Berkhamstead railway station

Berkhamsted Template:R-I Template:R-I
Place Berkhamsted
Local authority Dacorum
Grid reference SP993081
Station code BKM
Managed by London Midland
Number of platforms 4
station information
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2004/05  1.117 million
2005/06 Increase 1.248 million
2006/07 Increase 1.340 million
2007/08 Increase 1.422 million
2008/09 Decrease 1.384 million
2009/10 Increase 1.390 million
2010/11 Increase 1.484 million
2011/12 Increase 1.544 million
Opened 1838 (1838)
1875 relocated to present site
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Berkhamsted from Office of Rail Regulation statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
UK Railways portal

Berkhamsted railway station is in the town of Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, England. It is located just beside Berkhamsted Castle, overlooking the Grand Junction Canal. The station is 28 miles (45 km) north west of London Euston on the West Coast Main Line. The London Midland service operates from Berkhamsted towards London and Northampton.

There are 4 platforms of 12-car length on both the fast and slow lines, arranged around a central island and two side platforms. The station is relatively unusual on the route in that most of the original buildings have been retained.


The present Berkhamsted station dates from 1875, and is located on the Lower King's road on the junction with Brownlow Road. The original station building, opened in 1838, was located approximately 330 feet (100 m) south-east of the present structure, near the bridge onto Castle Street. It was designed in an Elizabethan style of architecture with a brick gabled booking hall. The building was replaced by a new station with additional sidings in 1875 when the railway was widened, the sidings replacing an earlier goods yard near Gravel Path. In 1887, the fastest train would depart at 08:54 and arrive at London Euston at 09:35, with one stop at Willesden Junction, a 41-minute journey.[1]

During the building of the of the London and Birmingham Railway (the L&BR, today's West Coast Mainline) in the 1830s, Berkhamsted was for a few years a centre of railway construction. The armies of navvies, bricklayers and miners brought in from the English Midlands, Ireland, London and the North of England led to overcrowding in Berkhamsted and the rowdy behaviour of the labourers was said to have offended the genteel townsfolk. Seven young men aged 18–26 were killed while working on the Berkhamsted section of the railway.[1]

Before construction work on the Berkhamsted section of the L&BR began, the project was subject to public protest. Many landowners and turnpike trustees in Hertfordshire were opposed to the new railway line, and protest meetings were held at the King's Arms Hotel in Berkhamsted. Although local opposition to the iron horse was led by noblemen such as the Earls of Essex, Clarendon and Brownlow, the railway line received Royal Assent in 1833.[1]

Led by chief engineer Robert Stephenson, works commenced in 1834 to build a high railway embankment on top of the ruined barbican and moat of Berkhamsted Castle. The brick embankment was built on deep foundations using earth taken from the Sunnyside cutting a mile further south. Once railway tracks were laid, it was possible to use a steam locomotive to move earth and bricks: the Harvey Coombe (or Harvey Combe)[2] was brought up from London by barge on the Grand Junction Canal to assist construction work, and was assembled at Pix Farm in Bourne End. When this locomotive began running on the line works, it was the first time any local people had seen a railway engine.

The L&BR line opened in 1837, with trains running between London and Boxmoor in July, with service extended to Tring in October of that year. The first passenger train passed through Berkhamsted on 16 October 1837, 59 minutes after leaving London.[1]

Extension plans

Various plans were put forward in the 1880s by the LNWR (successor to the L&BR) to build a branch line from Berkhamsted to Chesham, but these were not realised. The Great Central Railway also considered a proposal to extend the branch from Chalfont Road to Chesham further north to Berkhamsted and Tring. This proposal was abandoned.

In 1887 there was a proposal to build a narrow-gauge steam tramway along the main road from Hemel Hempstead to Bourne End, and then along the Bourne Gutter Valley to Chesham. Campaigners sought to extend this route via Berkhamsted, but the project also came to nothing.[1]


Template:Milton Keynes-South Croydon line From Berkhamsted, Monday to Saturdays there are 4 trains per hour southbound to London Euston. There are two trains an hour north to Tring, along with two to Milton Keynes Central, one of which is operated by Southern. There is also an hourly service to Northampton, which often extends to Birmingham New Street. (On Saturdays, 4 per hour to Tring, two of which continue to Milton Keynes, and hourly to Northampton). Also, Southern operate one hourly service to East Croydon.

On Sundays there are hourly services towards Milton Keynes, Tring and Northampton, and three an hour towards London Euston. There are also some services which go to Crewe.

Preceding station National Rail Following station
Tring style="background:#Template:LM colour;" |   London Midland
West Coast Main Line
style="background:#Template:LM colour;" |   Hemel Hempstead
Milton Keynes - East Croydon


External links

  • National Rail

Template:TSGN and SE Stations Coordinates: 51°45′47″N 0°33′43″W / 51.763°N 0.562°W / 51.763; -0.562

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