Droitwich Spa (DTW)

Droitwich Spa is at the junction of the two lines between Birmingham and Worcester from Birmingham New Street and Birmingham Snow Hill.

Information
Type: National Rail
(Worcester-Birmingham Line)
Station code: DTW
Opened: 1852
Platforms: 2
The station was opened as Droitwich in 1852 by the Oxford, Worcester & Wolverhampton Railway. It was later taken over by the Great Western Railway. It was renamed Droitwich Spa following a rebuilding in 1899. The station was linked to the Midland Railway's line between Birmingham and Gloucester via a branch line.

While Birmingham Snow Hill was closed between 1967 and 1995 services via Kidderminster went to Birmingham New Street instead. Droitwich Spa is managed by West Midlands Trains who operate all services to the station.
170 635 arrives at Droitwich Spa, in London Midland days

Close up of the semaphores on the end of the platform, the signalbox can be seen in the distance

Station sign

View down the platform towards Birmingham

Looking towards Worcester, a footbridge allows transfer between the platforms
The signalbox viewed from the Droitwich canal

Finchley Road (ZFR)

Finchley Road is a tube station in Camden, North London that serves as an interchange between the Jubilee and Metropolitan Lines.

Information
Type: Transport for London
(Jubilee &
Metropolitan Lines)
Station code: ZFR
Opened: 1879
Platforms: 4
The station was opened as Finchley Road in 1879 by the Metropolitan Railway, it was renamed Finchley Road (South Hampstead) in 1885 though reverted back to it's original name in 1914 [1] when the station was rebuilt [2]. The station had a freight yard though this closed in 1941 (the sidings remained in place until 1953).

The station was heavily rebuilt again in 1938 [3] as new tunnels and lines as an extension of the Bakerloo Line were built to relieve the pressure on the Metropolitan [4]. The Bakerloo Line served the two central platforms with the Metropolitan the two outer ones [5]. In 1979 this part of the Bakerloo Line became the Jubilee Line [6].
Jubilee Line 96ts 96085 arrives at Finchley Road

View up the platform 
Jubilee Line platforms

Looking North

Metropolitan Line S8 21009 arrives

Both Jubilee platforms occupied

[1] Jason Cross, London Underground Guide 2017 (Train Crazy, 2017) p. 124
[2] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Baker Street to Uxbridge & Stanmore (Middleton Press, 2006) Fig. 14
[3] Mike Horne, The Metropolitan Line (Capital Transport, 2003) p. 60
[4] Mike Horne, The Jubilee Line (Capital Transport, 2000) p. 23
[5] Mitchell & Smith, Fig. 15
[6] Mike Horne, The Bakerloo Line (Capital Transport, 2001) p. 69

Butlers Lane (BUL)

Butlers Lane is a stop on the Northern half of the Cross-City Line between Four Oaks and Blake Street.

Information
Type: National Rail
(Cross-City Line)
Station code: BUL
Opened: 1957
Platforms: 2
Butlers Lane Halt was opened in 1957 by British Railways on a temporary and experimental basis to serve new housing developments in Four Oaks and Mere Green. The station was a success and lost the "Halt" suffix in 1963 when it was decided to keep the station open permanently [1].

The station built with wooden huts to serve as the ticket office (despite being called a halt it was staffed) and shelters on the platforms which were also wooden. The station was closed for about a year from late 1991 to be rebuilt, this coinciding with the electrification of the Cross-City Line. The platforms and ticket office/waiting room were built from brick and stone, the shelters replaced by the standard bus shelter type.

Butlers Lane retains a manned ticket office, though only open part-time. The station is managed by West Midlands Trains.
WMT 323 202 arrives at Butlers Lane

Steps/ramp down to the platform

Station sign

General view of the station, the ticket office is on the right

A Lichfield bound 323 prepares to depart

WMT 323 202 departs

[1] Vic Mitchell, North of Birmingham (Middleton Press, 2014) Fig. 106

Smallbrook Junction (SAB)

Smallbrook Junction is a recent addition to the Isle of Wight's Island Line and was built to form an interchange with the Isle of Wight Steam Railway which had extended their line to Smallbrook Junction. The station opened in 1991 [1].

Information
Type: National Rail (Island Line) &
Isle of Wight Steam Railway
Station code: SAB
Opened: 1991
Platforms: 2
Smallbrook Junction itself predates the station by some margin, in 1926 the new owners of the railways on the island the Southern Railway installed turnouts and a signal box at the location [2]. Prior to this there had been two separate lines owned by the Isle of Wight Central Railway and the Isle of Wight Railway.

Smallbrook Junction is a basic station with two platforms of wood construction for the National Railway and the heritage line (though some of the heritage line's steam locomotives are younger than the Island Line's Class 483 EMUs!) There is a ticket office on the IOWSR's platform but little else on the station. An interesting feature of the station is that there is no non-rail access to the station, the only way on or off it is by rail. The station is only open when the Isle of Wight Steam Railway is operating.
483 007 has just deposited a load of passengers for the steam railway

A1 Class W11 on the IOWSR's platform

Ivatt Class 2 41298 on the IOWSR platform

483 007 arrives on a Ryde bound service

The Isle of Wight Steam Railway
Opening in 1971 the Isle of Wight Steam Railway runs for nine km between Smallbrook Junction and Wootton via Havenstreet, it's headquarters. The IOWSR has preserved part of what was once the line to Newport, the capital of the island. Although there have been plans to extend the railway back towards Newport roads and houses have now been built across the former trackbed making it unlikely.

The IOWSR maintains an excellent collection of rolling stock at Havenstreet including Victorian and Edwardian era stock from the island's railway past when an extensive network operated.

Stock shed at Havenstreet

[1] R.J. Maycock & R. Silsbury, The Isle of Wight Steam Railway from 1923 Onwards (Oakwook Press, 2006) p. 242
[2] Ibid p. 81

Edgware (ZED)

Edgware is the terminus of the Edgware branch of the Northern Line in Barnet, North London.

Information
Type: Transport for London
(Northern Line)
Station code: ZED
Opened: 1924
Platforms: 3
The station was opened in 1924 as the terminus of the Charing Cross, Euston & Hampstead Railway which was extended from Golders Green. Edgware did already have a mainline railway station, a LNER station which closed in 1939.

In the 1930s as part of the New Works Programme it was planned to continue the Northern Line (as it then was) as far as Bushey Heath and the line from Mill Hill East would have continued to Edgware. The Second World War and the shortage of funds afterwards, plus new Green Belt protection laws put paid to these planned extensions though they remained shown on tube maps until 1949 [1].

So Edgware has remained a terminus. It has three platforms, one open air and the other two under a shed roof. There are also stabling sidings for the Northern Line's 1995 Tube Stock when not in service [2][3]. The main station building was designed by Stanley Heaps and has retained it's Art Deco touches.
95ts 51502 just after arriving with a train from Morden

One platform is open air, the other two under a roof

End of the line

Station frontage

Platform 1

[1] Siddy Holloway, Highgate Wilderness Walkabout (London Transport Museum, 2017) p. 14
[2] Jason Cross, London Underground Guide 2017 (Train Crazy, 2017) p. 118
[3] John Scott Morgan, London Underground in Colour since 1955 (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 53

Hamilton Square (BKQ)

Hamilton Square (officially known as Birkenhead Hamilton Square though maps and signage seldom use this name) is at the Wirral end of the railway tunnel under the Mersey.

Information
Type: National Rail
(Merseyrail Wirral Line)
Station code: BKQ
Opened: 1886
Platforms: 3
Hamilton Square was opened by the Mersey Railway in 1886. Along with Liverpool James Street on the other side of the Mersey it is the oldest deep-level underground railway station in the world. The route under the Mersey did not catch on until electrification in 1903 though, steam haulage in a tunnel under the river proving unpopular!

A burrowing junction was added in 1977 to allow West Kirby and New Brighton trains to pass under the Rock Ferry line allowing for increased service frequency [1]. A new third platform was also built for these services. The station received a major refurbishment in 2014.

Access between the surface and platforms is via lifts. Hamilton Square is a busy station with services towards Liverpool Central at up to five minute intervals during peak periods.
Curved platforms can make despatch troublesome for the guard, especially on a six-car service

507 014 prepares to head below the river 
The tunnel awaits

A replica of the original signage promoting the electric trains

View down the platform

Merseyrail 507 017 arrives
[1] Jonathan Cadwallader & Martin Jenkins, Merseyside Electrics (Ian Allan, 2010) p. 58

Bow Church (ZBC)

Bow Church is a Docklands Light Railway stop on the route between Lewisham and Stratford.

Information
Type: Transport for London
(Docklands Light Railway)
Station code: ZBC
Opened: 1987
Platforms: 2
Bow Church was one of the initial DLR stations which opened in 1987 on what was known as the Stratford Route. The line used being originally built by the North London Railway (as far as All Saints) [1].

The station is three hundred metres away from Bow Road station on the London Underground District and Hammersmith & City Lines. The station is named after the nearby Bow Church.
Bow Church follows the standard pattern of this early wave of DLR stations

A Southbound DLR train arrives

Station name above the entrance

[1] Stephen Jolly & Bob Bayman, Docklands Light Railway (Capital Transport, 1986) p. 26

London St Pancras (STP) / St Pancras International (SPX)

London St Pancras is one of the great railway termini of London, and as the terminus of Eurostar services from the Continent a gateway into the country. Due to these services the station is also known as St Pancras International.

Information
Type: National Rail
(Midlands Main Line, High Speed 1,
Eurostar, Thameslink)
Station code: STP/SPX/SPL (low-level station)
Opened: 1868
Platforms: 15
The station was first opened in 1868 as the London terminus of the Midland Railway. It is adjacent to London Kings Cross and only a short walk from London Euston. The station takes it's name from the St Pancras area of London where it is situated. The station was built on the site of a former slum with the single arch, the base of which was built just over six metres above ground level (this was due to the approach lines having to cross the nearby Regent's Canal).

This allowed lines to be built underneath in a lower level of the station. Originally this was used for freight including beer bought down from Burton-on-Trent on the Midland Railway but now this space is used for passenger services including Thameslink services.

Even before the advent of Eurostar St Pancras was used for international services with boat trains operated by the London, Tilbury & Southend Railway. After the "Big Four" grouping St Pancras went through a period of decline as Euston was the principal terminus of the LMS. By the 1960s there were proposals to close St Pancras or replace it with a modern structure like Euston though these were resisted and the arch was Grade I listed, though work had to be done on the arch to prevent it's collapse in the 1970s. However by the 1980s the station was virtually derelict however things picked up with the start of Thameslink services.

The focus for the regeneration of London St Pancras was Eurostar. The station was extensively rebuilt including an extension to the original arch. Eurostar services switched from London Waterloo in 2007, the station being renamed St Pancras International. New low-level platforms for Thameslink were opened later the same year.
Eurostar trains at St Pancras International

Thameslink 700 003 on a low-level platform

A Southeastern Javelin on a HS1 service

Thameslink 377 211 underground

The refurbished station

Underground

Beaconsfield (BCF)

Beaconsfield is a stop on the Chiltern Main Line between High Wycombe and Seer Green & Jordans. Beaconsfield has plenty of original features and has appeared in Midsomer Murders a number of times as the railway station in Midsomer's county town!

Information
Type: National Rail
(Chiltern Main Line)
Station code: BCF
Opened: 1906
Platforms: 2
The station was openly jointly by the Great Western Railway and Great Central Railway in 1906. The line underwent a long decline throughout the twentieth century. Originally four lines went through Beaconsfield but the two central fast lines were removed in 1974.

However in latter years Beaconsfield has benefited from the upgrades to the Chiltern Main Line. Line speeds though the station have been increased though the station has not had some of the upgrades afforded to stations elsewhere. There is no step-free access between the two platforms without leaving the station and crossing over to the other side via a road bridge that crosses the lines.

The able-bodied can cross using a footbridge though it is quite a long one due to the fact there used to be four tracks here. The station has had improved car parking facilities and ticket barriers. The station is managed by Chiltern Railways.
A Chiltern service arrives at the station

View down the platform, the long footbridge is apparent

Station frontage

A freight train passes through Beaconsfield

Along the footbridge

Bekonscot

Close to Beaconsfield station is Bekonscot model village, the oldest such tourist attraction in the world. Bekonscot has been creating a model replica of the country for nearly ninety years. Bekonscot has it's own narrow gauge railway and an extensive mini-world of buildings ranging from castles to shops, schools to cable cars.

Bekonscot

Marylebone (ZMY)

Marylebone is a stop on the Bakerloo Line between Baker Street and Edgware Road which serves London Marylebone railway station, the entrance being located on the main line station's concourse.

Information
Type: Transport for London
(Bakerloo Line)
Station code: ZMY
Opened: 1907
Platforms: 2
Marylebone was opened in 1907 by the Baker Street & Waterloo Railway as Great Central after the name of the railway company then operating the main line station (Lisson Grove was another contender for the name) [1].

Originally the station was the line's Northern terminus until the extension to Edgware Road opened a few months later. The station was renamed Marylebone in 1917 though Great Central is still displayed on some of the station tiling [2] (see photo below).

The original entrance to the station was a separate Leslie Green type building, unique in that it was single storey with the ticket hall in the basement. There was also a subway connection through to the main line station. However the building was damaged in the Second World War and the current entrance was opened in 1943. The original building was demolished in 1971.
A Bakerloo Line train arrives

Southbound platform view

Station entrance
Great Central tiling
Platform view with a train in
Another Bakerloo Line 72ts arrival
[1] Mike Horne, The Bakerloo Line (Capital Transport, 2001) p. 20

[2] Jason Cross, London Underground Guide 2017 (Train Crazy, 2017) p. 141