Rahul Sharma (Editor)

York railway station

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Grid reference

Owned by
Network Rail

Local authority
City of York

Station code

York railway station

Managed by
Virgin Trains East Coast

Station Rd, York YO24 1AB, UK

Trains at york railway station 14 4 16

York railway station is on the East Coast Main Line in the United Kingdom, serving the city of York, North Yorkshire. It is 188 miles 40 chains (303.4 km) down-line from London King's Cross and on the main line it is situated between Doncaster to the south and Thirsk to the north. Its three-letter station code is YRK.


Despite the small size of the city, York's station is one of the most important on the British railway network because of its role as a key junction approximately halfway between London and Edinburgh. It is approximately five miles 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.

York railway station york england


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. In due course, the irksome 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. This was the present station, designed by the North Eastern Railway architects Thomas Prosser and William Peachey, which opened in 1877. It had 13 platforms and was at that time the largest station in the world. As part of the new station project, the Royal Station Hotel (now The Royal York Hotel), designed by Peachey, opened in 1878.

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. On one occasion, on 29 April 1942, 800 passengers had to be evacuated from a Kings Cross-Edinburgh train which arrived during a bombing raid. On the same night, two railway workers were killed, one being station foreman William Milner (born 1900), who died after returning to his burning office to collect his first aid kit. He was posthumously awarded the King's commendation for gallantry. A plaque in his memory has been erected at the station. The station was extensively repaired in 1947.

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

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. This resulted in several bay platforms (mainly on the eastern side) being taken out of service and the track to them removed. 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.

Station management transferred from Virgin Trains East Coast to Network Rail on the 30 June 2015.

Accidents and incidents

  • On 31 March 1920, a passenger train was derailed as it entered platform 8.
  • On 5 August 1958, a passenger train crashed into the buffers at platform 12.
  • Layout

    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. Between April 1984 and 2011 the old tea rooms housed the Rail Riders World/York Model Railway exhibition.

    Major renovation

    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.

    Recent developments

    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.

    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 This took over the functions of the former IECC in January 2015 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 & West Yorkshire.


    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:

  • Platform 1: South-facing bay platform mostly used for services to Hull 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 Virgin Trains East Coast for London King's Cross generally use this platform. Also, 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 Virgin Trains East Coast services to Scotland use this and generally call at Darlington and Newcastle Central only. Accessible by footbridge or tunnel. Also used by some CrossCountry services northbound. North/eastbound TransPennine Express to Scarborough generally use this platform along with summer Saturday-only East Midlands Trains services to Scarborough. Southbound Virgin Trains East Coast 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 commuter services to Leeds and Blackpool North and by terminating Virgin Trains East Coast services that return south to London King's Cross, and on non-summer Saturdays by East Midlands Trains services to London St. Pancras.
  • Platform 7: South-facing bay platform used mostly by Northern commuter services, Virgin Trains East Coast services to/from London King's Cross starting/terminating at York, and non-summer Saturday services by East Midlands Trains to London St. Pancras.
  • 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 Virgin Trains East Coast services heading north to Newcastle and Scotland (but also some fast services), CrossCountry services north and southbound via Leeds, TransPennine Express services westbound to Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Airport and northbound to Newcastle Central and Middlesbrough. Some Northern services to Blackpool also use this platform.
  • Platforms 10 and 11 exist outside the main body of the station. Another siding (the former fruit dock) exists opposite Platform 11.


    The station is operated by Virgin Trains East Coast and is used by the following train operating companies:

    Virgin Trains East Coast

    Virgin Trains East Coast operates to London as well as many services northbound to Newcastle and Edinburgh. In addition, there are infrequent services to Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness. The fastest southbound services run non-stop to London, completing the 188 mile journey in 1 hour and 52 minutes.

    Rolling stock used: Inter-City 225 (Class 91 electric locomotive and DVT) and Inter-City 125 (HST)


    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: Rolling stock used: Class 220, Class 221 'Voyager' diesel multiple units and Inter-City 125 (HST)

    East Midlands Trains

    East Midlands Trains provides one weekend return journey between York and London St Pancras via the Midland Main Line, as well as one summer Saturday journey to/from Scarborough: Rolling stock used: Class 222 Meridian diesel multiple units, and very rarely on Railtours Intercity 125.

    TransPennine Express

    TransPennine Express provides a number of express services across the north of England (to Manchester Piccadilly, Liverpool Lime Street, Newcastle, Scarborough & Middlesbrough): Rolling stock used: Class 185 "Pennine" diesel multiple units

    Grand Central

    Grand Central runs an open access service between Sunderland and London: Rolling stock used: Inter-City 125 (HST) and Class 180


    Northern operates a most hourly service towards Hull, Blackpool North and Leeds serving most stations on route. Rolling stock used: Sprinter (Class 150/153/155/158) and Pacer (Class 142/144) diesel multiple units


    York railway station Wikipedia