Liverpool Lime Street is served by seven Train Operating Companies:

  • Avanti West Coast
  • Merseyrail
  • East Midlands Trains
  • Transpennine Express
  • Trains for Wales (via the recently reopened Halton Curve)
  • West Midlands Trains
  • Northern

Are there any stations that are served by more than seven TOCs?

  • In normal circumstances? Schedules are now a bit chaotic due to the coronavirus. – Michael Hampton Apr 19 '20 at 16:56
  • Yes - good point. Normal circumstances is what I was wondering! (+ also: wondering why the downvote?) – ChrisW Apr 19 '20 at 17:44
  • The map of services by TOC (or its sister summary map) may be helpful for those searching. – squircle Apr 19 '20 at 19:26
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    You specifically asked for more than seven, but there are others served by seven. For example, Crewe: AW, CS, EM, LM, NT, VT, XC. – squircle Apr 19 '20 at 19:37
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    Another question is whether we are counting TOCs or TOC brands, some TOCs operate under multiple brands. – Peter Green Apr 19 '20 at 21:30

Assuming we are counting only national rail TOCs and that we use the normal rail planner definitions of what is and isn't the same station, I conclude that 7 is indeed the max and it's a tie between Doncaster, Liverpool Lime Street and Crewe.

I reach this from looking at http://projectmapping.co.uk/Resources/TOCs%20v52%20December%202019.pdf, looking for stations with a large number of lines and then counting just how many. While this map doesn't cover every station I believe it covers all the ones that are likely to be contenders for this title. Since some of the colours of the map are tricky to distinguish I cross-checked some junction stations on Wikipedia.

  • Doncaster: 7
  • Liverpool Lime Street: 7
  • Crewe: 7
  • Edinburgh: 6
  • Glasgow: 6
  • York: 6
  • Peterborough: 6
  • Manchester Piccadilly/Stockport: 6
  • Leeds: 5
  • Stoke: 5
  • London Liverpool Street: 5
  • Watford Junction: 5
  • Wolverhampton/Birmingham: 4 (5 brands)
  • King's Cross: 4 (5 brands)
  • Sheffield: 4
  • Southampton: 4

What happens if we also consider tram, metro and international operators?

Merseyrail is already counted because they are a national rail TOC, Doncaster, Crewe, Peterborough and york do not have any current tram or Metro system.

The Manchester Metrolink bumps Piccadilly up to 7 tying it with the lead. In Edinburgh, Haymarket seems to have a tram stop just outside the station but the sleeper doesn't stop there and the main Edinburgh stations is some distance from the tram stop. Glasgow has a subway but it does not directly connect to Glasgow Central.

But the big question is London King's Cross / St. Pancras. You have two clearly separate National Rail stations (separate buildings, separate in timetables, separate platform numbers), but they are both joined to the same underground station and I'm pretty sure it's possible to walk through the "outside gateline" part of the underground station to transfer between the two National rail stations without walking out into the street. If the whole complex was considered one station then it would have 6 national rail TOCs (7 brands) plus Eurostar and the London Underground for a total of 8 operators under 9 brands.

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    On the King's Cross St Pancras front, there is some expectation Crossrail 2 would bring Euston into the mix as well, although not until 2030 or so en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euston_St_Pancras_railway_station – origimbo Apr 20 '20 at 3:16
  • That would be a mega station complex with 4 or maybe even 5 (depending on whether the HS2 station counts as a seperate station or not) national rail stations (assuming crossrail2 is part of national rail) and two or three (depending on what exactly happens with Euston square) underground stations. – Peter Green Apr 20 '20 at 3:52
  • If the OP is counting Merseyrail at Lime Street then I think you can count the underground at KGX as at least when I used it it was referred to as Lime Street Low Level. – mdewey Apr 21 '20 at 15:43
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    Merseyrail is a National rail TOC and the timetable/journey planning system considers lime street to be one station. Kings cross and St Pancras on the other hand are definately considered seperate stations, both historically and in current timetabling, but where does that leave the underground station that connects to both of them...... – Peter Green Apr 22 '20 at 1:35
  • There are exits from the tube to both stations under cover and it is possible from the exit from the tube Circle/Met/HandC part by turning left (StP) or right (KC) to get to one of relevant exits. The maps on the National Rail site seem to confirm the exits are as I state. – mdewey Apr 23 '20 at 14:24

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