Ebbsfleet International railway station

Coordinates: 51°26′34.94″N 0°19′15.18″E / 51.4430389°N 0.3208833°E / 51.4430389; 0.3208833
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Ebbsfleet International
National Rail
General information
LocationEbbsfleet Valley, Kent, Borough of Dartford
Grid referenceTQ613741
Owned byLondon and Continental Railways
Managed byNetwork Rail
Platforms6 (4 domestic, 2 international)
Other information
Station codeEBD
ClassificationDfT category B
Opened19 November 2007; 16 years ago (2007-11-19)
2018/19Increase 2.107 million
 Interchange Decrease 57,296
2019/20Decrease 1.978 million
 Interchange Increase 58,888
2020/21Decrease 0.417 million
 Interchange Decrease 19,330
2021/22Increase 1.213 million
 Interchange Increase 44,469
2022/23Increase 1.559 million
 Interchange Increase 82,975
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road

Ebbsfleet International railway station is in Ebbsfleet Valley, Kent, 10 miles (16 kilometres) east of London, England, near Dartford and the Bluewater shopping centre to the west and Gravesend to the east. The station, part of the Thames Gateway urban regeneration project, is on the High Speed 1 (HS1) rail line, 400 metres (1,300 feet) south-west of Northfleet railway station, off the A2 trunk road, 5 mi (8.0 km) from its junction with the M25 motorway. It served as a primary park-and-rail service for the London 2012 Olympics.

Ebbsfleet International is owned by HS1 Ltd, which operates the High Speed 1 railway and St Pancras railway station, Stratford International, Ebbsfleet International and Ashford International.


The name Ebbsfleet dates from the seventeenth-century. The station is partly inspired by the name of Ebbsfleet in Thanet, 47 mi (75 km) to the east.[1]



The £180m station opened to Eurostar passengers on 19 November 2007, five days after the rest of HS1.[2] This was because the security and ticketing equipment had to be transferred from Waterloo International and reinstalled at the station. The first daily service was the 05:38 service to Paris, arriving at its destination 132 minutes later.[2] Serving the Thames Gateway, the station had an initial service of seven weekday trains to Paris and five to Brussels.[2] A 2,500-space car park was provided.[2]

A formal opening ceremony in the presence of Dame Kelly Holmes took place on 29 January 2008.[3]

Residents of Ashford complained that the service at Ashford International was downgraded to compensate for the stop at Ebbsfleet and that it made more sense for them now to use Eurotunnel Shuttle services.[2]


"Ebbsfleet International Station" was the name originally proposed for the station, but "Dartford International Station" was later proposed at the urging of Eurostar, who felt that Dartford was a name with greater national recognition. Opposition to Eurostar's ‘Dartford International’ proposal came from Gravesham Borough Council, whose administrative centre at Gravesend is just two miles (3.2 km) away (even though Ebbsfleet International is in the borough of Dartford and therefore outside Gravesham council's authority); Southfleet Parish Council; and Swanscombe and Greenhithe Town Council, both in the Borough of Dartford.[4] The similarity of its name to that of Dartford railway station, 6 mi (9.7 km) away, was also of concern.


The Olympic Javelin[5] or Javelin[6][7] was a high-speed train shuttle service operated by Southeastern over High Speed 1 during the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics. The service ran for the duration of both games, between St Pancras International station and this station, via Stratford International station, which is close to the Olympic Park.[8] During the Summer Olympics a service of eight trains an hour ran between St Pancras and Ebbsfleet, calling at Stratford, replacing the usual East Kent highspeed service. Two of these were extended to Ashford and one to Faversham. Between 11pm and 1am the service between St Pancras and Ebbsfleet was increased to twelve per hour.[9]

Eurostar suspension[edit]

In September 2020, Eurostar announced that due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent collapse in ticket revenue (down by 90%), both Ebbsfleet and Ashford International stations would not be served by Eurostar services until at least 2022.[10] In September 2021, Eurostar confirmed that services would not resume until 2023, despite complaints by local politicians that this was "bad for Kent".[11] Eurostar stated that they will resume services when commercially sensible to do so, as they will initially "focus on destinations where demand is highest".[11] A further update in August 2022 confirmed that Eurostar may not resume serving the station (along with Ashford) until at least 2025.[12]


On High Speed 1 there are avoiding lines in each direction and four platforms, two serving international Eurostar services and two the Southeastern High-speed services. Southeastern services travelling between London and the North Kent Line use a junction to the north of the station and are served by another pair of platforms that curve away to the east.

Ticket barriers control access to all platforms.

A partially built and disused concrete overbridge can be seen to the south of the station. This is believed to have been put in place in preparation for the Ebbsfleet Garden City housing development project; however, it was never needed.[13]

Access and facilities[edit]

This station has bilingual signage, both in French and English. It is one of the relatively few stations in England to have bilingual signage, others being Wallsend (Latin), Southall (Punjabi), Hereford (Welsh), Whitechapel (Bengali), St Pancras and Ashford International (French).


The Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) Act allows a total of 9,000 car parking spaces to be constructed,[14] with an initial 6,000 built. The car parks are in a number of areas around the station - north of the North Kent Line, between the North Kent Line and High Speed 1, south of the High Speed 1 and south west of the station building.

Buses and coaches[edit]

The station is served by Fastrack buses operated by Arriva Southern Counties, which connect it to Dartford, Bluewater, Greenhithe, Swanscombe and Gravesend. Despite being in close proximity to the station, Northfleet has no bus connection to the station.[15]


There is a taxi rank directly outside the station entrance/exit. Car rental services for both leisure and business are located in the concourse. The interchange facilities lie at either end of the main station box - taxis, buses and set down at the northern end (to also serve the NKL platforms) and coaches to the south of the station box. It was formerly planned that Crossrail would terminate at a separate station between Northfleet and Ebbsfleet International but under the current plan, Abbey Wood further west will be the eastern terminus. However, a Crossrail extension from Abbey Wood to Gravesend (Hoo Junction) remains safeguarded.

Pedestrian access[edit]

Northfleet railway station is approximately 400 metres (1,300 ft) to the north-east, although the walking distance between the two stations is significantly longer, approximately 2 km (1.2 mi) if roadside footpaths are followed. There is a shorter walking route (approximately 1,000 metres (3,300 ft)) through the car park to the north of Ebbsfleet station, but there are no footpaths provided and this way is obstructed by the car park access barriers. There are no specific pedestrian or cycle route signs for Ebbsfleet station on any of the possible routes between the stations. Gravesham Council acknowledges that the existing provision is inadequate,[16] although it is a complex planning issue to resolve as whilst Northfleet is in Gravesham, Ebbsfleet station is just over the border in the Borough of Dartford, and there are many other stakeholders involved.


Domestic services[edit]

International platform 1

Service history[edit]

On 29 June 2009, Southeastern started a weekday preview service between St Pancras International and Ebbsfleet International, extending to Ashford International during peak hours.[17] On 7 September the service was enhanced by a few services to Ramsgate via Canterbury West or Dover.[18] A regular service began on 13 December 2009.[19]

The typical off-peak service in trains per hour was:[19]

Additional trains, in peak hours only, serve Maidstone West, Broadstairs via the Medway towns, and Sandwich.

Current services[edit]

All domestic services at Ebbsfleet International are operated by Southeastern using Class 395 EMUs.

The typical off-peak service in trains per hour is:[20]

Additional services, including two daily return services between London St Pancras International and Maidstone West call at the station during the peak hours.

International services[edit]

Since the opening of Ebbsfleet station in 2007, Eurostar has transferred a number of trips from Ashford to the newer station. Ashford International has a wider variety of destinations such as Calais, Lille, Brussels, Disneyland Paris, the French Alps, Paris, Lyon, Avignon and Marseille, but with fewer services to them. In contrast, Ebbsfleet International has services to only the core destinations (Paris, Brussels and Lille) and the Disneyland Paris service, but with much more frequent services.[citation needed]

Eurostar services are not used for non-international journeys, as the infrastructure and train design is not suitable for national travel, and there is no feasible reason to do so. Since the station's opening, Eurostar has withheld passenger usage statistics for international services, citing commercial confidentiality.[citation needed]

As of May 2019, the typical Eurostar services was:

Eurostar services have been suspended since 31 March 2020.[21] As of August 2022, Eurostar intends to resume service in 2025 at the earliest.[22]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
  Eurostar Eurostar  
London St Pancras International   Eurostar
  Ashford International
    Calais-Frethun or Lille Europe
    Paris Nord




  1. ^ Briggs, Keith. "The two Ebbsfleets in Kent". Journal of the English Place-Name Society (44): 5–9.
  2. ^ a b c d e Pigott, Nick, ed. (January 2008). "Ebbsfleet station opens". Railway Magazine. Vol. 154, no. 1, 281. p. 7.
  3. ^ "Dame Kelly opens 2012 'gateway'". BBC News. 29 January 2008. Archived from the original on 1 August 2017. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  4. ^ "Row over Euro-link station name". BBC News. 29 October 2004. Archived from the original on 19 July 2006. Retrieved 7 March 2006.
  5. ^ "£20m bullet trains to serve Olympic Park". Olympic Delivery Authority. 28 October 2004. Archived from the original on 4 April 2012. Retrieved 13 December 2008.
  6. ^ "Japanese bullet train on display". BBC News. 2 October 2007. Archived from the original on 5 June 2009. Retrieved 13 December 2008.
  7. ^ "Our plans: Getting ready". Olympic Delivery Authority. Archived from the original on 5 December 2008. Retrieved 13 December 2008.
  8. ^ Transport Plan for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games – first edition (PDF). Olympic Delivery Authority. p. 64. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 October 2008. Retrieved 13 December 2008.
  9. ^ Southeastern. "Olympics timetable High Speed". Archived from the original on 12 February 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2012.
  10. ^ Wright, Dan (3 September 2020). "Eurostar trains won't stop in Kent until 2022". Kent Online. Archived from the original on 4 September 2020. Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  11. ^ a b "Eurostar services will not resume until 2023". Kent Online. 15 September 2021. Retrieved 6 February 2022.
  12. ^ "Eurostar services may not stop in Kent before 2025". BBC News. 23 August 2022. Retrieved 26 August 2022.
  13. ^ "Ebbsfleet Intl". RailUK Forums. Archived from the original on 29 November 2020. Retrieved 21 November 2020.
  14. ^ "Channel Tunnel Rail Link Act 1996". Archived from the original on 23 December 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2011.
  15. ^ "Fastrack A/B Map" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 November 2008. Retrieved 17 September 2008.
  16. ^ Gravesham Borough Council Report to Joint Transportation Board: Northfleet – Ebbsfleet station pedestrian links. Archived 17 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine,(see pages 65-69)
  17. ^ "Preview Timetable" (PDF). 6 August 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 August 2009. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  18. ^ "High Speed Services to St Pancras International" (PDF). web.archive. org. Southeastern Railways. 7 October 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 October 2009. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  19. ^ a b c d "Southeastern Highspeed: 13 December 2009 timetable" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 December 2009. Retrieved 13 December 2009.
  20. ^ Table 192, 194, 199, 207, 212 National Rail timetable, December 2023
  21. ^ "Eurostar's Ashford International and Ebbsfleet International services still stopped after 3 months". Archived from the original on 18 November 2020. Retrieved 21 November 2020.
  22. ^ "Eurostar stations in Kent to stay closed for at least two years". The Independent. 24 August 2022. Retrieved 18 April 2023.

External links[edit]

51°26′34.94″N 0°19′15.18″E / 51.4430389°N 0.3208833°E / 51.4430389; 0.3208833