|Location|| Retford, Bassetlaw |
|Coordinates||53°18′54″N0°56′53″W / 53.315°N 0.948°W|
|Owned by||Network Rail|
|Managed by||London North Eastern Railway|
|Classification||DfT category C2|
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road
Retford railway station is on the East Coast Main Line in the United Kingdom,serving the town of Retford,Nottinghamshire. It is 138 miles 49 chains (223.1 km) down the line from London King's Cross and is situated between Newark North Gate and Doncaster on the main line. It has four platforms,two of which serve the main line and the other two,located at a lower level and at right angles to the first pair,serve the Sheffield to Lincoln Line.
The station is staffed throughout the week,with most amenities (booking office,toilets,coffee shop and vending machine) in the main building on platforms 1. The ticket office is staffed Monday - Friday 05:35 - 18:00,Saturday 05:35 - 16:10 and Sunday 08:20 - 16:10. A self-service ticket machine is also provided for use when the booking office is closed and for collecting pre-paid tickets. Train running information is offered via automated announcements,CIS displays and timetable posters. There are also customer help points on both low-level platforms,along with waiting shelters. All platforms are fully accessible for disabled passengers via lifts and a subway. 
The station's High Level platforms are located on the East Coast Main Line and are served by London North Eastern Railway and Hull Trains services which are operated using Class 800 and 802 Bi-Mode units and Class 801 EMUs. 
The platforms are served on a two-hourly frequency by London North Eastern Railway services to York and London King's Cross. There are additional services in the peak hours including services to Leeds,Newcastle and Edinburgh. On weekends,the frequency is the same although services usually run to Edinburgh or Leeds.
The station is also served by most Hull Trains services between London King's Cross,Hull and Beverley. There are seven trains to London and Hull on weekdays of which two continue to Beverley with a reduced service in place on weekends.
The higher-level platforms (numbered 1 and 2) respectively serve southbound and northbound East Coast Main Line trains operated by London North Eastern Railway which call at Retford. Platform 1 (on the eastern side of the layout) adjoins the main station building. Between the two platforms tracks there are two further lines,used by fast trains not booked to call here.
The station's low level platforms (Numbered 3 &4) are located on the Sheffield to Lincoln Line and are served by Northern Trains services which are operated using Class 150 and 195 DMUs.
In May 2019,significant improvements were made on the line as part of the new Northern franchise with services on the line being doubled,although these have since been reduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
The typical off-peak service in trains per hour is: 
On Sundays,the station is served by an hourly service between Lincoln and Sheffield,with some services continuing to Huddersfield.
A small number of trains from Sheffield start/terminate here,including two that use the surviving connection via Whisker Hill Junction to reach platform 2 at High Level (a practice that was much more common in the 1970s when the Lincoln route had fewer through trains).
In 2021,work was undertaken to make the low-level platforms fully accessible,funded by the UK Government's Access for All programme. Previously,only the Retford to Lincoln platform (platform 4) was accessible;the Retford to Sheffield platform (platform 3) had steps to the platform and a barrow crossing. It was originally intended that the improvement programme would be completed by July 2021,but the project was set back by flooding and finally concluded on 15 December. The programme included the addition of a covered walkway between the mainline platforms and the low-level platforms. 
|Preceding station||National Rail||Following station|
|Newark Northgate|| London North Eastern Railway ||Doncaster|
|Grantham|| Hull Trains |
| Northern Trains |
Very limited service
Line open,station closed
|Great Northern Railway|
Line open,station closed
Line open,station closed
|Great Central Railway|
Line open,station closed
|Great Central Railway|
Line and station closed
Retford station was Grade II listed by Historic England in July 2020. The current buildings date from 1891-2 and the reason for listing was given as "the very rare survival of the original finishes in the dining room and refreshment room" which are said to be ornate and featuring "fine craftsmanship";the "remarkably long and well-balanced composition in the Italianate style" of the station buildings and the "impressive" canopy over the platform;and the well-preserved platform which make it "one of the most intact medium-sized GNR stations".  
The Retford Times (1913) presents a memoir of William Briggs (b 1839) who recalled the arrival of the first locomotive:"The speculation and guesses as to what a steam train would be like,when it began to be talked about,was general. The first locomotive came on a heavy lorry. It arrived on a Saturday,and going down Dixon's Bridge,the weight sunk the wheels on one side to the axle,and it had to remain till Monday. On Sunday hundreds visited the spot." He also recalled a train going to Cleethorpes from Manchester and Sheffield which had 64 carriages,all full,and many of them open to the weather.
'The Retford Times also published the memories of Frank George (b 1879) who worked at WH Smith &Sons railway station bookstall. He recalled that "the Duke and Duchess of Portland,Duke and Duchess of Newcastle,Earl and Countess Manvers,Earl and Countess of Yarborough,the Earl and Countess of Galway,the Foljambes,Laycocks,Denisons,Huntsmans etc" all used the station. The Duchess of Newcastle was said to change at Retford accompanied by her Russian Borzoi hounds. "If any special guests were staying at Welbeck Abbey,a magnificent equipage would bring them to Retford station,cockaded footmen and coachmen and occasionally postillion riders,a wonderful experience for any lad." 
S&LJR line and Thrumpton Station
The first railway into Retford was the Sheffield and Lincolnshire Junction Railway which opened on 16 July 1849 on the line between Sheffield (Bridgehouses) and Gainsborough. The station for this line was at Thrumpton,part of which still survives and is called The Old Station House. 
The Great Northern Railway
The Great Northern Railway line from Doncaster arrived on 4 September 1849 crossing the S&LJR on the level. It used the Thrumpton station until its own station was completed on land to the east of Ordsall Lane (now called West Carr Road) in 1852. Several new streets were built at this time to link the station to the existing town,including Queen Street,Victoria Road,Station Road and Albert Road. On 1 July 1859,the S&LJR (now the Manchester,Sheffield &Lincolnshire Railway) began using the GNR station via a short connecting curve and closed its original station.
Prior to the remodelling of the station,the S&LJR and GNR lines crossed at a flat crossing with a curve connecting the northern and eastern tracks. This allowed trains on the Sheffield-Gainsborough line to call at the station.
There were two northbound platforms - platform 2 (now closed) was on the eastern side of an island platform and platform 3 on the opposite side (still in use,now renumbered 2). Platform 1 handled southbound and eastbound trains. In addition,there was a single southbound line which passed in between platforms 1 and 2,rather than the two lines in place today. To relieve congestion on platform 1,there was a timber-built extension on the south curve (platform 1A) to allow Lincoln-bound trains to clear platform 1 proper.[ citation needed ]
The lower-level platforms (originally numbered 4 and 5,now re-numbered 3 and 4) were added when the flat crossing between the two lines was removed and replaced with a bridge in 1965  and the Sheffield-Gainsborough tracks lowered to pass beneath the main line.
These works also necessitated the removal of the direct north-to-east curve,meaning that trains between Sheffield and Lincoln could no longer call at the original platforms without a reversal. The curve connecting the Sheffield to Lincoln line to the current Platform 2 still exists and is used by a limited number of trains each day.
Canteen and Rest Room
The work of the WVS of Retford at the station is celebrated with a plaque on Platform 1,which states that between March 1940 and March 1946 they served 2,284,000 meals to HM and Allied Forces in the canteen and rest room.  
Buffet and First Class Dining Room
The former Buffet and First Class Dining room on platform 1 are currently used as clubrooms by the Bassetlaw (North Notts) Railway Society.  The club has installed an interesting display of local railway images in the windows of the rooms.
Great North of England Cattle Market
The Great Northern and the Manchester,Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway Companies put forward the idea of a ‘Great North of England Cattle Market’next to the railway. By 1865,the Retford Cattle Company was holding markets on a site to the east of West Carr Road and north of the railway line. There was a public house next to this known as The Cattle Market or Market Hotel (building still exists). 
Bill Bryson comments of Retford station,in his book Notes from a Small Island ,that it is shown on railway maps in a typeface (and large filled circle graphic) marking it as equivalent to much more notable cities in northern England,and he therefore deemed it worth a visit.
Michael Palin of Monty Python fame recalls frequently visiting Retford station as a youngster for train spotting,as it was in easy reach of his home city of Sheffield and provided access to legendary locomotives like the Flying Scotsman running on the East Coast Main Line. 
The Great Northern Railway (GNR) was a British railway company incorporated in 1846 with the object of building a line from London to York. It quickly saw that seizing control of territory was key to development,and it acquired,or took leases of,many local railways,whether actually built or not. In so doing,it overextended itself financially.
The Manchester,Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway (MS&LR) was formed in 1847 when the Sheffield,Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway joined with authorised but unbuilt railway companies,forming a proposed network from Manchester to Grimsby. It pursued a policy of expanding its area of influence,especially in reaching west to Liverpool,which it ultimately did through the medium of the Cheshire Lines Committee network in joint partnership with the Great Northern Railway and the Midland Railway.
Doncaster railway station is on the East Coast Main Line in England,serving the city of Doncaster,South Yorkshire. It is 155 miles 77 chains (251 km) down the line from London King's Cross and is situated between Retford and York on the main line. It is managed by London North Eastern Railway.
Peterborough railway station serves the city of Peterborough,Cambridgeshire,England. It is 76 miles 29 chains (122.9 km) down the East Coast Main Line from London King's Cross. The station is a major interchange serving both the north–south ECML,as well as long-distance and local east–west services. The station is managed by London North Eastern Railway. Ticket gates came into use at the station in 2012.
Grantham railway station is on the East Coast Main Line in the United Kingdom,serving the town of Grantham,Lincolnshire. It is 105 miles 38 chains (169.7 km) down the line from London King's Cross and is situated on the main line between Peterborough to the south and Newark North Gate to the north.
Worksop railway station is a Grade II listed railway station which serves the town of Worksop in Nottinghamshire,England.
Darnall railway station is on the Sheffield to Lincoln Line and was built in 1849 to serve Darnall,a community about 3 miles (5 km) from the centre of Sheffield,South Yorkshire,England,and which later became a suburb of the city.
Woodhouse railway station serves Woodhouse and Woodhouse Mill in Sheffield,South Yorkshire,England. The station is 5.25 miles (8 km) east of Sheffield station on the Sheffield to Lincoln Line.
Kiveton Park railway station serves Kiveton Park in South Yorkshire,England. The original station was opened by the Sheffield and Lincolnshire Junction Railway in 1849,situated to the east of the level crossing and opened with the line. It was rebuilt in the Manchester,Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway "Double Pavilion" style in 1884,on the west side of the level crossing.
Kiveton Bridge railway station serves the village of Kiveton Park in South Yorkshire,England. It also served the now closed Kiveton Park Colliery which was adjacent.
Shireoaks railway station serves the village of Shireoaks in Nottinghamshire,England. It was opened by the Sheffield and Lincolnshire Junction Railway in 1849. The station is 13+3⁄4 miles east of Sheffield on the Sheffield-Gainsborough Central service.
Gainsborough Lea Road is one of two railway stations that serve the town of Gainsborough in Lincolnshire,England,the other being Gainsborough Central,which is located in the town centre. The station is managed by East Midlands Railway and is located 14+1⁄4 miles (23 km) northwest of Lincoln Central on the A156 Lea Road in the south of the town. It opened in 1867 on a single line of the Great Northern Railway,who ran four trains a day from Gainsborough to Lincoln.
The Sheffield–Lincoln line is a railway line in England. It runs from Sheffield to Lincoln via Worksop,Retford and Gainsborough Lea Road. The route comprises the main line of the former Manchester,Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway (MS&LR),to Gainsborough Trent Junction,where it then follows the former Great Northern and Great Eastern Joint Railway (GNGEJR) to Lincoln Central. The former MS&LR main line continues from Trent Junction to Wrawby Junction,Barnetby,much of it now single line,where it then runs to Cleethorpes.
Lincoln railway station serves the city of Lincoln in Lincolnshire,England. The station is owned by Network Rail and managed by East Midlands Railway. East Midlands Railway provides the majority of services from the station,with other services being provided by Northern and London North Eastern Railway.
Barnetby railway station serves the village of Barnetby-le-Wold in North Lincolnshire,England. It is operated by TransPennine Express,with East Midlands Railway and Northern Trains also serving the station.
Grimsby Town railway station serves the town of Grimsby in North East Lincolnshire,England. It is operated by TransPennine Express,and is also served by East Midlands Railway and Northern Trains services.
Gainsborough Central railway station is one of two railway stations in the town of Gainsborough,Lincolnshire,England. The station is on the Brigg branch of the Sheffield–Lincoln line. Services are currently operated by Northern Trains.
The Great Northern and Great Eastern Joint Railway,colloquially referred to as "the Joint Line" was a railway line connecting Doncaster and Lincoln with March and Huntingdon in the eastern counties of England. It was owned jointly by the Great Northern Railway (GNR) and the Great Eastern Railway (GER). It was formed by transferring certain route sections from the parent companies,and by the construction of a new route between Spalding and Lincoln,and a number of short spurs and connections. It was controlled by a Joint Committee,and the owning companies operated their own trains with their own rolling stock. The Joint Line amounted to nearly 123 miles (198 km) of route.
The Lincolnshire lines of the Great Northern Railway are the railways,past and present,in the English county built or operated by the Great Northern Railway.
Checker House railway station was a station between Retford and Worksop,Nottinghamshire,England which served the village of Ranby from 1852 to 1931. The platforms were immediately to the east of the A1 road,and there was a goods station to the west of the road,which remained open until 1963. The line remains open for services on the Sheffield–Lincoln line but nothing remains of the passenger station or platforms,although part of a loading gauge was still visible in 2021.