Kettering railway station

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Coordinates: 52°23′35″N 0°43′56″W / 52.39307°N 0.73215°W / 52.39307; -0.73215

Kettering National Rail
Platform 2
Place Kettering
Local authority Borough of Kettering
Grid reference SP863780
Station code KET
Managed by East Midlands Trains
Number of platforms 4
DfT category C2
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2004/05 0.933 million
2005/06 Decrease 0.921 million
2006/07 Increase 1.012 million
2007/08 Increase 1.086 million
2008/09 Increase 1.112 million
2009/10 Decrease 0.990 million
2010/11 Decrease 0.989 million
2011/12 Increase 0.996 million
2012/13 Increase 1.019 million
2013/14 Decrease 1.004 million
Key dates Opened 1857 (1857)
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Kettering from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
UK Railways portal

Kettering railway station serves the town of Kettering in Northamptonshire, England. It lies south-west of the town centre, on the Midland Main Line, 71 miles (115 km) north of London St. Pancras and is served primarily by semi-fast East Midlands Trains Class 222 "Meridian" trains, with some HSTs at peak times.

Through fares were made available from 68 UK towns and cities to Paris, Brussels and other destinations in France and Belgium in late 2007, which must be booked through Eurostar.[1]

Commuters to London enjoy a high frequency of trains to the capital in the morning and evening peak, with a train (occasionally non-stop) roughly every 20 to 30 minutes. The fastest journey takes 51 minutes.

As of late 2009 Kettering is a Penalty fare station: a valid ticket or Permit to travel must be shown on request.


The station was opened in May 1857 by the Midland Railway on a line linking the Midland to the Great Northern Railway at Hitchin. Later, the Midland gained its own London terminus at St Pancras railway station. The station was also the terminus of the Midland cross country branch line from Cambridge via St Ives & Huntingdon from 1866 until closure in June 1959.

It was designed by C.H. Driver, with particularly fine "pierced grill" cast ironwork on the platforms. Although altered between 1879 and 1884 when the line was quadrupled, and again in 1896, it is regarded as one of best remaining examples of Midland architecture.[2]

At the time, the leather trade being in recession, over half its population was on poor relief. The railway enabled the town to sell its products over a much wider area and restored it to prosperity.[citation needed]

In the 1970s the glass canopies became a maintenance headache for British Rail, who proposed to remove the tops of the cast iron columns and replace the glass canopies with plastic sheeting. Kettering Civic Society objected to the plans and the canopies and columns were reprieved, later to be sympathetically restored by Railtrack in 2000.

London, Midland and Scottish Railway[edit]

Until the line through Buxton was closed in the Beeching era, the 'main lines' were those from London to Manchester, carrying named expresses such as The Palatine. Express trains to Leeds and Scotland such as the Thames-Clyde Express generally used the Erewash Valley Line then on to the Settle and Carlisle Line. Expresses to Edinburgh, such as The Waverley, travelled through Corby and Nottingham.


A Map of East Midlands Trains InterCity services showing the current service pattern each hour

There is a half-hourly service to London St. Pancras and hourly services to either Nottingham via Leicester or to Corby, both operated by Meridian trains. During peak, one Nottingham services is extended to start and finish at Lincoln via Newark and one Corby service goes to and from Melton Mowbray.

Faster East Midlands Trains services to/from Leeds, Sheffield, Nottingham and Derby run through Kettering at high speed, but do not call. Interchange with faster services can be made at Leicester and St Pancras.

At the weekend there is one train per day to York, and in the summer months the York service on a Saturday is extended to and from Scarborough.

Corby services[edit]

Just north of Kettering on Engineers Line Reference SPC2 (St Pancras to Chesterfield) is Glendon junction for the Oakham to Kettering Line, which leads through Corby to Manton Junction, where it joins the Leicester to Peterborough Line. This historically provided an alternative route for expresses to Nottingham via Old Dalby. Arriva Cross Country trains use the line via Leicester to Peterborough for their Birmingham to Stansted airport service.

Passenger services were withdrawn from this line in the 1960s, though it remained open for freight. In 1987 Network South East experimentally introduced a shuttle service between Kettering and a new station in the nearby town of Corby. The service was however withdrawn a few years later. Corby was often regarded as being the largest town in western Europe with no rail station. East Midlands Trains, and Midland Mainline before it, was committed through its franchise to run a shuttle bus from Corby to Kettering station. Occasionally the line is used as a diversionary route when the route between Kettering and Leicester is closed.

The new station at Corby was originally planned to open in December 2008, but this was delayed until extra trains were acquired. It eventually opened on 23 February 2009, initially served by one return train to London St Pancras per day, operated by East Midlands Trains.[3] Full service, with 13 daily returns to London, started on 27 April 2009. The service provides one train each hour calling at Corby, Kettering, Wellingborough, Bedford, Luton and St Pancras, with a minimum journey time from Corby to London of 1 hour and 14 minutes.[4] One of the train pairs is extended north of Corby to Oakham.[5]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Market Harborough   East Midlands Trains
Midland Main Line
Corby   East Midlands Trains
Disused railways
Glendon and Rushton   Midland Railway
Midland Main Line
  Isham and Burton Latimer


Kettering is staffed during operational hours (05:00-00:30), and is locked and inaccessible during non operational times (01:00-04:30). The station is monitored via CCTV cameras which are monitored locally and at the town council offices.

The station is included in the PlusBus scheme where bus travel can be added to train tickets for a small additional charge.

The station formerly had a nightclub, in the basement of the station building, closed due to fire regulations. A subway and barrow crossing was used at the station to access the various platforms until the lifts and stairs were constructed in the 1990s. The former station masters flat has remained available for rent for several years.


It is planned that all platforms will be extended by up to 50 metres by 2012 to allow longer trains to be accommodated.[6]

The railway through Kettering is not electrified therefore all services are operated by diesel trains. This is set to change by 2019 when a scheme to electrify the remainder of the Midland Main Line is to be completed, this along with faster line speeds, means the town will be less than 60 minutes from the capital.[7] Combined with improvements on the Marston Vale line, new direct services may be introduced.


Major urban centres[edit]

Many of the UK's major cities can be reached with one or two changes. Many continental cities can be reached via one change at St Pancras International.

The following places can be reached directly from Kettering (Journey times approximate)

The following places are only reached directly from Kettering at certain times:

  • Doncaster - 1 hour 45 mins (Evenings)
  • Wakefield - 1 hour 55 mins (Evenings)
  • Leeds - 2 hours 15 mins (Peak times)
  • York - 2 hours 30 mins (1 journey each way - weekends only)

The following places can be reached from Kettering by changing once (Journey times approximate)

Passengers are able to travel to Paris and Brussels by changing at St Pancras Int. East Midlands Trains,have said they will introduce earlier journeys to London to allow passengers to arrive in Paris or Brussels before 9am.[8]

Local important centres[edit]

The following places can be reached directly from Kettering (Journey times approximate)

The following places can be reached from Kettering by changing once (Journey times approximate)


The ticket office is open to retail all rail products for any journey from 06:00 until 20:30 Monday to Sunday, at all other times a vending machine is accessible to issue tickets for that day.


  1. ^ "Through-fares from 68 UK towns and cities to continental Europe now available on" (Press release). Eurostar. 18 December 2007. Archived from the original on 30 December 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-28. 
  2. ^ Radford, J.B. (1988) [1983]. Midland Line Memories: a Pictorial History of the Midland Railway Main Line Between London (St Pancras) & Derby. London: Bloomsbury Books. ISBN 978-1-870630-21-4. 
  3. ^ "East Midlands Trains announces first trains for Corby". East Midlands Trains. 17 December 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  4. ^ "East Midlands Trains announces start date for full services from Corby". East Midlands Trains. 7 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  5. ^ "Passengers from Oakham set to benefit from direct link to London". East Midlands Trains. 7 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  6. ^ "CP4 Delivery Plan 2009 Enhancements programme: statement of scope, outputs and milestones" (PDF). Network Rail. December 2009. Retrieved 2010-03-18. 
  7. ^ "Investing in rail, investing in jobs and growth" (Press release). Department for Transport. 16 July 2012. Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
  8. ^ "East Midlands Trains > General Information > Our Plans > Fleet improvement". 

External links[edit]