Local Railway

Stevenage Station

The original Stevenage station was opened by the Great Northern Railway (GNR) in 1850 and comprised two island platforms linked by a footbridge. This was sited 28 miles 45 chains from the London Kings Cross terminus, and was closed after 22 July 1973.

The present Stevenage station was opened by British Rail on 23 July 1973, although the ‘official opening’ of the new station by Mrs Shirley Williams MP did not take place until 29 September 1973. This event is denoted by a commemorative plaque affixed to the wall facing passengers as they pass through the ticket barrier on the footbridge. The BR station comprises a pair of island platforms linked by a footbridge. This is situated a mile south of the former GN station at 27 miles 45 chains from Kings Cross. A fifth platform has now been built on the down side to accommodate Moorgate terminators and provide more capacity for down trains going north of Stevenage. This is opened to passenger traffic on 2nd August 2020.

Before the new station opened Hitchin was served by a limited number of Express services, however it was decided that these should instead serve the growing New Town of Stevenage and its emerging business market and therefore the new station was provided with platforms of sufficient length to accommodate full length BR InterCity Services. These platforms have now been slightly extended to accommodate the new LNER “AZUMA” trains now being introduced.

Stevenage is still served by a number of InterCity East Coast services, operated by LNER (WE WISH!). These are formed of either “push-pull” Class 91 electric locomotives (normally at the country end) + Mark 4 coaches + Class 82 Driving Van Trailers (DVT), or “AZUMA” InterCity Express Train sets.

Hull Trains “Paragon” IEP sets pass through Stevenage as do Grand Central’s class 180 sets none are scheduled to stop. A newcomer to open access on the ECML is “Lumo” who operate between King’s Cross and Edinburgh, allegedly offering cheap fares. They stop at Stevenage and operate 830 IEPs similar to GNER and Hull Trains except they are all-electric, not bi-mode.

The bulk of Stevenage passenger services are either commuter or local services operated by Great Northern and Thameslink which either run south direct via Welwyn and Potters Bar or round the Hertford Loop and Gordon Hill to either Kings Cross or Moorgate, or run north to Huntingdon & Peterborough or via the Cambridge branch from Hitchin to Letchworth Garden City, Royston, Cambridge, Ely & Kings Lynn. Services to / from Moorgate are formed of Class 717 electric units, whilst services to / from Kings Cross are formed of  387s with class 700s for cross London services via Thameslink.

Stevenage is also served by a number of charter trains whose organisers recognise the importance of providing an outer London pick up point. A significant number of these Charters are steam-hauled.

Freight traffic through Stevenage has increased over the last few years and a colourful selection of Class 66 diesel locomotives can be seen on most weekdays, supplemented by Network Rail Test Trains hauled or propelled by Class 37 diesel locomotives or the New Measurement Train (NMT) HST power cars.