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Passenger services were withdrawn along the line in 1957 and the halt was closed (freight traffic continued along the line into the late 1980s).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

Westferry (ZWF)

Westferry is a stop on the City or Bank route of Docklands Light Railway between Limehouse and Poplar, Canary Wharf or West India Quay depending on the branch.

Type: Transport for London
(Docklands Light Line)
Station code: ZWF
Opened: 1987
Platforms: 2
Westferry was opened in 1987 named after Westferry Road which is near the station. Westferry could have been named Limehouse as it was near the site of the now closed Limehouse station of the London & Blackwall Railway though the name was given to the DLR station built on the site of the former Stepney Green station instead [1].

Westferry is a busy station with trains every couple of minutes to Bank or Tower Gateway and in the other direction to Beckton, Lewisham or Woolwich Arsenal.

Like many DLR stations it is built on an elevated section of track with steps and lifts down to ground level.
DLT #59 arrives at Westferry

DLR #43 departs

Platform view

DLR #29 arrives

DLR #46 at Westferry

[1] Stephen Jolly & Bob Bayman, Docklands Light Railway (Capital Transport, 1986) p. 22

Long Eaton (LGE)

Long Eaton is a stop on the Midland Main Line in Derbyshire between Spondon and Attenborough and is the fourth station to have this name.

Type: National Rail
(Midland Main Line)
Station code: LGE
Opened: 1888
Platforms: 2
The original Long Eaton station was opened by the Midland Counties Railway in 1839. This station was replaced by one called Trent in 1862 which closed in 1968. A second Long Eaton station was opened on the Erewash Valley Line in 1847 which was in turn replaced by another station in 1863.

Later on a station called Sawley Junction was opened in 1888. When the third generation Long Eaton station was closed in 1967 Sawley Junction (by now called Sawley Junction for Long Eaton) was renamed Long Eaton the following year. This is the station which is still in use now!

The station is an elevated section of track with ramps down from each platform to street level. Here there is ticket office. The station is served by East Midlands Trains and Cross Country.
XC 170 112 departs bound for Nottingham

Long Eaton on a wet day

Ticket office

This EMT train has just left Long Eaton

Down to street level

Bebington (BEB)

Bebington is a stop on the Merseyrail Wirral Line on the Chester and Ellesmere Port branches of the line. The station is between Port Sunlight and Rock Ferry.

Type: National Rail
(Merseyrail Wirral Line)
Station code: BEB
Opened: 1840
Platforms: 2
Bebington was opened in 1840 by the Chester & Birkenhead Railway. In 1895 the station was renamed Bebington & New Ferry though reverted back to the original name in 1974 [1]. Bebington became part of the electrified Merseyrail network in 1985 when the third rail was extended from Rock Ferry to Hooton.

Bebington used to have a goods yard but this was closed in 1965. The station also used to have five platforms as the the line from the North had quadruple tracks as far as Bebington [2]. Now just two tracks and two platforms remain. The original station buildings have been replaced by standard Merseyrail type bus shelters. Access between the platforms is via a subway.
Merseyrail 507 003 arrives at Bebington

Station sign, advertising local interest

Merseyrail 508 143 departs 

Station shelter

And on the other platform

Ramp down to the subway between the platforms

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Chester to Birkenhead (Middleton Press, 2012) Map. XIV
[2] Ibid. Fig. 61