Barnt Green (BTG)

Barnt Green is a junction station at the summit of the Lickey Incline in Worcestershire between Longbridge and Alvechurch or Bromsgrove. It is on the Cross-City Line and Birmingham-Hereford Line (the former splits off from the latter at Barnt Green).

Information
Type: National Rail
(Birmingham-Hereford &
Cross-City Lines)
Station code: BTG
Opened: 1844
Platforms: 4
The station was opened by the Birmingham & Gloucester Railway in 1844 and later became part of the Midland Railway. In 1859 the Midland Railway added a branch at Barnt Green through to Redditch.

The station originally had staggered platforms with the Northbound platform North of the junction and the other two platforms. The Redditch branch was initially single line throughout but the section at Barnt Green was doubled in 1894 and a fourth platform added. The station achieved it's current layout in 1928 when the Northbound platform was moved to be opposite the Southbound one.

Barnt Green and the Redditch branch were considered for closure under Beeching in the early 1960s. Both survived but with a heavily cut back timetable which lasted until the 1980s with just a handful of trains a day. Barnt Green received a much better service after the launch of the Cross-City Line and it's extension through to Redditch. The Cross-City line was electrified in 1992 though the electrification on the Birmingham-Hereford Line not completed until 2018 with much more regular services to and from Bromsgrove.
Two Cross-City Line 323s cross just North of the station

Station footbridge

A WMR 323 approaches from Redditch

Looking towards Birmingham

WMR 323 204 arrives from Bromsgrove

A Cross-Country HST passes through

Wokingham (WKM)

Wokingham in Berkshire is near the junction of the North Downs Line to Redhill and the Reading-London Waterloo Line, the junction is about four hundred metres to the South of the station.

Information
Type: National Rail
(North Downs Line &
Reading-London Waterloo Line)
Station code: WKM
Opened: 1849
Platforms: 2
The station was opened in 1849 by the Reading, Guildford & Reigate Railway. The section including Wokingham was part of the first section of the line (which would eventually be the North Downs Line) to be opened. The line was quickly bought by the South Eastern Railway.

The Staines, Wokingham & Woking Railway reached the town in 1856 and gave Wokingham a direct link to the capital with services through to London Waterloo. The line was worked by the London & South Western Railway. Both lines became part of the Southern Railway with the line through Wokingham being electrified in 1939 as electrification was extended from Virginia Water to Reading.

The original station building was replaced by a modern (and standard design) British Rail one in 1973, the platforms were extended in 1987 to serve eight-car trains [1]. The signal box built by the Southern Railway, which replaced two earlier boxes, in the early 1930s remains in place and controls part of the line and a level crossing at the Southern end of the station [2]. The station is served by South Western Railway (who also manage it) and Great Western Railway.
GWR 166 202 arrives at Wokingham

Looking up towards Reading

Also looking up towards Reading but from the other platform

Two GWR services cross

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Reading to Guildford (Middleton Press, 1988) Fig. 38
[2] Ibid. Fig. 40

Lea Hall (LEH)

Lea Hall is a stop on the West Coast Main Line in East Birmingham between Stechford and Marston Green.

Information
Type: National Rail
(West Coast Main Line)
Station code: LEH
Opened: 1939
Platforms: 2
The station was opened in 1939 by the London Midland Scottish Railway (LMS) on it's line between Birmingham New Street and Coventry to serve new housing developments being built in the East of the city [1]. The station buildings were made of concrete in the functional style and the station was not given any goods facilities.

There have been some changes to the station since then though the basic structure is the same with the main station building straddling the tracks which are in a cutting. Due to vandalism the original doors and windows on the platform shelters were removed and the shelters are now open fronted though have a rather jazzy paint job. The line through Lea Hall was electrified in the mid-1960s.

The usual service is two trains per hour in each direction by West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway. Some Southbound trains go on through to London Euston.
LNWR 350 107 departs heading for Birmingham

WMR 323 232 arrives

Platform shelter, originally it has a front to it

Station building above the tracks

A Virgin Trains service passes through

TfW 158 834 passes through

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Rugby to Birmingham (Middleton Press, 2008) Fig. 102

Dorking Deepdene (DPD)

Dorking Deepdene is a stop on the North Downs Line between Dorking West and Betchworth. It is within walking distance of Dorking station though the lines are not connected.

Information
Type: National Rail
(North Downs Line)
Station code: DPD
Opened: 1851
Platforms: 2
The station was opened by the Reading, Reigate & Guildford Railway in 1851 as Box Hill & Leatherhead Road (quickly shortened to just Box Hill). In 1923 the station, which was by now part of the Southern Railway, was renamed Deepdene to avoid confusion with the nearby Box Hill & Westhumble station. Finally the station was renamed Dorking Deepdene in 1987.

The station is served by services along the North Downs Line between Reading and either Reigate or Gatwick Airport. There are up to two trains an hour in both directions. All services are run by Great Western Railway.

The station is on an embankment with steps up from the street level. The station is unstaffed with a ticket machine at street level. A couple of bus shelters and passenger information screens are at platform level.
GWR 165 128 arrives with a Reading bound service

Looking down the line

GWR 166 204 departs

Station entrance and ticket machine

Waiting to depart

GWR 166 203 at the station

Redditch (RDC)

Redditch is the Southern terminus of the Cross-City Line (the other end being Lichfield Trent Valley) and one of two stations on the Cross-City Line branch from Barnt Green (the other being Alvechurch).

Information
Type: National Rail
(Cross-City Line)
Station code: RDC
Opened: 1859
Platforms: 1
The station was opened in 1859 at the end of a new branch line built by the Midland Railway from the Birmingham & Gloucester Line at Barnt Green. Later on the Evesham & Redditch Railway built a line South from Redditch via Evesham to Ashchurch. This line was closed to passengers in 1962 and closed completely two years later. The line from Barnt Green was also nearly a victim of the Beeching cuts but survived thanks to a local campaign. Services were greatly improved when the Cross-City Line was inaugurated in the late 1970s with more regular services to Birmingham.

The station was moved in 1992 to make space for a new bus station and shopping mall, this was done as part of the Cross-City Line's electrification upgrade. Redditch is now the only station on the Cross-City Line to have a single platform though does have a booking office and waiting room.
LM 323 218 has just arrived

General view of the station

Station building

Looking down the platform

LM 323 218 preparing to return up the line