Station code: SWG
Distance from my house: 3.385km
Visited during Journey 1: Chandlers Ford to Millbrook
Swaythling is the next stop north of St. Denys, in the direction of London.
The station building, on the side for trains heading to Southampton city centre, is only open weekdays mornings, and apparently contains a ticket office. There is a ramp up to the footbridge leading to the other side and the direction of Southampton University.
On 1 February 1875, the Metropolitan Railway extended from Moorgate to Liverpool Street.
When the Met initially extended to Liverpool Street, for a few months, it used the platforms of the mainline station.
For this post I've decided to document how the National Rail station has changed since 1996, when "Mission : Impossible" was filmed there.
It's been 22 years so I don't think there is any need for a warning about spoilers. Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) has stolen the NOC list by dangling from the ceiling of the computer vault at CIA headquarters. This is followed by a night-time establishing shot of the outside of Liverpool Street tube station on the corner of Liverpool Street and Old Broad Street.
Nothing seems to have changed here.
The IMF team have set up in a safe house above this entrance to the tube station. In an attempt to draw them out, the CIA have arrested Ethan's mother and uncle on a trumped-up drugs charge. Ethan goes over to the National Rail station to contact Kittridge at the CIA.
Ethan is going to use the public telephones seen to the left of the following shot.
There are no longer public telephones under those stairs - they have been replaced by cash machines.
For youngsters reading this, public telephones used to be a popular and often necessary way to communicate with each other. Nowadays, the versions that can be found in red boxed are only used for foreign tourists to take selfies.
Ethan calls the CIA and uses the station clock on the departure board to time the call, hanging up just before the CIA can fix an exact location, but long enough that they know he's in London.
At the time of filming, Liverpool Street still had one of those split-flap display boards that used to flip over many times to display departure information.
The departure board now uses LED dot matrix displays, which actually use a lot less space.
The man in the mac in the photo above is Jim Phelps (Jon Voight) who was assumed to have died at the start of the movie. After Ethan's surprise at finding Jim alive, they sit down in a cafe.
IMDB says that this was filmed at Ponti's Cafe. The station map on the National Rail web site shows this to be at the end of the row of shops on the upper level, close to the Bishopsgate entrance. Most recently occupied by an Ed's Easy Diner, this unit is now empty, with plans for it to be redeveloped into a pub.
They appear to have filmed this scene in a booth further in, one which overlooks the tracks.
Note that all the screen captures from the film show billboard adverts for the TGV service to Paris, establishing the climax of the film. Of course, it's the Eurostar thats goes to Paris, and at the time it left from Waterloo, not Liverpool Street.
On 12 July 1875, the sub-surface station at Liverpool Street opened, then called Bishopsgate, and the Met no longer used the mainline platforms.
Station: St. Denys
Station code: SDN
Distance from my house: 3.133km
Visited during Journey 1: Chandlers Ford to Millbrook
Whereas Millbrook, the closest station to my house, is to the south, St. Denys, the second closest, is to the east.
It is the first stop east/north of Southampton Central. The junction where the West Coastway line (towards Fareham, Portsmouth and Sussex) branches off from the main line towards London is immediately to the south. Therefore, St. Denys has four platforms, two for each branch.
As well a ticket vending machine, there is a ticket office (more accurately a hatch) open only on weekday mornings. This is located between platforms 2 and 3 - the buildings on platforms 1 and 4 are not public.
By the way, there is no missing apostrophe. The station and the local area is named after a former priory dedicated to St. Denys. This is an alternative spelling for St. Denis, the patron saint of France and Paris. Locally, you can hear it pronounced like Dennis or Dennees, but not Den-Eyes.
Station: Millbrook (Hampshire)
Distance from my house: 3.051km
Visited during journey 1: Chandlers Ford to Millbrook
I live in northern Southampton, and it turns out that, by the margin of 82 metres, Millbrook is the closest National Rail station to my house, as the crow flies.
Millbrook is an un-manned, un-gated station, the first stop west of Southampton Central. The railway here is sandwiched between the docks and the dual carriageway which is the main route west out of Southampton city centre. Everything is linked by a long bridge which starts on the far side of the dual carriageway, gives stair and ramp access to the side of the road just outside of the station and joins to the older-looking bridge of the station itself. The station has an island platform facing the inner slow lines, whereas the fast lines pass by on the outside.
Looking west towards the Freightliner terminal.
Imported cars at the docks waiting for distribution.
The dual carriageway. It's usually a lot busier - it was a Bank Holiday Monday afternoon.
It's time to start my new irregular feature, "Close to home", where I try to learn more about the National Rail stations closest to my house, starting with the closest and working outwards. I hope to be able to cover all the stations in Hampshire, which will also include many stations in surrounding counties that are closer.
The instructions on how I found the distance of all the stations is here.
I'll have a post about the journey I took before the posts about the stations. These journey posts will probably only interest true transport nerds, so feel free to skip.
Monday 7 May 2018
Chandlers Ford to Millbrook Service 2S43
Train number 158880
scheduled 15:14 to 15:40
actually 15:20 to 15:45
Southampton Airport Parkway