Stonehenge Works

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

Information
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.

Information
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.

Information
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.
Information
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!
Information
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