Holywell Town

Holywell Town was the terminus of the short (nearly three kilometre long) branch line from Holywell Junction.
Information
Type: National Rail
(Holywell Branch Line)
Opened: 1912
Closed: 1954
Platforms: 1

Holywell Junction, which opened in 1848, was not that close to the town so the London & North Western Railway opened a branch line in 1912 that ran up a one in twenty-seven gradient to Holywell. The line followed much of the route of the Holywell Railway Company [1] line from Holywell Junction to industries North of Holywell though the Holywell Railway had never managed to get the line to Holywell itself. The station had a single platform with wooden shelters but also had goods facilities and a run-round loop.

Although custom on the line was reasonable the station the line was closed in 1954 following a decline in service during and after the Second World War. Holywell Junction was also closed in the following decade.
LNWR officials at the opening of the station [1]

Holywell Town [1]

[1] "Opening of a branch line of the L and NW Railway", Railway Times (July 6 1912) p. 13

Shirley (SRL)

Shirley is a stop on the North Warwickshire Line (usually called the Shakespeare Line nowadays) between Yardley Wood and Whitlocks End.
Information
Type: National Rail
(Shakespeare Line)
Station code: SRL
Opened: 1908
Platforms: 2

Shirley was opened in 1908 along with other stations on the line by the Great Western Railway. It was given a brick building which is still in use with full facilities (with ten staff) as well as a goods yard, which was removed in 1968 [1]. The station is otherwise largely unchanged from opening apart from signage. The footbridge has been replaced though and lifts have been added either side of the footbridge in recent years to aid station accessibility.

Shirley was the terminus for commuter services from Birmingham until services were extended to Whitlocks End in 2010. Shirley also has services for Stratford-upon-Avon and Worcester.
WMR 172 218 departs Shirley

Station frontage

View of the footbridge

View of the station buildings

Footbridge view including the lift shafts either side

Station sign


[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Stratford-upon-Avon to Birmingham (Moor Street) (Middleton Press, 2006) Fig. 74

Leasowe (LSW)

Leasowe serves a village on the Wirral, it is a stop on the Merseyrail Wirral Line.

Information
Type: National Rail
(Merseyrail Wirral Line)
Station code: LSW
Opened: 1870
Platforms: 2
The original station was opened by the Hoylake Railway in 1870 as Leasowe Crossing though this station closed in 1872. [1] The Wirral Railway opened a new Leasowe station in 1894 situated on it's line from Birkenhead Park to West Kirby. [2]

The station passed into LMS ownership and the line it was on was electrified in 1938. Through trains to Liverpool Central also began. The station buildings were rebuilt at the same time in the concrete style also used elsewhere on the line to West Kirby. A footbridge was added next to the level crossing.

The station is now operated by Merseyrail. A level crossing is at one end of the station though the signalbox which once controlled it has now gone. The station has a staffed booking office.
Merseyrail 507 028 arrives with a Liverpool bound service

Footbridge with the level crossing beyond

Platform waiting room

Merseyrail 507 033 departs bound for West Kirby

Alight at Leasowe for Wirral Coastal Park

Waiting room

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Birkenhead to West Kirby (Middleton Press, 2014) Map. X
[2] Jonathan Cadwallader & Martin Jenkins, Merseyside Electrics (Ian Allan, 2010) p. 70

Whatstandwell (WTS)

Whatstandwell serves the village of the same name and the village of Crick (and the nearby National Tramway Museum). The station is located on the Derwent Valley Line between Ambergate and Cromford. The original station, called Watstandwell Bridge, was opened by the Manchester, Buxton, Matlock and Midlands Junction Railway in 1849 the other side of Whatstandwell tunnel to the current station which dates from 1894 when the name was changed to the present one.

Information
Type: National Rail
(Derwent Valley Line)
Station code: WTS
Opened: 1849
Platforms: 1
Whatstandwell now has only a single active platform after the singling of the Derwent Valley Line. The other platform is still in existence though is by now pretty overgrown however it does have a heritage station nameboard sign in the London Midland Scottish Railway "hawkseye" style. The footbridge gives access to the towpath of the Cromford Canal and over a further bridge into the village.

Whatstandwell is served by East Midland Trains from Matlock to Newark Castle and Nottingham via Derby.
EMT 156 410 departs heading for Matlock

Station footbridge, in the distance can be seen Whatstandwell Tunnel 
Disused platform and heritage sign

Footbridge leads to the canal towpath

General platform view, the station carpark is in the background
Station nameboard

Monument (ZMM)

Monument is a stop in the City of London serving London Underground's Circle and District Lines but is also linked to the adjacent Bank station and thus is part of one of the busiest transport interchanges on the Underground.

Information
Type: Transport for London
(District & Circle Lines)
Station code: ZMM
Opened: 1884
Platforms: 2
Monument was opened as Eastcheap in 1884 though renamed The Monument after a few weeks [1]. The station is named after the doric column nearby which marks the spot where the Great Fire of London in 1666 began [2]. The station was opened jointly by the District and Metropolitan Railways. Later the District and Metropolitan Lines of London Underground, though after the Second World War this portion of the Metropolitan was given it's own identity as the Circle Line.

Monument was close to the growing Bank station and in 1933 a connecting escalator between the two stations was installed. This was shown on the tube map as an "escalator link" though in recent times the two stations are represented by a single interchange symbol. Monument is also very close to the former tube station King William Street.
Entrance into the ticket hall

An S stock train arrives

Waiting to depart

[1] Desmond F. Croome, The Circle Line (Capital Transport, 2003) p. 23
[2] Jason Cross, London Underground Guide 2017 (Train Crazy, 2017) p. 142

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