Wolverton railway station

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Wolverton National Rail
Wolverton Station 04 (25-08-2007).JPG
Place Wolverton
Local authority Borough of Milton Keynes
Grid reference SP820415
Station code WOL
Managed by London Midland
Number of platforms 4
DfT category E
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2011/12 Increase 0.361 million
2012/13 Increase 0.362 million
2013/14 Increase 0.389 million
2014/15 Increase 0.411 million
2015/16 Increase 0.426 million
Key dates Opened 1881 (1881)
September 1838[1][2] First Wolverton station opened by L&BR
November 1840[2] Station rebuilt to a larger design to the south of Stratford Road
1881[1] Station rebuilt for a second time
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Wolverton from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal

Wolverton railway station serves northern Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, especially Stony Stratford, Wolverton and New Bradwell. As the former Castlethorpe railway station is closed, it also serves nearby villages in south Northamptonshire.

The station is served by London Midland services on the West Coast Main Line. It is one of the five stations serving Milton Keynes. The others are Milton Keynes Central, Bletchley, Fenny Stratford and Bow Brickhill. The nearest Northbound Station is Northampton railway station.

The station has four platforms, of which just two (3 and 4) are normally in use.

Station buildings[edit]

Wolverton Station 1838
Wolverton Station 1838

The first station was built for the opening of the complete line, 17 September 1838 on the embankment just north of the canal above Wolverton Park.[3] It proved to be temporary as the railway company purchased an additional 13.5 acres to the south and chose to build a larger, permanent station there in 1840. The new station included refreshment rooms which for a time were famous throughout the land and employed a full-time staff of 29. A hotel was planned but never built. The waiting room was lavishly redecorated for the visit of Queen Victoria in 1844, who spent that Christmas as the guest of the Duke of Buckingham and Chandos. In 1881 the main line was re-routed to the east to allow for expansion (see 'Wolverton bend' below) and a new station built.[3] The booking hall was a wooden building at street level above the railway line and passengers could reach the platforms via flights of stairs. The current station site has been in use since.

The wooden station stood here for over 100 years until British Rail demolished it in 1991, allegedly as Milton Keynes Borough Council were debating making it a listed building.[citation needed]

For many years after the wooden station building was demolished, Wolverton Railway Station was a 'temporary' shed in the car park (at track level). A new brick building to replace it was finally (and formally) opened on 21 June 2012.[4] The new building is also at track level.

In mid September 2012, the Transport Minister Norman Baker announced in a 'written answer' that the Government has approved London Midland's request to reduce the opening hours of the new ticket office, from the previous 06:00 – 12:00 to 06:15 – 11:00 henceforth.[5]

In 2016, a coffee and snack kiosk opened in the new Station Booking Hall.


The station has four platforms, of which just two are normally in use. Platforms 1 & 2 are the 'fast' lines and are trains very rarely stop here: they are used by London Midland during works and Virgin Trains in emergency. Platforms 3 & 4 are used frequently by London Midland, Virgin Trains pass this platform (without stopping) during works.[6]

Wolverton bend and Northampton Loop[edit]

Northward view showing the track curvature.

In recent years, with the advent of fast trains, Wolverton gained notoriety among railwaymen for its famously tight curve. The curve was a result of the station being moved eastward in 1881, to permit extension of the Wolverton railway works. The path of the original route is visible at both the north and south ends of the divergence. The Advanced Passenger Train failed its trials here but, with another decade of development, the new Virgin Trains Pendolino tilting trains passed theirs. Near the station, the track crosses the valley of the Great Ouse on a viaduct. Slightly further north, the Northampton loop leaves the main line at Hanslope Junction.

Newport Pagnell Branch Line (closed)[edit]

From 1865 to 1964, there was a branch line from Wolverton to Newport Pagnell, primarily for employees of Wolverton Works. In 1964 the line was closed to passengers by the Beeching Axe and freight ceased in 1967. Between 1817 and 1864, the section from Great Linford to Newport Pagnell was an arm of the Grand Junction Canal which was then drained to become the track-bed. The route from Wolverton to Newport Pagnell is now a redway. Along the redway, the platforms at New Bradwell and Great Linford are still in place, as are a signal post at Newport Pagnell and an iron bridge taking the line (now the redway) over the Grand Union Canal.

See also[edit]


Wolverton is served by most London Midland services, with a typical weekday service pattern of two trains per hour in each direction.[6]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Northampton   London Midland
Northampton loop
  Milton Keynes Central
Historical railways
Line open, station closed
  London and North Western Railway
West Coast Main Line
Line and station open
Disused railways
Line and station closed
  London and North Western Railway
Wolverton to Newport Pagnell Line


  1. ^ a b Wolverton Society for Arts and Heritage – Accessed 7 December 2007
  2. ^ a b Mapley family history – Accessed 7 December 2007
  3. ^ a b Wolverton: From Aqueduct to Viaduct – Milton Keynes Heritage Association
  4. ^ Mayor reveals plaque at Wolverton train stationMilton Keynes Citizen, 28 June 2012
  5. ^ MPs defend reduction in train ticket office opening hoursMilton Keynes Citizen, 18 September 2012
  6. ^ a b "train times". londonmidland.com. London Midland. Retrieved 13 December 2015. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°03′55″N 0°48′13″W / 52.0653°N 0.80357°W / 52.0653; -0.80357