail
The southbound platform at Downham Market
PlaceDownham Market
Local authorityKing's Lynn and West Norfolk
Grid referenceTF602033
Station codeDOW
Managed byGreat Northern
Owned byNetwork Rail
Number of platforms2
DfT categoryE
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2014/15Increase 0.492 million
2015/16Increase 0.500 million
2016/17Increase 0.543 million
2017/18Decrease 0.533 million
2018/19Increase 0.550 million
Key datesOpened 27 October 1846 (27 October 1846)
Original companyLynn and Ely Railway
Pre-groupingGreat Eastern Railway
Post-groupingLondon and North Eastern Railway
27 October 1846Opened as Downham
1 June 1981Renamed Downham Market
National RailUK railway stations
  • Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Downham Market from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.

Downham Market railway station is on the Fen line in the east of England, serving the town of Downham Market, Norfolk. It is 86 miles 8 chains (138.6 km) measured from London Liverpool Street and is situated between Littleport and Watlington stations. Its three-letter station code is DOW.

The station and most trains calling are operated by Great Northern (with service to and from London King's Cross), with some additional peak services being operated by Greater Anglia (to and from London Liverpool Street).

The station building of 1846, built of carrstone with pale brick dressings, is a Grade II listed building.[1]


Signal box at Downham Market

The Lynn & Ely Railway Bill received the Royal Assent on 30 June 1845. Work started on the line in 1846 and the line and its stations were opened on 27 October 1846. Downham Station opened with the line and was situated south of Stow Station and was a temporary end of the line. The line was completed to Ely in 1847. On New Year's Day Downham station ceased to be a temporary terminus when the line was opened through to Denver Road Gate.[2]

The new line connected King's Lynn and its harbour with Ely and trains to London.

The wooden signal box, built for the Great Eastern Railway in 1881, was listed Grade II in 2013.[3]

In early 2017, the station was redecorated to commemorate Network SouthEast, the British Rail division that operated services across England's south east 30 years previously. With assistance from the Railway Heritage Trust, paintwork and signage has been returned to a style that mimics that of the late 1980s.[4]


Outside of peak hours there is one train per hour between London King's Cross and King's Lynn. These services typically use Class 387 electric multiple units.

The station is also served by the Greater Anglia service between King's Lynn and London Liverpool Street service using Class 317 or Class 379 electric multiple units as part of its extended peak service timetable.


On 10 August 2009 Network Rail submitted a planning application for a new £1.5 million footbridge, describing the current foot crossing as 'one of the most dangerous in the country'. The plan was supported by then station operator First Capital Connect, with an intended completion date of summer 2011.[5][6] The initial application was withdrawn following consultation with local councils, English Heritage and the Railway Heritage Trust and a revised plan submitted in December 2009 following changes to improve the appearance of the bridge.[7] However, this proposal was rejected by King's Lynn and West Norfolk Council in April 2010, citing the lack of accessibility for disabled passengers and the effect of the bridge on the Grade II listed station building.[8]

The foot crossing has since been closed and passengers must now use the nearby road level crossing to switch between platforms.[9]


  1. ^ Historic England. "Railway Station (1171244)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  2. ^ CJ Allen and RVJ Butt
  3. ^ Historic England. "Downham Market Signal Box (1414022)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Bridge for 'one of UK's most dangerous rail crossings' - Norfolk News - EDP24[dead link]
  6. ^ First Capital Connect - Planning application submitted for new footbridge at Downham Market[dead link]
  7. ^ Network Rail - Press Releases - Downham station footbridge: improved application submitted Archived 29 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Borough of Kings Lynn and West Norfolk Development Control Board - April 2010 Archived 3 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Crossing at Downham Market train station closed after safety concerns". Eastern Daily Press. 9 May 2011. Retrieved 6 September 2011.

External links[edit]

Media related to Downham Market railway station at Wikimedia Commons

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Littleport   Great Northern
Fen line
  Greater Anglia
Fen line
(peak hours only)
  Historical railways  
Line open, station closed
  Great Eastern Railway   Stow Bardolph
Line open, station closed

Coordinates: 52°36′20″N 0°22′02″E / 52.60560°N 0.36724°E / 52.60560; 0.36724