Whitby railway station

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For the railway station in Whitby, Ontario, see Whitby GO Station.
Whitby National Rail
Whitby railway station.jpg
Place Whitby
Local authority Scarborough
Coordinates 54°29′06″N 0°36′54″W / 54.485°N 0.615°W / 54.485; -0.615Coordinates: 54°29′06″N 0°36′54″W / 54.485°N 0.615°W / 54.485; -0.615
Grid reference NZ898108
Station code WTB
Managed by Northern Rail
Number of platforms 2
DfT category F1
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2004/05   0.132 million
2005/06 Increase 0.133 million
2006/07 Decrease 0.127 million
2007/08 Increase 0.128 million
2008/09 Decrease 0.121 million
2009/10 Increase 0.125 million
2010/11 Increase 0.134 million
2011/12 Increase 0.140 million
2012/13 Decrease 0.108 million
2013/14 Increase 0.134 million
2014/15 Decrease 0.130 million
National RailUK railway stations


* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Whitby from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
UK Railways portal

Whitby railway station serves the town of Whitby in North Yorkshire, England. It is the terminus of the Esk Valley Line, connecting with the North Yorkshire Moors Railway at Grosmont, and provides mainline running for NYMR trains during the summer months. The station is situated 35 miles (56 km) south east of Middlesbrough railway station and is operated by Northern Rail, which provides all of the station's National Rail passenger services.


Four trains per day leave Whitby on weekdays and Saturdays; there are also four (formerly five) trains on Sundays between Easter Sunday and the beginning of November.[1] Trains call at all stations to Middlesbrough. As the first train of the day from Whitby arrives in Middlesbrough at 10:15 am the service is not attractive to commuters. New Northern Rail franchise operator Arriva Rail North plans to address this once it takes over the running of the franchise from April 2016; they also intend to run Sunday trains throughout the year and investigate the possibility of running a later weekday evening service from Middlesbrough to Whitby.[2]

On 3 April 2007 services along the heritage North Yorkshire Moors Railway commenced running from Whitby to Pickering, running along the Esk Valley line to Grosmont railway station where they join the NYMR's own line. The 2011 summer peak service in July and August consists of three departures daily except on Sundays. There are trains to Whitby during the whole of the NYMR's season (mid-March to the start of November), along with trips along the line on Fridays for the NYMR's 2011 season.

From 11 October 2007 the NYMR took over National Rail ticket sales at Whitby (as well as selling their own tickets).


Whitby's original 'station' stood near to the end of the remaining platform, in the form of the offices, workshop and carriage shed of the Whitby and Pickering Railway, a single track horse worked line opened throughout in 1836. Its engineer was George Stephenson.

In 1845, the W&P was taken over by the York and North Midland Railway and converted into a double track, steam worked, line. The Y&NM built the present Whitby station to the design of its architect George Townsend Andrews, who also designed the locomotive shed and the goods shed (demolished to make way for a supermarket, although a German bomber made a start during the Second World War). Andrews station included a fine 'Euston Truss' overall roof which was removed by British Railways in 1953 and replaced by the present awnings.

In 1854, the Y&NM helped form the North Eastern Railway, who later added two more platforms (also replaced by the supermarket) to help deal with traffic from the other branch lines that served Whitby; the Esk Valley Line finally opened throughout to a junction at Grosmont in 1863. The coast line from Loftus opened in 1883 and from Scarborough in 1885. Block signalling replaced the time interval system in 1876 and brought Whitby an unusual three storey signal box (to make it high enough to see over the adjacent goods shed).

In 1900, the NER authorised the installation of Tile Maps at 25 of their stations. Whitby is one of the 9 left to have their map still in situ and intact. The other eight are at Beverley, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Morpeth, Saltburn, Scarborough, Tynemouth and York.[3]

The NER became part of the London and North Eastern Railway at the grouping of the railways in 1923 and the LNER became part of British Railways with the nationalisation of the railways in 1948. The only changes brought to Whitby were in locomotives, rolling stock and signalling; the basic structure remained unchanged.

With the publication of the Beeching Report in 1963, change hung over Whitby station and its railways; the report recommended closure of all three lines that still served Whitby (the fourth line going north up the coast had already closed in 1958). There was strong local resistance to the closure of the three lines but in the event only one line, that up the Esk Valley to Middlesbrough was saved. It may seem strange that Whitby's 'main line', the largely double track line to Pickering, Malton with connections to York was not the one to survive but the saviour of the Esk Valley Line was the steep and narrow roads to the villages that it served, making replacement bus services impractical, especially for bringing school children to and from school in Whitby.

With the closure of all but the Esk Valley Line, Whitby lost almost all of its staff and in time the pickup goods train was withdrawn; the remaining double track as far as Grosmont was singled and the signal box closed and later demolished, as was the goods shed. It was only a case put by an ex-Whitby signalman that allowed retention of a basic facility for running round loco-hauled trains, so as to allow for excursions.[citation needed] This run-round loop was used by the regular NYMR services from 2007 until 2014.

Platforms 3 and 4 were entirely removed and the site sold off, to be occupied by a supermarket. Platform 2 was cut back to what remains of the trainshed and its track removed, leaving only Platform 1 rail served. Apart from the roofless and truncated station, Whitby's only other surviving railway buildings are the two track engine shed, originally built by the York and North Midland Railway and extended by the NER and the neglected remains of one of the pair of Whitby and Pickering Railway 1835 weighbridge houses.

In 2013, it was announced that an application for major development work around the station was successful; this includes the rebuilding and restoration of platform 2 to its original length by July 2014.[4][5]

With the rebuilding of platform 2 fully complete, the NYMR had increased their service to five trains per day to and from Whitby.[4][6]

In August 2014, platform 2 was eventually re-opened at the station to cater for the NYMR's trains.[7]

Image gallery[edit]


  1. ^ GB eNRT December 2015 Edition, Table 45
  2. ^ Northern Franchise Improvements - DfT
  3. ^ "North Eastern Tile Company > A Bit of History". northeasterntilecompany.co.uk. Retrieved 25 October 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Funding Agreed For Second Platform at Whitby" (press release). North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  5. ^ "Work finally begins on second platform". Whitby Gazette. 4 March 2014. Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  6. ^ Reed, James. "Moors Railway set for £2.8 m improvements". Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  7. ^ "North Yorkshire Moors Railway's new platform opens". BBC News (BBC). 16 August 2014. Retrieved 17 August 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Williams, Michael Aufrère (2010). 'A more spectacular example of a loss-making branch would be hard to find.' A financial history of the Whitby-Loftus line 1871-1958 (M.A. thesis). University of York. 
  • Williams, Michael Aufrère. (2012). The Whitby-Loftus Line. Jet Coast Development Trust. ISBN 978-0-9567890-1-3. 
  • Williams, Michael Aufrère (March 2013). "The Whitby - Loftus line: "a more spectacular example of a loss-making branch would be hard to find." Is this really the case?". Journal of the Railway and Canal Historical Society (216): 33–46. 
  • Williams, Michael Aufrère (November 2013). "The Viaducts and Tunnels of the Whitby-Loftus Line". Journal of the Railway and Canal Historical Society (218): 33–47. 
  • Williams, Michael Aufrère (January 2014). "The Tunnels and Viaducts of the Whitby-Loftus line". Forgotten Relics of an Enterprising Age. 
  • Williams, Michael Aufrère (March 2014). "A Difficult Year in the History of the Whitby, Redcar and Middlesbrough Union Railway". Journal of the Railway and Canal Historical Society (219): 32–41. 
  • Williams, Michael Aufrère (November 2014). "Closing a line before Beeching: the end of the Whitby-Loftus line". Journal of the Railway and Canal Historical Society (221): 149–58. 
  • Williams, Michael Aufrère (November 2015). "The importance of fieldwork in researching railway history". Journal of the Railway and Canal Historical Society (224): 377–87. 

External links[edit]

Preceding station   National Rail National Rail   Following station
Northern Rail Terminus
Heritage Railways  Heritage railways
Grosmont   North Yorkshire Moors Railway   Terminus
Disused railways
Whitby West Cliff   Whitby, Redcar and
Middlesbrough Union Railway
This station offers access to the Cleveland Way
Distance to path
Next station anticlockwise Saltburn 19 miles
Next station clockwise Scarborough 21 miles