Lincoln Central railway station

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Lincoln Central National Rail
LincolnCentral 2017.png
Place Lincoln
Local authority Lincoln
Coordinates 53°13′34″N 0°32′20″W / 53.226°N 0.539°W / 53.226; -0.539Coordinates: 53°13′34″N 0°32′20″W / 53.226°N 0.539°W / 53.226; -0.539
Grid reference SK976708
Station code LCN
Managed by East Midlands Trains
Number of platforms 5
DfT category C1
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2012/13 Decrease 1.634 million
– Interchange  Decrease 24,309
2013/14 Decrease 1.610 million
– Interchange  Increase 25,767
2014/15 Increase 1.650 million
– Interchange  Increase 25,994
2015/16 Increase 1.754 million
– Interchange  Decrease 25,832
2016/17 Increase 1.816 million
– Interchange  Increase 27,618
Key dates Opened 17 October 1848 (17 October 1848)
Listed status
Listed feature Lincoln Central Station and footbridge and platform building and yard walls
Listing grade Grade II listed
Entry number 1388752[1]
Added to list 16 March 1990
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Lincoln Central from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal

Lincoln Central railway station serves the city of Lincoln in Lincolnshire, England. The station is owned by Network Rail and managed by East Midlands Trains (EMT) train operating company. East Midlands Trains provide the majority of services along with Northern and London North Eastern Railway.

The station is part of the PlusBus scheme, where train and bus tickets can be bought together at a saving. Lincoln Central bus station, the city's main bus station, is within a couple of minute's walk from the railway station, located to the north-east of the station, on the opposite side of St. Mary's Street and easily accessed via a pedestrian crossing and pedestrianised plaza.


The station buildings were designed in 1848 by John Henry Taylor of London for the Great Northern Railway company. It is built in a Tudor revival style of yellow brick, with stone dressings and slate roofs, with 6 ridge and 8 side wall stacks.[1]

Lincoln Central is now the only station in Lincoln since the closure of Lincoln St. Marks in 1985.[2] However, it has retained its "Central" suffix, like Rotherham Central.

In late 2010 East Midlands Trains announced that it intended to develop an improved customer service area and improve the café and toilets.[3]

Platform layout and services[edit]

Train services run between Lincoln Central and

There is also a once daily service (Monday to Saturday) to London St Pancras operated by East Midlands Trains and to London King's Cross operated by London North Eastern Railway.

There are five platforms at the station, numbered 1–5:

  • Platforms 1 and 2 are bay platforms used for daytime stabling of trains and for terminating arrivals from the east which will return east (trains arriving from the east which will form westbound services will be routed into one of the through platforms).
  • Platforms 3, 4 and 5 are bidirectional through platforms used for services on all routes. All three through platforms are used as most operationally advantageous.
  • Platform 3 is the platform face adjacent the main station building and is nearest to the station entrance. The ticket barriers, buffet/shop, a waiting room, accessible toilet and staff facilities are all sited on platform 3.
  • Platforms 4 and 5 are the two faces of the island platform. Passenger waiting rooms and toilets are on the island platform, as is the staff conference room.

Lincoln Central station is also home to an East Midlands Trains train crew depot; trains are stabled overnight in any or all of the platforms as operationally convenient.

Types of trains[edit]

East Midland Trains operates Class 153, Class 156 and Class 158 DMUs on the local services, with Class 222 DEMUs operating the daily service to London St Pancras. Occasionally 222 DEMUs are also used on the Leicester to Lincoln services when a DMU is not available. Northern services are usually operated by Class 142 or Class 144 DMUs however other units can occasionally appear, such as 150s or 158s. The daily London North Eastern Railway service is operated by a HST.

From 2019, Northern will be introducing new Class 195 Civity trains to replace the 142s and 144s.

Lincoln Central also annually sees multiple charter trains throughout the year, particularly for the Lincoln Christmas Market

Charter service in Lincoln Central

Development Work[edit]


The old layout and signalling, seen in 1977
View of the station in August 2007 showing then recently relaid track

Network Rail instituted a major resignalling scheme for Lincoln Central during the years 2007–2008 which saw:

  • the replacement of the semaphore signals with colour light signals,
  • the concentration of all signalling control into one signal box rather than the previous four,
  • track relaying, and ballasting
  • new points and crossovers which allow all three through platforms at Lincoln to be used in both directions and allows trains from the east to enter the two bay platforms (1 & 2) directly.[4]

As a direct result, terminating trains no longer need to shunt from one side of the station to the other to take up their return workings, reducing turnaround times for terminating trains and improve train service punctuality and reliability.

As part of the overall scheme, Lincoln Central's platforms have been renumbered from 3–7 to 1–5: (the current platform 1 was previously platform 3, 2 was 4 etc.)

Barriers at Lincoln Central station.
The ornate main entrance at Lincoln station.

All four existing signal boxes - High Street, East Holmes, West Holmes and Pelham Street Junction - were closed and replaced by a new state of the art signalling centre near the West Holmes box. Pelham Street and West Holmes boxes were demolished, but the High Street and East Holmes boxes are listed buildings and are preserved.

Current and future development[edit]

Lincoln Central is included in the Lincoln Transport Hub redevelopment scheme, with aims to improve connectivity between bus and rail services in Lincoln by the construction of a new bus station adjacent to the railway station, alongside improvements to the railway station itself, including a new pedestrianised plaza outside the main entrance on St Mary's Street. Construction of the Transport Hub commenced in August 2016 and is scheduled to be completed by February 2017.[5]

There are also plans for improvements to the railway station itself, alongside the construction of a new footbridge over the railway line from Tentercroft Street into the city centre to increase the connectivity of the city centre on foot and by cycle.[citation needed]

In addition to this, there is currently construction of a coffee shop within the station premises. There are also proposals for more ticket barriers so there is a separate exit from entrance.

Future services[edit]

For many years, Lincoln had not been served with a direct rail service to London. However, the awarding of two new rail franchises saw this remedied.

On 14 August 2007, it was announced that National Express East Coast (NXEC) would take over the InterCity East Coast franchise in December 2007. As part of the commitment, NXEC planned to introduce a two-hourly service between Lincoln Central and London King's Cross, starting in 2009. This service would have alternated with a two-hourly service to York.[6][7] The InterCity East Coast Franchise was passed to East Coast in November 2009. In late 2009 East Coast along with NetworkRail published details of the ECML proposed new timetable, including the Lincoln-London services. In spring 2010 it was announced that this new service would be cut back. East Coast, citing financial restraints during the credit crunch, announced instead just one direct train in each direction per day, with extra services running only as far as Newark NorthGate station, meaning Lincoln passengers will still have to change trains there.[8] On 22 May 2011 East Coast started direct Lincoln-London Kings Cross services, albeit in a much reduced number than they had originally planned. There is one train a day to London leaving Lincoln at 07:30 Monday-Friday and 07:33 on Saturday, there is no East Coast Service to London on a Sunday. The return service leaves London at 19:06 Monday-Friday, 18.08 on Saturday, and 19.08 on Sunday. The operation passed over to Virgin Trains East Coast in early 2015 and as of June 2018 the King's Cross service is now operated by London North Eastern Railway.

In addition to the London North Eastern Railway service, East Midlands Trains operate one train per day Monday-Saturday from Lincoln to London St Pancras, and a return journey is made in the evening. Monday-Saturday, the East Midlands Trains service to London St Pancras leaves Lincoln at 07.04, and the return journey leaves London St Pancras at 18.30 Monday-Friday, and on a Saturday the service leaves at 17.29.

The new Northern franchise due to start in April 2016 will see service improvements on the Lincoln line - the service frequency to Sheffield & Retford will be increased to twice hourly (and to hourly on Sundays), whilst the Lincoln to Sheffield service will be incorporated into Arriva Rail North's Northern Connect regional network and extended to Leeds via Barnsley.[9]

In 2006, Humber & City, an open-access operator owned by Renaissance Trains, proposed running services between Cleethorpes and Stratford via Lincoln. Nothing concrete seems to have come of the proposal.

Nottingham County Council, the Department for Transport and Network Rail are in discussion about various improvements to the line towards Nottingham including a doubling of service.[10]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 4 June 1962, an express passenger train was derailed due to excessive speed on a curve. Three people were killed and 49 were injured.[11][12]


Further reading[edit]

  • Hunt, John (19 November – 2 December 1997). "Lincoln: City of surprises!". RAIL. No. 318. EMAP Apex Publications. pp. 24–31. ISSN 0953-4563. OCLC 49953699. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Lincoln Central railway station at Wikimedia Commons

Lincoln Lines
Doncaster–Lincoln line
to Doncaster
Sheffield-Lincoln Line
to Sheffield
Pyewipe Junction
Boultham Junction
West Holmes Junction
Nottingham–Lincoln line
to Nottingham
Holmes Yard
Lincoln St. Marks
Brayford Wharf Crossing
High Street Crossing
GN and GE
Avoiding Line
Lincoln Central
Sheffield–Lincoln line
to Cleethorpes
GN Terrace Crossing
Sincil Junction
Grantham–Lincoln line
to Grantham
Washingboro' Junction
Peterborough–Lincoln line
to Peterborough
Lincolnshire loop line
to Spalding & Boston
Preceding station   National Rail National Rail   Following station
East Midlands Trains
Midland Main Line
(limited service)
East Midlands Trains
East Midlands Trains
TerminusEast Midlands Trains
East Midlands Trains
Newark-Grimsby Line
Sheffield-Lincoln Line
Newark North Gate   London North Eastern Railway
Historical railways
Line and station closed
Great Northern and Great Eastern Joint Railway
Line open, station closed
Line and station closed
Great Northern RailwayTerminus
TerminusGreat Northern Railway
Line and station closed
Line and station closed
Great Central RailwayTerminus