Friday, 29 September 2017

Romford (RMF)

Romford is a station on the Great Eastern Main Line in what was historically Essex but is now part of Greater London.

Information
Type: National Rail
(Great Eastern Main Line)
Station code: RMF
Opened: 1839
Platforms: 5
The station was first opened in 1839 by the Eastern Counties Railway as the Eastern terminus of their line from Mile End. However the line was extended East to Brentwood the following year. Another station was opened in Romford by the London, Tilbury & Southend Railway in 1893. The two stations were combined in 1934. The LTS line is now London Overground's line from Romford to Upminster.

London services through Romford are the Shenfield Metro operated by TfL Rail (which will become the Elizabeth Line of Crossrail in due course) and Greater Anglia. The platforms of Romford station will be extended for the longer Crossrail trains with improvements to be made to the ticket hall and passenger information systems.
Greater Anglia 321 408 with a Colchester bound service

View across the platforms

Main entrance on the right under the bridge

Greater Anglia Class 360 heads through

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Shottle

Shottle is an intermediate station on the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway. It serves the settlements Cowers Lane (which is nearest), Turngate and Shottlegate. The station was opened as Cowers Lane but was changed by request of the owner of Shottle Hall.

Information
Type: Preserved Railway
(Ecclesbourne Valley Railway)
Opened: 1867 (Closed 1947)
Re-Opened: 2014
Platforms: 1
Shottle was on the branch line from Duffield to Wirksworth and was opened by the Midland Railway in 1867. The station was closed for passenger use in 1947 as a fuel saving measure though remained open for freight until 1967 when full closure occurred.

The station was re-opened as a stop on the preserved Ecclesbourne Valley Railway in 2014. Like with Idridgehay further up the line the former station buildings are now privately owned (by an oil company in Shottle's case) so only the platform is officially part of the EVR station. The building's owners however agreed to have the building repainted in Midland Railway colours. The station building was designed by the Midland Railway's John Crossley [1] who designed all of the stations on the line.


Shottle hosts a passing loop on the EVR though only has a platform on the down line, trains from Wirksworth can stop for passengers to embark or alight but not from Duffield. A second platform is under construction and due to open in 2018. A couple of sidings are next to the station used by the railway for stock storage and engineering trains.
General view of Shottle, the former station building is not part of the EVR station

View of the former station building

A Duffield bound Class 33 hauled train passes a train waiting in the loop

One of Shottle's sidings

[1] Tom Tait & Neil Ferguson-Lee, The Ecclesbourne Valley Railway: the First 150 Years (Ecclesbourne Valley Railway Media, 2017) p. 10

Monday, 25 September 2017

Dollis Hill (ZDO)

Dollis Hill is a station on the Jubilee Line in North West London though has had a varied history being part of three separate lines on the underground.

Information
Type: Transport for London
(Jubilee Line)
Station code: ZDO
Opened: 1909
Platforms: 2
The station was opened by the Metropolitan Railway in 1909, in the early 1930s it was renamed Dollis Hill & Gladstone Park for a short period before reverting back. In 1939 the station was transferred to the Bakerloo Line as part of the Stanmore branch [1].

Metropolitan Line trains no longer stopped at the station after 1940 though continued (and to this day continue) to pass by on the fast lines. To facilitate the transfer of the station between tube lines the platform had to be moved so the Metropolitan Lines could be located either side of the Bakerloo [2].

Change of platform location, based on Horne p. 20
In 1979 the Jubilee Line was formed from the Stanmore branch of the Bakerloo. The station has a single island platform with access via a subway.
96ts 96108 on a Southbound service

View down the platform

Platform building

A Metropolitan Line S8 passes the station

[1] Jason Cross, London Underground Guide 2017 (Train Crazy, 2017) p. 114
[2] Mike Horne, The Jubilee Line (Capital Transport, 2000) p. 21

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Matlock (MAT)

Matlock is now the terminus of the Derwent Valley Line though the station used to be an intermediate stop the Midland Railway's line to Manchester but National Rail only goes as far as Matlock now. The Peak Rail preserved railway continues up the line as far as Rowsley South.

Information
Type: National Rail (Derwent Valley Line)
& Preserved Railway (Peak Rail)
Station code: MAT
Opened: 1849
Platforms: 2
The station was opened, originally called Matlock Bridge, by the Manchester, Buxton, Matlock & Midlands Junction Railway in 1849, the current station buildings dating from 1850 remain though most are not used by Network Rail anymore (the main station building is now an excellent railway bookshop run on behalf of Peak Rail).

The former Station Master's house is a Grade II listed building. The line North of Matlock was closed in 1968. Peak Rail began reopening part of the closed line in 1991 and in 2011 returned to Matlock itself.


National Rail use Platform 1 (where the main buildings are) and Peak Rail use Platform 2. Interchange between the 2 platforms requires going via a bridge and an access route to an adjacent supermarket. East Midland Trains run services from Matlock to Nottingham and Newark Castle via Derby.
A pair of EMT Class 153s approach

Main station building

A Peak Rail steam locomotive on the preserved platform

Class 14 about to depart for Rowsley South

Shelter on the Peak Rail platform

EMT 158 852 stands at the NR platform

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Stone (SNE)

Stone is located on the junction of the West Coast Main Line with the Colwich to Manchester spur. However there are only platforms on the WCML. The station is located between Stafford and Stoke-on-Trent.

Information
Type: National Rail
(West Coast Main Line)
Station code: SNE
Opened: 1848
Platforms: 2
The North Staffordshire Railway opened a station at Stone in 1848 but was replaced by a new station (the current Stone staton) a year later with the opening of the Colwich line. The new station was located at the junction of the two lines and had platforms serving both. The station was renamed Stone Junction in 1888 and for a number of decades though reverted back to the original name during the Interwar Period. The junction is still referred to as Stone Junction.


The platforms for the Colwich line were closed in 1947. The station became unstaffed in 1993 and the impressive Jacobean style Grade II listed station building is now a community centre. Stone lost its rail service for a number of years in the early 2000s and had to make do with rail replacement buses. London Midland began a new hourly service between Crewe and London Euston stopping at Stone in 2008.
London Midland 350 110 stops at Stone with a Crewe bound service

Euston platform

Former station building

A shelter on the Stoke platform 

The junction can be seen just beyond of the platforms

Monday, 18 September 2017

Baker Street (ZBS)

Baker Street is one of the original underground stations and is a busy interchange of no fewer than 5 separate underground lines.

Information
Type: Transport for London
(Bakerloo, Circle,
Hammersmith & City,
Jubilee & Metropolitan
Lines)
Station code: ZBS
Opened: 1863
Platforms: 10
Baker Street was opened by the Metropolitan Railway in 1863 on its original stretch of "cut and cover" from Paddington to Farringdon [1]. Trains were hauled by steam locomotives (though with condensing systems to reduce the amount of steam released into the tunnels [2]). The deep level tube arrived in 1906 when the Baker Street & Waterloo Railway opened what would soon be known as the Bakerloo Line. Baker Street was the original Northern terminus (and one of the line's largest stations) [3] before the line was extended to Marylebone the following year.

The Metropolitan Railway opened a new branch via St John's Wood eventually reaching beyond Aylesbury and opened new open air platforms. The Hammersmith & City and Circle Lines (the latter a joint Metropolitan & District Railway scheme) were added to Baker Street in the 1870s. Finally the Jubilee Line arrived in 1979 as a split from the Bakerloo Line with a new platform being built and new passageways to allow for cross platform interchange with the Bakerloo [4].



As can be seen Baker Street is a mixture of open air, sub-surface and deep level railways and hence has a rather complicated layout. Some Metropolitan Line trains terminate at Baker Street with others being able to continue on to Aldgate sharing track with the Hammersmith & City and Circle Line trains.
Metropolian Line Platform 1

Sherlock Holmes on a Bakerloo Line platform

Original 1863 platforms 5 and 6
Metropolitan Line train prepares to depart for Watford

Hammersmith & City line major destinations

Bakerloo Line platform

[1] Jason Cross, London Underground Guide 2017 (Train Crazy, 2017) p. 100
[2] Paul Moss, London Underground (Haynes, 2014) p. 14
[3] Mike Horne, The Bakerloo Line (Capital Transport, 2001) p. 14
[4] Mike Horne, The Jubilee Line (Capital Transport, 2000) p. 38

Friday, 15 September 2017

Bermuda Park (BEP)

Bermuda Park is one of two new stations (the other being Coventry Arena) which opened at the start of 2016 on the Coventry-Nuneaton Line.

Information
Type: National Rail
(Coventry-Nuneaton Line)
Station code: BEP
Opened: 2016
Platforms: 2
The station serves the business park of the same name in the South of Nuneaton. It is the first station on the site though is near Chilvers Coton which closed in 1965. Bermuda Park was opened in January 2016 a few months later than originally planned.

The station is a basic modern unmanned one with bus shelters and a ticket machine and little else. The station is not that busy yet, having just 2,384 passengers in its first year of operation though this is not helped by the station only having at most an hourly service between Coventry and Nuneaton. All of these services are operated by London Midland.
A London Midland service heading to Coventry

View down the platform looking towards Nuneaton

Station entrance

Platform shelter

Station sign

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Smethwick Rolfe Street (SMR)

Smethwick Rolfe Street is situated on the Rugby-Birmingham-Stafford branch of the West Coast Main Line though all services to the station are on the Walsall-Wolverhampton route via Birmingham New Street.

Information
Type: National Rail (Birmingham-
Wolverhampton Line)
Station code: SMR
Opened: 1852
Platforms: 2
The station was opened in 1852 by the Birmingham, Wolverhampton & Stour Valley Railway later being taken over the London North Western Railway. The current station layout dates from a rebuild in 1890. The station building in good condition with many of its original Victorian features still on place, a former waiting room now retained for heritage displays and events. Access between the two platforms is via the road.

Platform 1 has had a mural since the 1980s. In the Summer of 2017 the mural was replaced by a new one painted by local college students.

All trains which stop at Smethwick Rolfe Street are operated by London Midland. Virgin Trains and Arriva Trains Wales services also head through the station.
London Midland 323 204 stops at the station heading for Birmingham New Street (next stop)

View down the platforms towards Birmingham

Access steps to Platform 1

Platform mural and station name board

Station building

ATW 158 826 heads through

Monday, 11 September 2017

London Fenchurch Street (FST)

London Fenchurch Street in South East London is one of the smaller termini in the capital though an intensively used one with over 18 million passengers flowing through it in 2015-16. It is the terminus for services on the London, Tilbury & Southend Line.

Information
Type: National Rail
(London, Tilbury &
Southend Line)
Station code: FST
Opened: 1841
Platforms: 4
The station was opened in 1841 by the London & Blackwall Railway with a rebuild in 1854 to serve the London, Tilbury & Southend and Eastern Counties Railways. It later came under the control of the LNER, which is why Fenchurch Street is one of the stations on the original Monopoly board! [1] Under LNER control a further rebuild took place in 1935 (the LMS ran trains to the station too). The London, Tilbury & Southend Line was electrified in the early 1960s. It is now managed by c2c who operate all services to the station.

Fenchurch Street takes its name from a street in the City of London where the station frontage is situated. Unlike the other London termini Fenchurch Street has no London Underground station though is just a few hundred metres away from Tower Hill and Aldgate stations. One proposal for the Fleet Line (later Jubilee Line) would have had a station at Fenchurch Street though a different route was chosen for the Jubilee Line's Eastern extension in the end. [2]
c2c 357 021 waiting to depart

Looking down platforms 1 and 2

c2c 357 202 stands at platform 3

[1] John Glover, Eastern Electric (Ian Allan, 2003) p. 36
[2] Mike Horne, The Jubilee Line (Capital Transport, 2000) p. 51

Friday, 8 September 2017

The Lakes (TLK)

The Lakes was opened by the GWR in 1935 on the North Warwickshire Line (nowadays branded the Shakespeare Line) as The Lakes Halt to serve the nearby Earlswood Lakes, the summit and feeder for the Southern section of the Stratford Canal [1] and also a popular destination for day trips.

Information
Type: National Rail
(Shakespeare Line)
Station code: TLK
Opened: 1935
Platforms: 2
The station did have a manned ticket office once at peak times but nowadays is a quiet unmanned station with just a couple of bus shelters [2].

The platforms are very short (about 40m long) and passengers who want to alight at this station, which is a request stop, must be in the front coach of the DMUs that serve the Shakespeare Line.
London Midland 172 332 departs heading for Stratford-upon-Avon

The road bridge is the means of getting between platforms

Next train indicator

Pretty much the entire platform can be seen in this view!


[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Stratford Upon Avon to Birmingham (Middleton Press, 2006) p. 62
[2] Colin G Maggs, The Branch Lines of Warwickshire (Amberley, 2011) p. 139

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Ramsline Halt (RLE)

Ramsline Halt was a short-lived station for football specials to Derby County's Baseball Ground. The station was originally called Baseball Ground Halt.

Information
Type: National Rail
Station code: RLE
Opened: 1990
Closed: 1997
Platforms: 1
The station was opened in 1990 on a freight loop between Derby station and Peartree. The station was close to the football ground and so away fans specials could avoid Derby city centre and hopefully any potential trouble. The station was only used 4 times during its existence and was closed in 1997 after Derby County moved to Pride Park on the other side of the city.

Despite being closed for 20 years the station is intact with the platform still in reasonably good condition (though in need of weeding). The station will likely be demolished as part of the Derby station remodelling due for 2018. The freight loop will be removed as part of the work [1].
Ramsline Halt, view from a passing train

[1] Jonathan Webb, "Remodelling Derby", Today's Railways UK Issue 189 (September 2017) p. 38

Monday, 4 September 2017

Liverpool South Parkway (LPY)

Liverpool South Parkway is a fairly new station which opened in 2006, however its roots are much older as it is the result of the merger of two 19th century stations.

Information
Type: National Rail
(West Coast Main Line,
City Line & Merseyrail
Northern Line)
Station code: LPY
Opened: 2006
Platforms: 6
The station is a major transport interchange in the South of the city with the junction of the West Coast Main Line, City Line from Liverpool to Manchester and the Northern Line of Merseyrail. The station is also a bus interchange including a bus link to Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

The station was formed from the merger and replacement of two existing stations: Allerton and Garston. Allerton was opened in 1864 by the St Helens Railway and served routes to Liverpool from Manchester and Crewe. It went into decline after the late 1970s after Garston joined the Merseyrail Northern Line, this took over much of the local traffic as it offered a faster service to the city centre. Garston itself was opened in 1874 by the Cheshire Lines Committee. It was struggling for passengers by the 1960s and closed in 1972. It was reopened in 1978 as part of the Merseyrail Northern Line to form its Southern terminus [1], though the line was extended to Hunts Cross in the early 1980s. Both it and Allerton were closed in the mid-2000s.

The station buildings and platforms of both stations were demolished and replaced by new build for the new station. The WCML and City Line platforms are on the site of Allerton station and the Northern Line platforms built slightly to the East of Garston.

When Liverpool Lime Street is closed for whatever reason Liverpool South Parkway can be used as the terminus for incoming services instead, with the Northern Line taking people on to the centre of the city.
LM 350 231 departs with a Lime St bound service

Platform 3

Northern Line platforms, third rail territory!

Station name board, the link to the airport is highlighed

Merseyrail 507 024 arrives with a city bound service

[1] Jonathan Cadwallader & Martin Jenkins, Merseyside Electrics (Ian Allan, 2010) p. 48