Class 166

166201 Wolvercote Junction 18 July 1994

166201 approaches Wolvercote Junction in lovely evening light on 18 July 1994 with the 18:48 Paddington to Stratford-upon-Avon Network SouthEast service. This was running 15 minutes late, although had this been a Friday, rather than a Monday, it would have been on time, as on Fridays the departure from London was 19:03. 166204 was only just over a year old when this picture was taken, and still looked immaculate in what would now almost be considered as a heritage livery!

166201 Kingham 12 March 1995

166201 leaves Kingham station on 12 March 1995 with the 14:48 Oxford to Worcester Shrub Hill service. Amazingly this was the first down train of the day over the Cotswold Line on a Sunday at this time. The going away shot was preferable in this case due to the lighting, and also because it shows the abutment of the bridge which carried the former Banbury and Cheltenham line over the Worcester route. Just visible in the distance near the milepost is a public footpath crossing, where 166208 was photographed on the same day.

166201 Wolvercote Junction 18 May 1998

166201 approaches Wolvercote Junction on 18 May 1998 with the 16:50 Paddington to Stratford-upon-Avon Thames Trains service. The A34 Oxford bypass in the background seems remarkably free of traffic, which is odd considering this is around 18:00, and the road behind me would be virtually stationary with traffic leaving Oxford!

166201 Wolvercote Junction 19 December 1999

The ideal photographic combination - sunshine and snow, sadly not very common in the south of England. On 19 December 1999, 166201 is pictured coming off the Cotswold Line at Wolvercote Junction with the 12:02 Great Malvern to Paddington Thames Trains service. The cold weather had obviously affected the trackwork, as for a long time nothing was moving onto or off the Cotswold Line. A Railtrack employee eventually arrived to clamp one of the points. Thames Trains were slow to introduce a new livery (partly due to the high quality original paint finish on these units) and 166201 is still carrying its original Network SouthEast livery.

166201 Hampton Gay 6 August 2003

166201 passes Hampton Gay on 6 August 2003 with the 18:48 Paddington to Stratford-upon-Avon Thames Trains service. The spire of St Mary's church at Kidlington can just be seen on the left of the picture. This livery was unique to the Class 166s, the similar Class 165s having a version with green circles instead of 'swooshes' across the doors.

166201 Whitehill 21 February 2004

166201 passes Whitehill (between Combe and Finstock) with the 08:48 Paddington to Great Malvern Thames Trains service on a very murky 21 February 2004. At this point on the Cotswold Line the railway is constantly re-crossing the River Evenlode. The river follows the far edge of the field on the left and crosses under the line a short way down the track. However, the line crosses it twice more before it reaches the tall occupation bridge which can just be seen in the far distance.

166201 South Moreton (Didcot East) 22 September 2010

166201 passes South Moreton (Didcot East) on 22 September 2010 with the 1P41 12:01 Oxford to Paddington First Great Western service. Note the non-standard black air-con vents on the roof, a later alteration, which immediately identifies it as 166201, even from a distance.

166201 Charlbury 21 April 2011

Charlbury's new down platform is pictured under construction on 21 April 2011, as 166201 departs with the 1W41 14:21 Paddington to Moreton-in-Marsh First Great Western service (the only train on the line not to travel at least as far as Worcester). Note the large base for the new footbridge on the extreme left of the picture. I presume the reinforced circular steel sections that one of the workmen is sitting on are the footings for the footbridge. They had only just been delivered when I took this photo, and in fact the surprisingly clean white lorry they came in had only just driven out of the car park a matter of minutes before the train came into view. A scene full of clutter, but history in the making, or should that be in the remaking, as of course the station originally had two platforms until 1971 anyway!

166201 Shorthampton 24 May 2012

166201 passes Shorthampton on 24 May 2012 with the 1P40 09:54 Great Malvern to Paddington First Great Western service. This location was never much good for photography until the vegetation was cleared for the line's redoubling in 2011. Unfortunately, since this picture was taken the status quo has returned, and the vegetation has taken over again!

166201 Cholsey 2 January 2015

Looking smart in its recently applied livery, with the new standard dark grey roof, 166201 approaches Cholsey on 2 January 2015 with the 1P45 13:01 Oxford to Paddington First Great Western service. The shiny metal posts on the left herald the end of this spot as a photographic location, as the much delayed Great Western Mainline electrification has finally reached the Didcot area.

166201 Culham 9 July 2015

166201 approaches Culham on 9 July 2015 with the 1W07 17:22 Paddington to Oxford GWR service. This broadside view give a clear view of the later simplified First Great Western livery. The absence of complicated graphics, along with its dark grey roof, makes it look very smart.

166201 Chilson 9 August 2016

Superb early morning light at Chilson on 9 August 2016, as 166201 heads eastwards with the 2Z24 06:56 Worcester Foregate Street to Oxford GWR service. The line was closed at Hinksey, in order that a large culvert could be installed under the track, which was also being raised. This was in an effort to combat the ever present flooding problem to the south of Oxford.

166201 Hinksey 12 September 2016

166201 slowly passes a well filled Hinksey Yard on 12 September 2016 with the 1P45 13:01 Oxford to Paddington GWR service. This had inexplicably come to a stand for several minutes near the footbridge in the background, and was consequently now delaying 165114, working the following 2P54 13:07 Oxford to Paddington, which can just be seen in the far distance.

166201 & 166218 Shipton 22 March 2017

The full station facilities are on show in this view of Shipton station, on the Cotswold Line, taken in the rain on 22 March 2017. With electronic signs and a help point, as well as a shelter and seat, the station hasn't been so well equipped for years! 166201 & 166218 (hidden from view) pass through with the 1W00 08:21 Paddington to Hereford GWR service.

166201 Ascott-under-Wychwood 25 March 2017

Train meets Honda (not mine!) at Ascott-under-Wychwood on 25 March 2017. The driver of 166201 acknowledges the signalman, as his train speeds across the level crossing adjacent to the village's diminutive station. The train is the 1W13 07:15 Paddington to Great Malvern GWR service.

166203 Yarnton Junction (site of) 3 April 2017

166201 approaches the site of Yarnton Junction on 3 April 2017 with the 1P43 11:22 Worcester Shrub Hill to Paddington GWR service. Note the evidence of recent lineside vegetation clearance, although not unfortunately from a photographic point of view, on the west side of the line. There is plenty of blackthorn in flower, as indeed there was 30 years earlier, when I photographed 47555 passing this spot with the diverted 1O07 09:02 Manchester Piccadilly to Poole service.

166201 Badsey 10 August 2017

Just managing to catch the sun, 166201 passes Badsey on 10 August 2017 with the 1P43 10:58 Great Malvern to Paddington GWR service. Although this is in the hamlet of Blackminster, the nearest sizeable village is Badsey, and the nearby former station (closed in 1966) was named Littleton & Badsey.

166201 Daylesford 17 November 2017

166201 passes underneath the farm occupation bridge at Daylesford on 17 November 2017 with the 1P43 10:59 Great Malvern to Paddington GWR service. I am particularly pleased with this picture, as the unusual bridge, with its ivy covered brick supporting columns makes a ideal frame for the short train. Also, the plain version of First Great Western's blue livery contrasts well with the autumn landscape, and the lighting is just about perfect.

166201 Lyneham 30 November 2017

166201 approaches Lyneham on 30 November 2017 with the 1P51 12:09 Hereford to Paddington GWR service. I chose this distant view, as the field was full of sheep, adding some foreground interest. However, just as the train was approaching, the farmer arrived, presumably to feed them, and they all promptly vanished! Therefore I decided to include a lot of sky in the picture instead, as it shows the mass of dark clouds that would very soon put an end to the day's photography. Because the 1Z23 08:16 Bristol High Level Siding to Tyseley Network Rail test train had just detected a track defect near Finstock, this train, which at this point was exactly on time, became delayed, and arrived at Oxford 35 minutes late.

166201 Oxford 12 December 2017

166201 leaves Oxford station on 12 December 2017 with the 2P40 09:37 GWR service to Paddington. Snow had fallen two days earlier, and was so severe that travel by car was virtually impossible. Even after a couple of days some local roads were a bit slippery, so I took the easy option and got the bus to Oxford, for a few hours of photography in perfect sun and snow conditions.

166201 Wolvercote Junction 21 April 2018

166201 passes Wolvercote Junction on 21 April 2018 with the late running 2V53 17:08 Banbury to Didcot Parkway GWR service. This is the view from the A40 road bridge, which has remained largely unchanged since I started taking pictures. The same cannot be said for the view from the other side of the road, which has completely disappeared amid the rampant lineside vegetation.

166202 Shipton 25 June 1995

Immaculate (well almost!) 166202 speeds through Shipton on 25 June 1995 with the 15:20 Paddington to Worcester Shrub Hill Network SouthEast service. Note the new rails lying on the ballast, ready to replace the vintage bullhead track on the down line. This viewpoint is not always possible, as occasionally the lorries from the neighbuoring flour mill are parked on the road on the right. On this occasion they were on the opposite side of the road, and their presence is only felt by the reflections in the train's windows.

166202 Honeybourne 8 August 1995

Honeybourne station has changed considerably since this picture was taken on 8 August 1995. The track has been redoubled, and both platforms are now in use, connected by a large footbridge. The field on the left is now covered with houses, and an extended station car park. 166202 heads away from the camera with the 2F02 07:09 Oxford to Worcester Foregate Street Network SouthEast service, the first down train of the day at the time.

166202 Aldington 8 August 1995

166202 passes Aldington on 8 August 1995 with the 1F35 08:45 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington Network SouthEast service. The houses of Evesham can be seen in the background, with the tower of Evesham Abbey just visible through the trees on the left. Bredon Hill dominates the background.

166202 Radley 30 July 2001

166202 passes through Radley station on 30 July 2001 with the late running 2F15 15:53 Great Malvern to Paddington Thames Trains service. The Great Western Railway footbridge clearly displays evidence of its former canopy. This has since been replaced with a more modern design.

166202 Aynho Junction 30 March 2002

166202 approaches Aynho on 30 March 2002 with the 14:38 Banbury to Paddington Thames Trains service. This location is at its best in late spring, when the sun has got high enough so that the trees don't completely shade the track, and before the leaves appear on the trees which, apart from a short period in the middle of the day, have the much the same effect.

166202 Radley 25 June 2003

166202 speeds through Radley station on 25 June 2003 with the 17:45 Oxford to Paddington Thames Trains service. Strange contradictory messages here, with a yellow line painted on the platforms behind which you are supposed to stand to be clear of trains passing at speed, and yet the full width of the platform has been deliberately reduced with a low fence! Presumably done to avoid maintaining so much platform area, this is the kind of idiocy that unfortunately pervades much of Britain today.

166202 Hinksey 21 April 2007

Oh no, it's going to block out the shot! Luckily the signal has changed to amber so the 16:52 Paddington to Oxford First Great Western service will just get out of the way, as Southern Railway Merchant Navy Class 4-6-2 35028 Clan Line approaches Hinksey on 21 April 2007 with the 1Z83 17:31 Oxford to Victoria VSOE special. 166202 tails and unidentified Class 165, which still retains the earlier Thames Trains colour scheme.

166202 Mickleton 29 October 2009

166202 climbs Campden Bank at Mickleton on 29 October 2009 with the 1P47 12:06 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington First Great Western service. This location had recently been cleared of lineside vegetation, in preparation for redoubling the line.

166202 & 165132 Appleford 2 July 2009

Both classes of BREL built Turbo unit are pictured here speeding through Appleford on 2 July 2009. 3 car Class 166 166202 leads 2 car Class 165/1 165132 on the 1P53 15:01 Oxford to Paddington First Great service. Appleford is a very quiet location to take photos, especially now that First Great Western has reduced the number of trains stopping there. I would like to think that the fact that the up platform lights are on during the middle of the day (not too apparent in this picture) is the result of incompetence, rather than a cynical attempt to distort the running costs of the station to use as an argument for possible closure, as happened so frequently in the 1960s.

166202 Aldington 29 October 2009

166202 passes through the recently cleared cutting near Aldington on 29 October 2009 with the 09:21 Paddington to Worcester Foregate Street First Great Western service. The arch bridge in the background carries a no through road to a farm and hotel, while the more modern bridge that can just be seen in the background is the A46 Evesham by-pass.

166202 Lower Moor 16 April 2010

166202 passes Lower Moor on a very dull 16 April 2010 with the 12:06 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington First Great Western service. Its amazing what gets dumped in fields near railway. Old van bodies are common enough, but here we also have the remains of an unidentified sports car!

166202 Moreton-in-Marsh 23 June 2010

166202 passes Moreton-in-Marsh's down outer home signal on 23 June 2010 with the 09:29 Moreton-in-Marsh to Paddington First Great Western service. This is one of only two trains on the Cotswold Line that originates from Moreton-in-Marsh, although unlike in former times it does not stable there overnight, but works in ECS from Oxford shortly before departure time. This picture is taken from a seldom used farm occupation crossing, and I was going to include some foreground foliage to frame the picture, but amazingly just five minutes before the train was due a Network Rail employee paid what is probably his yearly visit to the location and with his strimmer completely cleared all the vegetation away!

166202 Shorthampton 6 January 2012

166202 emerges from the trees at Shorthampton, as it works the 1P40 09:54 Great Malvern to Paddington First Great Western service on 6 January 2012. A conveniently positioned dry valley in the foreground field ensures that the lineside vegetation is not too much of a problem for photography - yet!

166202 Bruern 25 May 2012

Passing the 83 milepost near Bruern, 166202 heads south along the Cotswold Line on 25 May 2012 with the 1P35 08:26 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington First Great Western service. The whistle sign is for the footpath crossing at Churchill Heath.

166202 South Moreton (Didcot East) 3 September 2014

166202 passes South Moreton (Didcot East) on 9 September 2014 with the 2N36 12:27 Paddington to Oxford First Great Western service. It is passing underneath a temporary structure used to carry services over the line whilst the nearby road bridge was being rebuilt. In the background is the electrification depot, on the site of the old Moreton marshalling yard.

166202 Culham 18 July 2015

With the redundant Didcot Power Station in the background, 166202 slows down on the approach to Culham station on 18 July 2015 with the 2N10 06:27 Paddington to Oxford service. This side view clearly shows First Great Western's new simplified plain blue livery, with a new, more practical, dark grey roof.

166202 Hinksey 20 January 2016

166202 passes Hinksey Yard on 20 January 2016 with the late running 2P50 12:07 Oxford to Reading GWR service. This plain version of First Great Western's blue livery has been applied to some Class 166s, but none of the similar Class 165s.

166202 Daylesford 28 May 2016

166202 passes Daylesford on 28 May 2016 with the first up train of the day over the Cotswold Line - the 1P21 05:56 Great Malvern to Paddington GWR service. The fresh green growth of the bushes on the left is a clue to the fact that some severe vegetation clearance has taken place here recently. Whilst the view was similar to this in the 1980s, by 2010 it had become very overgrown.

166202 Tackley 6 June 2016

166202 arrives at Tackley station on 6 June 2016 with the 2L49 17:23 Banbury to Oxford GWR service. Tackley halt was opened by the Great Western Railway in 1961, and initially had very short timber built and gravel surfaced platforms. In recent years the station has been completely rebuilt, and has even been issued as a 4mm scale model by Danish manufacturer Heljan. Note the ornate vintage style lamps

166202 Hanborough 9 July 2016

166202 approaches Hanborough on 9 July 2016 with the 1P47 12:06 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington GWR service. This cutting was cleared if vegetation in late 2014, but the new growth is already starting to return the line to its former state.

166202 Combe 2 November 2016

166202 passes Combe on 2 November 2016 with the 1P37 09:50 Moreton-in-Marsh to Paddington GWR service. Recent clearance of the embankment has opened up this broadside view of the line. The wooded hill in the background has the unusual name of Dog Kennel Hill, presumably in connection with the nearby Blenheim Estate.

166202 Kennington 3 April 2017

166202 passes Kennington on 3 April 2017 with the 2P36 08:35 Oxford to Paddington GWR service. Kennington Junction, where the freight only line to Morris Cowley diverges to the right, can just be seen in the distance.

166202 Ascott-under-Wychwood 8 July 2017

166202 passes Ascott-under-Wychwood signal box at high speed on 8 July 2017 with the 1P40 09:51 Great Malvern to Paddington GWR service. The almost cloudless blue sky was certainly not what the Met Office had forecast. In fact, they had predicted it would be completely cloudy. If only they would get it wrong in that fashion more often!

166202 Didcot North Junction 2019

A wave from the driver of 166202, as it approaches Didcot North Junction on 30 March 2019 with the 1P35 10:00 Oxford to Paddington GWR service. Luckily six of the Class 166 fleet avoided being repainted into GWR's almost universally hated dark green livery, by virtue of having been turned out relatively recently in First Great Western's plain blue with dark grey roof colour scheme. However, most of the class have now moved away from the Thames Valley, leaving the drab green Class 165s to operate the local trains, so this was definitely worth photographing.

166203 KIngham 13 June 1993

166203 is pictured at a rather deserted Kingham station with the 13:08 Worcester Shrub Hill to Oxford Network SouthEast service on 13 June 1993. Admittedly this is a Sunday, but it is still before Kingham became a really busy commuter station with a large car park packed to capacity on weekdays. Note that the original pre war 95lb per yard bullhead track is still in use here.

166203 Kings Sutton 20 July 1993

166203 accelerates away from Kings Sutton on 20 July 1993 with the 1F56 16:50 Paddington to Banbury Network SouthEast service. Strangely this is clearly showing '24' in the destination blind, when the working timetable indicates it should be displaying '20'. 166203 was only a few months old when this picture was taken, which explains its pristine appearance.

166203 Enborne 28 October 2003

A group of pheasants prepare to take flight, as 166203 passes Enborne on 28 October 2003 with the 09:24 Bedwyn to Paddington Thames Trains service. The train is approaching the site of Enborne Junction, where the Didcot, Newbury & Southampton Railway diverged to the south. This section of the former cross country route closed to passengers in 1960, and freight in 1965.

166203 Kingham 15 June 2008

166203 arrives at Kingham on Sunday 15 June 2008 with the 14:40 Hanborough to Worcester Shrub Hill service. Due to engineering works at the extreme southern end of the Cotswold Line, all trains were working as far as Hanborough only. Note the HST stop boards for both 7 and 8 coach formations in the up direction.

166203 Moreton-in-Marsh 15 June 2008

166203 approaches Moreton-in-Marsh on 15 June 2008 with the 17:40 Hanborough to Worcester Shrub Hill First Great Western service. The Cotswold Line was closed for engineering works between Hanborough and Oxford, with buses providing a connection with the hourly Worcester to Hanborough shuttle train service. This is one of the few remaining locations on the Cotswold Line where there is un interrupted view in both directions, although even here the vegetation growth since the 1980s is quite starling.

166203 Aston Magna 23 June 2009

A row of wooden pegs seems to be the only sign of the imminent Cotswold Line redoubling at Aston Magna on 23 June 2009. 166203 round the corner with the 12:06 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington First Great Western service. Just as this train was due a Network Rail van drove onto the trackside and parked right in the picture. I could hear the Turbo hoot just around the corner as I quickly changed the 35mm lens for a 100mm one to exclude the van. In the end I think it makes a better picture, as the longer lens accentuates the hills in the background. The ironic thing is that as soon as the train had passed the van drove off up the track, therefore only being in the way for less than a minute just as the train passed - unbelievable!

166203 Churchill Heath 11 January 2012

With the sun chasing it along from Kingham station in the distance, 166203 passes Churchill Heath Wood on 11 January 2012 with the 1P47 12:06 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington First Great Western service. Although obviously the wood has always been there, it is now the encroaching bushes on the left that limit photo opportunities at this location.

166203 Culham 9 August 2012

166203 speeds through Culham station on 8 August 2012 with the 1P37 09:50 Moreton-in-Marsh to Paddington First Great Western service. Note the unusual dip between the old and new up platforms. The relocated platform has left the Brunelian station building marooned and without any railway use.

166203 Ruscombe 1 May 2013

A tranquil location, now lost forever behind a sea of electfrication posts and wires. 166203 runs along the up relief line at Ruscombe on 1 May 2013 with the 2P39 10:18 Reading to Paddington First Great Western service. Although the bridge in the background carries a lot of traffic, the one on which I was standing is a quiet rural no through road, and was a very pleasant location for a few hours photography.

166203 Charlbury 19 July 2013

166203 prepares to leave Charlbury station on 19 July 2013, as some of its passengers head home across the newly installed footbridge. The train is the 1W27 13:21 Paddington to Moreton-in-Marsh First Great Western service. It seems the train has generated two large bags of rubbish on its way from London!

166203 & 165132 Cholsey 8 July 2014

166203 & 165132 approach Cholsey shortly after the early morning sun had finally broken through the clouds on 8 July 2014. They are working the 1P03 05:43 Oxford to Paddington First Great Western service. The demolition of the disused Didcot Power Station started a few weeks after this picture was taken.

166203 Mickleton 7 August 2015

166203 climbs Campden Bank near Mickleton on 7 August 2015 with the 1P43 11:22 Worcester Shrub Hill to Paddington First Great Western service. This location had been recently cleared of lineside bushes. Unfortunately the pruning only seems to have encouraged them to grow faster!

166203 Culham 26 September 2015

The disused Didcot Power Station looms out of the mist on 26 September 2015, as 166203 approaches Culham with the 2N10 06:27 Paddington to Oxford GWR service. This side view clearly shows the simplified First Great Western livery, devoid of the previous 'wavy lines'.

166203 Brimpton 14 May 2016

166203 passes Brimpton on 14 May 2016 with the 1K53 11:39 Bedwyn to Paddington GWR service. Although it isn't apparent from this view, there are electrification masts in the distance, as well as on the other side of the road bridge on which I am standing.

166203 & 165134 Radley 11 June 2016

A wood pigeon takes evasive action at Radley on 11 June 2016, as 166203 & 165134 speed through the station with the 1D59 17:50 Paddington to Oxford GWR service. Note the 'Please stand clear' message being displayed on platform 2's information screen. This was to warn of the approach of the 2P80 18:37 Oxford to Paddington DMU, which was rapidly approaching from behind me. Note also the pile of rusty electrification mast piles behind the unit, which will soon mean the end of this particular viewpoint. In the background is the disused Didcot Power Station, with the remaining section of the collapsed turbine house. Unbelievably nearly four months after the building collapsed, three bodies have still to be recovered from the wreckage.

166203 Culham 2 July 2016

166203 approaches Culham on 2 July 2016 with the 1W13 07:21 Paddington to Great Malvern GWR service. Such a short train gives this picture a slightly unbalanced composition, but at least the bushes aren't obscuring any part of the train! In the background is the partially collapsed turbine hall of the disused Didcot Power Station. This was blown up a couple of weeks later.

166203 Little Bedwyn 16 July 2016

166203 approaches Little Bedwyn on 16 July 2016 with the 1K78 17:18 Paddington to Bedwyn GWR service. Just behind the rear of the train is a footpath crossing leading to a bridge over the Kennet & Avon Canal, which parallels the railway here.

166203 & 166215 Chilson 9 August 2016

166203 & 166215 pass Chilson on 9 August 2016 with the 2Z22 06:24 Worcester Shrub Hill to Oxford GWR service. Extensive engineering works at Hinksey closed the main line for two weeks from the end of July. This was in order to install a new culvert, replace bridge decking, and raise the track by 650mm, all in an effort to prevent flooding, a problem which has affected the Hinksey area since GWR days. Through Cotswold Line trains were replaced by units, in this case a pair of Class 166s deputising for the normal 1P19 05:28 Hereford to Paddington HST. Pairs of Turbo units are not at all common on the Cotswold Line, and to get a pair of the blue First Great Western interim liveried sets was a definite bonus.

166203 Chilson 22 February 2017

166203 passes Chilson on 22 February 2017 with the 1P37 09:50 Moreton-in-Marsh to Paddington GWR service. Sometimes (but not very often!) the Met Office underestimates the amount of sunshine in the forecast. This was supposed to be a totally cloudy morning, with the possibility of a little drizzle. I was therefore surprised when the sun came out, and stayed out for quite some time. However, this may have been fairly local, as it is clearly a lot cloudier further to the north.

166203 & 166213 Kennington 3 April 2017

166203 brings up the rear of the 1M99 07:50 Paddington to Banbury and Moreton-in-Marsh GWR service at Kennington on 3 April 2017. 166213 is leading. The train will split at Oxford, with green liveried 166213 going forward as the 1M99, while blue livered 166203 will take the Cotswold Line as the 2E93 08:58 Oxford to Moreton-in-Marsh.

166203 Lower Moor 2 September 2017

166203 passes Lower Moor on 2 September 2017 with the 1W41 14:22 Paddington to Great Malvern GWR service. Note the apple tree in the foreground, laden with fruit. Although some of the orchards in the Vale of Evesham are still mamaged commercially, there are numerous small abandoned plots and odd trees, and hundreds of tons of fruit must go unpicked each year.

166204 Stratford-upon-Avon 17 May 1993

166204 arrives at a rather damp Stratford-upon-Avon station on 17 May 1993 with the inaugural 1F12 09:18 Paddington to Stratford-upon-Avon Network SouthEast service. This was the first train of the newly introduced direct London service via Oxford. The classic GWR covered footbridge in the background has since been supplemented by a disabled friendly new bridge. Also, the semaphore signals visible in the background have been replaced by colour lights.

166204 Bishopton 17 May 1993

166204 passes Bishopton on the Stratford-upon-Avon branch with the 1F47 11:55 Stratford to Oxford Network SouthEast service on 17 May 1993. This was the first day of Class 166 Turbo operation on the line. This largely rural scene has been completely transformed since this picture was taken. The hawthorn, cow parsley and buttercups have given way to an industrial estate, although surprisingly the small stream meandering through the field on the right has not been piped but is now sandwiched between the new buildings and an approach road. The field to the left of this picture has also now succumbed to the inevitable housing estate.

166204 Yarnton 27 July 2006

The dark clouds in the background mean that Oxford definitely isn't getting any sun, however, a few miles north at Yarnton the sun is out as 166204 heads northwards with the 16:51 Paddington to Banbury First Great Western service on 27 July 2006.

166204 Evesham 29 October 2009

166204 pulls out of Evesham station on 29 October 2009 with the 1P40 09:54 Great Malvern to Paddington First Great Western service. The 1W00 08:22 Paddington to Hereford HST is in the other platform. Note the overgrown bay platform on the right.

166204 Moulsford 27 April 2011

166204 passes Moulsford on 27 April 2011 with the 1D53 17:18 Paddington to Oxford First Great Western service, while that company's 1L82 16:55 Cardiff Central to Paddington HST passes over the River Thames viaduct, and recedes into the distance.

166204 Shorthampton 28 June 2012

Dramatic lighting at Shorthampton on 28 June 2012. Although it looks like the sun is about to disappear behind that huge brooding mass of dark cloud, it did in fact stay out long enough to provide some nice illumination for Tornado, which was coming from the other direction with the 'Cathedrals Express' railtour. 166204 is seen here working the 1P43 11:50 Moreton-in-Marsh to Paddington First Great Western service. This proved to be a good choice of location, as not only did the sun co-operate, but the dark clouds gives a hint of the terrible weather, including some unbelievably heavy downpours that was happening further west.

166204 Radley 31 August 2012

166204 approaches Radley on 31 August 2012 with the 2P42 09:39 Banbury to Paddington First Great Western service. The wide sweeping curve in the background takes the line briefly further away from the River Thames, before it crosses it twice a little further south at Culham.

166204 Radley 23 April 2013

166204 passes Radley on 23 April 2013 with the 2N52 16:25 Paddington to Oxford First Great Western service. The eighteenth century Nuneham House can just be seen behind the bush on the left. This is not a location that I have seen pictures of before, but then it does require a fair walk!

166204 Hanborough 7 June 2015

166204 slows on the approach to Hanborough station on 7 June 2015 with the 1P43 11:22 Worcester Shrub Hill to Paddington First Great Western service. The removal of the trees at this location has opened up the view tremendously. The wood in the background is on the charmingly named Dog Kennel Hill.

166204 Long Marston 7 August 2015

Sporting the new First Great Western dark green livery, 166204 leaves Long Marston on 7 August 2015 with the 5Z12 12:00 Long Marston to Reading Traincare Depot ECS move, which on this occasion was terminated at Didcot Parkway. As is quite common with departures from Long Marston, this did not wait for the booked time, in this case leaving 43 minutes early. The unit had visited the site for modifications to its air conditioning system. The driver had brought in 166221, which can be seen in the background. This will have the air con work carried out over the next few days. The green livery had been applied the previous month, and is the first unit to be painted in the colour scheme, although as yet without any branding.

166204 Mickleton 7 August 2015

The first Turbo unit to be painted in the new First Great Western dark green livery, 166204 climbs Campden Bank near Mickleton on 7 August 2015 with the 5Z12 12:00 Long Marston to Reading Traincare Depot ECS move, which on this occasion was terminated at Didcot Parkway. The unit had received air conditioning modifications at Long Marston. This picture probably explains why Network Rail have to run Rail Head Treatment Trains, with unbelievable uncontrolled lineside tree growth right next to the line with a 1 in 100 gradient! A steam age railwayman would be shocked by this total lack of lineside maintenance.

166204 Combe (Grintleyhill Bridge) 31 October 2015

Green liveried 166204 Norman Topsom MBE passes some autumnal tints at Grintleyhill Bridge, Combe, on 31 October 2015, as it heads up the Cotswold Line with the 1W33 13:22 Paddington to Great Malvern GWR service. Unfortunately a combination of foreground shadows and uncontrolled lineside vegetation means that at this time of year a more side on shot is not possible.

166204 Churchill Heath 21 November 2015

Newly named 166204 Norman Topsom MBE passes Churchill Heath (near Kingham) on 21 November 2015 with the 1P47 12:06 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington GWR service. Norman Topsom was the long serving and flamboyant station master of Twyford station, who featured in the TV series 'The Railway: First Great Western'. The unit was named on the occasion of his retirement on 30 October 2015. Since I first saw this unit in GWR's new dark green livery, it has acquired a repositioned set number, GWR logos, and door embellishments.

166204 Hinksey 20 January 2016

A scene full of interest at Hinksey Yard on the gloriously sunny afternoon of 20 January 2016. 166204 Norman Topsom MBE passes by with the 1P43 11:22 Worcester Shrub Hill to Paddington GWR service, while parked on the left, in an unphotographable position, is 60047. A new footbridge is under constriction in the background, just in front of the concrete and wire mesh sided bridge, that even three decades ago looked to be in very poor condition. The prominent feature in the foreground is a noise barrier, designed to shield the ballast sidings on the left. Finally, two cranes can be seen in the background working on the new Westgate Shopping Centre. Luck would have it that they both happened to be positioned ideally for this photo.

166204 Sonning 26 April 2016

166204 Norman Topsom MBE runs through the recently cleared cutting at Sonning on 26 April 2016 with the 1P25 07:28 Banbury to Paddington GWR service. It will shortly be calling at Twyford, which is the station that Norman Topsom was in charge of for 16 years, until his retirement in 2015.

166204 Sonning 16 August 2016

166204 Norman Topsom MBE runs through Sonning cutting on 16 August 2016 with the 1P43 11:22 Worcester Shrub Hill to Paddington GWR service. After many years absence, I made two visits to this location in 2016, in a desperate move to get some pictures before electfrication. I saw this unit on both occasions.

166204 Evenlode 4 December 2016

166204 Norman Topsom MBE approaches Evenlode on 4 December 2016 with the 1P51 13:15 Great Malvern to Paddington GWR service. Photo taken from a public footpath crossing. The clear blue sky in the background is slightly deceiving, as there was a large area of cloud to the west. The sun had only just reappeared from behind this a few minutes before the train came into view.

166204 Adlestrop 15 March 2017

166204 Norman Topsom MBE passes the site of Adlestrop station on 15 March 2017 with the 1P51 12:09 Hereford to Paddington GWR service. This location has now become surrounded by large trees, none of which where there in the 1980s.

166204 Kennington 3 April 2017

166204 passes Kennington on 3 April 2017 with the 1P27 09:01 Oxford to Paddington GWR Service. This unit is named Norman Topsom MBE, but only has one plate, which is on the other side. Apart from bi-lingual namings, I can't think of any other example where there aren't two identical plates.

166204 Uffington 5 May 2017

166204 Norman Topsom MBE passes Uffington on 5 May 2017, running as the 3U77 09:20 Reading to Bristol St Philips Marsh ECS. Strangely this was not showing as running on Realtime Trains, but of course was showing on the Live Track Diagrams. I opted for a going away shot, for a better lighting angle.

166204 Standish Junction 13 January 2018

The new order of Gloucester area local services. Until 2018 the sight of a Class 166 at Standish Junction would have been extremely unusual, but the cascade of rolling stock following the Great Western Mainline electrification will make this an everyday sight. 166204 Norman Topsom MBE slowly passes the junction after a brief signal check on 13 January 2018 with the 2T90 09:10 Worcester Shrub Hill to Bristol Temple Meads GWR service.

166204 Broughton Gifford 6 July 2018

166204 Norman Topsom MBE passes Broughton Gifford on 6 July 2018 with the 2M11 13:29 Swindon to Westbury GWR service. The heatwave that seemed to go forever during the summer of 2018 had not yet started to turn the countryside yellow, so the green of the unit matches the green of the landscape.

166204 Hungerford Common 15 May 2019

2019 not only sees the HSTs on the Berks & Hants line replaced by Class 802 DMUs, but also the Turbo units operating the local trains to Newbury and Bedwyn are to be replaced by Class 800/802s. The old order is pictured at Hungerford Common on 15 May 2019, as 166204 heads west with the 1K14 13:06 Paddington to Bedwyn GWR service. On most of my recent visits these trains had been worked by the outwardly similar Class 165s.

166204 Charlbury (Cornbury Park) 19 June 2019

Not quite the mundane Cotswold Line picture that it appears to be. 166204 passes Cornbury Park on 19 June 2019 with the 1Z21 13:30 Long Marston to Paddington special, run in connection with the Rail Live event. If it wasn't for the fact that it had been running several minutes early, and therefore had to wait for the 1W27 13:22 Paddington to Worcester Shrub Hill GWR service, it would have passed non-stop through Charlbury station (just out of sight around the corner).

166205 Lower Basildon 26 July 1999

166205 passes Lower Basildon on 26 July 1999 with the 1F62 17:21 Paddington to Oxford Thames Trains service. This was a well known photographic location in steam days, as it was the site of Goring troughs, and the more adventurous photographers would opt for a dramatic trackside viewpoint, and consequently risk a soaking!

166205 Ascott-under-Wychwood 22 February 2003

166205 passes through Ascott-under-Wychwood station on 22 February 2003 with the 08:48 Paddington to Great Malvern Thames Trains service. For some reason I took very few pictures of Thames Trains liveried units on the Cotswold Line, and virtually none at this, my local station, so this less than ideally lit picture will have to serve as record.

166205 Radley 8 October 2009

166205 calls at Radley on 8 October 2009 with the 2P68 16:37 Oxford to Paddington First Great Western service. Plenty of autumn colours on the trees, which have enveloped the road bridge in the background considerably since I started taking pictures here in the early 1980s.

166205 Shorthampton 12 November 2009

With a wave from the driver, 166205 passes Shorthampton on 12 November 2009 with the 1W21 09:21 Paddington to Worcester Foregate Street First Great Western service. As can be seen from the neatly trimmed bushes, this cutting has being blitzed in preparation for relaying the former double track.

166205 Ascott-under-Wychwood 1 September 2010

166205 speeds through Ascott-under-Wychwood station on 1 September 2010 with the late running 1P37 08:58 Great Malvern to Paddington First Great Western service. Note the work going on to reinstate the second track and platform.

166205 Somerton 10 April 2012

Most of First Great Western's services from Banbury terminate at Oxford, and are worked by two car Class 165/1s. However, in the morning peak period a number of trains work right through to Paddington, and are formed of three car sets. Not far into its two hour journey on 10 April 2012, 166205 passes Somerton with the 1P25 07:27 Banbury to Paddington, neatly coinciding with a very brief patch of weak early morning sunshine.

166205 Shorthampton 24 May 2012

166205 sweeps round the curve at Shorthampton on 24 May 2012 with the late running 1P37 09:51 Moreton-in-Marsh to Paddington First Great Western service. This cutting was cleared of all vegetation in 2009 in preparation for the reinstatement of double track. However, the bushes are rapidly taking over again!

166205 Bletchingdon 3 September 2012

166205 passes the site of Bletchingdon station (closed in 1964) with the 2L49 17:23 Banbury to Oxford First Great Western service on 3 September 2012. Two car Class 165/1s are the more normal type of unit on this service, with 166s only being used at peak times.

166205 Lyneham 20 October 2012

166205 passes Lyneham on 20 October 2012 with the late running 1W41 14:21 Paddington to Great Malvern First Great Western service. I expect the driver wondered why there were so many photographers viewing his progress along the Cotswold Line. The answer was that GWR Castle Class 4-6-0 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe was following him with a railtour.

166205 Hinksey 12 April 2013

166205 just manages to catch a little bit of sunshine, as it passes Hinksey Yard on 12 April 2013 with the 1P45 13:01 Oxford to Paddington First Great Western service. The black clouds in the background insured that this was the only brightness I saw on this occasion.

166205 Cholsey 15 November 2013

166205 approaches Cholsey on 15 November 2013 with the 1P49 14:01 Oxford to Paddington First Great Western service. Note the line of dark clouds in the background, which would spell the end of photography for the day in a short while.

166205 & 166221 Culham 11 June 2015

166205 & 166202 approach Culham on 11 June 2015 with the 1D69 19:18 Paddington to Oxford First Great Western service. As is often the case on a summer evening, the sun had virtually disappeared, fading away into hazy high cloud.

166205 Daylesford 2 July 2016

166205 passes Daylesford on 2 July 2016 with the late running 1W45 15:22 Paddington to Worcester Foregate Street GWR service. This section of the Cotswold Line was sitting under a large patch of blue sky, but judging by the clouds in the background, there was a lot less chance sun further south.

166205 Chilson 27 August 2016

Great Western green - modern style. 166205 passes Chilson on 27 August 2016 with the 1P40 09:51 Great Malvern to Paddington GWR service. For an interesting comparison, just 20 minutes later, the original version of Great Western green passed this spot, as GWR Castle Class 4-6-0 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe drifted by with the Vintage Trains 1Z53 08:27 Tyseley to Oxford 'Summer At The Palace' railtour.

166205 Honeybourne 18 October 2016

On 18 October 2016, the 1P47 12:06 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington GWR service started from Oxford, allegedly due to some earlier late running. However, there was a 5P47 12:06 Worcester Shrub Hill to Oxford ECS running in its path. I can only assume there was no guard for the Cotswold Line part of the journey, therefore it had to run to Oxford empty. 166205 is pictured here passing through Honeybourne station at high speed, running 23 minutes early. Only one passenger was inconvenienced here, wandering down the long footbridge ramp shortly afterwards, only to return a little later!

166205 Moreton-in-Marsh 10 November 2016

166205 leaves Moreton-in-Marsh station on 10 November 2016 with the 1P37 09:50 GWR service to Paddington. The unit had arrived a little earlier as the 2E93 07:50 Paddington to Moreton-in-Marsh. The signal on the short post which allows this crossover movement is a recent addition. At most other locations semaphore signals are disappearing, at Moreton they are increasing!

166205 Moredon 25 June 2018

Golden early morning light at Moredon on 25 June 2018. The green livery of 166205 actually looks green in this light, rather than the almost black that it can appear during the middle of the day! This is the first passenger train of the day over the line, the 2M02 05:19 Gloucester to Southampton Central GWR service. Normally it would be the first train of any kind, but the Gloucester to Swindon line was being used for diversions, while engineering work was taking place in Patchway and Severn Tunnels, and a couple of freights had already passed by (in the dark).

166205 Churchdown 5 July 2019

166205 passes Churchdown on 5 July 2019 with the 2G82 09:36 Swindon to Cheltenham Spa GWR service. The drab green livery that these units now have the misfortune to wear does not photograph well at the best of times, but looks particularly bland, when the whole countryside is the same colour in midsummer!

166206 Evesham 29 March 1996

Token exchange at Evesham 29 March 1996. The driver of 166206 pauses to collect the single line token, prior to heading westwards with the 1F26 10:48 Paddington to Hereford service. A brief burst of sunshine has illuminated a scene that has since changed considerably. The waste ground in the foreground is now the car park for an industrial estate, while Hampton Parks Farm on the right is now largely obscured by trees, and yet more new buildings. The signal box survives, but unfortunately the lower quadrant semaphore signal has not.

166206 Earlswood 9 August 1997

166206 is deep in third rail territory here, as it works the 1O62 08:34 Reading to Gatwick Airport Thames Trains service past Earlswood on 9 August 1997. In the background is the junction for the 'Quarry Line', built in 1899 by the LB&SCR to avoid Redhill, and its consequent disputes with the SE&CR.

166206 Bishops Itchington 16 July 2001

166206 finds a brief patch of sunshine as it rounds the curve near Bishops Itchington on 16 July 2001 with the 14:04 Stratford-upon-Avon to Paddington Thames Trains service. Although there are now plans to reopen a route to Stratford via Honeybourne, a decade after this picture was taken there is now no longer a direct service between the tourist centres of Stratford and Oxford.

166206 Banbury 17 August 2002

166206 approaches Banbury on 17 August 2002, while an unidentified 3 car and 2 car Class 165/0 combination heads in the opposite direction. 166206 is working the 17:37 Stratford-upon-Avon to Paddington Thames Trains service, whilst the other train is the 17:10 Marylebone to Birmingham Snow Hill Chiltern Railways service. Although hardly a very picturesque viewpoint, this location does have the advantage of being clear of obstructions for a late evening shot, that is until the shadow of the wall by the stone terminal on the left starts creeping across.

166206 Wolvercote Junction 13 August 2003

166206 approaches Wolvercote Junction on 13 August 2003 with the 16:48 Paddington to Stratford-upon-Avon Thames Trains service. After many years of using this location for photographing northbound evening trains, by 2003 it was just about getting too overgrown to bother. The shadows are already starting to intrude in this picture, and the time is only 18:00. Gone are the days when this spot was clear until sunset!

166206 Great Bedwyn 22 May 2010

Under clear blue skies on 22 May 2010, 166206 pulls away from Bedwyn station and passes Great Bedwyn village (hidden behind the bushes). It is working the 1K45 09:38 Bedwyn to Paddington First Great Western service. Photo taken from a public footpath crossing.

166206 South Moreton 16 August 2010

A close up view of 166206, as it runs through the cutting near South Moreton on 16 August 2010 with the 2N48 15:27 Paddington to Oxford First Great Wester service. A commonplace view that the electrification of the Great Western Mainline will render impossible.

166206 Shorthampton 19 March 2011

166206 passes a short section of newly reinstated double track at Shorthampton on 19 March 2011, whilst working the 1P40 09:43 Great Malvern to Paddington First Great Western service. The section of the Cotswold Line between Ascott-under-Wychwood and Charlbury is being redoubled to increase capacity. As I do not really remember the line before the 1971 singling, I was keen to get a picture of a train running past newly laid track, on what will effectively soon by the wrong line.

166206 Churchill Heath 11 January 2012

83 miles to go! 166206 rounds the curve at Churchill Heath (near Kingham) on 11 January 2012 with the 1P43 11:51 Moreton-in-Marsh to Paddington First Great Western service. This picture is taken from a public crossing on the footpath between Lyneham and Bledington. Although the dark clouds in the background form an ideal backdrop, irritatingly the sun decided it wasn't going to stay out for this train!

166206 Radley 30 January 2013

166206 approaches Radley on 30 January 2013 with the 1P47 12:06 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington  First Great Western service. This view clearly shows the sweeping reverse curves to the north, with the houses of the Oxford suburbs visible on the horizon.

166206 South Moreton 5 May 2013

166206 runs along the down relief line at South Moreton on 5 May 2013 with the 2N48 15:27 Paddington to Oxford First Great Western service. A deliberately wider than normal view, to include the pair of fences on the right to balance the composition. Despite appearances, this is not a footpath.

166206 Oxford North Junction 12 July 2014

166206 approaches Oxford North Junction on 12 July 2014 with the 1W11 06:21 Paddington to Great Malvern First Great Western service. Behind he trees on the right is Port Meadow - a huge expanse of common land that is a popular recreational area for the people of Oxford.

166206 & 165130 Culham 11 June 2015

166206 & 165130 approach Culham on 11 June 2015 with the 1D57 17:35 Paddington to Oxford First Great Western service, while the 1V91 14:35 Newcastle to Reading CrossCountry Voyager disappears into the distance.

166206 & 165120 Culham 30 June 2015

166206 & 165130 approach Culham on 30 June 2015 with the 1D57 17:35 Paddington to Oxford First Great Western service. Ironically, I had seen this unit partnering a different two car Class 165, on this same train a few weeks earlier. On this occasion however, it was running over an hour late!

166206 Didcot North Junction 10 July 2015

166206 speeds past Didcot North Junction on 10 July 2015 with the 1W00 08:21 Paddington to Oxford First Great Western service. This would normally be operated by a HST, which would work right through to Hereford, but most such trains were being replaced by DMUs as a result of the RMT union's 48 hour strike.

166206 Culham 18 July 2015

The main building, chimney, and three surviving cooling towers of the closed Didcot Power Station form a dramatic background for 166206, as it speeds past Culham on 18 July 2015 with the 1W13 07:21 Paddington to Great Malvern First Great Western service.

166206 Chilson 24 March 2016

166206 passes Chilson on 24 March 2016 with the 1P43 11:22 Worcester Shrub Hill to Paddington GWR service. I wouldn't normally bother to photograph one of GWR's green units on a dull day, as they look so drab, but the poor weather has allowed a shot from the north side of the line, which would not otherwise be possible.

166206 Culham 4 May 2016

With steam rising from the gas fired Didcot B Power Station almost giving the impression that Didcot A's cooling towers are still in use, 166206 slowly approaches Culham on 4 May 2016 with the 2L36 05:57 Reading to Banbury GWR local service. Even the low early morning light fails to improve the looks of the GWR's new dark green livery.

166206 Kingham 28 May 2016

166206 arrives at Kingham station on 28 May 2016 with the 1W13 07:10 Paddington to Great Malvern GWR service. The GWR running in board certainly adds a touch of nostalgia to the scene, certainly more so than the reworking of the real GWR's 'shirt button' logo on the 1990s built unit!

166206 Stonesfield 29 October 2016

A picture that only really works in the autumn. Normally the heavily overgrown cutting near Stonesfield would not present many photographic opportunities. However, by making the golden autumn leaves the main focus of the picture, an interesting composition is created. 166206 passes Stonesfield on 29 October 2016 with the 1P43 10:58 Great Malvern to Paddington GWR service.

166206 Hinksey 2 November 2016

166206 passes Hinksey Yard on 2 November 2016 with the 1P43 11:22 Worcester Shrub Hill to Paddington GWR service. There is certainly plenty of colour contrast here, with the unit's dark green being a bit more restrained than the dayglo DB red on the foreground wagons.

166206 Kennington 3 April 2017

166206 passes Kennington on 3 April 2017 with the 1P30 09:31 Oxford to Paddington GWR service. Kennington Junction, where the freight only line to Morris Cowley diverges to the right, can just be seen in the background.

166206 Chilson 24 July 2017

166206 passes Chilson on 24 July 2017 with the 2Z45 17:26 Oxford to Worcester Foregate Street GWR service. The line was closed for engineering works between Didcot and Oxford, which explains the Z headcode. Note how close the bushes on the right are to the train. For several years these bushes have been 'pruned' by the trains, and are now shaped to the loading gauge! This is one very graphic indication of the terrible state of our railways, caused by Network Rail's decision to completely abandon routine lineside maintenance. Leaves on the line in the autumn are entirely their own fault!

166206 Up Hatherley 15 July 2018

166206 passes Up Hatherley on 15 July 2018 with the 5T33 09:31 Gloucester Carriage Sidings to Cheltenham Spa ECS. This will then form the 2T33 10:04 Cheltenham Spa to Taunton GWR service. After spending their first two decades working services out of Paddington, these units have now moved west, after being displaced by EMUs.

166207 & 166212 White Waltham 19 February 1994

166207 & 166212 pass White Waltham in hazy light on 19 February 1994 with the 1F26 10:48 Paddington to Great Malvern Network SouthEast service. The flat area of ground on the right is the site of Waltham Siding, which according to old maps had been removed by the 1950s.

166207 Kingham 8 June 2003

166207 arrives at Kingham station on 8 June 2003 with the 14:48 Paddington to Great Malvern Thames Trains service. It is passing underneath the GWR footbridge, which has subsequently been replaced by a more modern design, situated in a position that would now make this view impossible.

166207 Hinksey 29 November 2010

On a very gloomy 29 November 2010, 166207 passes Hinksey Yard with the 2P54 13:07 Oxford to Paddington First Great Western service, while in the background sequentially numbered 166208 gets the feathers to cross over to head into Oxford's platform 1 with the 2N32 11:27 service from Paddington. Note the reflection of the Hinksey Lakes footbridge (and myself!) in the windscreen of 166207. This will obviously be replaced by a much more photography unfriendly design when the line is electrified.

166207 Charlbury 6 June 2011

Monday 6 June 2011 saw the opening of the new section of reinstated double track on the Cotswold Line from Charlbury to Ascott-under-Wychwood. With a wave from one of the many onlookers, 166207 pulls away from the newly commissioned down platform at Charlbury with the 1W10 05:48 Paddington to Great Malvern First Great Western service. This being the first passenger train to use the newly installed line. Note the approach ramp to the new footbridge and the customary bunting between the lamp posts.

166207 Hinksey 28 October 2011

166207 passes the northern end of Hinksey Yard on 28 October 2011 with the 1P47 12:06 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington First Great Western service. From Oxford this will become a limited stop service. A local train will follow six minutes behind it.

166207 Oxford 16 January 2012

166207 accelerates away from Oxford station on 16 January 2012 with the 1P49 14:01 Oxford to Paddington First Great Western service. In addition to the stabled Turbo unit in the background, 66617 can just be seen as it heads north with the 6M40 11:56 Westbury Virtual Quarry to Stud Farm ballast empties. Unfortunately, although this location is still reasonably good for southbound trains, the same cannot be said of the view from the other side of the bridge. Therefore there is no possibility of a picture of northbound trains here in the afternoon.

166207 Charlbury (Cornbury Park) 23 March 2012

166207 leaves the recently installed section of double track at Cornbury Park, just south of Charlbury station on the Cotswold Line. It is working the 1P47 12:06 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington First Great Western service on 23 March 2012. If there is a possibility of one day extending the double track all the way to Wolvercote Junction, it does seem a little short sighted to put the signal cable trunking in such a position where it will have to be moved again!

166207 Culham (Lock Wood) 10 December 2012

166207 passes Lock Wood, near Culham, on 10 December 2012 with the 2P54 13:07 Oxford to Paddington First Great Western service. Note that the front end has sustained some damage. Most of the fairing that should surround the coupler is missing.

166207 Shorthampton 3 March 2013

166207 passes Shorthampton on 3 March 2013 with the 1P43 11:50 Moreton-in-Marsh to Paddington First Great Western service. Already the recently cut down bushes are starting to grow back again, meaning this excellent viewpoint will once again be lost. Never mind, I suppose a few year's worth of photography before the vegetation takes over is always a bonus!

166207 South Moreton 10 September 2015

166207 passes South Moreton on 10 September 2015 with the 2N40 13:27 Paddington to Oxford First Great Western service. After many years of visiting this location, the ominous presence of the new electfrication masts spells the end of that era!

166207 Hinksey 20 January 2016

Dark grey roofed 166207 passes Hinksey Yard on 20 January 2016 with the 1P49 14:01 Oxford to Paddington GWR service. In the background, a new green footbridge waits to take the place of its old concrete and wire mesh predecessor.

166207 Hinksey 11 February 2016

166207 passes Hinksey Yard on 11 February 2016 with the 2N34 11:57 Paddington to Oxford GWR service. Brand new track panels, and a line of spoil wagons in the foreground prove that the yard is kept busy with local infrastructure work. A couple of decades earlier it was mainly home to lines of redundant stock.

166207 Moreton-in-Marsh 5 October 2016

166207 leaves Moreton-in-Marsh station on 5 October 2016 with the 1P37 09:50 GWR service to Paddington. A few minutes earlier it had arrived as the 2E93 07:50 service from Paddington. Trains that reverse at Moreton-in-Marsh now use platform 1, and use a newly installed semaphore signal (mostly hidden by the train) to cross over onto the correct line when departing.

166207 Daylesford 13 February 2017

166207 passes Daylesford on 13 February 2017 with the 1P51 12:09 Hereford to Paddington GWR service. This picture makes an interesting comparison to the same train photographed a few months earlier, on that occasion worked by 166220. Amazing what a difference a different livery, and season of the year makes!

166207 Charlbury 9 March 2017

166207 arrives at Charlbury on 9 March 2017 with the 1P51 12:09 Hereford to Paddington GWR service. With a mix of Class 165, 166, 180 & HST traction, it is not always the case that the type of stock matches the length of journey over the Cotswold Line. Whereas this three car unit traverses the whole of the route, a few hours later a HST only goes as far as Moreton-in-Marsh, before returning to London.

166207 Combe (Grintleyhill Bridge) 19 April 2017

Viewed from the lofty Grintleyhill Bridge, near Combe, 166207 heads down the Cotswold Line on 19 April 2017 with the 1P43 11:22 Worcester Shrub Hill to Paddington GWR service. It is just crossing the River Evenlode, which it has already crossed twice since passing under the occupation bridge in the background!

166207 Hanborough 9 July 2016

166207 approaches Hanborough on 9 July 2016 with the 1P27 11:22 Worcester Shrub Hill to Paddington GWR service. Two years after the vegetation was cleared from the cutting side, and the pruning has resulted in abundant regrowth. Soon be back to square one!

166207 Ascott-under-Wychwood 26 August 2017

166207 passes Ascott-under-Wychwood on 26 August 2017 with the 1P40 09:51 Great Malvern to Paddington GWR service. Along with virtually everywhere else along the Cotswold Line, the vegetation has grown up enormously here in the last few decades.

166207 Kennington 9 September 2017

166207 passes Kennington on 9 September 2017 with the 2P36 08:36 Oxford to Paddington GWR service. A footbridge provides the vantage point, the steps providing a range of viewpoints, although the bush in the foreground now limits pictures from much lower down.

166207 Tredington 6 June 2018

166207 passes Tredington on 6 June 2018 with the 2F99 16:48 Great Malvern to Westbury GWR service. For the first 25 years of their life, the Turbo units would have been extremely rare visitors to this area, being almost entirely confined to the Thames Valley and Cotswold lines. However, with the electfrication out of Paddington, they have spread their area of operation considerably.

166207 Westley Wood 30 December 2018

166207 passes underneath Jackdaw Bridge (near Frampton Mansell) on 30 December 2018 with the 2B90 09:24 Cheltenham Spa to Swindon GWR service. This unusual bridge now carries a footpath through Westley Woods, but was originally built to carry an inclined plane, that lowered stone from Jackdaw Quarry, on the hillside near Westley Farm, to the Thames & Severn Canal in the valley below. The bridge, which is also known as Westley Bridge, or Skew Bridge was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel's assistant, Charles Richardson. It has a gradient of 1 in 2.9, and can be a bit difficult to climb when the track is muddy!

166207 Hailey Wood 30 December 2018

166207 passes through Hailey Wood (between Kemble and Sapperton) on 30 December 2018 with the 2G81 10:44 Swindon to Cheltenham Spa GWR service. The disused Thames & Severn Canal Tunnel passes underneath the railway near this point, and just a few yards from this spot is one of the many shafts used in the construction of the tunnel.

166207 Standish Junction 2 January 2019

166207 takes the Swindon line at Standish Junction on 2 January 2019 with the 2B92 11:20 Cheltenham Spa to Swindon GWR service. Luckily the few Class 166s that appeared in this plain blue version of First Great Western's livery seem likely to avoid the later hideous green colour scheme, at least for a while!

166207 Badgeworth 22 October 2019

166207 passes Badgeworth on 22 October 2019 with the 2M97 08:23 Southampton Central to Great Malvern GWR service. It's always worth photographing the remaining blue Turbo units, as the plain First Great Western blue, with grey roof livery is so much better than the drab green colour scheme that most of the rest of the Class 166s, and all the Class 165/1s now have to suffer.

166207 Badgeworth 22 October 2019

166207 passes Badgeworth in superb autumnal light on 22 October 2019 with the 2O90 12:51 Great Malvern to Weymouth GWR service. One third of the 21 strong Class 166 fleet were lucky enough to receive First Great Western's revised plain blue colour scheme in 2015, and therefore escaped the later mass repainting into GWR's drab green livery.

166208 Aynho Junction 22 July 1993

166208 passes Aynho Junction on 22 July 1993 with the 1F67 15:55 Stratford-upon-Avon to Paddington Network SouthEast service. Direct trains from Stratford now take the Chiltern line on the extreme right, arriving at Marylebone instead of Paddington. The reason that 166208 looks so clean is because it is virtually new, having only been in traffic for a little over a month.

166208 Kingham 12 March 1995

166208 approaches Kingham on 12 March 1995 with the 15:32 Worcester Shrub Hill to Paddington service. Although this section of the Cotswold Line, in contrast to much of the route, avoided being singled in 1971, for a long time it retained 95lb per yard bullhead track, as seen here. Since this picture was taken not only has this vintage track been replaced, but also 166208 has lost its Network SouthEast livery. Unfortunately, this viewpoint is nothing like as clear of vegetation now either!

166208 South Moreton (Didcot East) 16 April 2002

166208 catches the last of the evening light at South Moreton (Didcot East) on 16 April 2002, as it approaches Didcot with the 17:21 Paddington to Oxford Thames Trains service. The unit seems to have had some rather odd partial cleaning. You could understand someone manually cleaning the front from ground level, leaving the roof dirty, but the opposite seems to have happened here!

166208 Norton 25 October 2003

Plenty of autumn colours in evidence at Norton on 25 October 2003, as 166208 heads towards Worcester with the 10:48 Paddington to Great Malvern Thames Trains service. You can tell it is a Saturday, as the M5 motorway in the background is not busy with lorries!

166208 Hinksey 30 December 2008

The gulls on the fence and yard lights at Hinksey take no notice of 166208 as it passes by with the 12:37 Oxford to Paddington First Great Western service on 30 December 2008. The high fence in the foreground was built to act as a noise barrier following complaints from residents after Network Rail started to use Hinksey Yard for ballast operations, after several decades of virtual disuse. Obviously the local populace is less tolerant of noise nowadays, as up until the 1950s this yard was used extensively for shunting loose coupled freight trains!

166208 Moreton-in-Marsh 20 April 2009

Very nearly a Cotswold Line passing shot. 166208 accelerates away from Moreton-in-Marsh on 20 April 2009 with the 17:00 Great Malvern to Paddington First Great Western service, while in the background 165120 can just be seen as it approaches the station with the 17:31 Oxford to Worcester Foregate Street service.

166208 Ascott-under-Wychwood 1 September 2010

166208 crosses over the level crossing next to Ascott-under-Wychwood station on 1 September 2010, whilst working the 2P42 09:29 Moreton-in-Marsh to Paddington First Great Western service. This scene will shortly be transformed, with the reinstatement of double track. This will obviously see the repositioning of the barriers on the right and the removal of the portacabin. At present the double track ends a short distance behind the train. Ascott's sole surviving semaphore signal can just be seen in the background, controlling the down line. Incidentally, the redoubling is not the only construction work going on in the area, note the construction site on the extreme left. Some more houses are being squeezed into the small plot of land next to the railway.

166208 Hinksey 29 November 2010

166208 passes a well filled Hinksey Yard on 29 November 2010 with the 2N32 11:27 Paddington to Oxford First Great Western service. This was in the days when the Oxford area still had a resident Class 08 shunter, and 08757 can be seen engaged in a spot of shunting in the background

166208 Shorthampton 6 January 2012

The low winter sunlight provides perfect illumination for 166208, as it passes Shorthampton on 6 January 2012 with the 1P35 08:26 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington First Great Western service. It is travelling over the recently reinstated double track, and makes an interesting comparison to 166206 pictured from a similar viewpoint a few months previously.

166208 Finstock 17 January 2013

166208 races through Finstock station on 17 January 2013 with the 1P43 11:50 Moreton-in-Marsh to Paddington First Great Western service. Although there is no sunshine, this is ideal conditions for winter photography, with a sprinkling of snow, and frost covering most of the trees and bushes.

166208 Shipton 15 November 2013

Shipton station on the Cotswold Line is served by just a handful of trains, and this isn't one of them. 166208 speeds through the diminutive station on 15 November 2013 with the 1P37 09:50 Moreton-in-Marsh to Paddington First Great Western service. Formerly there was a footpath crossing linking the two platforms at this end of the station, but obviously being on a tight curve with restricted visibility, this is now considered too dangerous. Therefore prospective passengers have to access the correct platform from the main road a short distance away. On the down side the access forms part of FWP Matthews flour mill yard, which explains the pile of pallets on the left.

166208 Cholsey 15 November 2013

166208 runs along the up relief line at Cholsey on 15 November 2013 with the 2P54 13:07 Oxford to Paddington First Great Western service. The village of North Moreton can be seen in the distance, in a view that will be lost once electrification takes place.

166208 Oxford North Junction 12 July 2014

The early morning fog is just starting to lift as 166208 passes Oxford North Junction with the 1P21 05:56 Great Malvern to Paddington First Great Western service on 12 July 2014. It is just passing over the disputed foot crossing, that the owners of the allotments visible on the left want to keep open, and which Network Rail want to shut.

166208 South Moreton 10 September 2015

166208 runs along the down fast line at South Moreton on 10 September 2015 with the 1D43 14:50 Paddington to Oxford GWR service. The arrival of the electrification masts presumably means that this will regrettably be my last visit to this location.

166208 Hinksey 11 February 2016

166208 passes Hinksey Yard on 11 February 2016 with the 1P43 11:22 Worcester Shrub Hill to Paddington GWR service. Even in this light there isn't much difference between the unit's dark green livery and the dark grey of the roof!

166208 Sonning 26 April 2016

GWR green liveried 166208 passes through Sonning cutting on 26 April 2016 with the 1K41 08:43 Bedwyn to Paddington service. In the background bluebells can be seen growing near the top of the cutting, now easily visible thanks to the removal of most of the trees along this stretch of line, or at least the removal of all but the branchless trunks!

166208 Shipton 15 June 2016

166208 speeds through Shipton station on 15 June 2016 with the 1P43 11:22 Worcester Shrub Hill to Paddington GWR service. Mid summer at midday is the worst possible time for photography, especially when the subject is in GWR's dark green livery. Unfortunately though, when the lighting is better during the winter months, this location is in shade due to the line of conifers on the left.

166208 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 9 August 2016

During the two week closure of the line at Oxford from late July 2016, Turbo units returned to the Great Western Mainline, having not normally been seen on the route since the abortive Oxford to Bristol direct passenger service, that operated for a few years from 1998. While those trains were operated by two car Class 165s, the 2016 workings were Class 166s, running as empty stock. 166208 approaches the site of Ashbury Crossing, Shrivenham, on 9 August 2016 with the 3W38 10:35 Reading Traincare Depot to Worcester Foregate Street GWR ECS.

166208 Charlbury 7 September 2016

166208 approaches Charlbury on 7 September 2016 with the 1P43 11:22 Worcester Shrub Hill to Paddington GWR service. Note the two HST stop boards on the left, showing that even Charlbury's new down platform is not long enough for a full length HST.

166208 Dorn 2 January 2017

166208 passes Dorn (near Moreton-in-Marsh) in superb winter light on 2 January 2017 with the 1P51 12:09 Hereford to Paddington GWR service. A short distance further on the train will cross the course of a much older thoroughfare - the Roman Fosse Way, which ran between Exeter and Lincoln.

166208 Oxford 2 February 2019

166208 leaves Oxford station on 2 February 2019 with the 1P35 10:00 GWR service to Paddington. While I was there, several motorists couldn't resist using the partly empty snow covered car park as a skid pan. Excellent fun, but one did come rather to close to hitting one of the lampposts!

166209 Shipton 26 August 1996

166209 pulls away from Shipton station on 26 August 1996 with the 07:09 Oxford to Worcester Foregate Street service. Normally this train would not call at Shipton, but on this occasion it stopped especially to pick up Cotswold Line passengers who had booked on the Pathfinder Tours 1Z46 07:10 Swindon to Holyhead 'North Wales Coast Explorer' railtour, which they would board at Worcester. The reason for the going away shot is that it was hopelessly backlit when arriving at the station.

166209 Oxford (Walton Well Road) 19 December 1999

166209 approaches Walton Well Road, Oxford, on 19 December 1999 with the 09:02 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington Thames Trains service. The snow had fallen during the night, but even by 10:00 the next day most of it had dropped off the trees. However, the combination of sunshine and snow was not to be missed. What a pity it was a Sunday, with very little traffic about!

166209 Banbury 24 April 2002

166209 approaches Banbury on 24 April 2002 with the 17:32 Stratford-upon-Avon to Paddington Thames Trains service. It is passing the sidings of the Banbury stone terminal. The M40 motorway can be seen in the background, with the 388 feet tall Charwelton BT telecommunications tower just visible in the far distance, on the right.

166209 Goring 12 April 2008

The sunshine before the clouds. 166209 approaches Goring on 12 April 2008 with the 1P30 09:30 Oxford to Paddington First Great Western service. As can be guessed from the dark clouds in the background, this superb lighting didn't last long!

166209 Chadlington 1 February 2010

166209 passes Shorthampton on 1 February 2010 with the 1W21 09:21 Paddington to Worcester Foregate Street First Great Western service. I had carefully chosen this position to frame the train between the fence and the overhanging branches, but it wasn't until afterwards that I noticed that if you look carefully, you can see St Nicholas church, Chadlington directly above the first class compartment of the leading vehicle.

166209 Wolvercote 4 May 2011

A large truck overtakes a skip lorry on the A34 Oxford by-pass in the background, as 166209 passes Wolvercote with the 1P47 12:06 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington First Great Western service on 4 May 2011. There is actually palisade fencing on both sides of the line here, but the vegetation is so luxuriant, that it is all but hidden.

166209 Charlbury (Cornbury Park) 12 September 2011

On 12 September 2011, 166209 passes the new signal on the approach to the reinstated double track section of the Cotswold Line near Charlbury station. Unfortunately the new double track, welcome though it is, has not eliminated late running. This is the 1W29 11:20 Paddington to Great Malvern First Great Western service, which is due to depart Charlbury at 12:36. Here it passing Cornbury Park, with a few hundred yards still to go, at 12:50 - fifteen minutes late.

166209 Ruscombe 22 July 2012

166209 passes Ruscombe on 22 July 2012 with the 1K41 08:41 Bedwyn to Paddington First Great Western service. An ideal photographic vantage point on a quiet road (unlike the bridge in the background), and with reasonably unobstructed views in both directions (until the electrification reaches here).

166209 & 165101 Hinksey 1 January 2013

A deliberately wide view of Hinksey Yard on 1 January 2013, showing the tall barrier erected to protect local residents from the noise of railways operations in the 'virtual quarry' area of the yard. In the background 166209 & 165101 scuttle by with the 2P52 12:26 Oxford to Paddington First Great Western service.

166209 Culham 26 September 2015

The fog has just cleared to reveal the chimney and cooling towers of the disused Didcot Power Station on the morning of 26 September 2015. 166209 approaches Culham with the 1W13 07:21 Paddington to Great Malvern GWR service.

166209 Sonning 16 August 2016

166209 runs through Sonning cutting on 16 August 2016 with the 2N42 13:57 Paddington to Oxford GWR service. This location has been familiar to generations of railway photographers, but all that is about to come to an end, with the Great Western Mainline electfrication scheme.

166209 Charlbury 30 November 2016

It is certainly not a rush hour train, but there are still plenty of passengers waiting to board the 1P43 11:22 Worcester Shrub Hill to Paddington GWR service, as it rolls into Charlbury station on 30 November 2016. 166209 is still wearing the intermediate simplified First Great Western colour scheme, that was replaced in 2015 as the standard colour for these units by a dark green livery.

166209 Steventon 1 March 2017

166209 passes Steventon on 1 March 2017 with the 3U77 10:30 Reading to Bristol St Philips Marsh ECS. With Class 387 EMUs taking over suburban services out of Paddington, the Class 166s are being transferred to Bristol for a new life working local trains to such locations as Severn Beach. Note the houses in the background. Even villages like Steventon are now being swamped by housing estates. The local paper's main news stories seem to be about residents fighting developer's plans!

166209 Honeybourne 1 April 2017

As the rain clears after a massive a storm, 166209 slowly approaches Honeybourne on 1 April 2017 with the 1W41 14:21 Paddington to Great Malvern GWR service. The line on the left is the freight only route to Long Marston.

166209 Tackley 19 April 2017

166209 approaches Tackley on 19 April 2017 with the 2L47 15:08 Banbury to Oxford GWR service. Note the small first class section at the front of the train. This has just 16 seats, compared to the unit's 243 second class seats.

166209 Badsey 31 July 2017

166209 passes Badsey on 31 July 2017 with the 1P51 12:09 Hereford to Paddington GWR service. Although much more overgrown than formerly, this is still one of the better locations on the northern section of the Cotswold Line.

166209 Daylesford 17 August 2017

166209 passes Daylesford on 17 August 2017 with the 1P51 12:09 Hereford to Paddington GWR service. Mid summer is definitely not the best time for photography. There were much better photographic conditions six months earlier, when 166207 passed the same spot, with the same train.

166209 Elmbridge 23 March 2020

166209 passes Elmbridge on 23 March 2020 with the 1O98 10:41 Great Malvern to Westbury GWR service. This was running 25 minutes late, and although it later regained some time, it was terminated at Bristol Temple Meads. In the foreground is a newly planted orchard, featuring various varieties of apple trees.

166210 Didcot North Junction 6 May 1994

166210 passes Didcot North Junction on 6 May 1994 with the 1F16 09:48 Paddington to Oxford Network SouthEast service. It has just traversed Didcot East Curve, which allows non-stop trains such as this to avoid Didcot Parkway station. There are some strange goings on in the background. 47145 Merddin Emrys, which had arrived a little earlier with the  6V03 MoD stores from Fenny Compton, can be seen attached to the front of 47307 on a train of cartics. However, it didn't stayed attached for long, and headed off north light engine, leaving 47307 to work the train alone.

166210 Ascott-under-Wychwood 3 August 1995

166210 calls at Ascott-under-Wychwood on 3 August 1995 with the 2F16 17:41 Oxford to Moreton-in-Marsh 'all stations' Network SouthEast service. The few trains that call at Ascott are usually worked by two car Class 165/1s, but on this occasion the passengers are being treated to some air conditioned comfort courtesy of a Class 166. This seems to have happened because 166210 is temporarily running as a two car unit!

166210 Shipton 5 October 1997

166210 approaches Shipton station at reduced speed on 5 October 1997 with the 13:36 Paddington to Hereford Thames Trains service. Although the newly laid track the unit is passing over here has received a little ballast, the section through the station, just a few yards further on, had received none at all! Note the pile of vintage bullhead track stacked up on the left. Obviously this new steel sleepered track is the first new permanent way at this location for many decades.

166210 Hinksey 28 April 1999

166210 passes Hinksey Yard on 28 April 1999 with the 16:48 Paddington to Stratford-upon-Avon Thames Trains service. With both Oxford and Stratford-upon-Avon being two of the biggest UK tourist destinations, you would have thought this service would have a secure future. Unfortunately though it didn't last, and there is now no direct service between the two towns.

166210 Bishopton 8 September 2001

Under a dramatic sky, 166210 is just over a mile into its journey as it passes Bishopton on 8 September 2001 with the 16:06 Stratford-upon-Avon to Leamington Spa Thames Trains service. Note the curved green panels over the doors - a completely different livery style to that carried by the similar Class 165s.

166210 Chilson 23 October 2007

166210 passes Chilson on 23 October 2007 with the 11:51 Paddington to Hereford First Great Western service. With the view from the nearby roadbridge now completely obstructed by trees, this handy gap in the lineside hedge offers an alternative viewpoint.

166210 Combe (Grintleyhill Bridge) 11 February 2008

Grintleyhill Bridge near Combe, on the Cotswold Line gives an almost aerial view of the surrounding countryside. On 11 February 2008, 166210 is pictured working the 09:37 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington First Great Western service, one of the handful of services over the line still operated by Turbo units.

166210 Chilson 12 November 2009

166210 seems to be gradually loosing its number at one end. Just the last two digits remain after the rest of the panel seems to have been covered with black plastic or paint. I have seen pictures where this only covers the left part of the panel, leaving the number intact. I'm not sure what's going on here, but presumably it will soon be anonymous! On 12 November 2009 it passes Chilson with the 08:52 Great Malvern to Paddington First Great Western service.

166210 Hinksey 9 January 2010

166210 passes Hinksey on 9 January 2010 with the 13:37 Oxford to Paddington First Great Western service. This deliberate broadside view clearly shows the frozen lake, which was created during the construction of the railway in the middle of the nineteenth century. Note the distance spire of Oxford's Nuffield College in the background. Although not apparent here, there was a large bank of cloud approaching from the south east, which was a perfect excuse for me to stop standing around in the freezing cold!

166210 Shorthampton 1 February 2010

The vegetation clearance work along the Cotswold Line during 2009 has opened up a number of previously unobtainable viewpoints, and one that I have had my eye on for a while is the view looking west towards the roadbridge at Shorthampton. The morning of 1 February 2010 dawned clear and with the added bonus of a light snowfall during the night, the short trip was made to Shorthampton for my first ever picture from this spot. I had guessed that the shadows would just be clear of the track, and I was almost right! 166210 heads east with the 08:58 Great Malvern to Paddington First Great Western service.

166210 Charlbury (Cornbury Park) 28 June 2010

On 28 June 2010, 166210 rounds the curve past Cornbury Park as it accelerates the 09:29 Moreton-in-Marsh to Paddington First Great Western service away from Charlbury station, the car park of which can just be seen in the background. This is the point where the redoubled section of the Cotswold Line (reinstated in 2011) now reverts back to single track.

166210 Culham 27 April 2011

Does 166210 have an aversion to front end numbers? Over a year after seeing it with virtually no numbers at Chilson, it looks little better here at Culham on 27 April 2011, as it heads southwards with the 1P53 15:01 Oxford to Paddington First Great Western service. I'm not quite sure what useful purpose the warning notice in the foreground serves, as there is no public footpath crossing at this location.

166210 Moulsford 27 April 2011

166210 passes the site of Moulsford station on 27 April 2011 with the 2N52 16:27 Paddington to Oxford First Great Western service. Moulsford station closed as long ago as 1892, when the line was quadrupled. A new station named Cholsey and Moulsford (still open today and now just called Cholsey) was built a little further west, opening on 29 February 1892, with Moulsford station closing the same day. Behind the laburnum bush are some of the original station buildings.

166210 Tackley 16 June 2011

166210 slows down on the approach to Tackley station whilst working the 2M56 17:25 Paddington to Banbury First Great Western service on 16 June 2011. Until the lineside vegetation once again grows up to obscure the track, this is an excellent location to photograph northbound trains in the evening with the sun 'on the nose'.

166210 Dorn 1 August 2011

There is an unusual bridge over the railway at Dorn, with an extremely low and unusually shaped parapet. A deliberately wide view of 166210 shows off this unusual structure on 1 August 2011. The train is the late running 13:21 Paddington to Malvern First Great Western service.

166210 Hinksey 28 October 2011

166210 passes the north end of Hinksey Yard on 28 October 2011 with the 2P56 13:37 Oxford to Paddington First Great Western service. This a local 'stopping' train, calling at all the stations the more direct service (which left six minutes earlier) ignored.

166210 Hungerford Common 22 May 2012

166210 passes Hungerford Common on 22 May 2012 with the 1K61 12:38 Bedwyn to Paddington First Great Western service. Unfortunately the uncontrolled growth of trees alongside the line means that passengers do not really get a view of the common, although as can be seen here, they do get a good view of the swage works on the opposite side of the line!

166210 Culham 9 August 2012

166210 passes through Culham station at high speed on 9 August 2012 with the late running 2P42 09:39 Banbury to Paddington First Great Western service. Note the ornate GWR canopy still in place on the old station building.

166210 Adlestrop 19 October 2013

166210 approaches the site of Adlestrop station on 19 October 2013 with the 1W41 14:17 Paddington to Great Malvern First Great Western service. A good show of autumn colours, but I prefer the view nearly three decades earlier when there were less trees, and Daylesford church could be seen in the background.

166210 Combe (Grintleyhill Bridge) 10 November 2013

The impressively high Grintleyhill Bridge, near Combe on the Cotswold Line, still gives a striking view of approaching trains, despite the marked increase in lineside vegetation over the years. 166210 heads south on 10 November 2013 with the 1P37 09:20 Great Malvern to Paddington First Great Western service.

166210 Steeple Aston 17 March 2014

166210 is still accelerating away from Heyford station, as it rounds the curve through the trees near Steeple Aston on 17 March 2014 with the 2L44 11:46 Oxford to Banbury First Great Western service. For once I was glad that the sun wasn't out, as this would be looking straight into it!

166210 Cholsey 2 January 2015

166210 approaches Cholsey on 2 January 2015 with the 1P41 12:01 Oxford to Paddington First Great Western service. Plenty of signs of the forthcoming electrification, with newly erected masts on the left, and steel piles, either partly driven in, or lying on the grass, on the right.

166210 Oxford 1 April 2015

166210 pulls out of Oxford station on 1 April 2015 with the 1P30 09:31 First Great Western service to Paddington. If you think the car park and lamp posts make a distracting, just wait until the overhead electrification arrives!

166210 Kingham 7 June 2015

166210 accelerates away from Kingham station (which can just be glimpsed in the background) with the 1W51 16:34 Paddington to Great Malvern First Great Western service on 7 June 2015. The faring underneath the front coupler seems to have been damaged and repaired multiple times! Photo taken from a public footpath crossing.

166210 Moreton-in-Marsh 2 January 2016

166210 approaches Moreton-in-Marsh in the rain on 2 January 2016 with the late running 1W21 09:51 Reading to Worcester Foregate Street GWR service. This train would normally start from Paddington at 09:09, but engineering work between Reading and London was effecting some services. Note the two semaphore signals in the background. Other than for testing purposes, I doubt if the siding signal has been used in years!

166210 Culham 2 July 2016

166210 approaches Culham on 2 July 2016 with the 1D09 06:50 Paddington to Oxford GWR service. The gaunt remains of Didcot Power Station dominate the background, with the partially collapsed turbine house a sad reminder of the tragic accident that happened in the preceding February.

166210 Sonning 16 August 2016

Two different shades of green in Sonning cutting on 16 August 2016. The dark green of 166210 compares unfavourably with the lineside vegetation, and certainly doesn't hark back to the original GWR's Brunswick green. The unit is working the 2P48 11:37 Oxford to Paddington GWR service.

166210 Sonning 16 August 2016

166210 runs along the down main line at Sonning on 16 August 2016 with the 1K60 13:18 Paddington to Bedwyn GWR service. In the far distance the electfrication masts that will soon spoil this viewpoint are already in place.

166210 Yarnton Junction (site of) 9 April 2017

166210 passes Yarnton on 9 April 2017 with the 1W51 16:42 Paddington to Great Malvern GWR service. Yarnton Junction station used to be situated just before the bend in the background, with the branch line to Fairford diverging off to the right.

166210 Chalford 8 May 2018

166210 passes Chalford on 8 May 2018 with the 2B92 11:20 Cheltenham Spa to Swindon GWR service. Although the lush spring greenery is a lighter shade than GWR's dark green, there is still insufficient colour contrast between the two for a perfect picture.

166210 Badgeworth 4 December 2018

166210 passes Badgeworth on 4 December 2018 with the 2G82 09:36 Swindon to Cheltenham Spa GWR service. The 1L50 10:36 Cheltenham Spa to Paddington Class 800 DMU can just be seen disappearing into the distance.

166211 & 166205 Oxford 13 May 1995

166211 & 166205 leave Oxford station on 13 May 1995 with the 08:45 non-stop service to Paddington. An average speed of 61 mph doesn't seen particularly impressive, especially as a decade earlier a Class 50 on a similar train was also booked to cover the distance in 58 minutes, but that included a stop at Reading! I suppose on the plus side, the Class 166s do have air conditioning, even if the seats aren't as comfortable as a good old Mk 1 coach. Incidentally, this is one of the last occasions that I visited this long term favourite Oxford viewpoint before the disused sidings on the right were ripped up and replaced with a car park, thereby virtually ruining the location for photography.

166211 Wolvercote Junction 13 April 1996

166211 catches the last rays of the setting sun, as it comes off the Cotswold Line at Wolvercote Junction on 13 April 1996 with the very late running 1F67 15:42 Great Malvern to Paddington service. This was during the privatisation period, when the former Network SouthEast empire had been split up into sub-divisions, but before Thames Trains had taken over in this area.

166211 Overthorpe 16 June 1999

A Turbo glint at Overthorpe on 16 June 1999. The setting sun turns 1662111 golden, as it heads south from Banbury with the 20:00 Stratford-upon-Avon to Paddington Thames Trains service. In the background a hot air balloon rises into the evening sky. This picture is taken from the convenient footpath that runs alongside the line underneath the M40 motorway bridge. I used the bridge not only as a frame for the picture, but more importantly to keep the setting sun from shining directly into the lens!

166211 Hinksey 9 January 2010

Superb photographic conditions at Hinksey on 9 January 2010. 166211 passes the snow covered yard with the 1P37 09:37 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington First Great Western service. Note the snow and ice covered Hinksey Lake on the right.

166211 Wolvercote 19 July 2013

Major engineering works at Wolvercote, in connection with the reinstatement of the down relief line. 166211 passes the work site on 19 July 2013 with the 2M50 15:57 Paddington to Banbury First Great Western service. Although the new palisade fence seems to indicate encroachment into the nearby Port Meadow, the boundary hasn't actually changed, as the course of the old line took much the same course, although latterly mainly hidden by bushes.

166211 Didcot North Junction 10 July 2015

166211 speeds past Didcot North Junction on 10 July 2015 with the 1M99 07:50 Paddington to Banbury First Great Western service. This new version of FGW's livery does look smart, but presumably is set to be short lived, in favour of the new green colour scheme.

166211 Combe (Grintleyhill Bridge) 20 April 2016

Grintleyhill Bridge, near Combe, is the vantage point for this view of 166211 heading down the Evenlode Valley on 20 April 2016 with the 1P37 08:43 Great Malvern to Paddington GWR service. The unit is wearing the simplified former First Great Western livery, complete with dark grey roof.

166211 Ascott-under-Wychwood 15 September 2016

166211 speeds past Ascott-under-Wychwood signal box on 15 September 2016 with the 1P37 09:50 Moreton-in-Marsh to Paddington GWR service. The blue sky here is deceptive, as there was still a lot of fog about, and the sun had only just appeared a few minutes before the train came into view. This photo is taken from the extreme end of Ascott-under-Wychwood station's down platform, and requires a wide angle lens. This means that that the shutter has to fired at exactly the right time, and a high shutter speed is essential. 1/2000sec was used here.

166211 Combe (Grintleyhill Bridge) 14 June 2017

With Lower Westfield Farm in the background, 166211 approaches the extremely tall Grintleyhill Bridge, near Combe, on 14 June 2017 with the 1P39 10:22 Moreton-in-Marsh to Paddington GWR service. A very high sun, and the dominate green foliage do make for a particularly good photograph.

166211 Ascott-under-Wychwood 24 July 2017

166211 speeds through Ascott-under-Wychwood station on 24 July 2017 with the 2Z47 18:28 Oxford to Worcester Shrub Hill GWR service. The line was closed for week long engineering works between Didcot and Oxford, which explains the Z headcode. It also partly explains the 'Caution Trains Operating' notice on the platform. Although trains were running, the two daily local stopping trains had been replaced by buses.

166211 Shipton 29 November 2017

166211 passes Shipton on 29 November 2017 with the 1P43 10:59 Great Malvern to Paddington GWR service. The photo is taken from the car park of FWP Matthews, the well known Cotswold flour millers, which explains the lorry trailer parked in the background. This also serves as the entrance to Shipton station's down platform, which can just be seen in the shadow of the conifers.

166211 Moreton-in-Marsh (Dunstall Bridge) 4 August 2018

Aside from being a Class 166 on the Cotswold Line, which in itself is much less common in 2018 than formerly, after most of the class have been transferred to Bristol, this train is also noteworthy for another reason. 166211 approaches Moreton-in-Marsh on 4 August 2018 with what at the time it was photographed was the 1W06 16:54 Reading to Hereford GWR service, a last minute replacement for the cancelled 1W06 16:22 Paddington to Hereford HST service. However, it only got as far as Worcester Shrub Hill. Both the initial cancellation, and the early termination were apparently due to train crew issues.

166211 Purton 17 September 2018

166211 passes Purton in superb late afternoon light on 17 September 2018 with the 2G89 17:54 Swindon to Cheltenham Spa GWR service. Collins Lane level crossing can just be seen in the background. I might not have waited for this if it had been one of GWR's much more common drab green liveried units, but as I had seen it heading for Swindon just as I arrived, it was definitely worth waiting for another picture of a unit in this much more attractive colour scheme.

166211 Bremell Sidings (site of) 27 August 2019

166211 passes the site of Bremell Sidings on 27 August 2019 with the 5B97 16:24 Swindon to Cheltenham Spa GWR ECS. This was running an hour early, despite it leaving Swindon (just a few miles away) one minute late. After arriving at Swindon with the 2B96 15:20 Cheltenham Spa to Swindon service, it is supposed to wait at Swindon Cocklebury until 17:20. On this occasion it just headed straight back from whence it came. This was unfortunate, as it was still cloudy, and at the booked time the sun would have been out. However, I never miss a chance to photograph one of the few remaining blue Class 166s.