Peterborough railway station

Peterborough railway station

Infobox UK station
name = Peterborough

manager = National Express East Coast
locale = Peterborough
borough = Peterborough
code = PBO
usage0405 = 3.690
usage0506 = 3.720
usage0607 = 3.960
platforms = 5
years = August 1850
events = Opened
years1 = 2004
events1 = refurbished
latitude = 52.5748
longitude = -0.2502

Peterborough railway station serves the city of Peterborough, England and lies on the East Coast Main Line (ECML). It is a major interchange, as it benefits from having both the north-south ECML, as well as East-West local services. There is on site car parking, a large Royal Mail Sorting Office, and a hotel all within easy reach. Within a few minutes walk is Peterborough city centre, and the Queensgate shopping centre.Peterborough was the first station on the ECML to be electrified. Peterborough consequently has the first mast to be installed as part of the electrification project. This can be found behind platform 1.

Description and Customer Services

The station has a small concourse and ticket office which was redesigned and opened in September 2004. The new facilities were part of GNER’s £10 million station improvement programme to modernise facilities at key stations along the East Coast Main Line. The modern travel centre is part of a £1 million upgrade which includes new passenger lounges on platforms 2 and 3, new toilet facilities on platforms 2, 4 and 5, new customer information screens and improved security including the installation of CCTV cameras within the station and car park. The concourse also has a small shop and cafe.

For general assistance there is a customer information point located on platform 2, as well as customer service offices on platform 5 and near the first class waiting room on platform 2. Platforms 3, 4 and 5 are accessible by means of a passenger footbridge, or a ramp at the north end of the station.


*Platform 1: South-facing bay platform, used predominantly for 4-carriage First Capital Connect services to and from London Kings Cross.

*Platform 2: Through platform, predominately used by Southbound National Express East Coast to London Kings Cross

*Platform 3: A one-sided island through platform, mostly used by First Capital Connect services to London Kings Cross. It is also used by the hourly service to Spalding & Lincoln, typically operated by class 153 units.

*Pair of through tracks between platforms 3 and 4 for non-stop passenger services. These are used by non-stop National Express East Coast trains, and also by Hull Trains and Grand Central Railway.

*Platforms 4: Through island platform, used predominantly by northbound National Express East Coast services. It is also used often by some East Midland and CrossCountry train services.

*Platform 5: Through island platform, adjacent to platform 4, used for CrossCountry services to Cambridge, Stansted Airport, Leicester and Birmingham; East Midlands Trains to Norwich and Liverpool; and National Express East Anglia services to Ipswich and London Liverpool Street. Some northbound National Express East Coast Services are diverted to platform 5.

Platform 4 & 5 are used in the evening peak by terminating First Capital Connect services from London Kings Cross, so the stock can be taken to the Nene Carriage Sidings located to the south of the station.

*Freight lines: two freight lines are located next to platform 5. These are frequently used by the many freight services that pass through Peterborough. Often the freight services will wait on these loops for a clear path onwards. Much freight is to/from Felixstowe, however there is a large range.

Proposed improvements

Network Rail has pledged £1.3 million to improve Peterborough station and its surroundings, in a move they say is intended to increase passenger numbers. The upgrade plans to include a new platform for the proposed link with the Bedford to Brighton route of First Capital Connect - linking Peterborough with the south including Gatwick Airport. Another platform specifically for use by trains to and from Cambridge is also proposed, giving the station a total of 7 platforms. The remaining platforms will be extended to increase capacity.


Peterborough is an excellent commuting 'hub'. Between 0640 and 0800 there is roughly a 20 minutely frequency of NXEC express services non-stop to London taking between 45 and 60 minutes. Also there are several extra fast services run by FCC calling only at Huntingdon, St Neots and sometimes Biggleswade, these take around an hour. Recently a 0615 non-stop service to London starting at Peterborough has been introduced over the last year, and even this service is often busy arriving in London at about 0700.In the evening peak services are just as good with lots of departures out of London stopping at Peterborough.



Peterborough railway station (the late Peterborough East) was opened in 1845 with the Eastern Counties Railway line from Ely. This railway later amalgamated with others to form the Great Eastern Railway. Later that same year, the London and Birmingham Railway line along the Nene Valley from their main line at Blisworth, near Northampton, arrived at the same station from the west. The LBR later became part of the London and North Western Railway. Both lines provided a route to London.

In 1846 the Midland Railway opened their line from Syston, near Leicester to Peterborough East.

The Great Northern Railway opened in stages between 1849 and 1853. First to open in 1849 was the so called Fens Loop Line from Peterborough via Spalding and Boston to Lincoln. This was followed in 1850 by the main line south from Peterborough to a temporary station in London at Maiden Lane, Kings Cross not being ready until 1853. The GNR built their own station in Peterborough, originally suffixed Cowgate and later North.

The direct line north from Peterborough via Grantham to Doncaster (the Towns Line) opened in 1853. This was built alongside the Midland Railway as far as Helpston, resulting in adjacent but separate level crossings at various places, including the Crescent level crossings in Peterborough city centre.

Interchange between the two Peterborough stations was inconvenient, so in 1858 the Midland Railway opened Crescent station next to the level crossing of the same name, and just a short distance from the GNR station. Crescent station closed in 1866 when Midland trains began to call at the GNR station instead. Some GER trains were already working through from East station and terminating at North station - not Crescent - in 1863. [Bradshaws General Railway and Steam Navigation Guide, Feb 1863]

The Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway branch from Sutton Bridge via Wisbech opened in 1866. To access the M&GNR, trains headed north and diverged left at Westwood junction, then continued north adjacent to the Midland line but gaining height, then curved east and bridged over the MR and GNR and Lincon road and headed off towards Eye Green along approximately the route of the current A47 Soke Parkway.

Finally, in connection with the opening of the Great Northern and London and North Western Joint Railway in Leicestershire in 1879, the LNWR built a line from their Peterborough to Northampton line near Wansford to their Rugby and Stamford line at Seaton, and the GNR built the Fletton curve via Woodston to Orton Waterville. These connections were used by the LNWR to run trains from Peterborough East to Rugby, and by the GNR to run trains from Peterborough North to their new station at Leicester Belgrave Road.

In 1913 the two troublesome Crescent level crossings were finally abolished when Crescent Bridge was opened.


The first service to be withdrawn was the GNR service to Leicester Belgrave Road, which was stopped as a war economy in 1916. The first line closure occurred in 1959 when the Sutton Bridge line closed along with most of the rest of the M&GNR. The same year, the local services on the GNR main line stopped, and minor stations such Yaxley and Farcet and Tallington were closed.

Next came the 1964 closure of the line to Northampton, followed 2 years later by the line to Rugby together with Peterborough East station. The Rugby line remained opened for goods as far as the sand and gravel quarries near Nassington. When this traffic stopped, the line closed but the track remained in situ, and was eventually reopened as the Nene Valley Railway heritage line.

Also in 1966, the local services on the Midland line ceased with the closure of the remaining village stations such as Helpston and Ketton & Collyweston.

The final closure came on 3 October 1970 when the line via Spalding to Boston and on via the East Lincolnshire Line to Grimsby was closed. However, the line as far as Spalding was reopened on 7 June 1971, with a shuttle service of 3 trains each way per day. This service improved with the 1982 closure of the March to Spalding section of the former Great Northern and Great Eastern Joint Railway, as the former Lincoln to Cambridge service then became a Lincoln to Peterborough service. [A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain. Volume 9. The East Midlands. (Robin Leleux)] [The Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway (A. J. Wrottesley)]

ummary of Former Services

ee also

*Peterborough to Lincoln Line
*Birmingham to Peterborough Line
*Ely to Peterborough Line


External links

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