|Location||Royal Leamington Spa, District of Warwick|
|Managed by||Chiltern Railways|
|Classification||DfT category C1|
|Original company||Great Western Railway|
|1852||Opened as Leamington|
|1913||Renamed Leamington Spa|
|1950||Renamed Leamington Spa General|
|1968||Renamed Leamington Spa|
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road
Leamington Spa railway station serves the town of Leamington Spa, in Warwickshire, England. It is situated on Old Warwick Road towards the southern edge of the town centre. It is a major stop on the Chiltern Main Line between London and Birmingham, and is the southern terminus of a branch line to Coventry.
The first station at the site, under the name Leamington was opened by the Great Western Railway (GWR) on its new main line between Birmingham, Oxford and London in 1852. It was later renamed Leamington Spa in 1913.
This was not the first station in Leamington; the London and North Western Railway (LNWR) had reached the town eight years earlier in 1844, with a branch line from Coventry. That line, however, terminated about 0.7 miles (1.1 km) from the town centre, at Milverton station. The opening of the GWR line compelled the LNWR to extend their Coventry branch into the centre of Leamington, and join it end-on to their new branch to Rugby, and in 1854 they opened a new station directly alongside the GWR station known as Leamington Spa (Avenue). In 1864, a connection was made between the GWR and LNWR lines at Leamington, which was mainly used to exchange goods traffic.
James G. Batterson, the founder of American insurance giant The Travelers Companies, claimed that he first became aware of accident insurance in 1859 when he bought a railway ticket from this station to London which included accidental death insurance up to the amount of £1,000.
In the 1930s the GWR took advantage of a government loan guarantee scheme to fund improvements to their railway network; one of these improvements was the complete rebuilding between 1937 and 1939 of their station at Leamington in the then popular Art Deco style, to the designs of the GWRs Chief Architect Percy Emerson Culverhouse.
The station came under the control of the Western Region of British Railways in 1948, who renamed the station Leamington Spa (General) in 1950, before reverting to Leamington Spa in 1968. In 1965 British Railways closed down the adjacent Avenue station and the branch to Rugby, and diverted the Coventry branch into the ex-GWR station via a new connection. Prior to this there had only been sidings connecting the Coventry line to the ex-GWR line, used for the exchange of goods wagons. BR also removed passenger services from the Coventry branch at the same time, and closed all of the intermediate stations, leaving it open for freight trains only. This lasted until 1977, when BR resumed passenger trains between Leamington and Coventry.
Grade II listed station building
Reproduction Art Deco clock in the station booking hall
The station today
Three lines radiate from Leamington Spa:
- one heading north-west to Birmingham by way of Warwick and Solihull, with a branch to Stratford-upon-Avon diverging at Hatton, some 6 miles (9.7 km) from Leamington;
- one going north through Kenilworth to Coventry;
- one heading south-east towards Banbury, beyond which it splits into routes heading for London (Marylebone) and for Reading, via Oxford.
The present Art Deco-style station, which dates from immediately prior to the Second World War (it was comprehensively rebuilt between 1937 and 1939), has four platforms which are numbered one to four from south to north. Platforms one and four are west-facing bays, used only by local trains to and from Birmingham Snow Hill, Stratford-upon-Avon or Nuneaton starting or terminating at Leamington. Platforms two and three are through platforms: platform two is used by services to Stratford-upon-Avon, Birmingham Snow Hill or Coventry, Birmingham New Street and beyond; platform three is for departures to Banbury and London Marylebone or Reading. Two central lines allow freight trains or other non-stop services to pass through the station when platforms two and three are occupied.
Chiltern Railways services run every half-an-hour between London's Marylebone station and Birmingham Moor Street (limited stop, alternate trains continue through to Birmingham Snow Hill, with 3 evening trains extending to Stourbridge Junction); further trains (at approximately two-hourly intervals) travel from here to Stratford-upon-Avon and to Moor Street (stopping service). Until the May 2023 timetable change a number of the Birmingham trains started from Kidderminster in the mornings and terminated there in the evenings, whilst a limited through service ran between Marylebone and Stratford-upon-Avon.
On Sundays, the frequency of trains is in most cases about half of that indicated above northbound to Moor Street and southbound to Marylebone, with hourly services between the two. An additional two services to Stourbridge via Birmingham Snow Hill run in the evening peak. The service starting from here to Stratford-upon-Avon remains two-hourly.
One long-distance train per hour, operated by CrossCountry, stops in each direction. Northbound the service goes to Manchester Piccadilly via Coventry, Birmingham International, Birmingham New Street, Wolverhampton, Stafford and Stoke-on-Trent and southbound to Bournemouth via Banbury, Oxford, Reading, Basingstoke and Southampton Central.
West Midlands Railway
From May 2018, the company West Midlands Trains began operating an hourly local service to Coventry, calling at the reopened Kenilworth station; in May 2019, this was extended to Nuneaton.
West Midlands Railway also operates an early morning service on Mondays to Saturdays to Worcester Foregate Street via Birmingham Snow Hill, Birmingham Moor Street, Stourbridge Junction, Kidderminster and Worcester Shrub Hill at the beginning of the day and from there in the evening. An additional limited stop service terminates at Snow Hill on Saturday mornings only.
|Preceding station||National Rail||Following station|
London to Birmingham
|West Midlands Railway
Leamington Spa to Worcester
|Kenilworth||West Midlands Railway
Former motive power depots
The London and Birmingham Railway opened a motive power depot on the west side of the line at their Milverton station in 1844. It was replaced by a larger engine shed nearby in 1881, which was known as Warwick (Milverton). This depot closed on 17 November 1958 and was demolished. Locomotives were then serviced at the former Great Western Railway depot at Leamington Spa.
The Great Western Railway opened a motive power depot on the east side of the line south of Leamington Spa General Station in 1906. This was closed by British Railways on 14 June 1965 and demolished.
- Butt, R. V. J. (October 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. p. 140. ISBN 978-1-85260-508-7. OCLC 60251199. OL 11956311M.
- "Leamington Spa Station (GWR)". Warwickshire Railways. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
- Hurst, Geoffrey (1993). LNWR Branch Lines of West Leicestershire & East Warwickshire (First ed.). Milepost Publications. pp. 44–59. ISBN 0-947796-16-9.
- "The Travelers' Fortieth Anniversary". Insurance Monitor. New York: C.C. Hine's Sons Company. 52 (4): 160–162. April 1904.
- Hendry, R. Preston; Hendry, R. Powell (1992). Paddington to the Mersey. Oxford Publishing Company. pp. 139–143. ISBN 9780860934424. OCLC 877729237.
- Royal Leamington Spa: A History in 100 Buildings. Leamington History Group. 2018. pp. 183–185. ISBN 978-0-9562773-4-3.
- "Railways to Leamington Spa" (PDF). Leamington History Group. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
- "Leamington Spa railway's 1930s waiting rooms restored". BBC News. 3 May 2011. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
- Historic England. "LEAMINGTON SPA STATION, INCLUDING ATTACHED PLATFORM STRUCTURES (1390496)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
- "Timetable - 22 May 2023 - 8 December 2023: London to High Wycombe, Bicester, Oxford, Banbury, Leamington Spa, Stratford-upon-Avon and Birmingham". Chiltern Railways.
- "From Sunday 21 May 2023, we will introduce our new timetable". Chiltern Railways. 21 May 2023.
- "Passengers advised new train timetables imminent". BBC News. 5 May 2022. Retrieved 20 May 2022.
- "Chiltern Railways customers in Oxfordshire urged to check their journey as all train times in Banbury and Bicester set to change". Oxfordshire Live. 3 May 2023. Retrieved 20 May 2023.
- GB eNRT December 2015 Edition, Tables 71 & 115
- "CrossCountry | Scotland, North East & Manchester to the South West and South Coast | Sunday 21 May 2023-9 December 2023" (PDF). CrossCountry Trains.
- "When direct trains from Nuneaton and Leamington start". Coventry Telegraph. 18 May 2019. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
- "Train Times | Nuneaton-Coventry-Leamington Spa | 21 May 2023-9 December 2023". West Midlands Railway.
- "Train timetables and schedules | Leamington Spa". West Midlands Railway.
- "Train times | Snow Hill Lines - Worcester to Birmingham Snow Hill, Solihull and Stratford upon Avon | 21 May until 9 December 2023". West Midlands Railway.
- Roger Griffiths and Paul Smith, The directory of British engine sheds:1 (Oxford Publishing Co., 1999), p.154. ISBN 0 86093 542 6.
- Train times and station information for Leamington Spa railway station from National Rail
- Solihull and Leamington Rail Users Association – representing the interests and views of local rail users
- Historical photographs of the GWR Leamington Spa station