Kenilworth railway station

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Kenilworth National Rail
Kenilworth station building exterior (3).jpg
The main building of the reopened Kenilworth station, opened in 2018.
Local authorityWarwick
Coordinates52°20′32″N 1°34′21″W / 52.3422°N 1.5724°W / 52.3422; -1.5724Coordinates: 52°20′32″N 1°34′21″W / 52.3422°N 1.5724°W / 52.3422; -1.5724
Grid referenceSP291716
Station codeKNW
Managed byWest Midlands Trains
Number of platforms1 (provision made for two)
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Original companyLondon and Birmingham Railway
Pre-groupingLondon and North Western Railway
Post-groupingLondon Midland and Scottish Railway
9 December 1844Opened
18 January 1965Closed
30 April 2018Reopened
National RailUK railway stations
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal

Kenilworth railway station is a railway station in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, England on the Coventry to Leamington Line. The original Kenilworth station opened in 1844 before being rebuilt in 1884 and closed in 1965.[1] In 2013 it was announced that the station would reopen in 2016.[2] That was revised several times, but the station finally reopened on 30 April 2018.[3][4]


Historic station[edit]

Kenilworth station in the late 19th century

The original station opened on 9 December 1844 along with the line, it originally had a single platform, but soon after a passing loop and second platform was added. The original station was of sandstone construction, and built in the Italianate style. It was designed by Robert Dockray, the resident engineer of the London and Birmingham Railway. Part of the stone façade of the original 1844 station still exists, as it was reused as the entrance to the Kings Arms' Assembly Rooms on Station Road nearby.[5] The station was rebuilt in 1884 when the line was upgraded to double track and a new cut-off line was opened from Kenilworth to Berkswell. The rebuilt station was built of brick in a Gothic style, and was designed by Mr. T W. Jones, of the London and North Western Railway Engineer's Office.[1]

Passenger services were withdrawn from the line on 18 January 1965 as a result of the Reshaping of British Railways report, and the station was closed, although the line remained open for goods traffic.[1] The cut-off line to Berkswell was closed in 1969, and much of the remaining line was singled during 1972, although some double track was retained through Kenilworth to form a passing loop a short distance north of the station site. Passenger services over the line were restarted in 1977, but as these were long distance, and not local services the station was not reopened.[6]

The station's former goods yard and station buildings were let out to a local builders merchant, and remained in place until they were demolished in the 1980s. Two stained glass windows and a sign were salvaged from the old station building, and later incorporated into the new station after being donated by local residents.[6][7]


Coventry–Leamington line
Berkswell Loop
Gibbet Hill Junction
Kenilworth Junction
Milverton Junction
Warwick (Milverton)
Leamington Spa General
Leamington Spa (Avenue)

In 2008, train operator CrossCountry and Warwickshire County Council supported the reopening and started to prepare a business case.[8] It was included in the 2008–09 Warwickshire Local Transport Plan.[9][vague] In July 2009 it was announced that John Laing plc had been awarded a 20-year contract to design, build, and operate the new station, due to open in 2013.[10][11] Planning permission was granted in April 2011[12] but funding was refused.[13] In late 2011, John Laing successfully asked to withdraw from the contract as there was no funding available for the station construction to go ahead in the immediate future.

In November 2011 the upgrading of the Coventry to Nuneaton route was approved, renewing new hope for regeneration of the line through Kenilworth. In February 2013, Warwickshire County Council made a £5 million funding bid to the new fund the government had created to construct or renovate stations.[14] In June 2013 the Department for Transport approved funding for the new station.[15] Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin identified a potential opening date of 2016.[16] In December 2013 the DfT reannounced its grant of £5 million toward the station's £11.3 million total cost, and gave the opening date as December 2016.[17] On 4 October 2014 test runs were made between Leamington and Coventry to check timings along the route.[18]

Design and construction[edit]

The design selected for the new station was a 'traditional' building based on the former station closed in the 1960s. This design was selected in 2014 from three possible options following feedback from the public.[19] As only a single track now runs through the site, the new station will have only one platform initially, but has been built with provision for a second platform if or when the line through it is re-doubled. Plans for re-doubling the line from Milverton Junction to Kenilworth were put on hold by Network Rail in 2016, and no date has since been given for completion of this work.[20][21] In April 2018, it was announced that plans for a second track on the line were back on but would not be completed until 2027 with the arrival of HS2.[22]

In early summer 2016 Graham Construction Ltd was awarded the contract to build the station. The official start of work on site took place on 29 July 2016 when Jeremy Wright, the local Member of Parliament, ceremonially broke ground.[23]

Opening of new station[edit]

Although the initial completion date was August 2017, which was due to be delivered on time by the County Council, the start-of-service date was moved to 10 December 2017 owing to a delay in track and signalling work by Network Rail.[24] Subsequently, Network Rail completed the necessary track and signalling interventions required to facilitate the station opening by 10 December 2017, but the station build was not complete.

As part of the franchise agreement with West Midlands Trains, effective from December 2017, a new hourly service from Leamington Spa to Coventry will call at Kenilworth.[25] The service was supposed to commence on Sunday 10 December 2017[26] but was delayed for a third time, to start on 26 February 2018,[27] as the Department for Transport stated that no rolling stock or drivers would be available until that time.[28] However in February 2018, it was revealed that the station’s opening had been delayed for a fourth time and the station would not open until 5 March at the earliest.[29]

On 20 March 2018, correspondence from the Office of Rail and Road was released into the public domain which appeared to show that Warwickshire County Council had failed to submit essential safety information—necessary for final sign-off to be issued—thus delaying the project.[30]

The Office of Rail and Road authorised the opening of Kenilworth on 12 April 2018,[31] and on 20 April 2018 Warwickshire County Council confirmed an opening date of 30 April 2018.[32] It was reported that the first train would be the 6:44 West Midlands Railway service towards Leamington Spa,[33] but it was subsequently announced that the 6:16 service towards Coventry was due to call before that.[34]


An hourly service between Coventry and Leamington Spa, operated by West Midlands Trains runs each way during Mondays to Saturdays. There is no Sunday service. The service is operated by a single-coach Class 153 unit, although West Midlands Trains have stated their intention to eventually operate the service using a longer Class 172 unit.[35]



  1. ^ a b c "The Railways of Warwickshire". Retrieved 14 September 2008.
  2. ^ "Kenilworth railway station plan receives £5m backing". BBC News Coventry & Warwickshire. Rail Media. 3 June 2013. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
  3. ^ "Kenilworth station to open at end of April". BBC News. BBC. 20 April 2018. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  4. ^ "WATCH: First train in 53 years finally serves Kenilworth Station". Leamington Courier. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  5. ^ McKay, Stephen. "She Bar and Brasserie, Kenilworth". Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  6. ^ a b Hurst, Geoffrey (1993). LNWR Branch Lines of West Leicestershire & East Warwickshire (First ed.). Milepost Publications. pp. 44–51. ISBN 0-947796-16-9.
  7. ^ "First train to roll into Kenilworth since the 1960s on Monday". Kenilworth Weekly News. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  8. ^ "Rail firm backs new town station". BBC News. BBC. 4 April 2008. Retrieved 12 June 2008.
  9. ^ "2006–2011 Main LTP – Warwick, Leamington Spa, Kenilworth and Whitnash Urban Area". Warwickshire County Council. 2006. Archived from the original on 22 May 2008. Retrieved 12 June 2008.
  10. ^ "John Laing picks up NUCKLE station build contract". Transport Briefing. Acumen Intelligence Ltd. Retrieved 14 September 2011.
  11. ^ "Contracts signed to build new Kenilworth rail station". Coventry Telegraph. Trinity Mirror. 24 July 2009. Retrieved 14 September 2011.
  12. ^ "Planning Application WDC/10CC067". Warwickshire County Council. Retrieved 14 September 2011.
  13. ^ "Kenilworth railway station funding refused". BBC News. BBC. 26 April 2011. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  14. ^ "£5m bid for new Kenilworth railway station". BBC News. BBC. 26 February 2013. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  15. ^ "Funding pledge for Kenilworth railway station". Global Rail News. Rail Media. 3 June 2013. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
  16. ^ Reid, Les (4 June 2013). "New Kenilworth train station to be open by 2016, says Minister". Coventry Telegraph. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
  17. ^ "Green light for Kenilworth Station". Press release. Department for Transport. 12 December 2013. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
  18. ^ "Test train checks timings are on track for Kenilworth Rail Station". Warwickshire County Council. 8 October 2014.
  19. ^ "Kenilworth railway station design is selected". BBC News. 21 November 2014. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  20. ^ "KENILWORTH APPROACHES DECEMBER DEADLINE". Railway magazine. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  21. ^ "Kenilworth Station plans dealt a blow". Kenilworth Weekly News. 7 July 2016. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  22. ^ "Second track plan for Kenilworth Station could be back on". Kenilworth Weekly News. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  23. ^ "Work on Kenilworth Station officially begun". Kenilworth Weekly News. 29 July 2016. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  24. ^ "Kenilworth Station opening delayed until December 2017". Kenilworth Weekly News. 5 January 2017. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  25. ^ "West Midlands franchise". Department for Transport. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  26. ^ All The Stations (24 December 2017). "I Just Got A Snowflake In My Eye! - Kenilworth Station". Retrieved 25 December 2017.
  27. ^ "Train operator casts doubt on Kenilworth Station opening date". Kenilworth Weekly News. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  28. ^ "'No trains' at Kenilworth's new railway station 'until 2018'". BBC News. 5 December 2017. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  29. ^ "Yet another delay to Kenilworth Station's opening date". Kenilworth Weekly News. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  30. ^ "Kenilworth Station's opening delay down to county council, rail regulator confirms". Kenilworth Weekly News. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  31. ^ "Top official of rail regulator 'authorises Kenilworth Station'". Kenilworth Weekly News. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  32. ^ "Warwickshire News". Kenilworth Weekly News. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  33. ^ "First train service from Kenilworth on track for 6.44am Monday". Leamington Observer. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  34. ^ "Timetable for Kenilworth Station released". Kenilworth Weekly News. 25 April 2018. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  35. ^ "No Sunday service as Kenilworth finally set to open". Rail Magazine. 19 February 2018. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Coventry   West Midlands Railway
Coventry to Leamington Line
  Leamington Spa
  Historical railways  
Line and station open
  London and North Western Railway
Coventry to Leamington Line
  Warwick (Milverton)
Line open, station closed
Line closed, station open
  London and North Western Railway
Berkswell Branch

External links[edit]