317xxx Hitchin
Hitchin Panorama - looking north from Benslow Bridge on 12th October 2009. From left to right, i.e. west to east; the car park site, typically, was once a busy goods yard; on the down main a class '365' 'Networker' slows with the 12.45 FCC 'flagship' service, non-stop Kings Cross-Cambridge which will take to the Cambridge Branch north of the station; on the up slow a veteran 317 comes away from Hitchin with the 12.18 Peterborough-Kings Cross semi-fast, approaching the turn out from the up yard - which is clamped out of use. Hitchin up yard, beyond the train, stands on the site of Hitchin steam depot, 34D, and is utilised by scrap metal trains for Dungeness and Cardiff. In 2009 Hitchin also received stone from Peak Forest, this is easily visible as a white pyramid standing east across the one road through the yard, opposite the darker scrap metal pyramid. All trains must access the up yard from Cambridge Branch Sidings which stand next to the upside Cambridge Branch beyond the station, nowadays involving a reversal from the Cambridge Branch; this midday path has replaced long and convoluted empties journeys via Peterborough in order to achieve Hitchin up side.
Norman Hill
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