Kempston Hardwick (KMH)

Kempston Hardwick is a stop on the Marston Vale Line in Bedfordshire between Bedford St Johns and Stewartby.

Type: National Rail
(Marston Vale Line)
Station code: KMH
Opened: 1905
Platforms: 2
The station was opened by the London North Western Railway as Kempston Hardwick Halt in 1905. The station was one of three halts on the line opened by the LNWR that year though only Kempston Hardwick has survived. Near to the station used to be Eastwoods Flettons brickworks, a private siding being located just to the East of the station [1].

Next to the station is a level crossing, which was manually operated until the 1960s. Automatic barriers were fitted in 2004. The station has been unstaffed since 1968, the original station building was demolished by a lorry!

The station was one of Britain's least used in the early 2000s though there were no moves to close it. Patronage has increased and is now around ten thousand a year.
LNWR 230 004 departs bound for Bedford

A look down the platform, the level crossing can be seen on the right

A view down the platform

Station sign
There isn't a huge lot at the station, or nearby!

LNWR 230 004 arrives bound for Bletchley

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Bletchley to Cambridge (Middleton Press, 2007) Fig. 55

Birkenhead Park (BKP)

Birkenhead Park is a stop on the Merseyrail Wirral Line between Conway Park and Birkenhead North.

Type: National Rail
(Merseyrail Wirral Line)
Station code: BKP
Opened: 1888
Platforms: 2
The station was opened in 1888 as a joint station [1] and interchange between the Wirral Railway's line to West Kirby and the Mersey Railway's line to Liverpool Central. The station takes it's name from a nearby Victorian municipal park.

When it was opened Birkenhead Park consisted of two island platforms, one for each railway operating from it. Trains bound for Liverpool often had their locomotives changed to those with condensing equipment for opration through the Mersey tunnel. Through trains on the Mersey Railway ended in 1903 with the electrification of the line. Wirral Railway trains (by now operated by the LMS) were electrified in 1938. Merseyrail trains still use the LMS third-rail electrification.

The station was badly damaged during a bombing in 1941 during the Blitz, the main building was destroyed and the line closed for eleven days. The station was rationalised in the late 1980s with just one island platform used nowadays, the other platform was demolished in 1992 [2]. The station is managed by Merseyrail.
Merseyrail 508 130 stands at Birkenhead Park
Station frontage

A view of the ramp up to the station building level

View down the platform

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Birkenhead to West Kirby (Middleton Press, 2014) Fig. 8
[2] Ibid. Fig. 14

Rowsley South

Rowsley South is the headquarters and Northern terminus of the Peak Rail preserved line which runs from Matlock.

Type: Preserved Railway
(Peak Rail)
Opened: 1997
Platforms: 1
Rowsley station was a stop on the line between Buxton and Matlock. It opened in 1849 and closed in 1967, the line also closing as far as Matlock in 1968. Peak Rail began re-opening part of the line in the 1990s. In 1997 the restored line was extended from Darley Dale to within about eight hundred metres of the old Rowsley station [1].

A new station was built on the site of Rowsley station's former goods yard, once a busy goods hub which moved over seventeen thousand wagons a week [2], and named Rowsley South. Peak Rail plan to extend their line as far as Rowsley and Bakewell in future though until then Rowsley South remains the terminus.

A number of sidings of the former goods yard have also been re-opened and are used for stock storage and a number of preservation soceities including the Heritage Shunters Trust.
A Peak in the Peaks, Class 44 D8

Class 01 shunter D2953 gives a brake van ride at a gala

09 001 inside the Heritage Shunters Trust shed

Preparing for token exchange

Lord Phil prepares to depart

31 270 at the head of a train bound for Matlock

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Ambergate to Buxton (Middleton Press, 2019) Fig. 106
[2] Ibid. Map. IX

Ash (ASH)

Ash is a stop on the North Downs Line in Surrey between North Camp or Aldershot and Wanborough.

Type: National Rail
(North Downs Line)
Station code: ASH
Opened: 1849
Platforms: 2
Ash was opened by the Reading, Guildford & Reigate Railway in 1849. The station originally four platforms for a time with two bays [1]. The station was renamed Ash for Aldershot in 1855 and a couple of years later Aldershot (Ash). It reverted to Ash in 1926.

The line through Ash was electrified just before the Second World War [2] though only the Up bay was electrified. It remained in use until 1965, the Down bay being removed earlier on as well as the cattle dock. A level crossing is at the Guildford end of the platforms.

Ash is served by Great Western Railway and South Western Railway (who manage the station). There are two services an hour to Guildford and Ascot as well as hourly services to Reading and Redhill, plus some services to Gatwick Airport.
SWR 450 027 departs for Ascot

Station building and sign

Facilities are the usual basic shelters and ticket machines

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Reading to Guildford (Middleton Press, 1988) Fig. 82
[2] David Brown, Southern Electric Vol. 2 (Capital Transport, 2010) p. 36

Canada Water (ZCW)

Canada Water is an interchange station in East London of the London Overground (former East London Line) and London Underground Jubilee Line [1].

Type: Transport for London
(London Overground &
Jubilee Line)
Station code: ZCW
Opened: 1999
Platforms: 4
Canada Water was opened in 1999, a new station built on the site of the former Albion Dock. The station taking it's name from a lake made from part of the former Canada Dock. The station was an interchange of the Jubilee Line which was being extended East in the late 1990s to Stratford and the East London Line.

The station has a circular surface building with subterranean platforms, the Jubilee Line platforms have platform edge doors like the other underground stations of the Jubilee Line Extension [2][3]. In 2010 the East London Line became part of London Overground.
London Overground 378 216 arrives

Jubilee Line platforms

View down the Jubilee Line platform, platform edge doors on the right

London Overground platforms

A London Overground train departs... does a Jubilee Line train!

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, East London Line (Middleton Press, 1999) Fig, 77
[2] Jason Cross, London Underground Guide 2017 (Train Crazy, 2017) p. 108
[3] Mike Horne, The Jubilee Line (Capital Transport, 2000) p. 77

Stewartby (SWR)

Stewartby is a stop on the Marston Vale line in Bedfordshire between Millbrook and Kempston Hardwick.

Type: National Rail
(Marston Vale Line)
Station code: SWR
Opened: 1905
Platforms: 2
Stewartby was opened by the London North Western Railway in 1905, however when it was opened it was called Wootton Pillinge Halt as it served a nearby village of the same name. "Stewartby" was a model village which did not exist until 1926! Stewartby was built for workers of the nearby London Brick Company works, the station was renamed Stewartby in 1935 [1].

Near Stewartby were extensive sidings for the brick works which reached a production peak in the early 1970s. However the brick works went into a quick decline and brick traffic ceased on the line in the mid-1980s [2]. Stewartby the station remains though but has been unstaffed since 1968.

The station has two platforms staggered either side of a level crossing. The station is rather basic with just a couple of bus shelters and information displays for passengers.
LNWR 230 003 heads off for Bedford

Level crossing

Looking down the line

Kimberley College is nearby

Another view of the level crossing, barriers up!

LNWR 230 003 arrives bound for Bletchley

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Bletchley to Cambridge (Middleton Press, 2007) Map. XIII
[2] Ibid. Fig. 51

Nuneaton (NUN)

Nuneaton is a station on the Trent Valley section of the West Coast Main Line as well as serving the Birmingham-Peterborough Line and is the terminus of the Coventry-Nuneaton branch.

Type: National Rail
(West Coast
Main Line and others)
Station code: NUN
Opened: 1847
Platforms: 7
The station was opened by the London & North West Railway in 1847 originally with just two platforms but with later extensions and rebuildings in 1873 and 1915 when the current station buildings were built.

In 1924 it was renamed Nuneaton Trent Valley [1] to distinguish it from the Midland Railway station Nuneaton Abbey Street but reverted to just Nuneaton when the other station closed in 1969.

Two new platforms were built in 2004 for services between Birmingham New Street and Leicester (and onto Stansted Airport) so these services no longer had to cross the West Coast Main Line. Nuneaton is served by Virgin Trains, London Northwestern Railway (who manage the station) and Cross Country.
A Virgin Trains Pendolino arrives at Nuneaton

Canopies and platform buildings


GBRf 66 752 takes a freight through

LNWR 153 371 with the Coventry service

XC 170 104 arrives
[1] Vic Mitchell, Birmingham to Tamworth and Nuneaton (Middleton Press, 2014) Fig. 106

Peterborough (PBO)

Peterborough is a major stop on the East Coast Main Line in Cambridgeshire, it is also a stop on the Birmingham New Street-Stansted Airport line and local East-West services.

Type: National Rail
(East Coast Main Line)
Station code: PBO
Opened: 1850
Platforms: 7
Peterborough was opened in 1850 by the Great Northern Railway for it's services to London. The station was predated by five years by the now closed Peterborough East. The GNR's Peterborough station has had a number of names over the year including Peterborough Priestgate and Peterborough North when the station was owned by the LNER after 1923 [1] to avoid confusion with Peterborough East which was also taken over by the LNER. After Peterborough East closed in 1966 Peterborough North lost it's suffix for good.

The lines through the station were remodelled to allow greater speeds (from thirty two to one hundred and sixity kilometres per hour) for passing trains in 1973 [2][3]. The original GNR station buildings were also replaced by new build in the late 1970s. The ECML through Peterborough to Edinburgh was electrified in the 1980s, the first mast of the project was indeed installed at Peterborough.

In the privatisation era Peterborough has seen more upgrades and remodelling including the removal of a bay platform in 2013. The station is managed by LNER's modern day namesake and also served by Cross Country, East Midlands Trains, Thameslink, Greater Anglia and Great Northern.
EMT 156 411 departs

The DVT end of a North bound LNER express

XC 170 520 departs heading for Stansted Airport

A LNER HST passes through

The new order: LNER 800 113 departs

Greater Anglia 170 205

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Lines Around Stamford (Middleton Press, 2016) Fig. 54
[2] Ibid. Fig. 55
[3] Chris Heaps, BR Diary 1968-1977 (Ian Allan, 1988) p. 64