Class 156

156401 Sleaford North Junction 25 July 2009

156401 passes Sleaford North Junction with the 08:33 Peterborough to Lincoln Central East Midlands Trains service on 25 July 2009. The train has just traversed the sharply curved line on the right, the double track line on the left being the Sleaford by-pass line, which is little used by passenger trains. It is a pity there isn't a practical use for ragwort, as not only is there a bumper crop in the field in the background, but there was an even larger field of this pernicious weed just to the left of this picture!

156401 & 153385 Saxondale 27 May 2019

156401 & 153385 pass Saxondale on 27 May 2019 with the 2S13 10:45 Nottingham to Skegness East Midlands Trains service. The dark clouds in the background are a portent of what was to come. After arriving at the location during a sunny spell, the weather went rapidly downhill, and within ten minutes of taking this picture it was raining.

156402 Wilsford 1 September 2002

156402 passes Wilsford (between Ancaster and Sleaford) with the 11:25 Grantham to Skegness Central Trains service on 1 September 2002. Interestingly, the Great Northern Railway never provided a station at Wilsford, despite the railway skirting the edge of the village. A signal box was provided at the level crossing with the main road, a short distance to the east of this location.

156402 Reedham 26 May 2017

156402 arrives at Reedham on 26 May 2017 with the 2J79 13:48 Lowestoft to Norwich Greater Anglia service. The Lowestoft line turns sharply right underneath the bridge in the background, while the route to Great Yarmouth diverges to the left.

156402 Reedham 26 May 2017

There is plenty of vintage railway infrastructure visible in this view of 156402 arriving at Reedham on 26 May 2017, even down to the long disused loading gauge on the right of the picture. The train is the 2C23 15:17 Great Yarmouth to Norwich Greater Anglia service.

156402 Cossington 20 January 2020

156402 heads for its new home at Cossington on 20 January 2020, running as the 5Z56 09:15 Norwich Crown Point to Derby Etches Park ECS. It was moving from Greater Anglia to East Midlands Railway, which in this case hasn't involved much of a debranding, as the Great Anglia livery is just plain white, with red doors. The only change is the removal of the bodyside wording. I decided to take this going away shot, as the approaching view was horribly backlit.

156403 Cheltenham 4 August 1990

156403 approaches Cheltenham on 4 August 1990 with the late running 1V10 08:40 Nottingham to Cardiff Central Regional Railways service. Its been a long time since Class 156s regularly passed this spot. I haven't got that many pictures of 156s in this original livery, which is a pity, as it looks a lot better than certain later colour schemes!

156403 Annan 8 June 2007

Central Trains 156403 was on hire to First ScotRail on 8 June 2007, when it was pictured leaving Annan with the 12:03 Glasgow Central to Carlisle service. Caught in a very lucky patch of sun, with the rear of the train only just clear of the advancing cloud!

156403 & 156410 Ancaster 25 July 2009

156403 & 156410 speed through Ancaster station on 25 July 2009 with the 10:45 Nottingham to Skegness East Midlands Trains service. Ancaster retains plenty of vintage railway infrastructure, including traditional semaphore signaling. The old good shed on the right is now occupied by a bespoke furniture business.

156403 Barrow-upon-Soar 15 September 2012

156403 is slowing down for its next scheduled stop, at Barrow-upon-Soar on 15 September 2012, as it works the 2L60 10:36 Lincoln to Leicester East Midlands Trains service. A striking livery, but on the whole I prefer this unit's previous colour scheme.

156403 Saxondale 11 March 2022

156403 passes Saxondale on 11 March 2022 with the 2S06 08:18 Skegness to Nottingham East Midlands Railway service, just as the sun fades away into high cloud, as the bad weather moves up from the south of the country.

156404 Cossington 28 January 2008

While a flock of rooks scavenge for food in the stubble field, 156404 heads along the up relief line at Cossington on 28 January 2008 with the 10:36 Lincoln to Leicester East Midlands Trains service. Note that the former Central Trains logos and web address have been rather crudely painted out, and are beginning to show through in places.

156404 LOwdham 21 July 2014

156404 approaches Lowdham on 21 July 2014 with the 2L67 11:26 Leicester to Lincoln Central East Midlands Trains service. The slightly garish livery, featuring: yellow, red, orange and blue, certainly show up well on a dull day such as this!

156405 Elton & Orston 25 June 2008

A brief gap in the clouds allows some superb lighting at Elton & Orston station on 25 June 2008, as 156405 approaches the remote station with the 14:02 Skegness to Nottingham East Midlands Trains service. However, this was not one of the few trains to actually call at the station. The unit is wearing the striking new East Midlands livery. There is plenty of warning of approaching trains from both directions at this spot!

156406 Lowdham 28 July 2008

Lowdham station (between Newark and Nottingham) retains much period infrastructure, including semaphore signalling and a fine station house (now a private residence). These can clearly be seen in this view taken on 28 July 2008, which shows 156406 departing with the 12:31 Lincoln to Leicester East Midlands Trains service. The main Doncaster to Leicester road used to pass through the village and over the level crossing in this picture. This has long since been bypassed, which created this fine viewpoint from the new road bridge.

156406 Cossington 28 July 2008

156406 passes Cossington on 28 July 2008 with the 12:31 Lincoln to Leicester East Midlands Trains service. This side view shows off the extremely colourful livery, and makes an interesting comparison with 156404 pictured in exactly the same spot ironically exactly six months previously! I had already seen 156406 at Lowdham on the same service, and even driving at normal speed was still at Cossington well before it - so much for the speed of rail travel!

156406 Collingham 10 March 2011

In a lucky patch of sun (note the shaded bushes in the background), 156406 approaches Collingham on 10 March 2011 with the 2L64 12:30 Lincoln to Leicester East Midlands Trains service. The post just to the right of the rear of the train marks a footpath crossing, strangely with a pair of lichen covered walking boots nailed to the post!

156407 Water Orton 17 March 1989

156407 approaches Water Orton under a dramatic sky on 17 March 1989 with the 10:41 Birmingham New Street to Norwich service. At the time this was Regional Railway's latest acquisition, the Metro Cammel built units replacing various first generation DMUs on cross-country services. 156407 had entered service in May 1988, being built at the now demolished Washwood Heath works, only a few miles from where this picture was taken.

146407 Haughley Green 10 March 2007

The first Class 156 Sprinter that I have photographed in One Railways livery, 156407 passes Haughley Green with the 09:43 Cambridge to Ipswich service on 10 March 2007. After being basically dead straight since Bury St Edmunds, the line will shortly swing to the right to join the electrified Norwich to London line at Haughley Junction.

156407 Worstead 12 May 2008

The quaint station at Worstead, on the Norwich to Sheringham line could almost be on a preserved railway, such is its retention of period features and remarkable lack of modern fittings. During the middle of the day alternative trains stop at the station from the basically hourly service, this not being one of them. 156407 speeds through with the 2S19 14:46 Sheringham to Norwich National Express East Anglia service on 12 May 2008.

156407 Buckenham 26 May 2017

Late evening at Buckenham, near the River Yare in Norfolk. 156407 passes the little used platform of Buckenham station on 26 May 2017 with the 2J89 18:48 Lowestoft to Norwich Greater Anglia service. The meadows on the right form part of the RSPB Buckenham Marshes nature reserve, most famous as one of the few regular wintering grounds of the Bean Goose.

156408 & 158813 Great Hale 29 August 2007

With Heckington Windmill on the extreme left, and Heckington church on the right, 156408 & 158813 pass Great Hale with the 09:50 Nottingham to Skegness Central Trains service on 29 August 2007. At least five coaches is a respectable length train, as in recent years severe overcrowding has resulted from the use of two coach units on what is even today a popular holiday line.

156408 Barrow Upon Soar 12 September 2009

156408 slows down for its next stop at Barrow Upon Soar on 12 September 2009. It is working the 10:36 Lincoln to Leicester East Midlands Trains service. After the weather forecasters got it totally wrong by predicting a 'barbecue summer' for July and August, the weather finally improved in mid September with several days of excellent photographic weather.

156409 Acle 12 May 2008

156409 leaves Acle station on 12 May 2008 with the 2P17 13:17 Great Yarmouth to Norwich National Express East Anglia service. This unit is wearing the former One Railway livery, with the branding removed. Acle station retains a lot of period charm, with hardly any signs of modernisation. Semaphore signalling still being controlled from the diminutive signal box on the platform. The section of platform in the foreground is now not used by passengers and seems to have been taken over by rabbits!

156410 & 158786 Water Orton 2 April 1994

156410 & 158786 (both still in their respective original liveries) approach Water Orton on 2 April 1994 with the 08:10 Birmingham New Street to Skegness Regional Railways service. This view is no longer possible, as a medical centre has now been built on the piece of waste ground from which this picture was taken.

156410 Barton-under-Needwood 16 August 1997

156410 passes Barton-under-Needwood on 16 August 1997 with the 16:16 Nottingham to Shrewsbury Central Trains service. A huge new industrial estate now occupies the wasteland on the left of this picture. That, as well as the inevitable tree growth, has now ruined this location, but thankfully a new footbridge has been constructed near the brick lineside hut in the background.

156410 Allington 14 March 2016

156410 passes Allington Signal Box on 14 March 2016 with the 2S13 10:45 Nottingham to Skegness East Midlands Trains service. The signal box only dates from 2005, replacing the former Great Northern Railway Allington Junction box.

156410 Aslockton 14 March 2016

156410 slowly approaches Aslockton station on 14 March 2016 with the 2S16 13:15 Skegness to Nottingham East Midlands Trains service. The destination blind is obviously of no help, just as displaying Nottingham on the outward run was equally useless!

156411 Beeston 11 September 1990

156411 passes the former freightliner depot at Beeston on 11 September 1990 with the 06:55 Liverpool Lime Street to Norwich Regional Railways service, which has just reversed at Nottingham. The freightliner depot had closed a few years earlier, but the yard still exists as an engineer's base. The Midland Railway had originally installed extensive yards here, which also included their creosote works, used in the production of wooden sleepers.

156411 Moreton-in-Marsh 12 December 1992

156411 arrives at Moreton-in-Marsh station on 12 December 1992 with the14:35 Oxford to Great Malvern service. The massive crowd has been attracted by the unusual sight of a steam loco taking water in the down refuge siding. Ivatt Class 2 2-6-0 46521 can be seen in the background, waiting to follow the DMU, once that had reached Evesham. I have mentioned previously that Class 156s were not common on the Cotswold Line, and indeed this is one of the very few pictures I have of one on the line. However, that may be more to do with the fact that I was spending more time photographing further afield in the 1990-2 period, rather than concentrating on my home patch.

156413 Cossington 16 March 2020

Sometimes the simplest liveries are the best. 156413 looks smart in its plain blue EMR Regional livery, as it passes Cossington on 16 March 2020 with the 2L60 10:36 Lincoln Central to Leicester East Midlands Railway service. This vibrant blue colour scheme looks far better than the dark purple livery that EMR will eventually roll out across its fleet - when it can find the money!

156414 Claydon (Gloucestershire) 2 July 1991

Its been a long time since Class 156s regularly used this route. 156414 passes Claydon (Gloucestershire) on 2 July 1991 with the 1M16 19:03 Cardiff Central to Nottingham service. Up until the late 1990s there used to be a reasonably unobstructed view in both directions in the evening here. Unfortunately this is no longer the case for northbound trains.

156414 Barkby Thorpe 26 July 2008

156414 ambles along the bi-directional relief line at Barkby Thorpe on 26 July 2008 with the 08:32 Leicester to Lincoln East Midlands Trains service. HST & Meridian trains use the main lines on the right, while Class 156s share the bi-directional line with the infrequent freight services.

156414 & 158852 Rauceby 6 September 2012

Superb evening light at Rauceby on 6 September 2012 for this Class 156/158 combination, working the 2S24 17:30 Skegness to Nottingham East Midlands Trains service. 156414 & 158852 are the pairing on this occasion, sporting two different versions of EMT livery.

156414 Thurgarton 10 March 2018

156414 passes Thurgarton station at speed on 10 March 2018 with the 2L64 12:36 Lincoln Central to Leicester East Midlands Trains service. The impressive grade II listed station building is now a private house. The start of the down platform can just be seen next to the building. The up platform was formerly directly opposite, but now the platforms are staggered either side of level crossing.

156415 & 156422 Lowdham 23 June 2002

A pair of Central Trains Class 156s pass each other at Lowdham on 23 June 2002. 156415 pulls out of the station with the 17:10 Lincoln Central to Nuneaton service, while 156422 waits at the opposite platform with the 16:35 Nuneaton to Lincoln Central train. The signal box has since been closed, and has taken a short trip to the other side of the line! It was removed to a spot near the station building on the left in 2020, and is now open as a museum.

156416 Buckenham 26 May 2017

156416 passes the remote Buckenham station on 26 May 2017 with the 2C31 17:47 Great Yarmouth to Norwich Greater Anglia service. This request stop's platforms are widely separated, with the Great Yarmouth bound platform behind my viewpoint here, and the Norwich platform right at the end of the path on the right, underneath the trees.

156417 Magor 27 January 1996

There is a little snow on the ground at Magor on 27 January 1996, but a lot more stuck to the front of the 10:50 Cardiff Central to Nottingham Regional Railways service, as it sweeps round the curve on this bitterly cold morning. I am 90% sure that this is 156417, but as it is clearly impossible to read the front end number, I have had to identify it by scanning the bodyside number at 6400dpi. As this is only a 35mm Fujichrome slide, it took a bit of tweaking using a specialist Photoshop plugin to be reasonably certain of an identification!

156418 Three Horse Shoes 16 August 1988

Framed between the 1901 built signal box and the Great Eastern Railway goods shed, 156418 passes Three Horse Shoes on 16 August 1988 with the 11:46 Peterborough to Colchester Regional Railways service. Note that the barriers of the level crossing are already lifting in the background.

156418 Black Bank 20 May 1991

156418 speeds across the flat fenland landscape at Black Bank (between Ely and March) on 20 May 1991 with the 17:04 Norwich to Liverpool Lime Street Regional Railways service. I only made occasional visits to East Anglia in the 1980s & 1990s, but this particular unit seemed to follow me around!

156418 Haddiscoe 14 May 2019

156418 ESTA 1965-2015 passes Haddiscoe on 14 May 2019 with the 2J81 14:57 Lowestoft to Norwich Greater Anglia service. This is one of the few trains on the route that does not call at Haddiscoe station, which is situated at the end of the road on the right. The station is nowhere near the village it purports to serve. The white boat in the distance is at the point where the straight Haddiscoe New Cut joins the original course of the River Waveney.

156418 Postwick 14 May 2019

156418 ESTA 1965-2015 passes Postwick on 14 May 2019 with the 2J77 12:57 Lowestoft to Norwich Greater Anglia service. The unit is named in recognition of the East Suffolk Traveller's Association 50th anniversary.

156419 Droitwich 27 February 1999

156419 approaches Droitwich on 27 February 1999 with the 08:47 Birmingham New Street to Hereford Central Trains service. Unfortunately a huge radio mast has now completely ruined this well known viewpoint. This is a pity, as the semaphore signals still remain, and in fact a new one has appeared since this picture was taken.

156419 Moreton-in-Marsh 30 April 2000

The Cotswold Line Promotion Group ran a special train from Moreton-in-Marsh to Matlock on 30 April 2000. Named the 'Cotswold - Derwent Express' this brought the rare sight of a Class 156 unit to the Cotswold Line. 156419 arrives at Moreton-in-Marsh with the 5Z30 empty stock working from Worcester. It seems that a visit by the weedkilling train is long overdue!

156419 Barnetby 31 December 2001

156419 arrives at a snow covered Barnetby station on 31 December 2001 with the 11:32 Grimsby Town to Birmingham New Street Central Trains service, which if the destination blind is to be believed is only going as far as Lincoln, presumably due to New Year's Eve engineering works.

156419 Scropton 17 April 2004

156419 passes Scropton church on 17 April 2004 with the 08:45 Manchester Airport to Skegness Central Trains service. The railway runs through the middle of Scropton village, with two footpaths across the railway. One can be seen to the rear of the unit, and the picture is taken from the other one.

156419 Reedham Swing Bridge 26 May 2017

156419 crosses Reedham Swing Bridge on 26 May 2017 with the 2J65 07:35 Lowestoft to Norwich Greater Anglia service. Coincidentally, just eight minutes later it was followed by another 419, this time the much more interesting 37419, working the 2J67 07:47 Lowestoft to Norwich.

156419 Buckenham 14 May 2019

156419 approaches Buckenham on 14 May 2019 with the 2J64 06:45 Norwich to Lowestoft Greater Anglia service. This picture clearly demonstrates the impracticality of white as a railway livery! It's odd that the front vehicle is far dirtier than the rear one.

156419 Reedham 14 May 2019

156419 traverses the sharp reverse curves at Reedham on 14 May 2019 with the 2J65 07:35 Lowestoft to Norwich Greater Anglia service. Reedham Swing Bridge can be seen in the background. The gorse bushes in the foreground mark the site of a chord line connecting the Lowestoft  line to the Great Yarmouth route. If you think railway closures are all down to Beeching or BR, think again, as this line was closed in the 1880s!

156422 Marshfield 4 November 1989

156422 passes Marshfield in crisp autumnal light on 4 November 1989 with the 2V10 10:02 Birmingham New Street to Cardiff Central Regional Railways service. I have deliberately chosen a more head and off centre viewpoint, in order to include the industrial background, contrasting with what is otherwise a very rural view.

156422 Sloley 12 May 2008

156422 passes Sloley on 12 May 2008 with the 2S17 13:46 Sheringham to Norwich National Express East Anglia service. Not a particularly inspiring location, but one of the few completely open stretches of the southern end of the 'Bittern Line'. This picture is taken from the field adjacent to the isolated St Bartholomew's church.

156426 Warton 9 June 2005

Plain blue liveried 156426 passes Warton on 9 June 2005 with the 12:56 Barrow-n-Furness to Lancaster Northern Rail service. Four Class 156s received this minimalist livery in 2004, as they were undergoing refurbishment at Wabtec, Doncaster at the time the franchise was changing from First North Western. Pending the new operator's decision on a colour scheme, a plain blue (based on the First Group base colour) was an expedient choice.

156427 Old Denaby 10 May 2007

156427 passes Old Denaby on 10 May 2007 with the 10:25 Sheffield to Scunthorpe Northern Trains service. It has just called at Mexborough station, which can just be seen in the background. This photo is taken from a footbridge, although strangely there is also a public footpath crossing next to it, which most local people prefer to use.

156432 Barrhill 9 June 2007

156432 heads south through the remote countryside near Barrhill with the 09:10 Kilmarnock to Stranraer First ScotRail service on 9 June 2007, running approximately 40 minutes late. I had gone to this location to photograph the Class 40 on the SRPS railtour, but as can be seen here the sun had not quite gone round far enough to be on the front of the train, so as soon as this unit had passed I made my way to the top of the cutting seen in the background for a better angle for the light.

156432 Powfoot 6 May 2008

156432 passes Powfoot on 6 May 2008 with the 13:09 Carlisle to Glasgow Central First ScotRail service. Powfoot is situated on the two and half mile straight section of track to the west of Annan. Note the two pieces of steam age railwayana either side of the leading coach. The 104 milepost (from Glasgow) on the left and the gradient post on the right. The train service on this line is principally composed of Carlisle to Glasgow services, such as this one, with a few additional Carlisle to Dumfries trains, and two daily Newcastle to Stranraer trains (one in the opposite direction).

156434 Cample 8 June 2007

The Strathclyde Partnership livery applied to numerous First ScotRail Class 156s is virtually a direct copy of the 1950s British Railways carmine and cream livery, and in my opinion suits them very well. It is particularly seen to advantage here, as 156434 heads north past Cample with the 17:13 Newcastle to Stranraer service on 8 June 2007.

156434 Eastriggs 8 June 2007

With the former station building on the left, 156434 passes the site of Eastriggs station on 8 June 2007 with the 10:00 Stranraer to Newcastle First ScotRail service. This was the only though train of the day between Stranraer and Newcastle. Work is underway to redouble the track between Annan and Gretna.

156434 & 156510 Closeburn 9 June 2007

156434 & 156510 pass Closeburn on 9 June 2007 with the 06:40 Girvan to Newcastle service, the first train of the day on this section of line. Although I also photographed a southbound coal train at this location, I find this picture of a pair of carmine and cream livery units which are unique to the area more interesting than the EWS Class 66 on HTAs which are commonplace in many parts of the country. A strange situation when a humble DMU is more noteworthy than a freight train!

156436 County March Summit 28 April 1998

With Beinn Dorian forming an impressive backdrop, 156436 climbs towards County March Summit with the 10:30 Mallaig to Glasgow Queen Street ScotRail service on 28 April 1998. A two coach unit can look a little insignificant in a normal landscape setting, but in this case the head on angle of view and low viewpoint with the mountain towering over the central positioned train create a really impressive composition. Also for once the fleeting Scottish sun was out at the critical moment!

156437 Tulloch 11 April 2000

156437 crosses the bridge over the River Speen on the approach to Tulloch station with the 12:42 Glasgow Queen Street to Mallaig ScotRail service on 11 April 2000. It was a generally cloudy day, but luckily just as the train approached the sun came out just enough to highlight the ex-works Strathclyde PTE carmine & cream livery.

156438 Sherrington 6 May 1989

156438 rounds the curve at Sherrington with the 15:10 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central service on 6 May 1989. 156438 was a mere seven months old when this picture was taken and clearly shows the class's original livery complete with generic 'Sprinter' name and logo.

156439 Powfoot 6 May 2008

156439 passes Powfoot (near Annan) with the 12:03 Glasgow Central to Carlisle First ScotRail service on 6 May 2008. Although a sunny day, in southern Scotland there was a layer of misty high cloud that not only reduced the distant visibility, but also completely flattened the lighting. Note the very weak shadows here.

156440 Horfield 13 March 1989

156440 passes Horfield on 13 March 1989 with the 2O97 05:47 Milford Haven to Brighton Regional Railways service. That is a mammoth test of endurance for anyone doing the complete journey! This view has now completely changed, with the four tracks reinstated, and the removal of the gas holders.

156441 Sandycroft 30 December 2000

156441 passes through the snowy landscape near Sandycroft on 30 December 2000, as it works the 11:42 Llandudno to Manchester Piccadilly First North Western service. At this stage, the new franchise operator had just replaced the DMU's former Regional Railways light blue stripe with a green one.

156444 Goole 11 October 2004

156444 approaches Goole on 11 October 2004 with the 09:46 Doncaster to Hull Arriva Trains Northern service. In the background is Potters Grange Junction, and on the left is the track leading off into Goole Docks.

156445 Glenfinnan 24 October 1998

In typical rainy West Highland weather conditions 156445 enters Glenfinnan station with the 08:12 Glasgow Queen Street to Mallaig ScotRail service on 24 October 1998. A fine display of autumn colours sets off the neatly preserved signal box, which has not been used since 1986 when RETB (Radio Electronic Token Block) signaling was introduced to the highlands.

156445 County March Summit 31 August 2016

156445 approaches County March Summit in the rain on 31 August 2016 with the 1Y42 06:03 Mallaig to Glasgow Queen Street ScotRail service. In the foreground the Aquarius Railroad Technologies Land Rover roadrailer track inspection vehicle has just arrived back from a brief trip up the line towards Tyndrum. Just after 156445 cleared the section, it went back into rail mode and headed off in the opposite direction, towards Bridge of Orchy.

156446 Fort William Junction 8 March 2023

Golden evening light at Fort William Junction on 8 March 2023. 156446 passes the 1894 built signal box with the 1Y48 16:05 Mallaig to Glasgow Queen Street ScotRail service. The box, which was originally called Mallaig Junction, is now the only operational mechanical signal box on the West Highland route.

156447 Achallader 20 July 1997

156447 negotiates the reverse curves at Achallader on 20 July 1997 with the 16:10 Mallaig to Glasgow Queen Street service. As this was a Sunday, this was the only southbound train of the day from Mallaig. Beinn Achaladair in the background rises to a height of 3,406 ft.

156447 & 156492 Glen Falloch 21 July 1997

156447 & 156492 emerge from the bushes and cross one of the many small bridges in Glen Falloch whilst working the 08:12 Glasgow Queen Street to Oban and Mallaig 'Lord of the Isles' service on 21 July 1997. A few miles from this location, at Crianlarich, the two units will split, with 156447 going on to Oban, and 156492 taking the longer route to Mallaig. At this time the ScotRail branding seems to have been confined to a discrete flash logo below the left hand window. Logos are not so subtle nowadays!

156447 & 156492 Loch Eilt 11 June 2005

156447 & 156492 pass the western end of Loch Eilt on 11 June 2005 with the 08:21 Glasgow Queen Street to Mallaig ScotRail service. There are just four scheduled trains on this route on a weekday, and one of those runs in the dark!

156448 Milford Junction 25 March 2006

156448 passes Milford Junction on 25 March 2006 with the 09:29 Sheffield to York Northern Rail service. This location sees very few passenger trains, the area being dominated by freight workings, as can be seen in the background.

156449 Achallader 28 April 1998

156449 passes Achallader on 28 April 1998 with the 08:12 Glasgow Queen Street to Mallaig ScotRail service. This train would have been a pair of Class 156s units as far as Crianlarich, where the train was spilt, with the other unit proceeding on to Oban.

156449 Spean Bridge 24 October 1998

Autumn colour in the Highlands on 24 October 1998. 156449 arrives at Spean Bridge station with the 12:42 Glasgow Queen Street to Mallaig ScotRail service. The 1949 built signal box had been made redundant in 1988 with the advent of Radio Electronic Token Block signalling.

156452 Eckington 19 June 1989

Class 156s are no longer to be regularly seen at this location. On 19 June 1989 things were different, and 156452 crosses the River Avon at Eckington with the 17:04 Cardiff Central to Birmingham New Street Regional Railways service. Two decades later, Class 150, 153, 158 & 170 are the normal traction on local services on the route.

156452 Whittlsea 20 May 1991

156452 approaches Whittlesea on 20 May 1991 with the 07:53 Liverpool Lime Street to Cambridge Regional Railways service. The unit has just crossed over the Briggate River, one of  numerous waterways that drain the flat Fenland landscape.

156452 Whittlesea 20 May 1991

156452 passes the 1887 built Great Eastern Railway Whittlesea signal box on 20 May 1991, as it speeds westwards with the 13:17 Cambridge to Birmingham New Street Regional Railways service. The old loading dock makes a convenient photographic vantage point. Unfortunately I have very few pictures of the Class 31s that operated these trains until the arrival of the Sprinters, although a 156 in this livery looks quite historic now!

156452 Kingham 12 April 1992

It is 16:15 on Sunday 12 April 1992, and the first two trains of the day on the Cotswold Line meet each other at Kingham station. It is unthinkable now that the Sunday service did not start until so late in the afternoon. While 43139 waits with the 1B32 14:40 Paddington to Great Malvern service, 156452 approaches with the 2A65 15:10 Great Malvern to Oxford train. Not only the traction has changed in this view, as the traveller's camp in the background is now an industrial unit, and an extended car park has replaced the remains of the bay platform on the left. Gone too is the vintage bullhead track.

156452 Garstang 16 May 2002

156452 passes Garstang on 16 May 2002 with the 16:58 Barrow-in-Furness to Manchester Airport First North Western service. This is one of the few pictures I have of the modified Provincial Railways livery that was applied to the small fleet of Class 156s refurbished by North West Regional Railways in the late 1990s. Unfortunately due to the overhead wires, this location has a very restricted view of northbound trains, hence this going away shot of a southbound working.

156453 Dalmally 11 April 2000

156453 arrives at Dalmally on 11 April 2000 with the 12:35 Oban to Glasgow Queen Street ScotRail service. A cold dull day with some snow visible on the mountains in the background. Note the tall road overbridge at the end of the loop and the sudden change of gradient as the line heads towards Loch Awe and Oban. The Oban line has just three trains in each direction on weekdays and Saturdays (this is the middle one) and only two on Sundays.

156454 Hexham 14 September 1996

156454 leaves Hexham station on 14 September 1996 with the 10:35 Carlisle to Middlesbrough service. A fine North Eastern Railway footbridge and original station canopies are dominated by the ridiculously tall semaphore signal, which is made to look even more out of scale, when compared with the truncated version on the left! As with most stations on the Tyne Valley Line there is plenty of steam age character here, although I don't think the loading platform on the left has seen a train for many years!

156454 Dent 6 September 2004

Arriva Trains liveried 156454 approaches Dent with the 08:58 Carlisle to Leeds service on 6 September 2004. Dent is the highest mainline station in England and as can be expected is no stranger to bad weather. Despite the presence of snow fences at the top of this cutting, the line here has been blocked on numerous occasions. particularly during the severe winter of 1947.

156457 & 153305 Oban 8 March 2023

156457 & 153305 stand in Oban station on 8 March 2023, prior to working the 1Y26 14:41 ScotRail service to Glasgow Queen Street. McCaig's Tower dominates the background. This unmistakable circular folly was built between 1897 and 1902 by local banker John Stuart McCaig. Although unlike most of the UK, there was no snow in this part of Scotland, the temperature was not far off freezing, which explains why the platform is covered in salt.

156458 Strathcarron 22 July 1997

With the dramatic Faur Tholl (2,976 ft) rising up in the background, 156458 enters Strathcarron station on 22 July 1997 with the 10:45 Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh ScotRail service. Just three trains a day in each direction called at this remote Scottish station in 1997. This has now been increased to four.

156458 Fort William Junction 6 October 2007

On a typically dull and drizzly West Highland day, 156458 passes the diminutive oil depot at Fort William Junction, as it starts out on its journey across the mountains and moors with the 1Y53 08:30 Fort William to Mallaig ScotRail service. 6 October 2007. As this is the first train of the day it originates from Fort William, rather than Glasgow.

156461 Stoke Orchard 14 March 1990

156461 passes Stoke Orchard on 14 March 1990 with the 2V20 14:02 Birmingham New Street to Cardiff Central Regional Railways service. Class 156s no longer regularly operate on this line. This unit is wearing the class's original stylish livery, and is sporting 'Super Sprinter' branding, although what made them super compared with the ones that just had 'Sprinter' branding is not clear!

156461 Barmoor Clough Tunnel 9 June 2018

156461 emerges from Barmoor Clough Tunnel (near Dove Holes) on 9 June 2018 with the 2B14 11:11 Manchester Piccadilly to Buxton Northern service. This viewpoint clearly shows just how short this tunnel is (110 yards).

156463 Pilning 13 March 1989

156463 brings up the rear of the 2V61 09:07 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central Regional Railways service at Pilning on 13 March 1989. The train is descending the 1 in 100 gradient towards the Severn Tunnel. The entrance to what was at this time the UK's longest mainline tunnel (London Underground excepted) is hidden by one of the UK's shortest tunnels, the 97 yard long Ableton Lane Tunnel. Ableton Lane now only survives as truncated sections of road on either side, and the A403 takes its place across the top of the short tunnel.

156466 Ellesmere Port 11 March 2014

156466 passes one of the few remaining semaphore signals in the Merseyside area, as it approaches Ellesmere Port station on 11 March 2014 with the 2F14 15:17 Helsby to Ellesmere Port Northern Rail service, a journey of a little over five miles.

156467 Marshfield 5 June 1989

For the first couple of years of Class 156 operations, the units often worked quite lengthy journeys, most of which were then taken over by Class 158s, as they became available. 156467 passes Marshfield on 5 June 1989 with the 1M70 08:03 Cardiff Central to Manchester Piccadilly Regional Railways service. This used to be my default location for photography when visiting South Wales. No point in going now of course, because this view has been lost under a mass of 25kV wiring.

156468 Goole (Potters Grange Junction) 12 April 1997

Dramatic lighting at Goole on 12 April 1997, as 156468 passes Potters Grange Junction with the 15:44 Hull to Sheffield Regional Railways North East service. Clearly the area just to the north is under some serious cloud, but luckily the sun stayed out just long enough for the picture, although with the cloud approaching the sun, the unit's short wait in the station seemed interminable!

156468 Church Fenton 31 March 2004

Not a single passenger awaits the arrival of 156468 as it prepares to stop at Church Fenton station on 31 March 2004. It is working the 15:09 York to Blackpool North Arriva Trains Northern service, although there seems to be some confusion as to which resort (or indeed coast) it is going to, as the destination blind is showing Scarborough! I suppose there wouldn't be much demand to visit either resort this early in the year!

156470 Goole 24 November 1996

Goole station on the damp afternoon of 24 November 1996. 156470 calls for just a few passengers, as it works the 12:56 Hull to Sheffield Regional Railways service. Although the ornate platform canopies still exists, unfortunately the brick built station building visible on the left does not. Goole's twin landmark water towers dominate the background. Class 156s are no longer an everyday sight at Goole, with Class 158s now predominating.

156470 & 156472 Haw Bank Tunnel 7 September 1997

A pair of Class 156s in unfamiliar surroundings. 156470 & 156472 emerge from Haw Bank Tunnel, near Skipton on 7 September 1997 with the Aire Valley Railtours 2Z20 12:20 Skipton to Rylstone 'Craven Dalesman' railtour, run in connection with the Skipton 150 celebrations. The pair returned later as the 13:10 Rylstone to Skipton, and then completed two more round trips.

156470 Goole 13 March 1999

156470 crosses Boothferry Road, as it leaves Goole station on 13 March 1999 with the 10:08 Bridlington to Sheffield Arriva Trains Northern service. Despite privatisation, the unit is still wearing its decade old original livery (complete with 'Super Sprinter' branding).

156470 Smardale 3 September 2005

156470 leads an unidentified classmate across Smardale Viaduct on 3 September 2005 with the 10:49 Leeds to Carlisle Arriva Trains Northern service. The viaduct spans the valley of the wonderfully named Scandal Beck.

156470 & 158773 Saxondale 16 July 2022

A Class 156/158 pairing at Saxondale on 16 July 2022. 156470 & 158773 head west with the 2S12 11:15 Skegness to Nottingham East Midlands Railway service. The combination also displays the difference between the old and new colour schemes.

156472 & 156470 Rylstone 7 September 1997

Class 156 railtours are not a very frequent occurrence, but on 7 September 1997 a pair of these units were used on the normally freight only Rylstone branch in connection with the Skipton 150 celebrations. With Rylstone Quarry in the background, 156472 leads 156470 with the Aire Valley Railtours 2Z20 'Craven Dalesman', now running as the 13:10 Rylstone to Skipton, having worked in as the 12:20 Skipton to Rylstone. Unfortunately the heavy cloud cover didn't disperse till well after the train had gone.

156472 Sherburn-in-Elmet 8 December 2001

156472 arrives at Sherburn-in-Elmet station on 8 December 2001 with the 09:00 Selby to York Northern Spirit service. I would not normally bother with a going away picture, but the low winter sun makes it worthwhile, and of course anything approaching from the 'correct' direction would be partly in shadow.

156473 Bleasby 6 November 2018

A brief burst of weak sunshine amid the dark clouds shows up the superb autumn colours at Bleasby station on 6 November 2018. 156473 passes one the staggered platforms with the 2L63 09:30 Leicester to Lincoln Central East Midlands Trains service.

156473 Sutton Bonington 12 December 2020

Graffiti covered 156473 passes Sutton Bonington on 12 December 2020 with the 2L60 10:36 Lincoln Central to Leicester East Midlands Railway service. There are five bridges crossing the line in the village of Sutton Bonington, although the two visible in the background have no public access.

156474 & 156462 Rannoch 4 September 2000

156474 & 156462 arrive at Rannoch station with the 10:30 Mallaig to Glasgow Queen Street ScotRail service on 4 September 2000. This train will be combined with the 12:35 service from Oban at Grianlarich and will therefore go forward as a six car formation. Prominent on the right of the picture is the memorial to J. A. Renton, a director of the West Highland Railway. During times of economic difficulty whilst the line was being built he personally provided extra money for the project in order to get the line completed. The navvies responding by providing this memorial.

156474 County March Summit 23 June 2013

Dark clouds hang over Beinn Dorain, as 156474 rounds the curve at County March Summit on 23 June 2013 with the 1Y48 16:05 Mallaig to Glasgow Queen Street ScotRail service. This unit appears to have been in some kind of collision, with the damage being repaired with lots of brown packaging tape! Note the tatty remains of this makeshift repair on the left leading edge of the cab.

156474 Dalrigh 24 June 2013

156474 fleetingly emerges from the bushes, to cross the viaduct over the River Cononish at Dalrigh on 24 June 2013. It is working (along with another unit hidden by the vegetation) the 1Y24 12:56 Oban to Glasgow Queen Street ScotRail service. Note the amount of strengthening that both the piers and the arches of the viaduct have received.

156474 Fort William Junction 7 March 2023

A five day holiday in Scotland from 6 March to 10 March 2023 amazingly coincided with several days of almost unbroken sunshine. The exception was Tuesday 7 March, which saw two heavy snow showers. 156474 passes Fort William Junction in blizzard conditions with the 1Y43 12:22 Glasgow Queen Street to Mallaig ScotRail service. Five minutes later the sun was out!

156476 Fort William Junction 7 March 2023

156476 passes Fort William Junction on 7 March 2023 with the 1Y44 10:10 Mallaig and Oban to Glasgow Queen Street ScotRail service. Having brought in the 1Y11 20:27 Euston to Fort William Caledonian sleeper, 73969 is spending the day in the oil terminal siding, prior to heading back to Edinburgh with the 1B01 19:50 Fort William to London Euston Caledonian sleeper.

156477 Kinloid 6 October 2001

156477 passes Kinloid on 6 October 2001 with the 1Y53 08:45 Fort William to Mallaig ScotRail service. Although the island of Eigg can just be seen through the mist, the nearby island of Rum (on the right) is almost invisible.

156478 Allandale 19 September 2002

After coming to a stand, not at, but just past the signal in the background, 156478 slowly gets under way again at Allandale on 19 September 2002 with the 14:59 Falkirk Grahamston to Glasgow Queen Street ScotRail service. This line, between Greenhill Lower Junction and Cumbernauld, was electrified in 2018.

156479 Aisgill 6 September 2004

156479 passes Aisgill on the bleak Settle to Carlisle line with the 12:49 Leeds to Carlisle Arriva Trains Northern service on 6 September 2004. The road that parallels the railway between Garsdale and Kirkby Stephen can be seen in the background.

156481 Goole 5 July 1997

156481 approaches Goole on 5 July 1997 with the 08:48 Sheffield to Hull Arriva Trains Northern service. In the background is Potters Grange Junction, where the Knottingley line diverges to the right. The sidings on the left are for traffic to the docks, the connecting line to which can be seen diverging from the left hand siding. In the background is the A161 roadbridge, which is effectively the Goole bypass, and the only practical road access from Goole to Old Goole if there is a problem with the level crossing in the centre of the town.

156481 Kilnhurst 27 December 2003

156481 passes Kilnhurst with an Arriva Trains Northern service to Manchester Piccadilly on 27 December 2003. This area has seen considerable change in the passenger service operators during the last few years. Formerly Northern Spirit, then Arriva Trains Northern, followed by Northern Rail. At least they have a strong regional identity! Note the Class 158 with a Trans Pennine service waiting to leave Swinton station in the background.

156482 Goole Bridge 24 May 2001

156482 crosses the swing bridge over the River Ouse at Goole on 24 May 2001 with the 13:08 Bridlington to Sheffield Northern Spirit service. The bridge was opened by the North Eastern Railway in 1869, and despite the obvious protection seen here, has been damaged by a number of ship collisions over the years.

156484 Ruskington 3 September 1993

Watched over by a solitary Wood Pigeon from on top of one of the station lamps, 156484 leaves Ruskington station on 3 September 1993 with the 11:51 Peterborough to Lincoln Central Regional Railways service. The station has certainly suffered at the hands of the 'modernisers', but the telegraph pole in the undergrowth acts as a reminder of the steam age.

156488 Goole 15 November 1997

A damp day at Goole on 15 November 1997. 156488 arrives at the station with the 08:48 Sheffield to Hull service. Luckily the canopies and the row of columns on the far right still survive, but unfortunately the brick built station building on the left was demolished in 2000.

156488 Hatfield & Stainforth 15 March 2007

Not much room for error here! Perfectly framed between the footbridge's lampposts, 156488 arrives at Hatfield & Stainforth station on 15 March 2007 with the 2C29 09:00 Beverley to Doncaster Northern Rail service. Hatfield Colliery dominates the background.

156489 Calderbrook 26 August 2005

156489 passes underneath the small aqueduct at Calderbrook in the pouring rain on 26 August 2005 with the 08:54 Manchester Victoria to Leeds Northern Rail service. It is just about to enter the 2,885 yard long Summit Tunnel.

156490 Hatfield & Stainforth 15 March 2007

156490 pulls slowly away from Hatfield & Stainforth station on 15 March 2007 with the 10:22 Hull to Doncaster Northern Rail service. Note the recently constructed footbridge in the background, replacing the one familiar to generations of railway photographers.

156491 Goole (Potters Grange Junction) 7 February 1998

Goole's two distinctive water towers dominated the scene at Potters Grange Junction on 7 February 1998, as 156491 accelerates way from the station with the 10:45 Hull to Sheffield Regional Railways North East service. 56133 can be seen in the background, preparing to rejoin the mainline after having fetched a couple of steel wagons from Goole Docks. It would depart as the 6J50 11:34 Goole Docks to Rotherham

156491 Goole 12 September 1998

The town of Goole is effectively divided into two by the level crossing next to the station, and although a bypass to the south of the town means that the blockage isn't total when the barriers go down, it is still a major inconvenience to local traffic. On 12 September 1998, 156491 pulls out of the station and over the offending level crossing with the 15:44 Hull to Sheffield service.

156492 Oban 6 October 2007

156492 leaves Oban in the rain on 6 October 2007 with the 12:11 ScotRail service to Glasgow Queen Street. Waiting in the siding is 37248 with the stock for the 1Z74 16:45 Oban to Dundee SRPS railtour. This would leave behind the even more impressive 55022 Royal Scots Grey.

156497 Newbiggin 16 September 1995

156497 approaches the site of Newbiggin station, on the Settle & Carlisle line with the 12:00 Carlisle to Leeds service on 16 September 1995. Newbiggin station (or New Biggin as the Midland Railway erroneously called it) was closed along with several other of the smaller stations on the line in 1970. The amber signal is protecting Culgaith level crossing.

156497 Althorpe 23 May 2001

156497 arrives at Althorpe station on 23 May 2001 with the 19:15 Scunthorpe to Doncaster Arriva Trains Northern service. This evening picture gives a clear view of the combined road and rail bridge over the River Trent. Note the advert in the background for the now defunct technology retailer,

156498 Rise Hill Tunnel 6 September 2004

Arriva Trains liveried 156498 has just emerged from Rise Hill Tunnel on 6 September 2004 with the 11:51 Carlisle to Leeds service, and is about to stop at Dent station, the highest station on the national network. Note the conifer plantation behind the train which has completely transformed this location in the last few years.

156498 Bottesford 6 September 2012

156498 approaches Bottesford station at speed on 6 September 2012 with the 2S19 13:45 Nottingham to Skegness East Midlands Trains service. The level crossing is purely a farm occupation one, giving access to fields on Beacon Hill.

156500 Oban 8 March 2023

156500 arrives at Oban station on 8 March 2023 with the 1Y21 08:21 Glasgow Queen Street to Oban ScotRail service. Although I wanted a picture of the train entering the station, there was a much more photogenic view when I turned around.

156500 Oban 8 March 2023

156500 arrives at Oban station on 8 March 2023 with the 1Y21 08:21 Glasgow Queen Street to Oban ScotRail service. The unmistakable outline of McCaig's Tower domines the background. The 206 feet diameter, 94 arch folly was constructed by John Stuart McCaig between 1897 and 1902.

156500 Oban 8 March 2023

How to avoid the snow - travel to Scotland! While much of northern England was covered in heavy snow on 8 March 2023, and even back home in Oxfordshire it was dull with snow showers, on the west coast of Scotland there was unbroken sunshine. Although being on an organised coach trip severely restricted any railway photography, I did managed to get a few pictures in the unexpected good weather. 156500 is pictured leaving Oban with the 1Y24 12:11 Oban to Glasgow Queen Street ScotRail service. The raised bow and red funnel of the Caledonian MacBrayne car ferry MV Isle of Mull can be seen on the right.

156501 Cample 6 September 2000

156501 passes Cample on 6 September 2000 with the 13:03 Glasgow Central to Carlisle ScotRail service. This picturesque location, between Sanquhar and Dumfries, has the Lowther Hills has a backdrop. On this occasion, as can be seen from the lineside trees, there was a howling gale blowing in from the west.

156505 Eastriggs 8 June 2007

156505 approaches the site of Eastriggs station on 8 June 2007 with the 13:09 Carlisle to Glasgow Central First ScotRail service. The earthworks are in connection with reinstating the double track between Gretna and Annan to increase capacity for extra freight traffic. Obviously modern health and safety rules require the temporary fencing, just in case the workers don't realise there is a operational line just next door to where they are working!

156505 Cample 8 June 2007

156505 ambles past Cample with the late running 15:48 Glasgow Central to Newcastle service on 8 June 2007. During several hours spent at this location there were several southbound coal trains, but they all conspired to come when the sun was in! This seems to be one of the few locations on the line that is both reasonably free of vegetation and has an unrestricted view of the mountains in the background.

156508 Plean 27 April 1998

156508 passes Plean with the 16:52 Glasgow Queen Street to Perth ScotRail service on 27 April 1998. The fifteenth century Plean Castle can just be seem above the left hand side of the bridge, while the town of Stenhousemuir can be seen in the distance.

156508 Metal Bridge 17 May 2002

156508 crosses the River Esk at Metal Bridge on 17 May 2002 with the 10:00 Stranraer to Newcastle ScotRail service. The small hamlet of Metal Bridge (basically just the Metal Bridge Inn and a few houses) is not named after this bridge, or indeed the nearby road bridge. It takes its name from Thomas Telford's 1820 bridge, which was replaced by a concrete structure in 1916. Funnily enough the local residents didn't change the name of the settlement to Concrete Bridge!

156508 Newbie 6 May 2008

156508 passes Newbie (near Annan) with the 10:00 Stranraer to Newcastle First ScotRail service on 6 May 2008. This is the only through working of the day over this route. The inclusion of the road on the left (which leads to an agricultural contractors) neatly balances the photographic composition, although it's a pity those gorse bushes in the background weren't a bit closer to break up the monotony of a green landscape!

156510 Cample 8 June 2007

On a fine summer evening, with the Scottish Lowland Hills in the background, 156510 passes Cample with the 17:30 Glasgow Central to Carlisle ScotRail service. Just the right sized gap to get a two coach train in, otherwise the elder bush would be a nuisance rather than a photographic prop! 8 June 2007.

156511 Annan 8 June 2007

156511 approaches Annan with the 12:39 Newcastle to Stranraer service on 8 June 2007. Note the extensive earthworks in connection with the re-instatement of the double track. The section of single track between Gretna and Annan is a considerable operational bottleneck, especially with the increase in coal traffic from the Ayr district.

156907 Long Marston 3 April 2023

Off lease former East Midlands Railway 156907 stands at the gates of the Long Marston storage facility on 3 April 2023, after arriving with the 5Q95 08:59 ECS from Derby Etches Park. Despite the fact that this was pre-arranged, it had to wait at the gates for some considerable time, before someone came to let it in!

156917 Saxondale 11 March 2022

156917 passes Saxondale on 11 March 2022 with the 2S11 09:50 Nottingham to Skegness East Midlands Railway service. The Class 156/9 subclass indicates units that have a modified passenger information system fitted.

156922 Sutton Bonington 12 December 2020

Christmas is coming, so Network Rail have planted a Christmas tree between the main and relief lines at Sutton Bonington! 156922 passes the unintentional seasonal vegetation on 12 December 2020, as it heads south with the 2L56 08:37 Lincoln Central to Leicester East Midlands Railway service.

156922 Sutton Bonington 12 December 2020

The larch trees at Sutton Bonington add a splash of autumn colour to the scene, as 156922 passes by in the rain on 12 December 2020 with the 2L65 10:26 Leicester to Lincoln Central East Midland Railway service.