Coventry (COV)

Coventry is a major stop on the West Coast Main Line between Rugby and Canley and also the terminus for services to Nuneaton and Leamington Spa.

Information
Type: National Rail
(West Coast Main Line)
Station code: COV
Opened: 1838
Platforms: 4
The station was originally opened in 1838 by the London & Birmingham Railway though was replaced by a larger station in 1840. This station later had an extensive engine shed and goods yard though these were run down and closed in the late 1950s and 1960s [1]. Some stabling for stock still remains to the West of the station.

This station was in turn replaced in 1962 during a complete rebuild which added two more platforms and a new two-storey high passenger concourse [2] [3], a bridge connecting the platforms. Coventry consists of an island platform and two side platforms.

Work began in 2019 on a major rebuild, which will include a new bay platform, a larger carpark and a second footbridge. The work is part of a regeneration of the centre of Coventry. The station could also be linked to the city's new light rail system planned for the 2020s.
XC 221 114 arrives at Coventry

Old and slightly less old station signage

Welcome to Coventry

Look down the island platform

In London Midland days a Class 350 Desiro arrives

WMR 153 334 with the Nuneaton service

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Rugby to Birmingham (Middleton Press, 2008) Fig. 69
[2] David Lawrence, British Rail Designed 1948-97 (Ian Allan, 2016) p. 76
[3] Mitchell & Smith Fig. 74

London Road (Guildford) (LRD)

London Road (Guildford) is located in the east of Guildford in between the town's main station and Clandon on the New Guildford Line.

Information
Type: National Rail
(New Guildford Line)
Station code: LRD
Opened: 1885
Platforms: 2
The station was opened by the London & South Western Railway as London Road in 1885 serving the suburbs of Merrow and Burpham. The name was changed to London Road (Guildford) in 1923 when the LSWR was absorbed into the Southern Railway to avoid confusion with London Road (Brighton). The New Guildford Line through the station was electrified, to 750v DC third rail, in 1925 [1].

The station retains it's original buildings with canopies on both platforms and a footbridge.

Services through the station are mostly run by South Western Railway between Guildford and London Waterloo via Cobham or Epson. Southern also run a small number of trains from London Victoria and London Bridge at peak times.
SWR 455 918 arrives with a Guildford bound service

View down the platform showing the canopies on both platforms

Station footbridge

SWR 455 738 departs

Station frontage

[1] David Brown, Southern Electric Vol. 1 (Capital Transport, 2010) p. 43

Hendon Central (ZHN)

Hendon Central is a stop on the London Underground Northern Line between Brent Cross and Colindale.

Information
Type: Transport for London
(Northern Line)
Station code: ZHN
Opened: 1923
Platforms: 2
The station was opened by the Charing Cross, Euston & Hampstead Railway in 1923 on it's Northern extension to Edgware. Hendon Central as the terminus of the extension until the rest of the extension was completed the following year [1][2]. In 1933 the CCEHR railway became part of the London Underground's Northern Line [3].

Hendon Central is an open air station though the Northern Line goes back into tunnel (nowadays known as the Hendon Tunnel) to the North of the station for a short stretch taking the Northern Line under the M1 motorway and Midland Main Line.

Despite the name of the station passengers for the former RAF air field Hendon (now RAF Museum London) should alight at Colindale. 
95ts 51502 at Hendon Central

Looking Northwards, the tunnel can be seen in the background

The two platforms are either side of an island

Canopy

[1] Jason Cross, London Underground Guide 2017 (Train Crazy, 2017) p. 131
[2] Mike Horne, The Northern Line (Capital Transport, 2009) p. 29
[3] Ibid. p. 40

Ridgmont (RID)

Ridgmont is a stop on the Marston Vale line in Bedfordshire between Aspley Guise and Lidlington.

Information
Type: National Rail
(Marston Vale Line)
Station code: RID
Opened: 1846
Platforms: 2
The station was opened in 1846 by the Bedford Railway, which built a line from Bedford to connect with the London & Birmingham Railway at Bletchley.

Later the station and line was taken over by the London North Western Railway and became part of the Varsity Line linking Oxford and Cambridge. The Varsity Line was largely closed in 1967 though services remained on the stretch between Bedford and Bletchley. There are proposals to rebuild the Varsity Line including the route through Ridgmont but until then it's line is known as the Marston Vale Line.

Ridgmont used to have sidings and several wagon turntables [1] though these have now gone. Ridgmont is one of the few stations on the line to retain it's original station building. This is nowadays a heritage centre for the line and a tea room. Next to the station is the signalling centre for the Marston Vale Line which opened in 2004 following a signalling upgrade of the line [2]. A level crossing is at one end of the station platforms and this is how to transfer between platforms.

Ridgmont is served by London Northwestern Railway with hourly services in both directions on weekdays and Saturdays. Services on the Marston Vale Line were taken over by the upcycled former London Underground stock Class 230 DMU in 2019.
LNWR 230 004 waits to depart for Bedford

Looking down the line towards Bletchley

Level crossing

Bus shelter on one platform...

...the rather more ornate original station building on the other platform!

LNWR 230 004 is about to pass through the level crossing

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Bletchley to Cambridge (Middleton Press, 2007) Map. X
[2] Ibid. Fig. 38

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).

Information
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.

Information
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.

Information
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.

Information
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).

Information
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