British Transport Police said the alleged assault took place on a journey from York to Durham on 20 August.
The 51-year-old star, also known as Gazza, was arrested at Durham station and later released.
Police have confirmed he has been charged with one count of sexual assault by touching.
A spokeswoman for the force said: “A man is due to appear in court next month charged in connection with the sexual assault of a woman on board a train from York to Durham.
“Paul Gascoigne was charged via postal requisition with one count of sexual assault by touching, contrary to Section 3 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.”
He will appear at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court on 11 December.
The former Newcastle, Tottenham, Lazio and Rangers player was regarded as one of the most talented midfielders of his generation, winning 57 caps, but he has battled alcoholism since retiring in 2004.
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