Liverpool James Street (LVJ)

One of the underground stations at the core of the Merseyrail system, Liverpool James Street (usually referred to as just James Street) is the oldest deep level underground station in the world along with Hamilton Square on the other side of the Mersey.

Information
Type: National Rail (Merseyrail)
Station code: LVJ
Opened: 1886
Platforms: 3
Originally James Street was the Liverpool side terminus of the line that ran through the railway tunnel under the Mersey. Later James Street became a through station as the network grew under Liverpool with the building of the loop (opening in 1977) [1] which linked the Wirral Line with the Northern Line. The station has three platforms though only two are in regular use, the other platform (platform 2) is only used if the loop under central Liverpool is closed, in these occaisions it is used for trains terminating from the Wirral.

Services from the Wirral stop at Platform 1, the trains then head onto the loop via Moorfields, Liverpool Central and Liverpool Lime Street (Low Level) before arriving back at James Street at Platform 3. From here services cross over to the Wirral and go to New Brighton, Ellesmere Port, Chester and other destinations [2].

The current surface building dates from the 1960s with major work on the station occuring in the 1970s (see above) and 2000s. Access to the platforms from the surface is via 4 lifts.
Merseyrail 507 028 arrives with a service for New Brighton

Surface entrance

Normally disused Platform 2

Platform 1 
Which way do you wanna go?

Merseyrail 507 008 arrives on a service for Liverpool Central

[1] Jonathan Cadwallader & Martin Jenkins, Merseyside Electrics (Ian Allan, 2010) p. 4
[2] Chris Heaps, BR Diary 1968-1977 (Ian Allan, 1988) p. 114

Bearley (BER)

Bearley is a stop (one of two stations on the line, the other is Claverdon) on the branch line between Leamington Spa and Stratford-upon-Avon. Bearley was once a much larger junction station but is now a simple single platform unmanned halt.

Information
Type: National Rail
(Leamington Spa -
Stratford-upon-Avon Line)
Station code: BER
Opened: 1860
Platforms: 1
The station was opened by the Great Western Railway in 1860 on a single track branch. A line to Alcester was added in 1876 [1], with Bearley being the junction of the two lines, some services along the Alcester branch starting and terminating at Bearley. Unusually for a GWR station a bay platform was not added for the branch [2]. The Alcester branch was closed in 1951.

The station also had a cattle pen and siding behind the station building and a signalbox, both were gone by the end of the 1960s [3]. Bearley now has just a bus shelter but prior to 1965 had quite a substantial stone station building.

The Leamington Spa-Stratford-upon-Avon line was doubled in 1939 (it was doubled South of Bearley in 1907 as far as Wilmcote). and a second platform added with a footbridge between the platforms. However the line was singled again in 1969.

The station is now an unmanned halt managed by West Midlands Trains though most services to the station are by Chiltern Railways.
Looking up towards Leamington Spa

The former second platform can be seen in the background

Station entrance

Edstone Aqueduct
A few hundred metres away from Bearley station is the Edstone Aqueduct, one of three on the Southern stretch of the Stratford-upon-Avon canal. It is the longest of the three being one hundred and forty five metres long. As well as a road it crosses the main Birmingham to Stratford-upon-Avon railway line. The canal (and the aqueduct) became the property of the Great Western Railway  in 1863. Water from the canal was used to top-up GWR locomotives from the aqueduct via a valve, originally a filter also being in place to stop fish getting into the locomotive water tank!
Edstone aqueduct

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Stratford-upon-Avon to Birmingham (Moor Street) (Middleton Press, 2006) Map. IV
[2] Colin G. Maggs, The Branch Lines of Warwickshire (Amberley, 2011) p.156
[3] Mitchell & Smith. Fig. 11

Chalfont and Latimer (CFO)

Chalfont & Latimer is a stop on the Metropolitan Line in Buckinghamshire serving the villages of Chalfont St Giles, Chalfont St Peter, Little Chalfont (where the station actually is) and the village of Latimer.

Information
Type: Transport for London
(Metropolitan Line) &
National Rail (London
to Aylesbury Line)
Station code: CFO
Opened: 1889
Platforms: 3
The station was opened by the Metropolitan Railway as Chalfont Road [1] in 1889 on it's extension to Chesham. The station became a junction in 1892 when the line was extended to Aylesbury, the line to Chesham becoming a branch line. Chalfont & Latimer used to the terminus of services along the branch before the London Underground introduced through running of the branch to London with the arrival of S8 Stock. The bay platform is no longer in use though still exists and is sometimes used for stock storage.

The station was renamed Chalfont & Latimer in 1915. It was served by steam hauled Metropolitan Line trains (the changeover from electric to steam being at Rickmansworth). The line was electrified through to Amersham in 1961. The station also handled freight with a coal yard behind the station for domestic consumption [2]. The goods yard closed in 1966.

The station is also served by Chiltern Railways services between Aylesbury and London Marylebone. The station is managed however by Transport for London.
An Amersham bound Metropolitan Line service arrives at the station

Look down the platform, the main station building is on the right

LU station roundel, the former bay platform is behind

Chiltern Railways 168 323 at the station

A London bound S8 Stock train arrives

This way for Chesham

[1] Jason Cross, London Underground Guide 2017 (Train Crazy, 2017) p. 109
[2] John Scott Morgan, London Underground in Colour since 1955 (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 33

London Paddington (PAD)

London Paddington is one of the iconic "Big 4" London terminuses and was 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. This opened in 1854 with an impressive three span arched roof designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

Information
Type: National Rail
(Great Western Main Line &
Thames Valley Lines)
Station code: PAD
Opened: 1838
Platforms: 14
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 London Paddington has fourteen platforms (not all are full length) with another six 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/TfL Rail services to Heathrow airport. Most services to the station are by Great Western Railway and Heathrow Express/Connect (which has being taken over by GWR), TfL Rail (to become the Elizabeth Line when the Crossrail station is completed). There are also a few Chiltern Railway services too.

As might be expected Paddington is a busy station with over thirty five million passengers passing through every year. A Crossrail Paddington station has been built and will open at the end of 2018.
The iconic HST at London Paddington

HEX and GWR services at Paddington

GWR 43 162, 43 032 and HEX 332 006

GWR Paddington signage still visible

GWR 165 104

HEX 332 006

Bridgnorth

Bridgnorth is the Northern terminus of the Severn Valley Railway and the home of it's steam locomotive depot.

Information
Type: Preserved Railway
(Severn Valley Railway)
Opened: 1862 (Closed 1963)
Re-Opened: 1970
Platforms: 2
Bridgnorth was originally a stop on the Severn Valley Line between Hartlebury and Shrewsbury opened by the Severn Valley Railway in 1862. Later on the line was taken over by the Great Western Railway. The station was closed in 1963 along with much of the rest of the line.

Bridgnorth became the headquarters for the fledgeling Severn Valley Railway Society in the late 1960s and work began on restoring the line to use. The first train ran from Bridgnorth to Hampton Loade in 1970 and since then the SVR has gradually extended down to Kidderminster. However the line North of Bridgnorth has never been restored and due to the trackbed being built on and other obstacles it is likely Bridgnorth will remain a terminus.

The station is currently undergoing a major improvement including a new building in the GWR style of the rest of the station and refurbished existing facilities. Adjacent to the station is Bridgnorth motive power depot and locomotive works. Access to the town is via a footbridge just outside the station.
7812 brings in a train from Kidderminster

Steam and diesel locomotives outside the MPD 
Inside the steam shed

Construction work at the station

Bridgnorth can seem pretty packed especially when two trains are in

A Warship heads off to the run around area beyond the station