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Written by Marcus Dawson - 18 Jul 2013
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Location notes
Opened in July 2013 this is the embankment part of the Hitchin Grade Separation. A new section of single line taking Cambridge bound trains over the East Coast Main Line and connecting to the Royston branch.
Railway type and traffic
Predominantly Great Northern units; 313/317/321/365.
There are also engineers trains to or from March Whitemoor yards, these tend to run in the mornings or evenings to or from possessions.
Link to Real Time Trains
RTT Link Poppy Bank, Hitchin
This link should be close to the location, but may not be the actual location so please check the page. This link will take you to what is happening 'around now'. Dates and times can be changed at the top of the page.
An open fields between the location and the original route to and from Cambridge.
Road directions
From the A1(M) Junction 9:
Follow the signs into Letchworth and then take the first left signed to Willian/Lordship Farm. Follow this road into Hitchin and at the traffic lights, after about 2 1/2 miles, continue across. Continue along this road and after passing under the railway turn right at the lights and continue to then end of the road to reach the location parking. You will see the line in front of you. Enter the field and turn right and walk parallel to the line to reach the location.

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Poppy Bank, Hitchin map co-ordinates
Currently you can park at the end of Wilbury Way. The office at the end of the road is now occupied.
Public transport
There is no useful public transport to the location. It is around a 1 1/4 miles walk from Hitchin Station which is served by FCC services from London Kings Cross, Peterborough and Cambridge.

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Nothing in the immediate area. There are a couple of transport type cafes on the trading estate and a small Tesco near the station as well as plenty of food shops in Hitchin.
Sun Compass
Sun Compass using Suncalc by brought to you by Vladimir Agafonkin:
It might be necessary to adjust the time to suit your visit, this link should open with the current day.
Poppy Bank, Hitchin

Googly map
Streetmap links
Poppy Bank, Hitchin general view map
Poppy Bank, Hitchin close up map

Windows Local Live Link - image quality may vary
Poppy Bank, Hitchin

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Photographic notes
This is a single line with traffic only flowing towards Letchworth and beyond - northbound. All of the angles on the line will favour morning lighting for 'sun on the nose' but as the line runs in a generally east to west direction there will be illumination all day. There is little in the way of vegetation growing on the bank, aside from Poppies (hence the name) and grass.
Line speed is 50mph maximum.
The area is open fields and wind noise might be a problem from videographers.

General views - All photographs © Marcus Dawson unless otherwise stated
Fig 1 - Looking west

Fig 1 - Looking west

Stirring up the dust from the new ballast, this was only the 5th train to use the route, a 313 heads for Letchworth.

Fig 2 - Looking west

Fig 2 - Looking west

Earlier than fig 1 showing the curve on the line

Fig 3 - Looking east

Fig 3 - Looking east

The same unit 'going away', and the Poppies that give the bank it's name.

Fig 4 - Looking south east

Fig 4 - Looking south east

A southbound 365 on the way to Hitchin. The northbound line here will be the unusual line for use after December 2013.

Location Video

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