Wirksworth (WIR)

Wirksworth is the terminus and headquarters of the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway in Derbyshire.
EMU (Class 491), DMU (101) and locomotive (33) at Wirksworth

Information
Type: Preserved Railway (Ecclesbourne Valley Railway)
Station code: WIR
Opened: 1867 (Closed 1947)
Re-Opened: 2002
Platforms: 3

The station was opened by the Midland Railway in 1867 as the terminus of a branch line from Duffield. Stone quarry traffic was the major source of traffic on the line (the station was linked to one such quarry via a tunnel under the town of Wirksworth itself [1]) with just three return trips a day to Derby the usual level service [2]. Passenger services ceased as early as 1947. The line remained open for freight however until 1989, the original station being demolished in 1968 [3] to allow for the expansion of freight facilities.

The line was taken over by a preservation society in 1998 with the first train running from a re-opened Wirksworth station in 2002 [4]. This train only went eight hundred metres to Gorsey Bank but the line was re-opened to the public in 2004 [5]. During the following years the line was gradually re-opened with services finally running through to Duffield in 2011. A short branch line to Ravenstor has also been opened from Wirksworth.

Wirksworth is the main base of the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway and is where maintenance facilities and main stock storage is located. The station has three platforms though in normal operation only platform two is used by service trains from Duffield. Platform one is usually used for stock storage. Trains to Ravenstor use platform three. Expanded station facilities are being built including a new main station building.
A visiting W&M railcar prepares to depart

A Class 26 hauled train departs Wirksworth

A steam hauled service arrives

A former Gatwick Express set (491 and 488) used as a station buffet

Wirkworth yard

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Branch Lines to Wirksworth (Middleton Press, 2017) Map. VI
[2] Tom Tait & Neil Ferguson-Lee, The Ecclesbourne Valley Railway: the First 150 Years (Ecclesbourne Valley Railway Media ) p. 2
[3] Mitchell & Smith. Fig. 65
[4] Mitchell & Smith. Fig. 77
[5] Tait & Ferguson-Lee, p. 8

Rainhill (RNH)

Rainhill is a stop on the Liverpool to Manchester Line on Merseyside between Whiston and Lea Green.
Northern 319 375 prepares to depart

Information
Type: National Rail (Liverpool - Manchester Line)
Station code: RNH
Opened: 1830
Platforms: 2

The station was opened as Kendrick's Cross Gate by the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1830 and is one of the oldest railway stations in the world. The station name was changed to Rainhill probably in 1831.

Rainhill is best known for being the site for the trials in 1829 to see if steam locomotives would be suitable to provide the motive power on the railway. George Stephenson's Rocket won of course and set the template for railway motive power for the next hundred years. A museum dedicated to the Rainhill trials is near the station.

The current station buildings date from a rebuilding of the station in the 1860s by the London & North Western Railway. At the Western end of the station the road crosses the railway via a skew bridge designed by George Stephenson, the first bridge of this type ever built to cross a railway line.

The station is now part of the Merseytravel PTE and managed by Northern. The line through Rainhill was electrified in 2015. Northern operated services out of Liverpool Lime Street stop at the station to destinations like Crewe.
View down the line, the skew bridge can be seen in the background

Northern 323 227 arrives with a Liverpool bound service

Platform shelter

Under the canopy of the main station building

Stephenson's Rocket, now preserved

Four Oaks (FOK)

Four Oaks is a station on the Northern half of the Cross-City Line situated between Sutton Coldfield and Butlers Lane.
WMR 323 206 arrives at Four Oaks

Information
Type: National Rail (Cross-City Line)
Station code: FOK
Opened: 1884
Platforms: 3

The station was opened by the London & North Western Railway in 1884 when it extended it's line from Sutton Coldfield to Lichfield City [1]. The station once had a number of sidings and a substantial main station building. The latter have now gone though the waiting room on the island platform with it's original canopies remains. The station has gained ample car parking though and is one of a number of the stations on the line advertised as park and ride stations.

When the Cross-City Line was launched in 1978 Four Oaks was the original Northern terminus [2] though most trains go on through to Lichfield these days. Some services still terminate/begin at Four Oaks and usually use Platform 3, a bay platform. The Cross-City Line was electrified in 1992.
Main station building

View towards Butlers Lane

Platform shelter, beyond is the car park

View from the footbridge

WMR 323 213 on Platform 3

[1] Vic Mitchell, North of Birmingham (Middleton Press, 2014) Fig. 103
[2] John Glover, BR Diary 1978-1985 (Ian Allan, 1985) p. 19

Oxford Parkway (OXP)

Oxford Parkway is a park and ride station at Water Eaton in Oxfordshire. The station is between Oxford and Islip and is on the line to Bicester Village.
Chiltern 168 107 arrives with a London Marylebone bound service

Information
Type: National Rail (Oxford-Bicester Line)
Station code: OXP
Opened: 2015
Platforms: 2

The new station was financed and opened by Chiltern Railways in 2015 as part of it's Evergreen 3 project which introduced services between Oxford and London Marylebone. The station is on the site of the short lived Oxford Banbury Road terminus [1] of the Buckinghamshire Railway which closed in 1851 and also a grain silo which was closed in the 1980s.

The station was built next to an existing park and ride and bus interchange site at Water Eaton and indeed the first name of the station mooted was Water Eaton Parkway. The main station building is in the same blue tile style as Bicester Village which was rebuilt as part of the same project and line upgrade. Access between the platforms is via a footbridge.
View of the footbridge between the platforms

View down the platform, car park to the right

Chiltern 168 323 departs heading for Oxford

Main station building

Station sign

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Oxford to Bletchley (Middleton Press, 2005) Map. VII

Hagley (HAG)

Hagley is a stop in Worcestershire on the Birmingham-Worcester line out of Birmingham Snow Hill. The station is between Stourbridge Junction and Blakedown.
A WMR 172 prepares to head off for Worcester

Information
Type: National Rail (Snow Hill Lines)
Station code: HAG
Opened: 1862
Platforms: 2

The station was opened in 1862 by the Oxford, Worcester & Wolverhampton Railway. At first the station was nearly two kilometres away from the village of Hagley and facilities were rather rough and ready. In 1884 after the Great Western Railway took the station over they completely rebuilt it due to rising demand as the village had expanded towards and around the station. Brick buildings with canopies were built on both platforms, one still remains on the Worcester side of the station. The original GWR footbridge survives, and is grade 2 listed. It was used by Hornby as the prototype for their GWR footbridge model.

The station is managed by West Midlands Railway with trains several times an hour in both directions most days.
Station frontage

New WMR signage

GWR station building

Looking up towards Birmingham, the footbridge is in the background

WMR 172 339 arrives at Hagley

Piccadilly Circus (ZPC)

Piccadilly Circus is a stop on the Bakerloo (between Charing Cross and Oxford Circus) and Piccadilly (between Green Park and Leicester Square) Lines of the London Underground in Central London.
A Bakerloo Line train arrives


Information
Type: Transport for London (Bakerloo & Piccadilly Lines)
Station code: ZPC
Opened: 1906
Platforms: 4

The station was opened in 1906, firstly for the Bakerloo Line in March and the Piccadilly Line in December [1]. The station was designed by Leslie Green and built to his typical red tiled style used elsewhere on the Underground. Transport between the ground level booking hall and platforms was by lift (and a lot of stairs). Piccadilly Circus was the first Underground station to have automatic lifts which didn't require operators [2].

The station was a great success, so much so by the 1920s the station was often dangerously overcrowded with long queues for the lifts. Construction of a new station with escalators and a much larger circular booking hall underneath Piccadilly Circus roundabout itself began in 1924. Eleven escalators were installed for passenger transfer. The station was intended by the managing director of the Underground Frank Pick to be the flagship station of the Underground. The new station designed by Charles Holden opened in 1928 (the old station closing in 1929 [3]) and was an Art Deco masterpiece of bronze and Travertine marble.

The station continues to be an intregral part of the Underground in Central London with over forty million passengers entering and exiting the station a year. A memorial to Frank Pick was opened in the booking hall in 2016.
Bakerloo Line platform

A now disused tunnel (by the public) showing the original tile pattern

Piccadilly Line platform, blue tiles are used, brown on the Bakerloo platforms

One of the walkways to the booking hall

A Piccadilly Line train

[1] Jason Cross, London Underground Guide 2017 (Train Crazy, 2017) p. 148
[2] Siddy Holloway, Piccadilly Circus: the heart of London (London Transport Museum, 2019) p. 3
[3] Desmond F. Croome, The Piccadilly Line (Capital Transport, 1998) p. 27

Chester Road (CRD)

Chester Road is a stop on the Northern half of the Cross-City Line in Pype Hayes in Birmingham between Erdington and Wylde Green. The station gets it's name from the A452 Chester Road which passes it.
WMR 323 243 arrives with a Birmingham bound service

Information
Type: National Rail (Cross-City Line)
Station code: CRD
Opened: 1863
Platforms: 2

The station was opened by the London & North Western Railway in 1863 on its line from Birmingham to Sutton Coldfield. The station had wooden platform buildings and retained gas lighting until the 1960s [1]. The station is on an embankment with ramps to the platforms.

Little remains of the original station nowadays with much change happening when the line going through Chester Road was electrified in the early 1990s. The original LNWR waiting room was preserved and is now at Market Bosworth on the Battlefield Line [2].

The current station has fairly standard corrugated iron shelters and a large free car park as part of the park and ride rail scheme in the city. Chester Road is managed by West Midlands Railway who operate all of the trains which serve the station.
Station sign over Chester Road

A 323 approaches in the gloom

Platform shelter

Looking towards Birmingham, the booking office is on the left

WMR 323 209 heading for Lichfield

[1] Vic Mitchell, North of Birmingham (Middleton Press, 2014) Fig. 92
[2] Ibid. Fig. 93

Eridge (ERI)

Eridge is a stop on the Uckfield Branch of the Oxted Line in Sussex between Ashurst and Crowborough. It is also a terminus of the Spa Valley Railway.
Southern 171 730 pauses at Eridge

Information
Type: National Rail (Oxted Line - Uckfield Branch) &
Preserved Railway (Spa Valley Railway)
Station code: ERI
Opened: 1868
Platforms: 3

The station was opened in 1868 by the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway. The station named after the nearby Eridge Park where Eridge Castle is located [1], there being little habitation nearby. The station was a junction for services running to Tonbridge (via Tunbridge Wells West), Eastbourne and East Grinstead though lines to these destinations were closed in the 1960s and 1980s. The station had a pair of island platforms.

The line through to Uckfield survived and is now served by Southern though was singled in 1990 meaning that only one platform was now in use. In 2011 the line from Eridge to Tunbridge Wells West was re-opened by the Spa Valley Railway. Network and preserved rail now run side by side. The Spa Valley Railway uses the island platform opposite the network one.

The main station building is on a road bridge that crosses the line with footbridges down to the platforms. Both sides of the station retain canopies and original features, though the Spa Valley side is in better condition!
View down the network platform, the Spa Valley island platform is on the left

Ring Haw brings a train into the Spa Valley platform

View down the Spa Valley platform

Station frontage

Footbridge down to the platforms

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Branch Lines to Tunbridge Wells (Middleton Press, 1986) Fig. 100