Worcester Foregate Street railway station

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Worcester Foregate Street National Rail
Worcester Foregate Street Station.jpg
One of the station entrances.
Place Worcester
Local authority Worcester
Grid reference SO849552
Station code WOF
Managed by London Midland
Number of platforms 2
DfT category C2
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2010/11 Increase 1.625 million
2011/12 Increase 1.792 million
2012/13 Increase 1.860 million
2013/14 Decrease 1.834 million
2014/15 Increase 2.207 million
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Worcester Foregate Street from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.

Worcester Foregate Street railway station, opened by the Great Western Railway in 1860,[1] is situated in the centre of the city of Worcester, in Worcestershire, England. It is physically the smaller of the two stations serving the city, but is more centrally located. The other station is Worcester Shrub Hill situated to the east.

The station layout is unusual in that travelling east the two platforms serve different routes, rather than different directions. Platform 1 can only be accessed by trains via Worcester Shrub Hill (including trains to and from London Paddington and via Cheltenham Spa towards the southwest), while Platform 2 can only be accessed from the east by trains running directly to and from Droitwich Spa, avoiding Shrub Hill. Similar examples of this type of layout can be found at Glenrothes with Thornton in Fife and Bare Lane in Lancashire. This means that Great Western Railway services can only stop at Platform 1, as all of these trains stop at Shrub Hill.

There is a cafe called Cafe Loco, situated at the end of Platform 1 in the old signal box.

The station itself is built on a viaduct, meaning that space for expansion is restricted, but the platforms are nevertheless of ample length to accommodate an HST. Despite its small size, the remains of two signal boxes can be seen, one spanning the tracks and the second now the station cafe.


The station opened on 17 May 1860. It was originally part of the Hereford and Worcester Railway which was incorporated into the West Midland Railway, before being absorbed by the Great Western Railway. On 1 January 1948 the company became Government owned under British Rail. The Butts Spur line was also constructed in 1860 with the unfulfilled aim of connecting the station to Diglis for the conveyance of freight.

"Two way working on both lines" - sign at the western end of Foregate Street station

Since 1973 the station has had an unusual layout, being essentially two single-track lines side by side rather than the ordinary double-track layout which it appears to be. The two single lines run from Henwick, on the other side of the River Severn, through Foregate Street, to the site of the former Rainbow Hill Junction to the east of the station, which used to provide a crossover between the two tracks. At this point the lines diverge with that on the north side heading towards Tunnel Junction and Droitwich Spa, while the southern track leads to Worcester Shrub Hill. Rainbow Hill Junction was removed when the signalling in the area was remodelled in 1973. Since then, platform 1 (on the south side) has only been usable by trains running via Shrub Hill, and platform 2 only by trains running directly to or from Droitwich without calling at Shrub Hill. Signs at the station (see right) warn of "Two-way working on both lines".[2][3]

The station celebrated its 150th birthday on 23 May 2010 with the unveiling of a plaque and a special train[4] that ran to Great Malvern railway station (which celebrated its 150th Anniversary on the same date).[5]

The art gallery Movement opened on platform 2 on 2 October 2010.[6]

The station was upgraded in 2014, which included a refurbished subway, two new entrances with automatic doors, relocation of the lift at the second entrance to be enclosed in the station building and conversion of one of the railway arches into a bike shelter. The bridge was also strengthened and repainted.


The station is served by two train operating companies: London Midland (who manage the station) and Great Western Railway. London Midland operate services to Birmingham via two different routes, either to Birmingham New Street via Bromsgrove or to Birmingham Snow Hill via Kidderminster & Stourbridge Junction.[7] There is an hourly service between Hereford & New Street and two trains per hour (three at peak times) to Snow Hill, with many of the latter running beyond to either Whitlocks End or Dorridge; some also originate/terminate at Great Malvern on this route.

Great Western Railway operate a regular (approximately hourly) service to London Paddington via the Cotswold Line and Oxford,[8] a two-hourly service to Bristol Temple Meads via Gloucester with extensions through to Westbury & Weymouth and a daily service to Southampton Central & Brighton.[9] Many of the trains on both these routes run to/from Great Malvern, though the ones that start & finish at Shrub Hill have convenient connections from here.

Preceding station   National Rail National Rail   Following station
London Midland
Birmingham-Hereford/Great Malvern
Terminus London Midland
Worcester-Birmingham via Kidderminster
First Great Western
Cotswold Line
First Great Western
Worcester to Bristol

See also[edit]


  1. ^ M.E. Quick, Railway Passenger Stations in England, Scotland and Wales — A Chronology. Richmond: Railway and Canal Historical Society, 2003
  2. ^ "Signals at Worcester". Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  3. ^ "Signalling Notices - 43/W/2705 - Worcester Resignalling - Stage 2". 1973-11-07. Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  4. ^ Malvern Worcester 150th Anniversary Official website
  5. ^ "Worcestershire railway stations mark 150 years" 23 May 2010 Retrieved 23 May 2010
  6. ^ "Toilet turned into an art gallery". BBC News. 27 September 2010. Retrieved 23 January 2011. 
  7. ^ GB National Rail Timetable 2015-16, Table 71
  8. ^ GB National Rail Timetable May-December 2016, Table 126 (Network Rail)
  9. ^ GB National Rail Timetable May 2016, Tables 57 & 123

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°11′42″N 2°13′19″W / 52.195°N 2.222°W / 52.195; -2.222