Dilton Marsh (Wiltshire) is a halt on the Westbury to Salisbury line. Its’ claim to fame is that John Betjeman wrote a poem about it. Today you pay the conductor after boarding but previously tickets were available from ‘the seventh house up the hill’. For our visit to Avoncliff and Dilton Marsh see Wiltshire and Somerset .
Another station named after a pub – the only building nearby, which was closed on a Sunday lunchtime when we tried to visit – Portsmouth Arms (Devon) is on the line from Exeter to Barnstaple. More on our 2018 trip to Devon at Cornwall and Devon.
Of these stations the least used (2018-19 figures) is Berney Arms (which was closed for part of the year due to engineering work), followed by Portsmouth Arms and Duirinish, used by an estimated 442, 466 and 856 passengers respectively during the year. Out of 2566 National Rail stations they are the 2532nd, 2528th and 2512th busiest stations on the network. So there are plenty more obscure stations to visit. (figures from the Office of Rail and Road Estimates of Station Usage 2018-19, at http://www.dataportal.orr.gov.uk ).
By way of contrast, this is Tweedbank (Scottish Borders). Until 2015 there was nothing here. The station opened in 2015 as the terminus of the Borders Railway in Scotland, the longest reopened line in the UK for many years. The station is in the middle of nowhere between Galashiels and Melrose, though development is planned. When we visited a few weeks after it opened there were some local people on the return journey to Edinburgh who had never been on a train before. They enjoyed the journey but stayed on the train at Edinburgh waiting to return rather than face the terrors of the big city. By 2018-19 it is estimated that almost half a million passengers used the station.
Of course, such oddities are not confined to the UK. Here are a few examples from our travels abroad.
Postlingberg is the terminus of a tram line which climbs a hill on the edge of the city of Linz. Quite why a giant is trying to hitch a ride we don’t know. The second picture is Attersee station, terminus of a line from Vöcklamarkt. For some reason buffers have been dispensed with, though the wall remains standing, so the drivers must be well trained. Ramingstein is one of 33 stations and halts on the 64km line from Unzmarkt to Tamsweg. For our visits to these lines see JOURNEYS AUSTRIA Linz and Graz 2017 .