Barnt Green (BTG)

Barnt Green is a junction station at the summit of the Lickey Incline in Worcestershire between Longbridge and Alvechurch or Bromsgrove. It is on the Cross-City Line and Birmingham-Hereford Line (the former splits off from the latter at Barnt Green).

Type: National Rail
(Birmingham-Hereford &
Cross-City Lines)
Station code: BTG
Opened: 1844
Platforms: 4
The station was opened by the Birmingham & Gloucester Railway in 1844 and later became part of the Midland Railway. In 1859 the Midland Railway added a branch at Barnt Green through to Redditch.

The station originally had staggered platforms with the Northbound platform North of the junction and the other two platforms. The Redditch branch was initially single line throughout but the section at Barnt Green was doubled in 1894 and a fourth platform added. The station achieved it's current layout in 1928 when the Northbound platform was moved to be opposite the Southbound one.

Barnt Green and the Redditch branch were considered for closure under Beeching in the early 1960s. Both survived but with a heavily cut back timetable which lasted until the 1980s with just a handful of trains a day. Barnt Green received a much better service after the launch of the Cross-City Line and it's extension through to Redditch. The Cross-City line was electrified in 1992 though the electrification on the Birmingham-Hereford Line not completed until 2018 with much more regular services to and from Bromsgrove.
Two Cross-City Line 323s cross just North of the station

Station footbridge

A WMR 323 approaches from Redditch

Looking towards Birmingham

WMR 323 204 arrives from Bromsgrove

A Cross-Country HST passes through

Wokingham (WKM)

Wokingham in Berkshire is near the junction of the North Downs Line to Redhill and the Reading-London Waterloo Line, the junction is about four hundred metres to the South of the station.

Type: National Rail
(North Downs Line &
Reading-London Waterloo Line)
Station code: WKM
Opened: 1849
Platforms: 2
The station was opened in 1849 by the Reading, Guildford & Reigate Railway. The section including Wokingham was part of the first section of the line (which would eventually be the North Downs Line) to be opened. The line was quickly bought by the South Eastern Railway.

The Staines, Wokingham & Woking Railway reached the town in 1856 and gave Wokingham a direct link to the capital with services through to London Waterloo. The line was worked by the London & South Western Railway. Both lines became part of the Southern Railway with the line through Wokingham being electrified in 1939 as electrification was extended from Virginia Water to Reading.

The original station building was replaced by a modern (and standard design) British Rail one in 1973, the platforms were extended in 1987 to serve eight-car trains [1]. The signal box built by the Southern Railway, which replaced two earlier boxes, in the early 1930s remains in place and controls part of the line and a level crossing at the Southern end of the station [2]. The station is served by South Western Railway (who also manage it) and Great Western Railway.
GWR 166 202 arrives at Wokingham

Looking up towards Reading

Also looking up towards Reading but from the other platform

Two GWR services cross

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Reading to Guildford (Middleton Press, 1988) Fig. 38
[2] Ibid. Fig. 40

Lea Hall (LEH)

Lea Hall is a stop on the West Coast Main Line in East Birmingham between Stechford and Marston Green.

Type: National Rail
(West Coast Main Line)
Station code: LEH
Opened: 1939
Platforms: 2
The station was opened in 1939 by the London Midland Scottish Railway (LMS) on it's line between Birmingham New Street and Coventry to serve new housing developments being built in the East of the city [1]. The station buildings were made of concrete in the functional style and the station was not given any goods facilities.

There have been some changes to the station since then though the basic structure is the same with the main station building straddling the tracks which are in a cutting. Due to vandalism the original doors and windows on the platform shelters were removed and the shelters are now open fronted though have a rather jazzy paint job. The line through Lea Hall was electrified in the mid-1960s.

The usual service is two trains per hour in each direction by West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway. Some Southbound trains go on through to London Euston.
LNWR 350 107 departs heading for Birmingham

WMR 323 232 arrives

Platform shelter, originally it has a front to it

Station building above the tracks

A Virgin Trains service passes through

TfW 158 834 passes through

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Rugby to Birmingham (Middleton Press, 2008) Fig. 102

Dorking Deepdene (DPD)

Dorking Deepdene is a stop on the North Downs Line between Dorking West and Betchworth. It is within walking distance of Dorking station though the lines are not connected.

Type: National Rail
(North Downs Line)
Station code: DPD
Opened: 1851
Platforms: 2
The station was opened by the Reading, Reigate & Guildford Railway in 1851 as Box Hill & Leatherhead Road (quickly shortened to just Box Hill). In 1923 the station, which was by now part of the Southern Railway, was renamed Deepdene to avoid confusion with the nearby Box Hill & Westhumble station. Finally the station was renamed Dorking Deepdene in 1987.

The station is served by services along the North Downs Line between Reading and either Reigate or Gatwick Airport. There are up to two trains an hour in both directions. All services are run by Great Western Railway.

The station is on an embankment with steps up from the street level. The station is unstaffed with a ticket machine at street level. A couple of bus shelters and passenger information screens are at platform level.
GWR 165 128 arrives with a Reading bound service

Looking down the line

GWR 166 204 departs

Station entrance and ticket machine

Waiting to depart

GWR 166 203 at the station

Redditch (RDC)

Redditch is the Southern terminus of the Cross-City Line (the other end being Lichfield Trent Valley) and one of two stations on the Cross-City Line branch from Barnt Green (the other being Alvechurch).

Type: National Rail
(Cross-City Line)
Station code: RDC
Opened: 1859
Platforms: 1
The station was opened in 1859 at the end of a new branch line built by the Midland Railway from the Birmingham & Gloucester Line at Barnt Green. Later on the Evesham & Redditch Railway built a line South from Redditch via Evesham to Ashchurch. This line was closed to passengers in 1962 and closed completely two years later. The line from Barnt Green was also nearly a victim of the Beeching cuts but survived thanks to a local campaign. Services were greatly improved when the Cross-City Line was inaugurated in the late 1970s with more regular services to Birmingham.

The station was moved in 1992 to make space for a new bus station and shopping mall, this was done as part of the Cross-City Line's electrification upgrade. Redditch is now the only station on the Cross-City Line to have a single platform though does have a booking office and waiting room.
LM 323 218 has just arrived

General view of the station

Station building

Looking down the platform

LM 323 218 preparing to return up the line

London Kings Cross (KGX)

London Kings Cross is one of the main London termini, being at the Southern end of the East Coast Main Line. Due to it's association with the LNER and Flying Scotsman, and in latter days Harry Potter, the station is arguably the most famous in the UK.

Type: National Rail
(East Coast Main Line)
Station code: KGX
Opened: 1852
Platforms: 12
London Kings Cross was opened in 1852 by the Great Northern Railway. The original station was expanded a number of times in the nineteenth century due to rising demand. During the years of the "Big Four" railway companies London Kings Cross was the main London terminus of the London North Eastern Railway (LNER) and the destination for famous trains like the Flying Scotsman and the record breaking A4 Pacifics.

In British Rail days the station was host to DelticHST and later Class 91 hauled services along the East Coast Main Line. However by the end of the century the station was beginning to be rather run down.

In the early twenty first century London Kings Cross was redeveloped and the original roof restored. In recent years the station has gained fame from the Harry Potter books and films.

London Kings Cross is adjacent to London St Pancras and the two termini share a London Underground station served by no less than six tube lines. The combined transport hub is one of the busiest in the country. London Kings Cross is served by the LNER's modern day namesake, Hull Trains, Great Northern and Thameslink.
Virgin Trains HST

Main concourse

Grand Central 180

Virgin Trains DVT

Station frontage

Under the roof

Wainhill Crossing Halt

Wainhill Crossing Halt was a stop on the Watlington & Princes Risborough Railway between Bledlow Bridge Halt and Chinnor.

Type: National Rail
(Watlington & Princes
Risborough Railway)
Opened: 1925
Closed: 1957
Platforms: 1
The halt was opened in 1925 by the Great Western Railway (which by then had taken over the line), the last halt to be built on the line though to a similar pattern to the other small halts [1].

It served the Oxfordshire hamlet of Wainhill and was built next to a level crossing, hence the name. The halt had very basic facilities, consisting of a wooden hut and a short low platform. Next to the station was a house for the crossing keeper. The crossing keeper was also responsible for maintaining the station (which mostly entailed lighting oil lamps).

Passenger services were withdrawn along the line in 1957 and the halt was closed (freight traffic continued along the line into the late 1980s). The line was later reopened as the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway though Wainhill Crossing has not been re-opened. The halt has been restored to it's original condition, the hut shelter is now used by a volunteer gatekeeper when the railway is operating [2]. The former crossing keeper's house is now a private dwelling.
Two views of the halt from a passing train

The closed halt is well maintained

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Branch Lines to Princes Risborough (Middleton Press, 2003) Fig. 104
[2] Brian J Dickson, The Watlington Branch of the Great Western Railway (CPRRA, 2014) p. 31

Leigh-on-Sea (LES)

Leigh-on-Sea serves the seaside town on the London, Tilbury & Southend Line between Benfleet and Chalkwell.

Type: National Rail
(London, Tilbury
& Southend Line)
Station code: LES
Opened: 1855
Platforms: 3
The original station was built by the London, Tilbury & Southend Railway as Leigh in 1855. The station was renamed Leigh-on-Sea in 1904. The London, Midland & Scottish Railway replaced the station in 1934, opening a new site eight hundred metres to the West of the original station. Part of the original station building still remains and these days is used by the Leigh-on-Sea Sailing Club.

The new station was larger and had space for three platforms. Interestingly Leigh-on-Sea was a stop on the London Underground District Line from 1910 to 1939. Summer season excursion trains operated by the District Line stopped on the way to Southend.

The station is served by c2c and has six trains per hour in each direction between London Fenchurch Street and Shoeburyness or Southend Central. Another local railway item of interest in Leigh-on-Sea is a former electric car of the Southend Pier Railway which is now in an art gallery near the station.
c2c 357 208 departs for London

Station building

Platform view

Former Southend Pier Railway car

Original station building

The line heads off through Leigh-in-Sea towards Southend

Henley-in-Arden (HNL)

Henley-in-Arden is a stop on the Shakespeare Line (originally the North Warwickshire Line) between Danzey and Wootton Wawen.

Type: National Rail
(Shakespeare Line)
Station code: HNL
Opened: 1908
Platforms: 2
The first station at Henley-in-Arden was opened by the Birmingham & Henley-in-Arden Railway in 1894 on a branch line from Lapworth. The station was served by two through-trains from Birmingham at the turn of the century [1].

The station on the North Warwickshire Line, from Birmingham to Cheltenham Spa via Stratford-upon-Avon, was opened in 1908. The first station and line was closed during the First World War.

Henley-in-Arden used to have three platforms with one platform for trains terminating from Birmingham though only two are in use now, the station's sidings and signalbox are now gone though the bay platform remained in use until the early 2000s [2]. Henley-in-Arden's original station building survives though is unused and boarded up. The station is now unstaffed.

Lifts and a new footbridge were built in 2014. The station is managed and served by West Midlands Railway.
WMR 172 341 departs heading for Stratford-upon-Avon

GWR style nameboard, the station is well maintained

Main station building

Former platform

New footbridge and lifts

Looking up towards Birmingham

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Stratford-upon-Avon to Birmingham Moor Street (Middleton Press, 2006), Fig. 50
[2] Ibid. Fig. 47

Oxford (OXF)

Oxford station is a major station serving the university city with services from two London termini as well as the Cotswold and Cherwell Valley Lines.

Type: National Rail
(Cotswold & Cherwell
Valley Lines plus others)
Station code: OXF
Opened: 1852
Platforms: 4
The first Oxford station was opened by the Great Western Railway in 1844. This was followed by a station opened by the Oxford & Rugby Railway (though owned by the GWR by the time it opened) in 1852 [1] on it's line from Oxford to Banbury which replaced the GWR original station. For a time the station was known as Oxford General to distinguish it from Oxford Rewley Road.

The station was rebuilt in 1890s with new wooden buildings which lasted until the early 1970s [2] when the buildings were replaced by standard CLASP structures [3]. A new main building and footbridge was built in 1990.

Oxford was a stop for GWR services out of London Paddington for many years but in 2016 it was also served by Chiltern Railways trains from London Marylebone. Oxford is also served by Cross Country.
A GWR service prepares to depart

Looking down the platforms

A Cross Country service prepares to depart

GWR 165 106 stands at Oxford

A GWR (in FGW livery) 166 under the footbridge

FGW 165 135 at Oxford

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Didcot to Banbury (Middleton Press, 2003) p. 3
[2] Ibid. Fig. 46
[3] Chris Heaps, BR Diary 1968-1977 (Ian Allan, 1988) p. 60