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London Marylebone
Marylebone station.jpg
Main entrance
Marylebone is located in Central London

Location of Marylebone in Central London
Location Marylebone
Local authority City of Westminster
Managed by Chiltern Railways
Owner Network Rail
Station code MYB
Platforms in use 6
Accessible Handicapped/disabled access [1]
Fare zone 1

National Rail annual entry and exit
2004/5 6.949 million[2]
2005/6 6.819 million[2]
2006/7 11.639 million[2]
2007/8 12.190 million[2]

1899 Opened
1966 GCML beyond Aylesbury closed
1996 Birmingham services begin
2006 Two new platforms built
2008 Services to Wrexham begin

List of stations Underground · National Rail
External links DeparturesLayout

Coordinates: 51°31′20″N 0°09′48″W / 51.5223°N 0.1634°W / 51.5223; -0.1634

Marylebone station, also known as London Marylebone,[3] is a central London railway terminus and London Underground station in central London, England. The station is located midway between the mainline stations at Euston and Paddington, about 1 mile (1.6 km) from each.

Opened in 1899, it is the youngest of London's mainline terminal stations, and also one of the smallest, with it opening with half of the platforms that it was originally envisaged to have. It is also the only terminal station in London without electrified platforms, meaning that for many years it was only served by diesel multiple units. Locomotive-hauled services have recently returned (to the West Midlands, Shropshire and Wrexham), and sometimes special services hauled by diesel or steam locomotives also travel to Marylebone.

The station, despite its small size and catchment area in comparison to other London terminals, has recently undergone an expansion in the number of platforms, increasing the number of passengers using the terminal. It is in Travelcard Zone 1.

Ticket barriers are in operation at this station.



The station is located just off Marylebone Road, in Marylebone, London. This road is a major road feeding the A40 (and thus the M40 motorway), the A41 and A5 (and thus the M1 motorway). Nearby attractions include Regents Park, Lord's Cricket Ground, Baker Street and Madame Tussauds.

National Rail

The mainline station has six platforms; two originally built in 1899, two inserted into the former carriage road, and two built in September 2006. It is no longer the smallest of the railway terminals in London, although apart from the now defunct Waterloo International (replaced by the terminus at St Pancras Station, which opened in November 2007) it remains the newest. It is the only non-electrified terminal in London. Marylebone is operated by Chiltern Railways, making it almost unique amongst London's terminal stations as only one of two not to be managed by Network Rail, the other being London Blackfriars, which is managed by First Capital Connect.

Train services into the station are run by Chiltern Railways which serves the Chiltern Main Line and London to Aylesbury Line routes to High Wycombe, Aylesbury, Bicester, Banbury, Leamington Spa, Stratford-upon-Avon, Birmingham (Snow Hill), and Kidderminster.

Marylebone is also served by up to four trains per day to Wrexham via the Midlands and Shropshire. These are operated by the Wrexham, Shropshire & Marylebone Railway.

Around 11.6 million passengers passed through Marylebone between 2006/2007, an increase of 4.8 million passengers since 2005/2006 working out to a 70% usage rise in just a year. This makes it London fastest growing passenger rail terminal by percentage growth rate.


Pre 1958 - GCR and LNER

Its domestic scale fits H.W. Braddock's English Renaissance Marylebone Station (1899) unobtrusively into its urban context.

The station was opened on 15 March 1899[4][5] and was the terminus of the Great Central Railway's new London extension main line, which was the last major railway line to be built into London, until High Speed 1. The designer was Henry William Braddock,[6] a civil engineer for the Great Central Railway.[7] The design is in a modest, uninflated domestic version of the "Wrenaissance" revival style that owed some of its popularity to work by Norman Shaw; it harmonises with the residential surroundings with Dutch gables, employing warm brick and cream-coloured stone.

Originally Marylebone station was planned as a ten-platform station,[citation needed] but the cost of building the GCR was far higher than expected and nearly bankrupted the company.[8] This forced the original plans for the station to be dramatically scaled back to just four platforms, three within the train shed and one west of the train shed (platform 4).[9] The concourse is unusually long and for some 50 years it only had three walls, the northern wall missing, as the GCR anticipated that the other six platforms, under an extended train shed, would be built later on. The cost of the London Extension also meant that The Great Central Hotel was built outside the station complex and by a different company.

The Great Central Railway linked London to High Wycombe, Aylesbury, Rugby, Leicester, Nottingham, Sheffield and Manchester. Also, a number of local services from northwest Middlesex, High Wycombe and Aylesbury terminated at Marylebone.

Passenger traffic on the GCR was never heavy, largely because it was the last main line to be built, which meant it had difficulty competing against its well-established rivals (especially the Midland Railway and its terminal St Pancras) for the lucrative intercity passenger business. Also the line went through vast amounts of countryside, thus not attracting much passenger business. The GCR also struggled to compete with the Metropolitan Railway for 2nd and 3rd class traffic from nearby towns such as Harrow, Chesham and Aylesbury. The GCR had the upper hand on 1st class travel between these towns as the GCR was quick, reliable and luxurious compared to the Met. Due to low passenger traffic, Marylebone was considered the quietest yet the most pleasant of London's termini.

Despite poor passenger traffic, the line was heavily used for freight, especially coal and trains ran from the North to the former Marylebone freight depot which used to lie next door to the station.

The heyday of the line was between 1923, when the GCR was absorbed into the LNER[10] and 1948, when it was nationalised to form the BR Eastern Region [10]. As a result many prestigious locomotives, such as Flying Scotsman, Sir Nigel Gresley, and Mallard which ran on the East Coast Main Line, were also frequent visitors to the line. Special trains also ran on the line to destinations such as Scotland.

1958 to 1980s - the cuts

Long-distance trains from Marylebone began to be scaled back from 1958 after the line's transfer to the BR Midland Region as the line was thought to be a duplicate of the Midland Main Line by the region, and the Master Cutler was diverted to Kings Cross on the East Coast Main Line. By 1960 there were no daytime trains running to destinations north of Nottingham, although a few still ran at night, and many Express services were cut[10]. By 1963, local services and stations had ceased to exist and in 1965 freight services were curtailed[10]. In 1966 a large part of the former Great Central Railway was closed north of Aylesbury as part of the Beeching axe. This meant that Marylebone was now the terminus for local services to Aylesbury and High Wycombe only. The GCR's closure was the largest single railway closure of the Beeching era.

After the 1960s, lack of investment meant that the local services and the station itself became increasingly run down. Marylebone became the best place in London to see heritage trains. In the early 1980s there was a proposal to close Marylebone, divert British Rail services via High Wycombe into nearby Paddington, and extend the Metropolitan Line to Aylesbury, so London trains via Amersham would be routed to Baker Street. Marylebone was to be converted into a coach station with the tracks converted to a road for coaches only. However these plans were deemed impractical and quietly dropped.

1980s onwards - success

Class 165 and Class 168 on platforms 2 and 3.

A major turnaround in the station's fortunes occurred in the late 1980s, when British Rail decided to divert many services from overcrowded Paddington station into Marylebone. The station was given a multi-million-pound facelift financed by selling off the redundant adjacent goods yard and some land previously used by the platform beside the train shed (platform 2 in 1899, platform 4 after the present 2 and 3 were built on the site of the carriage road). The ageing fleet of trains (Class 115) on the local services was replaced by a fleet of state-of-the-art Class 165 Turbo trains.[citation needed]

Wrexham & Shropshire Class 67 locomotive alongside Chiltern Railways Class 168 DMU at Marylebone
A Wrexham & Shropshire DVT awaits departure from the station

In the 1990s, upon rail privatisation in 1996[11], the station was given an even bigger boost when Chiltern Railways took over the rail services. Chiltern trains made the station the terminus for a new interurban service to Birmingham's Snow Hill station. To cope with Chiltern Railways' success over the last ten years and to cope with increased passenger numbers, a new platform (platform 6) opened in May 2006. This was part of Chiltern's £70-million project Evergreen 2. Platform 5 and the shortened platform 4 opened in September 2006. The canopies on platforms 5 & 6 were built in a similar style to the canopy on the original platform 4, which was demolished in the 1980s. Additionally, a new depot has recently opened near Wembley Stadium railway station to compensate for the closure of Marylebone's station sidings and to make way for the new platforms. To highlight Chiltern's success, some services from Marylebone have also now been extended beyond Birmingham to Kidderminster. Success has been so great that Marylebone now serves more passengers than use the purely domestic services at St Pancras.

In late January 2006, a new company was formed called Wrexham & Shropshire. In September 2007, the Office of Rail Regulation granted the company permission to operate services from Wrexham (in North Wales) via Shrewsbury, Telford and the West Midlands to Marylebone, which started from early 2008. This restored direct London services to Wrexham and Shropshire. However, demand for services has not been as expected and the timetable has been cut back[12].

The main line leads out of the station northwards, immediately passing under Rossmore Road (from which the carriage road used to descend); over the Regent's Canal; and into a long series of cut-and-cover tunnels, crossing the LNWR main line from Euston at right angles and eventually turning sharply north-west to emerge at the south side of the West Hampstead rail complex.


Main exit out of Marylebone station
The new platforms 5 & 6 at Marylebone as seen in December 2006.
Marylebone station concourse at night photographed in December 2008.

Chiltern Railways have suggested that it wants to reopen the Great Central Main Line north of Aylesbury to Rugby [13] and, if successful, Leicester. The possibility of reopening the line between Princes Risborough and Oxford has also been examined but rejected. Chiltern Railways has confirmed that instead its connection to Oxford will be by building a short connection at Bicester to link the Chiltern Main Line with the Varsity Line [14]. In February 2009 consultation and planning stages started with a firm commitment made to progress the scheme despite the recent economic downturn.[15]. In January 2010 an announcement was made that the project will certainly go ahead.[16] At the same time (2010-2013) line speeds will be increased from Marylebone to Birmingham: £250 million will be invested.

In December 2008, a proposal was made for the return of direct services between Aberystwyth in mid Wales and London which last ran in 1991 with Marylebone being the London terminus. Arriva Trains Wales announced a consultation for two services a day, following the route of the WSMR connecting with the Cambrian line at Shrewsbury.[17]

Therefore, in the future, it is possible that Marylebone may not only serve the West Midlands, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire but also Mid Wales and Leicestershire.

It is possible that in the future a new station may be constructed on the main line out of Marylebone. There is currently a large gap North of Marylebone until trains reach either Wembley Stadium or Harrow-on-the-Hill. The station is most likely to be located at West Hampstead[18]. It could be made an interchange with the Metropolitan Line, which also has a large gap between stations. However, this would in theory require an amendment to the Act of Parliament for the railway, which committed the Great Central to not competing with the Metropolitan by providing adjacent stations, in return for which the Met allowed the GCR to shadow their line and use their tracks for the run into Marylebone.


Monday-Friday (off-peak)

  • 2 trains per hour (tph) to/from Aylesbury (via Amersham)*
  • 2tph to/from Birmingham Snow Hill (fast)
  • 1tph to/from High Wycombe (slow)
  • 1tph to/from Bicester North or Stratford-upon-Avon (semi-fast)

2tph to Aylesbury (via Princes Risborough)

  • 4tpd to/from Wrexham General (Fast to Banbury)
  • One of these services in eahc hour continues on to serve Aylesbury Vale Parkway
Preceding station National Rail Following station
Gerrards Cross   Chiltern Railways
Chiltern Main Line
semi-fast services
Harrow-on-the-Hill   Chiltern Railways
London - Aylesbury
Wembley Stadium   Chiltern Railways
London - High Wycombe
stopping services
High Wycombe   Chiltern Railways
Chiltern Main Line
fast services
Banbury   Wrexham & Shropshire
London Marylebone - Wrexham
Wembley Stadium
major events only

Station Facilities

The station concourse contains a small selection of shops, two notable examples being Marks and Spencer and WH Smiths. Toilet facilities have recently been refurbished[19] and, as of July 2009, these cost 30p to use.

London Underground

Marylebone northbound Bakerloo Line platform.jpg
Bakerloo line platform
Location Marylebone
Local authority City of Westminster
Managed by London Underground
Platforms in use 2
Fare zone 1

London Underground annual entry and exit
2006 9.804 million[20]
2007 10.801 million[20]
2008 11.38 million[20]

1907 Opened as temporary terminus (BS&WR)
1907 Service extended (BS&WR)

List of stations Underground · National Rail

The underground station is served by the Bakerloo Line. It is between Baker Street and Edgware Road stations and is in Travelcard Zone 1. Access is via a set of escalators from the mainline station concourse, which also houses the underground station's ticket office.

Compared to some of the other London termini, the mainline station's Underground links are poor. This is because the mainline station was opened thirty-six years after the Metropolitan Railway constructed the first part of what is now the northern section of the Circle Line which by passes the station to the south.

For mainline passengers wishing to use services on the Circle, Hammersmith and City or Metropolitan Lines, it may often be quicker to walk the short distance to nearby Baker Street station, than to make the journey on the Bakerloo Line and change trains there: especially since the Bakerloo is further underground than the Circle, Metropolitan and H&C lines.

The underground station is accessed through a separate set of ticket barriers to the main line platforms.


The underground station opened on the 27 March 1907 by the Baker Street and Waterloo Railway under the name Great Central (following a change from the originally-intended name Lisson Grove),[21] and was renamed Marylebone on 15 April 1917.[22] The original name still appears in places on the platform wall tiling, although the tiling scheme is a replacement designed to reflect the original scheme.[23]

The present entrance opened in 1943 following the introduction of the escalators and wartime damage to the original station building that stood to the west, at the junction of Harewood Avenue and Harewood Row. This building, designed by the Underground Electric Railways Company's architect, Leslie Green, had used lifts to access the platforms. It was demolished in 1971 and the site is now occupied by a budget hotel.

Preceding station   Underground no-text.svg London Underground   Following station
Bakerloo line

Transport Links

London bus routes 2, 18, 27, 205, 453 and night route N18.


In popular culture

  • In 1964 several scenes in the Beatles film A Hard Day's Night were filmed at Marylebone station.
  • The station appeared in an episode of Magnum PI when the series was filmed around London.
  • The station appeared in the opening scene of the 1965 film of The IPCRESS File.
  • The station appeared in the BBC's spy drama Spooks, season 4, episode 1. The script pretended that it was Paddington.
  • Similarly Marylebone masqueraded as Paddington in the 1987 television adaptation of Agatha Christie's 4.50 from Paddington
  • The station appeared in the hit BBC Comedy Gavin & Stacey recently, branded as London Paddington.
  • The station appeared in the Dempsey and Makepeace episode 'Judgement'.
  • The station appeared in the final episode of series 2 of Green Wing.
  • The station was used as a location for an episode of Peep Show Series 4
  • The station appeared in the Doctor Who serial, Doctor Who and the Silurians.
  • The station appeared in an ITV advert for the UEFA Euro 2008 football championships.
  • The station appeared in the BBC's updated Reggie Perrin TV series, as London Waterloo.
  • The station is a property on the British version of the Monopoly board game.


  1. ^ "London and South East". Rail Map for People with Reduced Mobility. National Rail. September 2006. Retrieved 1 January 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Station usage". Rail statistics. Office of Rail Regulation. 12 March 2009. Retrieved 19 January 2010. 
  3. ^ "Station Codes". National Rail. Retrieved 2009-08-23. 
  4. ^ Butt 1995, p. 156
  5. ^ Dow 1962, p. 340
  6. ^ Braddock was the son of a stone carver from Bolton, Lancashire. As a civil engineer he had been employed on the Mersey railway tunnel, but returned to London, where he had been living with his wife Selina, following completion of the project. His son was Tom Braddock (1887-1976), Labour M.P. Palgrave, p. 23
  7. ^ The terminus was described and illustrated by G.A. Hobson and E, Wragge, "The Metropolitan Terminus of the Great Central Railway", Minutes of the Proceedings 143 (1901.1) pp 84ff; the volume also contains a round-robin discussion of the Terminus, in which Braddock was not included.
  8. ^ Dow 1962, p. 287
  9. ^ Dow 1962, p. 328
  10. ^ a b c d
  11. ^
  12. ^ "London rail services slashed". Retrieved 2009-12-15. 
  13. ^ "Chiltern Train Route". April 2009. 
  14. ^ Chiltern Railways plan to make Bicester well connected Accessed 2008-09-04
  15. ^ "Chiltern Evergreen 3". April 2009. 
  16. ^ "£250m investment from Chiltern Railways creates new main line". Chiltern Railways. 15 January 2010. Retrieved 16 January 2010. 
  17. ^ "Aber-London rail link may reopen". BBC News. 2008-12-19. Retrieved 2 January 2009. 
  18. ^ "West Hampstead Interchange". 2006-01-11. Retrieved 2008-06-06. 
  19. ^ "New Toilet Facilities open at Marylebone". 
  20. ^ a b c "Customer metrics: entries and exits". London Underground performance update. Transport for London. 2003-2008. Retrieved 19 January 2010. 
  21. ^ Day 1979, pp. 72,75
  22. ^ Rose, Douglas (1999). The London Underground, A Diagrammatic History. Douglas Rose/Capital Transport. ISBN 1-85414-219-4. 
  23. ^ Rose, Douglas. "Great Central". London's Underground Edwardian Tile Patterns. Retrieved 2008-01-13. 

See also


  • Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. R508. ISBN 1 85260 508 1. 
  • Day, John R. (1979) [1963]. The Story of London's Underground (6th ed.). Westminster: London Transport. 1178/211RP/5M(A). ISBN 0 85329 094 6. 
  • Dow, George (1962). Great Central, Volume Two: Dominion of Watkin, 1864-1899. Shepperton: Ian Allan. ISBN 0 7110 1469 8. 

External links

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