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A Day Out At… 6: Stratford

Ian Fowler

IAN FOWLER tells us what there is to see at this London station.

You may recall I did originally choose to name these features “Nerd’s Day Out” as that is what my great friend, former colleague and legend of this parish Nick Duxfield christened our regular six monthly outings (in our own time I hasten to add – the owners might be reading this..) where we’d basically spend a day out taking photos of trains and watching the world go by.

I’m concentrating on the contemporary scene rather than days gone before. I’ve got to also pay tribute to my dear old dad who diligently took me to a variety of locations as a small boy to watch the trains, even though his own interest was minimal at the time. We went to Stratford once on a very cold January day. It was freezing but enjoyable. So thanks, Dad!

I’d love others to be able to fill in the gaps for me, so please do email any of your own information on this location so we can expand and update this feature in due course, selling the concept to a publisher for millions of dollars and not split it with Stuart!

GETTING THERE (From GM HQ at Ford)

By Rail
Take a London Victoria train via the picturesque Arun Valley, then Victoria Line to Oxford Circus, change for the Central Line and head to Stratford.

By Road
I wouldn’t even attempt it. If you do, follow the signs for Westfield Stratford City. Good luck.

LOCATION

National Rail Enquiries information on Stratford

Stratford is located 3 miles from London Liverpool Street on the Great Eastern Main Line. London Overground’s North London Line services start and finish here, while there are London Underground’s Jubilee Line trains terminate here and Central Line trains pass on their way to Essex. It is completely unrecognisable from the 80s and 90s when it was best known for its expansive locomotive works and freightliner depot, which have been subsequently replaced by an Olympic park and a huge shopping centre. Stratford is also home to “Stratford International” where Eurostar and Javelin units stop periodically. This station is located 370m to the north of Stratford (London or Regional). It is categorically nothing to do with Stratford Upon Avon or Fenny Stratford.

In terms of platform arrangement, this is complicated. There is no one location where you can see everything as there are high and low levels!

HIGH LEVEL PLATFORMS

Platforms 1 and 2

Used by London Overground’s Class 378 Units, usually in 4 or 5 car formations heading to Richmond or Clapham Junction.

Platforms 3, 3a and 6

Used by London Underground’s Central Line. The trains rise up out of a tunnel, stop at the platform, then descend back down into a tunnel. This is pretty cool to watch. West Ruslip and Ealing Broadway are the eastbound termini with Epping and Woodford, the westbound termini.

Platforms 4A/4B

Used by the Docklands Light Railway for services to Lewisham, Greenwich and Canary Wharf. Remember, these are driverless so it’s a lot of fun watching the tram from a driver’s perspective. Remember to have a chortle at those buzzing around that claim to do “important things in the city” while you enjoy a day of simple pleasures. Ask yourself who is really winning the rat race!

Platform 5 and 8

TFL services across London between Liverpool Street and Shenfield.

Platform 7

Disused.

Platforms 9, 10 and 10A

Used by Abellio Greater Anglia services to/from London Liverpool Street to/from Southend Victoria/Colchester Town/Clacton on Sea/Braintree/Ipswich/Norwich. Class 317/321/360 EMUs here but (cue fanfare) REGULAR LOCOMOTIVE HAULED EXPRESSES to and from Norwich! Formed of Class 90s + Mark 3s + DVT, these are a very welcome sight. And it gets better as some of these services in the summer months are extended to Great Yarmouth and “dragged” by a diesel (usually a DRS Class 47) from Norwich to Great Yarmouth! Nearly all freight passes through platforms 10 (Southbound) and 10A (Northbound) and as you’d expect it’s Class 66s/70s/86s/90s on the Freightliners and 59s/66s on the rest of the stuff.

Platforms 11 and 12

Used for the Abellio Greater Anglia Stratford to Bishop’s Stortford/Hertford East/Harlow Town/Broxbourne/Cambridge services. Class 317/321/360 EMUs on these.

LOW LEVEL PLATFORMS

Platforms 13 and 15

Bay platforms accommodating London Underground’s terminating Jubilee Line services.

Platforms 16 and 17

Used for DLR services to Stratford International (Platform 16) and Beckton (Platform 17)

BUSES

If buses are your thing then Stratford bus station is to the south of the station and Stratford City is to the north.

REALTIMETRAINS

It could be argued that this addictive website has taken all the surprise out of observing the real railway, but it is an absolute godsend when deciding when you should go home! It’s very mobile friendly too. Recommended!
www.realtimetrains.co.uk

WHAT CAN I SEE?

Stratford is busy and you will see a lot of activity, but I guess it depends on your priorities as a lot of the activity is Tube trains, DLR and EMUs. On the plus side, you’ll see two loco-hauled trains an hour and two freight movements per hour. Most of the classes have been documented as above.

MODELLING POTENTIAL

Impossible. There, I said it. No doubt someone will prove me wrong.

WHAT YOU COULD RUN

Here’s a list of Locomotives and Multiple Units currently available from RTR manufacturers that can be seen at Stratford. The really interesting bit is trying to find the appropriate coaches, wagons and buildings on our website so I’m going to leave that up to you!

Class 66

Class 66

Bachmann B32-981 Class 66 66416 Freightliner Powerhaul - OO Scale

Hornby R3345 Freightliner Class 66 - OO Scale

Dapol DAGM220 DB Schenker Class 66 001 Diesel Locomotive - N Scale

Dapol DA2D-007-002 Freightliner Class 66 504 Powerhaul Diesel Locomotive - N Scale

Dapol DA2D-007-002D Freightliner Class 66 504 Powerhaul Livery (DCC-Fitted) - N Scale

Dapol DA2D-007-003 EWS Class 66 200 Diesel Locomotive - N Scale

Dapol DA2D-007-003D EWS Class 66 200 Diesel Locomotive (DCC-Fitted) - N Scale

Dapol DA2D-007-004 Freightliner Class 66 612 Unbranded Diesel Locomotive - N Scale

Dapol DA2D-007-004D Freightliner Class 66 612 Unbranded (DCC-Fitted) - N Scale

Graham Farish GF371-383A Class 66 66101 DB Schenker - N Scale

Graham Farish GF371-384 Class 66 66209 EWS (Weathered) - N Scale

Graham Farish GF371-385 Class 66 66546 Freightliner - N Scale

Graham Farish GF371-396 Class 66 (Low Emission Variant) 66731 InterhubGB GBRf - N Scale

Class 70

Class 70

Bachmann B31-588 Freightliner Class 70 005 Powerhaul Diesel Weathered - OO Scale

Bachmann B31-590 Class 70 70015 Freightliner (Air Intake Modifications) - OO Scale

Graham Farish 371-635 Class 70 PowerHaul 70006 Freightliner - N Scale

Graham Farish 371-636 Class 70 PowerHaul 70003 Freightliner - N Scale

Class 86

Nothing suitable from the major manufacturers, although both Hornby and Dapol have produced Freightliner liveried Class 86s before.

Class 90

Nothing suitable from the major manufacturers although a Bachmann Class 90 is in the pipeline.

Class 315

Not available in RTR form from a major manufacturer.

Class 317

Not available in RTR form from a major manufacturer.

Class 321

Not available in RTR form from a major manufacturer.

Class 360

Not available in RTR form from a major manufacturer.

Class 378

Not available in RTR form from a major manufacturer.

MODEL SHOPS

There used to be a Modelzone literally up the road in the Westfield Shopping Centre but obviously, this is gone now. However, the 4D Model Shop (not far from Aldgate East) is a treasure trove of “bits and bobs” primarily for the architectural modeller and if you can get (quite) a bit further out, Past Present Toys in Winchmore Hill and Roneo Models, between Romford and Hornchurch are both good model shops.

SUMMARY

Stratford is a decent location with the London end of Platform 10, the best spot to observe activity.

RATING

I’m giving Stratford 3 British Rail Pork Pies out of 5.

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