Class 159

159003 Oborne 26 March 1994

159003 round the curve at Oborne (on the approach to Sherborne) with the 08:35 Waterloo to Exeter St Davids Network SouthEast service on 26 March 1994. Although the NSE livery now makes this picture historic, I certainly didn't travel down to the west country for a 159 unit, but was at this location for the '50 Terminator' railtour.

159003 Lower Wyke 22 May 2010

A location that unfortunately was not very good for photography in the early 1990s, during the last days of the Class 50s on the West of England line, was the deep cutting at Lower Wyke (near Andover). However, a massive tree clearance operation has opened up the view, but of course now the only thing to photograph is the procession of Class 159 units. So here is one (159003) passing the site with the 1L34 10:45 Salisbury to Waterloo South West Trains service on 22 May 2010.

159004 Ashchurch 9 August 2014

159004 is well away from its home territory, as it approaches Ashchurch on 9 August 2014 with the 1O99 10:46 Great Malvern to Brighton First Great Western service. FGW have been hiring in South West Trains 158s for a number of years, but the Summer 2014 timetable sees this working, and the inward 2E17 07:23 Warminster to Great Malvern train worked by 159s, bringing a new variety of traction to the Cheltenham area.

159008 & 3489 Potbridge 30 December 1994

Diesel passes electric in the rain at Potbridge on 30 December 1994. 159008 with an unidentified classmate head west with the 09:35 Gillingham Network SouthEast service, while Class 423 4-VEP 3489 brings up the rear of the 10:05 Basingstoke to Waterloo train. With the frequency of trains on this stretch of line this kind of passing shot is fairly easy to obtain, although in this case the timing is spot on. However, what makes this noteworthy is that 3489 is incorrectly showing a white light on the rear of the train, almost giving the impression, at first sight, that both trains are travelling in the same direction!

159010 & 159019 Potbridge 2 January 2010

159010 & 159019 speed past Potbridge on 2 January 2010 with the 13:20 Waterloo to Exeter St Davids South West Trains service. Nearly two decades before I was photographing Class 50s on these trains, but I don't ever remember seeing a woman train driver in those days!

159015 Crewkerne 8 October 1994

Once the Class 50s were withdrawn from the West of England line in 1992, my once frequent visits to the route virtually stopped overnight. However, I did call in at Crewkerne on 8 October 1994 and saw 159015 arrive with the 12:35 Waterloo to Exeter St Davids Network SouthEast service. The signal box and goods shed in the background are no longer in railway use, but the impressive 1859 built London & South Western Railway station building is assured a secure future as it is grade 2 listed.

159016 & 159104 Potbridge 5 December 2007

I arrived at Potbridge (between Woking and Basingstoke) on 5 December 2007 just as the rain was clearing, so quickly grabbed this picture from the north side of the line before the sun came out. The rain clouds are still visible in the background as 159016 & 159104 speed by with the 10:50 Waterloo to Salisbury South West Trains service.

159016 & 159018 Lower Wyke 22 May 2010

159016 & 159018 pass Lower Wyke on 22 May 2010 with the 09:26 Exeter St Davids to Waterloo South West Trains service. The tree stumps visible in the foreground gives an idea of the amount of vegetation clearance at this location, which has opened up the view of this lengthy chalk cutting in both directions.

159016 & 159017 Potbridge 11 November 2016

Consecutively numbered 159016 & 159017 pass Potbridge on 11 November 2016 with the 1L28 07:25 Exeter St Davids to Waterloo South West Trains service. I much prefer the traction that was on offer at this location a quarter of a century earlier!

159017 Little Langford 5 October 2016

159017 passes Little Langford on 5 October 2016 with the 1V33 13:52 Salisbury to Bristol Temple Meads South West Trains service. This did entail standing in the middle of the road, in order to include the farmhouse sign and rustic fence in the picture. Luckily this is a very quiet road, with hardly any traffic!

159018 Potbridge 5 December 2007

159018 passes Potbridge (near Hook) on 5 December 2007 with the 11:20 Waterloo to Yeovil Junction South West Trains service. The bridge in the background, which carries the minor road between Potbridge and Murrel Green, still has evidence of Second World War defences in the form of concrete 'dragon's teeth' beside the road.

159020 St James Park 10 July 1993

Still in commendably clean condition, 159020 races through St James Park station, on the outskirts of Exeter with the on 10:12 Waterloo to Exeter St Davids Network SouthEast service on 10 July 1993. 159020 had been in service less than a year when this picture was taken. The class having taken over from Class 47s & 50s on this former Southern Railway route.

159021 Potbridge 3 February 2007

159021 passes the Second World War pillboxes at Potbridge on 3 February 2007 as it heads west with the 12:50 Waterloo to Salisbury South West Trains service. This was obviously a key point in the defence of the country during the war, as not only are there abundant pillboxes (there is another in the field on the left), but there are several 'dragons teeth' tank traps next to the road.

159103 Grateley 21 March 2009

159103 approaches Grateley on 21 March 2009 with the 10:45 Salisbury to Waterloo South West Trains service. This was one of my favourite spots to photograph Class 50s in their final years on the route and I was quite surprised that the location is still fine for photography, as many other locations on the line have become hopelessly overgrown in the intervening years. 

159106 & 159009 Potbridge 1 January 2011

159106 & 159009 pass a very gloomy Potbridge on 1 January 2011 with the 1L40 10:26 Exeter St Davids to Waterloo South West Trains service. This is yet another example of a picture taken with my excellent Canon EF-S 60mm Macro lens wide open! ISO 800 1/1000sec f2.8.