Station Name: ST. ALBANS LONDON ROAD

 

[Source: Nick Catford]


Date opened: 16.10.1865
Location: In Orient Close
Company on opening: Hatfield & St. Albans 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: The station is now a business centre in a modern housing estate. Due to its current use the building is in excellent condition with part of the platform remaining.
County: Hertfordshire
OS Grid Ref: TL154064
Date of visit: October 1967, June 1975 & April 2004

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.

ST. ALBANS LONDON ROAD
Although known as St. Albans for most of its life the station was renamed St. Albans London Road on 1st July 1950. Although passenger traffic was withdrawn in 1951 freight traffic continued until 5th October 1964

There was a scheme to provide a triangular junction with the Midland line to the east of London Road Station, this was never built but a contractors connection was later built from Napsbury Station on the Midland to a point just south of Park Street Station on the LNWR line into St. Albans Abbey during the construction of the Midland line. Although the line was never made permanent it was substantially built and there have been many local requests over the years for the link to be reinstated.

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: Salvation Army Halt, Hill End, Smallford, Nast Hyde Halt & Lemsford Road Halt



St. Albans London Road Station looking north east in July 1954
Photo by H C Casserley




St. Albans London Road Station in October 1967
Photo by Nick Catford


St. Albans London Road Station in looking north east in the early 1970's
Photo by Ian Baker

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St. Albans London Road Station in April 2004
Photo by Nick Pedley


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2004

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Click on thumbnail to enlarge


 

 

 

[Source: Nick Catford]


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