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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited by Moderator)
'Make Mine a Double' instituted a thread on railway posters to which I also contributed and which was concluded in November 2020.

This proved to be a popular posting, and as a New Year treat I've decided to institute a new thread based on old and new photos available on the Geograph website. Most of the old photos were taken by Dr. Ben Brooksbank from 1945 onwards; he had over 9,000 photos on this website taken up until shortly before his death two years ago, so there is plenty of subject matter! Dr Brooksbank was a well-travelled person as a medical researcher and covered much of the UK.

If anyone has old photos of railway subjects in England, Wales and Scotland and cares to post them in this thread, I'll try and match them to modern photo(s) on the Geograph site. Please note I'll only be posting once or twice a week.

Today's offerings are of Ashchurch in Gloucestershire, starting with Ben Brooksbank's first-ever railway photo (click on the photos to go to the larger originals):
Ashchurch Station, December 1945

© Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Ashchurch was the junction between the Midland Railway's line from Bromsgrove to Cheltenham and Gloucester, and it's own branches from Great Malvern and Evesham. Besides coming into the station, the branches were linked to each other in a direct connection over the main line on a level crossing just north of the station - note the signal on each side protecting the main line from trains using the link:
Ashchurch - Great Malvern railway

© Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
The detailed caption to this photo has much information about these various branches.

From 1957:
Ashchurch Station, 1957

© Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

From 1969:
Ashchurch station, northward from road bridge

© Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

From 1989:
Site of Ashchurch station

© Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

And in 1997:
New Ashchurch Station

© Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

John
 

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Happy new year John and thanks for posting those photo's. I wish I had some to show, but sad to say I had no interest in photography or indeed, railways. This will hopefully liven up the forum a bit as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've chosen to go up the line from Ashchurch to Bromsgrove, which has undergone significant changes in the last 70+ years.

We start off with another of Dr Ben Brooksbank's earliest photos from 1948:
Bromsgrove Station, with Down express passing

© Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
The famous Lickey incline starts its rise just beyond the road bridge.

From 1955:
A stranger to these parts, a GW 'Castle' on a Rail Tour prepares to tackle the Lickey Bank at Bromsgrove

© Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

1975:
Diesel Multiple Unit at Bromsgrove, 1975

© Copyright Rob Newman and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
By this date the former Down platform had been removed, and trains heading towards Gloucester had to be turned into the Up platform.
The derelict building on the right was part of an extensive railway wagon works. The extent of these can be seen as they were in 1925 at https://britainfromabove.org.uk/en/image/EPW013811.

1990:
Class 156 at Bromsgrove, 1990

© Copyright Rob Newman and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
The Down platform has been reinstated, but the original station buildings have been removed.

2016:
Bromsgrove railway station (site), Worcestershire

© Copyright Nigel Thompson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
A new station is under construction and part in use and the old done away.

And from 2018:
First Cross-City Electric Train Arrived at Bromsgrove Today

© Copyright Roy Hughes and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

John
 

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Hmmm? So what signalboxes were where at Ashchurch? Who had what station limits and what were the block sections?

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
QUOTE (Bear 1923 @ 8 Jan 2021, 20:33) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hmmm? So what signalboxes were where at Ashchurch? Who had what station limits and what were the block sections?


There was a box at the south end of the station and another at the north end which in part controlled the link between the two branches. The latter is visible in the first two photos posted above. The 1957 picture was taken about the time that the link between the branches was shut down, and shows both the old south box and a new 'Junction' box under construction which covered the whole station from 1958 until 1969 and was promptly demolished when a MAS scheme was installed. Not certain which PSB took over, and I've not yet located any information as to the individual coverage of each box.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Back again - sorry I didn't post anything last week but I ate something that disagreed with me..... but have recovered!

I'm taking a look at Cheltenham today. First we have an elderly loco, seen in 1948:
An Old Stager at Cheltenham Lansdown Station

© Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

A little more recent (1961):
Up stopping train entering Cheltenham Lansdown station

© Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Cheltenham Lansdown station, 1986

© Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
There had been two other stations on the GWR line serving Cheltenham which were closed at the start of 1966.

The station was renamed 'Cheltenham Spa' - view in 2007:
Cheltenham Spa Railway Station Platform

© Copyright Tom Jolliffe and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

This view from 2009 indicates that there had been a clean-up and repaint at some time:
Cheltenham Spa Railway Station, Platform 1

© Copyright Roy Hughes and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

A view of the main station entrance (2011):
Cheltenham Spa Railway Station

© Copyright Wayland Smith and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Finally a view of the former GWR line towards Honeybourne, now a foot and cycle path:
Queen's Road bridge over the Honeybourne Line, Cheltenham

© Copyright Jaggery and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
(This line has been partly revived from Cheltenham Racecourse to Broadway by the Gloucestershire/Warwickshire Railway, of course!)

Back next week,
John
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

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Thanks for that, I worked in Cheltenham from 1999-2002 so I went looking for remains, and as I am sure you know I was thinking of St James in steam days. (and the M&SWJunc complete with galloping Alice)

Gloucester too has changed much there was an interesting station there the Midland Goods but again I have never seen a photo of this facility
 

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QUOTE (kristopher1805 @ 23 Jan 2021, 21:36) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>......Gloucester too has changed much there was an interesting station there the Midland Goods but again I have never seen a photo of this facility
There were two Midland stations - a small terminus adjacent to the GWR station until the late 1800s and then Eastgate, opened 1896 and which was closed in 1975. Have a look at https://www.geograph.org.uk/gridref/SO8318 and select the option for "58 images taken pre 2000" - it transpires there are actually 77 photos! - these include a number of this station and adjacent railway lines.

The goods shed was close to the MR terminus - see https://maps.nls.uk/view/109724688 for an 1880s map of the area; later maps, for example circa 1900 https://maps.nls.uk/view/109724691 show how alterations had led to the two stations, linked by a lengthy pedestrian bridge.

See also http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/g/glouc...ate/index.shtml for even more pictures and extracts from the two maps I've linked to above!

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
From the relatively small stations I've posted about so far, I'm moving on to Birmingham Snow Hill station, which has had a very chequered career. It's history is detailed at This entry at the Disused Stations website but the Geograph website only has pictures from the 1940s onwards. We start with one of Ben Brooksbank's early photos:

Up class F freight entering Birmingham Snow Hill station, 1946

© Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
(Taken, I notice, just 10 days after I was born!)

1957:
Express from South Wales via Hereford and Worcester enters Birmingham Snow Hill

© Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Still with steam, from 1964:
Weymouth - Wolverhampton express puffing up out of Snow Hill Tunnel into the Station

© Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
This shows the size of the station, which had been rebuilt in the early C20.

But by 1969 much of the station and tracks were out of use:
Snow Hill Station (Great Western Railway)

© Copyright Martin Tester and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

And the last services, which ran until 1972, were operated by 'Bubble cars':
Snow Hill Station (GWR) - the last services

© Copyright Martin Tester and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

After closure, much remained in place, except the track - a 1977 view:
Snow Hill Station (platforms 8 and 6)

© Copyright Michael Westley and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

From March 1983:
Snow Hill Station - the final clearance

© Copyright Michael Westley and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

But by 1987 things were looking up and a new station, smaller in scale appeared:
New Snow Hill Station

© Copyright David Stowell and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

It services both the local Metro service:
Midland Metro terminus, Snow Hill Railway Station

© Copyright P L Chadwick and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Chiltern Railway:
Birmingham Snow Hill Station

© Copyright Chris Allen and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

and London Midland trains:
London Midland train at Snow Hill

© Copyright Stephen Craven and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

John
 

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Interesting photo's but sad to see old architecture with character demolished.
 

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Apologies for delays in posting some 'new' items due to internet problems over the weekend.

For the next few weeks I'm looking at York, and am starting with the southern approach in the Holgate Bridge vicinity.
We start with a view from April 1950:
Up freight trains racing at York Racecourse

© Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
We still have semaphore signals in use - these were replaced by a colour light signals/powered points system soon afterwards in 1951.

From 1964:
Up freight passing York Racecourse (Holgate) station

© Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
Last of the steam and a diesel loco visible.

We are, in the 1980s, entirely diesel power:
Freight trains pass at Holgate York

© Copyright roger geach and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Looking south from the station in 1986 showing the complex track at the south end of the station prior to electrification in the 1990s:
York - railway lines between York Station and Holgate Road bridge

© Copyright Colin Park and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Unfortunately there are no photos of this area during electrification works in the 1990s, so we jump to the line already electrified:
Looking south westwards out of York Station

© Copyright Andy Beecroft and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

And from 2018:
York Racecourse / Holgate Bridge railway station (site), York

© Copyright Nigel Thompson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
We move into the centre of York station.
From 1958:
York Station, with Down Special for Scarborough

© Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
So taken after the resignalling of the early 1950s.

After steam: a local train to Leeds in 1975:
Train for Leeds leaves York

© Copyright Tim Marshall and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Main line, but before electrification, from 1980:
York railway station - (8)

© Copyright The Carlisle Kid and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

York Station 1983

© Copyright Roy Hughes and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

In 1988, shortly before electrification:
York Railway Station interior.

© Copyright John Firth and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

A view of the centre from the north end in September 1988 as electrification got under way:
Tracklaying at York

© Copyright Stephen Craven and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

After electrification, looking South:
York Station, 1997

© Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Looking North:
York Station, 1997

© Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Next time we'll look at the north end of the station and the connections to the Scarborough line.

John
 

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We have a look at the North end of York station, where there have been significant changes in the way the Scarborough lines are connected.

July 1951:
Up 'Norseman' entering York

© Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
The two tracks crossing sharp left to right connected to the Scarborough lines to the right - mainly to conduct goods trains from the goods avoiding lines to or from the Sacrborough branch. This was taken shortly after the 1951 resignalling, so Waterworks box, visible behind the train, had been closed about two months before the date of the photo. (It was adjacent to the works that took water from the River Ouse and treated for use around the station for steam loco and other uses.)

Seen in 1958:
Crossing at north end of York Station, with train 1958

© Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
Curiously Ben Brookbank's caption still refers to the Waterworks signal box although by then it had been demolished.

The Waterworks Crossing in the two photos shown above was removed in April 1974, although this photo is from 1988 shortly before further trackwork was carried out prior to electrification:
Arriving at York

© Copyright Wilson Adams and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

This view is the only one I can find which gives a sight of the further rationalisation of the track during electrification works:
York Station, 1997

© Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The (single) line to Scarborough is the one eventually curving off to the right - originally it became double track the other side of the bridge over the River Ouse after connecting with one bay platform and a siding, formerly another bay. But works around 2019 on the bridge seem to have led to reinstatement of two tracks, as shown here:
Alberta leaving York station

© Copyright Stephen Craven and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Next time we'll look at the original York railway museum and the development of the NRM from the former loco shed.

John
 
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