Aberdeen railway station

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Aberdeen National Rail
Aberdeen Station Plaza.JPG
Plaza at Aberdeen station, with Union Square to left
Place Aberdeen
Local authority Aberdeen City Council
Coordinates Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
Grid reference NJ941058
Station code ABD
Managed by Abellio ScotRail
Number of platforms 5
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2002/03  1.761 million
2004/05 Increase 1.932 million
2005/06 Increase 2.107 million
2006/07 Increase 2.279 million
2007/08 Increase 2.470 million
2008/09 Increase 2.568 million
- Interchange 162,526
2009/10 Increase 2.657 million
- Interchange Increase 164,299
2010/11 Increase 2.964 million
- Interchange Decrease 148,594
2011/12 Increase 3.170 million
- Interchange Increase 197,040
2012/13 Increase 3.338 million
- Interchange Increase 200,864
2013/14 Increase 3.599 million
- Interchange Increase 219,085
Original company Denburn Valley Line
Pre-grouping CR & GNoSR
Post-grouping LMS & LNER
4 November 1867 Station opened as Aberdeen Joint to replace Aberdeen Guild Street and Aberdeen Waterloo[1]
1913-1916 Rebuilt
1952 Renamed Aberdeen[1]
2007-2008 Major refurbishment
National RailUK railway stations


* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Aberdeen from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
UK Railways portal

Aberdeen railway station is the main railway station in Aberdeen, Scotland. It is the busiest railway station in Scotland north of the major cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh. It is located on Guild Street in the city centre, next to Union Square.

The station is managed by Abellio ScotRail. Inter-city, regional, local and sleeper train services are provided to all parts of Great Britain by Abellio ScotRail, Caledonian Sleeper, CrossCountry and Virgin Trains East Coast.


A 1913 Railway Clearing House Junction Diagram showing railways in the vicinity of Aberdeen (present station shown here as JOINT PASS. STA.)


The station currently standing was built as Aberdeen Joint Station between 1913–16, replacing an 1867 structure of the same name, on the same site. The station and the new Denburn Valley Line enabled the main line from the south and the commuter line from Deeside to connect with the line from the north. The lines from the south had previously terminated at the adjacent Aberdeen Guild Street. Even this had not been Aberdeen's first railway station, that distinction belonging to a previous terminus a short way south at Ferryhill. After the construction of the Joint Station, Guild Street Station became a goods station. Some of its tracks remain, but the vast majority of the site was cleared in 2005.

Prior to the construction of the Joint Station, lines from the north had terminated at Aberdeen Waterloo, a short but inconvenient distance along the edge of the harbour. This too became a goods station after the construction of the Joint Station. There is no longer a station at the site, but a goods service runs approximately weekly to industrial operations there. The Waterloo tracks join the north-south connecting Denburn Valley Line in the Kittybrewster area of the city, where the very first terminus of the lines from the north had briefly been, before extension and the building of the Waterloo Station. As far north as Inverurie, these follow the route of the Aberdeenshire Canal which had been purchased and filled in by the Great North of Scotland Railway.

Nationalisation and privatisation

The entrance to the station, seen in 2006, before redevelopment as part of Union Square. The Station Hotel can be seen in the background.

As a result of the grouping of railway companies under the Railways Act 1921, Aberdeen was shared by the London and North Eastern Railway and the London Midland and Scottish Railway, each company running the station for a year and then handing its administration to the other company. At nationalisation in 1948, it then became part of British Rail. As part of the changes during this period which saw a general contraction of railway services in the UK, some services were cut in the 1960s. These included those running north to Peterhead and Ellon as well as the Deeside Line. Suburban services were heavily reduced and the grand suburban ticket office, located on the corner of Guild Street and Bridge Street, was closed. It now houses a hair and beauty salon. The number of platforms at the station were also reduced considerably in the early 1970s, from the thirteen of the late 1950s/early 1960s down to just seven by 1973.[2] This rationalisation process saw the removal of all of the north end bay platforms to allow for redevelopment of that part of the site. However, significant improvements under British Rail included introduction of InterCity 125 high-speed service to London and other major destinations, and introduction of other new rolling stock. Other improvements included a new Travel Centre opened in 1978 and under British Rail's regional brand ScotRail, a major station renovation was completed in the 1980s. The station was also resignalled around this time, with two more bay platforms (1 & 2) taken out of use along with the former through platforms 8 & 9. This left just five platforms (3-7) in regular use - the layout that remains in operation to this day.

At privatisation in the mid-1990s, ownership of the station passed to Railtrack (along with all stations and other infrastructure in England, Wales and Scotland), while day-to-day management passed to the train-operating franchisee ScotRail, a division of National Express. Following the quasi-nationalisation of railway infrastructure in the early 2000s, the station is now owned by Network Rail. In 2004, the train-operating franchise and station management were taken over by First ScotRail. ScotRail continue to operate trains but the station and all signage is now branded with the "ScotRail" logo, typeface and rolling-stock livery.

Signage at Aberdeen station in May 2012, showing National Rail double-arrow logo

Redevelopment as part of Union Square

The station had gradually become run-down in the last years of British Rail and because of privatisation. In the late 2000s, the railway station and bus station were included in the extensive Union Square development, primarily sited on an abandoned railway goods yard east of the station. As part of this, the railway station was comprehensively refurbished. The original sandstone station building became the centrepiece of a covered plaza for the new shopping and entertainment complex, while a granite-faced building was constructed to house station offices, a new Travel Centre, and other facilities. The car park at the front of the station was replaced by a public square providing pedestrian access to the station and Union Square. In addition, direct access was provided from the station concourse to Union Square and through to the bus station, creating a completely covered transport interchange. The refurbished station opened in 2009 followed by Union Square itself some months later.

Station services

Concourse at Aberdeen station

Passenger facilities

There is a staffed travel centre providing ticket office and information facilities (e.g. timetables), although it is not open in the late evening and closes before the last trains have departed. There are also automatic ticket machines outside this office and in the main concourse. Tickets purchased in advance (e.g. on the internet) can be collected from any of these machines. The entrance to the ScotRail first-class lounge is located inside the ticket office. Luggage trolleys are provided for travellers with baggage and a left-luggage facility is available with access from the front forecourt of the station.

A waiting room is available on the main concourse, as is a branch of WHSmith selling books, magazines, stationery and confectionery. There is also a pub and café. A wide range of other shopping and eating facilities are located in the Union Square complex which can be accessed directly through the concourse and is integrated with the station building. These include Boots, Costa Coffee, Starbucks, Marks & Spencer Simply Food and a range of other shops and restaurants. Unlike the travel centre, facilities at Union Square open late into the evening and also include ATM machines, through-access to the city's bus station, and a hotel operated by Jurys Inn. The original Station Hotel (now privately operated) as formerly operated by the Great North of Scotland Railway is open and located on Guild Street directly opposite the station.

There are toilet facilities accessible from the concourse (30p charge applies), in addition to toilet facilities in the café (free to customers), on most trains (free to passengers) and in Union Square (free to all).

Parking and onward transport

Medium-term parking is available in the adjoining College Street Car Park (with access only from College Street) and there are also a small number of free spaces which offer parking for 20 minutes only in a separate section of the car park inside the station itself. Taxis are available from a stand within the station concourse.

Regional and national bus services (including buses to Aberdeen Airport) depart from Aberdeen Bus Station, which is located on the other side of the adjoining Union Square shopping and entertainment complex. It is possible to walk directly from the concourse, through Union Square and to the bus station without entering the open air. This option is useful in winter and in periods of bad weather.

Rail services and train operators

Automated ticket barriers operate at all platforms but are left open when staff are not present. All scheduled services are operated by diesel-powered rolling stock. The services from Aberdeen for the Winter 2013-4 timetable (from 8 December 2013) are:


A ScotRail service at Aberdeen, formed of a Class 170 Turbostar unit

Caledonian Sleeper


Virgin Trains East Coast

Ferry Services

Aberdeen railway station offers interchange with Aberdeen ferry terminal, which lies approximately 450 metres (0.28 mi) away, the departure point for ferry services to the Orkney and Shetland Islands. The ferries, operated by NorthLink Ferries, include a daily direct sailing to Lerwick, Shetland lasting around 12 hours overnight. On certain days of the week, the Lerwick ferry crossing includes a call at Kirkwall on Orkney, increasing the journey time by 2 hours.

Railways in Aberdeen
Don Street(GNoSR)
Kittybrewster Junction
(DVL)Kittybrewster (new)
Kittybrewster (old)(GNoSR)
(DVL)Hutcheon Street
Victoria Basin: North(HTT)
Victoria Basin: South(HTT)
Deeside Goods(HTT)
Guild Street(AR)
(DVL)Aberdeen Joint
Deeside Goods Branch Junction
Goods Branch Junction
Aberdeen Ferryhill(DVL)
(DR)Holburn Street
Ferryhill Junction
Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Stonehaven   CrossCountry
Cross Country Network
Portlethen   Abellio ScotRail
Edinburgh to Aberdeen Line
Portlethen   Abellio ScotRail
Glasgow to Aberdeen Line
Terminus   Abellio ScotRail
Aberdeen to Inverness Line
Stonehaven   Caledonian Sleeper
Caledonian Sleeper
Stonehaven   Virgin Trains East Coast
East Coast Main Line
"boat icon" Ferry services
Terminus   NorthLink Ferries
Shetland ferry service
Terminus   NorthLink Ferries
Orkney ferry service
Historical railways
Cove Bay
Line open; Station closed
  Caledonian Railway
Aberdeen Railway
Holburn Street
Line and Station closed
  Great North of Scotland Railway
Deeside Railway
Terminus   GNoSR / CR Joint
Denburn Valley Line
Line open; Station closed



  1. 1.0 1.1 Butt (1995), page 12
  2. "Aberdeen - End of the Great North End" McIntrye, John; Railscot article January 2007; Retrieved 2014-04-08
  3. GB National Rail Timetable 2013-14, Tables 51 & 229


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External links