Station Name: HILL END


[Source: Nick Catford]

Date opened: 5.3.1899
Location: On the north side of Hill End Lane
Company on opening: Great Northern Railway
Date closed to passengers: 1.10.1951
Date closed completely: 5.10.1964
Company on closing: British Railways (London Midland/Eastern Region)
Present state: Platform still extant alongside the Alban Way footpath
County: Hertfordshire
OS Grid Ref: TL177070
Date of visit: June 1975

Notes: St. Albans Abbey Station preceded the main line Midland Railway station by 10 years; it became the terminus of two branch lines, the LNWR line from Watford and the GNR line from Hatfield. There were several early proposals to provide St. Albans with a rail service and on 4th August 1853 the LNWR received parliamentary approval to construct a line from Watford; the single track branch opening on 4th May 1858. In 1861 the GNR lent its support to a proposal to build a branch line from Hatfield in order to attract some of the lucrative commuter revenue. Authority was obtained on 30 June 1862 and the line was built by the Hatfield & St. Albans Railway with the support of the GNR. The branch was opened on 16th October 1865 and eventually absorbed into the GNR on 1st November 1883.

There was initially only one station at St. Albans (later named St. Albans London Road) with further intermediate stations opening at Smallford in 1866, Sanders Siding (later Salvation Army Halt) in 1897, Hill End in 1899, Nast Hyde in 1910 and Lemsford Road in 1942.

The Hatfield - St. Albans branch was an early casualty under British Railways, closing throughout to passengers on 1st October 1951; freight traffic lingered into the 1960's.

The former line now forms 6½ miles long Alban Way, which opened in 1985 as part of National Cycle Route no. 61 between Hatfield and St. Albans. The route is owned by the City & District Council of St. Albans, managed by the Parks & Leisure Department, and Welwyn Hatfield Council. The route acts as a 'wildlife corridor' within two busy urban areas of Hertfordshire. The section along the old 'Smallford Trail' is also a County Wildlife Site.

The station at Hill End was opened on 1st May 1899 to serve the Hertfordshire County Mental Hospital. Passengers were set down there on request to the guard. At Hill End a 400 yards siding ran south into the hospital for delivering coal and stores; it provided useful additional goods revenue for the branch. Although passenger traffic was withdrawn in 1951 freight traffic continued until 5th October 1964.
For further reading see Hertfordshire's lost railways by Keith Scholey ISBN ISBN 1 84033231 X

See other stations on the St. Albans Abbey - Hatfield Line: St. Albans London Road, Salvation Army Halt, Smallford, Nast Hyde Halt & Lemsford Road Halt

Hill End Station looking east in c.1970's
hoto by Ian Baker

Hill End Station in June 1975
hoto by Nick Catford

Hill End Station in April 2004
hoto by Nick Pedley




[Source: Nick Catford]

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