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Lincoln Central railway station

Lincoln Central
Place Lincoln
Local authority Lincoln
Grid reference
Station code LCN
Managed by East Midlands Trains
Number of platforms 5
DfT category C1
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2002/03 1.215 million
2004/05 1.278 million
2005/06 1.340 million
2006/07 1.418 million
2007/08 1.315 million
2008/09 1.379 million
2009/10 1.478 million
- Interchange 23,226
2010/11 1.462 million
- Interchange 18,983
2011/12 1.655 million
- Interchange 25,447
2012/13 1.634 million
- Interchange 24,309
2013/14 1.610 million
- Interchange 25,767
Key dates Opened 4 August 1846 (4 August 1846)
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Lincoln Central from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
UK Railways portal

Lincoln Central railway station serves the city of Lincoln in Lincolnshire, England. The station is owned by Network Rail and managed by East Midlands Trains (EMT) train operating company. EMT provide services along with Northern Rail and Virgin Trains East Coast.

Lincoln Central is now the only station in Lincoln, following the closure of Lincoln St. Marks in 1985. However, it has retained its "Central" suffix, similar to Rotherham Central. The station building was designed in 1848 for the Great Northern Railway by J H Taylor, in a stone "Baronial" style.

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

In late 2010 East Midlands Trains announced that it intended to develop an improved customer service area and improve the café and toilets.[1]


  • Platform layout and services 1
  • Types of trains 2
  • Resignalling 3
  • Future services 4
  • Accidents and incidents 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Platform layout and services

Train services run between Lincoln and

There are also once daily services Monday to Saturday to London St Pancras operated by East Midlands Trains and to London Kings Cross operated by Virgin Trains East Coast.

There are five platforms at the station, numbered 1–5:

  • Platforms 1 and 2 are bay platforms used for daytime stabling of trains and for terminating arrivals from the east which will return east (trains arriving from the east which will form westbound services will be routed into one of the through platforms).
  • Platforms 3, 4 and 5 are bidirectional through platforms used for services on all routes. All three through platforms are used as most operationally advantageous; it is no longer true to say that "trains to X or Y will leave from platform Z".
  • Platform 3 is the platform face adjacent the main station building and is nearest to the station entrance. The ticket barriers, buffet/shop, a waiting room, accessible toilet and staff facilities are all sited on platform 3.
  • Platforms 4 and 5 are the two faces of the island platform. Passenger waiting rooms and toilets are on the island platform, as is the staff conference room.

Lincoln station is also home to an East Midlands Trains train crew depot; trains are stabled overnight in any or all of the platforms as operationally convenient.

Types of trains

Lincoln often sees Class 150s, class 153s, class 156s, class 158s, class 142s and class 144s. The class 158s and class 156s are used by East Midlands Trains and the class 142s, class 144s and class 150 by Northern Rail. The class 153 is use by both companies at the station. Lincoln sees two a day of Class 222, which is use by East Midlands Trains, and class 43 are use by Virgin Trains East Coast, these are only on the London services in the morning and evening.


The old layout and signalling, seen in 1977
View of the station in August 2007 showing then recently relaid track

Network Rail instituted a major resignalling scheme for Lincoln Central during the years 2007–2008 which saw:

  • the replacement of the semaphore signals with colour light signals,
  • the concentration of all signalling control into one signal box rather than the previous four,
  • track relaying, and ballasting
  • new points and crossovers which allow all three through platforms at Lincoln to be used in both directions and allows trains from the east to enter the two bay platforms (1 & 2) directly.[2]

As a direct result, terminating trains no longer need to shunt from one side of the station to the other to take up their return workings, reducing turnaround times for terminating trains and improve train service punctuality and reliability.

As part of the overall scheme, Lincoln Central's platforms have been renumbered from 3–7 to 1–5: (the current platform 1 was previously platform 3, 2 was 4 etc.)

Barriers at Lincoln Central station.

All four existing signal boxes - High Street, East Holmes, West Holmes and Pelham Street Junction - were closed and replaced by a new state of the art signalling centre near the West Holmes box. Pelham Street and West Holmes boxes were demolished, but the High Street and East Holmes boxes are listed buildings and are preserved.

Future services

For many years, Lincoln had not been served with a direct rail service to London. However, the awarding of two new rail franchises saw this remedied.

On 14 August 2007, it was announced that National Express East Coast would take over the InterCity East Coast Franchise in December 2007. As part of the commitment, NXEC planned to introduce a two-hourly service between Lincoln Central and London Kings Cross, starting in 2009. This service would have alternated with a two-hourly service to York.[3][4] The InterCity East Coast Franchise was passed to East Coast in November 2009. In late 2009 East Coast along with NetworkRail published details of the ECML proposed new timetable, including the Lincoln-London services. In spring 2010 it was announced that this new service would be cut back. East Coast, citing financial restraints during the credit crunch, announced instead just one direct train in each direction per day, with extra services running only as far as Newark NorthGate station, meaning Lincoln passengers will still have to change trains there.[5] On 22 May 2011 East Coast started direct Lincoln-London Kings Cross services, albeit in a much reduced number than they had originally planned. There is one train a day to London leaving Lincoln at 07:20 Monday-Friday and 09.30 on Saturday, there is no East Coast Service to London on a Sunday. The return service leaves London at 19:06 Monday-Friday, 18.08 on Saturday, and 19.08 on Sunday. As of March 2015 the Kings Cross service is now operated by Virgin Trains East Coast.

In addition to the Virgin Trains East Coast services, East Midlands Trains operate one train per day Monday-Saturday from Lincoln to London St Pancras, and a return journey is made in the evening. Monday-Saturday, the East Midlands Trains service to London St Pancas leaves Lincoln at 07.04, and the return journey leaves London St Pancras at 18.30 Monday-Friday, and on a Saturday the service leaves at 17.29.

In 2006, Humber & City, an open-access operator owned by Renaissance Trains, proposed running services between Cleethorpes and Stratford via Lincoln. Nothing concrete seems to have come of the proposal.

Nottingham County Council, the Department for Transport and Network Rail are in discussion about various improvements to the line towards Nottingham including a doubling of service.[6]

Accidents and incidents

  • On 4 June 1962, an express passenger train was derailed due to excessive speed on a curve. Three people were killed and 49 were injured.[7][8]


  1. ^ "Impact>Station Improvements coming soon" (PDF).  
  2. ^ "Massive investment for Lincoln's railway this summer".  
  3. ^ "From Lincoln to London in just two hours with new rail link".  
  4. ^ "National Express awarded contract for growth on InterCity East Coast".  
  5. ^
  6. ^ "125MPH TRAINS TO CUT JOURNEY TIMES". Nottingham Evening Post. 12 April 2008. 
  7. ^ Earnshaw, Alan (1990). Trains in Trouble: Vol. 6. Penryn: Atlantic Books. p. 42.  
  8. ^

External links

Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

Lincoln Lines
to Doncaster
Pyewipe Junction
Boultham Junction
West Holmes Junction
to Nottingham
Holmes Yard
Lincoln St. Marks
Brayford Wharf Crossing
High Street Crossing
Lincoln Central
GN and GE
Avoiding Line
to Cleethorpes
GN Terrace Crossing
Sincil Junction
to Grantham
Washingboro' Junction
to Peterborough
to Spalding/Boston
Preceding station   National Rail National Rail   Following station
East Midlands Trains Terminus
East Midlands Trains
East Midlands Trains
Terminus East Midlands Trains
East Midlands Trains
Newark-Grimsby Line
Northern Rail Terminus
Virgin Trains East Coast
East Coast Main Line
Historical railways
Line and station closed
Great Northern and Great Eastern Joint Railway
Line open, station closed
Line and station closed
Great Northern Railway Terminus
Terminus Great Northern Railway
Line and station closed
Line and station closed
Great Central Railway Terminus
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