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We're trialling parcel shops at main line stations

04 December 2013

We're testing the concept of a parcel collection and delivery service at our mainline stations to to generate additional revenue which can be reinvested in the railway, and to provide a convenient and accessible service for those making 1.5 billion journeys by rail every year.


By converting redundant space within railway stations to dedicated parcel shops, we're looking to maximise the use of our assets and infrastructure by becoming more commercial and creating value.

Creating new jobs

Following over 12 months of researching and monitoring the sector, we're initially testing the concept at Milton Keynes Central station which is close to a number of key delivery operations as well as 3,000 employees who are based near by .

This will be followed closely by trials at London Paddington and Woking stations with other stations to follow throughout 2014 once the concept is proven, creating up to 4,000 new jobs.

“More people are travelling by rail than ever before and stations have become more than just a place to wait for, or get off a train. We’ve adapted to what passengers want and need by offering quality retail, food and drink at our biggest stations such as King's Cross and Manchester Piccadilly and this is a natural next step to help passengers and station users whose lives are increasingly busy and on the move.

With 2,500 stations nationwide and passengers making over 1.5 billion rail journeys every year we have the potential to create an unrivalled parcel delivery and collection service to meet the needs of rail users and those living near to stations.”

Robin Gisby, managing director, network operations, Network Rail 

The new business - Doddle

Doddle is a joint venture with leading entrepreneur and philanthropist Lloyd Dorfman CBE. He is best known for creating the Travelex Group which is now the world's largest non-bank foreign exchange business.

The Doddle dedicated parcel shops would be open seven days a week, early until late, to fit with people’s busy lifestyles so they can choose exactly how, when and where they send and receive parcels. There will be an easy-to-use website and advanced touch point notifications through a mobile app, SMS and email.

Open access

The service would be the only one of its kind that is available to every retailer, e-tailer, parcel carrier and shipper, creating a network of single points for the collection, return and sending of parcels. This open access approach will not only enable retailers and carriers to enhance and complement their existing delivery offering, but also allow the consumer to combine collections and returns from multiple retailers into one trip at a time that suits them or coincides with an already planned journey.

Fact file

  • The British railway carries around 50% more people than it did a decade ago
  • By 2020 another 400 million rail journeys will be made every year
  • Projected passenger growth in London by 2031 is 36%
  • More people use London Waterloo and London Victoria stations every day than Heathrow airport
  • The number of people using London Paddington every day compares with Gatwick airport.