Thursday, 14 December 2017

Highgate (ZHG)

Highgate mainline station was opened in 1867 by the Great Northern Railway, in the 1930s London Transport was expanding the Northern Line branch through to High Barnet as part of the Northern Heights project and aimed to take over the-then LNER operated lined and connect them to the growing tube network. A new tube station was built below the existing mainline station with a new subterranean ticket office for both stations [1].
Type: Transport for London
(Northern Line)
Station code: ZHG
Opened: 1941
Platforms: 2

World War 2 interfered with London Transport's plans though work on the new station was sufficiently advanced for Highgate tube station to open in 1941 (trains ran though to East Finchley from 1939 but the station could not be opened until escalators had been completed). Passengers could use Highgate before the official opening however, as an air raid shelter though had to board trains at Archway to get to the Highgate platforms.

Post-war the Northern Heights project was largely abandoned and the main line station was closed in 1954. The tube station remained though grandeose plans by Charles Holden for an elaborate new building for both stations were greatly cut back.

One interesting aspect of the tube station is that they were designed for 9-car trains though since opening shorter trains have been used [2]. Unlike most stations therefore which are an exercise in squeezing a train in there is some leeway at Highgate.
95ts 51622 arrives on a service for High Barnet

End of the platform

Look down the platform, the original tiling still in place

Station name on tiles

A train has arrived

[1] Siddy Holloway, Highgate wilderness walkabout (London Transport Museum, 2017) p. 10
[2] Jason Cross, London Underground Guide 2017 (Train Crazy, 2017) p. 132

Monday, 11 December 2017

Tyseley (TYS)

Tyseley is at the junction of the lines from Birmingham Moor Street to Stratford-upon-Avon and London Marylebone via Leamington Spa. It is also adjacent to a motive power depot and the Birmingham Railway Museum / Tyseley Locomotive Works (see below).
Type: National Rail
(Chiltern Main Line)
Station code: TYS
Opened: 1906
Platforms: 4

The station was opened by the Great Western Railway in 1906 on what was originally the line from London Paddington to Birkenhead Woodside at the junction of the North Warwickshire Line down to Stratford-upon-Avon [1], the station was known as Tyseley Junction for a time. The station has a ticket office and entrance on the main road bridge that crosses a wide cutting. The four platforms consist of two islands both of which retain their GWR canopies and platform buildings.

Tyseley did lose use of two of its platforms for a time but were restored by Network Rail in 2008. The station is remarkably unchanged from its GWR days though the track layout has been greatly simplified [2].
London Midland 172 336 stops at Tyseley, notice the GWR canopy and buildings

Station on the right, on the left is the line to the MPD

A Cross Country service passes through the station

London Midland 172 336 arrives at the station

Birmingham Railway Museum / Tyseley Railway Works

A large motive power depot and carriage sidings were built next to Tyseley railway station to cater for GWR's Birmingham division. The steam shed was closed in 1967. A couple of years a charitable trust was set up to build and maintain a workshop for steam locomotives now entering preservation. Lease of a site at Tyseley depot was purchased, flanked either side by parts of the remaining MPD and work began on the new steam workshop in 1969 [1].

By 1972 facilities were sufficient to allow the first trial run of a steam locomotive on the main line after BR withdrawal between Tyseley and Didcot. The site is now usually known as the Tyseley Railway Works (though the Tyseley station nameboards still refer to the railway museum). The works are the base of the steam excursion operator Vintage Trains as well as being host to a number of rebuild, restoration and new build projects as well as looking after the museum's collection and other rolling stock.

Tyseley Loco Works is host to a number of new build and restoration projects

Not just steam! 86 259 at an open day

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Banbury to Birmingham (Middleton Press, 2004) p. XXVI
[2] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Stratford-upon-Avon to Birmingham (Moor Street) (Middleton Press, 2006) p. 94 
[3] Birmingham Railway Museum Guide Book, p. 5

Thursday, 7 December 2017

East Acton (ZEA)

East Acton is a station on the London Underground Central Line in West London.
Type: Transport for London
(Central Line)
Station code: ZEA
Opened: 1920
Platforms: 2

The station was opened by the Central London Railway (later the Central Line) in 1920 [1] on its extension West out to Ealing Broadway running on the Ealing & Shepherd's Bush Railway which had been built by the Great Western Railway for freight in the First World War.

The station was built on an embankment with steep steps down to street level [2] with buildings in a Great Western style [3]. Wooden platform shelters of a traditional design were provided for passengers and these have been retained after station refurbishment.
West bound 92ts 91101 arrives at East Acton
Look down the line towards Ealing, notice the narrowness of the platform

A West bound 92ts train arrives

Ready for boarding

Two passing Central Line trains, notice the wooden shelter

[1] J. Graeme Bruce & Desmond F. Croome, The Twopenny Tube (Capital Transport, 1996) p. 27
[2] Robert Griffiths, London Underground past and present: the Central Line (Past & Present, 2007) p. 57 
[3] John Scott Morgan, London Underground in Colour since 1955 (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 45

Monday, 4 December 2017

Rock Ferry (RCY)

Rock Ferry is in the Birkenhead area of the Wirral, it is served by Merseyrail's Wirral Line on the branch to Chester and Ellesmere Port.
Type: National Rail
(Merseyrail Wirral Line)
Station code: RCY
Opened: 1862
Platforms: 4

The station was opened in 1862 by the Chester & Birkenhead Railway replacing an older station called Rock Lane. Rock Ferry became part of the expanding Mersey Railway network in 1891 [1] and was their Southern terminus and interchange with services coming up from the South.

In the 1980s the Merseyrail electric network was extended South to Hooton [2][3] and finally through to Chester and Ellesmere Port. Rock Ferry was changed to a through station. The former Merseyrail terminating platforms are now mostly used for stabling stock with only a handful of services using the platforms, everything else using the two through platforms.
Merseyrail 508 115 on a South bound service

Merseyrail 508 123 arrives at Rock Ferry

Merseyrail 508 128 arrives heading North

[1] Jonathan Cadwallader & Martin Jenkins, Merseyside Electrics (Ian Allan, 2010) p. 78
[2] John Glover, BR Diary 1978-1985 (Ian Allan, 1985) p. 118
[3] Cadwallader & Jenkins p. 78

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Aberystwyth (AYW)

Aberystwyth is the terminus of the Cambrian Line and also of the Vale of Rheidol narrow gauge preserved railway (which remained part of British Rail until 1989 when it was privatised [1]).
Type: National Rail (Cambrian Line) &
Preserved Railway (Vale of
Station code: AYW
Opened: 1864
Platforms: 2

The station was built in 1864 by the Aberystwyth & Welsh Coast Railway but the main station building dates from a major rebuilding by the GWR in 1925. Nowadays much of this has been repurposed as the station has been downsized and parts have become a pub and a restaurant among other uses.

The station once had 5 platforms but only 2 remain now. One platform is used by the Vale of Rheidol Railway. The original terminus of the VoR was further away at Smithfield Road [2] but it moved next to the mainline station in 1925. Finally the VoR took over a platform which had been used by trains to Carmarthen until their withdrawal in the 1960s.

Nowadays there is a regular service from the mainline station to Shrewsbury, with a good number of the trains continuing as far as Birmingham International. The Vale of Rheidol runs services up to Devil's Bridge (in its early days the railway was known as the "Devil's Bridge Railway") through much of the year.
ATW 158 836 arrives

Buffer stops

View down the platform


Vale of Rheidol platform

Mainline station viewed from the Vale of Rheidol one

[1] Peter Johnson, Welsh Narrow Gauge (Ian Allan, 2000) p. 58
[2] Vic Mitchell, Corris and Vale of Rheidol (Middleton Press, 2009) p. 61

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Edgware Road Bakerloo Line (ZER)

Edgware Road is on the London Underground tube map twice, confusingly there are two completely different stations with the same name! This station is on the Bakerloo Line and is separated by a few streets from the other Edgware Road station on the Circle and District Lines.
Type: Transport for London
(Bakerloo Line)
Station code: ZER
Opened: 1907
Platforms: 2

Edgware Road was the original Northern terminus of the Baker Street & Waterloo Railway (later known as the Bakerloo Line) which opened in 1907. The line opened before the station was finished however and trains terminated at Marylebone for a few months [1] before Edgware Road finally opened.

There were a number of ideas for extending the railway beyond Edgware Road and in the end the line the scheme chose  was to extend to Paddington and beyond in the early 1910s, Edgware Road became a through station in 1913 [2]. Access to the platforms from the ticket hall is via lifts or 125 steps. The station was closed for a number of months in 2013 for lift refurbishment.

There have been proposals to rename this station to end confusion with the other Edgware Road though so far they have come to naught.
A Bakerloo Line train prepares to depart North

Brown and cream tiles are the predominate colour scheme underground

More brown

Access to the platforms from the ticket hall is via lifts or a lot of steps!

Former ticket counter
Station frontage

[1] Mike Horne, The Bakerloo Line (Capital Transport, 2001) p. 20
[2] Jason Cross, London Underground Guide 2017 (Train Crazy, 2017) p. 119

Monday, 27 November 2017

Nottingham (NOT)

Nottingham is a major station on the Midlands Main Line and also the terminus of the Derwent Valley and Robin Hood Lines. It is the only survivor of what were once a number of stations in the city.

Type: National Rail
(Midlands Main Line)
Station code: NOT
Opened: 1848
Platforms: 7
Nottingham was opened by the Midlands Railway in 1848 though was not the city's first station (this being the now-closed Carrington Street station in 1839). The station was rebuilt in 1904 to compete with the new station, Nottingham Victoria, built by the Great Central Railway. Much of the surviving station dates from that rebuild.

Nottingham was renamed Nottingham City and then Nottingham Midland in the 1950s but the name was changed back to Nottingham when the other stations in the city were closed.

The station was redeveloped in the 2010s for £60 million. A new multi-storey carpark was built, as was a new passenger concourse and the station's original Grade II listed architecture restored. The station was also remodelled to add a seventh platform. In recent years the station has also become the hub of the expanding Nottingham tram network.
Footbridge linking the platforms

East Midland and Cross Country are two of the companies which serve Nottingham

East Midland Trains HST stands at Nottingham

A Cross Country Turbostar at Nottingham

Thursday, 23 November 2017

St. James's Park (ZSS)

St. James's Park is a tube station in central London. Above the station is the headquarters of Transport for London called 55 Broadway.

Type: Transport for London
(Circle & District Lines)
Station code: ZSS
Opened: 1868
Platforms: 2
The station was opened by the District Railway in 1868 on its line from South Kensington to Westminster. The station was rebuilt twice in the first half of the 20th century to incorporate the building of office space for the London Underground railway companies. The last rebuild taking place in the late 1920s during the building of 55 Broadway [1].

In 1949 the station was part of the original Circle Line route (when it was a "circle"). The station is officially called St. James's Park though there have been variations of the name used previously with various attempts at punctuation, one of these signs (St. James' Park) is still on one of the platforms [2].
Station entrance

An S Stock train prepares to depart
Platform view

The stairway giving access to the platforms can be seen behind this S Stock train
55 Broadway

Designed by Charles Holden 55 Broadway replaced an earlier building called Electric Railway House used as London Transport's headquarters. 55 Broadway was London's first skyscraper (and tallest office building at the time) utilising art deco and arts & crafts movement design and motifs. The design was not without its critics (especially of its avant garde statues on the exterior [3]) though the building is now recognised as a classic and has been Grade I listed (as has St. James's Park station below it).

Transport for London had planned to move from 55 Broadway and new uses such as a hotel or apartments were suggested however the planning restructions due to the listed status have made these plans problematic and at the moment 55 Broadway remains a TfL building.

55 Broadway

Entrance on the station concourse

[1] Helen Divjak, 55 Broadway (London Transport Museum, 2016) p. 4
[2] Jason Cross, London Underground 2017 (Train Crazy, 2017) p. 153
[3] Paul Moss, London Underground (Haynes, 2013) p. 75

Monday, 20 November 2017

Wood End (WDE)

Wood End is a stop on the North Warwickshire Line (now known as the Shakespeare Line) inbetween Danzey and The Lakes. The station serves the Warwickshire village of Wood End near Tanworth-in-Arden and close to the border with the West Midlands region.

Type: National Rail
(Shakespeare Line)
Station code: WDE
Opened: 1908
Platforms: 2
Like other stations on the line Wood End was opened by the Great Western Railway in 1908 next to the 161m long Wood End tunnel. The station was originally known as Wood End Platform [1] and this name was kept until the late 1930s at least. The station, located in a cutting, was never a major affair, serving a sparsely populated area. The station had no goods yard though did have a ticket office and a staff of 2.

Station facilities were basic however, comprising of wooden structures [2]. The ticket office being damaged by fire in 1967. A concrete footbridge was built at Wood End in 1949. This was removed in 2014 when new stairs were built down to the platforms via access ramps from the main road.

The station is now an unmanned request stop. The only facilities being two concrete shelters and public information screens. The station has an hourly service during the week though no Sunday service.
Next train coming soon

London Midland 172 338 arrives with a Birmingham bound service

View towards Birmingham

View towards Stratford-upon-Avon

Elaborate stairs down to the platform

Brand new station sign, the station was receiving a refresh in November 2017

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Stratford-upon-Avon to Birmingham Moor Street (Middleton Press, 2006) p. 59
[2] Colin G, Maggs, The Branch Lines of Warwickshire (Amberley, 2011) p. 139

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Embankment (ZEK)

Embankment is a major interchange station on the London Underground on the North bank of the Thames near Trafalgar Square and inbetween London Charing Cross and London Waterloo.

Type: Transport for London
(Bakerloo, Circle,
District & Northern Lines)
Station code: ZEK
Opened: 1870
Platforms: 6
The station was opened in 1870 by the District Railway as part of its extension from Westminster to Blackfriars [1]. The station was near to Charing Cross railway station and also named Charing Cross. The Baker Street & Waterloo Railway's (later Bakerloo Line) deep-level tube line reached the station in 1906. Although next to the District Railway station and with an interchange the Baker Street & Waterloo called their station Embankment (Charing Cross) [2].

The Charing Cross, Euston & Hampstead Railway (later the Northern Line) reached the station in 1914. To avoid confusion the entire station was renamed Charing Cross in 1915. The station was renamed Charing Cross Embankment in 1974 and finally to just Embankment in 1976. The Bakerloo/Northern Line station Strand/Trafalgar Square station to the North was renamed Charing Cross [3]!

Embankment is served by the Circle & DIstrict Lines on the sub-surface platforms and the Bakerloo & Northern Lines on the deep-level platforms. The station received a major refurbishment in 1988 with gloss white vitreous panelling in many areas of the station. LU commissioned the artist Robyn Denny to produce artwork to lighten up the station which resulted in the coloured streamer design [4].
An S Stock train departs on the sub-surface platforms

Northern Line 95ts 51646 arrives on a North bound service

This way to the Bakerloo Line

Sub-surface platforms

A Bakerloo Line train waits to depart

As does a District Line train

[1] Jason Cross, London Underground Guide 2017 (Train Crazy, 2017) p. 120 
[2] Mike Horne, The Bakerloo Line (Capital Transport, 2001) p. 18
[3] Chris Nix, Hidden London Charing Cross (London Transport Museum, 2017) p. 5
[4] Paul Moss, London Underground (Haynes, 2014) p. 140