Features of the line were unlike other railway lines in Britain, the line was built to an expanded continental loading gauge which meant it could accommodate larger sized continental trains, in anticipation of traffic to a future Channel Tunnel.
Almost all stations were built to an "island platform" design with one platform between the two tracks instead of two at each side. This was so that the tracks only needed to be moved farther away from the platform if continental trains were to travel the line, rather than wholesale redesign of stations.
Traffic was slow to establish itself on the new line, especially passenger traffic. Enticing customers away from the established lines into London was more difficult than the GCR's builders had hoped. However, there was some success in appealing to higher-class 'business' travellers in providing high-speed luxurious trains. These were in a way the first long-distance commuter trains. Passenger traffic was never heavy throughout the line's existence, but freight traffic grew healthily and became the lifeblood of the line, mainly being coal, iron ore, and fish and banana trains.
The First World War and the hostile European political climate which followed, ended any possibility of a Channel Tunnel being constructed within the GCR's lifetime.
The Booking Office was at road level on Hillmorton Road bridge and access down to the platform was by covered stairs. The whole layout had many similarities to the Great Central Railways Loughborough Central Station which is now the Head quarters of the G.C.R. Heritage Line.
Trains to London stopped running in 1966 and buffer stops were placed at the south end of the station. A service ran to Nottingham until 1969 and the station closed down.
Rugby Borough Council bought the whole of the former Great Central Railway track bed through Rugby in 1970, and it is now a nature walk called the Great Central Way. The goods shed remained until 1998 when it was demolished to make way for housing 'Timber Close'.