Following on from yesterday’s post – I was retracing my steps to Crystal Palace station. Time for a little bit of history. Crystal Palace station is located in part of Anerley and was built to serve The Crystal Palace which was relocated from Hyde Park to Sydenham Hill after the Great Exhibition of 1851. There were originally two stations built by rival railway companies to serve The Crystal Palace as you can see on this section of an Ordnance Survey map of the area, circa 1900…

Ordnance Survey map courtesy of National Library of Scotland maps and re-used under creative Commons CC-BY-NC-SA

…The station at the bottom of the map was known as Crystal Palace (Low Level) to differentiate it from the High Level station located alongside Crystal Palace Parade, opposite the palace itself.

In 1936, The Crystal Palace was destroyed by fire which resulted in a decline in passengers but both stations remained open. Bomb damage resulted in the closure of Crystal Palace High Level station during WWII and although it re-opened subsequently, with further declining traffic and reconstruction being needed, it closed in 1954. It was demolished in 1961. That left only Crystal Palace (Low Level) which is the station that remains in use today.

Now I should apologise. There is a lot of historical interest around Crystal Palace Park but that wasn’t the purpose of my visit on this occasion. I think I will have to return sometime soon and do a proper photographic post on the subject of The Crystal Palace, its park and the stations.

Returning to my visit last Thursday, having disembarked from the train I took the opportunity to photograph the main station building. If you look again at the map, this shot is from the platforms on the line leaving the station to the south…

Crystal Palace Station

The large retaining wall encloses the stairs to the platforms and supports an overall roof across the through and bay platforms of the line from Sydenham (visible in the top right corner of the map). The small station building in the right foreground serviced the through tracks of the line from Beckenham Junction to Gipsy Hill and also two further bay platforms that were located where you can see grass beyond the chain link fence on the right. Sticking up above the station is a mast. That is Crystal Palace TV Transmitter, and it serves the whole of London.

The ground rises steeply beyond the station buildings to the summit of Sydenham Hill. As a result, the railway line plunges into a tunnel immediately to the east of the station…

377143 at Crystal Palace

…377143 emerges with a service to West Croydon.

To reach the platforms from street level, you have to descend a lot of stairs within the station. These give an opportunity for the photographer to play with light…

Lets Go Spotting

I haven’t yet mentioned why this station is on my Project list. It is the terminus for London Overground services from Dalston Junction. Here’s 378139 waiting to begin its return trip…

378139 at Crystal Palace

I took a Southern train back to Clapham Junction with the intention of trying to get another Class 455 operated service from there but that turned out problematical as a points failure at Victoria was causing disruption. After assessing the options, I decided to head back to Waterloo and then home via Waterloo East, London Bridge and Farringdon. At Farringdon I decided that the wait for a service calling at Kentish Town was a bit too long, so I took a train to Moorgate and picked up the Northern Line home from there. It proved to be a prescient decision for Kentish Town station was closed when we passed through!

I hope to be out on another Freedom Pass trip on Tuesday and, with luck, get some more Southern Class 455 photos during their last week of service๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ‘

Thursday was a day when my initial plans were subverted by circumstances. In fairness, those plans were never set in stone anyway and I switched to ‘lets see where the day takes us’ mode. I had Shenfield in mind as I left the house. I was thinking ‘Northern Line down to Moorgate, then a walk across to Liverpool Street’. But the first train in was via Charing Cross – the other side of the Northern Line – so I thought I’d go to Kentish Town and get Thameslink from there to Farringdon. At Kentish Town I just missed the Sutton service that would have taken me to Farringdon and seeing as I had a 20 minute wait for the next one, decided to do something else๐Ÿคจ

So, I took a Luton bound service one stop up the line to West Hampstead Thameslink and crossed over to catch a London Overground service to Clapham Junction. The joys of being flexible and not on a schedule๐Ÿ˜‰ I need Clapham Junction for the project as it is the terminus for London Overground services from Stratford and from Dalston Junction. Most of these services terminate at platforms 1 and 2 respectively. Here’s a Dalston Junction service on platform 2…

…Class 378’s operate this service and 378142 is a member of the 378/1’s – 750v 3rd rail only sub-class. The other sub-class is the 378/2 – these are dual voltage units and can operate on 25KV overhead as well. My train from West Hampstead was operated by 378225…

…and was one of the few services each day that terminate on the other side of Clapham Junction at platform 17.

Now I was back on Southern / South Western Railway territory so the logical move was to get another nearby terminus and I opted for the short trip down the line to Wimbledon. London Underground District Line trains…

…and London Trams…

…terminate here. A visit to Wimbledon is not complete without a photograph of its Streamline Moderne style signal box…

…designed by the Southern Railway and opened in 1948 after nationalisation by British Railways.

Catching the Tram took me across to East Croydon which actually has some services from London Bridge that terminate! I’m not sure if that is a temporary arrangement but I’ll count it for the purposes of my project ๐Ÿ˜‚ Currently those services are operated by Southern’s Class 455’s…

…and that’s 455820 (with 455845) arriving. That went on to be one of the three 455’s for the photo in my Soon to be History? post.

Monday’s outing beckons – I wonder if I’ll get out to Shenfield this time ๐Ÿ˜‰

Where to begin… As I warned in the initial post about this project of mine, the number of stations has grown. Once I started adding in the end destinations for London Underground trains, quite a few came to light. Trains don’t run from one end of the line to the other end, they go to somewhere in between. This allows a concentration of trains providing the best service in the parts of the route where it is needed most – usually central London. To take the Bakerloo Line as an example, southbound trains terminate at Elephant & Castle but when they travel north, some terminate at Queens Park, some at Stonebridge Park and a few make it all the way to Harrow & Wealdstone. That’s 2 additional termini there as an example. The upshot is that my original 68 stations has grown to 96!

One of those new additions has already been accounted for – I changed trains at Rayners Lane on that first run out after getting my Freedom Pass. Rayners Lane is a terminal point for some westbound trains on the Piccadilly Line and here’s a photo of one returning to eastbound service…

Another point from the original post, not all of these terminal points are distant or difficult for me. On Wednesday last week I took a local trip down to Highbury & Islington. I was actually going there for a combination of photographing some freight trains travelling around north London and to hopefully get something for Cee’s Midweek rainbow colours. Highbury & Islington counts for as the London Overground services from Crystal Palace and West Croydon terminate here in platforms 1 and 2. Here’s 378138 standing in platform 2 ready for a return run…

Highbury & Islington is not the most glamourous of stations from the outside although this totem and a broody sky makes for a nice shot…

…But for the enthusiast, there’s always a good amount of freight between the Overground trains on Stratford to Richmond / Clapham junction services. in the shot below, 66701 is heading west with a train of empty stone hoppers from Bow to Tonbridge…

I went home from Highbury & Islington by way of Gospel Oak – Terminus for trains from Barking. I won’t bother you with images from GPO as we’ve had a few in the past and will no doubt have some more in future – I pass through there so regularly and did so again today on my way to visit Watford Junction.

I think today’s visit will form its own Freedom Pass Project post as there’s a fair bit to cover at that location, so until next time ๐Ÿ‘