Watton-at-Stone railway station

Last updated

Watton-at-Stone National Rail logo.svg
Watton-at-Stone railway station 1.jpg
Location
Place Watton-at-Stone
Local authority District of East Hertfordshire
Coordinates 51°51′25″N0°07′11″W / 51.8569°N 0.1198°W / 51.8569; -0.1198 Coordinates: 51°51′25″N0°07′11″W / 51.8569°N 0.1198°W / 51.8569; -0.1198
Grid reference TL295192
Operations
Station codeWAS
Managed by Great Northern
Number of platforms2
DfT category E
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2013/14Increase2.svg 0.159 million
2014/15Increase2.svg 0.168 million
2015/16Increase2.svg 0.175 million
2016/17Decrease2.svg 0.168 million
2017/18Decrease2.svg 0.163 million
History
Original company London and North Eastern Railway
Post-groupingLondon and North Eastern Railway
2 June 1924Opened
10 September 1939Closed
17 May 1982Reopened
National RailUK railway stations
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Watton-at-Stone from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.

Watton-at-Stone railway station serves the village of Watton-at-Stone in Hertfordshire, England. It is 23 miles 72  chains (38.46 km) down the line from London King's Cross [1] on the Hertford Loop Line between Hertford North and Stevenage and is served by trains operated by Great Northern.

Watton-at-Stone farm village in the United Kingdom

Watton-at-Stone is a village in the English county of Hertfordshire, situated midway between the towns of Stevenage and Hertford in the valley of the River Beane. The 2011 census showed a population of 2,272 living in 946 households. Watton-at-Stone is also a civil parish in East Hertfordshire District Council.

Hertfordshire County of England

Hertfordshire is one of the home counties in southern England. It is bordered by Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire to the north, Essex to the east, Greater London to the south, and Buckinghamshire to the west. For government statistical purposes, it is placed in the East of England region.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

Contents

History

According to the Watton-at-Stone Parish Council, [2] a proposal for a rail route between London and Stevenage was approved by Parliament in 1898, though construction did not begin until 1906. A single-track section through Watton-at-Stone opened on 4 March 1918, with the track later being dualled.

The station saw its first passenger train run through on 6 February 1920, but did so only when a train was diverted from the East Coast Main Line as the result of an accident. Scheduled passenger services of four trains per day started on 2 June 1924, stopping on request at Watton-at-Stone.

East Coast Main Line railway link between London and Edinburgh

The East Coast Main Line (ECML) is a 393-mile long (632 km) major railway between London and Edinburgh via Peterborough, Doncaster, York, Darlington, Durham and Newcastle; it is electrified along the whole route. The route is a key transport artery on the eastern side of Great Britain and broadly paralleled by the A1 road.

The station's life as a passenger service was short-lived however, and it closed just 15 years later on 10 September 1939, despite the famed locomotive engineer Nigel Gresley's residency in the village.

Nigel Gresley British engineer

Sir Herbert Nigel Gresley was a British railway engineer. He was one of Britain's most famous steam locomotive engineers, who rose to become Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER). He was the designer of some of the most famous steam locomotives in Britain, including the LNER Class A1 and LNER Class A4 4-6-2 Pacific engines. An A1 Pacific, Flying Scotsman, was the first steam locomotive officially recorded over 100 mph in passenger service, and an A4, number 4468 Mallard, still holds the record for being the fastest steam locomotive in the world (126 mph).

The nationalised British Railways considered reopening the station in the 1960s, but it was not until 1981 that a campaign to reopen the station gathered momentum. The bulk of the £120,000 costs were paid for by Hertfordshire County Council and British Rail, but villagers and the parish council responded to a public appeal for funds, and together contributed £8,000. On 17 May 1982, a small crowd gathered to board the 06:23 service from Watton-at-Stone to Moorgate, the first passenger train to serve the village in almost 43 years.

Hertfordshire County Council British administrative body

Hertfordshire County Council is the upper-tier local authority for the non-metropolitan county of Hertfordshire, in England, the United Kingdom. After the elections in 2017, it consists of 78 councillors, and is controlled by the Conservative Party, which has 50 councillors, versus 19 Liberal Democrats and 9 Labour councillors. It is a member of the East of England Local Government Association.

Moorgate station London Underground and railway station

Moorgate is a central London railway terminus and connected London Underground station on Moorgate in the City of London. Main line railway services for Hertford, Welwyn Garden City and Letchworth are operated by Great Northern, while the Underground station is served by the Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan and Northern lines.

Services

Prior to the May 2019 timetable change, the station was served by two trains per hour towards Moorgate and 1 tph to Stevenage; however during peak times this increases up to three trains an hour in each direction. Southbound trains for London run to Moorgate, whilst northbound trains generally terminate at the next stop on the line, Stevenage, apart from selected weekday trains which continue to Hitchin before terminating at Letchworth Garden City.

Stevenage railway station station serving Stevenage in Hertfordshire, England

Stevenage railway station serves the town of Stevenage in Hertfordshire, England. The station is 27 miles 45 chains (44.4 km) north of London King's Cross on the East Coast Main Line. Stevenage is managed and served by Great Northern. It is also served by Hull Trains and London North Eastern Railway.

Hitchin railway station

Hitchin railway station serves the town of Hitchin in Hertfordshire. It is located approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) north east of the town centre and 31 miles 74 chains (51.4 km) north of London King's Cross on the East Coast Main Line.

Letchworth Garden City railway station grade II listed train station in Hertfordshire, United kingdom

Letchworth Garden City station serves the town of Letchworth in Hertfordshire, England. The station is on the Cambridge Line 34 miles 50 chains (55.7 km) north of London King's Cross, and is a stop for services between King's Cross and Cambridge. Trains which serve the station are operated by Great Northern.

Since then, Great Northern has stopped running through to Stevenage and beyond on weekdays whilst upgrade works (to add an additional running line and terminal platform) are carried out at Stevenage station. An hourly replacement bus is in operation until the work is completed in spring 2020. [3] An hourly train service continues to operate over this section at weekends. The twice-hourly service to Hertford North and Moorgate continues as normal on weekdays. [4]

Preceding station National Rail logo.svg National Rail Following station
Hertford North   Great Northern
Hertford Loop Line
  Stevenage
  Historical railways  
Stapleford
Line open, station closed
  London and North Eastern Railway
Hertford Loop Line
  Stevenage
Line and station open

The Finishing Line

In 1977, track in the vicinity of the then closed station was used by British Transport Films as a set to film the notorious public information film The Finishing Line . [5] Using shock tactics to deter children from playing near railway lines, the film was staged as a dream sequence of a parody school sports day with 'events' on and around the track. Local schoolchildren were drafted as actors. The film was broadcast on the nightly Nationwide TV show, and the liberal quantities of stage blood and graphic depiction of injuries became a matter of some controversy.

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References

  1. Padgett, David (October 2016) [1988]. Brailsford, Martyn (ed.). Railway Track Diagrams 2: Eastern (4th ed.). Frome: Trackmaps. map 24B. ISBN   978-0-9549866-8-1.
  2. Watton-at-Stone Parish Council: Transport
  3. "From 20 May 2019 buses replace trains from Monday-Friday between Stevenage and Watton-at-Stone" Great Northern website news article; Retrieved 24 July 2019
  4. Table 21 National Rail timetable, May 2019
  5. British Transport Films: The Finishing Line