Memories of Broad Street

Taunton

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I've told this before, but one upside of the diversion of the Watford DC service to Liverpool Street was it made it even easier for less-understanding passengers to transfer to main line trains there.

Thus it became a favoured way for the well-heeled of Hertfordshire etc to send their au-pairs back home to Netherlands, Germany, etc, by this service, transferring directly to the Day Continental to Harwich, and the ship. So farewells were said at the Watford Junction barrier, with instructions to get the LIVERPOOL STREET train. Now accessing the DC line bays involves going onto the Down Fast platform, and walking down to the south end. Unfortunately, at precisely this time, here comes the morning express to LIVERPOOL Lime STREET stopping at the main platform. Porters keen to get it away pronto, words like "Liverpool" and "Street" being shouted and over the PA, get those doors closed and dispatch. Next stop Runcorn.

Apparently the guard, and more particularly the staff at Runcorn, had to deal with this one more than once.
 
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S&CLER

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There is a pic of the Broad Street Station notice in "Lost Lines: LMR" (1994) by Nigel Welbourn.

Actually the notice was in four languages; English, Dutch, German and Polish.

The English wording read...

BROAD STREET STATION
THIS STATION IS BROAD STREET NOT LIVERPOOL STREET. PASSENGERS FOR EUROPE AND EASTERN COUNTIES OF ENGLAND SHOULD TRAVEL FROM LIVERPOOL STREET STATION ->

British Rail - London Midland
Thanks for this. Funny how memory plays tricks.

I've told this before, but one upside of the diversion of the Watford DC service to Liverpool Street was it made it even easier for less-understanding passengers to transfer to main line trains there.

Thus it became a favoured way for the well-heeled of Hertfordshire etc to send their au-pairs back home to Netherlands, Germany, etc, by this service, transferring directly to the Day Continental to Harwich, and the ship. So farewells were said at the Watford Junction barrier, with instructions to get the LIVERPOOL STREET train. Now accessing the DC line bays involves going onto the Down Fast platform, and walking down to the south end. Unfortunately, at precisely this time, here comes the morning express to LIVERPOOL Lime STREET stopping at the main platform. Porters keen to get it away pronto, words like "Liverpool" and "Street" being shouted and over the PA, get those doors closed and dispatch. Next stop Runcorn.

Apparently the guard, and more particularly the staff at Runcorn, had to deal with this one more than once.
I've heard that something similar could happen at Harwich PQ when there was still a through train to Liverpool as well as one to Liverpool Street.
 

contrex

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I think that those trains were Class 501 and were similar to EPB stock.
Similar body style. They were, to the 13 year old me, Southern boy, strangely fascinating because they were so like the BR Standard EPBs and yet so different. Strange looking fronts with slightly different cab windows, odd headcode and destination boxes, and the weird lined dark green livery. After BR(S) stopped the rail rovers in 1965, I settled for LT Twin Rovers, but one Saturday I walked from Liverpool Street to Broad Street and bought a single to Highbury and Islington just to ride one of these. I later had a ride from Gunnersbury to Richmond.

Thanks for this. Funny how memory plays tricks.


I've heard that something similar could happen at Harwich PQ when there was still a through train to Liverpool as well as one to Liverpool Street.

Is it really true that a big sign outside Liverpool Street reading "HARWICH FOR THE CONTINENT" was added to with "Frinton for the incontinent", and every time it was painted over, someone did it again?
 
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43096

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I've heard that something similar could happen at Harwich PQ when there was still a through train to Liverpool as well as one to Liverpool Street.
The same reason, I guess, that departures at Norwich show Lime Street Liverpool to reduce the chance of people wanting Liverpool Street boarding an EMR 158.
 

Revaulx

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When was the overall roof cut back? It had certainly gone by the first time I explored it, which would have been late 70s.

Edit: Wonkypedia says 1967

The Class 501s were far dingier than their SR cousins. The bars on the windows obviously didn’t help, but routine cleaning and maintenance seemed to be a lot worse than on Western and Central Section SUBs and EPBs. I wasn’t familiar with Slade Green stuff, but don’t think that had a great reputation either.
 

edwin_m

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Similar body style. They were, to the 13 year old me, Southern boy, strangely fascinating because they were so like the BR Standard EPBs and yet so different. Strange looking fronts with slightly different cab windows, odd headcode and destination boxes, and the weird lined dark green livery. After BR(S) stopped the rail rovers in 1965, I settled for LT Twin Rovers, but one Saturday I walked from Liverpool Street to Broad Street and bought a single to Highbury and Islington just to ride one of these. I later had a ride from Gunnersbury to Richmond.
Curious indeed. They are contemporary with the units for similar duties on the Southern, which were only lightly adapted when new units were needed on Tyneside. Wikipedia even tells me the 510s were built at Eastleigh! They were also replaced by EPB stock.

I can only think that there was some clearance issue that prevented use of the EPBs until resolved at some stage - perhaps Hampstead Tunnel which was apparently the reason for the window bars?
 

contrex

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I can only think that there was some clearance issue that prevented use of the EPBs until resolved at some stage - perhaps Hampstead Tunnel which was apparently the reason for the window bars?

Historically, the North London and Watford DC lines where the 501s worked were special, being electrified using the same 4-rail system as the Underground (so parts could be shared with the Bakerloo and District). This changed in 1970 when the BR sections were converted to 3rd rail supply, with the centre negative rail retained where needed, bonded to the running rails, so that the Underground stock could still work, because it still 'saw' 630v difference between the outer third rail and the centre one. Just after the conversion was done, on 8.11.1970, a 4-COR (3135) went, via Richmond, on a tour involving visits to Broad Street, Watford Junction, and Croxley. It was propelled over the SR-LMR link at Richmond by Crompton D6532 because the LMR (NLL) third rail did not have gaps or side ramps at that point and would have knocked all the COR's shoes off if they had not been paddled up. It wasn't needed on the way back. There was no point in using EPBs while the 501s were still usable. The bars fitted to the NLL 2EPBs in 1985 were because of clearances in Hampstead Tunnel. Here's a link to a page about the 4-COR tour https://www.sixbellsjunction.co.uk/70s/701108lc.html.
 
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soccermad

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I worked at London Underground at Chiswick in the early 1980's and used to make a point of travelling from Gunnersbury to Richmond on a Class 501 rather than District Line stock of the day which was I think C stock ??
 
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Journeyman

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As far as I can remember, I only ever travelled on a class 501 once, from Kew Gardens to Richmond. I badgered my dad to take me on it. I can only vaguely recall the experience, the one thing standing out to me was a very rough ride indeed - it felt much worse than similar Southern stock of the time.
 

30907

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The other obvious difference from BR-design EPB stock was length: the NLL stock was nominal 57ft not 63ft (and of course 3-car not 4 or 2) - remember that a considerable number of Mk1 non corridors were built to that length too, presumably for compatibility with existing fleets.
Hence the "Bulleid" 2EPBs could only be used once short trains (2v3, 4v6) were OK from a traffic viewpoint.
BTW I wasn't on the 4COR tour, but I was on a later one with IIRC 6 cars that managed to get from SR to LM at Richmond unaided!
 

65477

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Picture taken on my first visit to Broad Street probably 1971.
bwneg 18 016.JPGTwo taken at the very end!

IMG_0859.JPGIMG_0861.JPG

and I am fairly certain this is the last picture I took at Broad Street when all that remained was a small part of the north end of the station313007 Broad Street.JPG

If this is not Broad Street I would be pleased to hear so I can correct my records
 

Taunton

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The austere 501s had replaced in about 1957 the original LNWR Oerlikon electric units. John Betjeman, who of course lived on the line, wrote about how these, 40 years old when he was writing, were supremely comfortable and smooth running, so the contrast must have been appalling.

The 501s were life-expired by the early 1980s, after little more than 25 years, and the Broad Street to Richmond line was their last stand. The day the electric service was diverted to Stratford they were withdrawn, with the Broad Street crew depot closed, and replaced by SR-style 2-EPB units run from the Richmond end. These latter, in nicer internal condition, were ironically not only the same age, but had 1957 bodies on the frames and mechanical parts from 1930s 2-NOL units. I don't believe they ever operated into Broad Street.
 

Journeyman

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The austere 501s had replaced in about 1957 the original LNWR Oerlikon electric units. John Betjeman, who of course lived on the line, wrote about how these, 40 years old when he was writing, were supremely comfortable and smooth running, so the contrast must have been appalling.

The 501s were life-expired by the early 1980s, after little more than 25 years, and the Broad Street to Richmond line was their last stand. The day the electric service was diverted to Stratford they were withdrawn, with the Broad Street crew depot closed, and replaced by SR-style 2-EPB units run from the Richmond end. These latter, in nicer internal condition, were ironically not only the same age, but had 1957 bodies on the frames and mechanical parts from 1930s 2-NOL units. I don't believe they ever operated into Broad Street.
They actually did. I've seen photographs of 2-EPBs in the platforms at Broad Street. Voila...

 

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Taunton

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Well, never say never on here! I wonder if it's a driver training run, only the right had platforms were in use at the end.

There's a nice little description of Sun Street Passage, alongside the station, on a 1940s Christmas day, here:

 

Journeyman

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Well, never say never on here! I wonder if it's a driver training run, only the right had platforms were in use at the end.
It could well be - I'm pretty sure the EPBs never carried passengers in and out of Broad Street, but they may well have needed to train drivers that were still based there prior to the North Woolwich services going electric. The final trains in and out of Broad Street, when it was just the peak services to Watford, were 313s.
 

Peter Mugridge

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Picture taken on my first visit to Broad Street probably 1971.
View attachment 89250Two taken at the very end!

View attachment 89251View attachment 89252

and I am fairly certain this is the last picture I took at Broad Street when all that remained was a small part of the north end of the stationView attachment 89249

If this is not Broad Street I would be pleased to hear so I can correct my records

The signal box appears to match the one in two of my pictures at Broad Street a few posts ago, so I'm very certain that 313 017 is indeed at Broad Street.
 

RT4038

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Historically, the North London and Watford DC lines where the 501s worked were special, being electrified using the same 4-rail system as the Underground (so parts could be shared with the Bakerloo and District). This changed in 1970 when the BR sections were converted to 3rd rail supply, with the centre negative rail retained where needed, bonded to the running rails, so that the Underground stock could still work, because it still 'saw' 630v difference between the outer third rail and the centre one. Just after the conversion was done, on 8.11.1970, a 4-COR (3135) went, via Richmond, on a tour involving visits to Broad Street, Watford Junction, and Croxley. It was propelled over the SR-LMR link at Richmond by Crompton D6532 because the LMR (NLL) third rail did not have gaps or side ramps at that point and would have knocked all the COR's shoes off if they had not been paddled up. It wasn't needed on the way back. There was no point in using EPBs while the 501s were still usable. The bars fitted to the NLL 2EPBs in 1985 were because of clearances in Hampstead Tunnel. Here's a link to a page about the 4-COR tour https://www.sixbellsjunction.co.uk/70s/701108lc.html.

On 25.9.71 3 x 2BIL [ 2111, 2135 & 2140] units visited Broad Street, Watford Junction and Euston on a railtour organised by BR (Eastern) Staff Railway Society. The shoes were paddled up at Richmond on the outward journey; as mentioned it was not necessary on the return. Owing to some problem with the lead unit cab, this unit was shunted into the middle of the train at Richmond, causing quite some delay.
 

Poolie

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On my journey to secondary school every day starting in September 1965 I had to get from South Kenton to Kilburn Grammar school. I had a pass from South Kenton to Queens Park, and yet the nearest station was Brondesury Park. I used to get the 08.10 Bakerloo to Queen's Park but return on a 501. I soon realised that Brondesbury Park was over the road from the school and would travel to and from there despite my pass stating Queens Park. The North London Line then was really run down but the variety of traction (even steam....just) was amazing. Brondesbury Park to Willesden High Level, dash down to Low Level to South Kenton.
There were still Standard 2MT 78xxx on empty carriage stock.
It always intrigued me that at certain times there were 501's in the Willesden Low Level bay platforms. What workings would they have been?
 

PeterC

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On my journey to secondary school every day starting in September 1965 I had to get from South Kenton to Kilburn Grammar school. I had a pass from South Kenton to Queens Park, and yet the nearest station was Brondesury Park. I used to get the 08.10 Bakerloo to Queen's Park but return on a 501. I soon realised that Brondesbury Park was over the road from the school and would travel to and from there despite my pass stating Queens Park. The North London Line then was really run down but the variety of traction (even steam....just) was amazing. Brondesbury Park to Willesden High Level, dash down to Low Level to South Kenton.
There were still Standard 2MT 78xxx on empty carriage stock.
It always intrigued me that at certain times there were 501's in the Willesden Low Level bay platforms. What workings would they have been?
There were occasional short workings scheduled from the LL station via Primrose Hill.
 

30907

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On 25.9.71 3 x 2BIL [ 2111, 2135 & 2140] units visited Broad Street, Watford Junction and Euston on a railtour organised by BR (Eastern) Staff Railway Society. The shoes were paddled up at Richmond on the outward journey; as mentioned it was not necessary on the return. Owing to some problem with the lead unit cab, this unit was shunted into the middle of the train at Richmond, causing quite some delay.
That's the one I remembered, thanks.
 

RT4038

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That's the one I remembered, thanks.
This was the first railtour I ever went on (and I've been on very few since!) As a 14 yr old it really grabbed my attention. I remember the paddling at Richmond, but not whether a diesel engine pushed us over the SR-LMR connection. The shunting of the units at Richmond made us an hour late. There was a further delay at Dalston Junction (on the return from Broad Street), as a sharp signalman had noticed no tail lamp (it was still on the front of the train). The LMR guard (of West Indian origin) was muttering walking along the platform that he thought all EMUs had electric tail lights.....
Terminating in the gloom at Blackfriars. (a quiet station on a Saturday evening). Still got the brochure somewhere.
 

Taunton

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How did the Special get to North Woolwich with an extended layover there without disrupting the regular service on the single line and single platforms beyond Custom House?
 

frodshamfella

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Here's my archive images of Broad Street for you all.

The first one is from 1980 the remainder are from 12th May 1985...
Thanks.....yes brings back memories. I do miss these oddities to the general rail network going, its what makes it interesting. My first trip from Broad Street in the early 80s was during the weekend, think I was about the only passenger to board.
 
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nlogax

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I only started roaming London's railways on Capitalcards in the late 80s so missed Broad St closing by a couple of years although I still recall that end of the North London Line being in a pretty grotty state despite the splashes of NSE colour. Looking back even further it seems BR weren't being altogether honest about their true intentions re. the station.

 

Stuwhu

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Did anyone ever see Paul McCartney around the station. I believe he was a great fan and even recorded an album called "Give my regards to Broad Street"
 

Taunton

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Did anyone ever see Paul McCartney around the station. I believe he was a great fan and even recorded an album called "Give my regards to Broad Street"
The bit filmed with him at the station is towards the end of the 1984 film. YouTube has it broken up into parts. Starts here at 10:30 in Part 7


and continues into Part 8 until the credits


The title is a pastiche of the major 1948 Hollywood film "Give my regards to Broadway"
 

WesternLancer

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I only started roaming London's railways on Capitalcards in the late 80s so missed Broad St closing by a couple of years although I still recall that end of the North London Line being in a pretty grotty state despite the splashes of NSE colour. Looking back even further it seems BR weren't being altogether honest about their true intentions re. the station.

some good film links there - I guess with the transformation to home working it's likely that the office development on the station site may have a much shorter lifespan than the station - it is like looking back on another London though - I guess '85 was about the start of the long running property boom that has more or less continued ever since....
 

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