Corby railway station

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Corby National Rail
Corby railway station 23 February 2009.jpg
Place Corby
Local authority Borough of Corby
Coordinates Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
Grid reference SP891886
Station code COR
Managed by East Midlands Trains
Number of platforms 1
DfT category E
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2009/10      0.115 million
2010/11 Increase 0.177 million
2011/12 Increase 0.217 million
2012/13 Increase 0.233 million
2013/14 Increase 0.256 million
2014/15 Increase 0.270 million
1879 opened
18 April 1966[1] closed
1987 reopened
1990 closed
23 February 2009 reopened
National RailUK railway stations


* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Corby from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
UK Railways portal

Corby railway station, owned by Network Rail and managed by East Midlands Trains (EMT), is in Corby, Northamptonshire, England. The current station, opened on 23 February 2009, replaces an earlier one dating from 1879 and first closed on 18 April 1966,[1] reopened between 1987 and 1990.

Plans for the current station, opposite the original, were approved in late 2007. It opened with just one daily train each way on Mondays to Fridays. The full current service of hourly trains to and from London began on 27 April 2009, after East Midlands Trains had taken delivery of the additional trains needed for its implementation.


The Midland Railway opened Corby station in 1879.[2] It was on the Midland's "alternative route" between Kettering and Nottingham, serving Corby, Oakham and Melton Mowbray instead of Market Harborough, Leicester and Loughborough. The station was initially named "Weldon and Corby" to avoid confusion with Corby Glen station in Lincolnshire, which closed in 1959.[2] British Railways (BR) withdrew passenger services from all stations on the Oakham to Kettering Line, including Corby, in May 1967.[3] For some decades Corby was one of the largest towns in Europe without a railway station[4] (claimed as the largest in an episode of Series C of BBC TV show QI in 2005); only a few, such as Herten in Germany and Łomża in Poland, are larger.

BR kept the Oakham to Kettering line through Corby open for freight and as a diversionary route. It reduced the southern end of the line from Glendon Junction (near Kettering) to Corby to single track in 1986 after the closure of the town's steel works saw freight traffic levels decline.[5] On 13 April 1987 a passenger service of 11 shuttle trains daily between Corby and Kettering, usually operated by a single DMU, was reintroduced with local council subsidy.[2] More than 100,000 people used the service within the first 12 months and an extension to Leicester was proposed. However, the service became unreliable and the council withdrew its subsidy, leading Network Southeast to withdraw the service on 2 June 1990.[2]

File:Corby station 1990 geograph-3319313-by-Ben-Brooksbank.jpg
The briefly used 1987 station, seen here in 1990 shortly before closure.



The East Midlands Branch of the independent campaign group Railfuture proposed that the Kettering — Corby line should be included in a cross-country SwindonPeterborough service,[6] but this was not implemented. In 2001 Midland Mainline, the rail operator of the Midland Main Line franchise, decided against building a station for Corby. In 2003 Corby's urban regeneration company, Catalyst Corby, announced plans to build a new station by 2011.[7]

In June 2006 the Department for Transport (DfT) told prospective bidders for the new East Midlands rail franchise (combining Midland Main Line services from London St Pancras and the eastern section of the Central Trains network) that they would have to include in their tenders a price for a service to a new station in Corby. The DfT's East Midlands rail franchise consultation noted that Corby had been targeted for substantial housing growth over the course of the franchise and the provision of a station would be in line with the Sustainable Communities Plan. A new service could be created as an extension of the hourly London to Kettering service.[8]


The new station at Corby, looking south. The platform of the 1987 station can be seen on the right.

In April 2007 Network Rail announced that it had allocated £1.2 million towards the rebuilding of the station as a response to housing and jobs growth in the county. A final decision on the station, which could be open by December 2008, would be made by the Department for Transport.[9] On 22 June the DfT confirmed that Stagecoach had won the franchise and revealed that the company – operating as East Midlands Trains (EMT) – would run an extra hourly London - Kettering service, with the possibility of extending this to a new station in Corby.[10] This would put Corby within 75 minutes of central London.[11]

An article in the June 2008 edition of Modern Railways,[12] produced in cooperation with EMT, suggested that from December 2008 Corby could be served by trains leaving St Pancras for Kettering at 8 minutes past each hour. However, pending the removal of infrastructure constraints – notably, the need to reinstate a third track between Wellingborough and Kettering and raise the line speed between Corby and Kettering – an hourly through service to and from Corby will be unfeasible initially, trains being unable to make the run from Kettering to Corby and back within the projected timings. Therefore, with the possible exception of some peak-time services, the connection to and from Corby would have mostly to be provided by a shuttle service, with a change of trains at Kettering. For this, EMT would need to lease additional rolling stock, speculated to be Class 222 stock cascaded from Hull Trains.[13][14] In addition, DfT approval of the hourly Kettering service was still awaited.

Services had been due to start on 14 December 2008,[15] but EMT admitted that it had yet to secure agreement with the DfT and the rolling stock operating company (ROSCO) for the four additional trains needed. EMT then announced that services would not commence until 20 March 2009.[16]

The station's opening was then brought forward to 23 February 2009,[17] but with a very limited interim timetable of one train to London and back each day.[18] EMT promised that more services would begin once an additional three trains had become available.[19] On 7 April 2009 East Midlands Trains announced that the full hourly service (13 trains each way) would begin from Monday 27 April 2009.[20]

Transport secretary Geoff Hoon presided over the official opening of the station on 30 April 2009, with hourly passenger trains to London and a limited northbound service.[21]

Design and construction

File:Corby station work begins March 2008.jpg
Site clearance works in March 2008. The platform from the old station can just be seen at the right of the picture, below some 'British Rail lights', from the period when the station was briefly open in the 1980s.

The North Northants Development Company and English Partnerships submitted plans for the design of the station in late July 2007 and detailed planning permission was granted by the Council in November. The Development Company predicted that the new station will unlock an estimated £200 million of further commercial investment in Corby, creating more than 1,200 jobs. It added that the station will also provide added impetus for residential development and aid the transformation of town centre shopping and civic facilities.[22]

The project cost £8.3 million and construction began in June 2008 following the conclusion of an agreement with Kettering construction firm Mainline Contractors.[23] The station was built at Station Road adjacent to the site of the old station and will act as a transport interchange for Corby with bus and taxi facilities being relocated here.[24] A new road will lead into the interchange which will also have a 140-space car park, taxi rank, drop-off and pick-up areas and a bus area.[25][26] Site clearance works began in March 2008 and were completed in the summer.

The station is the second to be built to the modular station design developed by Network Rail, following Mitcham Eastfields.[27] There has been criticism of the design by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment that:

[t]here is no evidence of strong design thinking and little indication to suggest the concept has been considered as an integrated whole. This can be read in the awkward junction between the station building and the canopy and poor siting of the railings and street furniture in relation to the station structure. There is also a lack of finesse to the elevations, as illustrated by the mismatch between doors and panels. Taken together, these shortcomings lend the station an ungainly and impoverished form.

An artist's impression of the station was on the website of the local MP, Phil Hope.[29] In June 2009, it was announced that the station had won the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation's Award for Effective Partnerships and received praise for having been built on time, within budget and to a high standard.[23]


Trains run about once every hour between Corby and Kettering, seven days per week, with most services continuing to London St Pancras.

EMT operates a limited service from Derby via East Midlands Parkway (for East Midlands Airport), Melton Mowbray and Oakham, and one northbound service to Melton Mowbray. The possibility of extending further services was being explored for implementation from 2010.[30]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Kettering   East Midlands Trains
  East Midlands Trains
Limited services


It is planned that a half-hourly London St Pancras to Corby service will operate from December 2017 using new Class 387 trains, once the Midland Main Line has been electrified beyond Bedford as part of the Electric Spine project.[31] Network Rail has also announced that it plans re-double the currently singled Glendon Junction to Corby section as part of this scheme.[5]

East-West Rail Link — Northern Route

The Kettering — Manton line via Corby was also considered for reopening to passengers as part of the East West Rail Link between Oxford, Cambridge and Norwich. Three routes were considered, with Corby on the northern route. A new chord would have been needed at Manton for direct running between Corby and Stamford. Despite being the cheapest of the three options, the northern route has been ruled out as being too indirect.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. p. 68. ISBN 1-85260-508-1. R508.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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External links