York’s glorious station dates from 1877, but the facilities expected by contemporary travellers have been provided, without compromising the station’s stunning architecture.
If you are new to using York station it can make sense to think of it as a station with three parts:
Aim to be at York station a minimum of five minutes before your train will be departing, make it 10 minutes if you'll want to use the lifts (elevators) to ensure you have step-free access to all parts of the station.
York is a large station, the far end of platform (track) 3 (where the First Class coaches of LNER trains can most often be boarded) and both platforms 2 and 4 are some distance from the main entrance.
The long platform you will step on to having passed through the station entrance, is divided along its length, with platform (track) 3 to the left; to access it you need to walk under the footbridge that spans the station.
Most, but not all of the LNER trains to London will depart from platform 3.
If you will be boarding an LNER train look out for the signs attached to the posts, which support the roof, which will tell you where each specific coach on a train will stop, when it arrives in the station).
Turn right for Platform 4, which is located towards the far end of this main platform.
To platforms (tracks) 5-11 at York station
A footbridge, which can only be accessed by stairs, spans the middle of the station and connects the main entrance to platforms 5 – 11.
Although you don’t have to use this footbridge to access the trains which depart from platforms 5 -11.
There are also two inevitably less visible subways which cross the station and at each end of these subways there are lifts (elevators); so using these subways provides the step-free access to the trains.
These subways are on either side of the footbridge, so on entering the main part of the station, you can turn left to access one of these subways, or turn right for the other.
The signage in the station will suggest that it doesn't matter which of these subways you use to access a train leaving from platforms 5 - 11.
Strictly speaking that is the case if your train will be departing from platforms 10 or 11, but if you want to use the shortest possible route to a train leaving from platforms 5-9, it does matter which subway you use.
If your train will be leaving from platforms 5-6 use the lift (elevator), which you will see on the left, once you're on the long platform, which runs the length of the station.
Or if you turn to the right, just by the fabulous York Tap pub/bar; SMTJ’s preferred location in which to wait for a train at York, is another lift.
It tends to be less busy and also gives access to all the other platforms (tracks) in the station, though it's particularly convenient for platforms 8 and 9.
Platforms (tracks) 1 - 4 are all directly connected to the main exit, so if your train arrives in this part of the station, all you need to do is walk ahead.
If your train arrives at platforms (tracks) 5 - 11, you'll have a choice of means of accessing the exit at York station.
If you'll be happy to use the stairs, the most obvious route to take to the exit is the footbridge which spans the station.
However, if your train arrives at platforms 10 and 11, there are other sets of stairs, which lead down to the two subways, which cross the station, under the railway lines.
If you'll be by these sets of stairs down to the subways, when you step off a train, using them will be your quickest route to the exit.
Or if you'd prefer a step-free means of exiting the station, then use the first of the two lifts (elevators) that you come to.
They both give access to a subway leading towards the exit; and at the other end of these subways, other lifts take you back up to street-level.
If your train arrives at platforms (tracks) 5 - 9, you can either use the footbridge to access the exit, or for step-free access to the you can take the lifts (elevators) down to the subways and use the alternative routes described below.
Though if you'll be changing trains, check the departure board, as your onward train may be leaving from this part of the station.
York station is located just to the west of the city centre, the ancient wall which circles the city is across the street from the station.
The easiest route to the city centre is to turn left from the main entrance on to Queens Road, keeping the city wall on the right.
Within 5 – 8 mins you will be crossing a bridge over the River Ouse and on the other side of the bridge, over to the right will be the medieval heart of the city – The Shambles while up ahead you will see York Minster.
Walking from the station to York Minster will take 8 – 15mins.
The Jorvik Viking Museum is a 12 – 20 min walk from York station, take the first right when you have crossed the river and walk along the street named Lendal.
From there keep going ahead on to a wider street named Nessgate and then over to the left there’s a street named Castlegate; on the left you’ll see the rear of St Mary’s Church, turn left into the alley beside it and to the left of the front of the church is the museum.
The wonder that is Britain’s National Railway Museum is on the other side of York station to the city centre.
At the opposite end of the footbridge to the station’s main entrance are some steps which lead down to a car park.
One you've descended these stairs and walked ahead, you’ll soon see the museum entrance over to the left.
Note that when travelling north from York towards Darlington, Durham and Newcastle, or south to Leeds, different train operating companies provide these services.
If you will be heading to these destinations and buy tickets last minute at the station, it won't matter which train operator will be providing the next train to leave, you can board any train.
Train Operating Company:
Destinations and routes:
(1) London King’s Cross via Peterborough
(1) London King’s Cross
(1) Glasgow via York, Darlington, Durham, Newcastle and Edinburgh
(2) Plymouth via Leeds, Sheffield, Derby, Birmingham, Cheltenham, Bristol, Taunton, Exeter and Totness
(1) Liverpool via Leeds and Manchester Victoria
(1) Blackpool via Leeds, Bradford, Halifax, Blackburn and Preston
This is one of more than 300 station guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.