Class 119

B571 Sapperton Tunnel (Mid Point) 2 June 1979

A glimpse of B571 (51052, 59282 & 51080), as it briefly emerges into the light at the small gap between the two Sapperton Tunnels on 2 June 1979. It is working the 2B25 15:30 Cheltenham to Swindon service. Although obviously not noticeable from this view, this set had a Class 120 centre coach.

L572 Oxford 27 August 1983

A DMU meeting at Oxford station on 27 August 1983. L572 (51082, 59413 & 51054) waits at platform 2 with the 2C68 08:36 Reading to Hereford service, while Class 117 L406 (51383, 59493 & 51341) has just arrived at platform 1 from the nearby carriage sidings, ready to form the 2A35 09:28 service to Paddington.

L572 Lyneham 30 May 1985

L572 (51054, 59413 & 51082) passes Lyneham with the 2B60 16:35 Reading to Moreton-in-Marsh local service on 30 May 1985. This was the only down train to call at all the smaller stations on the Cotswold Line, and is probably still accelerating away from Shipton station, which is less than a mile away, just out of sight around the corner. L572 was withdrawn in 1988 and all three vehicles cut up at Vic Berry's of Leicester, although for some reason the centre trailer beat the two power cars to the scrapyard by a year! For its final year in traffic the unit ran with a Class 101 centre car.

L573 & L590 Moreton-in-Marsh 18 September 1982

A Class 119 meeting at Moreton-in-Marsh, just after sunrise on 18 September 1982. L573 (51055, 59417 & 51083) arrives with the 2B08 06:06 Reading to Worcester Foregate Street service, while L590 (51087, 59418 & 51058) waits in the bay platform, prior to forming the 2A79 07:48 Moreton-in-Marsh to Oxford service. Interestingly, this had arrived a little earlier, not as the more normal ECS working, but as the 4B11 05:50 Oxford to Moreton-in-Mash parcels. In reality I expect it did just work in as empty stock, as I imagine the amount of parcels traffic to Moreton by this date must have been quite minimal!

L573 Salfords 15 March 1986

L573 (51083, 59417 & 51055) approaches Salfords on 15 March 1986 with the 2O38 15:10 Reading to Gatwick Airport service. The leading vehicle seems to have had an unusual modification to the former destination blind, with what appears to be an oversized blanking plate added, almost giving the impression of a plated over headcode box. Class 119s did not have roof mounted headcode boxes, as originally they were fitted with two rather crude looking separate individual character panels directly below the centre windscreen.

L573 Maidenhead 22 November 1986

L573 (51083, 59417 & 51055) stands at Maidenhead on 22 November 1986, after arriving with the 08:03 Paddington to Maidenhead Network SouthEast service. Clearly this is running with another three car unit, probably a Class 117, which was the class that was more often employed on these suburban services.

L574 Evenlode 24 April 1986

L574 (51056, 59115 & 51095) passes Evenlode on 24 April 1986 with the 2A56 16:37 Hereford to Reading service. Until the roadbridge got surrounded by tall hedges, this used to be one of my favourite Cotswold Line locations. The view in this direction was excellent, with the tower of St. Edward's Church visible in the background, and looking in the opposite direction gave the perfect viewpoint for northbound trains in the evening.

L575 Moreton-in-Marsh 5 April 1984

L575 (51060, 59419 & 51088) arrives at Moreton-in-Marsh on 5 April 1984 with the 16:33 Reading to Moreton-in-Marsh 'all stations' service. This view is no longer possible due to uncontrolled vegetation growth in the foreground. Even if it was possible to get around this, the wide open view with buildings and fields visible all the way across to the Evenlode road has been replaced by a virtual tunnel of trees along the line

L575 Moreton-in-Marsh 5 April 1984

After arriving with the 16:33 Reading to Moreton-in-Marsh service on 5 April 1984, L575 (51060, 59419 & 51088) has shunted across to the up platform at Moreton-in-Marsh to get out of the way of the following 17:07 Paddington to Hereford train. It will then later form the 19:25 service to Oxford. Note the two lines of ballast wagons in the sidings in preparations for the following weekend's track relaying work between Combe and Hanborough.

L575 Kingham 28 April 1987

L575 (51088, 59419 & 51060) accelerates away from Kingham station on 28 April 1987 with the 2B60 16:40 Reading to Moreton-in-Marsh 'all stations' service. It is passing the abutments of the bridge that once carried the former Banbury to Cheltenham line over the Oxford to Worcester route. Although used by some freight, the bridge was little used by passenger trains, with all services with the exception of the daily 'Port to Ports Express' calling at Kingham station (seen here in the background), and accessing the Banbury to Cheltenham line by two chord lines.

L576 Oxford 1 August 1986

L576 (51090, 59421 & 51062) makes a typically smoky departure from Oxford station on 1 August 1986, as it starts on the short journey to Didcot with the 09:21 Oxford to Didcot non stop service. Like most Class 119s in the 1980s, there is nothing showing in the destination blind. Literally nothing in this case, as obviously the blinds are completely absent.

B577 Cassington 3 March 1984

Glinting in the strong backlighting, B577 (51063, 59422 & 51091) passes Cassington on 3 March 1984 with the 08:36 Reading to Hereford service. Unfortunately this wide open viewpoint has since been replaced by a virtual tunnel of trees and bushes and is now practically useless for photography.

B577 Ascott-under-Wychwood 10 November 1985

On a perfectly clear autumnal morning, B577 (51063, 59422 & 51091) rounds the curve between Shipton and Ascott-under-Wychwood with the 09:32 Worcester Shrub Hill to Oxford service. The date is 10 November 1985, and being a Sunday, this is the first up train of the day over the Cotswold Line. This location is where the Oxfordshire Way long distance footpath crosses the line and was an excellent viewpoint for eastbound trains in the mid 1980s. However, a plantation of trees next to the line on the left now shades the line for a lot of the time, and certainly a November picture such as this would now be very difficult.

B577 Shipton 23 March 1986

In a very lucky patch of sunshine, B577 (51091, 59422 & 51063) rounds the curve on the approach to Shipton station with the 09:32 Worcester Shrub Hill to Oxford service on 23 March 1986. This was the first up train of the day over the Cotswold Line on a Sunday at this time, but would not be stopping at Shipton. In fact even now there are still no Sunday services that call at any of the smaller stations on the Cotswold Line, including Shipton, Ascott-under-Wychwood, Combe and Hanborough. Note the patch painting of the unit prefix, having recently moved from Swansea to Bristol. Either of these were unusual for the class at the time, as they were mainly used in the London area. B577 was withdrawn in 1988 an cut up at Mayer Newman's at Snailwell.

L579 Charlbury 8 May 1987

L579 (51093, 59424, & 51065) passes under the road bridge at Charlbury on 8 May 1987 with the 08:08 Hereford to Oxford service. Note the white sighting patch painted on the bridge, to increase the visibility of the long since removed semaphore signals. In the foreground is the remains of the old end loading dock, which was swept away a few years later when the ridiculously short former up platform was lengthened.

L580 Kings Sutton 8 August 1991

L580 (51094, 59425 & 51066) accelerates away from Kings Sutton on 8 August 1991 with the 2C70 19:26 Oxford to Banbury Network SouthEast service. By this date the Class 119 fleet was down to a quarter of its original strength, and this particular unit had less than a year left in traffic.

L583 Little Bedwyn 16 April 1979

L583 (51069, 59428 & 51097) runs between the River Dun (on the left) and the Kennet & Avon Canal (on the right), as it passes Little Bedwyn on 16 April 1979 with the 2A08 16:07 Reading to Bedwyn service. Unfortunately this is one of the few pictures I took from this angle before a line of conifers completely blocked out the view. Its just a pity that I didn't use 1/1000sec f2.8 instead of 1/250sec f5.6 to expose the original Kodachrome 64 transparency!

B583 Croome 14 May 1984

B583 (51097, 59428 & 51069) passes Croome on 14 May 1984 with a Worcester Shrub Hill to Gloucester ECS. At this time it was often possible to spend most of the day at this location without meeting another photographer. However from the 1990s onwards it became an extremley well used photographic location.

B583 Upton Scudamore 16 August 1984

B583 (51097, 59428 & 51069) climbs Upton Scudamore bank on 16 August 1984 with the 2B51 17:20 Bristol Temple Meads to Warminster service. For some reason, most of my pictures of Class 119s show them running without anything showing on the destination blind, as here.

B583 Wickwar Tunnel 10 August 1985

B583 (51097, 59428 & 51069) emerges from Wickwar Tunnel on 10 August 1985 with the 15:24 Worcester Shrub Hill to Bristol Temple Meads service. I suppose you would call this a local stopping train, but in 1985 it only called at the large stations of Cheltenham, Gloucester and Bristol Parkway, as the truly local stations had been closed in the 1960s. Since then of course, Ashchurch as well as Cam and Dursley have both reopened.

C583 Pirton 15 June 1986

C583 (51069, 59428 & 51097) passes Pirton on a very warm Sunday 15 June 1986 with the late running 16:33 Swindon to Worcester Shrub Hill service. Note the crudely applied C (for Cardiff), replacing the former B (for Bristol) in the set number. This set was disbanded the following year, with all three vehicles going for scrap, the two driving cars at Mayer Newman, Snailwell, and the centre car at Vic Berry's, Leicester.

L584 Combe 21 August 1982

L584 (51070, 59429 & 51098) pulls away from Combe station on the Cotswold Line with the 07:48 Moreton-in-Marsh to Oxford service on 21 August 1982. Originally opened by the Great Western Railway as Combe Halt in 1935, it initially had two platforms, but lost the former down platform when the line was singled in 1971. Despite the remote location the station survives to this day, albeit with a very minimal train service.

L584 Oaksey 2 April 1983

L584 (51098, 59429, & 51070) approaches Oaksey on 2 April 1983 with the 14:24 Cheltenham to Swindon service. This uninterrupted view along the long straight section of track was not to last much longer, as the small ash tree in the foreground didn't stay small for very long! Note the impressive line of redundant telegraph poles on the left.

L584 Oxford 1 August 1986

L584 (51075, 59429 & 51098) accelerates away from Oxford station on 1 August 1986 with the 2A26 08:08 Hereford to Paddington Network SouthEast service. The slightly dodgy last digit of the set number gives away the fact that this vehicle is a replacement for the original DMBC vehicle (51070), which had been withdrawn a few months earlier. 51075 had originally been part of set L585.

L585 Abingdon 30 June 1984

The Abingdon Branch Line closed to passengers on 9 September 1963 but was retaining for freight traffic, principally for the movement of cars from the MG works. Unfortunately the MG factory closed in 1980 and thereafter the branch saw very little traffic. It was finally closed in 1984 and to mark the occasion, the Oxford University Railway Society ran a shuttle service between Radley (the line's junction with the main line) and Abingdon on 30 June 1984. With an improvised 'Farewell Abingdon 1856 - 1984' headboard stuck to the centre windscreen with sticky tape, L585 (51075, 59434 & 51103) passes one of the foot crossings on the approach to Abingdon with another trip from Radley, all of which conspired to pass me in cloudy conditions. Ironically this is the only time that I saw this particular unit.

L588 Frampton Mansell 28 August 1982

L588 (51107, 59437 & 51079) crosses Frampton Mansell Viaduct on 28 August 1982 with the 2B16 08:45 Swindon to Worcester Shrub Hill service. Purists might complain that this is a going away shot, but it is totally unrepeatable now. There may be descendants of these horses around now, but L588 is no more, and even the viaduct is no longer visible from this vantage point.

B590 & B586 Marshfield 28 April 1984

My only picture of a pair of 119s working in multiple. B590 (51087, 59418 & 51058) & B586 (51105, 59420 & 51077) head eastwards along the Great Western Mainline at Marshfield on a cloudless 28 April 1984, with the 2O56 08:42 Cardiff to Weymouth service. Even in the world of DMUs there has been much 'progress' since this picture was taken. You would be unlikely to get six coaches today, and certainly there would not be the vast luggage area available that these two 119s could provide. And now of course, there would be far more people travelling than in 1984!

B591 Oxford (Walton Well Road) 22 April 1986

B591 (51059, 59433 & 51102) lays a smoke screen over Oxford as it departs with the 14:28 Oxford to Great Malvern service on 22 April 1986. Unbelievably, given today's frequency of trains on the Cotswold Line, the previous down working had been 3 hours earlier! The residents of the newly built canal side houses just off Walton Well Road are constantly complaining about the fumes from Turbo units that stable in the sidings made invisible here by the smoke. They should consider themselves lucky that their houses weren't built in 1986, as there certainly would have been a few letters written to the papers if they had to put up with this lot!

C591 Evenlode 20 June 1987

C591 (51059, 59382 & 51102) passes Evenlode on 20 June 1987 with the 2B56 12:26 Oxford to Worcester Shrub Hill service. I have included this going away picture, as it clearly shows the Class 108 centre trailer that this unit was running with for the last year of its life. Also, note the highly inappropriate Avonmouth destination being (partly) displayed.

C591 Moreton-in-Marsh 3 July 1987

C591 (51059, 59382 & 51102) arrives at Moreton-in-Marsh on 3 July 1987 with the 2B50 07:00 Oxford to Hereford service, the first down train of the day over the Cotswold Line at the time. Most Class 119s, at least during the time I was photographing them, were either allocated to London (Reading) or Bristol, and therefore carried either L or B prefixes. Here we see 591 carrying a Cardiff prefix, which was obviously short lived, as the unit was withdrawn six months later, and the previous year it was still allocated to Bristol. It is also running with a Class 108 centre trailer.

L592 Finstock 7 April 1984

Finstock Halt was opened by the Great Western Railway on 9 April 1934, one of a number of new halts on the Cotswold Line. Being the nearest Saturday to the 50th anniversary, 7 April 1984 was chosen as a day for local celebrations at the diminutive station. Unfortunately despite the best efforts of the Cotswold Line Promotion Group and others, it did not look its best due to the temporary scaffold built platform then in use! Bedecked with flags and 'Finstock Fifty' banners the station is seen here with more people than it normally sees for weeks at a time. L592 (51071, 59530 & 51101) has made a special stop whilst working the 2C68 08:36 Reading to Hereford service, and is now heading off towards Charlbury.

L593 Radley 4 September 1982

Radley station pictured in the days when it had a sparse train service, long before the present day commuter boom. Even humble DMU L593 (51085, 59431, & 51072) is not stopping. It speeds through the deserted station on 4 September 1982 with the 10:25 Great Malvern to Didcot service.

L593 Moreton-in-Marsh 9 April 1983

L593 (51085, 59431, & 51072) stands in the bay platform at Moreton-in-Marsh just after sunrise on 9 April 1983. After the passage of the 07:00 Worcester Shrub Hill to Paddington loco hauled train, this unit would move into the main platform ready to depart with the 07:50 Moreton-in-Marsh to Oxford all stations local service. The track on the right, which can be seen curving away towards the course of the former Shipston-on-Stour branch, has subsequently been lifted.

C594 Shipton 18 September 1982

An historic scene at Shipton on 18 September 1982. C594 (51073, 59435 & 51104) rounds the curve through the station with the 15:37 Didcot to Hereford service, travelling on vintage 95lb per yard bullhead rail. Note how the unit has had its Cardiff prefix letter painted out, on it recent transfer to Reading. It would soon aquire the L for London prefix. On the left can be seen the remains of the goods loading dock with three ex Great Western Railway corrugated iron huts beyond. The two nearest of these last remnants of the steam age were swept away shortly afterwards, and now a small industrial estate occupies the site. Trees have now grown up all around the up platform in the background, and of course Class 119s no longer work the line. However, FWP Matthews flour mill on the right is still in business, and is virtually the only unaltered part of this view.

L594 Charlbury 15 April 1983

Cotswold Line commuting, 1980s style. L594 (51104, 59435 & 51073) arrives at Charlbury station on 15 April 1983 with the 2A79 07:43 Moreton-in-Marsh to Didcot service. At this time the DMU turns on the line were shared equally between the Pressed Steel Class 117s, and the Gloucester 119s, with only occasional appearances by other types, such as Classes 101, 118 & 121.

L594 Oxford 21 October 1988

L594 (51104, 59435 & 51073) leaves Oxford station on 21 October 1988 with the 2C23 10:24 'all stations' service to Reading. The unit is looking pristine, after just receiving Network SouthEast's colourful livery. L594 would be the last of the class to be withdrawn, in June 1995. Both driving cars were subsequently preserved, although now at two different locations.

L594 Didcot North Junction 6 May 1990

L594 was a little short on 6 May 1990, and required the help of a Class 121 'bubble car' to make it up to a three car set. DMBC 51073 is obviously under repair, leaving just 51104 & 59435 to show the versatility of the first generation DMU fleet by substituting the Class 121 for the missing driving car. It is pictured here at a very rural Didcot North Junction with the 2C21 09:33 Oxford to Didcot 'all stations' Network SouthEast service.

B595 Stoke Orchard 21 July 1984

B595 (51074, 59430, & 51086) passes Stoke Orchard with the 15:21 Worcester Shrub Hill to Bristol Temple Meads service on 21 July 1984. Note the two red signs on the two leading vehicles indicating the extended luggage capacity of these cross country units. Although actually nearer to the village of Stoke Orchard than Bishops Cleeve, this is the site of Cleeve station (so called to avoid confusion with Bishops Cleeve station on the Cheltenham to Stratford line).

L595 Cholsey 16 August 1991

L595 (51086, 59430 & 51074) accelerates away from at Cholsey station on 16 August 1991 with the 2C51 15:55 Bicester Town to Reading Network SouthEast service. This photo is taken from the lofty farm occupation bridge, between the 'new' (1892) Cholsey station, and the former Moulsford station, which closed when Cholsey opened.

L595 Cholsey 16 August 1991

L595 (51074, 59430 & 51086) calls at Cholsey station on 16 August 1991 with the 2C66 17:35 Reading to Bicester Town Network SouthEast service. The leading car is one of only three Class 119 vehicles to have escaped the cutter's torch. DMBC 51074 is now paired with DMSL 51104 (ex L594), and is currently under restoration at the Swindon & Cricklade Railway, Another DMBC (51073) exists, but no centre cars survive. The reason only three out of the original 81 cars exist is due principally to the expense of removing the vehicle's asbestos insulation.

B596 Oxford North Junction 28 July 1983

B596 (51099, 59416 & 51076) passes Oxford North Junction on 28 July 1983 with the 2A85 08:05 Hereford to Oxford service. Despite being on the edge of Oxford, this location still retains a rural feel, although trees have subsequently largely screened Port Meadow (to the left, in the background) from view. Hopefully the historic significance of Port Meadow (and its annual winter flooding!) will halt any potential westwards spread of Oxford.

B596 Aynho 21 April 1984

B596 (51099, 59416 & 51076) heads away from the camera at Aynho on 21 April 1984 with the 18:37 Banbury to Oxford service. This side view clearly shows the increased luggage capacity of the Class 119, with the red signs indicating not only the former guards area of the leading DMBC vehicle, but also the converted former buffet area in the centre TS vehicle. This viewpoint is a lot more grown up now, with various trackside bushes spoiling the view. Note the Marylebone line at a higher level in the background.

B596 Charlbury (Cornbury Park) 4 July 1985

B596 (51099, 59416 & 51076) accelerates away from Charlbury station, and passes Cornbury Park with the 15:40 Great Malvern to Oxford service on 4 July 1985. Surprisingly, considering how much vegetation has grown at other locations on the Cotswold Line, this spot remains pretty much the same today.

L596 Didcot North Junction 22 June 1989

L596 (51076, 59416 & 51099) passes Didcot North Junction on 22 June 1989 with the 2C72 19:55 Reading to Oxford Network SouthEast service. In common with other DMUs, most of the Class 119s lost most of their roof ventilators in later years, giving a very smooth appearance to the roof, totally unlike the original design.

L596 Radley 20 July 1989

L596 (51076, 59416 & 51099) pulls out of Radley station on 29 July 1989 with the 2C64 17:15 Reading to Oxford Network SouthEast service. Taking over an hour, and stopping at all stations, this would be more usually worked by one of Reading's high density Class 117 units.