Market Harborough (MHR)

Market Harborough is a stop on the Midland Main Line in Leicestershire between Leicester and Kettering.
EMR 43 076 at the tail of a North bound HST

Type: National Rail (Midland Main Line)
Station code: MHR
Opened: 1850
Platforms: 2

The original station was opened by the London & North Western Railway in 1850 on it's line between Rugby and Stamford. The Midland Railway reached the station in 1857 on it's new line from Leicester to Bedford. This line was later rebuilt for a higher capacity (nowadays it is the Midland Main Line) in 1885 when the station was rebuilt  as a joint effort between the LNWR and MR in it's current position [1]. The LNWR built a branch from Market Harborough to Northampton in 1859, Market Harborough was by now a very busy junction with lines going in five directions! It also had three goods yards.

The current station building dates from this rebuild and is now Grade II listed. In the 1960s Market Harborough began to lose it's lines. The line to Rugby was closed in 1966 and the line to Northampton (by now freight only) in 1981. The station remains a stop on the busy Midland Main Line.

The station is being rebuilt to allow for faster speeds passing through the station (up from ninty seven to one hundred and thirty seven kilometres per hour [2], the new alignment was completed in the Summer of 2019. The platforms are also being extended. A new footbridge and extra car park spaces have also been built. One thing not happening at the moment is electrification. The planned Midland Main Line electrification has only reached as far as Ketting though there are new plans to extend to Market Harborough in the 2020s. The station is managed by East Midlands Railway.
Station building

New footbridge, which has lifts

View down the platform, rebuilding work is still ongoing at time of publishing

The platforms are on an embankment, reached via this covered walkway

An EMR HST prepares to depart

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Lines Around Stamford (Middleton Press, 2016) Fig. 1
[2] "New alignment opens at Market Harborough", Modern Railways (July 2019) p.22


Arley is a stop on the Severn Valley Railway that serves the nearby station of Upper Arley in Worcestershire. The station is located between Highley and Northwood Halt.

The station was originally opened by the West Midland Railway in 1862 and passed into the hands of the Great Western Railway and British Railways who closed it in 1963. The station was re-opened as part of the Severn Valley Railway in 1974.
GWR 4857 arrives with a Bridgnorth bound service
Type: Preserved Railway (Severn Valley Railway)
Opened: 1862 (Closed 1963)
Re-Opened: 1974
Platforms: 2

Arley has a passing loop that allows two full length trains on the mostly single track Severn Valley Railway to pass. It also has the original station house and a small goods yard. The signalbox is an interloper bought in by the SVR after the original was demolished by British Railways. Access between the platforms is via a road bridge at the end of the platforms.

Arley has been preserved to a very high standard and is one of the most picturesque stations on the line. It has been the setting for a number of TV programmes including Oh, Dr Beeching!
Passing trains during a diesel gala

Station view from the road bridge

Arley signal box

Western locos passing

Platform shelter, no bus shelters here!

Crowborough (COH)

Crowborough is a stop on the Oxted Line in Sussex between Eridge and Buxted.
Southern 171 723 departs Crowborough

Type: National Rail (Oxted Line)
Station code: COH
Opened: 1868
Platforms: 2

The station was opened in 1868 as Rotherfield by the Brighton, Uckfield and Tunbridge Wells Railway. The station was renamed Crowborough in 1880 [1] (Rotherfield was given to a new station which was much closer to the actual village of Rotherfield!)

The station was rebuilt in 1905 by which time the station was known as Crowborough and Jarvis Brook. The station name was changed back to just Crowborough in 1980. The station was close to Crowborough Brickworks with a goods yard next to station which served the works. The works closed in 1980 [2].

The station is served by a train per hour in each direction between London Bridge and Uckfield.
Southern 171 802 arrives with a London Bridge bound service

Main station building

View down the platform towards Buxted

A view towards Eridge, the footbridge can be seen in the background

Southern 171 723 arrives

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Branch Lines to Tunbridge Wells (Middleton Press, 1988) Fig. 53
[2] Ian Dean, Andrew Neale & David Smith, Industrial Railways of the South-East (Middleton Press, 1984) Fig. 13

North Wembley (NWB)

North Wembley is a stop on the London Overground Watford DC Line and the Bakerloo Line of the London Underground. The station is in North West London between Wembley Central and South Kenton.
A Southbound Bakerloo Line train arrives at the station

Type: Transport for London
(London Overground Watford DC Line &
London Underground Bakerloo Line)
Station code: NWB
Opened: 1912
Platforms: 2

The station was opened by the London North Western Railway in 1912 on it's line from London Euston to Watford Junction. The station was originally to have been called East Lane [1] (which is the road the station is on) though was opened as North Wembley. The platform shelters and footbridge down to the platforms were of the standard LNWR type used elsewhere on the line and remain in place. The line was already electrified when North Wembley was opened [2]. Nowadays the line is part of London Overground.

The Bakerloo Line reached North Wembley in 1917 on it's way to Watford Junction. Services ran alongside the LNWR (later LMS and British Railways) DC trains until 1982 when the Bakerloo Line was cut back to Stonebridge Park. However Bakerloo Line trains were restored through North Wembley to Harrow & Wealdstone in 1984 [3].

In common with other joint stations on this line the difference in floor height between standard size London Overground trains and tube profile Bakerloo Line trains means the platform is higher than on a "pure" Underground station resulting in the need to step up out of or step down into a Bakerloo Line train.
London Overground 378 206 arrives with a Watford bound service

View of the footbridge, the station is in a cutting with a surface ticket office

A Bakerloo Line train, notice the step down needed into the 1972 Tube Stock!

View of the LNWR canopy

Bakerloo Line 3564 prepares to depart

[1] Keith Scholey, Euston to Harrow & Wealdstone (Middleton Press, 2002) Map. XVI
[2] Mike Horne, The Bakerloo Line (Capital Transport, 2001) p. 35
[3] Jason Cross, London Underground Guide 2017 (Train Crazy, 2017) p. 145

Stratford-upon-Avon Parkway (STY)

Stratford-upon-Avon Parkway is a park-and-ride station in the outskirts of Stratford-upon-Avon. It is on the Shakespeare (also known as the North Warwickshire Line) between Stratford and Wilmcote.
WMR 172 335 departs heading for Stratford-upon-Avon

Type: National Rail (Shakespeare Line)
Station code: STY
Opened: 2013
Platforms: 2

The station was opened in 2013 (unusually for a modern railway project several months early!) to avoid passengers having to travel into Stratford (which suffers from traffic congestion) and providing far more parking spaces than the more contrained town centre station. The parkway station has seven hundred and twenty five spaces.

The station is unstaffed and has a ramped footbridge to allow access been the platforms. It is served by two West Midlands Railway trains an hour plus a Chiltern service (some which go through to London Marylebone) every two hours.
View of the station from a nearby bridge

Footbridge, steps or ramps

Platform facilities are limited to bus shelters

Entrance to the platform

A WMR 172 prepares to depart

High Wycombe (HWY)

High Wycombe is the first major stop on the Chiltern Main Line out of London Marylebone between Beaconsfield and Saunderton.
Chiltern 165 005 at High Wycombe

Type: National Rail (Chiltern Main Line)
Station code: HWY
Opened: 1854
Platforms: 3

The station was opened as the terminus of a Great Western Railway broad gauge line in 1854, the station being designed by Brunel. This remained High Wycombe's station until 1864 when a new through station was opened. The original station building became a goods shed [1] and has now been listed and preserved.

The current station layout dates from a rebuilding by the Great Western and Great Central Joint Railway in 1906 [2]. The station has two staggered platforms, it once had four through lines but the central lines were lifted in 1989-90 [3]. There is a bay platform for services terminating from London Marylebone (and until recently the parliamentary Chiltern Railways service from London Paddington). Originally access between the platforms was via a subway but this was replaced by a footbridge in 2015.

High Wycombe was once the terminus (though later the line was extended to Aylesbury) of the Wycombe Railway from Maidenhead, though this line was closed in 1970. The station is managed by Chiltern Railways.
Chiltern 165 032 arrives with a London bound service

View down the platform under the fine canopy

Platform 3, a bay

Vintage sign

Chiltern 168 004 pulls into the station

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Paddington to Princes Risborough (Middleton Press, 2002) Map. XXXVI
[2] Ibid. Fig. 92
[3] Ibid. Fig. 97

Oxted (OXT)

Oxted is a stop on the Oxted Line in Surrey between Woldingham and Hurst Green.
Southern 171 201 at Oxted

Type: National Rail (Oxted Line)
Station code: OXT
Opened: 1884
Platforms: 3

Oxted was built as a joint effort by the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway and South Eastern Railway (a joint company was formed called the Croydon, Oxted and East Grinstead Railway) on the line between South Croydon and East Grinstead [1]. The station opened in 1884.

The line, which became known as the Oxted Line, was operated by steam and later diesel multiple units (in particular Class 3D / 207 "Oxted" Units [2]). The line through Oxted was electrified in 1987 [3]. Services to Uckfield are still operated by diesel multiple units however (nowadays Class 171s) as the Uckfield Branch has not been electrified.

The station has three platforms, one is a bay for services to Uckfield. Access between the platforms is via a tunnel. The station is managed by Southern.
One of the station entrances

Thameslink 700 134 arrives at the station

Main station building

Under the platforms

A Southern service prepares to depart, the bay platform is on the left

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Branch Lines to Tunbridge Wells (Middleton Press, 1988) Fig. 1
[2] Kevin Robertson & Hugh Abbinnett, Southern Region DEMUs (Ian Allan, 2012) p. 55
[3] Mitchell & Smith. Fig. 5

Cardiff Central / Caerdydd Canolog (CDF)

Cardiff Central is the main station in Cardiff. It is the largest and busiest station in Wales. As well as long distance services including to London Paddington, it is also the hub of local services around the capital.
Transport for Wales 143 623 at Cardiff Central

Type: National Rail (South Wales Main Line, Valley and Local Lines)
Station code: CDF
Opened: 1850
Platforms: 8

Cardiff was opened in 1850 by the South Wales Railway. The land the station was to be built on was prone to flooding, Isambard Kingdom Brunel solving this by diverting the river Taff! When the station was opened services were run by the South Wales Railway and Great Western Railway. Cardiff was originally a broad gauge station but was converted to standard gauge in 1872.

In 1896 the station was expanded, including a flying junction for a link to the other central station Cardiff Queen Street. The number of platforms was also increased to six. The station was renamed Cardiff General in 1924. A few years later the station was rebuilt by the GWR, including the current Art Deco styled station building. The station is now Grade II listed.

The station was renamed Cardiff Central in 1973 by British Rail. The station gained an eighth platform and a new entrance to the South in the early 2010s as part of a modernisation of the station. The South Wales Main Line through Cardiff Central is currently in the process of being electrified with a completion date late in 2019.

The station is served by Transport for Wales, Great Western Railway and Cross Country.
1930s station frontage

A Class 158 in the new Transport for Wales livery

66 200 takes a freight through the station

TfW 150 208 stands at the station

View down the platform... and a Pacer!

Russell Square (ZRS)

Russell Square is a stop on the London Underground Piccadilly Line between Holborn and Kings Cross St Pancras.
A Piccadilly Line train departs

Type: Transport for London (Piccadilly Line)
Station code: ZRS
Opened: 1906
Platforms: 2

The station was opened by the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway in 1906 later becoming part of the London Underground Piccadilly Line. The station surface was designed by Leslie Green in his typical red tiled style. The platforms were finished with a unique light green and cream design to aid station recognition for illiterate passengers [1] as did all sub-surface stations on the line [2]. The tile walls also have the station name prominently displayed in tiles. Both surface and sub-surface parts of the station have been well preserved. London Underground though have looked at building a larger ticket hall [3]. The station is Grade II listed.

The station has no escalators. Access between the surface and platform levels is via three lifts or one hundred and seventy five steps (naturally the former is advised by signage on the station!)

The station was used in the 1970s horror film Death Line.
Station name in the tiles

Station building

Down the platform

Lifts or a lot of steps!

A Piccadilly Line train stands at the platform

[1] Jason Cross, London Underground Guide 2017 (Train Crazy, 2017) p. 153
[2] Desmond F. Croome, The Piccadilly Line (Capital Transport, 1998) p. 14
[3] Ibid. p. 78