Meols (MEO)

Meols is a stop on the Merseyrail Wirral Line on the West Kirby branch between Moreton and Manor Road.
Type: National Rail
(Merseyrail Wirral Line)
Station code: MEO
Opened: 1866
Platforms: 2

Meols was one of the original stations of the Hoylake Railway, the predecessor to the Wirral Railway. It opened in 1866 and became part of the Wirral Railway in 1883. In 1938, by now operated by the London Midland Scottish Railway the line through Meols was electrified. The station was rebuilt at the same time, the Art Deco shelters and main station building dating from this rebuild [1].

The station has cycle storage, indeed it has had such since 1938 - back then this was quite a rarity! [2] It is planned to improve accessibility at the station by adding lifts to both platforms.
Merseyrail 507 019 departs for West Kirby

View down the platform under a concrete canopy

Gradient post

A train prepares to depart

The Art Deco platform shelters

Merseyrail 507 033 arrives with a Liverpool bound service

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Birkenhead to West Kirby (Middleton Press, 2014) Fig. 44
[2] Ibid. Fig. 45

Bromsgrove (BMV)

Bromsgrove is the station at the bottom of the famous Lickey Incline (Barnt Green is at the other end). It is a stop on the Birmingham-Worcester Line and one of the termini of the Cross-City Line.
Type: National Rail
(Birmingham-Worcester Line
& Cross-City Line)
Station code: BMV
Opened: 1840
Platforms: 4

Bromsgrove was opened by the Birmingham & Gloucester Railway in 1840. The station didn't get off to a good start, a few months after opening a steam locomotive exploded at the station killing the crew.

The station went into a long decline, by the late 1960s it has been reduced to a single platform serving the (dwindling) number of trains stopping in both directions in peak hours only. A second platform was added in 1990.

In 2007 plans were made to build a new Bromsgrove station next to the old one (slightly more to the South). Although problems with funding and contaminated land delayed the building it finally opened in 2016. The new station has four platforms and since July 2018 has hosted Cross-City Line trains after electrification of the Lickey Incline.

Only West Midlands Railway serves Bromsgrove (Cross Country also did until recently but no longer), as well as Cross-City services to Four Oaks, Lichfield City and Lichfield Trent Valley via Birmingham New Street there are also services to Hereford via Worcester Foregate Street, Great Malvern and Worcester Shrub Hill.
WMR 170 635 departs with a Hereford bound service

Footbridge linking the platforms and the ticket hall

WMR 323 215 prepares to depart for Four Oaks

A Cross-Country service passes through, only West Midlands Railway now serves Bromsgrove

WMR 323 204 arrives with a Cross-City service

View towards Worcester

Stanmore (ZSM)

Stanmore is the Northern terminus of the London Underground Jubilee Line though was originally was part of the Metropolitan Railway.
Type: Transport for London
(Jubilee Line)
Station code: ZSM
Opened: 1932
Platforms: 3

Stanmore was opened in 1932 by the Metropolitan Railway [1] and the next year became a branch of the Metropolitan Line of London Underground. The Metropolitan offered commuters a faster route into London than via the earlier Stanmore Village station which was operated by the LMS. Stanmore Village closed in 1952.

There were proposals in the 1930s to extend the line North from Stanmore as far as Elstree or beyond. However these plans were never proceeded with. The Stanmore branch of the Metropolitan Line was transferred to the Bakerloo Line in 1939 and finally became a tube line in it's right, the Jubilee Line, in 1979.

A third platform was added to Stanmore in 2011. The original station building remains and is largely unchanged on the exterior apart from a canopy to shelter bus passengers [2] though the ticket office has been moved down to platform level. Jubilee Line stock is stored on sidings next to the station, originally this was the site of a small goods yard but this was closed after a couple of years [3].
96ts 96104 stands at Stanmore

A Jubilee Line train departs

The newest platform is on the right, Platform 3. Though Platform 2 is to the left of Platform 1!

Station building

Stock storage sidings next to the station
96006 stands ready to depart

[1] Jason Cross, London Underground Guide 2017 (Train Crazy, 2017) p. 157
[2] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Baker Street to Uxbridge & Stanmore (Middleton Press, 2006) Fig. 54
[3] Ibid. Fig. 53

Northampton (NMP)

Northampton is a stop on the West Coast Main Line, the principle station on the WCML's Northampton Loop.
Type: National Rail
(West Coast Main Line)
Station code: NMP
Opened: 1859
Platforms: 5

The first station in Northampton was Bridge Street which was opened in 1845 by the Northampton & Peterborough Railway. In 1859 the London & North Western Railway opened a station on the site of the town's former castle (and indeed the station ended up being called Northampton Castle). This station was initially a rather minor station compared to Bridge Street. The building of the Northampton Loop along with other improvements to the Birmingham-London line (now the WCML) saw the Castle station grow in importance and it was rebuilt and enlarged in the early 1880s.

In 1964 Bridge Street closed leaving Castle station the only one remaining in the town. It was renamed to just Northampton a couple of years later. The station was rebuilt in the late 1960s along with the arrival of electrification. This station remained until 2013-14 when a brand new station building twice the size of the 1960s one was opened.

Most services at Northampton are by London Northwestern Railway though a couple of Virgin Trains services also stop at the station every day.
LNWR 350 241 on one of the two bay platforms

Station building

Look down the platform

A LNWR 350 prepares to depart for London Euston

LNWR 350 241 and friend stand at Northampton

Freightliner 66 951 passes through the station

Derby (DBY)

Derby is one of the great railway centres on the network. It was once the headquarters of the Midland Railway. Nowadays it is still a junction of the Midland Main Line and the lines to Birmingham, Nottingham and Matlock, and also adjacent to the Railway Technical Centre. One of the largest remaining British railway manufacturing centres at Bombardier Derby is also nearby.

Type: National Rail
(Midland Main Line)
Station code: DBY
Opened: 1839
Platforms: 6
Derby first got a station when the Midland Counties Railway station opened in 1839, though this was only a temporary structure with the first permanent station opening the following year which was known as Derby Station Street.

Derby, which between 1950 and 1968 was known as Derby Midland [1] (this name is still displayed on the front of the main station building), has been extended and rebuilt a number of times. The latest change being in 2018 when the station layout was remodelled to remove bottlenecks and improve line speeds, the station was also resignalled with a new gantry to the South of the station. A bay platform was removed and replaced by a new through platform which is one side of a new island. There is a seventh platform (the other side of the new island) though it is not usually in public use.

It is hoped that one day the lines will also be under the wires thanks to Midland Main Line electrification (though this project is subject to delays and may not take place for a long time).

Derby has six through platforms. It is served by East Midland Trains and Cross Country services between the North East and South West as well as links to destinations like Matlock, Crewe and Nottingham. There are two entrances to the station with a second entrance added at the Pride Park development in the 2001 along with a new overbridge [2].
An EMT 153 enters the station under the new signal gantry

View down the platform

An EMT 222 leaves the station

EMT 222 012 arrives

The new platform can be seen in the background

Derby is still host to interesting traction

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Derby to Stoke-on-Trent (Middleton Press, 2016) Fig. 5
[2] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Derby to Chesterfield (Middleton Press, 2017) Fig. 9

Kensal Green (KNL)

Kensal Green is a stop on the Bakerloo Line in Northwest London as well as a stop on the Watford DC line of the London Overground.
Type: Transport for London
(Bakerloo Line &
London Overground)
Station code: KNL
Opened: 1916
Platforms: 2

The station was opened by the London & North Western Railway in 1916 on it's electrified line from London Euston to Watford. The station was also served by the Bakerloo Line from opening (the extension of the line from Queen's Park to Willesden Junction having been open since 1915) [1] and indeed was only served by the Bakerloo Line for the first five years [2]. Since 2007 National Rail services on the Watford DC line have been run by London Overground.

The line is in a cutting with tunnels just to the North of the station, there is a station building on the surface (and above the mouths of the tunnels). The original building was replaced by a new building in 1980 [3]. The platforms are largely unchanged from opening.
Bakerloo Line 72ts 3535 prepares to depart North

View from the footbridge

Tunnels just to the North of the station

Looking toward Central London

Steps down to the platform

[1] Mike Horne, The Bakerloo Line (Capital Transport, 2001) p. 33
[2] Keith Scholey, Euston to Harrow & Wealdstone (Middleton Press, 2002) Map. IX
[3] Ibid. Fig. 65

Worcester Foregate Street (WOF)

Worcester Foregate Street is the smaller of Worcester's two railway stations, though is more centrally located in the city than Worcester Shrub Hill.
Type: National Rail
(Snow Hill Lines)
Station code: WOF
Opened: 1860
Platforms: 2

Worcester Foregate Street was opened by the Hereford & Worcester Railway in 1860. Later becoming part of the West Midlands Railway and finally the Great Western Railway.

Worcester Foregate Street is unusual in that both platforms are bi-directional and is more like two single track/platform stations next to each other. One line is for trains from Birmingham Snow Hill heading to Malvern and as far as Hereford. The other is for trains from London Paddington as far as Hereford.

Worcester Foregate Street is nowadays served by the modern day namesakes of the West Midlands and Great Western Railways. The station is built on a viaduct with access via lifts and steps, changing between platforms is via the subway underneath the station.
WMR 172 336 arrives at the station

GWR 166 212 arrives from Shrub Hill

View down the platform

Station entrance and bridge over the road

LM 172 214 arrives from Snow Hill

GWR 166 105 arrives

Gerrards Cross (GER)

Gerrards Cross is a stop on the Chiltern Main Line in Buckinghamshire.

Type: National Rail
(Chiltern Main Line)
Station code: GER
Opened: 1906
Platforms: 2
The station was opened as Gerrards Cross for the Chalfonts in 1906 by the Great Western and Great Central Railways on their joint line. Originally the line was four track at the station but the two through roads were removed in 1989. A goods yard to the North of the station has been closed but the siding remains in use for stabling stock on services from London Marylebone which terminate at Gerrards Cross.

The line is in a deep cutting, the main station building is a two storey affair, the street entrance being on the first floor. The main building, footbridge and other platform building have little changed exteriorly since the opening of the station though two signal boxes at either end of the station have now gone, one lasting until 1990 [1].

Just South of the station is a tunnel built in 2005 on top of which was built a Tesco supermarket. Unfortunately during construction part of the tunnel roof fell on the railway line, luckily no trains hit the debris. Rail services were restored after a couple of months.
Looking up North

Main station building

View of the station from the road atop the tunnel

The tunnel can be seen in the background


A London bound Chiltern service arrives

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Paddington to Princes Risborough (Middleton Press, 2002) Fig. 77

Southend Pier Railway stations

The Southend Pier Railway runs for just over two kilometres along the pier at Southend-on-Sea with stations at the shore and pier ends.
Type: Southend Pier Railway
Opened: 1986
Platforms: 2 (shore) + 2 (pier)

The original pier had a horse drawn tramway but when the work on the current pier began in 1887 provision was made for an electric railway. Operations began in 1890 of this railway [1] with the full length completed the following year. After a period of decline this original pier railway closed in 1978.

It was finally replaced in 1986 by a brand new line (though with the original stations reused, the shore-end station dates from the rebuilding of the building it is housed in in 1932 [2]) which was to 914mm gauge. The railway has twin track termini at both ends which are known as North (shore-side) and South (pier-end). This line continues to run today though the original South / pier-end station was damaged in a fire in 2005 and was replaced by a new station in 2009.

The North shore-end station is fully enclosed [3] and has the line's depot next to it and a museum dedicated to the pier underneath, this museum contains preserved cars from the original pier railway. The current line is operated by two diesel locomotives and push-pull rolling stock. There is also an electric single car unit for off-season.

The South pier-end station is open-air though has canopies. Both stations have a single island platform.
Sir John Betjeman stands at the North shore-end station

The South pier-end station

Sir William Heygate at the South pier-end station

North shore-end station

Another view of Sir William Heygate waiting at the South pier-end station

Another view of Sir John Betjeman shore-end, both stations have a single island platform

[1] Dr Edwin Course, Barking to Southend (Middleton Press, 2002) Fig. 117
[2] Keith Turner, Pier Railways & Tramways of the British Isles (Oakwood Press, 1999) p. 54
[3] Robert J Harley, Southend-on-Sea Tramways (Middleton Press, 1994) Fig, 115