66711 Oxford (Walton Well Road) 30 January 2015

A busy moment at Walton Well Road, Oxford, on 30 January 2015. 66711 runs slowly along the down relief line with the 6M27 10:24 Hinksey to Stud Farm ballast empties, while the 1O08 07:27 Manchester Piccadilly to Bournemouth CrossCountry service has just got the 'feathers' to proceed into the platform at Oxford station. In the background a HST and a couple of units are stabled in the carriage sidings. Unfortunately this viewpoint is now spoiled by the Castle Mill student accommodation blocks, which have quite rightly provoked a massive local outcry, due to their poor design and obstruction of local views. My reason for taking a picture at this location, on this particular day, is that it is exactly 50 years since I was taken by my father to see Sir Winston Churchill's funeral train pass this spot. We watched the train from the footpath that used to approach the line approximately by the second wagon. As I was only six years old at the time, I was more interested in playing in the stream just behind the loco, but it is the only occasion that I can remember seeing a steam loco on the mainline in BR days.