Class 114

53002 & 54047 Combe (Grintleyhill Bridge) 17 October 1987

An everyday picture of a DMU approaching the extremely lofty Grintleyhill Bridge, near Combe on the Cotswold Line, sometime in the 1980s? Look again, as this is something slightly different. The first clue is that it is only a two car unit, very unusual on the Cotswold Line. The second clue is the tiny RCTS headboard! This is in fact the Railway Correspondence & Travel Society's 09:30 Birmingham New Street to Thame 'Tame & Thame' railtour on 17 October 1987, formed of Class 114 set 53002 & 54047. This is the only time that I saw a Class 114 unit on the Cotswold Line.

53002 & 54047 Bicester Town 17 October 1987

The level crossing barriers start to descend, and 53002 & 54047 will soon be heading off into freight only territory, as they stand at Bicester Town station on 17 October 1987 with the Railway Correspondence & Travel Society's 09:30 Birmingham New Street to Thame 'Tame & Thame' railtour. A going away picture, as obviously the conventional view would be hopelessly backlit.

54047 & 53002 Thame 17 October 1987

54047 & 53002 just manages to dodge the late afternoon shadows at Thame on 17 October 1987, as it arrives at the disused station with the Railway Correspondence & Travel Society's 09:30 Birmingham New Street to Thame 'Tame & Thame' railtour. Note the new coping stones in the foreground, which were added specially the previous year for a series of special trains. The leading vehicle (54047) has survived into preservation, but everything else in this view is history (except presumably the interested locals!). A cycle track marks out the route of the line, but the old station yard is now a huge industrial estate.

54047 & 53002 Thame 17 October 1987

After having run to the very end of the line at Thame on 17 October 1987, 53002 & 54047 pass the oil depot as they head back to the site of the station with the Railway Correspondence & Travel Society's 09:30 Birmingham New Street to Thame 'Tame & Thame' railtour. The line in the background acted as a headshunt for the oil depot, and ended by the large bush in the background. Unfortunately I never did manage to get a picture of an oil train at Thame, but at least this picture gives a good view of the depot, complete with a couple of rakes of tank wagons. The oil depot closed a few years after this picture was taken, and the site is now covered with housing and an industrial estate.

53002 & 54047 Thame 17 October 1987

The Railway Correspondence & Travel Society's 09:30 Birmingham New Street to Thame 'Tame & Thame' railtour stands in the long closed Thame station on 17 October 1987. Some tour participants talk to the driver, while others wander across the tracks, and up towards the headshunt at the end of the line. I doubt if many other (or indeed any) Class 114 units ever reached Thame, so 53002 & 54047 are probably making's the class's only visit to this location.

54047 & 53002 Northwood Lane 1989

Superb lighting at Northwood Lane, on the Severn Valley Railway, on 14 October 1989. In addition to the normal preserved diesel locomotives, the line had a visiting BR multiple unit for their diesel gala. The Class 114s were nearing the end of their life at the time, and Tyseley set T022 (54047 & 53002) was chosen to represent the fast diminishing heritage DMU fleet. It is seen here passing Northwood Lane, en-route from Bridgnorth to Kidderminster. No doubt some of the waiting photographers ignored it, as it just a DMU, despite the very brief burst of well timed sunshine.

53002 & 54047 Northwood Lane 14 October 1989

Tyseley set T022 (53002 & 54047) catches the very last of the weak afternoon light, as it passes Northwood Lane, en-route from Kidderminster to Bridgnorth on 14 October 1989. The unit was visiting the Severn Valley Railway, as part of the line's Diesel Gala. 53002 was cut up shortly after being withdrawn in 1991, but 54047 was luckier, becoming one of the few Class 114 vehicles to escape the scrapman, and it can now be found at the Strathspey Railway.

53005 Great Hale 11 August 1984

The 09:24 Skegness to Nottingham service (with 53005 leading) crosses over the ungated level crossing at Great Hale on 11 August 1984. Although only a very quiet minor back road, this crossing has since had automatic half barriers installed. This is definitely not ideal lighting, but I like the way it conveys the typical 1980s Lincolnshire railway landscape.

55929 & 54904 Iver 22 February 1990

A number of Class 114 units were converted into Diesel Parcels Units in 1987. This involved removing all the seats, strengthening the floor to take Brute trolleys, and adding roller shutter doors. Most noticeable however was the application of the striking Royal Mail red livery. 55929 (the former 50015) & 54904 (56015) approach Iver station on the late afternoon on 22 February 1990 with a westbound working. This unit had been noted at York the previous day, so presumably has just had a trip down the Est Coast Mainline. The Parcels experiment was short lived, with the last DPU 114 being withdrawn in 1991. This particular unit had a particularly short lifespan in red, from June 1989 to October 1990.

53017 & 54005 Chinley 19 June 1984

53017 & 54005 arrive at the weed covered platforms of Chinley station on 19 June 1984 with the 09:10 Sheffield to New Mill Central service. Only the island platform exists now, with the site of the platform in the foreground now being replaced by the gardens of a new housing development.

54005 & 53017 Chinley 19 June 1984

A scene of semi dereliction at Chinley on 19 June 1984. The surviving part of the station building stands forlornly on the island platform, as Class 114 twin car unit (54005 & 53017) prepares to call in the vain hope that there might be some passengers. It is working the 10:38 New Mills Central to Sheffield service, one of the few trains actually to call here, as although there was plenty of traffic at this location in the 1980s, virtually all of it passed straight through. Although it looks like it is about to be demolished, the station building did in fact survive for quite a number of years after this picture was taken, which is more than can be said for the DMU.

53019 & 54027 Portway 15 March 1989

Tyseley set T227 (53019 & 54027) passes Portway (near Tamworth) on 15 March 1989 with the 15:46 Birmingham New Street to Nottingham train, one of the few services in the area that hadn't succumbed to the Sprinter revolution at the time. This was one of the last Class 114s in traffic, and in fact it seemed to follow me about, as I photographed it again two years later at Droitwich (admittedly the other way round) and then the leading vehicle here was photographed three years after that in preservation at Butterley!

54027 Droitwich 27 April 1991

Tyseley set T027 (54027 & 53019) calls at Droitwich on 27 April 1991 with the 09:09 Hereford to Birmingham New Street Midline service. This became the final Class 114 unit in traffic and when in January 1992 54027 became due for overhaul it was taken into departmental service as 977770, but scrapped shortly afterwards at MC Metals, Glasgow. 53019 worked its final weeks in service coupled to Class 105 DTCL 54484, before being preserved at the Midland Railway Centre at Butterley.

50019 & 56006 Butterley 23 July 1994

The driver of 50019 exchanges the token with the signalman at Butterley during the Midland Railway Centre's Diesel Gala on 23 July 1994. 50019 is coupled to 56006, both of which have reverted to their original numbers in preservation. The numbers having been changed in BR days as obviously 50019 could be confused with Class 50 Ramillies and 56006 with Class 56 Ferrybridge C Power Station! The Midland Railway Centre may have bold plans but I think King's Lynn as a destination is a bit optimistic!

56006 & 50019 Butterley 23 July 1994

56006 & 50019 pass Butterley during the Midland Railway Centre's Diesel Gala on 23 July 1994. The Weston-super-Mare destination is just as unlikely as the Kings Lynn displayed on the other end! I have very few pictures of units in this stylish but slightly impractical colour scheme.

53024 & 54019 Chinley 20 October 1983

53024 & 54019 approach Chinley on 20 October 1983 with the 10:42 New Mills Central to Sheffield service. This view clearly shows the result of track rationalisation, with the former quadruple track having been reduced to two a few years earlier. Midway to the bridge in the background, on the now lifted lines, is where 40044 came to grief whilst hauling a stone train in 1978.

54019 & 53024 Chinley 20 October 1983

54019 & 53024 accelerate away from Chinley station on 20 October 1983 with the 12:33 Sheffield to New Mills Central service. Behind the newly erected fence (just a couple of hours old!) is the disused Chinley Station North Junction Signal Box.

54006 & 53036 Clay Mills (Hargate) 17 May 1991

By 1991 there were just a handful of Class 114s still in service. Tyseley set T023 (54006 & 53036) heads north past Clay Mills (Hargate) on 17 May 1991 with an ECS working. The lead vehicle (54006) became one of the few Class 114s to escape the cutter's torch, and is now preserved at the Midland Railway Centre. 53036 had a short reprieve as departmental 977769.

54014 Asgarby 1 September 1984

A pair of Class 114 two car units, led by 54014 rattle across the flat Lincolnshire countryside at Asgarby on 1 September 1984 with the 10:40 Nottingham to Skegness service. Very much in their home area, these BR Derby built units would soon be replaced by the new Sprinter units, although a couple did survive into the 1990s. 54014 was not so lucky, being withdrawn in June 1988, and cut up in the same year.

54040 Evedon 11 August 1984

The 12:30 Doncaster to Peterborough service, led by 54040, passes Evedon on 11 August 1984. The unit may well work its next train to Peterborough after arrival at Peterborough, but the timetable indicates that it was not regarded as a through service. The trees on the right precluded a shot from the other side here, although the sun is unfortunately pretty much head on anyway.