• John Oyston

London’s Mainline Railway Stations

Travelling by train to and from London can be very confusing. Unlike some capital cities, notably Amsterdam and Berlin, London does not have a central railway station. 12 terminal stations serve London so you need to know which station serves your destination.

Here is a quick guide to London’s mainline stations and the places each serves.

National Rail gives up to date information on timetables and fares.

Cannon Street

South Eastern Trains run services to Kent and East Sussex including Hastings, Tonbridge, Dartford and Sevenoaks. Many services only operate at peak hours and alternative routes are advised on evenings and weekends.

Nearest Underground: Cannon Street

Underground Lines: District Line and Circle Line

Charing Cross

South Eastern Trains run services to Kent and East Sussex including Ramsgate, Margate, Dover, Canterbury and Hastings. Services are generally more regular than from Cannon Street.

Nearest Underground: Charing Cross, Embankment

Underground Lines: Bakerloo Line and Northern Line (Charing Cross and Embankment)

District Line and Circle Line (Embankment only)


Avanti West Coast runs the West Coast Main Line to North West England and Scotland. Services run to Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Rugby, Crewe, Chester, Manchester, Liverpool, Preston, Lancaster, Carlisle and Glasgow.

London Northwestern Railway runs slower services to Birmingham and Crewe calling at Watford, Milton Keynes, Northampton, Coventry and Stafford.

London Overground operates a commuter service to Watford Junction.

Nearest Underground: Euston

Underground Lines Northern Line, Victoria Line

Fenchurch Street

C2C operates local services to Essex including Grays, Tilbury, Southend and Shoeburyness.

Nearest Underground: Tower Hill

Underground Lines District Line and Circle Line

Kings Cross

London North Eastern Railway serves the East Coast Main Line including Peterborough, Doncaster, Leeds, Bradford, York, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness.

Great Northern run local services to Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn.

Grand Central runs a service to Bradford calling at Pontefract, Mirfield (for Huddersfield) and Halifax with another to Sunderland calling at Thirsk, Northallerton, Eaglescliffe (for Middlesbrough) and Hartlepool.

Hull Trains provide direct inter-city services to Hull via Selby.

Nearest Underground: Kings Cross/St Pancras

Underground Lines Circle Line, Hammersmith and City Line, Metropolitan Line, Northern Line, Piccadilly Line, Victoria Line

Liverpool Street

Greater Anglia serves destinations in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire; including Stansted Airport, Cambridge, Great Yarmouth, Norwich, Ipswich, Colchester, Southend and Harwich.

The Stansted Express provides a fast direct link to Stansted Airport.

Nearest Underground: Liverpool Street

Underground Lines Central Line, Circle Line, Hammersmith and City Line, Metropolitan Line.

Liverpool Street Station Image Jim Osley under a Creative Commons License

London Bridge

Southern Railway and South Eastern Railway serve parts of Kent, Surrey and Sussex; including Croydon, Gillingham, Margate, and Hastings.

Nearest Underground: London Bridge

Underground Lines Jubilee Line, Northern Line


Chiltern Railways run services to Aylesbury, Leamington Spa, Stratford upon Avon, Warwick and Birmingham Snow Hill.. It is quicker to travel directly to Birmingham from Euston to Birmingham New Street.

Nearest Underground: Marylebone

Underground Lines Bakerloo Line


First Great Western operates long-distance trains to the West Country and South Wales and commuter trains down the Thames Valley; serving Slough, Reading, Oxford, Swindon, Bath, Bristol, Cardiff Swansea, Exeter, Plymouth and Penzance.

The Heathrow Express provides a non-stop link with Heathrow Airport. Trains run every 15 minutes, and the average journey time is 15 minutes.

Nearest Underground: Paddington

Underground Lines Circle Line, Hammersmith and City Line, District Line, Bakerloo Line

Paddington Photo Oast House Archive under a Creative Commons License

St Pancras

East Midlands Trains serve the East Midlands and Yorkshire including Luton, Bedford, Kettering, Leicester, Nottingham, Derby, Chesterfield and Sheffield.

St Pancras is the International terminus for Eurostar providing high-speed links with Paris and Brussels.

South Eastern Railway shares the high-speed line to provide fast connections to Kent, including Rochester, Chatham, Dover, Margate and Canterbury.

Nearest Underground: Kings Cross/St Pancras

Underground Lines Circle Line, Hammersmith and City Line, Metropolitan Line, Northern Line, Piccadilly Line, Victoria Line

St Pancras International Photo MaryG90 under a Creative Commons License


Southern Railway and South Eastern Railway serve Surrey and Sussex including Croydon, Brighton, Eastbourne and Worthing.

The Gatwick Express runs every 15 minutes non-stop to Gatwick Airport with the journey taking half an hour.

Nearest Underground: Victoria

Underground Lines Circle Line, District Line, Victoria Line


Waterloo station is divided into two distinct parts

South West Trains run from the main station to Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire serving Windsor, Hampton Court, Guildford, Portsmouth, Southampton and Bournemouth.

Trains from Charing Cross call at Waterloo East and London Bridge en route to Kent.

Nearest Underground Waterloo

Underground Lines, Northern Line , Bakerloo Line, Jubilee Line


Thameslink services run from north of London to the south coast. There are regular services from Bedford, Peterborough and Cambridge to various destinations south of London, including Gatwick Airport and Brighton. The services stop at St Pancras and London Bridge in Central London.

If travelling from the north to a destination south of London, consider changing at either Peterborough, Stevenage, Bedford or Luton to remove the need to cross London.

A Few Quick Tips

  1. If loaded with luggage, taxis are normally the easiest (but most expensive) way of getting between two stations.

  2. The Piccadilly line provides a direct tube link from Central London to Heathrow Airport.

  3. All the stations listed above, except London Bridge, Waterloo and Marylebone, are linked by the Circle Line.

  4. Kings Cross and St Pancras stations are on the same site and Euston is within easy walking distance of both



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