Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Dalston Junction (DLJ)

Information
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)

Information
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)

Information
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)

Information
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)

Information
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)

Information
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

Havenstreet

Information
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)

Information
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