York railway station

Coordinates: 53°57′30″N 1°05′35″W / 53.9583°N 1.0930°W / 53.9583; -1.0930
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National Rail
Overall roof in 2016
General information
LocationYork, North Yorkshire,
Coordinates53°57′30″N 1°05′35″W / 53.9583°N 1.0930°W / 53.9583; -1.0930
Grid referenceSE596517
Owned byNetwork Rail
Managed byLondon North Eastern Railway
Other information
Station codeYRK
ClassificationDfT category A
Key dates
25 June 1877Opened
2017/18Increase 9.832 million
 Interchange Decrease 1.142 million
2018/19Increase 9.991 million
 Interchange Decrease 1.034 million
2019/20Increase 10.089 million
 Interchange Decrease 0.775 million
2020/21Decrease 1.836 million
 Interchange Decrease 0.116 million
2021/22Increase 8.092 million
 Interchange Increase 0.495 million
Listed Building – Grade II*
FeatureStation buildings
Designated1 July 1968
Reference no.1256554[1]
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road

York railway station is on the East Coast Main Line serving the cathedral city of York, North Yorkshire, England. It is 188 miles 40 chains (303.4 km) north of London King's Cross and on the main line it is situated between Doncaster to the south and Thirsk to the north. As of June 2018, the station is operated by London North Eastern Railway.[2]

York station is a key junction approximately halfway between London and Edinburgh. It is approximately five miles (eight kilometres) north of the point where the Cross Country and TransPennine Express routes via Leeds join the main line, connecting Scotland and the North East, North West, Midlands and southern England. The junction was historically a major site for rolling stock manufacture, maintenance and repair.

In Britain's 100 Best Railway Stations by Simon Jenkins, the station was one of only ten to be awarded five stars.[3]


The first York railway station was a temporary wooden building on Queen Street outside the walls of the city, opened in 1839 by the York and North Midland Railway. It was succeeded in 1841, inside the walls, by what is now York old railway station.[4] In due course, the requirement that through trains between London and Newcastle needed to reverse out of the old York station to continue their journey necessitated the construction of a new through station outside the walls.

The present station, designed by the North Eastern Railway architects Thomas Prosser and William Peachey and built by Lucas Brothers,[5] opened on 25 June 1877. It had 13 platforms and was at that time the largest in the world.[6] As part of the new station project, the Royal Station Hotel (now The Principal York), designed by Peachey, opened in 1878.

Interior, 1915

In 1909 new platforms were added, and in 1938 the current footbridge was built and the station resignalled.

The building was heavily bombed during the Second World War.[7] On one occasion, on 29 April 1942,[8] 800 passengers had to be evacuated from a King's Cross-Edinburgh train which arrived during a bombing raid.[7] On the same night, two railway workers were killed, one being station foreman William Milner, who died after returning to his burning office to collect his first aid kit. He was posthumously awarded the King's Commendation for Brave Conduct.[9] A plaque in his memory has been erected at the station.[7][8] The station was extensively repaired in 1947.

The station was designated as a Grade II* listed building in 1968.[1]

The track layout through and around the station was remodelled again in 1988 as part of the resignalling scheme that was carried out prior to the electrification of the ECML shortly afterwards by British Rail. This resulted in several bay platforms (mainly on the eastern side) being taken out of service and the track to them removed. Consequently, the number of platforms was reduced from 15 to 11. At the same time a new signalling centre (York IECC) was commissioned on the western side of the station to control the new layout and also take over the function of several other signal boxes on the main line. The IECC here now supervises the main line from Temple Hirst (near Doncaster) through to Northallerton, along with sections of the various routes branching from it. It has also (since 2001–2) taken over responsibility for the control area of the former power box at Leeds and thus signals trains as far away as Gargrave and Morley.

In 2006–7, to improve facilities for bus, taxi and car users as well as pedestrians and cyclists, the approaches to the station were reorganised. The former motive power depot and goods station now house the National Railway Museum.

The station was renovated in 2009. Platform 9 has been reconstructed and extensive lighting alterations were put in place. New automated ticket gates (similar to those in Leeds) were planned, but the City of York Council wished to avoid spoiling the historic nature of the station. The then operator National Express East Coast planned to appeal the decision but the plans were scrapped altogether upon handover to East Coast.[10]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 31 March 1920, a passenger train was derailed as it entered platform 8.[11]
  • On 5 August 1958, a passenger train crashed into the buffers at platform 12.[11]
  • On 18 January 2006, a freight train wagon derailed on points entering platform 3 before re-railing 400 sleepers later causing extensive damage to trackworks through the station. The derailment happened due to faulty suspension on one of the bogies causing the load to sit unevenly across the axles, lifting the axle off the tracks as it went round the corner over the points.[12]


All the platforms except 9, 10 and 11 are under the large, curved, glass and iron roof. They are accessed via a long footbridge (which also connects to the National Railway Museum) or via lifts and either of two pedestrian tunnels.[13] Between April 1984 and 2011 the old tea rooms housed the Rail Riders World/York Model Railway exhibition.[14]


The platforms at York have been renumbered several times, the most recent being in the late 1980s to coincide with a reduction in the number of platforms from 15 to 11. The current use is:[15]

  • Platform 1: South-facing bay platform mostly used for services to Hull and Bridlington or Sheffield via Moorthorpe and for stabling empty stock.
  • Platform 2: North-facing bay platform connected only to the Scarborough branch, used mostly for stabling a spare TransPennine Express unit along with the accompanying station siding.
  • Platform 3: Main southbound platform, but is signalled bi-directionally, accessible directly from the station concourse. Fast and semi-fast southbound London North Eastern Railway for London King's Cross generally use this platform. CrossCountry services, Grand Central and some westbound TransPennine Express services also use it.
  • Platform 4: Northward continuation of platform 3 connected only to the Scarborough branch, used by TransPennine Express services from Scarborough.
  • Platform 5 (split into 5a and 5b): Main northbound platform (but is signalled bi-directionally). Fast northbound London North Eastern Railway services to Scotland use this and generally call at Darlington and Newcastle only. Accessible by footbridge or tunnel. Also used by some CrossCountry services northbound. North/eastbound TransPennine Express to Scarborough generally use this platform. Southbound London North Eastern Railway services also stop here both fast and semi-fast, the latter of which generally call at Doncaster, Newark, Peterborough and London King's Cross.
  • Platform 6: South-facing bay platform used mostly by Northern Trains commuter services to Leeds and Blackpool North; and by terminating London North Eastern Railway services that return south to London King's Cross.
  • Platform 7: South-facing bay platform used mostly by Northern commuter services and London North Eastern Railway services to/from London Kings Cross.
  • Platform 8: North-facing bay platform used almost exclusively by Northern Trains on the Harrogate Line.
  • Platforms 9, 10, 11: Bi-directional platforms used by semi-fast and some fast London North Eastern Railway services heading north to Newcastle and Scotland, CrossCountry services north and southbound via Leeds, TransPennine Express services westbound to Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Airport and northbound to Newcastle and Redcar. Some Northern Trains services to Blackpool and Leeds also use this platform.

Platforms 10 and 11 are outside of the main body of the station. Another siding, the former fruit dock, exists opposite platform 11.

Recent developments[edit]

The southern side of the station has been given new track and signalling systems. An additional line and new junction was completed in early 2011. This work has helped take away one of the bottlenecks on the East Coast Main Line.[16]

The York Rail Operating Centre

The station has also become the site of one of Network Rail's modern Rail Operation Centres, which opened in September 2014 on land to the west of the station.[17] This took over the functions of the former IECC in December 2018 and will eventually control much of the East Coast Main Line from London to the Scottish border and various subsidiary routes across the North East, Lincolnshire and South, North and West Yorkshire. During Christmas 2020, major track replacement occurred, with Network Rail releasing time lapse footage of the works.[18]

In 2022, work began to redevelop the area outside the station. Queen Street Bridge, built to cross the lines into the old York station within the city walls, will be demolished.[19]

In 2023 a further £10.5 million has been confirmed for the massive revamp of the area at the front of York railway station.[20]

York Central[edit]

Located adjacent to the station, York Central is one of the largest city centre brownfield regeneration sites in the UK. The 45-hectare (110-acre) site has been designated as a UK Government ‘Housing Zone’ and has also been awarded ‘Enterprise Zone’ status, which offers commercial occupiers significant incentives. Outline planning approval was given for the site in March 2019. It is anticipated that development of the full site could take between 15 and 20 years to complete.[21]


The station is operated by London North Eastern Railway and is used by the following train operating companies:

London North Eastern Railway[edit]

London North Eastern Railway operates regular services that stop at York between London, Newcastle and Edinburgh. In addition, there are infrequent services to Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness. One train per day serves Middlesbrough. The fastest southbound services run non-stop to London, completing the 188 mile journey in 1 hour and 52 minutes.[22]

Rolling stock used: Inter-City 225 (Class 91 electric locomotive & DVT), Class 800 bi-mode trains and Class 801 electric trains


CrossCountry provides a number of services that run across the country, running as far north as Aberdeen and south as Penzance and Southampton Central via Birmingham New Street.[23]

Rolling stock used: Class 220 and Class 221 Voyager diesel multiple units.

TransPennine Express[edit]

TransPennine Express provides a number of express services across the north of England (to Manchester Piccadilly, Liverpool Lime Street, Newcastle, Scarborough and Middlesbrough).[24]

Rolling stock used: Class 185 Desiro diesel multiple units, Class 68 locomotives with Mark 5a coaching stock and Class 802 bi-mode trains

Grand Central[edit]

Grand Central runs an open access service between Sunderland and London.[25]

Rolling stock used: Class 180 Adelante trains.

Northern Trains[edit]

Northern Trains operates a mostly hourly service towards Hull, Blackpool North and Leeds with a half-hourly service towards Leeds via Harrogate serving most stations en-route (plus three per day to Sheffield via Pontefract Baghill).[26]

Rolling stock used: Sprinter (Class 150/155/158), Class 170 Turbostar and Civity Class 195 units. Pacer (Class 142/144) diesel multiple units were in regular use on the Harrogate and Sheffield lines until December 2019, but have now been phased out.

Former services[edit]

Until May 2021 East Midlands Railway provided one weekend return journey between York and London St Pancras via the Midland Main Line.

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
TransPennine Express
North TransPennine
London King's Cross   Grand Central
Doncaster or
  London North Eastern Railway
Doncaster or
Retford or
  London North Eastern Railway
London King's Cross or
Doncaster or
  London North Eastern Railway
London-Newcastle/Edinburgh/Scotland express services
Leeds   London North Eastern Railway
Northern TrainsTerminus
Northern Trains
Northern Trains
Northern Trains
Micklefield Line
  Future services  
Leeds   TBA
Northern Powerhouse Rail
Sheffield   TBA
Northern Powerhouse Rail
East Midlands Hub   TBA
Northern Powerhouse Rail
  Historical railways  
Terminus   Y&NMR
York to Scarborough Line
Station closed; Line open
Disused railways
Terminus   NER
York to Beverley Line
Naburn   NER
East Coast Main Line



  1. ^ a b Historic England. "Railway Station (1256554)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  2. ^ "Station facilities for York". National Rail. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
  3. ^ Morrison, Richard (9 December 2017). "Review: Britain's 100 Best Railway Stations by Simon Jenkins" – via www.thetimes.co.uk.
  4. ^ Historic England. "Old station and former station hotel (1256403)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
  5. ^ "Obituary: Charles Thomas Lucas 1820–1895". Minutes of the Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers. Institution of Civil Engineers. 124 (1896): 440. 1896. doi:10.1680/imotp.1896.19616.
  6. ^ "Opening of the York Railway Station. The largest station in the world". Sheffield Daily Telegraph. England. 26 June 1877. Retrieved 2 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  7. ^ a b c "Yorkshire". How We Won the War. Series 1. Episode 4. 27 September 2012. BBC. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  8. ^ a b Plaque #10489 on Open Plaques
  9. ^ "No. 35774". The London Gazette (Supplement). 3 November 1942. p. 4823.
  10. ^ "East Coast Main Line Company Pledges to improve Services and Invest for the Future" (Press release). East Coast. 13 November 2009. Archived from the original on 17 November 2009. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
  11. ^ a b Hoole, Ken (1982). Trains in Trouble: Vol. 3. Redruth: Atlantic Books. pp. 24, 42. ISBN 0-906899-05-2.
  12. ^ "Freight Wagon Derailment – Accident Report" (PDF). November 2006.
  13. ^ "York Station Plan". National Rail. Archived from the original on 12 June 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  14. ^ "Model Railway heading to Lincolnshire after 27 years at York Station". Scunthorpe Telegraph. 10 January 2011. Archived from the original on 16 February 2015. Retrieved 16 February 2015. York Model Railway is making tracks to Lincolnshire after 27 years in its current home. The tea rooms at York Station have been host to the exhibition since its inception
  15. ^ NRE – York Station PlanNational Rail Enquiries; Retrieved 13 June 2016
  16. ^ "Faster trains and more services at York" (Press release). Network Rail. 3 January 2012. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
  17. ^ Network Rail’s biggest ROC opens in YorkRail Technology Magazine, 16 September 2014; Retrieved 8 September 2015
  18. ^ "Network Rail: York Station – Time Lapse Video and Security". WCCTV.
  19. ^ Wilcock, William (15 February 2022). "York Station Front improvement works begin". City of York Council. Archived from the original on 20 February 2022. Retrieved 20 February 2022.
  20. ^ "£10.5 million boost for York railway station entrance project". York Press. Retrieved 7 March 2023.
  21. ^ "York Central". York Central Partnership. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  22. ^ Table 26 National Rail timetable, May 2016
  23. ^ "Train Timetables". CrossCountry Trains. Archived from the original on 16 August 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  24. ^ "Our Timetables". First TransPennine Express. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  25. ^ "Sunderland timetable". Grand Central. Archived from the original on 29 July 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  26. ^ "York Station Information". Northern Rail. Retrieved 14 January 2017.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]