The station opened in 1899 as the London terminus of the Great Central Main Line (GCML) linking the capital to the cities of Nottingham, Sheffield and Manchester. Marylebone was the last of London’s main line termini to be built, and is one of the smallest, having opened with half the number of platforms originally planned. It has limited connections to the Underground as it was built after the main Tube lines in the area.
Marylebone station suffered from a lack of traffic and after the GCML closed in 1966, it declined in use. By the 1980s, it was threatened with closure, but was reprieved because of commuter traffic on the London to Aylesbury Line (a remaining part of the GCML) and from High Wycombe. In 1993 the station found a new role as the terminus of the Chiltern Main Line. Following the privatisation of British Rail, the station was expanded with two additional platforms in 2006 and improved services to Birmingham Snow Hill. In 2015 services began between Marylebone and Oxford Parkway via a new chord connecting the main line to the Oxford to Bicester Line and an extension to Oxford following in 2016.
Marylebone station is popular for filming because of its relative quietness compared to other London termini.