Retford railway station

Retford railway station

Infobox UK station
name = Retford
code = RET

manager = National Express East Coast
locale = Retford
borough = Bassetlaw, Nottinghamshire
usage0405 = 0.298
usage0506 = 0.320
usage0607 = 0.363
platforms = 4
start =

Retford railway station serves the town of Retford in Nottinghamshire, England. and is 223 km (138½ miles) north of London Kings Cross and 28 km (16½ miles) south of Doncaster on the East Coast Main Line. It is also 37 km (23½ miles) south east of Sheffield on the Sheffield to Lincoln Line.

It has four platforms, two of which serve the East Coast Main Line while two located at a lower level and at right angles to the first pair serve the Sheffield to Lincoln Line.

The station

The first railway into Retford was the Sheffield and Lincolnshire Junction Railway which opened on 16 July 1849 on their line between Sheffield and Gainsborough. The Great Northern Railway line from Doncaster arrived on 4 September 1849 crossing the S&LJR on the level. It used the latter's station until its own was completed (on the site of today's higher-level platforms) on 1 August 1852. On 1 July 1859, the S&LJR (now the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway) began using the GNR station via a short connecting curve, and closed its original station.

The higher-level platforms (numbered 1 and 2) respectively serve southbound and northbound East Coast Main Line trains calling at Retford. Platform 1 (on the eastern side of the layout) adjoins the main station building. Between the two platforms tracks there are two further lines, used by fast trains not booked to call here.

The lower-level platforms (numbered 3 and 4) were added in the 1960s when the flat crossing between the two lines was removed and the Sheffield - Lincoln tracks were lowered to pass beneath the London - York route. These works also necessitated the removal of the direct north-to-east curve, meaning that trains between Sheffield and Lincoln could no longer call at the original platforms without a reversal.


Bill Bryson comments of Retford station, in his book "Notes from a Small Island", that it is shown on railway maps in a typeface marking it as equivalent to much more notable cities in northern England, and he therefore deemed it worth a visit.

Michael Palin of Monty Python fame recalls frequently visiting Retford Station as youngster for train spotting, as it was in easy reach of his home town Sheffield and provided access to legendary locomotives like the Flying Scotsman running on the LNER line now called the East Coast Main Line.


* Dow, G., (1959) "Great Central, Volume One: The Progenitors (1813-1863) ", Shepperton: Ian Allan Ltd.

External links

* [ Photographs of Retford station]

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