Sunday, 29 January 2017

Derby (DBY)

Information
Type: National Rail (Midland Main Line)
Station code: DBY
Opened: 1839
Platforms: 6
Derby is one of the great railway centres on the network. It was once the headquarters of the Midland Railway. Nowadays it is still a junction of the Midland Main Line and the lines to Birmingham and Matlock, and also adjacent to the Railway Technical Centre. One of the largest remaining railway manufacturing centres at Bombardier Derby is also nearby.

Derby first got a station when the Midland Counties Railway station opened in 1839, though this was only a temporary structure with the first permanent station opening the following year. Derby, which for a time was known as Derby Midland, has been extended and rebuilt a number of times. The most recent in the early 1980s. The station will again change in a few years time with a seventh platform and a remodelling of the layout to remove a bottleneck at peak periods. Eventually it will also be under the wires thanks to the Midland Main Line electrification (though this project is subject to delays).


Derby has 5 through platforms and a smaller bay platform. It is served by East Midland Trains Midland Mainline services and Cross Country services between the North East and South West as well as links to destinations like Matlock, Crewe and Nottingham. There are two entrances to the station with a second entrance added at the Pride Park development in the 2001.
Two XC services stand at Derby

Busy times at Derby, including an EMT service in the bay platform

An RTC train passes below the footbridge that links to the Pride Park entrance

A good deal of the platform space is covered by these canopies

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Maida Vale (ZMV)

Information
Type: Transport for London (Bakerloo Line)
Station code: ZMV
Opened: 1915
Platforms: 2
Maida Vale is one of the stations built for the Bakerloo Line's extension from Paddington to Queen's Park, the station opening in 1915.

When the station opened it was the first station (and uniquely at the time) to be staffed entirely by women [1] who were being hired to roles previously reserved by men to replace men who had gone to the war.

The station building is to the common, of the time, Leslie Green design though was designed by his assistant Stanley Heaps. Inside the ticket foyer is an interesting mosaic of the London Underground "bullseye" logo, built not long before the logo changed to the one used ever since. The station is Grade II listed.
A Bakerloo Line 72ts train stands at Maida Vale 
Station exterior, with original signage

Bullseye mosaic

Analogue time keeping between the platforms

Main entrance

[1] Paul Moss, London Underground (Haynes, 2014) p. 56

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Cromford (CMF)

Information
Type: National Rail (Derwent Valley Line)
Station code: CMF
Opened: 1849
Platforms: 1
Cromford is a station on the Derwent Valley Line in between Whatstandwell and Matlock Bath (with Willersley Tunnel just ahead). The station was opened as Cromford Bridge by the Manchester, Buxton, Matlock & Midlands Junction Railway in 1849.

The station originally had 2 platforms but one was taken out of use when the line was singled. The station building on this platform is now a holiday cottage. The station building on the in-use platform is the original station building and is Grade II listed. It is now used as an office.

In recent years the station has been in the public eye for good and bad reasons. The cover of Oasis' 1995 single "Some might say" features the station. In 2009 a murder took place at the station of a taxi driver.
East Midlands Service en route to Matlock

Willersley Tunnel

Station sign

Old waiting room on the disused platform, this is on the cover of the Oasis single

View down the platform

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

London Paddington (PAD)

Information
Type: National Rail (Great Western
Main Line)
Station code: PAD
Opened: 1838
Platforms: 14
London Paddington was one of the iconic "Big 4" London terminuses and the headquarters of the Great Western Railway. The GWR first built a station at Paddington in 1838 but this was a temporary site pending the building of the current station which opened in 1854 with its impressive three span arched roof designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

The station was enlarged with a fourth roof span in the early 1900s. In front of the station is the Great Western Hotel, built in the 1850s to form the main facade of the station, though this is now a Hilton. Currently Paddington has 14 platforms (not all full length) with another 6 platforms in the adjacent London Underground stations.

It is the terminus of the Great Western Main Line, Thames Valley commuter services and Heathrow Express/Connect services to the airport. Most services to the station are by Great Western Railway and Heathrow Express/Connect though there are also a few Chiltern Railway services too.

As might be expected Paddington is a busy station with over 35 million passengers passing through every year. A Crossrail Paddington station has been built and will open next year.
View across the station, a Heathrow Express train in the foreground

The HST at Paddington, an iconic sight since the 1970s

View of the roof

GWR signage still in place

Most trains at Paddington are operated by the modern version of GWR

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Liverpool Central (LVC)

Information
Type: National Rail (Merseyrail)
Station code: LVC
Opened: 1874
Platforms: 3
Liverpool Central lies on the loop which is the hub of the Merseyrail network and is the busiest underground station outside of London. The original station was a surface station built in 1874 and was the terminus of the Cheshire Lines Committee (CLC) line from Manchester Central.

In 1892 the low-level part of the station was built as the terminus of the Mersey Railway's line from the Wirral. Both stations were closed in the early 1970s but Liverpool Central re-opened as a underground station only in 1977 with the new loop built under the centre of Liverpool for Wirral Line trains[1]. Liverpool Central has a platform on that loop between Lime Street and James Street. Another link was the Northern Line - the former CLC line, which was taken underground following the building of a new link tunnel [2], and now runs between Southport and Hunts Cross. As well as through trains Liverpool Central is also the starting point for trains on the Northern Line branch to Kirkby and Ormskirk.

Liverpool Central is the busiest station on the Merseyrail network with over 15 million passengers going through it a year.
508 114 at the Wirral Line platform
Northern Line platforms

507 024 arrives with a North bound service

[1] Chris Heaps, BR Diary 1968-1977 (Ian Allan, 1988) p. 114
[2] Jonathan Cadwallader & Martin Jenkins, Merseyside Electrics (Ian Allan, 2010) p. 57

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Bedford (BDM)

Information
Type: National Rail (Midland Main Line
& Marston Vale Line)
Station code: BDM
Opened: 1859
Platforms: 5
Bedford is a busy station on the Midland Main Line also being the terminus of the Marston Vale Line from Bletchley and the terminus of Thameslink services to Brighton and Gatwick Airport via St Pancras.

The original Bedford station was opened in 1859 by the Midland Railway a few hundred metres away from the current site which opened in 1978. In the 1920s the station was renamed Bedford Midland Road though reverted back to its original name in 1988.


The station has grown steadily over the years with Marston Vale services which originally terminated at the former LNWR station at Bedford St. Johns being extended to Bedford in 1984 and using the new bay platform 1A.

There are plans for a radical rebuild of the station with a new station building back on the site of the original station and extended platforms and it will be the terminus for the new East-West Rail Link from Oxford due to be opened by 2024.
An EMT Class 222 service heading North along the MML

Looking up the platform to the main overbridge 
London Midland Marston Vale service in the care of a Class 150 Sprinter

Thameslink Class 387 service heads off South

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Bescot Stadum (BSC)

Information
Type: National Rail (Chase Line)
Station code: BSC
Opened: 1837
Platforms: 2
Bescot Stadium was originally known as Bescot Bridge and then Bescot when it was opened by the Grand Junction Railway in 1837. The current name dates from 1990 and the opening of the nearby stadium owned by Walsall FC.

Bescot Stadium is on the Chase or Walsall Line with most services between Birmingham New Street and Walsall though some also go on to Wolverhampton. The station is next to Bescot TMD and yard, indeed it is sandwiched between the depot and the M6 motorway.


Access to the station is via a footbridge that crosses over the river Tame and passes under the motorway.
Main view of the station

Ahead of the station showing part of the yard and the motorway

A Virgin Trains service passes through

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Warwick Avenue (ZWV)

Information
Type: Transport for London (Bakerloo Line)
Station code: ZWV
Opened: 1915
Platforms: 2
Warwick Avenue is a stop on the Bakerloo Line in West London between Maida Vale and Paddington. The station was opened by the London Electric Railway as part of its extension of the Bakerloo Line up to Queen's Park in 1915.

The station is entirely underground apart two sets of steps on the surface to take people down to the subterranean ticket hall. Warwick Avenue is next to Little Venice, junction of the Grand Union and Regent's Canals.


Although not a large station and certainly not one of the busiest stations on the underground, it has been immortalised in a pop song. "Warwick Avenue" by Duffy makes reference to the station which also appears in the music video.
One of the 2 street entrances

Vintage signage still in use

Platform view