Wednesday, 30 November 2016

South Quay (ZSQ)

Information
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)

Information
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 <http://www.chinnorrailway.co.uk/product.php/79//27b10091d42e3b564feeedb12d8e80e6>

Friday, 25 November 2016

Arley

Information
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

Shelter

Get that token ready!

Arley signalbox

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Gravelly Hill (GVH)

Information
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)

Information
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)

Information
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)

Information
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)

Information
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

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Leicester (LEI)

Information
Type: National Rail (Midland Main Line)
Station code: LEI
Opened: 1840
Leicester station dates from 1840 when it was opened by the Midland Counties Railway (though an earlier station was built elsewhere in the city in 1832 and indeed was one of the earliest places served by the railways). The station was later operated by the Midland Railway (under whom the station was renamed Leicester Campbell Street), the LMS and British Railways. Nowadays it is managed by East Midlands Trains.

The current main building dates from a major rebuilding in the 1890s when the station was also renamed Leicester London Road. The name was changed back to simply Leicester in 1969 after the closure of 2 other stations in the city. Further changes to the station including the current booking hall and the platform facilities date from modernisation in the late 1970s.

The station has 4 platforms and is a major stop on East Midland Trains services between London St. Pancras and the North, there are also regular services to other destinations such as Birmingham New St, Derby and Loughborough by EMT and Cross Country. In the next decade the electrification of the Midland Main Line will reach the station.
Peering through at a Meridan 

An EMT HST

A road bridge across the ends of the platforms

A XC Turbostar at Platform 3

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Ryde St. Johns Road (RYR)

Information
Type: National Rail (Island Line)
Station code: RYR
Opened: 1864
Ryde St. Johns Road is the headquarters of the Island Line on the Isle of Wight and also home to the line's depot. When the station was opened in 1864 by the Isle of Wight Railway (as Ryde station) it was their Northern terminus with passengers who needed to get to the pier taking a horse tram. The line was extended up to the pier in 1880.

Ryde St. Johns Road has 3 platforms but typically only 2 are in use with the main building on Platform 1. Platforms 2 and 3 are on an island platform with just a few shelters. Access between the platforms is via a footbridge. The Island Line's depot is next to the station as is the only remaining signalbox on the line [1]. It is possible the Isle of Wight Steam Railway could extend their services from Smallbrook Junction to Ryde St Johns Road though there are no firm plans at the moment.
483 004 departs heading for Shanklin

View South from the footbridge, the line's remaining signalbox on the right

The footbridge and trains at the depot

Ryde depot

Main station building

[1] R.J. Maycock & R. Silsbury, The Isle of Wight Railways from 1923 inwards (Oakwood Press, 2006) p. 239

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Kew Gardens (KWG)

Information
Type: Transport for London (District Line)
Station code: KWG
Opened: 1869
Kew Gardens in the West of London serves the district of Kew, home to the botanical gardens of the same name and the nearby National Archives. The station is operated by Transport for London and is host to District Line and London Overground services.

The station was opened by the London & South Western Railway in 1869 on a new branch line to Richmond (which is the next stop on the line). The North London and Great Western Railways also ran services from the station in it's early days. Finally the District Railway arrived in 1877 and has remained ever since, now part of the London Underground empire of course.

The station has 2 platforms and surviving Victorian station buildings. Access to the platforms is via a subway. Over the station is a Grade II listed footbridge dating from 1912 to allow residents to safely cross the tracks. It is a rare example of Hennebique Ferro-Concrete construction.
LO 378 226 on a London bound service

A District Line D78 departs for Richmond

LO 378 255 passes under the footbridge