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UK's busiest and quietest railway stations

 

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oxpete
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Mar 25, 2014, 1:37 PM

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UK's busiest and quietest railway stations Can't Post or Reply Privately

I find this sort of stuff fascinating, and I'm pretty sure there are other people on here who'll find this interesting too. Its a spreadsheet listing all 2516 (or is it 2533?) railway stations on the UK rail network, with passenger numbers for the year of 2011/12. I think I'm reading it correctly, but there is a lot of data so someone please correct me if I've read any of these figures wrongly.

http://www.theguardian.com/...stations-listed-rail
(Scroll to the very end, then click on Data: download the full spreadsheet. Main article lists only the first 1000 stations.)

From this, you can see that the ten busiest railway stations in the UK are (in descending order):

Waterloo (with over 94ml entries/exits, plus 9.5ml interchanges)
Victoria
Liverpool Street
London Bridge
Charing Cross
Euston
Paddington
Birmingham New Street
King's Cross
Glasgow Central

(Some surprises are that suburban Wimbledon appears to be very nearly as busy as Manchester Piccadilly and is busier than either Reading or Gatwick Airport, and Putney looks busier than Bristol Temple Meads??!!)

Even more interesting is the bottom of the list, showing the UK stations with the smallest number of entries/exits:

(20th~11th in descending order) Scotscalder, Golf Street, Kirton Lindsey, Acklington, Chapleton, Hensall, Achanalt, Pilning, Sampford Courtenay, Havenhouse, then...
Sugar Loaf
Buckenham
Breich
Barry Links
Elton & Orston
Coombe
Reddish South
Denton
Dorking West
and quietest of all...
Tees-side Airport with just 14 entries/exits in the year. (The airport it serves doesn't even use this name anymore, now called Durham Tees Valley Airport since 2004, and apparently is a fifteen minute walk for any passengers using it!)

Many of the quietest stations are in places like Scotltish Highlands, Devon, Norfolk etc, Others though are urban 'ghost stations', given the barest legal frequency of service by the privatised railway companies in order to save money, while avoiding the expensive process of actually closing the places down. Teesside Airport has just two services a week, both on Sunday, at 10:29 (to MetroCentre) and at 12:18 (to Darlington).

Does anyone on this forum use/live near/ever relied on one of these quiet stations?





(This post was edited by oxpete on Mar 25, 2014, 4:33 PM)


acmold
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Mar 25, 2014, 2:16 PM

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Post #2 of 311 (31966 views)
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Oxford has nearly twice as many "customers" as Swindon, but Swindon has more staff, shops, everything really. It has 40% of the "customers" Reading and has 10% of the facilities?. Didcot Parkway is nearly up with Swindon. Also give or take a few thousand Oxford has the same as Nottingham. Yes very interesting. How high will Oxford climb when (or if) all the new lines and services start, and will anything have been done to the station by then. Going back to one of our old favourites a week last Saturday I was down there and the ticket queues were quite staggering, in fact the bit this side of the barriers was very overcrowded.


HantsLondoner
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Mar 25, 2014, 2:33 PM

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To name but two of the quietest stations:

Kirton Lindsey has 3 trains a week, all Saturday
Teesside Airport, apart from the things you mention, only has 2 trains a week.

That would account for them being quiet!

There's a specific Guardian article on Teesside Airport station:
http://www.theguardian.com/...tten-railway-station

According to Wikipedia (yes, I know):
Although it is the least used of the three Dorking stations, the official Annual rail passenger usage data (as low as 16 passengers / year in 2011-12) is misleading because most tickets are issued to/from 'Dorking Stations' rather than specifically Dorking West.

Denton and Reddish South have one train a week in one direction!

Just using Google to look at the list of the 20 least used stations provides some fascinating links.

There's also this:
http://www.independent.co.uk/...sengers-8599817.html



If you're going to/been to a Hampshire Premier League match, I'd really appreciate you filling in a questionnaire - available in the Groundhopping/General section, or just PM me for a copy. Thanks.

(This post was edited by HantsLondoner on Mar 25, 2014, 2:43 PM)


oxpete
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Mar 25, 2014, 4:30 PM

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Post #4 of 311 (31916 views)
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In Reply To
Kirton Lindsey has 3 trains a week, all Saturday
Teesside Airport, apart from the things you mention, only has 2 trains a week.
Denton and Reddish South have one train a week in one direction!

I'm led to believe that some of the ridiculously low passenger numbers related to stations like Teesside Airport, Denton and Reddish South may well be down to 'station hoppers' - people buying tickets while ticking specific stations rather than people using the stations through necessity.





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I've been known to buy tickets for small stations even if I'm using bigger ones in the same area, if the fares for both are the same. This is something you should all try to do, as it helps make stations look 'busy' and so reduces the risk of their services being reduced.

Out of all the small stations mentioned on this thread, how many are within walking distance of football grounds? (Dorking West is the only obvious one I can think of, but that's because I live in the south.)


HampshireLad2
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When i travelled to Thurso from Inverness i think it had 26 stops. 20 of these were 'request' stops. So you had 4 or 5 at the beginning i,e Dingwall / Muir of Ord then for a couple of hours the train would still have to slow down just incase someone did want to use the request stops. Of course towards the end of the trip Brora, Georgemas Junction it would stop as normal.

I asked the conductor how many people had got on these request stops recently and he told me not since September 2012 , i travelled May 2013!

The line out to Kyle of Localsh was much more busier!



www.threetimesover.co.uk


Ropemaker
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Mar 25, 2014, 5:39 PM

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Post #7 of 311 (31874 views)
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In Reply To
I've been known to buy tickets for small stations even if I'm using bigger ones in the same area, if the fares for both are the same. This is something you should all try to do, as it helps make stations look 'busy' and so reduces the risk of their services being reduced.

Out of all the small stations mentioned on this thread, how many are within walking distance of football grounds? (Dorking West is the only obvious one I can think of, but that's because I live in the south.)


Dorking West is within walking distance of Dorking's ground at Meadowbank.

When they're allowed to use it that is.

The ground I mean, not the station.



Just because you're paranoid, it doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

(This post was edited by Ropemaker on Mar 25, 2014, 5:40 PM)


kirby knitters
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Was always pissed off having to walk from Gainsborough Lea Rd station to the Trinity ground when there is a Central station but hardly any trains stop there.


MarkInGorleston
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Mar 25, 2014, 6:00 PM

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Post #9 of 311 (31867 views)
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Even more interesting is the bottom of the list, showing the UK stations with the smallest number of entries/exits:

(20th~11th in descending order) Scotscalder, Golf Street, Kirton Lindsey, Acklington, Chapleton, Hensall, Achanalt, Pilning, Sampford Courtenay, Havenhouse, then...
Sugar Loaf
Buckenham
Breich
Barry Links
Elton & Orston
Coombe
Reddish South
Denton
Dorking West
and quietest of all...
Tees-side Airport with just 14 entries/exits in the year. (The airport it serves doesn't even use this name anymore, now called Durham Tees Valley Airport since 2004, and apparently is a fifteen minute walk for any passengers using it!)

Many of the quietest stations are in places like Scotltish Highlands, Devon, Norfolk etc, Others though are urban 'ghost stations', given the barest legal frequency of service by the privatised railway companies in order to save money, while avoiding the expensive process of actually closing the places down. Teesside Airport has just two services a week, both on Sunday, at 10:29 (to MetroCentre) and at 12:18 (to Darlington).

Does anyone on this forum use/live near/ever relied on one of these quiet stations?


I would guess that the quieter stations may be branch lines, the single line track. For example Witham to Braintree branch line they have one an hour and no place for another train to come back down. Braintree Freeport does not appear to be used much although probably closer to Braintree Town FC / Team Braintree FC (Eastern Counties One) than the main (Braintree station) one in Town. If you know the short cuts across the field.Laugh



I would laugh my head off if AFCW went down along with ColUwe and We**ham.

(This post was edited by MarkInGorleston on Mar 25, 2014, 6:06 PM)


Mr. T
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Post #10 of 311 (31847 views)
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Given that Berney Arms doesn't feature in your list of least-used stations, it would appear that the obvious way to attract passengers is to build a pub next door...


Bantam Cymraeg
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(Some surprises are that suburban Wimbledon appears to be very nearly as busy as Manchester Piccadilly and is busier than either Reading or Gatwick Airport, and Putney looks busier than Bristol Temple Meads??!!)

A couple of possible reasons for Wimbledon - one is some tennis tournament they have for a couple of weeks a year (some on here may have heard of it), the other being the fact that it is at the end of both the Croydon Tramlink and the District Line. I would think that plenty of people would use some combination of tram/tube/train to travel between the Surrey 'burbs and the Smoke.


Isaac
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Mar 26, 2014, 11:45 AM

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Post #12 of 311 (31768 views)
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I've been known to buy tickets for small stations even if I'm using bigger ones in the same area, if the fares for both are the same. This is something you should all try to do, as it helps make stations look 'busy' and so reduces the risk of their services being reduced.

Out of all the small stations mentioned on this thread, how many are within walking distance of football grounds? (Dorking West is the only obvious one I can think of, but that's because I live in the south.)




It might also delay journies by making more trains stop there when there really is no need?

A few vastly under used stations around here, Swale on the Sittingbourne to Sheerness line is next to the Sheppey Bridge and really in the middle of nowhere although apparently it does see an occasional passenger.

Three Oaks and Doleham on the Marshlink line seemingly never see any passengers at all, I think there are only one or two trains a day that stop there to fulfill a legal requirement, apparently there are all sorts of legal costs involved in getting a station closed permanently.


Isaac
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Post #13 of 311 (31761 views)
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I thought Clapham Junction is (or was?) the busiest, I seem to recall seeing some signage there to that effect?


(This post was edited by Isaac on Mar 26, 2014, 12:07 PM)


Fanatic
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I thought Clapham Junction is (or was?) the busiest, I seem to recall seeing some signage there to that effect?


Could be number of trains rather than passengers.


oxpete
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Mar 26, 2014, 12:39 PM

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In Reply To

In Reply To
I've been known to buy tickets for small stations even if I'm using bigger ones in the same area, if the fares for both are the same. This is something you should all try to do, as it helps make stations look 'busy' and so reduces the risk of their services being reduced.

Out of all the small stations mentioned on this thread, how many are within walking distance of football grounds? (Dorking West is the only obvious one I can think of, but that's because I live in the south.)




It might also delay journies by making more trains stop there when there really is no need?

A few vastly under used stations around here, Swale on the Sittingbourne to Sheerness line is next to the Sheppey Bridge and really in the middle of nowhere although apparently it does see an occasional passenger.

Three Oaks and Doleham on the Marshlink line seemingly never see any passengers at all, I think there are only one or two trains a day that stop there to fulfill a legal requirement, apparently there are all sorts of legal costs involved in getting a station closed permanently.


Its a chicken-and-egg situation. Which came first - low passenger numbers at a station or the lousy service laid on at that station by a privatised company who have no intention of committing properly to the place?

Southeastern, in your part of the world, are notorious for trains failing to stop at stations if the service is running late, instead shooting straight through in order to get to Charing Cross on time and avoid the fines. Not a problem for the people already on the train wanting to get to London, but bloody inconvenient for the poor sods stood on the platforms at Belvedere, Farningham Road, Swanscombe or some equally isolated place. Just because a railway station is not profitable for the train company, does not mean that it isn't socially important for the people who live there and rely upon it. No wonder people then lose faith in the service.





(This post was edited by oxpete on Mar 26, 2014, 12:40 PM)


Isaac
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In Reply To

In Reply To

In Reply To
I've been known to buy tickets for small stations even if I'm using bigger ones in the same area, if the fares for both are the same. This is something you should all try to do, as it helps make stations look 'busy' and so reduces the risk of their services being reduced.

Out of all the small stations mentioned on this thread, how many are within walking distance of football grounds? (Dorking West is the only obvious one I can think of, but that's because I live in the south.)




It might also delay journies by making more trains stop there when there really is no need?

A few vastly under used stations around here, Swale on the Sittingbourne to Sheerness line is next to the Sheppey Bridge and really in the middle of nowhere although apparently it does see an occasional passenger.

Three Oaks and Doleham on the Marshlink line seemingly never see any passengers at all, I think there are only one or two trains a day that stop there to fulfill a legal requirement, apparently there are all sorts of legal costs involved in getting a station closed permanently.


Its a chicken-and-egg situation. Which came first - low passenger numbers at a station or the lousy service laid on at that station by a privatised company who have no intention of committing properly to the place?

Southeastern, in your part of the world, are notorious for trains failing to stop at stations if the service is running late, instead shooting straight through in order to get to Charing Cross on time and avoid the fines. Not a problem for the people already on the train wanting to get to London, but bloody inconvenient for the poor sods stood on the platforms at Belvedere, Farningham Road, Swanscombe or some equally isolated place. Just because a railway station is not profitable for the train company, does not mean that it isn't socially important for the people who live there and rely upon it. No wonder people then lose faith in the service.




Yes I see what you mean, and I think I'm right in saying that the service to Farningham Road was reduced from 2 to 1 train an hour when the high speed service started?

The Marshlink service is run by Southern and in fairness whenever I've used it I've not had any cause for complaint although later trains in the evenings and better connections with Southeastern trains at Ashford would be helpful, although that is apparently outside the companys control.

Even Southeastern generally are ok although I certainly have had a few horror journies on their trains and I agree that missing out stations (certainly when it's a long wait for the next train) is totally unacceptable.

I think Three Oaks and Doleham are just in the middle of nowhere, even Winchelsea is a long way from the beach and any other attractions although it does get a more regular service.


Rob North
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Three Oaks and Doleham on the Marshlink line seemingly never see any passengers at all, I think there are only one or two trains a day that stop there to fulfill a legal requirement, apparently there are all sorts of legal costs involved in getting a station closed permanently.


Three Oaks show 5438 entries and exits while Doleham registered 13823. Maybe they sneak in and out when you aren't looking.

The figures must surely only be approximate. As a poster earlier said where the Dorking Stations are recorded on the ticket then they are presumably associated with the main station rather than splitting the figures.

Season tickets appear to work on the basis of weekday journeys only. If a traveller uses their season ticket for only part of their normal journey then the intermediate station wouldn't be recorded on the records, unless perhaps records are kept from use of ticket barriers (if they are in place and if they record journeys).

Rob


prorege
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Out of all the small stations mentioned on this thread, how many are within walking distance of football grounds? (Dorking West is the only obvious one I can think of, but that's because I live in the south.)

Golf Street Halt is handy for Carnoustie Panmure. The trains aren't. For a Saturday game you'd arrive at 7.15pm the night before. You'd get a train out at 6.02 on Monday morning (both the only trains each day that stop there).



acmold
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In Reply To

In Reply To
Three Oaks and Doleham on the Marshlink line seemingly never see any passengers at all, I think there are only one or two trains a day that stop there to fulfill a legal requirement, apparently there are all sorts of legal costs involved in getting a station closed permanently.


Three Oaks show 5438 entries and exits while Doleham registered 13823. Maybe they sneak in and out when you aren't looking.

The figures must surely only be approximate. As a poster earlier said where the Dorking Stations are recorded on the ticket then they are presumably associated with the main station rather than splitting the figures.

Season tickets appear to work on the basis of weekday journeys only. If a traveller uses their season ticket for only part of their normal journey then the intermediate station wouldn't be recorded on the records, unless perhaps records are kept from use of ticket barriers (if they are in place and if they record journeys).

Rob

From postings on the thread about the GWR series on TV I would hope they don't try and calculate figures from what the Barriers have recorded. Some stations would lose a fair percentage of there figures if they did.


jrev61
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There was a feature on Look East a few years ago about Kempston Hardwick station. It was apparently built for a brickworks which has since closed.
A passenger did get on there when the cameras were there, but only a handful of people use it every week.
The station is on the Bletchley to Bedford line.



jrev61


eesti7
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Southeastern, in your part of the world, are notorious for trains failing to stop at stations if the service is running late, instead shooting straight through in order to get to Charing Cross on time and avoid the fines. Not a problem for the people already on the train wanting to get to London, but bloody inconvenient for the poor sods stood on the platforms at Belvedere, Farningham Road, Swanscombe or some equally isolated place. Just because a railway station is not profitable for the train company, does not mean that it isn't socially important for the people who live there and rely upon it. No wonder people then lose faith in the service.



It's not just the smaller stations that suffer. The train I get home from Tunbridge Wells each evening sometimes runs fast from Tonbridge - London Bridge, leaving out the generally busy stations at Sevenoaks and Orpington.


VP
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There's one around here that always seemed a waste of time - Longcross. It was built during WW2 for the nearby MOD site and probably served a useful purpose back in the day but, just a few years ago, it was getting less than 300 movements a year (possibly all by the same person). A major film studio set up shop nearby in 2006 and the station's positively booming again with over 12,000 movements in the latest figures and that's expected to rise due to a new housing development.
Just shows there's hope for some of these little-used stations.


(This post was edited by VP on Mar 26, 2014, 9:14 PM)


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There's one around here that always seemed a waste of time - Longcross. It was built during WW2 for the nearby MOD site and probably served a useful purpose back in the day but, just a few years ago, it was getting less than 300 movements a year (possibly all by the same person). A major film studio set up shop nearby in 2006 and the station's positively booming again with over 12,000 journeys yearly now and that's expected to rise due to a new housing development.
Just shows there's hope for some of these little-used stations.


I recall passing through Longcross on my way to somewhere else in the early to mid-80's and thinking to myself how handy that station would be for ticking Chobham FC, as it is no further from that club's ground - perhaps slightly closer, in fact - than Woking station is. I did eventually visit Chobham in 1989 but unfortunately I succumbed to temptation and used Woking (because of its far more frequent services, obviously) rather than Longcross to get there.


(This post was edited by non-league fan on Mar 26, 2014, 9:20 PM)


VP
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Post #24 of 311 (31612 views)
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In Reply To
There's one around here that always seemed a waste of time - Longcross. It was built during WW2 for the nearby MOD site and probably served a useful purpose back in the day but, just a few years ago, it was getting less than 300 movements a year (possibly all by the same person). A major film studio set up shop nearby in 2006 and the station's positively booming again with over 12,000 journeys yearly now and that's expected to rise due to a new housing development.
Just shows there's hope for some of these little-used stations.


I recall passing through Longcross on my way to somewhere else in the early to mid-80's and thinking to myself how handy that station would be for ticking Chobham FC, as it is no further from that club's ground - perhaps slightly closer, in fact - than Woking station is. I did eventually visit Chobham in 1989 but unfortunately I succumbed to temptation and used Woking (because of its far more frequent services, obviously) rather than Longcross to get there.


I don't think you could have got to Chobham from Longcross back then. Or anywhere else for that matter. To the north of the station is Wentworth Golf Course, but you can't access it, and to the south was the MOD testing track (probably RARDE at the time) and you wouldn't have got far going that way without security stopping you.


VP
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This is from 2006:

Longcross, the least useful train station in the country

Longcross train station in Surrey is possibly the weirdest train station in the country. I have been puzzled for years about why this train station exists and why trains stop at it. I have never seen anybody ever get off or on to the train from the station and it is always deserted. So, this morning I was running early so I thought I would get off the train at Longcross, have a look around, then get the next train. So, I get off on to the platform, it is pretty shabby. I exit the station on to a dirt track. Opposite is Wentworth golf course, but this is fenced off. Around the station is forest. Within about 5 minutes two security guards drive up the dirt track and ask me what I am doing. I asked them where they were from and they said QinetiQ, which is nearby defence establishment that seems to be deserted. I went back to the train station and got the next train.
Longcross, the least useful train station in the country.

http://forums.digitalspy.co.uk/showthread.php?t=499694

On page three of that thread I had to laugh at this:

"I used to live in Bracknell and its well known locally that Longcross is on a 'rift in time' and thats why you never see anyone get on or off. They disappear underground by standing on a certain bit of pavement. Qinetic is just a cover name, deep underground is a research base full of alien technology etc.Wink"


(This post was edited by VP on Mar 26, 2014, 9:56 PM)

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