Royal Railway Visits: 7 stations graced by royals

Tuesday 31st May 2022

Counting down the days until the Queen’s Jubilee? The celebration at the beginning of June will honour Elizabeth II’s 70 years on the throne – the longest of any reigning British monarch.

Whether you’re hosting a lively street party, lighting up a community beacon or simply watching the Platinum Party at the Palace on TV on your sofa at home, the extra-long Bank Holiday weekend really will be marking history. To honour the Queen, we’re taking a look at seven stations – one for each decade of her impressive reign – along our network which have been graced by royals over the years.

From grand station opening ceremonies to brief stops that formed part of wider regional tours, we’re reminiscing about our favourite royal visits at the following stations:

  1. Hull Paragon

    Hull Paragon station sits right in the centre of this fantastic Northern city. Thousands of people pass through its doors every year – whether that’s for work or to soak up Hull’s fascinating maritime history.

    On 5th March 2009, the station had two very special visitors: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. They were there to officially open the Hull Paragon Interchange – a transport hub offering visitors a choice of rail, bus and coach services across Yorkshire and beyond. Arriving into the station on the plush Royal Train, the regal pair unveiled a commemorative plaque which can still be viewed today.

    2009 wasn’t the only year the Queen visited Hull Paragon station either. She glided gracefully into the station again in 2017 to begin a tour of Hull after it was named the year’s UK City of Culture.

  2. Manchester Victoria

    In 2020, Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge set out on a three-day train tour to thank communities across the UK for their hard work and dedication during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The couple stopped off in nine different cities and towns. This included Manchester where they met workers at foodbank, FareShare, attended a church service at Manchester Cathedral and visited the site of the Manchester Arena bombing. They arrived on the Royal Train into Manchester Victoria; opened in 1844, this grand Victorian station is one of three major stations in the city.

  3. Middlesbrough

    You’ll find the town of Middlesbrough nestled not far from the North Yorkshire coast, with its station having a very special pair of visitors in 1987.

    As part of a royal tour of Teesside, Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales arrived into Middlesbrough station on 18th March before visiting other towns and villages in the wider local area. The couple had a packed itinerary, giving their seal of approval on everything from community centres to factories in the local area.

  4. Cleethorpes

    It’s not just the current royal family who love travelling across the UK by train. Back in the Victorian era, and during the birth of commercial train travel, Prince Albert Victor (Queen Victoria’s grandson) paid a visit in July 1885 to Cleethorpes. Arriving by train, he officially opened the Cleethorpes Promenade – and it’s still a brilliant place for a seaside stroll today.

  5. Stalybridge

    Speaking of royal railway visits in decades gone by, let’s not forget about the time a former King paid a surprise visit to Stalybridge.

    The station sits on the edge of the Peak District and was graced by none other than King George VI and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother on July 18th 1946. It was the first time the station had ever been visited by royals and was for a very special reason. A local alderman named H.P.M Beames had been honoured with a CBE (Commander of the British Empire). However, instead of being awarded it at Buckingham Palace, the King stopped over to see Beames in Stalybridge as part of a wider royal tour of Cheshire.

    Stalybridge station was lavishly decorated for the occasion and cheering crowds turned out to watch the King and Queen arrive on the Royal Train. After alderman Beames’ investiture, they drove in a motor cavalcade towards Stockport where the streets were lined with people celebrating and waving flags – just like you’d expect to see along Pall Mall during the current Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

  6. Leeds

    If there’s one station that’s been blessed with plenty of royal visits over the years, it’s Leeds. Queen Elizabeth II has paid visits to the city several times, including as part of a national tour to mark her Silver Jubilee in July 1977.

    The Queen and Prince Philip arrived into the city by train and went straight across to Leeds Civic Hall. Hundreds of people lined the streets outside the station and the whole city was decorated in celebratory red, white and blue.

    It wasn’t just Leeds that the couple visited. As part of the two-day jubilee tour, they also stopped off at various other Yorkshire cities like Hull and York.

  7. Liverpool Lime Street

    One of the UK’s very first stations, Liverpool Lime Street is also one of the most recent to be honoured with a royal visit. In June 2016 – 180 years after it was officially opened – Lime Street station briefly became the centre of attention when Queen Elizabeth II disembarked the Royal Train to begin a tour of the city.

    Huge numbers of people gathered inside and outside Liverpool Lime Street to greet the Queen. After spending some time speaking to the crowds, she made her way over to King’s Dock to formally open the Exhibition Centre Liverpool. It’s situated just a short hop away from the Royal Albert Dock – Liverpool’s famous waterfront that was opened by the Queen’s great-great grandfather, Prince Albert, in 1846.

Feeling inspired to follow in the Queen and her family’s footsteps? Remember to check before you travel and book your tickets in advance on our website or using the TPExpress app.

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