Top of the stops for trains - Britain’s quietest station and the biggest passenger increase station are both in Cambridgeshire

Shippea Hill signal box

Shippea Hill signal box - Credit: Archant

Two railway stations in Cambridgeshire have hit top of the stops lists - one for being the quietest in Britain and the other for being in the top three stations with the biggest increase in passengers.

Manea Train Station. Abellio Greater Anglia train approaching the station.

Manea Train Station. Abellio Greater Anglia train approaching the station. - Credit: Archant

Shippea Hill, near Ely, had 22 people get on or off the train in the whole of last year.

In the previous year it was just 12.

Manea saw an increase from 3,694 to 10,794 passengers - a rise of 192% - thanks to the village getting an improved service from January 2014.

The top of the stops report released by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) recorded the estimated number of ‘entries and exits’ based on the number of people travelling to or from the station.

Manea rail station.

Manea rail station. - Credit: Archant


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Britain’s quietest station in Shippea Hill sees one train each weekday to Norwich, while on Saturday there is one train to Norwich and one to Cambridge.

An author put Shippea Hill among the eccentricities of Britain’s least used, most remote stations.

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Opened in 1845 as Mildenhall Road, it was also known as Burnt Fen, and is located near Prickwillow on the line between Ely and Norwich.

The wooden level crossing gates used to be opened and closed manually but in August 2012 the 140 year-old Victorian signal box was closed and the crossing renewed with automated full barriers with red flashing road lights.

At Manea a two hourly service was launched at the beginning of this year with trains serving March, Whittlesey and Peterborough going north west and travelling south towards Ely and Ipswich.

The total number of people at Britain’s stations in 2014-15 reached nearly 2.8 billion, an increase of more than 119 million.

By comparison Britain’s busiest station is London Waterloo with more than 99.2 million entries and exits.

Also in the top ten is King’s Cross, the station that most people arrive into London from Cambridgeshire, with more than 31.3 million.

The top 10 quietest stations include Coombe, Cornwall; Teesside Airport; Reddish South, Stockport; Barry Links, Angus; Pilning, South Gloucestershire; Golf Street, Angus; Elton and Orston, Nottinghamshire; Buckenham, Norfolk and Breich, West Lothian.

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