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Gainsborough Central railway station

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Title: Gainsborough Central railway station  
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Subject: Gainsborough station group, LNER Peppercorn Class A2, Railway stations in Lincolnshire, Gainsborough Lea Road railway station, Golf Street railway station
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Gainsborough Central railway station

Gainsborough Central
Gainsborough Central
Gainsborough Central Station
Place Gainsborough
Local authority West Lindsey
Grid reference SK819898
Station code GNB
Managed by Northern Rail
Number of platforms 2
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2002/03   8
2004/05 Increase 21
2005/06 Steady 21
2006/07 Increase 33,217
2007/08 Decrease 1,127
2008/09 Increase 1,172
2009/10 Increase 1,438
2010/11 Decrease 1,134
2011/12 Increase 1,334
Key dates Opened 1849 (1849)
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Gainsborough Central from Office of Rail Regulation statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
UK Railways portal

Gainsborough Central railway station is a railway station in the town of Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, England. The town's other station is the busier Gainsborough Lea Road. Until recently, the station was shown to be one of the least busy in the country as trains only call there one day a week.

In the Strategic Rail Authority's 2002/3 financial year, only 5 fare-paying people (excluding season ticket holders) boarded trains at Gainsborough Central station, and 3 disembarked, making it the least busy station in the United Kingdom, with Barry Links.[1] The 2004/05 figures suggested 21 passengers used the station that year, putting it slightly below Watford West a station closed since 1996 and on a line which is currently missing both track and bridges.

The station was opened by the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway (MS&LR) on 2 April 1849.[2][3] The opening day was a gala occasion, shops were closed and the town was full of visitors. The station off Spring Gardens was crowded with onlookers, and at noon the train whistle was heard in the distance. Some hundreds of people saw 'a veritable locomotive on a line of railway at Gainsborough' for the first time. It came over the track by a wooden trestle bridge across the Humble Carr and backed into the station. The directors of the line and the chief engineer were greeted by leading inhabitants and then went in procession to the old coaching inn, the White Hart, for a champagne lunch.[4]

The station buildings were designed by architects Weightman and Hadfield. A substantial stone frontage with full-height portico with 4 attached Roman Ionic columns and triple arcade with moulded round arches.[5]

The MS&LR became the Great Central Railway (GCR) on 1 August 1897,[6] which in turn amalgamated with other railways to form the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) at the end of 1922.[7] The LNER inherited two stations in Gainsborough, and to distinguish them, the ex-GCR station was renamed Gainsborough Central in September 1923,[2] The station buildings were demolished in 1975, leaving just the two platforms and a footbridge over the two railway lines.[4]

The line through the station has recently been upgraded and refurbished to allow it to carry increased levels of freight traffic from the port complex at Immingham to South Yorkshire and the East Midlands. This has been done to reduce congestion on the busy route via Scunthorpe.


  • Location 1
  • Services 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Gainsborough Central station was situated close to Gainsborough steel stock holders (since moved) and the new Marshalls Yard Shopping Centre.

In late 2008, a new car park was opened next to the station however this is only for permit holders. Good access is available even for the disabled.


The present service comprises just three trains per week[8] each way on Saturdays only between Sheffield and Cleethorpes.

North Lincolnshire Council is, however, campaigning to increase this to an hourly service in each direction.[9]

The Department for Transport have confirmed that the service on the Sheffield Midland - Cleethorpes Via Gainsborough Central will be reviewed as part of the Northern Rail franchise but it could be that Trans Pennine Express services start stopping at Gainsborough Central in the near future.

In June 2013 in a letter to RAIL magazines Open Access, Gainsborough Central was described as "Something you would find in war-torn Beirut".

In the Times newspaper on 8 January 2014 the station was said to be "the worst on the British rail network".

A campaign by both rail groups in Gainsborough has resulted in a three-fold increase in passenger numbers using the station and the Brigg line railway services.

The station's sign
Preceding station   National Rail National Rail   Following station
Northern Rail
Saturday only
Historical railways
Line open, station closed
  Great Central Railway
Sheffield and Lincolnshire Junction Railway
Line open, station closed


  1. ^ The usage information (Station Entries and Station Exits) is based on ticket sales in the financial year 2002/03 and covers all National Rail stations. The calculation of station usage levels uses sales recorded in the railway ticketing system prior to their allocation to individual operators. It does not take into account any changes of train during the course of a journey.Continued usage notes, and Excel format table for all stations available.
  2. ^ a b Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. p. 100.  
  3. ^ Gainsborough Central (499039). PastScape. English Heritage. Retrieved 2013-05-24.
  4. ^ a b Beckwith, Ian S (1988). The Book of Gainsborough. Quotes Ltd. 
  5. ^  
  6. ^  
  7. ^  
  8. ^ Northern Rail Timetable 32: Sheffield - Retford - Lincoln/Cleethorpes; retrieved 2009-08-28
  9. ^ Fisher, Nigel (2007-06-04). Passengers Urged To Show Support "Passengers Urged To Show Support". Scunthorpe Telegraph. p. 14. Retrieved 2007-06-05. 

External links

  • 1849 view of the station
  • 1954 view of the station
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