Newton Abbot: The former GWR carriage and wagon repair shop was virtually destroyed in an arson attack on October 21, the second in two days. The building, which has been disused for some years and had lost its roof, was due for demolition anyway. A local conservation group lost its battle to stop a new Aldi supermarket being built on the site.
Paddington: Network Rail is seeking a home for two redundant buffer stops in Platforms 11 and 12 that date back to 1912. The space they occupy is needed to extend the station concourse.
Portishead: Bristol Mayor Tim Bowles has suggested turning the beleaguered branch over to light rail, in an attempt to break the stalemate over its delayed reopening.
Marsh Barton: There is increasing concern that the March 2021 deadline for the opening of the new Exeter suburban station may not be met, which also means that funding may be withdrawn. The project is already two years late because changes are needed to the specification.
Bradford: Network Rail commenced work on the platform extensions at Bradford Interchange station in mid- October. The work is scheduled to take seven weeks.
Darlington: A new single- span bridge was installed on October 25, to connect the station with the Central Park development. It will take four weeks to commission.
Leeds: The roof over the station’s main southern concourse is to be replaced over the next year, with a new one made from lightweight synthetic material that will offer more light.
St Neots: The station would be located at a railway junction for the first time in its 170- year existence, under radical proposals from the CamBedRailRoad ( CBRR) think tank to divert the new East West Rail Link from Bedford to the north instead of adopting the old alignment via Sandy and Potton. There could then be new stations at Cambourne and Northstowe to serve the vast new housing developments there.
Barlaston: The closed Stafford-Stoke line station is scheduled to reopen, with London Northwestern Railway services calling either from December 2020 or May 2021.
Brent Cross: Light industrial land has been compulsorily purchased for a new Brent Cross West station, to serve an expanded shopping centre and more than 7,000 new homes. Progress augurs well for opening in 2022.
Euston: October 14 marked 50 years since the official opening of the reconstructed British Rail station. ( See RAIL 866).
Northampton: A new £ 350 million university campus has opened on land previously used by the rail- served power station on the banks of the River Nene, east of the city.
St Pancras: The former Midland Railway terminus was 150 years old on October 1. Now the busy international terminus for Eurostar services, it was considered for closure and demolition in the 1960s.
Stone: The town council has been lobbying to get the proposed maintenance depot at Yarnfield moved to Aldersey’s Rough between Madeley and Whitmore, to avoid road traffic congestion. However, it has been informed that it would be too costly. Swanbourne: The former Bletchley- Oxford line station building has been slated for demolition under the East West Rail Link proposals, because it will be too close to the new 100mph railway. Although converted to a home after its closure on January 1 1968, it is owned by Network Rail.
Ardwick: Construction of the TransPennine Express depot extension has begun, to provide stabling facilities for an additional 16 vehicles. Kirkham & Wesham: The Preston- Blackpool line
station has been promised step-free access to all its platforms, one of which is new.
Millers Dale: The former Derby- Manchester/ Buxton junction station is being restored by the Peak District National Park Authority as a tourist centre and restaurant, as part of the 8½ - mile Monsal Trail cycling and walkway. Three of the platforms are still visible 50 years after closure, and one of the Midland Railway viaducts is also under renovation.
Salford: The canopies at Central station have been cut back to make it easier for train crews to see signals.
East Croydon: Public consultation is taking place during November and December on the major remodelling to remove the bottleneck on the London- Brighton main line. As well as junctions replacing flyovers, through tracks will be increased from five to seven, and a bigger concourse provided at the station.
Poole: The troubled miniature railway, open since 1949, has been taken over by the local authority with the promise of a £ 350,000 overhaul. After parting company with the previous operator because of health and safety concerns, Poole Council had earlier considered the railway’s complete closure.
Salisbury: South Western Railway is to expand the
station’s cycle facilities.
South Western Railway: The train operator has announced a £ 90 million programme to improve its stations in the duration of its franchise, including providing 1,500 extra car park spaces, new waiting shelters and extending canopies, refurbishment of waiting rooms and toilets, real-time information screens, and 280 extra platform benches.
Angel Road: Formal closure notices have now been issued for the Lea Valley Line station, quite likely next year. It will coincide with the opening of nearby Meridian Water.
Barrington: A 185ft chimney at the rail- served cement works is to be demolished because it is considered unsafe. The link will remain in use for Cemex waste trains filling the old quarry until at least the end of the year. Planning permission has been granted to build 200 houses on the site.
Haddiscoe: The former Beccles-Yarmouth line high level station, closed in 1959, has been on the market for £ 600,000. Now converted to a five- bedroomed home, it incorporates the shell of the old Great Eastern signal box. The old waiting room is now holiday accommodation.
Watlington: The former station house on the Kings Lynn- Cambridge line, now a private three- bedroomed house, is on the market for £ 275,000.
Aberdeen: The 170- year- old Abbeytoun road bridge over the railway at Fordoun is to be demolished. It shut in July because it was defective.
Stonehaven: There was widespread disruption to Edinburgh- Aberdeen services for two days from October 10, after empty diesel multiple unit 170402 became derailed across both tracks.
Llanwern: The new £ 50 million station features in the Welsh Government’s draft budget for 2018-19. Situated north of the Glan Llyn regeneration site, it will have 1,000 spaces for cars on the Celtic Business Park.
Sirhowy: The final section of the Sirhowy branch to Nantybwch, one of many South Wales lines that fed the LNWR’s Heads of the Valleys route, opened 150 years ago on November 2. It closed in sections north from Risca between 1960-70.
Farringdon: The airiness of the Thameslink/ Underground station is to disappear, following agreement to build a two- storey shopping centre and seven floors of offices over the platforms.