Rugby Central railway station

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Rugby Central
Rugby Central 1968.jpg
Rugby Central in 1968, less than a year before closure. A Nottingham bound DMU waits at the platform
Place Rugby, Warwickshire
Area Rugby
Coordinates 52°22′02″N 1°14′50″W / 52.3673°N 1.2471°W / 52.3673; -1.2471Coordinates: 52°22′02″N 1°14′50″W / 52.3673°N 1.2471°W / 52.3673; -1.2471
Grid reference SP513746
Original company Great Central Railway
Pre-grouping Great Central Railway
Post-grouping London and North Eastern Railway
London Midland Region of British Railways
Platforms 2
15 March 1899 Opened
5 May 1969 Closed
Disused railway stations in the United Kingdom
Closed railway stations in Britain
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal

Rugby Central was a railway station serving Rugby in Warwickshire on the former Great Central Main Line which opened in 1899 and closed in 1969.

It competed with the existing West Coast Main Line route for traffic to London which had served Rugby since the 1830s at Rugby Midland Station, which still exists, but since the closure of Rugby Central has reverted to its original name of "Rugby".


The station was opened on 15 March 1899.[1] It had services between London Marylebone and Manchester Piccadilly via Leicester Central, Nottingham Victoria and Sheffield Victoria. As well as various cross country services to places such as Southampton and Hull.[2]

The station was run by the Great Central Railway from 1899 until it was grouped into the London and North Eastern Railway in 1923. It then came under the management of British Railways in 1948.

Rugby Central was roughly midway along the Great Central Main Line (GCML) and was a stopping point for express services as well as a changeover point for local services. Until the early 1960s the station was served by about six London – Manchester expresses daily, and was the terminus for local services from Aylesbury or Woodford Halse to the south, and Leicester Central or Nottingham Victoria from the north.[2][3] The line was then run down and the express services were removed, leaving only the local services and an infrequent semi-fast service to London.

Most of the GCML was closed on 5 September 1966 under Reshaping of British Railways. On this date, the line south of Rugby Central and north of Nottingham Victoria was closed. The section between Rugby Central and Nottingham (initially Nottingham Victoria, later cut back to Nottingham Arkwright Street) remained open as self-contained branch carrying a DMU operated local passenger service until 3 May 1969; the station formally closed on 5 May.[1]

Buildings and situation[edit]

Rugby Central was situated on Hillmorton Road roughly half a mile east of the town centre. It was much smaller and less important than Midland Station. Rugby Central was built to the standard Great Central design with a single island platform which was 600 feet (180 m) long.[4]

The booking office was at street level, built onto the side of the road bridge over the railway with the platform below. The platform was accessed by a covered staircase from the booking office. On the platform there were three waiting rooms and a toilet block, which was the only building not covered by the canopy.[5][3]

On the preserved Great Central Railway in Leicestershire, the preserved Loughborough Central station is a similar design to the former Rugby Central.

The site today[edit]

Photo taken from old platform towards road bridge
The remains of the south end of the platform looking north

The station buildings were demolished after closure, although the platform still exists. Rugby Borough Council bought the whole of the former Great Central Railway trackbed through Rugby in 1970, and it is now a nature walk called the Great Central Way.[4]

The former goods yard was west of the station, and was used as a timber yard until the mid-1990s when houses were built on it.[4]

Preceding station Disused railways Following station
Braunston and Willoughby
Line and station closed
  Great Central Railway
London Extension
Line and station closed

Reopening Proposals[edit]

In August 2000, Chiltern Railways suggested reopening the former Great Central Main Line between London Marylebone and Rugby Central to a parkway station in Leicestershire near the M1/M6.[6] This proposal is a "secondary aspiration" of Chiltern's franchise agreement.[7] However, Chiltern stated in 2013 that the plan is "no longer active".[8] In recent years proposals to reopen the railway line as an alternative route to HS2 has been proposed and In 2015 opponents of HS2 called for the GCR to be reopened as an alternative to HS2.[9]


  1. ^ a b Butt 1995, p. 201.
  2. ^ a b Elliot 1985, p. 40.
  3. ^ a b Healy 1987, p. 68.
  4. ^ a b c Subterranea Britannica
  5. ^ Elliot 1985, p. 39.
  6. ^ Buggins, Arryn (10 August 2000). "Bid To Reopen Central Railway To Passengers". Retrieved 1 July 2013. 
  7. ^ Strategic Rail Authority (1 March 2002). "Franchise Agreement relating to the services for the carriage of passengers by railway to be provided by The Chiltern Railway Company Limited" (PDF). Schedule 14, Part 3, Paragraph 2.2. Retrieved 1 July 2013. 
  8. ^ "Chiltern Railways Twitter Feed". 25 February 2013. 
  9. ^ [1]


  • Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-85260-508-1. R508. 
  • Elliot, Peter H (1985). Rugby's Railway Heritage. ISBN 0-907917-06-2. 
  • Healy, John M.C. (1987). Echoes Of The Great Central. Greenwich Editions. ISBN 0-86288-076-9. 

External links[edit]