Shippea Hill railway station
Shippea Hill railway station in 2012
|Local authority||East Cambridgeshire|
|Managed by||Abellio Greater Anglia|
|Number of platforms||2|
|Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
|Annual rail passenger usage*|
|1845||Opened as Mildenhall Road|
|1885||Renamed Burnt Fen|
|1904||Renamed Shippea Hill|
|National Rail – UK railway stations|
|* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Shippea Hill from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.|
|UK Railways portal|
Shippea Hill railway station is on the Breckland Line in the east of England, serving the Burnt Fen area of Cambridgeshire and Suffolk. The line runs between Cambridge in the west and Norwich in the east.
Shippea Hill is a request stop situated between Ely and Lakenheath stations, 77 miles 17 chains (124.3 km) down-line from London Liverpool Street via Cambridge, in one of the few areas within Burnt Fen which rises just above sea level. The station is on the A1101 road between Littleport and Mildenhall, and is about 1.3 km from the tripoint of the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.
It’s hard to imagine a more desolate place to get off a train. Shipping containers for sale stand in a muddy yard behind the far platform, opposite the pitched-roof signal box, now shuttered. Otherwise the view is of field after field, some showing maize stumps, others now peat-black and ploughed.
Least-used railway station
It is one of the least-used railway stations in Britain. According to Office of Rail and Road estimates, it had just twelve passenger entries/exits in 2013/14, which made it the second least-used station in the country behind Teesside Airport, which had eight. In 2014/15, patronage went up to 22, but despite this increase, it became the least-used station in Britain, as the number at Teesside Airport increased to 32. In 2015/16, patronage fell back down to 12, and the station continued to hold the least-used title.
Due to its unique status, it sometimes attracts attempts to boost its numbers, including when in December 2016 a finalist from The Great British Bake Off attracted 16 people there by handing out free mince pies. In June 2017, 19 people travelled from Shippea Hill for All The Stations, a video documentary project to visit every station in Great Britain.
The station was opened in 1845 as Mildenhall Road. In 1885 its name was changed to Burnt Fen, and in about 1904 it adopted its current name, Shippea Hill.
On 7 April 1906, a passenger train was derailed due to excessive speed. Eight passengers were injured, two seriously.
On 3 December 1976, at about 4 pm, a passenger train collided with a lorry on an unmanned level crossing at Shippea Hill. The train driver, Robert (Bob) Hitcham, was killed and eight of his passengers were injured.
The wooden level crossing gates at Shippea Hill used to be operated manually by the signalman in the local signal box. In 2012, the signal box was closed and the crossing was renewed with automatic barriers and warning lights.
Shippea Hill is a request stop, so passengers must signal to the conductor or driver if they wish to alight or board.
There is no Sunday service.
- "Revealed: Britain's busiest and quietest stations". BBC News. BBC. 15 December 2015. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
- City of Ely – Introduction | British History Online
- Lt. Col. P G von Donop / Board of Trade (7 May 1906). "Great Eastern Railway" (PDF). Railways Archive. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
- "Report on the Accident that occurred on 3rd December 1976 at Chivers Occupation Level Crossing (No. 1) between Lakenheath and Shippea Hill in the Eastern Region British Railways". The Railways Archive. Retrieved 2014-02-04.
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|Preceding station||National Rail||Following station|