TENS of thousands of new passengers are using Corby railway station every year, new figures have revealed.
As the station prepares to celebrate its third birthday, operator East Midlands Trains say an extra 126,000 journeys a year are being made – an increase of 88 per cent compared with 2009-10.
The operator says the numbers have “far exceeded” their expectations.
The full service of hourly trains to and from London started on April 27, 2009 and in the year which followed, 115,372 journeys were made. This rose to 176,706 in 2010-11, an increase of 61,334.
And the latest figures from East Midlands Trains – not yet published by rail regulators – indicate passenger numbers to the end of February 2012 are in the region of 241,000 a year.
Corby was once known as one of the biggest towns in Europe not to have a railway station, after British Rail’s last service was halted in 1990.
David Fursdon, of Southfield Avenue, Gretton, is a member of passenger campaign group Railfuture.
He said: “It is pretty amazing when you think we didn’t have a station three years ago, and here we are talking about these numbers.
“I go down to the station regularly and I see regular passengers, new passengers, people going on holiday – they are all making use of it.
“I think people realise it was a well-needed facility for Corby and they are turning out and using it.”
An East Midlands Trains spokesman said: “We’re delighted to be celebrating the third anniversary of Corby station and that the last three years have proved so successful.
“The number of passengers using train services from Corby has increased by almost 90 per cent from 2009-10 to the current year, which has far exceeded our expectations and demonstrates its important role.”