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

Wigan North Western (WGN)

Wigan North Western is one of Wigan's two stations and is situated on the West Coast Main Line.
Type: National Rail
(West Coast Main Line)
Station code: WGN
Opened: 1838
Platforms: 6

The station was opened as Wigan in 1838 by the North Union Railway, this station replaced an earlier station located elsewhere in the town which has opened in 1832. The station was renamed Wigan North Western in 1924 due to the London & North Western Railway once operating it (although by then the LNWR no longer existed!) Another station in the town is Wigan Westgate which is about a hundred metres away and opened later.

The station was completely rebuilt in the early 1970s along with the electrification of this stretch of the WCML (electric services through the station began in 1973).

The station has six platforms, two are bays which are only used for peak time services to Manchester. The other four platforms are located either side of two islands, two platforms are used for WCML services and the other two for mainly local services. Access between the two islands and the booking office/exit is via a subway. The station is served by Virgin Trains (who manage the station), Northern and Trans Pennine Express.
Northern 142 094 on one of the bay platforms

Looking up the line

Northern 319 386 pauses on a local service on the Liverpool-Preston line

The WCML platforms

Station buildings largely date from the 1970s

TPE 350 405 and 401 arrive at the station

Ealing Broadway (EAL)

Ealing Broadway is the first stop on the Great Western Main Line in West London out of London Paddington, a major London Underground terminus to adjacent to the main line station.
Type: National Rail
(Great Western Main Line)
Station code: EAL
Opened: 1838
Platforms: 4

Ealing Broadway was opened, as Ealing, by the GWR in 1838 on it's broad gauge line between Paddington and Taplow. The station was renamed Ealing Broadway in 1875, a couple of years later the District Railway opened a station just to the North of the GWR one, what is now Ealing Broadway tube station. Nowadays this is a terminus of the Central and District Lines.

The original GWR station was demolished in 1961 and replaced by a new building with a single ticket office for National Rail (British Railways in those days of course) and Underground lines. The main line part of Ealing Broadway has four platforms though only two (platforms three and four) are in regular use.

Ealing Broadway is served by GWR and TfL Rail. In future it will also be a stop on the Elizabeth Line. Heathrow Express also calls at the station though this is now run by GWR.
Heathrow Express 332 012 departs the station

The LU station is next to the NR one

GWR 165 131 arrives with a Paddington bound service

GWR 165 134

View down the platform

GWR 166 215 departs