Warwick (WRW)

Warwick serves the county town of Warwickshire, though has been rather overshadowed since the opening of Warwick Parkway in 2000 which has a better intercity service and much better parking.

Type: National Rail
(Chiltern Main Line)
Station code: WRW
Opened: 1852
Platforms: 2
Warwick was opened by the Great Western Railway in 1852 on it's line between Oxford and Birmingham. The station was expanded in 1890 with the platforms lengthened. Warwick once had a bay siding for a bank engine to assist heavy goods trains up Hatton bank towards Birmingham.

Warwick had two goods yards, one for the gas works and the other for the Royal Agricultural Society which held shows nearby [1]. The goods yards and bay siding have now gone following rationalisation in the mid-1960s, as have the station buildings on the Up (London) line. The station building on the Down line still survives. The station has a small cafe and waiting room. Access between the platforms is via a subway.

The station is managed by Chiltern Railways who supply most services to the station on the Birmingham-London Marylebone route and services to Leamington Spa either from Stratford-upon-Avon or Birmingham Moor Street. West Midlands Railway also stop at the station at peak times.
A Cross Country service passes through the station

Main station building

A Stoneblower passes through the station

Station frontage

Station sign

Two Chiltern services at the station

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Banbury to Birmingham (Middleton Press, 2004) Map XIV

Finsbury Park (FPK/ZPF)

Finsbury Park is a major interchange station on the Great Northern routes out of Moorgate and London Kings Cross, as well as being a stop on the London Underground's Piccadilly and Victoria Lines.

Type: National Rail
(Great Northern &
Northern City Lines) &
Transport for London
(Piccadilly & Victoria Lines)
Station codes: FPK/ZPF
Opened: 1861
Platforms: 12
The station was first opened as Seven Sisters Road (Holloway) by the Great Northern Railway in 1861 on the East Coast Main Line out of London Kings Cross. The station was renamed Finsbury Park in 1869 after the Edgware, Highgate & London Railway built a line from the station to Edgware.

In 1904 what became the Northern City Line was built linking from Moorgate through Finsbury Park. The Piccadilly Line arrived in 1906 [1] though the current route dates from 1932 and the line's extension through to Cockfosters.

Also in the 1930s London Underground planned to take over the line to Edgware and make it part of the Northern Line as part of the Northern Heights project, the Second World War and a lack of finance killed off these grand plans, the existing line through to Edgware was closed in 1970. However the Northern City Line did become part of the Northern Line until it was passed to British Rail in the 1970s. Originally the Northern City Line was underground at Finsbury Park but these platforms were take over by the Victoria Line which opened at Finsbury Park, part of the first section of the line, in 1968. Since the 1970s the Northern City Line has used surface platforms.

Finsbury Park has, can be seen, a complicated history and resulting interchange of different lines and services (including two bus stations). The National Rail and London Underground stations are fully integrated though have separate ticket offices.
A Class 313 on the Northern City Line arrives

317 341 at Finsbury Park

Victoria Line platform

Tile design on the Victoria Line, Finsbury Fields being associated with duels [2]

Platform view

Great Northern 365 510 arrives

[1] Jason Cross, London Underground Guide 2017 (Train Crazy, 2017) p. 124
[2] Mike Horne, The Victoria Line (Capital Transport, 2004) p. 61

Bedford St Johns (BSJ)

Nowadays a single platform halt Bedford St Johns was Bedford's first station though is much changed since it opened in the mid-nineteenth century.

Type: National Rail
(Marston Vale Line)
Station code: BSJ
Opened: 1846
Platforms: 1
It was opened as Bedford by the Buckinghamshire Railway as part of the Oxford-Cambridge Line (more commonly known as the Varsity Line) in 1846. Confusingly the Midland Railway also called their station Bedford which they opened in 1859. In 1924 the original station was renamed Bedford St Johns and the newer station Bedford Midland Road.

The Varsity Line began to be closed in the late 1960s leaving just the route from Bedford St Johns to Bletchley. The original Bedford St Johns, by then a terminus, was closed in 1984 and a new single platform halt built on a new chord line to Bedford. The Bedford-Bletchley route is now known as the Marston Vale Line.

Bedford St Johns is a basic unmanned stop with just a single bus shelter and a passenger information screen. There are firm plans to re-open the Varsity Line which means Bedford St Johns could be restored as a more substantial station one day.
WMR 153 374 arrives with a Bletchley bound service

The full length of the platform can be seen in this photo

Station sign, former operator London Midland gave gold sign due to Olympian success in Bedford

Station sign

A bus shelter and a couple of benches make up Bedford St John's facilities

Princes Risborough (PRR)

The railway reached Princes Risborough in Buckinghamshire via the Wycombe Railway in 1862 when a line from High Wycombe was extended to Thame with a branch also being built through to Aylesbury. This line was built to broad gauge though was converted to standard gauge in 1870 after the railway became part of the growing Great Western Railway empire [1].
Type: National Rail
(Chiltern Main Line) &
Preserved Railway (CPRR)
Station code: PRR
Opened: 1862
Platforms: 4

The Watlington and Princes Risborough Railway also reached the station in 1872 with a line from Watlington. This was also later absorbed by the GWR but the line closed to passenger use in the 1950s and entirely in 1989. Parts of the line were later reopened as the preserved Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway and in 2018 the preserved line finally returned to Princes Risborough [2] and operate services via a newly built platform 4 to Chinnor.

Major rebuilding of the station took place in 1905 when the Great Central Railway and GWR built a new route to avoid the GCR using Metropolitan Railway metals, part of the scheme being the upgrading of the existing line through Princes Risborough. Most of the station's structures date from this rebuilding. The station had a goods yard but it closed in 1966 [3]. A route to Oxford also ran from Princes Risborough but this was closed in 1963.

The station was reduced to a single platform (with a bay) for a long time (London Marylebone of course was threatened with closure in the 1970s and 80s) but in 1999 a new platform was built for down services (and a new footbridge) and also a new through line for none-stopping services has been restored.

Princes Risborough is a busy station with regular Chiltern Railway services to and from London Marylebone to Aylesbury, Banbury and Birmingham Moor Street. Four platforms are in use with some Aylesbury-Princes Risborough services stopping at the bay Platform 1. Access between the other platforms is via a footbridge.
Chiltern 165 002 pauses at Platform 2

Main station building

A Chiltern 165 arrives 
The CPRR now share the station
View from the footbridge

CPRR platform during final construction

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Princes Risborough to Banbury (Middleton Press, 2002) p. 2
[2] "Reaching Princes Risborough", CPRR Website <http://www.chinnorrailway.co.uk/product.php/79//27b10091d42e3b564feeedb12d8e80e6>
[3] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Branch Lines to Princes Risborough (Middleton Press, 2003) Fig. 113

Evesham (EVE)

Evesham is a stop on the Cotswold Line in Worcestershire. Evesham is in between Pershore and Honeybourne.

Type: National Rail
(Cotswold Line)
Station code: EVE
Opened: 1852
Platforms: 2
Evesham was opened in 1852, the Southern terminus of the first part of the Oxford, Worcester & Wolverhampton Railway to be completed (Stourbridge Junction being the other end). The following year the line was opened down to Oxford.

Evesham became part of the West Midland Railway and later the Great Western Railway in 1863. The following year Evesham was joined by another Evesham station right next to it, this one opened by the Midland Railway. It closed in 1963.

Evesham is served by a frequent (though irregular) service on the Cotswold Line between London Paddington / Oxford and Hereford. All services are by GWR who also manage the station. The station has brick station buildings on other platforms and wooden canopies.
A GWR Class 800 prepares to depart for London Paddington

View down the line

Station buildings

Station sign

Footbridge between the platforms

A HST heads off into the distance