Gloucester (GCR)

Gloucester is a stop off the Bristol-Birmingham Line which due to a complicated legacy and rationalised layout means many trains have to reverse which call there to continue onward with their journeys.

Type: National Rail
Station code: GCR
Opened: 1840
Platforms: 4
A station at Gloucester was first opened in 1840 by the Birmingham & Gloucester Railway, the new station being the line's terminus. The Cheltenham & Great Western Union Railway arrived next with a broad gauge line from Swindon in 1844. This line later became part of the Great Western Railway and was converted to mixed-gauge.

The Midland Railway arrived the year after and the South Wales Railway in 1851. The complicated layout of the station and the fact it began life as a terminus meant that GWR trains had to reverse to continue between London and Cheltenham Spa. This practice continues to this day. Both the GWR and MR built new stations in the latter half of the nineteenth century linked by a footbridge to replace the original Gloucester station. They were known as Gloucester Central and Gloucester Eastgate respectively.

British Rail rationalised the railway layout in the 1960s and 1970s, closing Gloucester Eastgate in 1975, leaving Gloucester Central as the remaining station today. The station was rebuilt and one of the platforms extended to about six hundred and three metres long so it could host two High Speed Trains simultaneously, the platform is the second longest in the country after Colchester - though is split into two officially.

The station has had a new footbridge with lifts and a refurbished booking hall over the last couple of years though there have been calls for a complete rebuild of the station. There have indeed been proposals to build a brand new station on a new site which would remove the need for reversals though these proposals have so far come to nothing. Gloucester is served by Great Western Railway, Cross Country and Transport for Wales.
GWR 150 130 stands at Gloucester

XC 170 106 arrives with a Birmingham bound service

A HST stands at one end of the longest platform

Platform mosaic

View down the platform showing the footbridge

Main station building