Claverdon (CLV)

Claverdon is a stop on the branch line between Leamington Spa and Stratford-upon-Avon.

Information
Type: National Rail
(Leamington Spa-
Stratford-upon-Avon Line)
Station code: CLV
Opened: 1860
Platforms: 1
The station was opened by the Great Western Railway in 1860, initially as a single broad-gauge line though it was converted to standard gauge in 1869. The station was built with a single siding which was converted into a goods loop in 1885 [1].

The line between Hatton and Bearley was doubled in 1938, a new station was built to the West of the original [2] with a second platform being added at Claverdon (the second line followed the alignment of the old goods loop, a new goods siding was also laid to replace the loop). New station buildings were built at the same time which in most cases still exist though not all now in railway ownership. The second track was lifted in 1969, the former platform still exists but it now overgrown with plants. The goods facilities are also now long gone.

Claverdon is now an unmanned halt though in the 1920s had a station master and two porters [3]. Claverdon is served by Chiltern Railways (mostly between Leamington and Stratford though some services go on through to London Marylebone). West Midlands Railway to and from Birmingham also stop at Claverdon once a day by request.
Chiltern 165 015 departs for Stratford-upon-Avon

Platform shelter and PIS

The former second platform is on the left, now heavily overgrown

Former station building

Station sign

Looking down the platform, the old station was the other side of the bridge


[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Stratford-upon-Avon to Birmingham (Moor Street) (Middleton Press, 2006) Map. III
[2] Colin G. Maggs, The Branch Lines of Warwickshire (Amberley, 2011) p. 123
[3] Mitchell & Smith. Fig. 6

St Michaels (STM)

St Michaels serves St Michael's Hamlet in Liverpool. It is between Brunswick and Aigburth.
Information
Type: National Rail
(Merseyrail Northern Line)
Station code: STM
Opened: 1864 (Closed 1972)
Re-opened: 1978
Platforms: 2

St Michael's (notice the apostrophe) was opened by the Garston & Liverpool Railway in 1864 on it's line between Brunswick and Garston Dock. The station was closed in 1972 though was re-opened just six years later as part of the Merseyrail route from Kirkby to Garston.

Marks & Spencer helped fund the re-opening of the station because of their "St Michaels" brand name. St Michaels is now on the Merseyrail Northern Line between Hunts Cross and Southport. At peak times it is served every fifteen minutes in each direction. St Michaels is in a cutting with the station building at road level. There are stepped ramps down to each platform.
Merseyrail 507 011 arrives with a Southport bound service

View down the platform in the direction of Liverpool

Merseyrail 507 025 waits at St Michaels
Stepped ramps down to the platforms

View down the ramp

A Merseyrail train departs for Hunts Cross

Weybridge (WYB)

Weybridge is a stop on the South Western Main Line out of London Waterloo in Surrey between Walton-on-Thames and Byfleet & New Haw.
Information
Type: National Rail
(South Western Main Line)
Station code: WYB
Opened: 1838
Platforms: 3

Weybridge was opened by the London & Southampton Railway in 1838. The station was built in a deep cutting with the station buildings at road level.

As well as platforms on both slow lines of the South Western Main Line Weybridge also has a bay platform for terminating trains on the Chertsey branch line.

South Western Railway operate all trains which serve Weybridge with up to six trains an hour to London Waterloo. Trains in the other direction are usually headed to Woking or Basingstoke.
A Woking bound SWR 455 arrives

View of the station from the road bridge

Platform view showing footbridge

Station sign

Brooklands Museum
Near to Weybridge station is the former airfield, aircraft manufacturing centre and racetrack (the world's first one to be purpose built) Brooklands. The site is now home to a museum with a number of collections. The aircraft collection includes Concorde and the VC10 while the car collection includes Formula 1 race cars. Brooklands is also host to the London Bus Museum.
Concorde

London Bus Museum

Atherstone (ATH)

Atherstone is a stop on the Trent Valley section of the West Coast Main Line in North Warwickshire.
Information
Type: National Rail
(West Coast Main Line)
Station code: ATH
Opened: 1847
Platforms: 2

The station was opened by the London & North Western Railway in 1847. The original LNWR building has survived, despite plans in the 1980s to demolish it, and is now Grade II listed. The building is not used by the station anymore however and is a private office.

Atherstone has two platforms on the slow lines of the West Coast Main Line. Access between the platforms is via a road bridge that takes a road under the railway lines.

Atherstone is nowadays served by the modern day London Northwestern Railway with an hourly service every day except Sunday between Crewe and London Euston, some via Northampton.
North bound LNWR 350 107 arrives at the station

Station sign

Platform view

Under the WCML

Older style station name sign on the original LNWR building

A LNWR service heads off for London Euston

Balham London Underground (ZBL)

Balham tube station is adjacent to Balham National Rail station, sharing an entrance with it.
Information
Type: Transport for London
(Northern Line)
Station code: ZBL
Opened: 1926
Platforms: 2

Balham was opened by the City & South London Railway in 1926 [1] on it's Southern extension to Morden. Balham is in between Clapham South and Tooting Bec. In the Second World War Balham was badly damaged during a bombing raid in 1940 when a bomb exploded on the road above the station. This caused a partial tunnel collapse on the platform below. Over sixty people were killed (the station being used as a shelter) [2]. The station was re-opened within a few months.

The station has two surface buildings, designed by Charles Holden and built from Portland Stone as was common on the Underground in that period.
A Northern Line train in the station

Station roundel

View down the platform

[1] Jason Cross, London Underground Guide 2017 (Train Crazy, 2017) p. 100
[2] Mike Horne, The Northern Line (Capital Transport, 2009) p. 55

Four Oaks (FOK)

Four Oaks is a station on the Northern half of the Cross-City Line situated between Sutton Coldfield and Butlers Lane.

Information
Type: National Rail
(Cross-City Line)
Station code: FOK
Opened: 1884
Platforms: 3
The station was opened by the London & North Western Railway in 1884 when it extended it's line from Sutton Coldfield to Lichfield City [1]. The station once had a number of sidings and a substantial main station building. The latter has now gone though the waiting room on the island platform with it's original canopies remains.

When the Cross-City Line was launched in 1978 Four Oaks was the original Northern terminus [2] though most trains go through to Lichfield these days. Some services still terminate/begin at Four Oaks and usually use Platform 3, a bay platform. The Cross-City Line was electrified in 1992.
LM 323 210 departs

Platform canopy

Footbridge

A Lichfield bound train prepares to depart

Island platform

LM 323 220 arrives
[1] Vic Mitchell, North of Birmingham (Middleton Press, 2014) Fig. 103
[2] John Glover, BR Diary 1978-1985 (Ian Allan, 1985) p. 19

Honeybourne (HYB)

Honeybourne is a stop on the Cotswold Line in Worcestershire. The station was once a busy junction with services between Cheltenham Spa and Stratford-upon-Avon as well as Worcester to London Paddington though was closed during the 1970s.
Information
Type: National Rail
(Cotswold Line)
Station code: HYB
Opened: 1853 (Closed 1969)
Re-opened: 1981
Platforms: 2

The station was opened in 1853 by the Oxford, Worcester & Wolverhampton Railway, within a few years becoming part of the Great Western Railway. A line South from Stratford-upon-Avon reached Honeybourne in 1859, the line being extended onto Cheltenham in 1908.

The station went into decline in the 1960s, the freight yard being closed in 1964 and the station closing entirely in 1969. The Stratford-Cheltenham line continued to be used for freight until 1976. The station was re-opened in 1981 after new housing was built nearby and a prison. Traditionally Honeybourne had generated very little traffic itself as the station was in a rural setting until later years, most passengers using the station as a junction.

The station had just a single platform in use until 2011 until the redoubling of the Cotswold Line between Evesham and Moreton-in-Marsh (the two stations either side of Honeybourne). Part of the line to Stratford is still in place as it is the rail access to Long Marston depot and storage area, there have been proposals to restore the line back to Stratford. There are also plans to extend the heritage Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway to Honeybourne.

The station has recently had it's platforms extended ready for the introduction of GWR Class 800 trains. GWR, who manage Honeybourne, operate all services to the station.
GWR 800 035 departs

Station sign

New accessible ramp

View from the footbridge

Footbridge with road bridge behind

A GWR Class 800 has arrived

Cosford (COS)

Cosford is a stop on the Wolverhampton-Shrewsbury Line in Shropshire which serves RAF Cosford and air museum.
Information
Type: National Rail
(Wolverhampton-
Shrewsbury Line)
Station code: COS
Opened: 1927
Platforms: 2

The station was opened by the Great Western Railway as Cosford Aerodrome Halt in 1937 to serve the then-new Royal Airforce Base (which actually opened in 1938). The station was renamed Cosford in 1940. The station was originally on the GWR route between London Paddington and Birkenhead via Birmingham Snow Hill. After the closure of the original Snow Hill in the late 1960s trains ran to Cosford via Birmingham New Street instead.

The station was rebuilt in 2011-12 with new platforms replacing the original 1930s wooden platforms. The station is managed by West Midlands Railway who provide most services though a small number of Transport for Wales services also stop at the station.
A West Midlands Railway train arrives

Station entrance

View down the platform

A TfW service passes through

Platform shelter

RAF Cosford and Museum
RAF Cosford opened in 1938 and has remained to this day a centre of Royal Air Force flight and engineering training. Since 1979 the site has also housed RAF Museum Cosford. The museum has continued to grow and in 2007 the Cold War exhibit was opened.

RAF Museum

Narborough (NBR)

Narborough is a stop on the Birmingham to Peterborough Line near to Leicester. Like many stations Narborough was closed in the carnage of the 1960s but had a very quick reprieve.
Information
Type: National Rail
(B'ham - Peterborough Line)
Station code: NBR
Opened: 1864 (Closed 1968)
Re-opened: 1970
Platforms: 2

Narborough was opened in 1864 by the South Leicestershire Railway, within a few years it was part of the London & North Western Railway empire. Near to the station were a number of granite quarries, a branch line junction and exchange sidings being next to Narborough station. The quarries and finally the branch were closed by 1980 [1].

Narborough also had a couple of goods sidings but these were closed in 1966, the station closed completely in 1968 [2]. After support, including financial, from the local councils the station was re-opened in 1970. The station was refurbished in the early 2000s, the original station building remains though the ticket office is not always open and when the station is unstaffed the waiting room is locked.

Next to the station is a level crossing. A signal box still stands next to the crossing though is no longer in every day use. Although the station is managed by East Midlands Trains only Cross Country serve Narborough with a service usually every hour usually between Birmingham New Street and Leicester, but some also through to Stansted Airport.
A Freightliner trains heads through the station

A Leicester bound XC service stops at Narborough

Station entrance

XC 170 108 prepares to depart

Station sign

Footbridge, level crossing and signal box
[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Coventry to Leicester (Middleton Press, 2017) Map. XXI
[2] Ibid. Fig. 60