Branch Line Britain - celebrating Britain's minor railways

Blog - 2020

January 2020

Aylesbury Station looking at the north end of the station 28/1/20

28/1/2020 Leigh-on-Sea to London Fenchurch Street and return. London Marylebone to Banbury. Banbury to Haddenham and Thame Parkway. Aylesbury to Aylesbury Vale Parkway and return. Aylesbury to Harrow-on-the-Hill.

My first train trip of 2020. I should have been going to visit the new Worcestershire Parkway station thanks to Cross Country putting tickets on sale for this week and then suddenly taking them off their wesbite again, as it's still not open! So instead I changed my plans to visit two Parkway stations in the Chilterns area for my upcoming book on Parkway Railway stations. After a brief visit to Banbury I caught a train back down the line to Haddenham and Thame Parkway, where I was able to get some decent photographs without snow in them, which is what happened when I visited the station almost a year ago. I then caught a 280 bus from the station to Aylesbury - cost £3.60. I then went up to Aylesbury Vale Parkway station to take some more photos. I had been there soon after it had first opened about ten years ago and it was like a building site. Today it was still like a building site! The station building and car park are all complete of course, but they have decided to rebuild the walkway onto the platform, so everywhere is a mess at the moment. Funnily enough the station building was all deserted - all locked up in fact, for whatever reason. Also my train was like a ghost train at first with just a handful of passengers, but all five carriages did fill up as the  journey progressed. Then it was a brief stop at Harrow-on-the-Hill to take some more photos. Then home after a quite pleasant, if coild day.



February 2020

Class 170 at Worcestershire Parkway station on 25th February 2020, two days after it opened

18/2/2020 Leigh-on-Sea to London Fenchurch Street and return. London Kings Cross to Leeds. Leeds to New Pudsey. New Pudsey to Bradford Interchange. Bradford Interchange to London Kings Cross via Halifax.

Went up to Yorkshire for the day primarily to take some more photos for my book on Parkway Railway stations. It was the first time that I had been on an LNER Azuma and I must say that I was quite impressed. The journey was very smooth and we arrived on time in Leeds. We had some time in Bradford where it was pouring down beforecoming back on the 14.50 Grand Central Adelante to Kings Cross for just £9.90! Although the train was much older it still has a little more character than the Azuma! We saw quite a lot of flooding especially around Newark where the River Trent had burst its banks, but no problems with water. Just a hold up around Peterborough which meant we were ten minutes late getting into Kings Cross.


20/2/2020 Leigh-on-Sea to London Fenchurch Street and return. London Marylebone to Leamington Spa. Leamington Spa to Stratford-upon-Avon. Stratford-upon-Avon to London Marylebone

Went up to Stratford-upon-Avon with my wife for the day. The fare each way was just £7.25 each way all the way through (with a senior railcard) as Chiltern Railways had special offer on fares north of Banbury in the month of February. Well done Chiltern Railways! I wish some other train operating companies would do the same.

25/2/2020 Leigh-on-Sea to London Fenchurch Street and return. London Euston to Birmingham New Street. Birmingham New Street to Worcestershire Parkway. Worcestershire Parkway to Worcester Shrub Hill. Worcester Shrub Hill to London Paddington.  

Went to visit the newly opened Worcestershire Parkway station to get some photos for my upcoming book on Parkway Railway Stations. Decided to go via Euston for change and see what the new TOC of Avanti was like. Much the same really. I was going to go to Sandwell and Dudley once I got to Birmingham New Street but my train was almost ten minutes late and I missed the connection. Then git a Cross Country train to the newly opened Worcestershire Parkway station. I was quite impressed and was pleased that it has finally come to fruition. The car park looked like it had over a hundred cars in it which is promising. Coming back to London Paddington I had to go into Worcester to get the same train back as that particular service doesn’t stop at Worcestershire Parkway. I don’t know why as it’s only a couple of minutes extra on the journey. At Oxford it was interesting to see a lot of passengers walking past my Paddington bound train to get a Chiltern Trains service to a Marylebone instead. interesting....


March 2020

No train journeys made this month for obvious reasons....