Harpenden railway station

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Harpenden National Rail
Harpenden Train Station.jpg
Facing South from platform 1 (Southbound) at Harpenden
Harpenden is located in Hertfordshire
Location of Harpenden in Hertfordshire
Local authorityCity of St Albans
Grid referenceTL137142
Managed byThameslink
Station codeHPD
DfT categoryD
Number of platforms4
National Rail annual entry and exit
2016–17Increase 3.356 million[1]
2017–18Increase 3.357 million[1]
2018–19Increase 3.373 million[1]
– interchange Steady 1,109[1]
2019–20Decrease 3.239 million[1]
– interchange Increase 6,101[1]
2020–21Decrease 0.495 million[1]
– interchange Decrease 1,152[1]
Key dates
Other information
External links
WGS8451°48′54″N 0°21′07″W / 51.815°N 0.352°W / 51.815; -0.352Coordinates: 51°48′54″N 0°21′07″W / 51.815°N 0.352°W / 51.815; -0.352
Underground sign at Westminster.jpg London transport portal
Harpenden station at night

Harpenden railway station is on the Midland Main Line in England, serving the town of Harpenden, Hertfordshire. It is 24 miles 51 chains (39.7 km) down the line from London St Pancras and is situated between St Albans City to the south and Luton Airport Parkway to the north. Its three-letter station code is HPD.

The station is served by Govia Thameslink-operated trains on the Thameslink route.


Harpenden was the second station built in the town, by the Midland Railway in 1868 on its extension to St. Pancras. Nothing remains of the original station buildings. Although located on Station Road, the road is actually named after the first station, Harpenden East, which was built in 1860 and closed in 1965.

A branch line, built by the Hemel Hempstead Railway Company in 1877, known as the Nickey Line but operated by the Midland, formerly diverged from the main line north of the station. The intention had been to meet the LNWR at Boxmoor, but the section from Hemel Hempstead never had a passenger service. In 1886, a south curve was added to the junction allowing passengers to join the London trains at Harpenden rather than Luton.[2] The branch was closed in 1979, but the route remains in use as a cycleway, passing under the M1 in a tunnel.

A row of five brick built former coal merchant's offices along the station approach are now used as small retail and office units.


Alfred King, station master from 1920 to 1927, committed suicide at age 53 on 29 March 1927 by lying on the rails in front of an express train. The inquest found that he had been suffering from depression and delusions for a long time.[3]

  • Joseph Bendall 1870 - 1872[4]
  • George Salmon 1872 - 1899[5]
  • Horace E. Horne 1899 - 1907[5] (afterwards station master at Cheltenham)
  • E. Jones 1907 - 1920[6] (formerly station master at Higham Ferrers, afterwards station master at St Albans)
  • Alfred John King 1920[7] - 1927[3] (formerly station master at Raunds and Olney)
  • E. Goode until 1932
  • F.C. Cooper 1932 - 1942[8] (afterwards station master at Bath)


The station has facilities toilets, a newsagent, dry cleaner, taxi office and rank, and a coffee shop.

The station also has ticket machines on both sides of the station.

The station has a PlusBus scheme where train and bus tickets can be bought together for a cheaper price.

All four platforms have been extended to support 12-carriage trains, as part of the Thameslink programme; this also required the widening of a road bridge. Work on these started on 21 November 2010 and was completed in May 2011.[9] The construction of a new footbridge, with lifts for disabled access, has been completed and links up all four platforms. and[10] The east side of the station (platform 1 side) has two entrances, both with ticket gates to ease congestion during peak times. The west side entrance is where the ticket office is located, but it also has ticket machines.

An extra deck of parking spaces is planned to be built on top of the existing east side car park. When completed, it will add an extra 200 parking spaces.[11]


2006/07 services[edit]

The typical off-peak service pattern saw six trains per hour in each direction, operated by First Capital Connect. Four of these were fast trains between Bedford and Brighton, via King's Cross Thameslink station in central London and Gatwick Airport. The remaining two trains called at all stations between Luton and Sutton (in South London).

December 2007[edit]

Following the closure of King's Cross Thameslink station, trains on the Thameslink route now operate between Bedford, Luton, Sutton and Brighton calling at the new low level platforms at St Pancras.

East Midlands Railway operates trains on the Midland Main Line route from St Pancras International to/from Leeds, Sheffield, Derby, Nottingham and Leicester through the station, but do not stop. Interchange with these trains can be made one or two stops to the north, either at Luton or Luton Airport Parkway, dependent on the service.


From March 2009, First Capital Connect, in partnership with Southeastern, began running a Luton-Sevenoaks service, which called at Harpenden.


Following completion of the Thameslink Programme in 2018, the following off-peak services are in operation:

  • 4tph between Bedford and Gatwick (semi-fast):
    • 2tph continue to Brighton;
  • 2tph between Luton and Rainham (stopping).
Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station

Luton Airport Parkway   Thameslink
  St Albans City
Disused railways
Line and station closed
Midland RailwayTerminus
Panorama of Harpenden station from north end of platform 1 during the day
Panorama of Harpenden station from south end of platform 1 at night


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Estimates of station usage". Rail statistics. Office of Rail Regulation. Please note: Some methodology may vary year on year.
  2. ^ Radford, B., (1983) Midland Line Memories: a Pictorial History of the Midland Railway Main Line Between London (St Pancras) & Derby London: Bloomsbury Books
  3. ^ a b "Stationmasters' Suicide". Northampton Mercury. England. 1 April 1927. Retrieved 6 March 2021 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  4. ^ "1871-1879 Coaching". Midland Railway Operating, Traffic and Coaching Depts: 566. 1871. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  5. ^ a b "1899-1908 Coaching; Piece 1027". Midland Railway Operating, Traffic and Coaching Depts: 733. 1899. Retrieved 20 February 2021.
  6. ^ "Country Notes". Northampton Mercury. England. 18 June 1920. Retrieved 6 March 2021 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  7. ^ "M.R. Station Staff Changes". Derby Daily Telegraph. England. 21 May 1920. Retrieved 6 March 2021 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  8. ^ "Bath's New L.M.S. Stationmaster". Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette. England. 3 October 1942. Retrieved 6 March 2021 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 November 2010. Retrieved 1 January 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ White, Debbie. "Extra deck planned for Harpenden station car park".


  • Butt, R. V. J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 978-1-85260-508-7. OCLC 60251199.

External links[edit]