Class 153

153304 & 150224 Rawcliffe 25 June 2008

The Goole to Leeds line sees a very infrequent service, with just two trains a day from Goole and one from the Leeds direction. On 25 June 2008, 153304 & 150224 arrive at Rawcliffe station with the 2F30 18:49 Goole to Leeds Northern Trains service. Although one person got on when these units stopped here whilst heading for Goole half an hour earlier, on this occasion not only did nobody get on or off, but the train appeared to be completely empty as well!

153305 Little Haresfield 4 July 2008

A close up view of 153305, as it passes Little Haresfield on 4 July 2008 with the 17:02 Worcester Foregate Street to Southampton Central First Great Western service. Obviously there isn't much demand for journeys from Worcestershire to the South Coast, if a single car unit will suffice!

153306 Levington 18 April 1996

Evidence of recent lineside vegetation clearance at Levington on 18 April 1996, as 153306 passes with the 16:17 Ipswich to Felixstowe Regional Railways service. It may look like a dull day, but this was actually almost a bright interlude! However, the dark clouds in the background soon took over.

153307 Barrow Haven 6 September 2014

A Land Rover waits at the level crossing as 153307 pulls way from Barrow Haven station on 6 September 2014 with the 2F89 12:55 Cleethorpes to Barton-on-Humber Northern service. The unit is crossing the bridge over the Beck, a stream that within a few yards would empty into the mighty River Humber.

153308 & 158883 Quarrington 25 July 2009

153308 & 158883 pass the chicken farm at Quarrington with the 07:35 Nottingham to Skegness East Midlands Trains service on 25 July 2009. Rauceby station can just be seen in the far distance beyond the level crossing by the trees. You can see where East Midlands got the idea for their livery from, as the colour bands on the ends of the Class 153 bear a striking resemblance to the South West Trains livery on 158883. Several South West Trains 158s have strayed away from the former Southern Region in recent years, even reaching as far as Scotland!

153309 Reedham 26 May 2017

153309 calls at Reedham station on 26 May 2017 with the 2J78 14:05 Norwich to Lowestoft Greater Anglia service. White is not the most practical colour for railway vehicles, but Greater Anglia have done a good job in keeping it clean. Well, apart from the roof, that is!

153310 North Stafford Junction 12 November 2013

153310 approaches North Stafford Junction on 12 November 2013 with the 1K06 09:07 Crewe to Derby East Midlands Trains service. Not quite as interesting as the heritage traction that was employed briefly on this route in 1989!

153312 Blaenau Ffestiniog 4 June 2005

153312 leaves Blaenau Ffestiniog in the pouring rain with the 11:45 service to Llandudno on 4 June 2005. It seem to rain every time I visit the town! The 1992 built Ffestiniog Railway Double Fairlie locomotive David Lloyd George can just be seen in the background waiting to leave for Porthmadog.

153313 Melton Ross 6 November 2017

Making a change from the constant procession of freight trains, 153313 passes Melton Ross on 6 November 2017 with the 2T48 13:49 Grimsby Town to Newark North Gate East Midlands Trains service. The houses in the background are part of the small village of New Barnetby.

153314 Swainsthorpe 12 May 2008

153314 shows off its rather plain debranded One Railways livery, as it passes Swainsthorpe on 12 May 2008 with a southbound ECS working. Just visible in the trees behind is a lorry on the adjacent A140 Norwich to Ipswich road. No prizes for guessing which will get to its destination first!

153315 Morton 9 May 2003

153315 passes Morton (near Retford) on 9 May 2003 with the 12:47 Lincoln Central to Huddersfield Arriva Trains Northern service. In contrast to the East Coat Main Line which passes through Retford in a northerly direction, this east to west route sees a very meagre passenger service, for which obviously a single vehicle is now sufficient.

153321 & 156405 Bottesford 6 September 2012

The platforms at Bottesford are staggered, and although no longer in railway use, the impressive station building still dominates the scene. On 6 September 2012, 153321 & 156405 prepare to call with the 2S17 12:45 Nottingham to Skegness East Midlands Trains service.

153322 Acle 26 May 2017

The signals are off, and 153322 gets ready to join the single track section at Acle, as it proceeds on its journey with the 2P09 08:17 Great Yarmouth to Norwich Greater Anglia service on 26 May 2017. The fenced area on the right was formerly Acle station's goods yard.

153322 Buckenham 26 May 2017

153322 passes Buckenham station in superb evening light on 26 May 2017 with the 2J87 17:48 Lowestoft to Norwich Greater Anglia service. This little Norfolk station is one of the least used in the country, with only around 100 passengers journeys per year. The station building is now a private house.

153325 Blagrove 14 May 2014

Not everything First Great Western is dark blue! A close up view of former London Midland 153325, as it nears journey's end on 14 May 2014 with the 2M04 07:32 Westbury to Swindon First Great Western service. The picture is taken from the footbridge that links the Mannington to Blagrove cycle track (visible on the right) to nothing at all other than fields on the south side of the railway.

153325 Wickwar Tunnel 15 April 2015

Looking strikingly different in its bright red 'Citizens Rail' livery, 153325 emerges from Wickwar Tunnel on 15 April 2015 with the 5C19 11:58 Gloucester Carriage Sidings to Bristol High Level Siding First Great Western ECS. The special livery is to promote the 'Citizens Rail' EU backed initiative to generate community involvement in local rail services.

153326, 153384 & 158774 Kelby Lane 25 July 2009

In 2009 it is quite common to get pictures of two different liveries in an East Midlands Trains service using several units coupled together, such is the profusion of liveries in the fleet. However, this is something of a bonus, with three different versions of EMT colours in one train! 153326 in the current colour scheme leads 153384 in rebranded Central Trains livery, with 158774 in the former East Midlands colours bringing up the rear. The train is the 09:55 Nottingham to Skegness and the location is (I hardly need to type this really!) Kelby Lane, between Ancaster and Rauceby. The prominent sign is either an excellently placed piece of railway infrastructure immediately identifying the location, or a bloody nuisance completely messing up the shot, depending on your viewpoint!

153327 Penybont 15 October 1994

153327 just manages to find a patch of autumn sunlight amid the encroaching shadows, as it arrives at Penybont station with the 15:01 Shrewsbury to Swansea Central Wales Line service on 15 October 1994. Obviously a regular unit on the line, as I saw it again a few years later.

153327 Oaksey 13 March 1995

153327 speeds through the long closed Oaksey station (between Kemble and Swindon) on 13 March 1995, whilst working the 14:03 Cheltenham to Swindon Regional Railways service. Oaksey station was only open for 35 years and probably saw little traffic even then. It closed in 1964 along with the other local stations between Kemble and Swindon. It is probable that it would be busier now if still open due to the massive increase in the size of Swindon in the intervening years. Compare this view with a picture of 47802 taken from the other platform.

153327 Llanwrtyd Wells 26 May 1997

153327 approaches Llanwrtyd Wells on 26 May 1997 with the 13:12 Shrewsbury to Swansea (presumably diverted to Carmarthen according to the destination blind) Regional Railways service. The Shrewsbury to Swansea route involves some spectacular scenery, but with 32 intermediate stops and a near 4 hour journey time, it must be a bit of an ordeal!

153328 Stallingborough 8 November 2003

153328 arrives at Stallingborough on 8 November 2003 with the 13:00 Cleethorpes to Barton-on-Humber Arriva Trains Northern service. Colour light signals have now replaced these upper quadrant semaphores. The slotted concrete post signal on the left presumably dated at least from LNER days. 153328 has also changed since this picture was taken.

153328 & 150147 Snaith 16 June 2010

153328 & 150147 accelerate away from Snaith on 16 June 2010 with the 2F30 18:49 Goole to Leeds Northern Trains service. The Goole to Knottingley does not abound in good photographic locations, and the three daily trains conspire to run at the most awkward possible time for ideal photographic lighting, with the sun being virtually straight down the track. However, the line wiggles a little at Snaith and a convenient footpath crossing provides this well lit viewpoint.

153328 & 150292 Goole (Potters Grange Junction) 17 June 2010

In superb crisp evening light on 17 June 2010, 153328 & 150272 take the Knottingley line at Potters Grange Junction, Goole with the 2F30 18:49 Goole to Leeds Northern Trains service. This is one of only two daily trains on the route. This wide view gives some idea of the expansion of the industrial estates next to the railway in recent years, and proves that this view from the opposite side of the line in 1998 would no longer be possible. The waste ground in that pictures is now where the buildings on the right stand.

153328 New Holland (Barrow Road Crossing) 18 September 2012

The Barton-upon-Humber branch is basically composed of two straight sections connected by a sharp ninety degree bend. The curve at New Holland is the site of the junction with the former pier branch, and is pictured here on the morning of 18 September 2012. 153328 rounds the curve with the 2F84 07:58 Barton-upon-Humber to Cleethorpes Northern Rail service. The level crossing gives access to various factories surrounding the small dock on banks of the Humber Estuary. The track in the foreground is the disused line to the pier. It is not an optical illusion, Barrow Road Crossing signal box does indeed have a distinct backwards lean!

153329 Ruskington 1 May 1999

Ancient and modern at Ruskington. 153329 passes a couple of reminders of the steam age as it works the 14:53 Lincoln to Peterborough Central Trains service on 1 May 1999. The footbridge has obviously recently had a fresh coat of paint, but the impressive telegraph pole on the right no longer serves its original purpose. 153329 was rebuilt in 1992 from one half of Class 155 155329, the other half becoming 153379.

153329 & 150123 Kemble Wick 9 March 2015

Signs of spring at Kemble Wick on 9 March 2015. The hazel catkins are in full bloom as 153329 & 150123 pass by with the 2G82 09:38 Swindon to Cheltenham First Great Western service. This section of line, between Swindon and Kemble was singled by BR in the 1960s as a cost saving measure. However, local campaigning has finally resulted in the second track being restored, with the work being completed in September 2014. The fresh ballast clearly shows that this train is running over the newly reinstated down line.

153331 Saltmarshe 9 August 2000

Under leaden skies 153331 passes Saltmarshe with the 08:41 Sheffield to Bridlington Arriva Trains Northern service on 9 August 2000. Normally this train would be worked by a Class 156 unit, and indeed one half of 156454 can be seen tacked onto the back of 153331. This shows the usefulness of the single car 153s, which can be used to deputise for a defective coach in a two car set. This picture also gives a fine view of the 1905 built North Eastern Railway signal box. Saltmarshe station is oddly named, as it is adjacent to the village of Laxton, with Saltmarshe itself being over a mile away!

153333 Millbrook 21 April 2010

Running very slowly, presumably because of a permanent way restriction, 153333 approaches Millbrook on 21 April 2010 with the 09:33 Bedford to Bletchley London Midland service. Just before the train came into view a Cuckoo was calling from the large tree on the right - conclusive proof that spring has arrived. And yes, that really is a wooden mock of a biplane on the right! I'm not sure what the purpose of it is, presumably just to confuse rail passengers and give them something to talk about!

153333 Lidlington 21 April 2010

153333 approaches Marston Crossing, Lidlington on 21 April 2010 with the 11:01 Bletchley to Bedford London Midlands service. This picture is taken on a very long lens from the hill to the south of Lidlington village, which coincidentally also gives a view of the nearby Millbrook vehicle proving ground.

153333 & 150234 Blagrove 14 May 2014

Contrasting liveries at Blagrove (on the western edge of Swindon) on 14 May 2014. Ex London Midland 153333 is partnered with First Great Western liveried 150234 on the 2A99 07:11 Gloucester to Swindon First Great Western service. Rather than taking the direct route via Kemble, this train is routed via Bristol and Bath.

153354 Metheringham 1 May 1999

153354 accelerates away from Metheringham station on 1 May 1999 with the 11:52 Peterborough to Lincoln Central Trains service, despite was it says on the destination blind! Unfortunately the semaphore signals have since been replaced by colour lights.

153354 Stewartby 9 June 2017

153354 arrives Stewartby station on 9 June 2017 with the 2S20 15:55 Bedford to Bletchley London Midland service. When I visited this location in 1988, the platforms were not staggered either side of the level crossing as they are now, and there was a lot more of the former brickworks remaining.

153357 Retford (Leverton Road) 28 November 1992

A reflection in the floods at Leverton Road, Retford, on 28 November 1992. 155357 passes a slightly marooned van body, as it works the 10:56 Cleethorpes to Sheffield Regional Railways service. This line was built by the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway, which later changed its name to the much more impressive sounding Great Central Railway.

153357 Park Drain 14 March 2015

Several different forms of transport at Park Drain (between Gainsborough and Doncaster) on 14 March 2015. 153357 heads westwards with the 2K50 15:10 Lincoln Central to Doncaster East Midlands Trains service, passing a van, bulldozer, donkey and goat!

153358 Entwistle 4 March 2000

153358 passes through the woods between Entwistle and Sough Tunnel on 4 March 2000 with the 13:00 Manchester Victoria to Clitheroe First North Western service. This is the site of Walton's Sidings, which served a former brickworks.

153361 Swindon (Hay Lane) 10 July 2014

153361 nears journey's end as it passes Hay Lane, on the outskirts of Swindon, with the 2M04 07:32 Westbury to Swindon First Great Western service on 10 July 2014. This close up view clearly shows the plain blue livery, minus the former 'wavy line' name decals.

153362 Melksham 12 August 1993

With the silos of West of England Farmers Ltd dominating the background, 153362 arrives at Melksham on 12 August 1993 with the 07:40 Frome to Swindon Regional Railways service, the only train of the day to call at the station in this direction. It was complimented by a 17:56 Swindon to Warminster return working.

153365 Winthorpe 30 April 2005

In superb evening light, 153365 approaches the level crossing at Winthorpe (near Newark) with the 18:11 Lincoln Central to Newark North Gate Central Trains service on 30 April 2005. In the best tradition of DMU operation the unit is displaying the incorrect destination! Typical of many secondary routes this line shows a mixture of bullhead and flat bottom jointed track.

153366 & 170631 Bromsgrove 9 July 2013

153366 & 170631 weave across from the up main to the up relief line at Bromsgrove on 9 July 2013. They are working the 5V42 11:46 Tyseley to Worcester Shrub Hill London Midland empty stock. Note how nature is reclaiming not only the site of the old oil depot on the left, but also the rusty siding on the right.

153369 & 158817 Compton Beauchamp 30 April 2007

A very strange working pictured at Compton Beauchamp (between Didcot and Swindon) on 30 April 2007. 153369 & 158817 were booked to work the 5F77 Reading to Westbury empty stock move and indeed started out along the Berks & Hants Line, which is the obvious direct route. However, for some unexplained reason, after getting nearly half way there they reversed and came back to Reading, and then traveled via the west curve and continued to Westbury via Swindon! Neither Class 153 or 158 units are a common sight on the GWML, and certainly not with Taunton on the destination blind!

153370 Pilning 5 April 1997

A passenger at Pilning! On 5 April 1997, a woman waits to board the only up train of the day to call at this isolated station. 153370 is working the 09:05 Cardiff Central to Bristol Temple Meads service, which together with a late afternoon returning train, forms the entire timetabled service. There are, of course numerous trains that just speed straight through, as can be seen by the HST in the distance, which is beginning its descent into the Severn Tunnel.

153373 Yate 29 March 2002

153373 passes Yate on 29 March 2002 with the 13:20 Gloucester to Western-super-Mare Wales & West service. This close up broadside view clearly shows the 'Heart of Wessex Line' advertising livery. A decade later the unit is still employed on trains to Weston, but it now is much more anonymous in the First Great Western 'wavy lines' colour scheme.

153373 & 153377 Ashchurch 26 June 2017

Another pseudo Class 155! 153373 & 153377 approach Ashchurch on 26 June 2017 with the 2F97 08:50 Great Malvern to Westbury GWR service. For some reason, the train had come to a complete stand just past the level crossing in the background, before moving off again after a few seconds.

153374 Lowdham 11 March 2017

153374 leaves Lowdham station on 11 March 2017 with the 2A30 10:47 Newark Castle to Matlock East Midlands Trains service. Even allowing for the fact that there are a couple of raised sections on the platforms, the painting of the yellow safety lines has been anything but straight!

153374 Kettleby 6 November 2017

153374 passes Kettleby on 6 November 2017 with the 2T30 09:20 Grimsby Town to Newark North Gate East Midlands Trains service. Kettleby is one of England's numerous deserted medieval villages, with little more left now than a couple of farms and some earthworks.

153377 Tredington 10 October 2008

153377 approaches Tredington level crossing on 10 October 2008 with the 2M98 12:26 Southampton Central to Worcester Foregate Street First Great Western service. This side view clearly shows the unusual FGW livery, with what appears from a distance to be a series of wavy lines. These are in fact made up of the names of various places served by the company. Certainly ingenious, and something that could never been done when liveries were purely applied in paint!

153377 & 153318 Thingley 19 June 2017

When the Class 155s were split into single units in 1991, it probably wasn't envisaged that the resultant Class 153 would works in pairs, as that would rather defeat the object of the conversion! However, in addition to the more common multiple working with two car Class 150s, the 153s do sometimes try to recreate their former lives by working as a pair. 153377 & 153318 pass Thingley on 19 June 2017 with the 2A99 07:06 Gloucester to Swindon (via Bristol) GWR service.

153379 Stenson Junction 4 November 2009

153379 seems to have suffered a paint attack, probably by some local vandals from a bridge. It is seen here passing Stenson Junction on 4 November 2009 with the late running 10:40 Derby to Crewe East Midlands Trains service. The unit is still in the garish green livery of its former operator Central Trains, albeit with the addition of East Midlands branding.

153379 Wickenby 14 December 2009

153379 passes Wickenby on 14 December 2009 with the 09:28 Grimsby Town to Newark Northgate East Midlands Train service. The unit is still carrying the former Central Trains livery, albeit with the removal of any signs of the former operator and a subtle new company branding. The house just visible by the line in the background marks the site of the former Wickenby station.

153381 Collingham 10 March 2011

An artistic view of 153381 leaving Collingham with the 2K35 13:02 Newark North Gate to Peterborough East Midlands Trains service on 10 March 2011. I wouldn't normally bother with backlit shots of units, but the inclusion of the weather beaten fence and signal makes for an interesting picture. An aperture of f22 was required on a 60mm to keep the whole lot in focus!