Leeds railway station: Wikis


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Leeds railway station
Place Leeds
Local authority City of Leeds
Coordinates 53°47′38″N 1°32′49″W / 53.794°N 1.547°W / 53.794; -1.547Coordinates: 53°47′38″N 1°32′49″W / 53.794°N 1.547°W / 53.794; -1.547
Grid reference SE299331
Station code LDS
Managed by Network Rail
Platforms in use 17
Live arrivals/departures and station information
from National Rail
Annual rail passenger usage
2004/05 * 14.734 million
2005/06 * 16.060 million
2006/07 * 17.357 million
2007/08 * 18.121 million
Passenger Transport Executive
PTE West Yorkshire (Metro)
Zone 1
Opened 1938
Rebuilt 1967
Rebuilt 2002 (1938
Rebuilt 1967
Rebuilt 2002
National Rail - UK railway stations
* Annual passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Leeds from Office of Rail Regulation statistics.

Leeds railway station (also known as Leeds City[1][2][3][4]) is the mainline railway station serving the city centre of Leeds in West Yorkshire, England. The station provides connections to London, Bristol, Plymouth and the South West, Nottingham, Birmingham and the Midlands, Newcastle upon Tyne, York, Edinburgh and the North East, Manchester and Liverpool and the North West, Hull, Selby and Doncaster, as well as to local and regional destinations in Yorkshire. It is also the terminus for trains running on the scenic Settle to Carlisle line, as well as the hub of the Metro commuter network. It is located on New Station Street to the south of City Square, at the bottom of Park Row, behind the landmark Queens Hotel.

The station is one of 18 in Great Britain to be managed by Network Rail. It is the busiest English station outside London, and the UK's second busiest station outside London, after Glasgow Central[5] with a daily usage around 110,000.[6]



The North Concourse (Wellington Quarter)
Leeds railway station from City Square including City House.

The station is situated on a hill falling from the south of the city down to the River Aire and the Leeds canal basin; much of it is supported on a huge number of Victorian brick vaulted arches. These are known to the people of Leeds as The Dark Arches. Situated just off Neville Street under the Dark Arches is Granary Wharf which is a shopping centre consisting of cafes, restaurants, shops and exhibition spaces nestling in the arches directly beneath the railway station.

The station itself has 17 platforms, making it the largest in England outside London. There are both through platforms and terminus platforms. Retail facilities within the station include Starbucks, Wetherspoons, Burger King, McDonalds, two branches of WH Smith, Boots, Upper Crust and a Marks & Spencer Simply Food store. A British Transport Police police station is situated on the north concourse, housing officers who police the West Yorkshire railway stations.

Leeds station is of note in that it retained manned ticket barriers through the 1990s until 2008. During this time barriers were removed from almost every British Rail station; automatic barriers have now returned to many stations, particularly in London, the South and South Wales. Liverpool Lime Street was another station that retained manned barriers; both stations are characterised by a mix of suburban and long-distance services. Large queues would regularly build up at the barriers, especially during peak hours. Northern Rail, which operates the ticket barriers at Leeds, has installed automatic ticket gates to improve the flow of passengers which have been in use from late September 2008.[7][8]



Past railway stations

Neville Street passes under the station
Railway lines in central Leeds in 1913
The River Aire runs under the station

The railways first came to Leeds in 1834, when the Leeds and Selby Railway (which became part of the North Eastern Railway) opened its line. This had a terminus at Marsh Lane, to the east of the city centre. In 1840, the North Midland Railway (one of the original constituents of the Midland Railway) constructed its line from Derby via Rotherham to a terminus at Hunslet Lane, to the south. This was extended to a more centrally-located terminus at Wellington Street in 1846, known as Wellington Station.

Another station, Leeds Central (also situated on Wellington Street), was opened in 1854 by the Manchester and Leeds Railway and the London and North Western Railway, or LNWR. This station was eventually owned jointly by the LNWR and the North Eastern Railway, but other companies also had powers to run trains there, including the Great Northern Railway and the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway.

In 1869 a station called New Station opened as a joint enterprise by the LNWR and the North Eastern Railway. This connected the former Leeds and Selby Railway line to the east with the LNWR lines to the west. A mile-long connection was built, carried entirely on viaducts and bridges. New Station itself was built partially on a bridge over the River Aire. It was situated adjacent to Wellington station.

The map to the right shows the variety of different railway lines in Leeds in 1913. Following the 1921 Railways Act, when railways in Great Britain were grouped into four companies, New Station remained jointly-operated, but now by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) and the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER).

1938 rebuilding

The first rationalisation occurred in 1938, when two stations (New and Wellington) were combined to form Leeds City Station. The third station, Central, was unaffected by the change. Part of Wellington station became a parcels depot. This project also saw the construction of the North Concourse and the Queens Hotel.

1962 British Railways House

In 1962 British Railways House (now City House) was added to the station. This was designed by the subsequently disgraced architect John Poulson, (who also designed Leeds International Swimming Pool as well as many other railway stations). This provided British Railways with administrative buildings. In recent years the buildings have become dated and hard to let. The buildings are currently unoccupied, and are expected to be refurbished in 2009 and let as offices. The building was famously lambasted by poet, John Betjeman in 1967, stating they blocked all of the light out of City Square, and the building was just a testament to money with no architectural merit.

1967 rebuilding

In 1967 a further remodelling of the site took place, when all traffic using Central station was diverted into the City station with it becoming the single main railway station serving the city. Central station was closed and has since been demolished. The viaduct leading to Central is one of many such disused viaducts visible near Leeds station. A huge amount of engineering work was involved, including the replacement of 100-year-old bridges over the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, the construction of a new concourse and an overall roof. At the time of this rebuilding, the station was served by 500 trains on a typical day, with 2.75 million passenger journeys a year.

2002 rebuilding

Flower Sign at Leeds station
Platforms three to five
Outer platforms

By the 1990s, the station's capacity was exceeded on a daily basis, and the 1967 design was deemed inadequate. Between 1999 and 2002, a major rebuilding project took place, branded as Leeds 1st. This project saw the construction of additional approach tracks at the western end of the station, improving efficiency by separating trains travelling to or from different destinations and preventing them from having to cross each other's routes. The station was expanded from 12 to 17 platforms, with the construction of new platforms on the south side, and reopening of the now-disused parcels depot to passengers on the north side. The majority of the track, points and signals were also replaced. The most visible change to passengers, however, was the replacement of the 1967 metal canopy with a new glass roof, considerably increasing the amount of daylight on the platforms. A new footbridge was also provided, replacing the previous underpass. Ancillary improvements include a new multi-storey car park and station entrance, refurbishing the North Concourse and expanding retail facilities.

A small temporary station called Leeds Whitehall was provided to handle some services while the station was being remodelled. This has now been demolished.

Platform usage varies depending on operational circumstances but is generally:

  • 1–6 – Bays mostly used by MetroTrain services operated by Northern Rail, although some East Coast (EC) and other Northern services start and finish there. EC services between Skipton or Bradford Forster Square and London often reverse at these platforms.
  • 8, 9, 11, 12, 15, 16 – through platforms. In general, EC services that don't terminate or reverse at Platform 6 use Platform 8. CrossCountry services heading North to York and beyond tend to depart from Platform 9 or 11; those heading South often use 12. Platforms 15 and 16 tend to be used by North/East and South/Westbound Transpennine Express services to Newcastle and York, and Huddersfield, Manchester Airport and Liverpool Lime Street respectively.
  • 7, 14 – Bays generally used for local Northern services running North/East from Leeds.
  • 10, 13, 17 – Bays generally used for local and regional Northern services running South/West to Sheffield and Nottingham.

2008 work

In 2008 work started on the ticket control at Leeds station. In place of the human controlled ticket checking, the station has introduced walk through automated ticket gates in order to speed up the throughput of passengers. The gates came into operation at the end of October but suffered from several faults including accepting invalid tickets.[9] An oversight on the part of Northern also meant that the gates were not compatible with West Yorkshire Metro Cards.[10]

Future plans

Cycle hub

A new two-storey cycle hub is under construction at Leeds Interchange, opposite the New Station Street exit. The facility should be open by May[11] and is designed to encourage visitors and commuters into Leeds to continue their journey from the station by bike.[12] It will be the first cycle retail and rental facility of its kind in the UK and is based on the Dutch cyclepoint concept.[13]

Southern entrance

Proposals are being put forward to develop a new £15 million southern entrance to the station to allow for easier access to the station from the south. The new entrance will enable passengers to access the main footbridge of City station from Granary Wharf. A ticket office will open in the new entrance.


Plans are also being drawn up to expand Leeds Station's capacity once again, with new lines and platforms due to be built alongside platform one in the current Riverside Car Park (formerly the site of the original Leeds Wellington station) in order to cater for predicted growth.


The station is served by a number of train operators, including East Coast, CrossCountry, TransPennine Express, Northern Rail and East Midlands Trains. It is also the hub of the MetroTrain network in West Yorkshire, being the terminus of the following lines:

The rail network in Leeds
Preceding station National Rail Following station
Wakefield Westgate   East Coast
East Coast Main Line
Wakefield Westgate   East Coast
East Coast Main Line
Wakefield Westgate   East Coast
East Coast Main Line
Terminus   East Coast
East Midlands Trains Terminus
First TransPennine Express
First TransPennine Express
Terminus Northern Rail
Terminus Northern Rail
Terminus Northern Rail
Terminus Northern Rail
Terminus Northern Rail
Terminus Northern Rail
Northern Rail
York-Blackpool North Line
Northern Rail
Selby-Wakefield Westgate via Halifax & Huddersfield
Northern Rail Terminus
Northern Rail Terminus
Northern Rail Terminus
Northern Rail Terminus
Northern Rail Terminus
Northern Rail


External links

Simple English

File:Overview of Leeds City railway station
Inside Leeds City Station

Leeds railway station or Leeds City Station is one of the largest railway stations in the United Kingdom. The station is the largest one in Leeds as well as being the main public transport facility in West Yorkshire. There is no larger railway interchange in Yorkshire or North East England.

The station is one of 17 in Great Britain to be managed by Network Rail. It is the busiest English station outside London, and the UK's second busiest station outside London after Glasgow Central.[1]


Leeds City Station was built as Leeds New Station, to operate alongside Leeds Central Station (which has since closed). Leeds City Station was rebuilt twice, once in 1963 and again in 2002. Automatic ticket barriers were installed in 2008, and there are plans to build a entrance to the station from the South side.


The railway station has services to London, Sheffield, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Kingston upon Hull and Scarborough. There are also many local services to Wakefield, Bradford, Huddersfield, Halifax, York, Harrogate and other local towns and cities.


  1. http://www.rail-reg.gov.uk/upload/xls/station-usage-2006-07.xls Station Usage (excel)


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