With the Stratford-Cheltenham line running just north of the racecourse, it ultimately made sense to provide a rail link to such a renowned local attraction. The station opened on the 12th March 1912 and had the booking office and waiting room situated on the road bridge above the line, and toilets provided on the platforms.
The majority of the traffic were "Specials" for race meetings, although local passenger services did stop here as well. Because there was no stabling facilities at the station, the trains were stabled at Toddington or sometimes Bishop's Cleeve. Horses were not loaded and unloaded at the station initially; this was done at Bishop's Cleeve until 1935.
The station faired well until the 1950s and the increase in coach traffic and the station closed to regular traffic on the 25th March 1968, although some racecourse "specials" continued right up to the complete closure of the line in 1976. The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway re-opened Cheltenham Racecourse station in April 2003, and it is the current southern terminus of the line.