Watton-at-Stone railway station

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Watton-at-Stone National Rail
Watton-at-Stone railway station 1.jpg
Place Watton-at-Stone
Local authority District of East Hertfordshire
Coordinates 51°51′25″N 0°07′11″W / 51.8569°N 0.1198°W / 51.8569; -0.1198Coordinates: 51°51′25″N 0°07′11″W / 51.8569°N 0.1198°W / 51.8569; -0.1198
Grid reference TL295192
Station code WAS
Managed by Great Northern
Number of platforms 2
DfT category E
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2013/14 Increase 0.159 million
2014/15 Increase 0.168 million
2015/16 Increase 0.175 million
2016/17 Decrease 0.168 million
2017/18 Decrease 0.163 million
Original company London and North Eastern Railway
Post-grouping London and North Eastern Railway
2 June 1924 Opened
10 September 1939 Closed
17 May 1982 Reopened
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Watton-at-Stone from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal

Watton-at-Stone railway station serves the village of Watton-at-Stone in Hertfordshire, England. It is 23 miles 72 chains (38.46 km) down the line from London King's Cross[1] on the Hertford Loop Line between Hertford North and Stevenage and is served by trains operated by Great Northern.


According to the Watton-at-Stone Parish Council,[2] a proposal for a rail route between London and Stevenage was approved by Parliament in 1898, though construction did not begin until 1906. A single-track section through Watton-at-Stone opened on 4 March 1918, with the track later being dualled.

The station saw its first passenger train run through on 6 February 1920, but did so only when a train was diverted from the East Coast Main Line as the result of an accident. Scheduled passenger services of four trains per day started on 2 June 1924, stopping on request at Watton-at-Stone.

The station's life as a passenger service was short-lived however, and it closed just 15 years later on 10 September 1939, despite the famed locomotive engineer Nigel Gresley's residency in the village.

The nationalised British Railways considered reopening the station in the 1960s, but it was not until 1981 that a campaign to reopen the station gathered momentum. The bulk of the £120,000 costs were paid for by Hertfordshire County Council and British Rail, but villagers and the parish council responded to a public appeal for funds, and together contributed £8,000. On 17 May 1982, a small crowd gathered to board the 06:23 service from Watton-at-Stone to Moorgate, the first passenger train to serve the village in almost 43 years.


Generally, the station is served by two trains per hour towards Moorgate and 1 tph to Stevenage ; however during peak times this increases up to three trains an hour in each direction. Southbound trains for London run to Moorgate, whilst northbound trains generally terminate at the next stop on the line, Stevenage, apart from selected weekday trains which continue to Hitchin before terminating at Letchworth Garden City.

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Hertford North   Great Northern
Hertford Loop Line
  Historical railways  
Line open, station closed
  London and North Eastern Railway
Hertford Loop Line
Line and station open

The Finishing Line

In 1977, track in the vicinity of the then closed station was used by British Transport Films as a set to film the notorious public information film The Finishing Line.[3] Using shock tactics to deter children from playing near railway lines, the film was staged as a dream sequence of a parody school sports day with 'events' on and around the track. Local schoolchildren were drafted as actors. The film was broadcast on the nightly Nationwide TV show, and the liberal quantities of stage blood and graphic depiction of injuries became a matter of some controversy.


  1. ^ Padgett, David (October 2016) [1988]. Brailsford, Martyn, ed. Railway Track Diagrams 2: Eastern (4th ed.). Frome: Trackmaps. map 24B. ISBN 978-0-9549866-8-1.
  2. ^ Watton-at-Stone Parish Council: Transport
  3. ^ British Transport Films: The Finishing Line

External links

Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Watton-at-Stone_railway_station&oldid=874908510"
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watton-at-Stone_railway_station
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "Watton-at-Stone railway station"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA