Class 101

L200 Water Eaton (Banbury Road) 23 February 1991

With the North Oxford Golf Course in the background, L200 (51215 & 54081) passes Water Eaton (Banbury Road) on 23 February 1991 with the 2C20 07:40 Reading to Bicester Town Network SouthEast service. The unit has just passed over the point that allowed access to the stone terminal, situated on the other side of the bridge on which I was standing. Note the long headshunt in the background. Approximately adjacent to the end of the headshunt is the site of Oxford Road Junction, where a former LNWR line diverged to the right, crossed the Oxford to Banbury line, and joined the Cotswold Line near Yarnton Junction. Even in BR days this was known as the LMS Loop. It closed in 1965.

L200 South Moreton 21 May 1991

L200 (54081 & 51215) looks commendably clean as it rattles along the down relief line at South Moreton on 21 May 1991 with the 2C68 17:57 Reading to Didcot Network SouthEast service. This was once an excellent location for photography in both directions (at least on the relief lines), but the rebuilding of the bridge (for a second time) has made it difficult due to very high parapets.

L200 & L595 Cholsey 16 August 1991

Metro Cammell meets Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon Company. Two Network SouthEast stopping trains pass each other in the deep cutting near Cholsey on 16 August 1991. L200 (54081 & 51215) approaches with the 2C56 16:30 Reading to Didcot, while L595 (51086, 59430 & 51074) heads in the opposite direction with the 2C51 15:55 Bicester Town to Reading.

L201 Wolvercote 4 May 1990

Several Class 101 twin sets received Network SouthEast livery in the late 1980s. On 4 May 1990, L201 (51212 & 54070) is pictured passing Wolvercote Common with the late running 17:56 Oxford to Banbury service. This is the site of Wolvercote Siding, and the footpath crossing used to be an excellent place to observe northbound trains in the evening. Unfortunately this is another location that is no longer possible, as the footpath has been closed.

54372 & 51443 Great Paxton 20 September 1986

Cambridge depot's set 20 (54372 & 51443) passes Great Paxton on 20 September 1986 with the 07:37 Hitchin to Peterborough service. The extremely early time of day explains how it is possible to have the sun on the front of a northbound train on the East Coast Mainline. The Western Region did not posses many Class 101 units until the late 1980s, and indeed this shows a unit that would soon be moving to the Western. However, it would not remain together as a single unit, the front vehicle (54372) would form part of unit L202, whilst the rear car (51443) would find itself in L205. The original 6x7 slide of this image unfortunately looks nothing like this, as it is one of the few (luckily) pictures that I took on Agfachrome 200RS. It has now turned completely purple! Luckily Photoshop has once again come to the rescue.

L202 Heyford Heyford 17 August 1988

Good patronage for L202 (51225 & 54372) as it arrives at Heyford on 17 August 1988 with the 2C15 07:58 Banbury to Oxford Network SouthEast service. This is Heyford station in intermediate form, with the old station building gone and with a new platform surface (at least opposite where the units stop), but before the replacement of the GWR footbridge.

L202 Bletchingdon 17 August 1988

A rural scene that is now nearer to the days of steam than to the modern railway. Not only have Metro Cammell DMUs long since disappeared from the national network, but that other hang over from the 1960s, the lineside domestic coal yard is also very nearly a thing of the past. On 17 August 1988 the yard on the site of Bletchingdon station still has a good selection of various types of coal on offer. L202 (51225 & 54372) passes by with the 2C55 17:12 Banbury to Oxford Network SouthEast service. This was guaranteed to be a Class 101 unit, and in fact the working timetable even stated: 'Special timings - worked by Class 101 DMU'.

L202 Wolvercote 7 September 1988

L202 (54372 & 51225) passes Wolvercote on 7 September 1988 with the late running 2M60 17:50 Oxford to Banbury Network SouthEast service. I'm not quite sure of the point of the handwritten set number on the front, or what the mark underneath it has obliterated. This picture is taken from the long since closed footpath crossing that gave access to Port Meadow.

L202 Oxford (Walton Well Road) 5 November 1988

A frosty morning at Walton Well Road, Oxford, on 5 November 1988, as L202 (51225 & 54372) heads south with the 2V70 07:58 Banbury to Oxford local service, no doubt having picked up a few Saturday shoppers from Kings Sutton, Heyford and Tackley. The typical early morning autumnal fog is only just clearing, bringing Aristotle Lane footbridge in the background into view.

L202 Wolvercote 23 July 1990

L202 (54372 & 51225) passes Wolvercote on 23 July 1990 with the late running 2C60 17:05 Reading to Banbury Network SouthEast service. This is definitely not a location to visit now, as the rebuilt A34 Oxford bypass bridge would not be a safe place to stand. It was bad enough in the 1990s!

L202 Tackley 23 July 1990

Now unfortunately demolished, this distinctive cottage used to stand next to the crossing at the south end of Tackley station (between Oxford and Banbury). L202 (54372 & 51225) approaches with the 2C70 19:23 Oxford to Banbury Network SouthEast service on 23 July 1990. L202 has not faired any better than the building, being cut up at Gwent Demolition, Margam in 1994.

L202 Radley 14 March 1991

L202 (51225 & 54372) arrives at Radley on 14 March 1991 with the 2C49 15:15 Banbury to Reading Network SouthEast service. Whilst most Class 101s operated in only semi-permanent  sets, those on the Western Region were kept in more or less permanent formations, and as such were given set numbers. However, it seems that L202 has received a front end repaint, as DMBS 51225 is not carrying any front end identification in this view.

L202 Oxford 28 June 1991

L202 (54372 & 51225) leaves a rather deserted looking Oxford station on 28 June 1991 with the late running 2C21 09:02 Bicester Town to Reading Network SouthEast service. The sidings in the foreground have clearly not seen any traffic for quite a while!

L204 & 55025 South Moreton 9 February 1991

L204 (51220 & 54371) & Class 121 55025 (L125) pass South Moreton in whiteout conditions on 9 February 1991 with what should be the 2C32 10:30 Reading to Bicester Town Network SouthEast service. However, perhaps on this occasion the Oxford destination being displayed is not a mistake (as was often the case), but the result of a revised service due to the severe weather conditions.

L205 Charlton-on-Otmoor 31 March 1990

L205 (51443 & 54385) is pictured near Charlton-on-Otmoor on the Bicester to Oxford line on 31 March 1990 with the 11:48 Bicester Town to Oxford Network SouthEast service. The tall white structure visible in the background is in connection with the construction of the M40 motorway. The bridge crossing this line would shortly be built just where the track disappears from view. L205 was withdrawn two years later and cut up at MC Metal Processing, Glasgow in 1993.

L205 Radley 21 July 1990

To emphasise how much passenger growth there has been in the Thames Valley in recent years, here is a view of Radley station on 21 July 1990 with just a solitary Mini parked in the car park! L205 (51443 & 54385) pulls away with the 06:30 Reading to Bicester Town Network SouthEast service. Note the passengers on the up platform awaiting the arrival of the 07:15 Oxford to Paddington service, the first train of the day in that direction, unless you count the one just after midnight!

L205 Water Eaton (Banbury Road) 15 September 1990

A historic scene, where nothing other than the track is the same today. L205 (54385 & 51443) passes the Banbury Road stone terminal at Water Eaton on 15 September 1990 with the 2C35 11:51 Bicester Town to Oxford Network SouthEast service. This is now the site of Oxford Parkway station, with the stone terminal moved further back along the line. The background has also changed, as a forest of trees now completely hides the then recently realigned A34 from view. The unloaded stone train in the foreground waits to leave behind 56036.

L207 Islip 13 May 1989

The sticker on the front says it all really! Passengers board L207 (54396 & 51221) at Islip on 13 May 1989 for the journey to Bicester Town. The train had arrived from Oxford, and was the first to call at the station since 1967. To accommodate the large numbers of locals wanting to sample the new service, the two car unit was strengthened by the addition of three car Class 117 unit L400.

L207 Oxford 28 June 1991

L207 (54396 & 51221) leaves Oxford station on 28 June 1991 with the 2C13 08:03 Oxford to Reading Network SouthEast service. A surprise visitor to platform 2 in the background is 56050, working the late running 6A42 04:10 Stoke Gifford to Calvert Avon Binliner. This should have passed through the station over two hours earlier, and was booked to take the centre through line.

L207 Hinksey 29 July 1991

L207 (54396 & 51221) passes Hinksey Yard on 29 July 1991 with the 2C45 14:48 Oxford to Reading Network SouthEast 'all stations' service. What is particularly interesting about this picture is that it shows various Oxford landmarks, which have long since been obscured by trees from this location. On the left, partially hidden behind the mast like structure of Oxford Ice Rink, is St Barnabas church in Jericho. To the right of the ice rink is the chimney of Morrells brewery, still clearly in use at the time. The brewery closed in 1998, but the chimney remains. Further to the right is the tower of Oxford Castle, whilst on the extreme right is the tower and spire of Nuffield College (completed in 1960).

L211 Hampton Gay 11 July 1989

L211 (53155 & 54287) crosses the bridge over the River Cherwell at Hampton Gay on 11 July 1989, as it heads north with the 2C70 19:24 Oxford to Banbury Network SouthEast service. This is a hybrid Class 101/121 set, the rear vehicle being one of the Class 121 trailers that usually worked with their Class 121 DMBS classmates.

L418 Heyford 19 June 1991

For a short period in 1991, Class 117 three car unit L418 had its DMS vehicle (51397) replaced with Class 101 DMBS 51443 from unit L205. With two brake compartments this hybrid unit certainly had plenty of luggage space, especially compared with the Turbo units that replaced it the following year! L418 (51443, 59507 & 51355) is pictured arriving at Heyford on 19 June 1991 with the 2C70 19:26 Oxford to Banbury Network SouthEast service. Close inspection of the original 35mm Fujichrome slide shows the remains of the lead vehicle's former unit number L205, underneath the hastily applied L418. The hedge on the right has grown considerably since this picture was taken, making photography from this spot almost impossible.

L418 Swanbourne 13 July 1991

L418 (51443, 59507 & 51355) passes Swanbourne on 13 July 1991 with a Bedford Bletchley Rail User's Association & Oxon & Bucks Rail Action Committee special train from Oxford to Bedford. The train was organised to mark the 140th anniversary of the coming of the railway to Oxford. The long disused Swanbourne station can be seen in the background. Only the lead vehicle of this unit is a Class 101, which explains the L418 set number. 51443 is substituting for DMS 51397 out of the original Class 117 set L418.

54396 & 51221 Wennington (New England Bridge) 12 December 1985

Unfortunately I made very few visits to the East Coast Mainline before it was electrified in the 1980s. I particularly regret not visiting this location more often, before it was ruined by the overhead wires. This is the view from New England Bridge, Wennington on 12 December 1985. What a superb location it must have been in the days of the Deltics. The first signs of the end are apparent here, as the new masts have sprung up along the west side of the line. Note how they can be seen curving round to the right in the background, past the isolated Wood Walton church. One of Cambridge depot's twin car sets, 54396 & 51221 rattles along the up relief line with the 12:05 Peterborough to Hitchin 'all stations' service, which in true heritage DMU tradition is showing the wrong destination, in this case Peterborough from where it has just come. This particular unit would become a lot more familiar to me a few years later, as it was transferred to the Western Region, becoming set L207. The bridge in the background is in fact an aqueduct, carrying a small stream across the line.

L207 Oxford North Junction 20 July 1990

L207 (51221 & 54396) passes Oxford North Junction on 20 July 1990 with the 2C58 17:43 Oxford to Bicester Town Network SouthEast service. It is just starting to weave across from the down main line, in order to gain the branch, with the front bogie of 51221 actually on the point.

L207 Water Eaton 17 August 1993

A picture that I expect very few other photographer bothered to take, but which has now changed completely. With Islip church visible on the horizon, L207 (51221 & 54396) passes Water Eaton on 17 August 1993 with the 2C61 18:15 Bicester to Oxford (not Reading, as it says in the destination blind!) Network SouthEast service. Two decades later, almost every aspect of this picture is radically different. NSE Class 101s are of course long gone, and the young saplings in the foreground, on the embankment of the then recently opened A34 Gosford bypass have now grown so tall as to completely block out this view. The major change however is the present upgrading of this sleepy backwater into a trunk route, and the building of the new Oxford Parkway station on this site.

L700 Waterbeach 14 September 1991

Network SouthEast liveried L700 (53296, 59128 & 53207) arrives at Waterbeach with the 08:27 Kings Lynn to Cambridge service on 14 September 1991. Waterbeach station has staggered platforms either side of the level crossing. This unit was withdrawn a few months later and quickly scrapped with the set number being reused.

L700 Waterbeach (North Fen) 14 September 1991

L700 (53296, 59128 & 53207) crosses the flat open landscape of North Fen (near Waterbeach) on 14 September 1991 with the 11:37 Kings Lynn to Cambridge Network SouthEast service. The electrification of the route to Kings Lynn would be completed the following year, but L700 would not last that long, being withdrawn in December 1991.

B800 Kemble 26 August 1979

I only managed to get a few pictures of refurbished first generation DMUs in their short lived white with blue stripe livery. Any livery with large areas of white is hardly a practical proposition on railway vehicles, and this livery was soon abandoned in favour of the standard blue and grey coach scheme. In gloomy weather conditions, Class 101 Metro Cammell unit B800 (51515, 59549 & 51445) stands at a deserted Kemble station on 26 August 1979 with the 17:05 Swindon to Cheltenham service.

C801 Kemble 21 May 1988

C801 (51446 & 51517) pulls out of Kemble station on 21 May 1988 with the 2B03 07:35 Swindon to Hereford service. Although the high intensity headlight is not on, it certainly seems that the marker lights are displaying white rather than red lights to the rear, contrary to regulations. Just visible in the background, approaching through the early morning mist, is 47565, which is working the 3A42 07:15 Gloucester to Swindon parcels.

C803 Bayston Hill 3 July 1985

C803 (51450 & 51522) passes Bayston Hill on 3 July 1985 with the 05:40 Swansea to Shrewsbury service, nearing the end of its mammoth 3 hour journey via the Central Wales Line. Already having lost its centre coach (59546), C803 was to survive for another four years before making way for the new generation of Sprinter units.

C811 & B439 Marshfield 28 April 1984

C811 (51519, 59548 & 51801) & Class 117 B439 (51390, 59500 & 51348) pass Marshfield on 28 April 1984 with the 09:55 Cardiff Central to Bristol Temple Meads service. By the 1980s virtually all surviving DMU classes employed the Blue Star multiple working system, so despite there still being many different classes, from several different manufacturers, there was no problem in running trains such as this. This degree of standardisation has unfortunately not been totally perpetuated with modern units. For example a Class 158 cannot work in multiple with a Class 165, not that the need would ever arise!

C811 Purton 20 July 1985

Just ahead of an approaching storm, C811 (51801 & 51519) approaches Purton (between Kemble and Swindon) with the 10:30 Cheltenham to Swindon service on 20 July 1985. This unit was withdrawn in 1989 and cut up at Mayer Newman at Snailwell the following year. In common with a lot of Western Region units it had already lost its intermediate trailer (59548) by the mid 1980s.

B812 Stoke Orchard 13 March 1982

B812 (51462, 59530 & 51530) passes Stoke Orchard with the 14:57 Worcester Shrub Hill to Gloucester service on 13 March 1982. Note the plated over square section under the centre windscreen - the site of the former two character route indicator panel. On this unit the destination blind is missing, revealing the three bulbs used for illumination! This location is now spoiled by ubiquitous palisade fencing, which together with much lineside vegetation makes this view impossible now. In the 1980s a young couple could take their son to the lineside to watch the trains go by, with just a simple concrete post and wire fence between them and the line.

C812 Kemble 15 December 1984

C812 (51462, 59530 & 51530) is clearly not going to Chepstow, as it leaves Kemble station on 15 December 1984. It is in fact working the 11:52 Cheltenham to Swindon service. The fine Great Western Railway station survives, but all three vehicles of this DMU have now been recycled into who knows what!

C814 & C806 Ponthir 4 September 1986

How would you fancy a 128 mile trip in a Class 101 DMU? However, despite Crewe being displayed in the destination blind, this is in fact the 15:40 Cardiff Central to Shrewsbury service, a mere 95 miles of rattling and vibration! Western Region sets C814 (53335, 59123, 53319) & C806 (51808, 51799) pass Ponthir on 4 September 1986. This was before the modern housing development encroached on the scene, although even here the JCB on the left looks ominous.

C820 Churchdown 16 June 1983

C820 (51500, 59093 & 51512) passes Churchdown on 16 June 1983 with the 09:57 Worcester Shrub Hill to Gloucester service. A misty day, with the Cotswold Hills barely visible in the background. This has allowed the picture to be taken from the north side of the line, which would normally be in shadow until very late in the evening.

C820 Standish Junction 11 October 1986

C820 (51512, 59093 & 51500) takes the 'Golden Valley' route at Standish Junction on 11 October 1986 whilst working the 09:27 Cheltenham to Swindon service. Yet again the driver has forgotten to change the destination blind. I wonder if it says 'Swindon' on the other end?

C820 Fairwood Junction 20 April 1988

C820 (51512, 59093 & 51500) takes the Westbury line at Fairwood Junction on 20 April 1988 with the 2V59 08:58 Weymouth to Swindon, a nearly three hour journey of rattling and vibration, calling at all stations! Perhaps that is why on close inspection of the original slide, it appears to be virtually empty.

51512 & 51187 Penygarreg 4 June 2012

The Cambrian Heritage Railways resident DMU (51512 & 51187) waits at Penygarreg Halt prior to heading back to the line's headquarters at Llynclys on 4 June 2012. Although in working order, 51512 is in severe need of a repaint, especially the roof! In a former life it formed part of the Western Region set C820. Penygarreg Halt opened in 2011 and is situated to the north of the former Cambrian Railways station at Pant.

C821 Stonehouse 29 October 1983

C821 (51513, 59050, & 51509) arrives at Stonehouse with the 09:30 Cheltenham to Swindon service on 29 October 1983, not that you would know it as the destination blind is missing, revealing three bulbs! This is the former Great Western station at Stonehouse on the Golden Valley line. Originally there was another station on the former LMS line to Gloucester. All three vehicles of set 821 have now been scrapped, 51513 & 59050 at Mayer Newman, Snailwell, and 51509 at Sims Metals, Cardiff.

C821 Cheltenham 21 August 1985

C821 (51513, 59050, & 51509) rattles away from Cheltenham station (just beyond the bridge in the background) with the 10:30 Cheltenham to Swindon service on 21 August 1985. In common with a number of Western Region Class 101 units, C821 received red buffers beams towards the end of its life. It didn't help though, Sprinterisation was just around the corner!

822 Little Haresfield 24 April 1986

822 (51495, 59096, & 51510) passes Little Haresfield (near Gloucester) with the 10:30 Cheltenham to Swindon service on 24 April 1986. The blotchy yellow on the front end is not the fault of the early Fujichrome slide (sometimes noted for bizarre colour), but is the result of some inexpert touching up of the paintwork. 822 was split up in 1988 and withdrawn shortly afterwards. 51495 and 59096 were cut up at Mayer Newman, Snailwell, and 51510 ended its days at Vic Berry's, Leicester.

C822 Cheltenham 21 August 1985

C822 (51495, 59096 & 51510) approaches Cheltenham on 21 August 1985 with the 2B20 09:42 Swindon to Worcester Shrub Hill service. The unit moved further west shortly after this picture was taken, changing its C (Cardiff) prefix for a S (Swansea) one. All three vehicles were withdrawn by 1990, and soon succumbed to the cutter's torch.

C823 Kingham 16 October 1983

A historic 1980s view of Kingham station, from a viewpoint that is no longer possible due to the rapid growth of those innocuous looking ash tree 'bushes' in the foreground. Also, trees on the other platform now virtually screen off the old Banbury and Cheltenham line platforms, that can clearly be seen here. C823 (51505, 59082 & 51511) calls with the late running 2A81 16:00 Worcester Shrub Hill to Oxford on 16 October 1983. Class 101s were far less common on the Cotswold Line than Class 117s & 119s, although this particular unit did put in numerous appearances.

C823 Charlbury 10 August 1987

Making a change from the more usual Class 117 unit, C823 (51505, 59082 & 51511) passes a rampant lineside buddleia bush and arrives at Charlbury station on 10 August 1987 with the 2A79 07:45 Moreton-in-Marsh to Oxford service. Unit, buddleia and foreground grass have all yielded to progress. The 101 has long since been replaced by Class 165 & 166 Turbo units, while the vegetation succumbed to platform and car park lengthening.

L832 Horley 21 September 1991

L832 (51499, 59570 & 51226) nears journey's end as it passes on 21 September 1991 with the 15:35 Reading to Gatwick Airport Network SouthEast service. This unit survives (albeit minus its centre car, which was cut up at MC Metals, Glasgow in 1993), and can now be seen at the Mid Norfolk Railway.

51226 & 51499 Dereham 29 May 2014

The Mid Norfolk Railway's resident 101 twin set (51226 & 51499) passes Dereham signal box, after a brief visit to the yard on 29 May 2014. As indicated by the destination blind, the unit would shortly be working the 12:45 service to Wymondham Abbey. Despite appearances (red lights) the unit is actually moving forwards!

L835 Oxford 21 October 1988

L835 (51498, 59530 & 51432) stands at Oxford station's platform 1 on 21 October 1988, after having just arrived with the 2C45 14:45 Banbury to Oxford Network SouthEast service. This view clearly shows the result of the half hearted attempt to modernise the station in the early 1970s. The new canopy above the DMU backed onto a very poor prefabricated structure that was hardly any better than the wooden building it replaced. As you can see, this modernisation only extended half way down the platform, so that after a bizarre gap, a section of the original GWR canopy can be seen in the background.

L836 Dereham 29 May 2014

L836 (51434, 59117 & 51503) in the early stages of rubbing down at Dereham, on the Mid Norfolk Railway on 29 May 2014. This unit was withdrawn from mainline service in 1996, becoming the first of its class to enter preservation. It is also one of the few 3 car Class 101 sets in preservation.

L840 Great Bedwyn 3 July 1992

Weary commuters trudge through the drizzle at Bedwyn station on 3 July 1992, after just getting off the 2K30 17:41 Reading to Bedwyn Network SouthEast service, on this occasion worked by L840 (53311, 59117 & 53322). The infant River Dun can be seen meandering through the field behind the station, with the Kennet & Avon Canal in the background.

L840 Wokingham 17 July 1993

With the spire of St Paul's church dominating the background, L840 (53322, 59117 & 53311) pulls away from Wokingham station on 17 July 1993 with the 18:50 Reading to Gatwick Network SouthEast service. Unfortunately I have few pictures taken on this route, which has had an interesting variety of traction over the years, starting with the Class 206 'Tadpole' DEMUs, which took over from steam in 1965. Class 119s replaced the thumpers in 1980 and were gradually replaced by Class 101s during the late 1980s. Heritage traction finally gave way to Class 165 'Turbos' shortly after this picture was taken.

L841 Pangbourne 28 April 1993

L841 (53332, 59091 & 53312) pulls away from Pangbourne station on 28 April 1993 with the 2C48 15:30 Reading to Banbury Network SouthEast service. Pangbourne's goods shed and small goods yard formerly occupied the strip of land directly behind the DMU.

L841 Agecroft 10 June 1994

Network SouthEast liveried L841 (53332 & 53312) is a long way from its former home as it passes the site of Agecroft Junction (near Salford) with the 07:31 Buxton to Soutport service on 10 June 1994 in the company of a more appropriately liveried Regional Railways Class 101 unit. L841 had been ousted from its Thames Valley workings by the introduction of Class 165 Turbo units a couple of years previously. In the mass shuffling of heritage units in the mid 1990s the repainting into new colour schemes took a low priority on what was considered to be stop gap traction.

L842 Iver 22 February 1990

Langley oil depot is prominent in the background of this view of the Great Western Mainline at Iver, taken on 22 February 1990. L842 (53327, 59101 & 53314) runs along the up relief line with the 2A36 09:35 Reading to Paddington Network SouthEast service.

L842 South Moreton 6 May 1992

L842 (53327, 59101 & 53314) passes South Moreton on 6 May 1992 with the 2C68 18:01 Reading to Oxford Network SouthEast service. The following year L842 would leave the Thames Valley, and head west to Cornwall, where its Network SouthEast livery would look slightly out of place as it worked trains on the Falmouth and St Ives branches!

P872 Aller 7 December 1988

P872 (53247 & 53646) rattles past Aller with the 12:45 Exmouth to Paignton service on 7 December 1988. An interesting route for a local service, from one seaside resort to a another, requiring a reversal at Exeter St Davids. Laira's P872 was one of the many 'lash up' DMU sets formed in the late 1980s, in this case made up of two entirely different classes. While the lead vehicle here (53247) is a Metro Cammel Class 101, the second vehicle is a BR Class 108! In this form P872 had a comparatively short life, with 53247 being withdrawn in late 1990 and cut up at Meyer Newman at Snailwell, while 53646 soldiered on for a couple more years until eventually being scrapped at Gwent Demolition in May 1992.

P874 Lapford 1 August 1990

P874 (53330 & 53315) arrives at Lapford on 1 August 1990 with the 12:57 Exeter St Davids to Barnstaple service. The line on the right is the former passing loop, used latterly to service the UKF fertiliser depot, which ceased using rail around the time this picture was taken (the track certainly looks like nothing has ventured along it for some time).

101653 Stracey Arms 29 August 1992

With the 1883 built Stracey Arms Drainage Mill prominent in the background, 101653 (51426 & 54358) crosses the flat expanse of Halvergate Marshes with the 15:20 Great Yarmouth to Norwich Regional Railways service on 29 August 1992. 101653 managed to survive into the 21st Century, one of the few 'heritage' units (as they had by then become known!) to do so. At the time this picture was taken the unit was allocated to Cambridge depot, but like the other survivors of the class it migrated to the north west for its final years in traffic.

101655 Brundall 29 August 1992

101655 pulls away from Brundall station on 29 August 1992 with the 09:50 Norwich to Lowestoft Regional Railways service. Hardly ideal lighting, but it is the only picture I have of the archetypal East Anglian DMU at this classic location.

101656 Mobberley 20 July 1996

101656 (54056 & 51230) approaches Mobberley on 20 July 1996 with the 08:23 Chester to Manchester Piccadilly Regional Railways service. 101656 managed to hang into the new Millennium, being withdrawn in November 2001. Strangely, after having run around together for a number of years these two vehicles were sent their separated was for disposal. 54056 being cut up in Rotherham, and 51230 meeting its end in Caerwent.

101678 & 101662 Lostock Gralam 4 April 1998

The Metro Cammell Class 101s worked their final services on the national network around the Manchester area, with the last units being withdrawn in 2003. Two of the last surviving twin car sets, 101678 & 101662 are seen here a few years earlier at Lostock Gralam. They are working the 08:23 Chester to Manchester Piccadilly on 4 April 1998.

101678 Great Crakehall 14 May 2005

101678 approaches Great Crakehall on the Wensleydale Railway with the 13:30 Leyburn to Leeming Bar service on 14 May 2005. As can be seen from the different bodyside profile and door configuration, the centre vehicle is in fact a Class 117 vehicle (59509). 51210 is leading, with 53746 at the rear. This unit has subsequently been repainted into the railway's own colour scheme.

101678 Great Crakehall 14 May 2005

101678 (53746 & 51210, running with former Class 117 centre car 59509) emerges from the woods at Great Crakehall on the Wensleydale Railway with the 14:30 Leeming Bar to Redmire service on 14 May 2005. 101678 was one of the final 'heritage' DMU on the national network, finally being withdrawn in December 2003. It has since been repainted into a non authentic dark blue and cream Wensleydale Railway colour scheme, but is seen here in a rather faded Provincial Railways livery.

101682 Farington Junction 14 September 1996

101682 and two unidentified classmates catch the very last rays of the setting sun as they pass Farington Junction with the 18:27 Blackpool North to Buxton North West Regional Railways service, even though it says Manchester in the destination blind. The date is 14 September 1996, and although the rest of the country was busily ridding itself of first generation DMUs at this time, the 101s would be rattling around on local services in the area for a further seven years.

101685 Dolwyddelan 27 August 1994

Longsight allocated 101685 was repainted into original green livery in the 1990s (albeit with a yellow warning panel) and thereafter was a frequent visitor to the picturesque Blaenau Ffestiniog line. It is seen here approaching Dolwyddelan on 27 August 1994 with the 12:05 Blaenau Ffestiniog to Llandudno Regional Railways service. Already 38 years old when this picture was taken, the unit would amazingly remain in traffic for almost another decade. Note that the driver has forgotten to alter the destination blind!

TS403 Wolvercote Junction 27 March 1982

The weak early morning sun only just starts to burn through the mist as Tyseley set TS403 (50336, 59114 & 50303) approaches Wolvercote Junction on 27 March 1982 with the late running 07:15 Oxford to Great Malvern service. It had just worked in with the 05:15 Worcester Shrub Hill to Oxford train, arriving 20 minutes late, which presumably explains why a Midland 101 set is being used instead of the customary Western Class 117 or 119. Obviously a last minute replacement for a non available unit. Both these services were the first trains in their respective directions over the Cotswold Line at the time. 50336 was renumbered 53336 before eventually being withdrawn in May 1989, and almost immediately being cut up at Vic Berry's, Leicester.

TS403 Bearley 14 August 1983

Tyseley set TS403 (53303, 59114 & 53336) approaches Bearley on 14 August 1983 with the 10:15 Leamington Spa to Stratford-upon-Avon service, even if Walsall is creeping into the destination blind window! These trains ran non-stop on a Sunday, depriving the diminutive station at Bearley of a service. The Stratford-upon-Avon to Henley-in-Arden road passes under the bridge by the rear of the unit. In addition to being the opposite way round from when I photographed this unit the previous year at Wolvercote Junction, it has also had the two driving cars remembered, 50303 to 53303 and 50336 to 53336.

51188 Glazebrook 2 September 1987

51188 seems to have received some strange front end damage (it looks rather like a shotgun was involved!). It is seen here leading the 11:04 Hunt's Cross to Manchester Oxford Road service past Glazebrook on 2 September 1987. Not much accuracy with the destination blind, as it is mis-wound halfway between Manchester Victoria and Llandudno Junction!

51442 & 54073 Whittlesea 20 May 1991

Norwich Crown Point's set 59 (51442 & 54073) approaches Whittlesea station with the 13:50 Cambridge to Peterborough service on 20 May 1991. By this date the majority of passenger trains in East Anglia were operated by Sprinters, with only purely local stopping services such as this continuing to use heritage traction. The signal box in the background has subsequently been repainted into a rather odd mustard and green colour scheme.

53181, 59095 & 51508 Black Bank 20 May 1991

Norwich Crown Point depot's set 100 (53181, 59095 & 51508) passes Black Bank (between Ely and March) on 20 May 1991 with the 16:20 Ipswich to Peterborough service. Note the aerial on the front, which indicates that this unit can be used on the East Suffolk line, which is equipped with RETB signaling.

54340 Havenhouse 14 June 1986

54340 leads a lengthy DMU formation at speed (well, 75mph!) past the Great Northern Railway somersault signal (long since removed) at Havenhouse on 14 June 1986. It is working the 12:40 Skegness to Derby Saturdays only service, which was a real express service, stopping only at Boston and Nottingham. 54340 was withdrawn in April 1991 and cut up almost immediately.

56062 & 51228 Weybourne 30 May 2014

The North Norfolk Railway's green liveried Class 101 twin set (56062 & 51228) is pictured at Weybourne from a passing train on 30 May 2014. 56062 was one of the last heritage DMUs to be withdrawn, in 2002, less than a year before the removal of all vintage DMUs (certain Class 121 excepted!) from the national network.

901002 Chesterfield 18 February 1995

The unmistakable crooked spire of Chesterfield church immediately identifies this location. On a very dull 18 February 1995, Research & Development unit 901002 Lab 19 Iris 2 (977693 & 977694) heads north, passing the local second hand car dealer's yard. This unit was converted from Class 101 vehicles 50222 & 50338 in 1991. The rather drab grey livery was its first colour scheme, it was later followed by the much more colourful Serco red and grey, Railtrack Blue and lime green, and ultimately Network Rail all over yellow. It entered preservation in 2008, ending up in the much more conventional green livery.