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Wellingborough railway station serves the town of Wellingboroughmarker in Northamptonshiremarker, Englandmarker. It lies on the Midland Main Line, it is from London St. Pancrasmarker. East Midlands Trains (EMT) operate the station and run all of its services using modern Meridian trains.

The station is to the east of the town. It is also the closest station to the town of Rushdenmarker.

The film Kinky Boots featured Wellingborough station but called it Northampton.

When the Wellingborough east development takes place, the station will be get new station building on the other side of the tracks and platform 4 will be brought back into use.

History

It was built by the Midland Railway in 1857 on its extension from Leicestermarker to Bedfordmarker and Hitchinmarker. It was known for a time as Wellingborough Midland Road to distinguish from one built by the LNWR in 1866 at Wellingborough London Roadmarker for the Northampton and Peterborough Railway which has long disappeared. A curve linked the two stations from west to north.

The buildings, designed by C. A. Driver, still exist, though in altered form. Much of this occurred when the branch to Higham Ferrersmarker was built in 1894, when the up main platform wa substantially altered, removing the original canopies.

Wellingborough also had a large locomotive depot with two roundhouses, the first built 1868, the second in 1872.

The station was the scene of a serious accident on September 2 1898 when a trolley ran off the platform in front of a Manchestermarker express. The crew and six passengers were killed and sixty-five injured.

General information

Wellingborough has three platforms: two are regularly used, one occasionally, and another platform face with no trackwork. The station was formerly the junction for a branch to Higham Ferrersmarker and there is now a preservation movement to reopen this route (see Rushden, Higham & Wellingborough Railwaymarker).

The station has the PlusBus scheme where train and bus tickets can be bought together at a saving.

From Bedford to Wellingborough the Midland Main Line is unusual for being a three-tracked main line. Other instances of this occurring are around Nuneatonmarker on the West Coast Main Linemarker and on the Cross City line in Birminghammarker. Before rationalisation this formation was part of the longest continuous four-track layout in the UK, extending from London St. Pancras to Glendon Junction.

Being relatively close to London, the frequency of trains to the capital in the morning and evening peak is excellent for commuting. East Midlands Trains launched a new timetable in December 2008, with one train less running during the morning peak period, and four less during the evening peak. Some journey times are to increase, with the quickest train now taking 47 minutes, and between 55 and an hour off-peak (previously 45–55 minutes).

Services

There is a half-hourly service to London St. Pancrasmarker and to Nottinghammarker via Leicestermarker or Corbymarker both operated by modern Meridian trains. In the morning and evening services are extended to Lincolnmarker via Newarkmarker and Melton Mowbraymarker via Corbymarker.

The off-peak times are:
Wellingborough Station sign.
To St. Pancras Mondays-Fridays:

xx04 from Corby

xx34 from Nottingham

Saturdays:

xx04 from Corby

xx34 from Nottingham

Sundays see different times throughout the day.

To Nottingham/Derby Mondays-Saturdays:

xx20 to Nottingham

xx51 to Corby

Sundays see different times throughout the day.

Faster East Midlands Trains services to/from Leedsmarker, Sheffieldmarker, Nottinghammarker and Derbymarker run through at high speed, but do not stop. Interchange with Faster services can be made at Leicestermarker and St Pancras.

The weekend sees trains operating to Yorkmarker and in the summer months there are also weekend trains to Scarboroughmarker. EMT plan to run a through service (possibly around 2010) to Skegnessmarker, although this depends on when Network Rail have completed track upgrade works.

Travel times

Travel times from Wellingborough to London, Corby, Melton Mowbray, Nottingham & Lincoln (from May 2009) All services operated by East Midlands Trains.



Tickets

Fares on many routes were increased at the start of 2008 (which is common with rail operators), which has made some fares disproportionately more expensive than those at other local stations. To enable more affordable travel, passengers can ask retailers to 'split their ticket'. For example, buying a day return to Bedford then a day return from Bedford to London can make the overall fare to London much cheaper (this is possible on many routes not just London). Be aware retailers are instructed not to do this unless asked, also that the train must stop at the station where the tickets change over although you don't have to get off.

Future



Station improvments
Network Rail have announced to extend the station platforms and improve the footbridge.

When Wellingborough East is complete it is suggested that the station will be upgraded. The suggestions are to:
  • Reopen platform 4
  • Install lifts
  • New footbridge to existing platforms and platform 4
  • Improved bus interchange, taxi facilities, plaza and drop off area to east of railway line
  • New station building, east of the railway including: buffet, retail facilities, toilets and improved staff facilities.


Car parking
Wellingborough South Car Park sign.
The new 'South' car park has been built as a replacement for the 'North' car park which is still open. The replacement was built because of Wellingborough East as the new road bridge would start were the 'North' car park is placed and then go over the railway.

Thameslink
When the existing franchise is re-examined, it is hoped by Network Rail and First Capital Connect that the Thameslink expansion programme will have increased capacity at Bedford and Luton. There is a suggestion that East Midlands Trains services passing through Northamptonshire will no longer stop south of Wellingborough. To replace the route, a cross-country "shuttle" using existing line will be added, running from either Luton or Bedford, stopping at Wellingborough and/or Kettering, through to Corby or possibly further.

References

  1. The Borough Council of Wellingborough: Growth Area Development May 2009 accessed 22 November 2009
  2. Radford, B., (1983) Midland Line Memories: a Pictorial History of the Midland Railway Main Line Between London (St Pancras) & Derby London: Bloomsbury Books
  3. Preston Hendry, R., Powell Hendry, R., (1982) An historical survey of selected LMS stations. Vol. 2 Oxford Publishing
  4. East Midlands Trains: Midland Main Line Timetable
  5. The Borough Council of Wellingborough: Growth Area Development November 2007accessed November 2009


External links

  • [181397]-East Midlands Trains website.



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