Friday, 23 September 2016

Highbury & Islington (HHY/ZHI)

Information
Type: National Rail &
Transport for London
Station codes: HHY (National Rail)
ZHI (TfL)
Opened: 1872
Highbury & Islington is typical of a number of London stations which have grown in size and complexity over the years as new lines have reached them.

The original station on the site was operated by the North London Railway, later a new station adjacent to it was built by the Great Northern & City Railway, later operated by the Metropolitan Railway and then British Rail. The new Victoria Line reached the station in the late 1960s which was when the current station building was built.

Nowadays the station has 8 platforms and is served by the Victoria Line, London Overground and Great Northern. The station, which is managed by TfL, is a busy one with nearly 20 million passengers a year on the National Rail platforms and not much less on the Underground.
London Overground 378 232 on platform 7

Platforms 7 and 2, sure it makes sense

Leaf blowing train passes through behind 66 724

Freight also passes through the station, here a container train behind 90 043

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Smallbrook Junction (SAB)

Information
Type: National Rail (Island Line) &
Isle of Wight Steam Railway
Station code: SAB
Opened: 1991
Smallbrook Junction is a recent addition to the Isle of Wight's Island Line and was built to form an interchange with the Isle of Wight Steam Railway which had extended their line to Smallbrook Junction. The station opened in 1991 [1].

Smallbrook Junction itself predates the station by some margin, in 1926 the new owners of the railways on the island the Southern Railway installed turnouts and a signal box at the location [2]. Prior to this there had been 2 separate lines owned by the Isle of Wight Central Railway and the Isle of Wight Railway.

Smallbrook Junction is a basic station with 2 platforms of wood construction for the National Railway and the heritage line (though some of the "heritage line"'s locomotives are younger than the Island Line's Class 483s EMUs!) There is a ticket office on the IOWSR's platform but little else on the station. An interesting feature of the station is that there is no non-rail access to the station, the only way on or off it is by rail. The station is only open when the Isle of Wight Steam Railway is operating.
Island Line 483 007 at Smallbrook Junction

A1 Class W11 on the IOWSR's platform

[1] R.J. Maycock & R. Silsbury, The Isle of Wight Steam Railway from 1923 Onwards (Oakwook Press, 2006) p. 242
[2] Ibid p. 81

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Cardiff Bay / Bae Caerdydd (CDB)

Information
Type: National Rail
Station code: CDB
Opened: 1844
Cardiff Bay (Bae Caerdydd) is at the end of the mile long Butetown branch line from Cardiff Queen Street and serves Cardiff Bay and the various notable buildings in that area including the Welsh Parliament.

The station opened in 1844 as Cardiff Bute Dock and later Cardiff Docks and Cardiff Bute Road. It was given its current name in 1994. The station has been reduced since its heyday with the station building boarded up (though is Grade II* listed) and only 1 platform now in use. A shuttle service operated by Arriva Trains Wales and using a single car DMU runs between Cardiff Queen Street and Cardiff Bay every 12 minutes.

The station building was originally used as the offices of the Taff Vale Railway and later used as a consulate by a number of countries, a staging post for wounded soldiers returning to the UK from the First World War and finally the station building replacing an original building on the other, now removed, platform. The Museum of Military Medicine is planning to move to Cardiff and use the station building as part of its new facility [1].
ATW 153 362 at Cardiff Bay

Station sign

[1] AMS Museum Move http://www.ramcassociation.org.uk/main-news/association-news/118-ams-museum-move

Friday, 2 September 2016

Hampton Loade

Information
Type: Preserved Railway (Severn Valley Railway)
Opened: 1862 (Closed 1963)
Re-Opened: 1970
Hampton Loade is near to the Shropshire hamlets of Hampton and Hampton Loade. The station originally was a single platform though in 1883 a second platform and passing loop were added. The station was closed in 1963 during the Beeching Axe era along with much of the Severn Valley Line [1] but re-opened in 1970 as the Southern terminus of the then new Severn Valley Railway preserved railway [2].


Hampton Loade remained the terminus until 1974 when the line was extended South. As it retains its passing loop it is still important for SVR operations and is one of the more picturesque stations on the line along with Arley. Hampton Loade is the home of the 32mm Paddock Garden Railway and a number of preserved items of rolling stock.
Main station building

Looking North towards Bridgnorth

Corrugated hut with LMS advertising

Bradley Manor and Taw Valley pass at Hampton Loade

[1] Michael Welch, Diesels on the Western (Capital Transport, 2013) p. 44
[2] Chris Heaps, BR Diary 1968-1977 (Ian Allan, 1988) p. 40