Sunday, 25 June 2017

Olton (OLT)

Type: National Rail
(Snow Hill Lines &
Chiltern Main Line)
Station code: OLT
Opened: 1869
Platforms: 2
Olton, situated between Acocks Green and Solihull, serves the area of Solihull of the same name. The station was opened by the Great Western Railway in 1869 on their Oxford-Birmingham line.

Olton was originally a basic station with a couple of platforms but was expanded to 4 platforms (2 island platforms) in the 1920s as the line was quadrupled as far as Lapworth. However now only one of those island platforms is in use.

The station is elevated with the booking office below the platforms at street level. On the platform are some basic facilities including a waiting room. Most services to Olton are operated by London Midland with some Chiltern services stopping in peak times.
LM 172 336 pauses with a Dorridge bound service

172 336 departs

Platform buildings including a waiting room

Now disused other platform

70 015 hauls a container train through the station

Down to the booking office and exit, there is also lift access

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Pimlico (ZPO)

Type: Transport for London
(Victoria Line)
Station code: ZPO
Opened: 1972
Platforms: 2
Pimlico was the last station to be opened on the Victoria Line and is also the only station on that line that does not have an interchange with another service.

Pimlico was a late addition to the extension of the Victoria Line scheme through to Brixton. At first London Underground were hesitant to add an extra station between Victoria and the river Thames as it was felt the business case was too marginal however there was strong local support and the Crown Estate which owned the land where the station was to be built offered free easements [1]. The station was not ready when trains began to run on the extension (though the platforms were in place). The station was finally opened in 1972 just over a year after the rest of the extension opened [2].

As with the other stations on the Victoria Line Pimlico's platforms have a unique tile motif design. In Pimlico's case the motif represents modern art, the station being close to the Tate Britain gallery [3].
A 2009TS train stands at Pimlico

Pimlico's tile motif

Station entrance

[1] Mike Horne, The Victoria Line (Capital Transport, 2004) p. 69
[2] Paul Moss, London Underground (Haynes, 2014)  p. 118
[3] Horne p. 74

Monday, 19 June 2017


Type: Preserved Railway
(Chinnor & Princes
Risborough Railway)
Opened: 1872 (Closed 1957)
Re-Opened: 1994
Platforms: 1
Chinnor is the terminus and currently only station on the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway. The station was originally on the Watlington & Princes Risborough Railway which opened in 1872 though the line closed to passenger traffic in 1957. The line remained open for freight traffic until 1989 when it was finally closed [1]. The line was reopened by the CPRR in 1991.

The original station was demolished after the cessation of passenger traffic. The current station dates from 1994 and was a rebuild of the original building with a main difference being the layout of the chimneys [2]. The station is the headquarters of the railway and host to its storage sidings and yard.

The current Chinnor platform is the opposite side of the line to the original station so passengers need to cross the track, this allows for interesting views of trains at the station. At the moment Chinnor remains the only station on the CPRR though soon a platform at Princes Risborough will be re-opened allowing interchange with the main line.
The CPRR is home to preserved 3-CEP 1198. As there is no third rail it has to be diesel hauled!

One of the CPRR Class 08 shunts through Chinnor

Chinnor signal box

Visitor Class 20 D8188 at a recent gala

Chinnor is also host to steam hauled services

One of the CPRR bubble cars pulls into Chinnor

[1] Brian J. Dickson, The Watlington Branch of the Great Western Railway (CPRR Association, 2014) p. 6
[2] Ibid. p. 30

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Bootle Oriel Road (BOT)

Type: National Rail (Merseyrail
Northern Line)
Station code: BOT
Opened: 1876
Platforms: 2
Bootle Oriel Road was opened by the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway in 1876 to replace the earlier Bootle Village built further along the same road. The station was later operated by the LNWR, LMS and finally British Railways. Now it is a station on Merseyrail's Northern Line between Bootle New Strand and Bank Hall on the Southport branch.

Bootle Oriel Road was at one time quite a grand station with 4 platforms which has station canopies though these disappeared as the station went into decline [1]. Happily the station benefited from a substantial rebuilt in 2008 - though still lacks cover!
Merseyrail 508 15 arrives on a Liverpool bound service

Main station building


A Southport bound train arrives

[1] Jonathan Cadwallader & Martin Jenkins, Merseyside Electrics (Ian Allan, 2010) p. 19

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Wootton Wawen (WWW)

Type: National Rail (Shakespeare Line)
Station code: WWW
Opened: 1908
Platforms: 2
Wootton Wawen is a stop on the "Shakespeare Line" between Birmingham and Stratford-upon-Avon. The station is located on the line between Henley-in-Arden and Wilmcote and is one of a number of request stops on the line.

The station was opened in 1908 originally called Wootton Wawen Platform (which meant it had basic staffing and a parcels facility) but was renamed in 1974 [1]. It was threatened with closure in the 1980s but managed to survive.

The station has 2 through roads, platform access is via 2 ramps down to road level. It is served by the hourly service on the line though as a request stop trains may not stop at the station unless a passenger requests it to the guard (or holds out their arm to an approaching train).

The station is now unstaffed and has basic facilities. Each platform has a single concrete shelter and there is a single information display per platform plus help points and a payphone.
LM 172 335 arrives on a Stratford bound service

Bus shelter on the Stratford platform

LM 172 335 departs heading for Stratford

Platform 2 public information display - long wait for the next train!

[1] Vic Mitchell and Keith Smith, Stratford-upon-Avon to Birmingham (Moor Street) (Middleton Press, 2006) p.41