Britain's worst train stations named and shamed

17 November 2009

The idea of getting a train fills me with a warm, fuzzy feeling. Travelling through the countryside at great speed... stretching out your legs as a nice old lady brings you tea.

Of course, the reality of a train journey snaps you out of it as you're penned up like battery chickens on stinking carriages that invariably turn up late to a platform that tells you nothing and offers no shelter from the relentless downpour. And you can never find a pisser when you need one.

Not all train stations are rubbish... just most of them. But which are the worst? Well, a new report has come out naming the 10 worst railway stations in the country... and gutted if you live in the North West.

Manchester Victoria received the lowest satisfaction rating, followed by Clapham Junction, in south London, and Crewe, in Cheshire, according to the inspectors' report, which calls on the Government to invest £50 million to carry out urgent improvements.

Transport Secretary Lord Adonis (that can't be his real name, surely?!), who witnessed the dilapidated state of some stations when he toured the country by train last summer, is due to visit 10 of the worst performers today, beginning at Clapham Junction.

The others bad'uns, as identified in the Station Champions report by Sir Peter Hall and Chris Green, were Barking, Stockport, Preston, Wigan North Western, Liverpool Central, Warrington Bank Quay and Luton. They were identified in a report by the Station Champions - Sir Peter Hall and Chris Green.

Lord Adonis said: "While touring the rail network in April this year, I was struck by the great variation in the passenger facilities at stations. Train travel has improved a good deal in recent years, but more needs to be done to improve conditions and services for passengers at stations.

"I want every station to be a good station - a hub of local community life and somewhere that you wouldn't mind spending time, with adequate facilities. I support the report's recommendations of minimum standards for stations - classed by size - in terms of information, car and bike parking, facilities and environment. I intend to make these minimum standards a requirement in future rail franchise agreements with train operating companies."

Sir Peter and Mr Green said: "Stations are deeply entwined with their local community and effectively act as the gateway to both town and railway. They leave passengers with their lasting impressions of both. A dilapidated station is bad business for both town and railway."

Anthony Smith, chief executive of rail customer watchdog Passenger Focus, said: "Passengers standing on wind-swept platforms across Britain should be able to find out if their train is coming or not. There are all too many stations that do not have any real-time information and in the 21st century this is outrageous. Today's report highlights this issue, and supports our position that real-time information should be standard, not a luxury."

Why don't you share your miserable experience in Britain's train stations in the comments?


TOPICS:   Travel


  • Ian B.
    Manchester Victoria Station is hell on earth after dark. Especially in winter.
  • Esarty
    Wouldn't be surprised if the London stations got more of that money than all the northern ones combined
  • TomT
    Most railway stations are not 'rubbish', just a few of them..... Yet another Bitterwallet 'anti-rail' post....
  • CompactDistance
    Maybe because they handle more passengers, Esarty, and I'm a Northerner. It's foolish to demand real-time information at all stations, when you consider there are stations in the UK that get a couple of trains a week. However there are many stations that are long-overdue improvements, and Lord Adonis seems to have the right idea. Now how about building some new rolling stock to replace the Pacer trains in the North? These things were built using bus parts in the 80s when British Rail were desperately trying to cut costs. They are completely unsuitable for a modern railway.
  • mufc72
    Why bother, it's just a train station. As long as a train can stop there and there's a roof, what else do you need. You get there just before the train arrives, then get on it. You don't sleep there overnight or have a 3 course meal there. Get the trains improved first rather than the stations. Or the bloddy roads in fact, death traps with volcano sized holes in them, road tax my arse!!!! Sorry.
  • mufc72
    Why bother, it's just a train station. As long as a train can stop there and there's a roof, what else do you need. You get there just before the train arrives, then get on it. You don't sleep there overnight or have a 3 course meal there. Get the trains improved first rather than the stations. Or concentrate on the bloody roads in fact, death traps with volcano sized holes in them, road tax my arse!!!! Sorry.
  • Richard
    As Private Eye says, 'more Andrew than Adonis'.
  • Haleema
    I catch the tram sometimes from Manchester Victoria but I have never caught the train from there. Wonder what its like...
  • Reg K.
    It's a railway station not a train station! Grrrrrrrr!
  • Michael
    Having travelled via Wakefield Kirkgate, I can't believe that it didn't make the list. Then again, why spend money in a Labour safe seat?
  • grex9101
    Bus companies now run the railways. They care little about the state of the trains/stations/staff as long as their fat, greedy shareholders get a nice fat profit. Scum.
  • CompactDistance
    Kirkgate has improvements already planned, Michael.
  • Gary
    Preston, platform 3C, basically the if-you're-very-old-you'll-die-before-you-manage-to-walk-there platform.
  • grex9101
    @Gary "if-you’re-very-old-you’ll-die-before-you-manage-to-walk-there platform." Means there's more seats for the rest of us! (plus, the smell of ammonia isn't very pleasant, is it)
  • mike
    Personally,I love manchester victoria station What are they going to spend the money on?? fix the roof ok but please , dont remove the big old train map painted on the wall or the war memorial, neither should those hole in the wall ticket vendors be removed And to take away the mosaic tiling above the cafeand the old booksellers sign that would be pure vandalism. this is without mentioning the stained glass destination signs outside. This station has magical memories for many mancunians please lets not have another piccadilly type station, dont get me wrong i like piccadilly but victoria is special in that much of character still remains i hope this lord adonis fellow asks the locals what they would want and not turns it into a second rate copy of some of the london stations i,m no train buff at all but i have lived in manchester for over 50 years and i love that f***ing station Am i the only person that feels this way? Our city has grown more than anywhere else in the uk in the last 10 or 12 years its been great to see the place transform into its current manifestation , i,m not against the new, but please dont tear out its soul .
  • rob
    Warrington Bank Quay what can we say about this key access point to the Sh^t hole of the north, well for instance, you have a massive great lever brothers chemical factory next to it - what a looker Fook me - what a thing of elagance that greats you as you step onto the ageing victorian station - the recent sum of money spent on the entrance - typical bodge it and leg it quiality - Best thing here would be to build a whopping great wall along one side to hide the chemical factory.
  • Exactly
    Shipley station is like an episode of the crystal maze. See if you can work out where your train goes from before it leaves. St Neots. A good place to jump in front of an express. York is quite nice. Well I say nice, it has a pub next to/in the main entrance and the Royal York hotel bar is always worth a look if you have time. I'm glad they aren't putting any barriers in there.

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