Friday, 4 September 2015

Huntingdon 1986

Huntingdon 19.5.1986

Huntingdon 19.5.1986

DMU at Huntingdon 19.5.1986

43 120 Huntingdon 19.5.1986

HSTs at Huntingdon 19.5.1986

(All pics copyright Steve Sainsbury/Rail Thing)

With Bristol poised to become an electrified destination on a main line railway great changes are on the way down here.

Back in 1986 the East Coast main line was in a similar position. My visit to Huntingdon on 19 May 1986 saw a quite busy line with plenty of HSTs and first generation DMUs - and the first few signs of the impending electrification.

The station itself was pleasant enough but dominated by a concrete road bridge - and the gentle curvature through the station was perfect for capturing the lines of the HSTs. All changed now of course, but that's the beauty of rail photography, everything is dynamic and changing, and soon becomes history.

More info (from Wikipedia)

Huntingdon Railway Station serves the town of Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire, England. The station is on the East Coast Main Line and has three platforms; one bay and two through platforms. Huntingdon is managed and served by Great Northern, with Virgin Trains East Coast services often calling during engineering works and periods of disruption. But other than that, Virgin Trains East Coast services do not call here.


A 1914 Railway Clearing House map showing (upper centre) railways in the vicinity of Huntingdon (shown here asG.N. STA.)
[hide] Great Northern Route
King's Lynn
Downham Market
National Rail Peterborough
Ely National Rail
Cambridge National Rail
St Neots
Ashwell & Morden
Letchworth Gdn City
National Rail Stevenage
Welwyn North
Hertford North
Welwyn Gdn City
Welham Green
Crews Hill
Brookmans Park
Gordon Hill
Potters Bar
Enfield Chase
Hadley Wood
Grange Park
New Barnet
Winchmore Hill
Oakleigh Park
Palmers Green
New Southgate
Bowes Park
Alexandra Palace
London Underground Finsbury Park
National Rail London Underground King's Cross
Drayton Park
& Islington
 London Underground London Overground
Essex Road
Old Street London Underground
Moorgate London Underground
When originally opened by the Great Northern Railway on 7 August 1850, the station was just named Huntingdon, however, from 1 July 1923 until 15 June 1965 the station was known as Huntingdon North to distinguish it from the nearby Huntingdon East on the line between Cambridge and Kettering via St Ives. The latter closed to passenger traffic in June 1959, along with the line.
From the mid 1970s to the late 1980s the station was slowly rebuilt, going from a station with one platform connected to the ticket office and an island platform to an electrified station with the main platform, a bay platform as well as a separate platform for the slow line. The reason for this was that pre-1976, only three tracks went through the station causing a major bottleneck in the area.
The station was subject to an arson attack in 2005, and much of the station roof had to be rebuilt, as well as the booking hall.


Huntingdon is staffed for most of the day. Automatic ticket barriers have been installed, as part of a wider programme by the now defunct First Capital Connect to place them across large parts of the network as a revenue protection exercise and to help increase security. The station has three touch screen ticket machines.
There are male and female toilet facilities at the station, as well as shelters on all platforms. The station has a combined newsagent and buffet on the London bound platform, and a vending machine on the Peterborough bound platform.
There is a taxi rank situated directly outside the entrance to the London bound platforms. A considerable amount of parking is provided - there are large car parks adjacent to both platforms.


Huntingdon station is served by a half-hourly service southbound to London Kings Cross and northbound to Peterborough. There is an hourly service in each direction on Sundays. Journey times range from around 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes on these services.
There are also extra services during the peak that run fast to/from Kings Cross, others only stop at St. Neots, as well as some that additionally only call at St. Neots, Biggleswade and/or Stevenage, then are fast to Kings Cross, and others stopping only at St. Neots Biggleswade and/or Hitchin and these services usually take around 40–45 minutes to Kings Cross. Also additional peak services to/from London start/terminate here.
During times of engineering work in the Hitchin area, Huntingdon often operates as the terminus for Virgin Trains East Coast services from Scotland and the north-east of England, which are normally destined for Kings Cross. A rail replacement service usually runs from Huntingdon to Biggleswade/Stevenage to connect with services to/from London Kings Cross. Huntingdon is also used as a stop for Virgin Trains East Coast services if Peterborough cannot be used.

Transport links

A bus service is provided to and from Godmanchester (Bus 476 - 5 times daily), Hartford and St Ives (Bus 55 - normally every 20 minutes), from a stop directly adjacent to the station. More buses are available from a stop on the main road (George Street) nearby - buses 65/66 to and from St Neots and St Ives via Hinchingbrooke Hospital/Brampton, and Houghton/Wyton respectively; Bus 30 to Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Warboys and Ramsey; 35 to Wyton, Chatteris, Doddington and March.

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