Newbury Racecourse railway station

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Newbury Racecourse National Rail
Newbury Racecourse station 2010.jpg
Place East Fields, Newbury
Local authority West Berkshire
Coordinates 51°23′53″N 1°18′29″W / 51.398°N 1.308°W / 51.398; -1.308Coordinates: 51°23′53″N 1°18′29″W / 51.398°N 1.308°W / 51.398; -1.308
Grid reference SU482668
Station code NRC
Managed by Great Western Railway
Number of platforms 3
DfT category F1
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2011/12 Increase 77,164
2012/13 Increase 82,370
2013/14 Decrease 76,212
2014/15 Increase 86,984
2015/16 Increase 97,254
Key dates Opened 26 September 1905 (26 September 1905)
Original company Great Western Railway
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Newbury Racecourse from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal

Newbury Racecourse railway station is a railway station serving the East Fields area of the town of Newbury, Berkshire, England. It was opened on 26 September 1905. The station is next to Newbury Racecourse and handles heavy traffic and additional trains on race days. Otherwise the station is served by local services operated by Great Western Railway from Reading to Newbury and Bedwyn.


Newbury Racecourse station is served by local services operated by Great Western Railway from Reading to Newbury. On the current weekly timetable only two or three local services that call at the station continue to Bedwyn.[1]

Services are summarised as follows.

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Thatcham   Great Western Railway
Reading to Newbury
A train from Reading

During race meets or large events at Newbury Racecourse additional trains serve the station. They include a shuttle service to Reading and an extra stop for services that do not normally call at the station, sometimes including InterCity 125 trains. During some races, a special charter calls at the station. The special trains and the shuttle service usually use the third platform on the south side of the station.


The Great Western Railway opened the station on 26 September 1905, several decades after the rest of the stations on this part of the line. It was used for race specials only. It did not even appear on timetables until 1912 but even then, it was still used only for race traffic.[citation needed]

In 1990, after the building of new facilities at the racecourse and the building of a new industrial estate on Hambridge Road, a regular stopping service was introduced for the station.[2]

An old GWR sign, still in use in 2010

The station originally had four platforms. The additional platform was on the south-facing side of what is now platform two. The platform on the south side also included station buildings and a roof through which passengers passed to access the racecourse. There was also a turntable at the station used mainly for turning steam locomotives that had brought specials at the start of the race day so they could make the return journey.[3]

Service history[edit]

The station was part of the GWR until railway nationalisation in 1948. After the sectorisation of British Rail in 1982, the station became part of Network South East. Thames Trains provided services from 1996 until it became part of First Great Western Link.

Current layout[edit]

The station now has three platforms, two of which are next to the main line. The third platform is on the southern side of the station on a loop. The loop that previously served the fourth platform has now been lifted.

The two main platforms that are currently served by stopping services have been shortened by fencing off the unused parts of the platform. Only short Class 166 DMUs and Class 165 DMUs use these platforms so maintaining their full length is unnecessary. Longer trains can use the third platform.

A footbridge links all the existing platforms. There is a car park on the north side of the station with access to Hambridge Road. The car park on the south side of the station is on the property of Newbury Racecourse.

Freight trains use the existing loop to allow passenger trains to pass them on the main line. Steam locomotives on special charters that are not stopping in the station also use the loop as a water stop because nearby road access can allow a water tender to reach the line.[citation needed] It also prevents such trains from blocking the main line or a platform at Newbury. All continuing trains using the loop at the racecourse must also travel through the loop on the down platform at Newbury to rejoin the main line.


  1. ^ "Timetable D" (PDF). First Great Western. 2 May 2007. Retrieved 2 September 2007. 
  2. ^ "Basingstoke Railway History in Maps". Christopher Tolley. 2001. Archived from the original on 6 December 2008. Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  3. ^ Robertson, K (1987). The Last Days of Steam in Berkshire. Alan Sutton Publishing. ISBN 0-86299-395-4.