Leicester Train Station
Leicester railway station was opened in 1840 by Midland Counties Railway. It is operated today by East Midlands Trains.
All services are operated by diesel trains, though this is set to change in 2019 when a scheme to electrify the remainder of the Midland Main Line is to be completed.
Though named Leicester Railway Station today, it was previously known as Leicester Campbell Street Railway Station and then Leicester London Road Railway Station.
Leicester was one of the first cities to have a railway when the first station was built in 1832 in the West of Leicester.
Back then Leicester had 7 railway stations, the main being ‘West Bridge’ (which was the first to be opened), ‘Leicester Belgrave Road’, ‘Leicester London Road’ and ‘Leicester Central’.
There were three other smaller stations throughout the city.
Other stations in Leicester
Leicester West Bridge railway station
Leicester’s first railway station was opened on 18th July 1832 and known simply as ‘Leicester Station’.
It was originally intended to transport coal not passengers, so there were no facilities available to purchase tickets.
A year later (1833) the station was renamed to ‘Leicester West Street railway station’, which is how most know it today.
In March 1893, a new station was built to facilitate passengers.
The station closed on 24th September 1928 but the line remained open until 1979. When the line closed, the track and station building were demolished.
Leicester Belgrave Road railway station
Belgrave Road station opened on 2nd October 1882 and the main services were to Peterborough and Grantham.
The station often ran ‘summer specials’ to places like Skegness and Mablethorpe, which were very popular.
Regular services at this station stopped in December 1953 but the ‘summer specials’ continued to run until September 1962.
Leicester Central railway station
Leicester Central station opened on 5th March 1899 and was situated to the west of the City Centre.
The line was part of the Great Central Railway, which is how the station got its name.
After years of a slow decline, the station finally closed in May 1969.
Changes to the station
On 5th May 1840 it opened as ‘Leicester Railway Station’.
It was renamed to ‘Leicester Campbell Street Railway Station’ on 1st June 1867.
In 1892 the station was rebuilt which was designed by architect Charles Trubshaw. When it reopened on 12th June in the same year, it was known as ‘Leicester London Road Railway Station’.
The station had a final name change on 5th May 1969 when it was changed to ‘Leicester Railway Station’. This is how the station is known today.
In 1986 power signalling came about which saw the loss of the signal box and the crossovers. Around this time, new tracks were laid around the railway stations which allowed trains travelling in any direction to enter or leave all platforms.
In 2006 automatic ticket gates were installed at the railway station.
Rail routes run north-south through Leicester along the route known as the Midland Main Line. The station also links the east-west Cross Country route.
Leicester station is now owned by Network Rail and is operated by East Midlands Trains.
East Midlands Trains provide all trains which travel to London as well as local services and routes going to places like Lincoln, Nottingham, Sheffield and Leeds.
Other services are provided by Cross Country to places such as Birmingham, Cambridge and Stansted Airport.
In July 2011, an international travel desk was opened at Leicester Station and through-fares are available from Leicester to Paris, Brussels and other cities in France and Belgium.
Leicester Train Station facilities
Below is a list of facilities available at Leicester train station:
- Cash machine
- Public Wi-Fi
- Refreshment facilities
- Baby changing facilities
- Waiting rooms
Accessibility and mobility access – there are ramps available for train access and wheelchairs available for passengers to use. Staff are on hand to assist if need be.
First Class Lounge – the First Class Lounge is located at the south end of platform 3/4 and is open to all passengers with first class tickets. Free wi-fi and refreshments are available in the lounge.
Tickets can be purchased from the ticket office inside the station. The opening hours are as follows:
Monday – Friday 5:20am – 10:30pm
Saturday 5:20am – 10:30pm
Sunday 7:15am – 10:30pm
There are also ticket machines available to purchase tickets.
There is a collection point to collect pre-purchased tickets.