Hagley (HAG)

Hagley is a stop in Worcestershire on the Birmingham-Worcester line out of Birmingham Snow Hill. The station is between Stourbridge Junction and Blakedown.
A WMR 172 prepares to head off for Worcester

Type: National Rail (Snow Hill Lines)
Station code: HAG
Opened: 1862
Platforms: 2

The station was opened in 1862 by the Oxford, Worcester & Wolverhampton Railway. At first the station was nearly two kilometres away from the village of Hagley and facilities were rather rough and ready. In 1884 after the Great Western Railway took the station over they completely rebuilt it due to rising demand as the village had expanded towards and around the station. Brick buildings with canopies were built on both platforms, one still remains on the Worcester side of the station. The original GWR footbridge survives, and is grade 2 listed. It was used by Hornby as the prototype for their GWR footbridge model.

The station is managed by West Midlands Railway with trains several times an hour in both directions most days.
Station frontage

New WMR signage

GWR station building

Looking up towards Birmingham, the footbridge is in the background

WMR 172 339 arrives at Hagley

Piccadilly Circus (ZPC)

Piccadilly Circus is a stop on the Bakerloo (between Charing Cross and Oxford Circus) and Piccadilly (between Green Park and Leicester Square) Lines of the London Underground in Central London.
A Bakerloo Line train arrives

Type: Transport for London (Bakerloo & Piccadilly Lines)
Station code: ZPC
Opened: 1906
Platforms: 4

The station was opened in 1906, firstly for the Bakerloo Line in March and the Piccadilly Line in December [1]. The station was designed by Leslie Green and built to his typical red tiled style used elsewhere on the Underground. Transport between the ground level booking hall and platforms was by lift (and a lot of stairs). Piccadilly Circus was the first Underground station to have automatic lifts which didn't require operators [2].

The station was a great success, so much so by the 1920s the station was often dangerously overcrowded with long queues for the lifts. Construction of a new station with escalators and a much larger circular booking hall underneath Piccadilly Circus roundabout itself began in 1924. Eleven escalators were installed for passenger transfer. The station was intended by the managing director of the Underground Frank Pick to be the flagship station of the Underground. The new station designed by Charles Holden opened in 1928 (the old station closing in 1929 [3]) and was an Art Deco masterpiece of bronze and Travertine marble.

The station continues to be an intregral part of the Underground in Central London with over forty million passengers entering and exiting the station a year. A memorial to Frank Pick was opened in the booking hall in 2016.
Bakerloo Line platform

A now disused tunnel (by the public) showing the original tile pattern

Piccadilly Line platform, blue tiles are used, brown on the Bakerloo platforms

One of the walkways to the booking hall

A Piccadilly Line train

[1] Jason Cross, London Underground Guide 2017 (Train Crazy, 2017) p. 148
[2] Siddy Holloway, Piccadilly Circus: the heart of London (London Transport Museum, 2019) p. 3
[3] Desmond F. Croome, The Piccadilly Line (Capital Transport, 1998) p. 27

Chester Road (CRD)

Chester Road is a stop on the Northern half of the Cross-City Line in Pype Hayes in Birmingham between Erdington and Wylde Green. The station gets it's name from the A452 Chester Road which passes it.
WMR 323 243 arrives with a Birmingham bound service

Type: National Rail (Cross-City Line)
Station code: CRD
Opened: 1863
Platforms: 2

The station was opened by the London & North Western Railway in 1863 on its line from Birmingham to Sutton Coldfield. The station had wooden platform buildings and retained gas lighting until the 1960s [1]. The station is on an embankment with ramps to the platforms.

Little remains of the original station nowadays with much change happening when the line going through Chester Road was electrified in the early 1990s. The original LNWR waiting room was preserved and is now at Market Bosworth on the Battlefield Line [2].

The current station has fairly standard corrugated iron shelters and a large free car park as part of the park and ride rail scheme in the city. Chester Road is managed by West Midlands Railway who operate all of the trains which serve the station.
Station sign over Chester Road

A 323 approaches in the gloom

Platform shelter

Looking towards Birmingham, the booking office is on the left

WMR 323 209 heading for Lichfield

[1] Vic Mitchell, North of Birmingham (Middleton Press, 2014) Fig. 92
[2] Ibid. Fig. 93

Eridge (ERI)

Eridge is a stop on the Uckfield Branch of the Oxted Line in Sussex between Ashurst and Crowborough. It is also a terminus of the Spa Valley Railway.
Southern 171 730 pauses at Eridge

Type: National Rail (Oxted Line - Uckfield Branch) &
Preserved Railway (Spa Valley Railway)
Station code: ERI
Opened: 1868
Platforms: 3

The station was opened in 1868 by the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway. The station named after the nearby Eridge Park where Eridge Castle is located [1], there being little habitation nearby. The station was a junction for services running to Tonbridge (via Tunbridge Wells West), Eastbourne and East Grinstead though lines to these destinations were closed in the 1960s and 1980s. The station had a pair of island platforms.

The line through to Uckfield survived and is now served by Southern though was singled in 1990 meaning that only one platform was now in use. In 2011 the line from Eridge to Tunbridge Wells West was re-opened by the Spa Valley Railway. Network and preserved rail now run side by side. The Spa Valley Railway uses the island platform opposite the network one.

The main station building is on a road bridge that crosses the line with footbridges down to the platforms. Both sides of the station retain canopies and original features, though the Spa Valley side is in better condition!
View down the network platform, the Spa Valley island platform is on the left

Ring Haw brings a train into the Spa Valley platform

View down the Spa Valley platform

Station frontage

Footbridge down to the platforms

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Branch Lines to Tunbridge Wells (Middleton Press, 1986) Fig. 100

Bridgnorth Castle Hill Railway

The Bridgnorth Castle Hill Railway or Bridgnorth Cliff ailway is an inland funicular railway linking the high and low level parts of the Shropshire town.
View down the hill

Type: Private Railway (Bridgnorth Castle Hill Railway)
Opened: 1892
Stations: 2

The railway opened in 1892 as an easier way for residents and visitors to Bridgnorth to travel between the high and low parts of the town. On foot the journey climbs over thirty metres and involves a climb of two hundred steps! The railway opened with two wooden cars using water and gravity to transfer the cars over the sixty one metre long line [1]. The funicular railway has a maximum gradient of sixty-four percent making it one of the steepest in the country.

The railway has remained open every since apart from a period of about a year in the mid-1930s when the railway was closed due to financial troubles. The railway was rebuilt in 1943-44 to use electricity to move the two cars. The original cars were replaced by the current aluminium cars in 1955. The cars have a maximum capacity of eighteen passengers. The track was renewed with bullhead rails in the early 1970s. The railway uses 1, 067mm gauge.

There are two stations at either end of the line with around two hundred return trips made every day. The journey takes just over a minute!

Although unconnected to any other railway the low-level station is close to the Severn Valley Railway's station in Bridgnorth.
One of the cars at the high level station

Entrance to the high level station

Entrance to the low-level station

[1] Martin Easdown, Cliff Railways, Lifts and Funiculars (Amberley, 2018) p. 14