Freedom Pass Project – Update

I’ll start this post with a reminder of what this project is about.- I’m trying to visit all the farthest points that I can reach using my pensioner’s Freedom Pass. Here’s the map…

…Additionally, I’m including all the termini for trains. The aim is to be getting out and about to improve my general fitness πŸ‘ You’d be surprised how much leg-work is involved at stationsπŸ˜…

This trip was about clearing off a lone farthest point – on a chilly and cloudy day in north London, I decided to go on a trip out to Elstree & Borehamwood. It may look close to Edgware, but in real time, it isn’t! I can get a bus here from High Barnet, and I can also go to Colindale and Watford but it’s definitely not the same as taking the bus from Mill Hill East to Edgware as I did in a previous Freedom Pass outing. So this was definitely one to do on its own.

The first time I visited this station, the line was not electrified and the old Midland Railway awnings were still in place…


…That was back in 1979. Sadly the awnings were victims of the electrification to Bedford. The current station is a much more modern structure. It lacks the elegance but is possibly more passenger friendly…

Elstree & Borehamwood Station

…shot taken from the road bridge over the line.

I was talking about the possibility of using buses to go between here and Barnet. Here’s a Metroline 107 service that skirts along the very edge of the TfL zone to get here…

Metroline VW1175 (LK11 CXJ) at Elstree & Borehamwood Station

…I’ve ridden the Barnet to Elstree section with Alasdair a few years back but I haven’t done the ongoing trip to Edgware. As for a run across to Watford, that is a non-TfL route. Sullivan Buses operate the 306 route and, in the past, their vehicles were painted in approved TfL red. With the 306 firmly in Hertfordshire, Sullivan’s have now chosen a pseudo London Country Buses green for the vehicles operating that route!..

Sullivan Buses AE1 (MS10 SUL) at Elstree & Borehamwood Station

…Looks Good πŸ˜ŽπŸ‘

One thing I missed were the Uno pink and purple buses – Uno seem to have pulled back from serving the railway station and now only run as far as the bus station.

Back on the station and I got some shots of East Midland Railway services along with the ubiquitous class 700’s on Thameslink services. Here’s a selection of shots 😎 Firstly here’s a Class 222 (222020) on a northbound service to Nottingham with the tunnel under Scratchwood behind…

222020 at Elstree & Borehamwood

…Scratchwood sits on part of the same ridge that we saw in my Hadley Wood post.

I don’t photo the 222’s very often so here’s 222014 on a southbound service…

222014 at Elstree & Borehamwood

…a fast run from Sheffield to London St Pancras – it only calls at Chesterfield, Derby and Leicester on its trip south, which makes it one of the fastest trips of the day though it doesn’t qualify for the epithet ‘Master Cutler’ – that belongs to the earlier 07:25 service from Sheffield.

St Pancras to Corby services are handled by Class 360 units. These are recent transfers from the Clacton and Walton services of Greater Anglia, released following the arrival of the Class 720 units. I think they looked good in their original dark blue but the EMR purple seems to suit them too and I like the detailing around the cab windows. Here’s 360107 leading 360109 northbound…

360107 at Elstree & Borehamwood

I guess we should also include a Thameslink service for completeness – 700046 passes through on the relief lines with a St Albans to Sutton service…

700046 at Elstree & Borehamwood

…Normally scheduled to stop here, it’s running late due to issues with a failed train in the Farringdon area and will run non-stop to St Pancras. The next, also late running, service was only a few minutes behind so passengers didn’t have to wait too long as Thameslink re-jigged their services 😎

Hope you enjoyed this latest trip out on the rails πŸ˜ŽπŸ‘


    1. Unfortunately, the same slash and burn approach was applied along the whole of the route as far north as Bedford. BR were strapped for cash so a less cavalier approach was out of the question πŸ˜’ The electrification was essential at the time – the diesel units operating the line were pretty awful and often caught fire! A more ‘Heritage friendly’ approach has been applied to recent upgrades to the line north of Bedford with the canopies retained in a carefully modified form at Kettering and Wellingborough. I hope to visit Kettering sometime in the future – haven’t been there in years 😎

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