Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Banbury (BAN)

Information
Type: National Rail
(Chiltern Main Line)
Station code: BAN
Opened: 1850
Platforms: 4
Banbury station was opened as Banbury Bridge Station by the Great Western Railway in 1850 though was not Banbury's first station. This was the now closed Banbury Merton Street which opened a few months earlier.

The station was renamed Banbury General [1] in 1938 and kept this name until the 1970s when it changed to just Banbury following the closure of Merton Street to passengers.



The station was due to be rebuilt in the 1940s but this got delayed due to the Second World War and in the end the rebuild did not happen until the late 1950s, not before the original overall roof had to be removed for safety reasons [2]. The station was finally rebuilt between 1956 and 1958 and much of this has remained unchanged ever since. Access between the ticket hall and platforms is via an overbridge which also includes a cafe and other facilities.

As well as being a major stop on the Chiltern Main Line Banbury is also the terminus of the Cherwell Valley Line between Banbury and Oxford. There was also once a line to Buckingham however this closed in the 1960s.

The station has seen dramatic growth in passenger numbers over the last few years. Banbury received track layout alterations and resignalling in 2016. A new MPD to be operated by Chiltern Railways has also been built next to the station.
Chiltern 165 023 stands under a large station sign

General view of the platforms and overbridge, much of the station dates from a late 1950s build

Platform canopy

Freightliner 66 542 leads a train through, the large car park behind

View down the platform following resignalling and remodelling

GWR 165 123 stands at Banbury before a service to Oxford

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Princes Risborough to Banbury (Middleton Press, 2002) plate 99
[2] Ibid. plate 103

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Olton (OLT)

Information
Type: National Rail
(Snow Hill Lines &
Chiltern Main Line)
Station code: OLT
Opened: 1869
Platforms: 2
Olton, situated between Acocks Green and Solihull, serves the area of Solihull of the same name. The station was opened by the Great Western Railway in 1869 on their Oxford-Birmingham line.

Olton was originally a basic station with a couple of platforms but was expanded to 4 platforms (2 island platforms) in the 1920s as the line was quadrupled as far as Lapworth. However now only one of those island platforms is in use.

The station is elevated with the booking office below the platforms at street level. On the platform are some basic facilities including a waiting room. Most services to Olton are operated by London Midland with some Chiltern services stopping in peak times.
LM 172 336 pauses with a Dorridge bound service

172 336 departs

Platform buildings including a waiting room

Now disused other platform

70 015 hauls a container train through the station

Down to the booking office and exit, there is also lift access

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Pimlico (ZPO)

Information
Type: Transport for London
(Victoria Line)
Station code: ZPO
Opened: 1972
Platforms: 2
Pimlico was the last station to be opened on the Victoria Line and is also the only station on that line that does not have an interchange with another service.

Pimlico was a late addition to the extension of the Victoria Line scheme through to Brixton. At first London Underground were hesitant to add an extra station between Victoria and the river Thames as it was felt the business case was too marginal however there was strong local support and the Crown Estate which owned the land where the station was to be built offered free easements [1]. The station was not ready when trains began to run on the extension (though the platforms were in place). The station was finally opened in 1972 just over a year after the rest of the extension opened [2].

As with the other stations on the Victoria Line Pimlico's platforms have a unique tile motif design. In Pimlico's case the motif represents modern art, the station being close to the Tate Britain gallery [3].
A 2009TS train stands at Pimlico

Pimlico's tile motif

Station entrance

[1] Mike Horne, The Victoria Line (Capital Transport, 2004) p. 69
[2] Paul Moss, London Underground (Haynes, 2014)  p. 118
[3] Horne p. 74

Monday, 19 June 2017

Chinnor

Information
Type: Preserved Railway
(Chinnor & Princes
Risborough Railway)
Opened: 1872 (Closed 1957)
Re-Opened: 1994
Platforms: 1
Chinnor is the terminus and currently only station on the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway. The station was originally on the Watlington & Princes Risborough Railway which opened in 1872 though the line closed to passenger traffic in 1957. The line remained open for freight traffic until 1989 when it was finally closed [1]. The line was reopened by the CPRR in 1991.

The original station was demolished after the cessation of passenger traffic. The current station dates from 1994 and was a rebuild of the original building with a main difference being the layout of the chimneys [2]. The station is the headquarters of the railway and host to its storage sidings and yard.

The current Chinnor platform is the opposite side of the line to the original station so passengers need to cross the track, this allows for interesting views of trains at the station. At the moment Chinnor remains the only station on the CPRR though soon a platform at Princes Risborough will be re-opened allowing interchange with the main line.
The CPRR is home to preserved 3-CEP 1198. As there is no third rail it has to be diesel hauled!

One of the CPRR Class 08 shunts through Chinnor

Chinnor signal box

Visitor Class 20 D8188 at a recent gala

Chinnor is also host to steam hauled services

One of the CPRR bubble cars pulls into Chinnor

[1] Brian J. Dickson, The Watlington Branch of the Great Western Railway (CPRR Association, 2014) p. 6
[2] Ibid. p. 30

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Bootle Oriel Road (BOT)

Information
Type: National Rail (Merseyrail
Northern Line)
Station code: BOT
Opened: 1876
Platforms: 2
Bootle Oriel Road was opened by the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway in 1876 to replace the earlier Bootle Village built further along the same road. The station was later operated by the LNWR, LMS and finally British Railways. Now it is a station on Merseyrail's Northern Line between Bootle New Strand and Bank Hall on the Southport branch.

Bootle Oriel Road was at one time quite a grand station with 4 platforms which has station canopies though these disappeared as the station went into decline [1]. Happily the station benefited from a substantial rebuilt in 2008 - though still lacks cover!
Merseyrail 508 15 arrives on a Liverpool bound service

Main station building

Footbridge

A Southport bound train arrives

[1] Jonathan Cadwallader & Martin Jenkins, Merseyside Electrics (Ian Allan, 2010) p. 19

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Wootton Wawen (WWW)

Information
Type: National Rail (Shakespeare Line)
Station code: WWW
Opened: 1908
Platforms: 2
Wootton Wawen is a stop on the "Shakespeare Line" between Birmingham and Stratford-upon-Avon. The station is located on the line between Henley-in-Arden and Wilmcote and is one of a number of request stops on the line.

The station was opened in 1908 originally called Wootton Wawen Platform (which meant it had basic staffing and a parcels facility) but was renamed in 1974 [1]. It was threatened with closure in the 1980s but managed to survive.


The station has 2 through roads, platform access is via 2 ramps down to road level. It is served by the hourly service on the line though as a request stop trains may not stop at the station unless a passenger requests it to the guard (or holds out their arm to an approaching train).

The station is now unstaffed and has basic facilities. Each platform has a single concrete shelter and there is a single information display per platform plus help points and a payphone.
LM 172 335 arrives on a Stratford bound service

Bus shelter on the Stratford platform

LM 172 335 departs heading for Stratford

Platform 2 public information display - long wait for the next train!




[1] Vic Mitchell and Keith Smith, Stratford-upon-Avon to Birmingham (Moor Street) (Middleton Press, 2006) p.41

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

New Cross (NWX)

Information
Type: National Rail (South Eastern
Main Line)
& London Overground
Station code: NWX
Opened: 1850
Platforms: 4
New Cross in East London serves trains out of London Cannon Street and London Bridge and is a terminus of the London Overground.

New Cross was opened by the South Eastern Railway in 1850 as New Cross & Naval School though this was changed to just New Cross in 1854. However the London & Croydon Railway had already built a station just 600m away called New Cross in 1839! It was not until both stations came under the Southern Railway umbrella in 1923 that the confusion was ended when the older station was renamed New Cross Gate.


New Cross was one of the terminuses of London Underground's East London Line (originally part of the Metropolitan Railway) until 2007 when the East London Line, for a long time the poor relation of the tube network, was finally closed and re-opened in 2010 as part of London Overground.

New Cross' platforms have letters and not numbers to reduce confusion between National Rail and Transport for London services.
Southeastern 376 007 with a London Cannon Street service

General view of the station including the overbridge

View across the platforms, a London Overground train is in 
Most trains on the South Eastern Main Line pass through

LO 378 143 at the London Overground platform (platform D)

Monday, 12 June 2017

Duffield (DFI)

Information
Type: National Rail
(Midland Main Line) &
Preserved Railway
(Ecclesbourne Valley Railway)
Station code: DFI
Opened: 1841
1867 (current position)
Platforms: 3
Duffield is a small unmanned station on the Midland Lain Line between Derby and Belper. The original station was built in 1841 a bit further along the line with the current station dating from 1867 when it was decided to build a station on the junction between the line and a branch to Wirksworth.

That branch is now the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway (EVR) and their Duffield terminus (the former platform 3) is adjacent to the National Rail station. The EVR have adopted Duffield station.

The current National Rail station has a single island platform accessible via a footbridge with a bus shelter. The only trains that stop at the station are East Midlands Trains services between Matlock and destinations like Newark Castle and Nottingham. Expresses between London St Pancras and Sheffield and Leeds also pass through the station but do not stop.


The EVR station has a single platform (platform 3), it reopened in 2011. A new booking office / shop opened in 2017.
EMT 153 310 at Duffield

A Meridian passes through the station at speed

Station footbridge

National Rail platform viewed from the EVR one

A run round loop exists at the EVR station to aid loco hauled services

As with the NR station most services to the EVR one are also DMUs!

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Coventry Arena (CAA)

Information
Type: National Rail
(Coventry-Nuneaton Line)
Station code: CAA
Opened: 2016
Platforms: 2
Coventry Arena, on the line between Coventry and Nuneaton, is one of the newest railway stations on the network opening in January 2016 next to the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.

Although the station was officially opened to serve the stadium there have been problems with overcrowding. The station is now closed for an hour before and after any events and there is usually insufficient rolling stock on the line to meet demand. Indeed there are posters on the platform that tell spectators to drive to events at the stadium instead! Hopefully these are just temporary problems.

The station is a standard unmanned station with bus shelters and a ticket machine. Access between the two platforms is via an underpass.
LM 153 366 arrives with a Nuneaton bound service

Station sign

Ricoh Arena is next to the station

Entrance to the station

Coventry platform



Friday, 9 June 2017

Idridgehay (XID)

Information
Type: Preserved Railway
(Ecclesbourne Valley Railway)
Station code: XID
Opened: 1867 (Closed 1964)
Reopened: 2008
Plaforms: 1
Idridgehay is one of the intermediate stations on what is now the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway between Duffield and Wirksworth. Opened by the Midland Railway in 1867 Idridgehay was never that busy a station though it did have some loyal passengers for whom it was a lifeline.

The station was closed for passenger use as a fuel saving measure in the Second World War though goods facilities continued to be available until 1964. The line closed completely in 1989 but happily was re-opened when the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway took over the line. Idridgehay was re-opened as a station in 2008.

There used to be a booking hall and crossing keeper's house at the station, the buildings still exist but these are now private houses. The level crossing has been restored and is usually operated by the guard on EVR services.
The solar panels from a 1980s British Rail trial into powering level crossing lights are still extant opposite the platform, and indeed still work!
33 103 passes through the level crossing

View of the platform

D8098 with a Wirksworth bound service

Looking up towards the level crossing, the BR solar panels are on the right

Most services on the EVR are operated by heritage DMUs