Hampton Loade

Hampton Loade is near to the Shropshire hamlets of Hampton and Hampton Loade. The station originally was just a single platform though in 1883 a second platform and passing loop were added.

Type: Preserved Railway
(Severn Valley Railway)
Opened: 1862 (Closed 1963)
Re-opened: 1970
Platforms: 2
The station was opened as Hampton by the West Midlands Railway in 1862 (the name changed to Hampton Loade within weeks) on it's Severn Valley Railway route from Hartlebury to Shrewsbury and incorporated into the Great Western Railway the following year.

The station closed in 1963 during the Beeching Axe era (though the station had already been listed for closure even before the publication of the Beeching report) along with much of the rest of the Severn Valley Line [1]. The station was re-opened in 1970 as the Southern terminus of the then-new Severn Valley Railway preserved railway [2].

Hampton Loade remained the Severn Valley Railway's terminus until 1974 when the line was extended South to Highley, Arley and Bewdley.

As Hampton Loade retains its passing loop it is still important for SVR operations and is one of the more picturesque stations on the line along with Arley. Hampton Loade is the home of the thirty two mm gauge Paddock Garden Railway and a number of preserved items of rolling stock.
7802 heading for Bridgnorth

Platform store

Main station building

A Class 50 arrives with a Kidderminster bound service

Hampton Loade signal box

Station entrance

[1] Michael Welch, Diesels on the Western (Capital Transport, 2013) p. 44
[2] Chris Heaps, BR Diary 1968-1977 (Ian Allan, 1988) p. 40

Woking (WOK)

Woking is a major stop on the South Western Main Line and Portsmouth Direct Line in Surrey.

Type: National Rail
(South Western
 Main Line)
Station code: WOK
Opened: 1838
Platforms: 6
The station was opened by the London & Southampton Railway as Woking Common in 1838 as it was over two kilometres from the then centre of the town [1]. The station's name was changed to Woking in 1843. The Guildford Junction Railway arrived at Woking in 1845. By now the station was part of the London & South Western Railway.

The station was rebuilt in the mid-1930s for the Southern Railway electrification of the line to Portsmouth Harbour [2]. The new layout had a central island with two side platforms to serve four through lines and Up and Down bays. The station layout is largely the same now though one of the bays, platform 6, is only lightly used. The station has a fine Art Deco styled signal box and retains it's good yard though these days used mostly for Network Rail traffic.

Woking is a busy interchange with up to fourteen trains an hour to London Waterloo and four per hour to Portsmouth. There are also regular services to numerous destinations including Southampton, WeymouthAlton, Basingstoke and Farnborough and on the West of England Line to Exeter. The station is managed by South Western Railway.
SWT 444 022 waits at Woking

SWT 450 544 at Woking

SWR 707 023 on one of the bay platforms

Woking signalbox

Colas 70 810 powers out of the yard

SWR 450 093 and 037 prepare to depart for London Waterloo

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Woking to Portsmouth (Middleton Press, 1985) Fig. 1
[2] David Brown, Southern Electric Vol. 2 (Capital Transport, 2010) p. 24

Langley Mill (LGM)

Langley Mill is a stop on the Erewash Valley Line in Derbyshire between Alfreton and Ilkeston.

Type: National Rail
(Erewash Valley Line)
Station code: LGM
Opened: 1847 (Closed 1967)
Re-opened: 1986
Platforms: 2
The station was opened as Langley Mill for Heanor (Heanor being a nearby town) by the Midland Railway in 1847 [1]. The station was renamed Langley Mill and Eastwood (another nearby town) in 1876. Heanor gained it's own station later on though this closed in 1926. In 1933 the station was renamed again as Langley Mill and Eastwood for Heanor! Though it later reverted back to the earlier shorter name.

The station was closed in 1967 due to Beeching cuts though the line it was on remained intact. The station was re-opened as Langley Mill in 1986 thanks to support from the various local councils.

The original station had two platforms facing each other, due to commercial development on the site of one of the old platforms the new station had staggered platforms either side of a railway bridge across Station Road [2], access to the platforms via a ramp or stairs the road level below. Langley Mill is served by Northern and East Midlands Trains.
Northern 158 850 with a Nottingham bound service

A Northern service departs

The platforms are staggered either side of a bridge

The two platforms are either side of this bridge

Another view of one platform to the other

Northern 158 853 arrives

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Ilkeston to Chesterfield (Middleton Press, 2019) Fig. 15
[2] Ibid. 23

Stonehenge Works

Stonehenge Works is one of the termini (the other being Page's Park) of the Leighton Buzzard Light Railway.

Type: Preserved Railway
(Leighton Buzzard
Light Railway)
Opened: 1969
Platforms: 1
The Leighton Buzzard Light Railway was a 610mm narrow gauge line linking sand quarries to the main line in Leighton Buzzard. Traffic began to drop after the Second World War though the railway continued into the 1960s. A preservation society began to run passenger services on the railway at weekends in 1968 with the last mineral trains running to Leighton Buzzard the following year. Unlike a lot of preserved railways the original line never closed.

Stonehenge Works is named after a brickworks that used to be next to the railway. Next to the station are locomotives and rolling stock not involved in passenger service. The railway's main workshops are here in a building which used to be the stables for horses which worked in the quarries.

The line does continue beyond Stonehenge Works and the railway is currently raising funds to extend services over a kilometre towards Double Arches quarry [2].
Stonehenge Works

Part of the impressive collection of ex-industrial locomotives at Stonehenge Works

The station and run around loop

More locomotives and stock

Waiting at the station

Passenger services may one day extend this way

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Watford to Leighton Buzzard (Middleton Press, 2004) Fig. 114 
[2] "Towards Double Arches", http://www.buzzrail.co.uk/static/doublearches.html

Marston Green (MGN)

Marston Green is a stop on the West Coast Main Line in Solihull in between Birmingham International and Lea Hall. The station is literally at the end of the runway for Birmingham Airport though Birmingham International is the station for airline passengers as this is near the terminal building.

Type: National Rail
(West Coast Main Line)
Station code: MGN
Opened: 1838
Platforms: 2
The station was opened by the London & Birmingham Railway in 1838 on their line between Birmingham and Coventry. The station originally had two goods sidings and a refuge siding. The goods yard was closed in 1964. The signalbox remained in use until 1976.

Due to the proximity of Birmingham Airport (originally Elmdon Aerodrome) there were emergency signals at the station for the event of an aeroplane landing on the railway line!
Both platforms originally had wooden buildings with canopies but following electrification of the line in the 1960s and a rebuild of the station in the mid-1970s nothing of the original station now remains [1].  The station is served by West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway.
TfW 158 838 passes through

Main station building

LNWR 350 107 arrives with a Birmingham bound service

View from the footbridge

View towards Birmingham

A London Euston bound Pendolino passes through

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Rugby to Birmingham (Middleton Press, 2008) Fig. 99

Belper (BLP)

Belper is a stop on the Midland Main Line in Derbyshire near Derby and in between Duffield and Ambergate.

Type: National Rail
(Midland Main Line)
Station code: BLP
Opened: 1840
Platforms: 2
The original Belper station was opened in 1840, in a different location to the current station [1]. The original station was just over a kilometre to the South of the town centre but this proved unpopular with townsfolk.

In 1878 the Midland Railway built the current station in it's current location in a cutting in the town centre. The old station site remained in use for goods traffic until 1979.

Belper station became unmanned and the original station buildings demolished in 1973 replaced by the usual modern shelters. The station was refurbished in 2005 with new shelters and passenger information screens [2].

Most trains to Belper are on the Matlock-Nottingham or Newark Castle Derwent Valley route operated by East Midlands Trains. There are also a couple of peak time trains to Sheffield and London St Pancras.
EMT 156 413 departs for Matlock

An EMT Meridian passes through

General platform view

Station sign

View from the footbridge

EMT 153 326 arrives heading for Derby

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Derby to Chesterfield (Middleton Press, 2017) Fig. 36
[2] Ibid. Fig. 43

Kidderminster Town

Kidderminster Town is the Southern terminus of the Severn Valley Railway, the station is adjacent to the National Rail station Kidderminster. Unlike most of the other stations on the SVR Kidderminster Town is not a former network station that was closed and later re-opened but was built new from scratch for the SVR.
Type: Preserved Railway
(Severn Valley Railway)
Opened: 1984
Platforms: 2

The Severn Valley Line was largely closed to passenger traffic in 1963 though services continued from Kidderminster to Bewdley until 1970. By now the Northern end of the line had re-opened as the Severn Valley Railway. Services from Bridgnorth slowly made their way South as the line was gradually re-opened reaching Bewdley in 1974.

Goods services at Kidderminster ceased in 1982 when the yard was closed, the Severn Valley Railway bought the remaining stretch of the line from Bewdley to Kidderminster. As it was difficult to use the British Rail station it was decided to built a new station called Kidderminster Town in a faux Victorian GWR style (based on the station at Ross-on-Wye) on the opposite side of the car park to the BR station. The station opened in 1984 though some elements of the original plans were not completed until 2006.

The station consists of a single island platform with run-around facilities and storage bay sidings on both sides. Next to Kidderminster Town station is the Kidderminster Railway Museum and nearby is the SVR's carriage shed and Diesel Depot.
A Class 20 waits in one of the bay sidings, the museum is in the background

Visiting Network Rail 73 962 in one of the station sidings

GWR 1450 arrives giving brave van rides

D1062 at Kidderminster

34053 takes on water before another passenger service

A Class 50 brings a train in

Stratford (SRA)

Stratford is a major transport hub in East London, an interchange of the Great Eastern Main Line out of London Liverpool Street, London Overground, two London Underground lines and the Docklands Light Railway. It is also next to a bus station!
Type: National Rail
(Great Eastern Main Line) &
Transport for London
(Central & Jubilee Lines,
Docklands Light Railway,
London Overground)
Station code: SRA
Opened: 1839
Platforms: 19

Stratford was opened by the Eastern Counties Railway in 1839 [1]. The Northern & Eastern Railway also reached Stratford the following year. The London, Tilbury & Southend Railway reached Stratford in 1854. By then Stratford was already becoming a very busy station with concerns about congestion. Stratford became part of the Great Eastern Railway and later the LNER with electrification completed through the station early after the Second World War. Because of the nature of how the station has developed it has high and low-levels [2].

The London Underground reached Stratford in 1946 with an extension of the Central Line from Liverpool Street. The Central Line is in tunnels either side of Stratford but climbs to the open air in the station. This makes Stratford one of only two stations on the Underground where passengers have to go up an escalator to reach their tube train!

The Docklands Light Railway was next to arrive, Stratford being one of the original stations on the DLR opening in 1987 [3]. One interesting thing to note is that the DLR line near Stratford used an existing railway bridge next to the Great Eastern Main Line as it ran over a former British Rail line [4]. It was the clearance available with the girders on the bridge that dictated the dimensions and final design of the top contact third rail used by the DLR [5].

The low-level part of Stratford station was rebuilt for the arrival of the Jubilee Line in 1999 [6]. Stratford is the Eastern terminus of the line. The next line to reach Stratford will be the Elizabeth Line (Crossrail) when it finally opens.

As well as the Transport for London services Stratford is served by Greater Anglia on services East including to Southend Victoria, Norwich and Clacton-on-Sea. It is also served by some c2c services to Shoeburyness.
Jubilee 96075 and friend at Stratford

Greater Anglia 321 359 at Stratford

View of the busy Stratford layout with Westfield in the left background

A Central Line train

TfLRail 315 843 arrives

London Overground 378 207 prepares to head off

[1] Jason Cross, London Underground Guide 2017 (Train Crazy. 2017) p. 158
[2] J.E. Connor, Branch lines around North Greenwich (Middleton Press, 2001) Fig. 14
[3] Robert Griffiths, The Central Line (Past and Present, 2007) p. 31
[4] Stephen Jolly & Bob Bayman, Docklands Light Railway (Capital Transport, 1986) p. 26
[5] David Hartland, Brecknell Willis & Co. Collectors for Trains, Trams and Trolleys (Middleton Press, 2004) p. 60
[6] Mike Horne, The Jubilee Line (Capital Transport, 2000) p. 79