High and low level stations

Discussion in 'Railway History & Nostalgia' started by Andy873, 8 May 2019.

  1. gazthomas

    gazthomas Established Member

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    I've not see Tamworth mentioned yet?
     
  2. Andy873

    Andy873 Member

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    It's great when such a simple question turns out to be very interesting.

    It seems there were quite a lot of these types of stations around, thanks every one for replying.

    The links and photos are very much appreciated.

    As you all describe them, I don't think I've knowingly got on or off at one of these types of stations.

    Any more examples?
     
    Last edited: 9 May 2019
  3. AndrewE

    AndrewE Established Member

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    It was, in post #6 (which mistakenly proposed Stafford, possibly intended to be Lichfield Trent Valley or even Stratford.)
    Tamworth, like Smethwick Galton Bridge, just has platforms numbered 1 to 4. I think the question is about stations actually named High and Low Level, and maybe also extends into those where staff use the term to help passengers.
    The designation isn't much use when there is no common access to either the high or low-level platforms, when people really need to follow the signs to their specific platform.

    I suppose that (apart from places like the Glasgow termini) it really dates from the times when competing railway companies all wanted a station on their own line in a town.
     
    Last edited: 9 May 2019
  4. Scouseinmanc

    Scouseinmanc Member

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    Would St Enoch station in Glasgow count? Mainline station (high level), Glasgow Subway (Low Level).
    I've never heard them differentiated as such though.
     
  5. RLBH

    RLBH Member

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    I'd be surprised if they ever needed differentiated, as they're on totally different networks. Similar situation with any of the London main-line termini and their associated London Underground stations - even though a (very lost) main-line train could theoretically make its' way to some of them, which isn't physically possible in Glasgow.
     
  6. DelW

    DelW Member

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    Shotton was another example, both sets of platforms are still in use but seem to have lost the HL and LL suffixes now.

    Bletchley might get a high-level platform under East-West Rail, but I suppose it's more likely to be platforms added at the side as at Nuneaton.
     
  7. Calthrop

    Calthrop Established Member

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    Concerning our Continental neighbours; Germany has, or has had, a very close equivalent: in numerous instances of [community's name] respectively Oberer; and Unterer; Bahnhof.

    My impression is that this is a convention which French railways did not go in for; but they seemed to have a widespread equivalent thing, involving respective sides of rivers -- many instances of station-naming with [community's name] Rive Droite / Rive Gauche. (I expect now, numerous posts on this thread telling of numerous places in France with a Gare Haute and Gare Basse :oops:.)
     
  8. Titch

    Titch New Member

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    I guess you could add Warrington Bank Quay to the list as well. Obviously, the high-level platforms still exist; the low-level platforms used to serve the Widnes line and closed in the mid-1960s.
     
  9. WesternLancer

    WesternLancer Member

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  10. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    AFAIK the designations only apply to separate stations, and they are not necessarily adjacent - Plauen is an extreme example, where the Unterer Bhf (now closed to passengers) was about 2 miles from Oberer Bhf (the main station).
    A ststion with high and low level platforms is often called a Turmbahnhof (but that doesn't appear in the station name). Berlin Hbf LL is called "tief" (deep level).
     
  11. neilmc

    neilmc Member

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    Leeds had Holbeck High Level and Holbeck Low Level - not near the steam shed but where the line into the redundant Leeds Central station crossed the northbound lines from Leeds City towards Shipley.
     
  12. WesternLancer

    WesternLancer Member

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    I suspect the use of the names HL and LL fell into obeyance for reasons of fashion as much as anything, with a greater tendancy to simply number the platforms 1-4 for example as suggested above. Probably in the post Beeching 'corporate identity era'.

    Rather similar to the falling out of favour of the suffix 'Road' after a station name, eg Bodmin Road (which seemed to be Victorian era code for a station nowhere near the town of the name concerned!) with of course the name being exchanged for 'x parkway' as the post 1970 code for the same thing...

    Of course staff use of such names can linger on for many many years tradition being strong on the railways. Hence I would fully expect even now to be directed to the 'high level' platforms at eg Tamworth if I was alighting there on the wcml to change for Derby.
     
  13. Springs Branch

    Springs Branch Member

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    It certainly appears that embellishment of station names goes through fads and fashions.

    I was recently musing how many more stations were named in the "X for Y" format in the past. Some random examples in the north-west included: Bryn for Ashton-in-Makerfield, Fairfield for Droylesden, Parbold for Newburgh and Ashburys for Belle Vue.

    There are still some "X for Y" stations around, but a lot less common than 50 or so years ago.
     
  14. Calthrop

    Calthrop Established Member

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    Thanks -- I may have been under a bit of a misapprehension there.

    A German "various-levels station" scenario which has always intrigued me (have never been there) is that at Hoya (Niedersachsen state) -- on the standard-gauge private-line system which connects with the metre-gauge Bruckhausen-Vilsen to Asendorf metre-gauge heritage line. W.J.K. Davies describes this set-up in his Railway Holiday in Northern Germany, as experienced by him in 1963 -- so far as I know, it still obtains physically today: don't know whether the system still has regular passenger services. A tangle of physical, and administrative, complexities -- involving the always standard-gauge short line from Hoya to the main-line junction, crossing the River Weser in Hoya on a high bridge to a high-level terminus; and conversion from metre to s/g, of the line running in the other direction out of Hoya -- plus the whole having been merged into one private-railway undertaking -- resulted in Hoya station effectively being in three parts, on different levels: "high", "middle", and "low": all being used by trains at assorted times, depending on a number of "variables". Davies makes no mention of suffixes: it seems that -- sensibly -- it was all just Hoya station, "end-of" !
     
  15. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    Sadly, Hoya is only used by goods and tourist trains, and the upper and middle platforms have disappeared altogether, with a direct connection from the bridge to the main low-level running line west of the station.
     
  16. martinsh

    martinsh Established Member

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    Other examples of High Level / Low Level

    Norchard on Dean Forest Railway

    Templecombe
    Dudley Port
    Haddiscoe
     
  17. Calthrop

    Calthrop Established Member

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    Thanks. Shame !
     
  18. Scouseinmanc

    Scouseinmanc Member

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    A few more I've thought of:

    Hengoed, Pontllanfraith, Pilning & Whittington
     
    Last edited: 10 May 2019
  19. OFFDN

    OFFDN Member

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    One that hasn’t been mentioned yet is St Pancras, but it only really applies to GTR.

    Thameslink 99% of the time run through platforms A and B underground (the TIPLOC is even STPXBOX because it was literally built in a box underground). However, the platforms 1-4 above ground are also used by Thameslink until 09.30 on Sunday mornings and are also a diversionary terminus.

    Within GTR platforms A&B and platforms 1-4 are often distinguished as ‘St Pancras Low Level’ and ‘St Pancras High Level’ respectively.
     
  20. urpert

    urpert Member

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    Technically I suppose the DLR has a couple of examples in Canning Town and Stratford.
     
  21. 6Gman

    6Gman Established Member

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    Smethwick Galton Bridge has high and low level platforms but is one station.
     
  22. Glenmutchkin

    Glenmutchkin Member

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    Bit surprised that nobody has mentioned Falkirk

    Falkirk High is elevated above most of the rest of the town.

    "Grahamston" is possibly the Gaelic for Lower.


    Or maybe not
     
  23. PeterC

    PeterC Established Member

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    The Woolwich platforms at Stratford used to be named in timetables as "Low Level" but the main station was just "Stratford". I have never seen the vertical split at Canning Town given a High / Low label.

    Willesden Junction is one that has been missed. My 1950 ABC shows the two as "High Level" and "New" (opened 1910) but later BR timetables use the conventional High / Low. London Overground now just list it as one station.
     
  24. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    And back in the 50s there was Willesden Junc Main Line (the original) as well.
     
  25. Steptoe

    Steptoe Member

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    Haddiscoe in Norfolk is/was an interesting example as the original low level platform had a curved face for the chord connecting it to the high level line (it was once possible to see the remains of the toe of this platform but I've not visited for some years) The dismantled high level line used to cross the low level line (which is still in use albeit with new platforms) and the adjacent river on a bridge. The signal box on the site of the high level station still exists although in private ownership.
     
  26. Millisle

    Millisle Member

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    Dunfermline Upper on the Dunfermline - Stirling main line via Oakley (cl. pass. 1968) and Dunfermline Lower, then suffix deleted and now Town, since Dunfermline Queen Margaret was built. Many citizens would have preferred Dunfermline's self-appropriated City to Town.
     
  27. jamesst

    jamesst Member

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    Liverpool Lime street low level is the official name for the Merseyrail tunnel platform, I think the main station is just known as the main line
     
  28. delt1c

    delt1c Member

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    The NL platforms always used to be called Statford Low Level in BR days
     
  29. ashkeba

    ashkeba Member

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    Mentioned in post #4 but thanks for the extra detail.
     
  30. matchmaker

    matchmaker Member

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    No way is it 5 minutes - nearer 15 as it is uphill as well! A now long gone Scottish example is Manual High Level and Manuel Low Level. High Level (closed 1967) was on the Edinburgh - Glasgow via Falkirk High line, Low Level (closed 1933) on the Slamannan & Borrowstouness Railway.
     

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