Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Dalston Junction (DLJ)

Type: Transport for London (East London Line)
Station code: DLJ
Opened: 1865 (Closed 1986)
Re-Opened: 2010
Platforms: 4
The original Dalston Junction was opened by the North London Railway in 1865 and was on the line from the now closed London terminus Broad Street [1]. Dalston Junction was closed in 1986 along with Broad Street and the line from it.

The coming of the London Overground network and the new East London Line saw a completely new Dalston Junction open in 2010. The station was built along with a new housing development and included a bus station to make it a major transport interchange [2].

At first Dalston Junction was a terminus for the ELL for services from Canonbury but after a few months through services as far as Clapham Junction were initiated however some services continue to terminate at the station. Dalston Junction is about 200m from Dalston Kingsland though there are no direct services between the stations.
LO 378 151 and 141

[1] Ben Pedroche, Do Not Alight Here (Capital History, 2011) p. 61
[2] John Glover, London's Overground (Ian Allan, 2012) p. 87

Monday, 26 December 2016

Chester Road (CRD)

Type: National Rail (Cross-City Line)
Station code: CRD
Opened: 1863
Platforms: 2
Chester Road on the Northern half of the Cross-City Line is between Erdington and Wylde Green. The station was created by the London & North Western Railway in 1863 on its line from Birmingham to Sutton Coldfield.

Little remains of the original station with much change happening when the line going through Chester Road was electrified, though the original LNWR waiting room was preserved and is now at Market Bosworth on the Battlefield Line. The current station has fairly standard corrugated iron shelters and a large car park.
Station sign on the bridge crossing Chester Road

Main view of the station

LM 323 243 on a Redditch bound service

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Garswood (GSW)

Type: National Rail (Liverpool-Wigan Line)
Station code: GSW
Opened: 1869
Platforms: 2
Garswood serves the village of the same name near St. Helens. The station was opened in 1869 by the Liverpool Union Railway on their route from Liverpool to Blackburn. Later it was operated by the London & North Western Railway, the London Midland Scottish and finally British Railways.

These days it is on the Liverpool-Wigan route and is located between St. Helens Central and Bryn and is on the boundary of the Merseytravel and Transport for Greater Manchester areas. The line is electrified and Northern have operated EMUs on the route since since 2015.
A Class 319 at Garswood

Station sign

Main station building

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Birmingham International (BHI)

Type: National Rail (West Coast Main Line)
Station code: BHI
Opened: 1976
Platforms: 5
Birmingham International (which is actually in Solihull) was built in 1976 to serve the newly opened National Exhibition Centre and Birmingham Airport [1]. The name derives from the airport which at the time was called Birmingham International Airport (the "International" has been dropped nowadays).

Located on the West Coast Main Line it is literally a few minutes journey from Birmingham New Street though also is well served by Virgin Trains, Arriva Trains Wales, Cross Country and London Midland with destinations including London, Manchester, North Wales and Bournemouth and local destinations across the West Midlands area.

Birmingham International used to be linked to the airport by the first public maglev train in service, developed by British Rail at Derby [2][3], in the world though it has now been replaced by cable hauled cars.
LM 350 123 pauses with a Euston bound service

View down the platform

LM 323 205 with a local service

The concourse 

[1] Chris Heaps, BR Diary 1968-1977 (Ian Allan, 1988) p. 97
[2] Colin J Marsden, Departmental Stock (Ian Allan, 1984) p. 36
[3] Colin J Marsden, 25 Years of Railway Research (OPC, 1989) p. 111

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Bond Street (ZBD)

Type: Transport for London
(Central & Jubilee Lines)
Station code: ZBD
Opened: 1900
Platforms: 4
Bond Street is a station on the Jubilee and Central Lines. It was opened in 1900 by the Central London Railway and originally was just a Central Line stop in between Marble Arch and Oxford Circus. In 1979 the Jubilee Line arrived at the station and is it located between Baker Street and Green Park.

Bond Street is a busy and important interchange station in the centre of London. It will get even busier in a couple of years when Crossrail opens. Bond Street will be a stop on the Elizabeth Line between Paddington and Tottenham Court Road. A new station entrance is being constructed and the internal arrangement of the station improved ready for the extra passenger flow (which is already at over 37 million entries and exits a year!)
Jubilee Line train arrives

Eastern tunnel for Jubilee Line

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Four Oaks (FOK)

Type: National Rail (Cross-City Line)
Station code: FOK
Opened: 1884
Four Oaks is a station on the Northern half of the Cross-City Line situated between Sutton Coldfield and Butlers Lane. The station was opened in 1884 by the London & North Western Railway and is on the line up to Lichfield.

When the Cross-City Line was launched in 1978 Four Oaks was the original Northern terminus[1] though most trains go through the Lichfield these days. Some services still terminate/begin at Four Oaks and usually use Platform 3, the bay platform.

The main station building is on Platform 2/3 with a footbridge between it and Platform 1 (which is adjacent to the car park). Both platforms have separate street entrances.
LM 323 210 pauses with a Lichfield bound service

Main station building

Platform 3

Platform 3 buffer stop

[1] John Glover, BR Diary 1978-1985 (Ian Allan, 1985) p. 19

Wednesday, 7 December 2016


Type: Preserved Railway
(Isle of Wight Steam Railway)
Opened: 1875 (Closed 1966)
Re-Opened: 1971
Havenstreet is now the headquarters of the Isle of Wight Steam Railway but was originally Haven Street was a station on the Ryde & Newport Railway which opened in 1875. It was later operated by the Isle of Wight Central Railway and Southern Railway (and British Railways of course).

The station, which was renamed Havenstreet in 1959 [1], was closed along with much of the once extensive Isle of Wight railway system in the late 1960s. The station was re-opened by the Isle of Wight Steam Railway who opened a stretch of line between Havenstreet and Wootton in 1971.

Havenstreet is now the headquarters of the preserved line with workshops (the first of which opened in 1980), a museum and a recently opened visitor centre (Train Story) at the station [2].
Station building at Havenstreet

Wagons in one of the workshops

D2059 in the station yard 
Inside Train Story

[1] R.J Maycock & R. Silsbury, The Isle of Wight Railways from 1923 Onwards (Oakwood Press, 2006) p. 155
[2] Ibid p. 263

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Birmingham Snow Hill (BSW)

Type: National Rail (Snow Hill Lines)
Station code: BSW
Opened: 1852 (Current station 1987)
Birmingham Snow Hill, one of Birmingham's three large railway stations, has had a long history though the current station is very different to the original GWR one.

This station opened in 1852 on the London Paddington to Wolverhampton line with major rebuilding and enlarging in the early 1910s to compete with New Street. The station had a huge roof and an ornate facade like many major rail stations of the time. Snow Hill was a victim of the Beeching railway cuts of the 1960s which saw the station closed[1] in 1972. The facade was demolished in the 1970s, the station area itself surviving as a car park for a time. Interestingly it featured in the 1970s BBC TV series Gangsters which had a fight scene take place in its crumbling ruins.

The original station clock was bought by a commuter for £125 when the station was closed as he had met his future wife under the clock years before. He said he intended to put the clock up on his farm in Uttoxeter[2]. Some items from the original Snow Hill including the Booking Hall sign were later reused in the refurbishment of the nearby Birmingham Moor Street.

Snow Hill was reborn in the late 1980s as a very different station with modern architecture and a car park on top (though reusing the old lines) with services to London Marylebone, Stratford-upon-Avon and Worcester the main destinations. The new station is on a smaller scale than the original with 2 island platforms (the original had 10!) The Midlands Metro, when built in the 1990s, had its Birmingham terminus located at Snow Hill though recently that has moved up to New Street.

Current plans are for more trains at Snow Hill as part of the Midlands Rail Hub plans with the former Metro terminus platform being reused for heavy rail. Chiltern hopes to extend all of its London services to Snow Hill (presently many services terminate at Moor Street [3]). The original Snow Hill may have died a long time ago but the current station seems to have a pretty bright future.
Main entrance

Open air part of the platforms

LM 172 335 stands at the station looking back towards the car park

DRS 68 008 heads through light engine, about to enter the tunnel towards Moor Street

[1] The Guardian, 01 July 1966 p. 12.
[2] Daily Mirror, Tue 1 Jul 1969 p. 2-3
[3] James Abbott, "West Midlands Railway" Modern Railways (December 2016) p. 51

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

South Quay (ZSQ)

Type: Transport for London
(Docklands Light Railway)
Station code: ZSQ
Opened: 1987
South Quay is a DLR station in Canary Wharf and one of the original stations built in phase 1 of construction. The station opened in 1987 and is situated between Heron Quays and Crossharbour.

Because of sharp curves at either end of the station expansion to allow for 3-car trains meant the station had to be moved. The new (and current) station is 125m to the East of the original and opened in 2009.

The original station was damaged in the 1996 IRA Docklands bombing, the truck bomb being just 70m when it detonated causing devastation to the Canary Wharf area. The station was only closed for a few weeks however. A plaque commemorating the victims of the terrorist attack is now at the station.
A B07 DLR train at South Quay

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Princes Risborough (PRR)

Type: National Rail (Chiltern Main Line)
Station code: PRR
Opened: 1862
The railway reached Princes Risborough via the Wycombe Railway in 1862 when a line from High Wycombe was extended to Thame. This line was built to broad gauge though was converted to standard gauge in 1870 after the railway became part of the growing Great Western Railway empire [1].

The Watlington and Princes Risborough Railway also reached the station in 1872 with a line from Watlington. This was also later absorbed by the GWR but the line closed to passenger use in the 1950s and entirely in 1989. Parts of the line was later reopened as the preserved Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway and in 2017 it is hoped a new platform can be opened at Princes Risborough [2].

Major rebuilding came in 1905 when the Great Central Railway and GWR built a new route to avoid the GCR using Metropolitan Railway metals, part of the scheme being the upgrading of the existing line through Princes Risborough. Most of the station's structures date from this rebuilding. A route to Oxford also ran from Princes Risborough but this was closed in 1963.

The station was reduced to a single platform (with a bay) for a long time (Marylebone of course was threatened with closure in the 1970s and 80s) but in 1999 a new platform was built for down services (and a new footbridge) and also new through lines for none-stopping services have been restored.

Princes Risborough is a busy station with regular Chiltern Railway services to and from London Marylebone to Aylesbury, Banbury and Birmingham. Three platforms are in use with Aylesbury-Princes Risborough services stopping at the bay Platform 1. Access between the 2 other platforms is via a footbridge.
Chiltern 168 106 arrives at Platform 2

Chiltern 165 003 at Platform 2

Station frontage 
Platform 1 buffers, reusing former LU 4th rail track

Chiltern 165 032 arrives from Aylesbury

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Princes Risborough to Banbury (Middleton Press, 2002) p. 2
[2] "Reaching Princes Risborough", CPRR Website <>

Friday, 25 November 2016


Type: Preserved Railway (Severn Valley Railway)
Opened: 1862 (Closed 1963)
Re-Opened: 1974
Arley is a stop on the Severn Valley Railway that serves the nearby station of Upper Arley. The station was originally opened by the West Midland Railway in 1862 and passed into the hands of the Great Western Railway and British Railways who closed it in 1963. The station was re-opened as part of the Severn Valley Railway in 1974.

Arley has a passing loop that allows 2 full length trains to pass. It also has an original station house and a small goods yard. The signalbox is an interloper bought in by the SVR after the original was demolished by BR.

Arley has been preserved to a very high standard and is one of the most picturesque stations on the line. It has been the setting for a number of TV programmes.
Main station building, the chimney work is now complete 
Station sign


Get that token ready!

Arley signalbox

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Gravelly Hill (GVH)

Type: National Rail (Cross-City Line)
Station code: GVH
Opened: 1862
Gravelly Hill is near Gravelly Hill Interchange, which is more commonly known as the Spaghetti Junction! In fact trains heading to the next stop Aston have to pass under some of the concrete fly overs.

The station was opened by the London & North Western Railway in 1862 and is now a station on the Cross-City Line between Aston and Erdington. The line was electrified in 1992 which was also when most of the station's buildings were "modernised" into the bus shelters now used. However the booking office is an original feature.

London Midland serve the station with destinations including Birmingham New Street, Lichfield, Sutton Coldfield and Redditch.
A London Midland 323 departs bound for Lichfield

Station sign
Passing under the Spaghetti Junction

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Moorgate (MOG/ZMG)

Type: National Rail (Great Northern)
Transport for London (Northern,
Circle, Hammersmith & City and
Metropolitan Lines)
Station codes: MOG (National Rail)
ZMG (Underground)
Opened: 1865
Moorgate is a London terminus and major interchange station in the City of London. The station was originally opened in 1865 by the Metropolitan Railway. The deep tube reached Moorgate in 1900 via the City & South London Railway, this is now the Northern Line.

The Northern City Line was opened in 1904 running from Moorgate to Finsbury Park. This was operated by tube trains (as a branch of the Northern Line) though the tunnels were built to mainline gauge which meant British Rail could take over the line in 1975 [1]. One service that no longer stops at Moorgate is the London Thameslink, the Moorgate branch closing in 2009.

Unfortunately also in 1975 came the worst ever accident on the London Underground when a Northern City Line train crashed into the buffers killing 43 people [2].

Moorgate is a busy station served by 4 London Underground (3 of them sub-surface) lines and a National Rail line. Crossrail's Liverpool Street station will have an interchange with Moorgate. Over 35 million passengers pass through Moorgate every year.
A Great Northern service arrives

Network South East signage is retained on the GN Moorgate platforms

Northern Line platform

Sub-surface platforms

[1] Chris Heaps, BR Diary (Ian Allan, 1988) p. 100
[2] Heaps p. 84

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Devil's Bridge / Pontarfynach (DVB)

Type: Preserved Railway (Vale of Rheidol)
Station code: DVB
Opened: 1902
Devil's Bridge (Pontarfynach in Welsh) is the terminus of the Vale of Rheidol railway, a 603mm narrow gauge that runs from Aberystwyth. The station, which is over 200m above sea level, was opened along with the rest of the line for freight first and later passengers in 1902 [1].

The line was opened as the Vale of Rheidol Light Railway and was later taken over by Cambrian Railways, Great Western Railways and British Railways. The line remained part of BR until privatisation in 1989 and indeed the steam locomotives that operate on the line were the last British Rail owned steam locomotives (some even carrying the double arrow for a time!)

Devil's Bridge has a small station building (which is still the original) and a nearby shop/cafe. As its a terminus there is a run around loop and a small engine shed. A goods siding and shed were out of use by the 1940s and were later removed.
Bilingual station name sign

View of the station from a nearby bridge

The engine prepares to run around the train

[1] Vic Mitchell, Corris and Vale of Rheidol (Middleton Press, 2009) p. 6

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Warren Street (ZWS)

Type: Transport for London (Northern &
Victoria Lines)
Station code: ZWS
Opened: 1907
Warren Street is a tube station on the Charing Cross branch of the Northern Line and the Victoria Line. The station was opened as Euston Road by the Charing Cross, Euston & Hampstead Railway in 1907 though the name was changed to Warren Street within a year. However the original name is still written in tiles on the Northern Line platforms.

The Victoria Line platforms opened in 1968 and as with all stations on the line the platforms have a tiled motif to aid passenger identification [1]. In Warren Street the motif is a maze (or warren). Warren Street is a typically busy Zone 1 station with nearly 20 million passengers a year, the Victoria Line - Northern Line interchange is one of the busiest on the whole Underground network [2].
A Victoria Line 2009ts train departs

Tiled motif on the Victoria Line platform

[1] Chris Heaps, BR Diary 1968-1977 (Ian Allan, 1988) p. 13
[2] John Scott Morgan, London Underground in Colour since 1955 (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 67

Friday, 11 November 2016

University (UNI)

Type: National Rail (Cross-City Line)
Station code: UNI
Opened: 1978
In 1978 services were restored on the former Birmingham West Suburban Railway between Longbridge and Birmingham New Street through to Lichfield as the Cross-City Line, University was a new station opened to serve Birmingham University and the QE hospital though is near a former station called Somerset Road which closed in 1930.

The Cross-City Line was an immediate hit with passengers with services quickly increased [1] and with later extensions to the route and electrification in 1993, University is the second busiest station on the line after New Street with around 3 million passengers a year. The station has 2 corrugated metal canopies over part of the 2 platforms. Access is via a stairway from the ticket hall at road level, the line and platforms being in a cutting.

As well as London Midland Cross-City Line services other London Midland services also stop here to/from Hereford and Worcester as do some South-West bound Cross City services.
A London Midland service at platform 2

View of the shelter on Platform 2

LM 323 240 arrives at Platform 1

[1] John Glover, BR Diary 1978-1985 (Ian Allan, 1985) p. 19