Dilhorne Park

Dilhorne Park is a stop on the Foxfield Railway in Staffordshire. It is the usual destination and terminus for trains on the line from Caverswall Road though the line does continue onto the former Foxfield colliery.

Information
Type: Preserved Railway
(Foxfield Railway)
Opened: 1974
Platforms: 1
The Foxfield Railway was an industrial line built to link the North Staffordshire Railway to the colliery in 1892. Until the line closed in the mid-1960s (along with the colliery) it never carried passenger trains. The Foxfield Railway opened a few years later with stations being built at Caverswall Road and Dilhorne Park in the early 1970s [1].

Dilhorne Park is a halt set in woodland with a fine view of the Staffordshire moorlands. The station is a basic unmanned halt with a run around siding. The station featured in the BBC costume drama Cranford as Hanbury Halt.
Having run around the train this locomotive approaches it's train to recouple

Station sign

The line continues on to Foxfield colliery

A train waits at the station

View down towards Caverswall Road

Running around

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Derby to Stoke-on-Trent (Middleton Press, 2016) Map. XXXVI

Sutton Coldfield (SUT)

Sutton Coldfield serves the town of the same name and is a stop on the Northern half of the Cross-City Line between Wylde Green and Four Oaks. Just North of the station is a one hundred and fifty eight metre long tunnel.

Information
Type: National Rail
(Cross-City Line)
Station code: SUT
Opened: 1862
Platforms: 2
The station was opened by the London & North Western Railway in 1862 on it's line North from Birmingham. It was a terminus for a couple of years before the line was extended to Lichfield City in 1864. The station was later taken over the LMS and later British Railways. In 1955 an express from York to Bristol derailed at the station due to excessive speed because of crew unfamiliarity (as the service was on diversion), seventeen people lost their lives [1].

The station was once a grander affair with a bay platform for terminating services plus a goods yard and turntable [2]. The station was also host to Motorail services to Stirling from 1958 to 1972.

Sutton Coldfield became part of the Cross-City Line in 1978.
LM 323 210 arrives at Sutton Coldfield

Station building and footbridge

One of the station entrances

LM 323 214 stands at the station

A LM service departs

Another view of 323 210 in London Midland days

[1] Vic Mitchell, North of Birmingham (Middleton Press, 2014) Fig. 99
[2] Ibid. Map. XXIX

Hammersmith District and Piccadilly Line (ZHA)

There are two tube stations called Hammersmith (not the only time different stations have the same name there are also two Edgware Roads!). The two stations serve different lines and are separated by the Hammersmith Broadway road. The other station is a terminus of the Hammersmith & City and Circle Lines.

Information
Type: Transport for London
(District & Piccadilly Lines)
Station code: ZHA
Opened: 1874
Platforms: 4
This Hammersmith station serves the District and Piccadilly Lines and was opened in 1874 by the District Railway [1]. For a time it was the Western terminus of the railway until the line was extended to Ravenscourt Park in 1877. The Midland Railway also ran services to Hammersmith for a couple of years between 1878 and 1880 though were not a success.

The Great Northern, Brompton & Piccadilly Railway reached Hammersmith in 1906, the station being the line's terminus of what became the Piccadilly Line until 1932. The station was enlarged and the main station building rebuilt as part of the extension. The station buildings were demolished in the early 1990s and the station was incorporated into a new shopping centre with a bus station (and interchange).
Looking down the platform, a Piccadilly Line departs

Piccadilly Line trains in the station

[1] Jason Cross, London Underground Guide 2017 (Train Crazy, 2017) p. 128

Worcester Shrub Hill (WOS)

Worcester Shrub Hill is one of Worcester's two railway stations though is not in the city centre like Worcester Foregate Street.

Information
Type: National Rail (Cotswold &
Snow Hill Lines)
Station code: WOS
Opened: 1850
Platforms: 2
Shrub Hill is a much larger station than Foregate Street. It was opened in 1850 and was a joint project of the Oxford, Worcester & Wolverhampton and Midland Railways. The current station building dates from 1865.

The station has two platforms connected by a footbridge though people who can't use the stairs have to cross the track (under supervision). The former platform three was a bay platform that is no longer in use but used to host services to Cheltenham Spa. Shrub Hill is adjacent to Worcester TMD with a number of stabling sidings behind the station. The station is host to a number of fine semaphore signals.

As well as West Midlands Trains services to/from Birmingham and Malvern the station has regular GWR services to London Paddington, Hereford and other destinations like Evesham and Westbury.
GWR 800 009 at Worcester Shrub Hill

GWR HST led by 43 189

Fine semaphores

View down the line, signalbox on the right

View from the footbridge, both platforms occupied
GWR 166 206 prepares to depart

Manchester Oxford Road (MCO)

Manchester Oxford Road, the second busiest station in central Manchester, serves lines going East-West across the city.

Information
Type: National Rail
Station code: MCO
Opened: 1849
Platforms: 5
The station was opened in 1849 by the Manchester, South Junction and Altrincham Railway (MSJAR) as Oxford Road. Originally the station was a small affair with a couple of platforms for services from the East including Manchester Piccadilly (then London Road). The station slowly expanded over the years with extra platforms and services added including West to Liverpool.

The station was rebuilt in 1903-4, with the platform layout redesigned. A further rebuilt took place in 1960 with the new station buildings with a roof that consisting of three overlapping cones, innovative architecture which found favour with a number of critics even Nikolaus Pevsner. The architect Max Clendinning intended the station to be imagined as a giant piece of furniture! [1]

Unfortunately the roof, which was mostly made from timber [2], has proven rather prone to leaking and has required regular attention. Further improvements of the station have taken place in the 1990s and 2010s as it has become steadily busier. It is proposed to lengthen the station platforms as part of the Northern Hub project though this would require the knocking down of a number of adjacent properties, the station being in an awkward trapezium shaped site.

The station is served by Northern, Trans Pennine Express, Transport for Wales and East Midlands Trains.
TPE 185 444 departs

View down the platform

Station sign

Notice the canopies

Station frontage

A TPE train prepares to depart

[1] David Lawrence, British Rail Designed 1948-97 (Ian Allan, 2016) p. 78
[2] Bruce Peter, The Changing Face of British Railways (Lily Publications, 2018) p. 139

Aigburth (AIG)

Aigburth is a stop on the Merseyrail Northern Line, on the Southern section between Liverpool Central and Hunts Cross.

Information
Type: National Rail
(Merseyrail Northern Line)
Station code: AIG
Opened: 1864
Platforms: 2
The station, serving a district in the South of Liverpool, was opened as Mersey Road and later Mersey Road & Aigburth by the Garton & Liverpool Railway in 1864. Later on it became part of the Cheshire Lines Committee group.

The station was closed in 1972 but re-opened (as Aigburth) in 1978 as part of the Merseyrail system. It is now part of Merseyrail's Northern Line.

Aigburth has a staffed ticket office. Access view the two platforms is via a footbridge. Services through the station are at up to every fifteen minutes frequency.
A Southbound Merseyrail train prepares to depart

View from the footbridge

View down the line towards Hunts Cross

Station building

Aigburth is the stop for the Otterspool Promenade
View up Platform 1, the footbridge can be seen

Rickmansworth (RIC/ZRI)

Rickmansworth is a stop on the Metropolitan Line in Hertfordshire. It is also served by Chiltern Railways services between London Marylebone and Aylesbury.

Information
Type: Transport for London
(Metropolitan Line) &
National Rail
(London-Aylesbury Line)
Station code: RIC/ZRI
Opened: 1887
Platforms: 3
The station was opened by the Metropolitan Railway in 1887 on it's extension from Pinner. It served as the line's terminus for two years before the line was extended to Chesham. The Great Central Railway also used Rickmansworth on it's services into London Marylebone.

The Metropolitan Railway electrified the line as far as Rickmansworth in 1925. The station was used for the changeover between electric and steam locomotives until the line was electrified out to Amersham in the early 1960s [1].

The station has two platforms in use, the bay platform still exists but is seldom used nowadays. Rickmansworth is used as a crew changeover point for Metropolitan Line trains and there is also stabling nearby [2]. Access between the two platforms is via a subway.
A Chiltern 165 departs bound for Aylesbury

The platforms have LU roundels

View of the platforms sans trains

A Chiltern train prepares to depart

The station has LU and NR signage

Two Chiltern trains at Rickmansworth

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Rickmansworth to Aylesbury (Middleton Press, 2005) Fig. 3
[2] Jason Cross, London Underground Guide 2017 (Train Crazy, 2017) p. 152

Gloucester (GCR)

Gloucester is a stop off the Bristol-Birmingham Line which due to a complicated legacy and rationalised layout means many trains have to reverse which call there to continue onward with their journeys.

Information
Type: National Rail
Station code: GCR
Opened: 1840
Platforms: 4
A station at Gloucester was first opened in 1840 by the Birmingham & Gloucester Railway, the new station being the line's terminus. The Cheltenham & Great Western Union Railway arrived next with a broad gauge line from Swindon in 1844. This line later became part of the Great Western Railway and was converted to mixed-gauge.

The Midland Railway arrived the year after and the South Wales Railway in 1851. The complicated layout of the station and the fact it began life as a terminus meant that GWR trains had to reverse to continue between London and Cheltenham Spa. This practice continues to this day. Both the GWR and MR built new stations in the latter half of the nineteenth century linked by a footbridge to replace the original Gloucester station. They were known as Gloucester Central and Gloucester Eastgate respectively.

British Rail rationalised the railway layout in the 1960s and 1970s, closing Gloucester Eastgate in 1975, leaving Gloucester Central as the remaining station today. The station was rebuilt and one of the platforms extended to about six hundred and three metres long so it could host two High Speed Trains simultaneously, the platform is the second longest in the country after Colchester - though is split into two officially.

The station has had a new footbridge with lifts and a refurbished booking hall over the last couple of years though there have been calls for a complete rebuild of the station. There have indeed been proposals to build a brand new station on a new site which would remove the need for reversals though these proposals have so far come to nothing. Gloucester is served by Great Western Railway, Cross Country and Transport for Wales.
GWR 150 130 stands at Gloucester

XC 170 106 arrives with a Birmingham bound service

A HST stands at one end of the longest platform

Platform mosaic

View down the platform showing the footbridge

Main station building

Leicester (LEI)

Leicester is a major stop on the Midland Main Line as well as services throughout the East Midlands.

Information
Type: National Rail
(Midland Main Line)
Station code: LEI
Opened: 1840
Platforms: 4
Leicester station dates from 1840 when it was opened by the Midland Counties Railway (though an earlier station was built elsewhere in the city in 1832 and indeed was one of the earliest places served by the railways). The station was later operated by the Midland Railway (under whom the station was renamed Leicester Campbell Street), the LMS and British Railways. Nowadays it is managed by East Midlands Trains.

The current main building dates from a major rebuilding in the 1890s when the station was renamed Leicester London Road. It was built with an overall roof over the platforms though this deteriorated in condition after being damaged in the Second World War, the remains were finally removed in the mid-1970s [1]. The name was changed back to simply Leicester in 1969 after the closure of two other stations in the city. Further changes to the station including the current booking hall and the platform facilities date from modernisation in the late 1970s.

The station has four platforms and is a major stop on East Midland Trains services between London St. Pancras and the North, there are also regular services to other destinations such as Birmingham New St, Derby and Loughborough by EMT and Cross Country.
An East Midlands Trains Meridian perpares to depart

Look down the platform, the city of Leicester in the background

View of one of the footbridges

An EMT service well down the platform

EMT 222 005 arrives

A Cross Country 170 prepares to depart for Stansted Airport


[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Coventry to Leicester (Middleton Press, 2017) Fig. 89