Motherwell railway station

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Motherwell National Rail
Scottish Gaelic: Tobar na Màthar[1]
Motherwell railway station platforms 1 and 2.jpg
Motherwell railway station at Platforms 1 and 2. Trains running on the West Coast Main Line stop here.
Local authorityNorth Lanarkshire
Coordinates55°47′30″N 3°59′39″W / 55.791570°N 3.994208°W / 55.791570; -3.994208Coordinates: 55°47′30″N 3°59′39″W / 55.791570°N 3.994208°W / 55.791570; -3.994208
Grid referenceNS750571
Station codeMTH
Managed byAbellio ScotRail
Owned byNetwork Rail
Number of platforms4
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2014/15Increase 1.226 million
2015/16Increase 1.258 million
2016/17Increase 1.387 million
2017/18Increase 1.419 million
2018/19Decrease 1.386 million
Passenger Transport Executive
PTEStrathclyde Partnership for Transport
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Motherwell from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
Motherwell looking from the south, with stabling sidings in the foreground. Platform 4 is closest to the camera. The bridge in the foreground has recently been replaced with a DDA compliant one.
View northward towards Glasgow Central in 1966

Motherwell railway station serves Motherwell in North Lanarkshire, Scotland. It lies on the West Coast Main Line (WCML), and is served also by Argyle Line trains of the Glasgow suburban railway network. It is the penultimate stop on the northbound WCML before Glasgow. There are four platforms of various length in use at Motherwell. The station is located next to the town's main shopping arcade, Motherwell Shopping Centre.


The first station in Motherwell was opened by the Wishaw and Coltness Railway on 8 May 1843 and was located at Orbiston. As Orbiston station was quite some distance from the rapidly expanding Motherwell town centre, the decision was taken by the Caledonian Railway to build a station at 'Lesmahagow Junction', the point where the Motherwell Deviation branch of the Caledonian Railway Main Line met the lines to Mossend, Hamilton and Lesmahagow. That Motherwell station was opened on 31 July 1885 on a site conveniently in the heart of the town which replaced the original station.

The current station was built by British Rail during the 1970s on the same site of that more convenient one to coincide with the electrification of the West Coast Main Line. It has four through platforms, crossed by two overbridges with the main buildings being above the level of the line between Platforms 2 and 3. At platform level between Platforms 2 and 3 there is also a Abellio ScotRail traincrew depot, staff car park and an office of the British Transport Police. These are accessible via a gated rampway leading to street level.

Beyond Platform 4 are some electrified sidings used for the stabling of trains overnight. Diagrams are nominally worked so that these units will only stay at Motherwell for one night before returning to their allocated depot.


Local services departing to and from the station are provided by Abellio ScotRail and the majority of northbound services serve Glasgow Central (either terminating at the High Level station or passing through the Low Level station en route to Dalmuir or Milngavie), whilst southbound Argyle Line services terminate at Lanark or Carstairs.[2]

Services provided by other operators or limited services[edit]

Some services are provided by other operators. As of 2016 these are follows,

TransPennine Express[edit]

Provide a 2 hourly service to both Glasgow Central and Manchester Airport, In addition on weekends there is a limited service to Liverpool Lime Street these operate as follows: On Saturdays, There is 1 train per day, On Sundays 2 trains call, All other trains to/from Liverpool and trains on weekdays don't call here.

Avanti West Coast[edit]

Provide 8 trains per day with 4 trains per day to Glasgow Central and 4 trains per day to London Euston one of which operates via Birmingham.

London North Eastern Railway[edit]

Provide 1 train per day to both Glasgow Central and London Kings Cross[3]


Provide a regular service (roughly every two hours) to Glasgow Central and Edinburgh Waverley with most eastbound services extending to Birmingham New Street, Bristol Temple Meads and Plymouth via Newcastle and Leeds.[4] A limited number run beyond Plymouth through to Penzance.


Provide limited services in addition to their normal services:

There is 1 train per day to Edinburgh Waverley via Shotts, this returns in the evening.

There are 2 trains per day to North Berwick,

There is a 2 hourly service to Edinburgh Waverley via Carstairs - several of these run to/from Ayr

A few peak time services operate to/from Carstairs

Motherwell is unusual in that Glasgow Central can be reached via trains from three different platforms going in two different directions. Glasgow is generally north-west of Motherwell, but trains can depart via the West Coast Main Line and Motherwell Deviation going North, or by the Hamilton Circle going South. The same can also be said for services to Lanark, which is south-east of Motherwell. Trains can depart towards Lanark going south via Shieldmuir, or initially north via Holytown (though this route is not normally used for timetabled trains since the December 2014 timetable alterations were implemented).

During times of disruption such as the closure of the West Coast Main Line between Uddingston and Law Junction for engineering works, Virgin Trains services and those of CrossCountry can be diverted along the Hamilton Circle and Wishaw Deviation (and sometimes the line to Edinburgh via Shotts) and will use Platforms 3 and 4. Trains provided by London North Eastern Railway will generally be suspended in this event as their drivers do not have the required route knowledge. In general, a replacement bus service will operate from Motherwell, and passengers from Glasgow are advised to travel to Edinburgh via Glasgow Queen Street.

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Lockerbie or
  Avanti West Coast
West Coast Main Line
  Glasgow Central
Haymarket   CrossCountry
Cross Country Network
  Glasgow Central
Haymarket   London North Eastern Railway
East Coast Main Line
  Glasgow Central
Lockerbie   TransPennine Express
  Glasgow Central
Carstairs or
  TransPennine Express
  Glasgow Central

Whifflet or
Bellshill or
  Abellio ScotRail
Argyle Line
  Airbles or
Terminus   Abellio ScotRail
Motherwell to Cumbernauld Line
Wishaw   Abellio ScotRail
North Berwick Line
  Glasgow Central
Carstairs   Caledonian Sleeper
Lowland Caledonian Sleeper
  Glasgow Central
  Historical railways  
Line and station open
(except section between
Ferniegair and Ross Junction)
  Coalburn Branch
Caledonian Railway
Hamilton Central
Line and station open
  Hamilton Branch
Caledonian Railway
Terminus   Clydesdale Junction Railway   Uddingston
Line and station open
Flemington (Cal.)
Line open; station closed
  Wishaw and Coltness Railway
CR Main Line
Line open; station closed


  • Platform 1 is used for all southbound InterCity services as well as local services to Carstairs and Edinburgh. Services to Lanark use this platform every half hour. Lanark departures from this platform travel via Shieldmuir.
  • Platform 2 is used for all northbound InterCity services to Glasgow Central as well as local northbound services to Glasgow Central from Edinburgh and Carstairs. Services from Lanark to Glasgow Central via Bellshill also use this platform.
  • Platform 3 is used by services to Glasgow Central via Hamilton. Services on the Hamilton Circle line to Glasgow which have arrived via Whifflet also use this platform. One train a day from Edinburgh via Shotts terminates here. In addition on Sundays,trains from Motherwell to Glasgow Central via Bellshill use this platform.
  • Platform 4 is used by all services on the Hamilton Circle to Glasgow which have arrived via Hamilton, as well as those terminating here to return via Hamilton. Also trains to Cumbernauld use this platform hourly.


  1. ^ Brailsford, Martyn, ed. (December 2017) [1987]. "Gaelic/English Station Index". Railway Track Diagrams 1: Scotland & Isle of Man (6th ed.). Frome: Trackmaps. ISBN 978-0-9549866-9-8.
  2. ^ GB National Rail Timetable May–December 2015, Tables 225 & 226
  3. ^ GB NRT, Tables 26 & 65
  4. ^ GB NRT, Table 51

External links[edit]