Train Stations in the UK

Overview and Information About All National Train Stations

Train Stations in the UK

In the UK, there is a vast network of Railway lines and stations; a total of 2,520. In general, train stations in the UK are a central point of local public transport. Thus, these often form a focal point in the everyday lives of people. For this reason, many are large, category listed buildings, which often dominates the skyline and offers a point of recognition in the city or town.

London is the hub of the UK's extensive rail network, and according to reports from the Office of Rail Regulation, London’s Waterloo, Victoria, Liverpool Street, London Bridge, Charing Cross, Euston and Paddington stations are the busiest in the country. Three other major train stations in the UK outside the capital are Birmingham New Street, Glasgow Central and Manchester Piccadilly, which each served some 30 million passengers between 2011 and 2012 and provide regular services to major cities​ all across the UK. The three stations ensure representative coverage of all areas of the UK; The Midlands, The North of England and Scotland.

To find out more about the companies serving these stations: National Rail Train Operating Companies

London Waterloo | Glasgow Central | Manchester Piccadilly

Major Train Stations in The UK

London Waterloo

London Waterloo is a popular commuter station, with the vast majority of passengers arriving here on local or suburban services. These regional trains are mostly operated by South West Trains, who provide services to South West London, Surrey, Hampshire, Dorset and Berkshire; provided by Southwest trains. Connected to the main station is the underground stop, Waterloo; this is on the Jubilee, Bakerloo, Northern and Water & City.

Popular Connections from London Waterloo

To find out more: London Waterloo

Glasgow Central

Along with Edinburgh Waverley, Glasgow Central is the main station connecting Scotland with numerous English cities, providing frequent services to London Euston, Manchester Piccadilly and Birmingham New Street. The building itself is a Category A listed building, located in the centre of the city, just a short walk east of Prices Square shopping centre.

Popular Connections from Glasgow Central

To find out more: Glasgow Central

Manchester Piccadilly

Manchester Piccadilly is the busiest station of the four main stations in Manchester and is a major travel hub in the UK connecting the northern city with direct services to London Euston, Cardiff and Sheffield. The main providers that operate from this station include CrossCountry, Northern Rail, Virgin Trains, First Transpennine Express and Arriva Trains Wales.

Popular Connections from Manchester Piccadilly

To find out more: Manchester Piccadilly

The Biggest Train Stations by Passenger Numbers in the UK

Station Annual Passengers (Millions) No. of Platforms
London Waterloo 98.5 22
London Victoria 81.9 19
London Liverpool Street 63 18
London Bridge 56.4 15
London Euston 40.4 18
London Charing Cross 40.1 6
London Paddington 35 14
Birmingham New Street 34.7 13
London Kings Cross 29.8 12
Glasgow Central 27.2 17

Station Categories

To classify the different train stations in the UK in terms of their size, use and importance, there are several categories. There are 6 categories, A-F, in total which were initially devised in 1996 and then revised in 2009 to the current arrangement. Of the 2,520 stations in the UK, many are will be found in more than one category

  • Category A train stations are the 28 stations that are considered national transport hubs in UK. In order to be classified in the top category the stations need to offer more than 2 million journeys a year.

  • Category B, of which there are 67, must also provide over 2 million trips annually; however, are merely regarded as a regional interchange.

  • A total of 248 stations are regarded as Category C12; these stations are known as important feeder stops and offer between 500,000 to 2 million trips.

  • Category D are medium staffed stations with between 250,000 and 500,000 trips per year; there are 298 stations with this classification in the UK.

  • Category E and F12 both offer under 250,000 journeys, on average, a year. The distinction between these categories is Category E stations have limited staff working there and F12 are unstaffed. Unstaffed stations have the largest number of stations with a total of 1,200 and Category E stations have almost half with just over 650.

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