St Albans Abbey is a windswept single-platform railway station on the south side of St Albans, Hertfordshire. The station is a dead end, the northern terminus of the Silverlink Abbey Flyer service to Watford Junction, which is the only service to visit the station. However, if you look on the north side of the overgrown platform, you will see a second bay, parallel to the open one, choked with brambles. This was where the line to Hatfield used to run, many years ago. In those days, you could have changed here and crossed Hertforshire from east to west by rail. The line to Hatfield, by way of St Albans London Road - now a conference centre or something - has been designated as a footpath and cycleway, somewhat misleadingly dubbed the Alban Trail, suggesting it might be an old pilgrim route instead of the remains of a public transport system. As it's an offence to trespass on the railway, walkers must access the 'Alban Trail' by means of steps from a redundant bridge or a mddy track beside the youth club. I, for one, would like to see the line revived as a tramline, but it's unlikely to happen. As a result, Abbey station - which is scarcely closer to the Abbey than St Albans City - remains a bleak, uninviting place, which is a shame.

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