Sunday, 26 February 2017

New Brighton (NBN)

Information
Type: National Rail (Merseyrail
Wirral Line)
Station code: NBN
Opened: 1888
Platforms: 2
The railway reached New Brighton in 1888, by then already a popular seaside resort on the Wirral which until the First World War had a tower taller than Blackpool's [1]. The station was opened by the Wirral Railway and later passed to the London, Midland & Scottish Railway who electrified the route in 1938.

Once the station had a goods yard but this is an industrial estate now. The original Wirral Railway station building with its spacious booking hall remains.

New Brighton is the terminus of the New Brighton branch of the Wirral Line and has services towards Liverpool of up to every 15 minutes.
Merseyrail 507 021 having just arrived

Booking hall

Station frontage

Through to the trains

Platform sign advertising New Brighton's attractions

[1] Jonathan Cadwallader & Martin Jenkins, Merseyside Electrics (Ian Allan, 2010) p. 66

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

King William Street

Information
Type: City & South London Railway
Opened: 1890
Closed: 1900
King William Street was the original Northern terminus of the original deep-level underground railway in London from Stockwell and thus one of the original tube stations. Unfortunately it is also the first ever tube station to close after just 10 years!

The City & South London Railway opened the station (which was located very close to the modern day Monument station) in 1890 bringing passengers into the city of London from South London, this line later became part of the Northern Line City Branch [1]. The station was closed after just 10 years because the line's northern extension to Moorgate followed a different alignment from Borough via new stations at London Bridge and Bank. The surface station building was demolished in the 1930s [2] though the underground station was largely intact (and indeed some of it still is) and was used as a bomb shelter in the war. The only sign of the station on the surface now is the plaque shown below.

The station itself suffered from a number of design flaws (it was described by the railway company's chairman in 1892 as "an engineering blunder") which made operations very difficult. The approach to the station was via steep gradients and tight turns because of the need to only tunnel under roads and not buildings (other early tube lines also suffer from tight turns because of this) [3]. Sometimes the small electric locomotives which hauled the trains could not make it into the station if the train was heavily loaded and had to reverse back down the tunnel and make another attempt!

After closure there were attempts to sell the station and disused tunnels to another company and also grow mushrooms. In the event the tunnels were used to store stock until the track was lifted after a couple of years.
Plaque on Regis House
Preserved City & South London Railway locomotive at the LT Museum

[1] Paul Moss, London Underground (Haynes, 2014) p. 26
[2] Ben Pedroche, Do Not Alight Here (Capital History, 2011) p. 19
[3] JE Connor, London's Disused Underground Stations (Capital Transport, 2012) p. 9

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Lichfield City (LIC)

Information
Type: National Rail (Cross-City Line)
Station code: LIC
Opened: 1849
Platforms: 2
Lichfield City is the main station in Lichfield, opened by the South Staffordshire Railway in 1849, later becoming part of the London & North Western Railway. Initially services were only to Walsall and Dudley, later on services to Birmingham and Sutton Coldfield were added. The current station building dates from 1882 to handle the expansion.

Nowadays only stations along the Cross-City Line are served between Lichfield Trent Valley and Redditch or Longbridge via Birmingham New Street. Some services terminate at Lichfield City. Services to Walsall ceased in 1984. The station has 2 platforms either side of an island and has retained much of its look from LNWR days. Apart from the catenary of course!


The station was the scene of a terrorist attack in June 1990 when an off-duty soldier was killed and two other soldiers wounded in an IRA attack while waiting for a train at the station.
Main station building

Platforms

Looking down the platform towards Lichfield Trent Valley

A London Midland services arrives heading North

Engineering sidings just beyond the station

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Kilburn Park (ZKP)

Information
Type: Transport for London (Bakerloo Line)
Station code: ZKP
Opened: 1915
Platforms: 2
Kilburn Park is in between Queen's Park and Maida Vale. Like a number of stations on this stretch of the Bakerloo Line it was opened in 1915 as part of the line's extension from Paddington to Queen's Park [1].

After opening for 10 days Kilburn Park (originally it was to have been called just Kilburn) was the Northern terminus of the line as Queen's Park's opening was delayed meaning that passengers could only go as far as Kilburn Park and trains had to continue empty up to Queen's Park.

As with other stations on the line it was designed by Stanley Heaps to a modified Leslie Green design and the exterior of the building has glazed terracotta. The station is Grade II listed. Kilburn Park was one of the first stations designed for escalators instead of lifts.
A Bakerloo Line 72ts train arrives

Station entrance

Original signage 

Platform view

[1] Mike Horne, The Bakerloo Line (Capital Transport, 2001) p. 29

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Nuneaton (NUN)

Information
Type: National Rail (West Coast
Main Line)
Station code: NUN
Opened: 1847
Platforms: 7
Nuneaton is a station on the Trent Valley section of the West Coast Main Line as well as serving the Birmingham-Peterborough Line and is the terminus of the Coventry-Nuneaton branch.

The station was opened by the London & North West Railway in 1847 originally with just 2 platforms but with later extensions and rebuildings in 1873 and 1915 when the current station buildings were built. In 1924 it was renamed Nuneaton Trent Valley to distinguish it from the Midland Railway station Nuneaton Abbey Street but reverted to just Nuneaton when that other station closed in 1969.


Two new platforms were built in 2004 for services between Birmingham and Leicester (and onto Stansted Airport) so these services no longer had to cross the WCML. Nuneaton is served by Virgin Trains, London Midland and Cross Country.
Virgin Trains service stops at the station

Station view showing the original shelters and ironwork

Platform 5

Freight service heads through platform 6, notice P6 and 7 are higher than the other platforms

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Ryde Pier Head (RYP)

Information
Type: National Rail (Island Line)
Station code: RYP
Opened: 1880
Platforms: 1
Ryde Pier Head is the Northern terminus on the Island Line on the Isle of Wight, literally being over water at the end of Ryde Pier next to the terminal for the Wight Link catamaran from Portsmouth[1].

The station was opened in 1880, a joint effort between the London South Western Railway and London Brighton and South Coast Railway. Originally the station was over timber frames but the pier head was reinforced with ferro-concrete after World War 1[2].

Originally the station had 2 islands with 3 platforms, a fourth being added in 1933. However now only one platform is in use as the Island Line service has been cut back. At one stage in peak times a shuttle ran just between the Pier Head and the next station on land Ryde Esplanade as well as the regular service to the rest of the line but no longer.
Island Line 483 004 loads up with passengers from the ferry

Preparing to head for land

Island Line 483 007 just after arrival

Heading out across the sea towards the Pier Head (seen from Ryde Esplanade)

[1] John Balmforth, South West Trains (Ian Allan, 2011) p. 51
[2] R.J. Maycock & R. Silsbury, The Isle of Wight Railways from 1923 Onwards (Oakwood Press, 2006) p. 75

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Stourbridge Town (SBT)

Information
Type: National Rail (Stourbridge Branch)
Station code: SBT
Opened: 1879
Platforms: 1
The Stourbridge Branch Line runs for less than a mile (1.3km) between Stourbridge Junction and Stourbridge Town, its terminus. The station was opened in 1879 as the original Stourbridge station (the Junction) was felt to be too far away from the town centre.

Stourbridge Town was originally situated where Stourbridge bus station is now. The station was moved back 64m to its current position in 1979. Although the station (and branch line) have been considered for closure a number of times it remains open into the present day and is now host to the unique flywheel powered Class 139 multiple unit. The self-contained nature of the branch line making it suitable for an experimental train.

Stourbridge Town is a small station with a single 52m long platform. It has been served mostly by diesel railcars like the Class 153 and now the 139. Despite being a small station it has a manned ticket office.
A Class 139 at Stourbridge Town

The ticket office

View of the station from the entrance

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Acton Town (ZAT)

Information
Type: Transport for London (District &
Piccadilly Lines)
Station code: ZAT
Opened: 1879
Platforms: 4
Acton Town is one of a number of tube stations in Acton, West London. This one is served by the District and Piccadilly Lines and is adjacent to Acton Depot (formerly Works) and the London Transport Museum Depot.

The station was opened in 1879 by the District Railway (now District Line) as Mill Hill Park. It gained its current name in 1910 which is also when the station was rebuilt. The current station building dates from 1932 when the Uxbridge branch was transferred to the Piccadilly Line. The station was designed by Charles Holden and is Grade II listed.


Acton Town continues to be served by the District Line Ealing Broadway branch and Piccadilly Lines. After Acton Town the Piccadilly Line splits into its 2 western branches to Uxbridge and Heathrow making the stop an important interchange.
Station building, as seen from Acton Works

Looking back at the station from the centre of London end of the platforms

Looking towards the centre

Two Piccadilly Line 73ts trains stand at Acton Town