Featured in “A building somewhere” May 2012
Taken with Canon Powershot Pro 1
York railway station is a main-line railway station in the historic city of York, England. It lies on the East Coast Main Line (ECML) 188.5 miles (303 km) north of London’s King’s Cross station towards Edinburgh’s Waverley Station. Originally it was part of the North Eastern Railway.
York is one of the most important railway junction stations on the British railway network, marking the approximate half way point on the ECML between London and Edinburgh; it is also the point where the southbound Leeds branch of ECML diverges (and thereon to the Cross Country Route); as well as being a terminus for some east-west Trans-Pennine routes. The junction was historically a major site for rolling stock manufacture, maintenance and repair.
The first York railway station was a temporary wooden building on Queen Street outside the walls of the city, opened in 1839 by the York and North Midland Railway. It was succeeded in 1841, inside the walls, by what is now York old railway station. In due course, the irksome requirement that through trains between London and Newcastle needed to reverse out of the old York station in order to continue their journey necessitated the construction of a new through station outside the walls. This was the present station, designed by the North Eastern Railway architects Thomas Prosser and William Peachey, which opened in 1877. It had 13 platforms and was at that time the largest station in the world. As part of the new station project, the Royal Station Hotel (now The Royal York Hotel), designed by Peachey, opened in 1878.
In 1909 new platforms were added, and in 1938 the current footbridge was built and the station resignalled. The building was damaged during the Second World War and extensively repaired in 1947. The track layout through and around the station was remodelled again in 1988 as part of the resignalling scheme that was carried out prior to the electrification of the ECML shortly afterwards. This resulted in several bay platforms (mainly on the eastern side) being taken out of service and the track to them removed. At the same time a new signalling centre (York IECC) was commissioned on the western side of the station to control the new layout and also take over the function of several other signal boxes on the main line. The IECC here now supervises the main line from Temple Hirst (near Doncaster) through to Northallerton, along with sections of the various routes branching from it. It has also (since 2001–2) taken over responsibility for the control area of the former power box at Leeds and thus signals trains as far away as Gargrave and Morley.
In 2006–7, in order to improve facilities for bus, taxi and car users as well as pedestrians and cyclists, the approaches to the station were reorganised. The former motive power depot and goods station now house the National Railway Museum.
All the platforms except 9/10/11 are under the large, curved, glass and iron roof. They are accessed via a long footbridge (which also connects to the National Railway Museum) or via lifts and either of two pedestrian tunnels.