Railway stations in Newmarket

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Newmarket National Rail
"New 1902 Station" building, now offices pictured 2008
Place Newmarket
Local authority Forest Heath
Coordinates 52°14′18″N 0°24′26″E / 52.2383°N 0.4073°E / 52.2383; 0.4073Coordinates: 52°14′18″N 0°24′26″E / 52.2383°N 0.4073°E / 52.2383; 0.4073
Grid reference TL 643 627
Station code NMK
Managed by Abellio Greater Anglia
Owned by Network Rail
Number of platforms 1
DfT category F1
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2012/13 Increase 0.269 million
2013/14 Increase 0.285 million
2014/15 Increase 0.290 million
2015/16 Increase 0.325 million
2016/17 Increase 0.364 million
Original company Newmarket and Chesterford Railway
Pre-grouping Great Eastern Railway
Post-grouping London and North Eastern Railway
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Newmarket from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal

Newmarket railway station serves the town of Newmarket. All trains serving it are operated by Abellio owned Greater Anglia. Following the sale of the station building for offices by Network Rail in 2011, plans were underway to build a new station building following complaints from local residents. Some improvements were made in 2016.[1]

The first railway station in Newmarket opened in 1848 as the terminus of the Newmarket and Chesterford Railway. This station was extended with a new island platform and opened along with the new Newmarket to Ely line in 1879. Newmarket Warren Hill station, built by the Great Eastern Railway specifically for race traffic, opened six years later and closing just after the Second World War. The original station was replaced by a new structure in 1902 and a much reduced facility on this site remains in use today.


Newmarket (1848 station)[edit]


The original Newmarket Station (52°14′35″N 0°24′52″E / 52.2430°N 0.4145°E / 52.2430; 0.4145 (Newmarket railway station (1848))) was built by the Newmarket and Chesterford Railway on 4 April 1848 as a single platform terminus for the 15-mile (24 km) line from Great Chesterford. The line was extended by the Eastern Counties Railway eastwards to Bury St Edmunds on 1 April 1854, but trains had to reverse in or out of the station.[2]

Sir Nickolaus Pevsner described the station thus: "was one of the most sumptuously Baroque stations of the early Victorian decades in England. Seven bays, one story divided by coupled Ionic giant columns carrying protected pieces of entablature and big chunks of decorated attic." [3]

Railways in Newmarket


The line between Cambridge and Newmarket was doubled in 1875.[4]

An additional island platform was opened on 1 September 1879 for general traffic located on the direct Ipswich - Cambridge line.[Note 1] This meant that through trains no longer had to reverse in and out of the original station and the original terminus station was then used for race day traffic and any Newmarket - Cambridge services. At the north end a footbridge linked the terminal platform and the new platforms (which were at a slightly lower level) and these remained open until replaced in 1902 by a new station to the south.

The former terminus became known as Newmarket (High Level).[2][Note 2]

The new platforms were located just south of the 1,100 yard Warren Hill tunnel (52°14′36″N 0°24′55″E / 52.2432°N 0.4154°E / 52.2432; 0.4154 (Newmarket railway station (1879))) and lasted until 1902 when the new station opened (see below).

The island platform survived disused for a number of years and pictorial evidence from the 1900s shows the surface was partly broken up and flowerbeds created. The platform was removed sometime in the 1930s to enable the main line to be re-aligned so more siding space could be created at the old terminus site.[5]

An additional platform at the terminus station (known as the third class platform) was opened in 1885 to cope with additional raceday traffic. Opening the same year as Newmarket Warren Hill station the old station site dealt with race traffic from the south and London whilst Warren Hill dealt with traffic from the north and east.[6]

During World War 1 the terminus station building was used as a temporary hospital.[7]

Race day traffic ceased using the terminus platforms in July 1954.[2]

Goods traffic at the old terminus station remained vibrant until the 1960s. Records from 1960 show that, caravans (the Sprite model produced by Newmarket firm Caravans International), agricultural implements, fertilizers and barley left the station and much paper imported from the USA was received. Horse traffic amounted to 1,073 sent and 1.573 received.[8]

On 21 February 1967 the last shunting horse to work on British Rail, "Charlie" at Newmarket retired with goods traffic being withdrawn from Newmarket the same year. [9]

The track was lifted in February 1969. The main station building received grade 2 listing but fell into a state of disrepair. It and the remaining buildings on the site were demolished in 1980 and the site is now occupied by a housing estate.[2][10]

Engine Shed[edit]

A turntable was provided at Newmarket for turning locomotives and in the early 1880s the GER provided a timber engine shed and inspection pit at this location. The LNER installed a 60-foot turntable in the 1920s primarily for visiting locomotives on race day traffic rather than Newmarket's allocated shunting locomotive. The dilapidated shed was demolished during the 1930s although the inspection pit, turntable and water tower remained until closure.[11]

The stables housing the shunting horses were located close to the water tower.

Newmarket Warren Hill[edit]

Newmarket Warren Hill station (52°15′09″N 0°25′07″E / 52.2524°N 0.4187°E / 52.2524; 0.4187 (Newmarket Warren Hill railway station)) was built by the Great Eastern Railway. It opened on 4 April 1885 just to the north of Warren Hill Tunnel[2] and catered for racecourse-goers arriving from points north, particularly Lincoln, Leeds and Manchester, with the encouragement of the Jockey Club.[12] Warren Hill was closed by the London and North Eastern Railway some time in or after 1945[2] but before 1 January 1948, when British Railways was formed.


Warren Hill station was a terminus station built alongside the Ipswich to Cambridge line but not served by it. The station consisted of a single island platform with two platform roads and a number of sidings and loops (for locomotives to run round their carriages).

Entrance to the station was by a four way covered staircase leading down to a covered (in glass and corrugated iron) arcade area. The arcade area, whilst not luxuriously equipped, had a refreshment bar, Ladies waiting room and toilets as well as various railway offices. The platform was 510 feet long but had no shelter (presumably passengers waited in the covered area until their train was shunted into the platform).[13]


During the 1870s and 1880s more and more people were coming to the races at Newmarket. The opening of the Newmarket - Ely line in 1879 meant that trains from the north could get to Newmarket more easily rather than having to reverse at Cambridge and line of the first trains to use the new link was a train carrying racehorses from Newmarket to Doncaster.[14]

In April 1883 the GER approved a quote (by builders Messrs Bennett Bros. of Downham Market and work commenced on clearing a space north of the Ipswich to Cambridge line at the east end of Warren Hill tunnel. Although the building was delayed by inclement weather the station was ready for the 1885 "Craven" meeting at Newmarket Racecourse on 20 April. After this point the old 1848 station dealt with traffic from London and the west whilst Warren Hill accommodated traffic from the north and east.

Warren Hill remained busy with racing traffic up to World War 1 where it was put into military use.

After the war racing day traffic returned to the station.

Following the Railways Act 1921 Warren Hill station was operated by the London and North Eastern Railway from 1 January 1923.

During the 1930s numbers using the station declined and the last train ran in October 1938.

Between 1939 and 1945 the station again saw military use and then after the war at some point between 1945 and 1948 the station was formally closed to passengers although saw goods and engineering traffic for a number of years. The sidings at Warren Hill were removed in the early 1960s although the platform remained until the 1980s.[15]

Newmarket (1902 station)[edit]

The surviving station was opened by the Great Eastern Railway on 7 April 1902. It is 800 yards (730 m) south of the site of the original Newmarket station.


When built the station consisted of two through platforms (760 feet on the down side and 1170 feet long on the up side) and an east-facing up side bay. The two through platforms, generously provided with canopies, were connected by a subway faced with white-glazed bricks.

There were buildings on both platforms which were of brick construction with white stone reliefs. On the up side there was a large refreshment room (with floor space of 1,648 feet) with kitchen and cellar as well as stores for footwarmers and lamps. Here separate rooms for porters, ticket collectors and inspectors were supplied as well as a general waiting room, a waiting room for Ladies travelling Third Class and more luxurious First Class general and Ladies waiting rooms. All of these facilities were equipped with lavatories.

A wooden tiled and panelled booking office was located midway along the station buildings. Also located on this platform was the parcels and stationmaster’s (a Mr. Barrett at the opening) office and a telegraph office.

The down side buildings were less extensive but contained the full range of waiting rooms, a smaller refreshment room and booking office as well as a bicycle store. The station was built by Rugby firm Parnell and Son under GER supervision and was electrically lit throughout.

A signal box was provided at the east end of the up platform and some goods facilities including cattle pens were also located to the east of the station. The signal box was built by contractors Mackenzie and Holland.[16]


Following the Railways Act 1921 Newmarket station was operated by the London and North Eastern Railway from 1 January 1923.

After nationalisation in 1948 the station was operated by the Eastern Region of British Railways from 1 January 1948.

British Railways demolished the buildings on the up platform and a number on the down side in September 1965.[17]

Although general goods traffic ceased in 1969 there was a grain terminal operated by the firm Dower Wood located north east of the station that received traffic until summer 1991.[2]

The station buildings at the "New Station" (52°14′16″N 0°24′21″E / 52.2377°N 0.4059°E / 52.2377; 0.4059 (Newmarket railway station (1902))) were sold, and the current station uses the east end of the down platform and is equipped with basic passenger shelters.

Further line rationalisation took place in 1978 when on 1 October tokenless block working was introduced between Newmarket and Dullingham stations. Five years later in May 1983 the line between Dullingham and Coldham Lane Junction was singled leaving a mile long passing loop at Dullingham.[18]

In April 1994 Railtrack became responsible for the maintenance of the infrastructure. Railtrack was succeeded by Network Rail in 2002.

Passenger services have been operated by the following franchises:

Newmarket Station redevelopment[edit]

In 2015, the Newmarket Vision group, partially composed of local councillors, identified the building of a new Newmarket railway station as a key priority for improving transport and access in the town and some improvements were made to the station area.[citation needed]

Train services[edit]

The following services in the May 2016 timetable call at Newmarket:[24]

Operator Route Material Frequency
Greater Anglia Cambridge - Dullingham - Newmarket - Kennett - Bury St Edmunds - Thurston - Elmswell - Stowmarket - Needham Market - Ipswich Class 170 1x per hour
Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Greater Anglia


  1. ^ A number of sources incorrectly state this opened on 1854 when the line opened
  2. ^ A number of sources identify the new platforms and the old terminus as a separate station. They in fact shared a refreshment room and were linked by a footbridge so have been treated as one entity.


  1. ^ "Newmarket Vision E-newsletter" (PDF). Forest Heath Council. Forest Heath Council. Retrieved 21 November 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Farrant, David; Catford, Nick (23 June 2005). "Newmarket Warren Hill". Subterannea Britannica. Retrieved 7 April 2009. 
  3. ^ Pevsner, Nickolaus; Radcliffe, Ena (1974). The buildings of England - Suffolk (Second ed.). Harmondsworth UK: Penguin. p. 377. ISBN 9780140710205. 
  4. ^ Robertson, Alic; Wilson, Bryan; Harley, Chris (April 2002). "Fulbourn(e), Cambridgeshire". Great Eastern Journal. 110: 25. 
  5. ^ Robertson, Alic (July 2004). "Filling the gap". Great Eastern Journal. Vol. 119. Great Eastern Railway Society. p. 4. 
  6. ^ Robertson, Alic (April 2002). "Newmarket Suffolk (letter)". Great Eastern Journal. Vol. 76. Great Eastern Railway Society. p. 33. 
  7. ^ Vincent, Rodney. "Newmarket Railways". Newmarket Local History Society. Newmarket Local History Society. Retrieved 20 November 2016. 
  8. ^ Vincent, Rodney. "Newmarket Railways". Newmarket Local History Society. Newmarket Local History Society. Retrieved 20 November 2016. 
  9. ^ Holden, Bryan (1985). The Long Haul – the life and times of the railway horse. London: J. A. Allen. ISBN 0-85131-395-7. 
  10. ^ Pring, George (April 1993). "Newmarket (Suffolk)". Great Eastern Journal. Vol. 74. Great Eastern Railway Society. p. 25. 
  11. ^ Hawkins, Chris; Reeve, George (1987). Great Eastern Engine Sheds part 2. Didcot, UK: Wild Swan. p. 359. ISBN 0 906867 48 7. 
  12. ^ Easom, Sandra, Newmarket Sausages, Railways & Skulduggery, Newmarket Racecourses, retrieved 6 April 2009 
  13. ^ Robertson, Alic (July 2005). "Warren Hill Newmarket". Great Eastern Journal. Vol. 123. Great Eastern Railway Society. pp. 40–42. 
  14. ^ Robertson, Alic (January 2005). "Newmarket's third line". Great Eastern Journal. 121: 6–12. 
  15. ^ Robertson, Alic (July 2005). "Warren Hill Newmarket". Great Eastern Journal. Vol. 123. Great Eastern Railway Society. pp. 40–44. 
  16. ^ Robertson, Alic (April 2002). "Large & Handsome - a new station in Newmarket". Great Eastern Journal. Vol. 110. Great Eastern Railway Society. pp. 7–12. 
  17. ^ Robertson, Alic (April 2002). "Large & Handsome - a new station in Newmarket". Great Eastern Journal. Vol. 110. Great Eastern Railway Society. p. 12. 
  18. ^ Lock, Rod (January 1987). "Dullingham". Great Eastern Journal. 89: 30. 
  19. ^ "GB Railways wins Anglia" The Railway Magazine issue 1149 January 1997 page 11
  20. ^ National Express wins rail franchise The Daily Telegraph 22 December 2003
  21. ^ National Express Group Announced as Preferred Bidder for new Greater Anglia Franchise Strategic Rail Authority 22 December 2003
  22. ^ National Express wins rail franchise The Telegraph 22 December 2003
  23. ^ "Abellio has been awarded the Greater Anglia franchise" (Press release). Abellio. 20 October 2011. 
  24. ^ Table 14 National Rail timetable, May 2016

External links[edit]