topic ref. 20756114
National Rail stations in England & Wales are placed in one of eight categories, which are influenced by the volume, value and type of traffic they handle. The classification of individual stations can change from time to time.
Transport Scotland places stations managed by ScotRail in one of six categories, numbered from 1 to 6. The definitions are more detailed and some also have a wider spread, with Category 1 used for stations which could be anywhere from Category A to Category D in England and Wales. Some examples include Glasgow Central Low Level, Glasgow Queen Street and Helensburgh Central (cat. 1), Kilmarmock and South Gyle (cat. 2), Conon Bridge (cat. 5) and Helmsdale (cat. 6). Neither Glasgow Central High Level nor Edinburgh are included in the Transport Scotland list, but both would qualify for Category 1 in Scotland or Category A as defined by the Department for Transport.
The specifications of the categories used in England & Wales are shown below, but the relation to usage and other factors is variable. For example, St Albans was used by more than 6.6 million passengers in 2011-2012 but is placed in Category D, while Newquay is staffed in the summer but is still in Category F1. The specifications below therefore provide only a very general guide.
A National hub
Major stations which are principal railheads serving sizeable areas and also providing significant interchanges. Usually more than 2 million journeys a year and revenue of more than £20 million.
B Regional interchange
Stations providing major interchanges between transport modes. Likely also to offer major car parking and cycle hubs. Usually more than 2 million trips per annum and ticket revenue greater than £20 million.
C1, C2 Important feeder
Stations providing important feeder services on a busy trunk route, sub-divided into C1 and C2. ‘C’ stations usually have 500,000 to 2 million trips annually and revenue between £2 and £20 million.
C1 City or busy junction
C2 Other busy railheads
D Medium staffed
Medium-sized staffed stations with a core interurban business or a particularly high volume of urban commuting. Trips typically between 250,000 and 500,000 annually and revenue £1 to £2 million.
E Small (staffed)
Small staffed stations which typically have one member of staff on duty, often only for part of the day. Trips will be typically up to 250,000 per annum and revenue up to £1 million.
F1, F2 Small (unstaffed)
Unstaffed stations form almost half the total on National Rail. These stations are sub-divided into F1 (basic) and F2 (below 100,000 journeys per annum) to avoid the provision of unnecessary facilities at the very small stations. Fewer than 250,000 trips annually. Revenue less than £1 million.
F2 below 100,000 journeys annually
Source: These descriptions (for England & Wales) are based on those given in 'Better railway stations' (Department for Transport, 2009).
last updated: 2015-03-14