Leicester railway station
Leicester railway station serves the City of Leicester in Leicestershire, England. As of late 2009 Leicester is a Penalty fare station, a valid ticket or Permit to travel must be shown when requested.

Background
The first station on the site opened in the Victorian era, in 1840, though this was replaced in 1894 by a new station (parts of which still stand). Up until the closure of Central it was known as Leicester London Road. Besides London Road and Central other stations serving the centre of Leicester were: Belgrave Road and West Bridge railway station.

History
Leicester was one of the first cities to be served by a railway, when the Leicester and Swannington Railway built its terminus station at West Bridge on the eastern side of Leicester in 1832. The Leicester and Swannington Railway was later absorbed by the Midland Railway. In total Leicester had seven railways stations (eight if the two sites at West Bridge are treated separately). In addition to the current Leicester station three other main railway stations existed. The original station at West Bridge closed to passengers in 1928. Leicester Belgrave Road (on the Great Northern Railway) closed to passengers in 1962 and Leicester Central (on the Great Central Railway) closed in May 1969. Up until this time the current Leicester station was known as Leicester London Road. In addition there were smaller stations within the city boundary at Humberstone Road on the LMR, Humberstone on the GNR, and for a while a halt was operated on the Leicester - London mainline allowing access to the Cattle Market, although this allowed passengers to leave the trains not board them.

The station buildings
The first station on the present site was constructed by the Midland Counties Railway on Campbell Street and was first used on 4 May 1840, when a train of four first and six second-class carriages, pulled by the 'Leopard' steam engine, arrived from Nottingham. All that remains of the first station are a pair of Egyptian-looking gateposts in Campbell Street. The Midland Railway completely rebuilt the station between 1892 and 1894 to a design by the architect Charles Trubshaw. The new station frontage on London Road remains as a well-preserved late Victorian building, but the interior of the booking hall and the structures on the platforms were reconstructed by British Rail in the 1970s. The station clock is the only hand-wound station clock in the UK. The original Campbell Street station was the originating point of the first excursions arranged by travel agency magnate Thomas Cook. A commemorative statue of Cook has been placed on the pavement approximately 100 metres west of the present station.

London, Midland and Scottish Railway
Until the line through Buxton was closed in the Beeching era, the 'main lines' were those from London to Manchester, carrying named expresses such as The Palatine . Express trains to Leeds and Scotland such as the Thames-Clyde Express tended to use the Erewash Valley Line then onto the Settle and Carlisle Line. Expresses to Edinburgh, such as The Waverley travelled through Corby and Nottingham.

British Railways
When Sectorisation was introduced in the 1980s, the station was served by the Intercity Sector until the Privatisation of British Railways. With the advent of power signalling in 1986, the signal box and the crossovers disappeared, and the tracks approaching the station were relaid to allow trains from any direction to enter or leave any platform.

Privatisation
Upon the privatisation of British Rail, the station became owned by Railtrack and later Network Rail, though, in common with most British railway stations, the day-to-day operation was contracted out to the largest user of the station, in this case Midland Mainline ( East Midlands Trains' predecessor). Midland Mainline continued to refurbish the station with the installation of a large electronic departure board in the station entrance hall and smaller boards on all platforms. In 2006, work was started on the installation of automatic ticket gates in order to cut down on Fare evasion. Leicester City Council issued plans for the redevelopment of the station and the surrounding area including a total of eight platforms. East Midlands Trains intends to refurbish the First Class lounge, Standard waiting rooms and re-paint the whole station in late 2010 which will follow the re-surfacing of the platforms which took place throughout 2010

Station amenities
The main entrance to the station is on London Road. A slope takes pedestrians towards Station Street and the City centre. The ticket office and travel centre, exist within the small (for a large station) concourse; the lost property office and lockers were formerly located here also although East Midlands Trains took these facilities away in 2009 citing cost and the recession. This concourse gives access to the main station overbridge to all platforms, and via a corridor to the lifts. There is a footbridge at the northern end of the station giving access to the long-stay car park and Campbell Street. The station is based on two island platforms which are wide with a long series of buildings. Inside these buildings are many services and amenities including a newsagent and several food outlets including a licensed restaurant. There are also toilets and a large waiting room. Midland Mainline erected a first class lounge at the southern end of the up island platforms during 2000. Passenger information systems were updated at the same time and now use dot matrix display screens. Leicester retains a manual Tannoy system, a rarity amongst the larger stations in the UK. In 2006 automatic ticket barriers were installed on all approaches to the station, these were complemented with ticket vending machines and additional FastTicket machines. The station benefits from an office for the British Transport Police and Cash point in the porte-cochere as well as the only taxi rank and short-stay drop-off and pick-up area.

Today
Rail routes run north-south through Leicester along the route known as the Midland Main Line, going south to Kettering, Bedford, Luton and London; and north to Derby, Nottingham, Lincoln, Sheffield and Leeds. Junctions north and south of the station link the east-west cross country route, going east to Peterborough and Cambridge; and west to Nuneaton and Birmingham.
  • Ivanhoe Line
  • Birmingham to Peterborough Line
  • Midland Main Line
  • Leicester and Swannington Railway
Train operators using the station include CrossCountry and East Midlands Trains. Due to a 15 mph maximum speed to the south of the station, all passenger trains stop at the station. Up until the winter 2008 timetable, the morning southbound The Master Cutler express from Leeds to London St Pancras was an exception although this now also calls. Leicester is a bottleneck station as it has only four platforms, all platforms are well utilised especially platforms two and three which receive freight as well as passenger trains. A freight loop goes to the east of the station alongside the carriage sidings which run adjacent to platform four.
  • Platform one -
    • Hourly local CrossCountry service to Birmingham New Street via Hinckley
    • Hourly semi-fast East Midlands Trains service to Sheffield via Loughborough, Long Eaton and Derby
  • Platform two -
    • Hourly fast East Midlands Trains service to Nottingham via East Midlands Parkway
    • Hourly fast East Midlands Trains service to Sheffield, with peak hour services to Leeds and weekend services to York and Scarborough
    • Hourly semi-fast East Midlands Trains service to Nottingham via Loughborough, with peak hour services to Lincoln
    • Hourly CrossCountry service to Stansted Airport via Cambridge
  • Platform three -
    • Hourly fast East Midlands Trains service to London St Pancras
    • Hourly semi-fast East Midlands Trains service to London St. Pancras via Market Harborough, Kettering, Wellingborough, Bedford and Luton Airport Parkway
    • Second fast East Midlands Trains service to London St. Pancras via Market Harborough
    • Hourly fast CrossCountry service to Birmingham New Street
  • Platform four -
    • Hourly fast East Midlands Trains service to London St. Pancras through from Sheffield
    • Hourly East Midlands Trains 'Ivanhoe' service to Lincoln via Syston and Newark with peak hour trains to Sleaford
The station is an interchange point between the Midland Main Line (MML) from London St Pancras to Leeds and services on the Cross Country Route from Birmingham through Cambridge to Stansted Airport and Norwich. Until the mid twentieth century, the station was host to through trains from Manchester and Glasgow to London, Norwich to Liverpool and Grimsby to Shrewsbury and Llandudno. Leicester is now owned by Network Rail and is operated under a franchise by East Midlands Trains who provide all of the trains to London, along with local services and inter-urban routes to destinations such as Lincoln, Nottingham, Sheffield and Leeds. Other services are provided by CrossCountry to destinations such as Birmingham, Cambridge and Stansted Airport. More than 5.5 million people entered and left the station in the twelve months to March 2009, an increase of over 1.2 million in five years. This makes it the 53rd most-used Network Rail station and the 25th-busiest outside the central London area. In addition, it was estimated that more than 420,000 people used the station to change trains. Through-fares to continental Europe are now available from Leicester to Paris, Brussels and other destinations in France and Belgium. The station has the Plusbus scheme which allows bus and train tickets to be bought together at a saving.

Services
Main line train services into Leicester are operated by East Midlands London. There are regular services to London , Nottingham , Derby , Sheffield and limited direct services to/from Leeds , York and Lincoln . From 2010 a limited through service to Skegness is proposed. Intermediate population centres served by main line services include: Market Harborough, Kettering, Wellingborough, Bedford, Luton, Loughborough, Alfreton, Doncaster and Wakefield. Regional services from Birmingham to Cambridge and Stansted Airport via Peterborough are provided by CrossCountry. Intermediate population centres served by regional services include: South Wigston, Narborough, Hinckley, Nuneaton, Coleshill, Melton Mowbray, Oakham, Stamford, Ely and Audley End. East Midlands Local provide the local services throughout the East Midlands with hourly services to Loughborough, Nottingham and Lincoln via East Midlands Parkway . Intermediate population centres served by local services include: Syston, Sileby, Barrow upon Soar, Beeston and Newark., The station gets four East Midlands London trains to/from London per hour, going to either Sheffield or Nottingham, with additional trains, during the peaks.

Bus connections
Leicester is part of the Plusbus scheme where a rover bus ticket can be purchased alongside a rail ticket giving unlimited travel on any operator in a set area.

Future

Regeneration of the station
Prospect Leicestershire are leading plans which aim to regenerate the city centre area of Leicester, the station is to be incorporated into a new business quarter. Plans for the station include to rotate it around so that passengers come out into an open city plaza rather than the current ring road. Renewed plans were released in 2008 for the £150 million redevelopment, promising over 2800 new jobs in the area due to the new shops and offices which would be created. Network Rail adopted a Route Utilisation Strategy for freight in 2007 which will create a new cross country freight route from Peterborough ( East Coast Main Line) to Nuneaton ( West Coast Main Line). One of the next stages (around 2013) will create additional lines through Leicester during a re-signalling scheme, during this additional platforms may be provided at Leicester.

Ivanhoe Line
After phase one of the Ivanhoe Line was completed in the mid 1990s it was originally planned that phase two would extend the line west to Burton upon Trent on the current freight-only line via Coalville and Ashby-de-la-Zouch. However this development now looks unlikely, in the short term at least. The Conservative Party released a brief of their plans for the reopening in 2006, but this is thought by many to be political spin. The report published in December 2008 assumed that the total number of passenger journeys would be 150,000 per annum, each paying £3.15 per journey. It also assumed that no one would use the line at week-ends, even though it runs via the successful tourist attractions of the National Forest. This equates to an assumption that just over 300 return journeys would be made daily and only during the week. Yet, according to the latest travel to work plans, some 4000-6000 car journeys occur daily on the Coalville to Leicester corridor and 6000-8000 per day from the south. Thus about 12000 car journeys takes place along part or all the rail track; it is not considered credible that only 2.5% would be attracted on to the train. There is therefore a widespread belief that the report's economic assumptions were wrong. The Association of Train Operating Companies applied for funding for the reopening of this line. Leicestershire County Council once again ruled out the move to re-open the line because they claimed it would cost £50m and require a £4m annual subsidy, although previous reports have shown the subsidy required to be far less, and that after the initial investment the line would make money.

Leicester Central station
Leicester Central was Leicester's station on the Great Central Main Line which opened in 1899 and closed in 1969. When open, the station had services between London ( Marylebone) and Sheffield via Leicester and Nottingham until closure of most of the route in 1966. The section between Rugby Central and Nottingham (initially Victoria, later cut back to Arkwright Street) remained open until 1969. This service was unusual in being self contained - none of the stations were used by trains on any other service. Leicester Central was situated on Great Central Street which is today just off the inner ring road. The station buildings remain largely intact, although the platform were demolished. The large section of the former Great Central Railway alignment through Leicester is now part of route 6 of the National cycle route known locally as the 'Great Central Way'. Today the heritage preserved Great Central Railway currently operates a station called Leicester North at its southern terminus in the suburb of Belgrave. There are plans to extend the line back to Leicester Central in the future.

Stand Service(s) Operator(s) Destination Notes RS1 48 Arriva Midlands South Wigston via Leicester University & Wigston Magna 80 Arriva Midlands Oadby, Manor Road via Leicester University & Queens Road UHL Centrebus Hamilton Tesco via Leicester General Hospital Hospital Hopper X3 Arriva Midlands Market Harborough via Oadby, Great Glen & Kibworth X7 Stagecoach Northampton via Market Harborough & Brixworth RS2 31/31A Arriva Midlands Oadby via London Road 44/44A Arriva Midlands Knighton via Queens Road 302 Centrebus Thurmaston Bus Beaumont Centre via Braunstone & Glenfield Hospital Braunstone Bus RS3 22 First Leicester Arriva Fox County Evington, Downing Drive via Evington Drive 54 First Leicester Goodwood via East Park Road 54A Centrebus 81 Centrebus (M-F) Coachcare (Sats) Evington, Highway Road via Evington Road RS4 Services to Leicester City Centre (alighting only) UHL Centrebus Beaumont Centre via Leicester Royal Infirmary & Glenfield Hospital Hospital Hopper Preceding station National Rail Following station CrossCountry Terminus CrossCountry Terminus East Midlands Trains Market Harborough East Midlands Trains Midland Main Line Loughborough East Midlands Parkway St Pancras International East Midlands Trains Midland Main Line Derby Luton East Midlands Trains Midland Main Line Loughborough

Building Activity

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    about 6 years ago via OpenBuildings.com