York Railway Station, York England

York Railway Station Audio Guide

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York Railway Station Quick Facts

  • York Railway Station is not actually the original station as the first railway station resided across the road and existed as a terminus.
  • The current station is Victorian and built in 1877 and at the time was the largest in the world.
  • Pay particular attention to how the roofs, buildings, lines and platforms are on a curve. This makes it a spectacular specimen of Victorian engineering.
  • The Victorian station was designed my Thomas Prosser and William Peachey.
  • York was very much a railway city at the time and only up until recent years was one of York’s main employers in addition to chocolate production.
  • Before the Beaching cuts in the 1960’s, the rail network was more extensive and you could travel to almost every city, town and village in England. However, the least profitable lines were withdrawn from service.
  • The station today, as it did back in Victorian times, resides on the East Coast Mainline (ECML), the mainline between London Kings Cross and Edinburgh Waverley.

Where is York Railway Station?

More About York Railway Station

York Railway Station This might not seem an obvious place to go sightseeing but in actual fact York Railway Station holds some interesting features. It was built back in 1877 and at the time was the largest railway station in the world. What is amazing about this station is how its platforms, buildings and roof is formed in a long curve that follows the lines running through. 

York's original terminus railway station could be found across the road and you can still see the arches constructed in the Bar Walls today.
York’s original terminus railway station could be found across the road and you can still see the arches constructed in the Bar Walls today.

What You Don’t See However, this was not the first permanent station to exist in York. In fact, the first station was a terminus station and was situated across the road on the other side of the bar wall.  In 1841, arches were created into the bar wall to allow the trains to pass through into the station.  At this point in time, there were fewer trains and they had to go left to enter the station through the arches.  To make things more awkward, in the days of steam, locomotives had to decouple from its stock and run around the train to attach to what now is the front in order to leave the terminus station. As time progressed, more and more trains were on the move and a new station needed to be built to accommodate the increasing traffic. 

A Victorian Railway Station Today 

Don't miss the large station clock situated at the entry to the station footbridge.
Don’t miss the large station clock situated at the entry to the station footbridge.

Today’s station sits on the East Coast Mainline (ECML) that runs trains from London Kings Cross to Edinburgh as well as incorporating other routes to the South-West, Harrogate, Kingston Upon Hull and Scarborough. The current station was designed by Thomas Prosser and William Peachey and originally had 13 platforms.  York station is a principal stop in the north of England providing access to the rail network.  During the 1960’s the Beaching cuts axed many of the unprofitable branch lines. Prior to this, you could travel to almost anywhere by rail including rural villages. 

York Railway Station was constructed on a curve which makes it an even more stunning example of Victorian architecture.
York Railway Station was constructed on a curve which makes it an even more stunning example of Victorian architecture.

York could very accurately be called a “railway city”.  York was a main employer of railway workers for a considerable time, but sadly not so much today.  Not only did it boast the world’s largest station, but also had a roundhouse, a works (or factory where trains were made and repaired), and employed office workers as well as engineers.  Rows of terraced houses were built around the city to accommodate the railway workers and their families.  The railways also encouraged production of other products such as chocolate.  Chocolate factories such as Terry’s of York and Rowntree’s were two main employers in chocolate production.  Prior to the railways arrival, York was simply a market town with small manufacturers providing employment. It would be accurate to say that the railways changed the course of the city.