Class 166

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 12:31 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 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.

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 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 & 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 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 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.

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 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 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 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.

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.

166212 Wolvercote Junction 12 July 1994

The early morning mist is still a little reluctant to clear in the background on 12 July 1994, as 166212 passes Wolvercote Junction with the 07:40 Banbury to Paddington Network SouthEast service. The Cotswold Line can just be seen diverging to the left under the bridge in the background. I haven't taken many pictures from this location, as it is definitely not a very pleasant spot to stand for any length of time, being on the very busy Oxford ring road.

166212 Culham 15 May 1997

Probably the most dramatic lighting that I have encountered whilst taking railway photos. 166212 passes Culham on 15 May 1997 with the 05:30 Paddington to Oxford Thames Trains service. This superb lighting naturally didn't last very long. A little more than ten minutes, and then the black clouds in the background extinguished the sun.

166212 Claverdon 24 May 1997

166212 speeds through Claverdon station on 24 May 1997 with the 09:07 Paddington to Stratford-upon-Avon Thames Trains service. Interestingly, this is one of the few occasions that I have seen a Class 166 running as a two car unit. Presumably the centre coach was removed at some point for maintenance, but I don't suppose that it had anything to do with the fact that on this day the train was 35 minutes late.

166212 Kingham 8 June 2003

On 8 June 2003 the Cotswold Line Promotion Group celebrated 150 years of the line with a special train from Oxford to Evesham. On the return journey the train was stabled in the bay platform at Moreton-in-Marsh for a while, before continuing onwards to Oxford. The special is pictured arriving at Kingham station with appropriate headboard. Thames Trains had provided 166212 for the trip, which tied in with various CLPG events at the line's stations.

166212 Shorthampton 10 September 2009

Railway photographers are always complaining that lineside photographic locations are disappearing under the onslaught of unchecked vegetation, with once favourite spots vanishing completely. Well, here is the reverse situation. 166212 passes Shorthampton with the 1P37 08:52 Great Malvern to Paddington First Great Western service on 10 September 2009. Ever since I started taking pictures in the late 1970s, this location has been completely useless, with the line barely visible in a tunnel of trees. This mega clearance is in readiness for the reinstatement of double track between Ascott-under-Wychwood and Charlbury.

166212 Daylesford 1 November 2010

A superb show of autumn colours at Daylesford on 1 November 2010. 166212 speeds by with the 1P47 12:06 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington First Great Western service. I find it very hard to find a lineside location that includes a reasonable display of foliage in an autumn photograph without the trees shading the line, and there are certainly very few local locations that are as good as this. The brilliant orange of the trees on the left (growing next to the River Evenlode) is especially striking.

166212 Combe (Grintleyhill Bridge) 11 August 2011

166212 is about to pass under Grintleyhill Bridge, Combe on 11 August 2011, whilst working the 1W41 14:21 Paddington to Charlbury First Great Western service. This train, which would normally carry on to Worcester, terminated early due to final preparations for opening of the new double track section of the Cotswold Line.

166212 Shorthampton 1 October 2011

166212 speeds past Shorthampton on 1 October 2011 with the 1P43 10:58 Great Malvern to Paddington First Great Western service. This view is taken from a farm occupation bridge, that prior to clearance work in connection with the reinstatement of double track was completely inaccessible due an impenetrable mass of brambles and dense bushes. I was surprised to find that the view had already become blocked again by a rapidly growing tree, and I had to do some severe 'gardening' in order to be able to take this picture. I predict that this location will soon become impossible once more, as even if the tree can be kept pruned, just look at what's growing all along the side of the cutting!

166212 Shorthampton 6 October 2012

166212 passes Shorthampton on 6 October 2012 with the 1P40 09:51 Great Malvern to Paddington First Great Western service. This is one of those unusual locations that has actually got better from a photographic point of view, although it is now already reverting to its former overgrown state. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s it was virtually impossible to take anything other than a head on shot here, but the reinstatement of double track saw a massive blitz on the lineside vegetation. Unfortunately, as gardeners know, pruning encourages growth. Compare this scene with a picture of the same unit passing the spot three years before.

166212 Kennington 6 June 2013

166212 speeds past Kennington on 6 June 2013 with the 1D57 17:36 Paddington to Banbury First Great Western service. Not the most photogenic of locations, but one of the few on this stretch of line that isn't spoiled by lineside bushes.

166212 Souldern Wharf 21 April 2015

166212 passes Souldern Wharf on 21 April 2015 with the 2L47 15:08 Banbury to Oxford First Great Western service. Souldern Wharf is at the end of a no through road from the village of Souldern, and as its name implies, originally served a small wharf on the Oxford Canal.

166212 Hinksey 20 January 2016

166212 passes Hinksey Yard on 20 January 2016 with the 1P51 12:09 Hereford to Paddington service. The low winter sunshine actually makes GWR's dark green livery look half decent. Most other lighting conditions either make it just look drab, or in some cases nearly black! The train is passing the partially frozen lake, which was created by the original Great Western Railway, during construction of the line to Oxford.

166213 Kingham 17 July 1994

166213 arrives at Kingham station on 17 July 1994 with the 1B36 15:33 Paddington to Worcester Shrub Hill service. This view clearly shows the double road bridge, with the left hand span now disused. It formerly spanned the tracks serving the Banbury to Cheltenham route (closed in 1962).

166213 Cholsey 22 July 1994

Soft evening light at Cholsey on 22 July 1994, as 166213 accelerates away from Cholsey station with the 1F76 18:38 Paddington to Oxford Network SouthEast service. This was a Friday, and therefore the Oxford passengers would be in for a longer journey, as on a Friday the train spent an extra five minutes at Didcot Parkway station, resulting in an arrival at Oxford at 20:05, instead of 19:59 during the rest of the week! The Manor Farm bridge seen here was a popular photographic location for generations of railway enthusiasts. That all came to and end in 2015 with the installation of huge parapet extensions, and the onward march of the Great Western Mainline electfrication programme.

166213 Lower Basildon 5 February 2005

Miserable weather at Lower Basildon on 5 February 2005, as 166213 heads towards the capital with the 08:24 Oxford to Paddington First Great Western Link service, while 165104 heads into the mist with the 08:03 Paddington to Banbury train. Both these trains are (with a few omissions) all stations services.

166213 Kintbury 2 April 2007

166213 in the new First Great Western livery is pictured just west of Kintbury with the 15:18 Paddington to Bedwyn service on 2 April 2007. In the background the bridge over the River Kennett can just be seen. Despite the remote looking location, no effort was required to get this picture, as I was sitting on the bonnet of the car!

166213 Aldermaston 23 November 2007

166213 rounds the curve near Aldermaston on 23 November 2007 with the 08:40 Bedwyn to Paddington First Great Western service. The houses in the background parallel the A4 road, whilst those directly above the train are situated down a cul-de-sac appropriately named 'Railside'.

166213 Aldermaston 23 November 2007

166213 rounds the curve near Aldermaston on 23 November 2007 with the 10:18 Paddington to Bedwyn First Great Western service. This location is photographically ideal, with clear views free of vegetation in each direction. Unfortunately it is on a very narrow and busy road, which makes dashing from one side of the road to the other a risky business!

166213 Little Bedwyn 9 February 2008

166213 nears journey's end on 9 February 2008, as it passes Little Bedwyn with the 09:18 Paddington to Bedwyn First Great Western service. Turbo units only travel as far as Bedwyn along the Berks & Hants Line, with HSTs operating all long distance services further west.

166213 Hinksey 30 December 2008

In the very last of the light on a winter afternoon, 166213 passes Hinksey Yard on 30 December 2008 with the 1P51 14:31 Oxford to Paddington First Great Western service. I would say that the train is being watched over by the gull on the yard light on the left, and the rook in the tree on the right, but they both seem to be looking the other way!

166213 Shorthampton 1 February 2010

There was a light fall of snow during the night on 1 February 2010, and although it had mainly melted by mid-morning in areas that weren't shaded, there was still a noticeable covering in the field near Shorthampton, on the Cotswold Line. 166213 is pictured heading down the Evenlode Valley with the 1P40 09:54 Great Malvern to Paddington First Great Western service. It was the local roads that seemed to have the most snow and ice, with the road leading down to Shorthampton and Chadlington being particularly bad. I had managed to turn the corner onto the road with no trouble, but when I looked in the mirror, I noticed that the Land Rover that was following me was sliding sideways across the road - so much for four wheel drive!

166213 Shorthampton 8 March 2010

166213 passes Shorthampton on 8 March 2010 with the 1P40 09:54 Great Malvern to Paddington First Great Western service. This recently cleared location will soon be receiving a reinstated second track (it was singled in 1971), and so the opportunity was taken on this brilliant sunny morning to record the location before the new track is laid and the trees grow again!

166213 Moreton-in-Marsh 23 June 2010

166213 accelerates past Moreton-in-Marsh's up advanced starter signal on 23 June 2010, as it heads south with the 08:58 Great Malvern to Paddington First Great Western service. This picture is taken from a diverted public footpath, which originally used to cross the line at this point (note the old warning sign post). On the extreme left the very rarely used down refuge siding can be seen being slowly overtaken by the lineside vegetation.

166213 Finstock 23 March 2012

A solitary bicycle indicates that at least one passenger has used Finstock station on 23 March 2012. However, this is not the single up train that is booked to call, so 166213 is pictured speeding straight through past the willow blossom with the 1P43 11:51 Moreton-in-Marsh to Paddington First Great Western service.

166213 Dorn 26 March 2012

The buds on the young ash tree in the foreground are about to open, in this early spring scene at Dorn on 26 March 2012. 166213 is getting under way from Moreton-in-Marsh station (just out of sight around the corner) with the late running 1W41 14:21 Paddington to Worcester Foregate Street First Great Western service.

166213 Ascott-under-Wychwood 15 April 2014

A car that has been waiting at Ascott-under-Wychwood level crossing now crosses the line, after the barrier lifts following the passage of 166213 on 15 April 2014, as it works the 1P37 09:50 Moreton-in-Marsh to Paddington First Great Western service.

166213 Ruscombe 1 May 2013

166213 passes Ruscombe on 1 May 2013 with the 1K41 08:41 Bedwyn to Paddington First Great Western service. Crisp spring sunshine, and a location recently cleared of trees, makes this a must do location, before the wires and massive overhead catenary supports completely ruin the view forever.

166213 Wolvercote 9 June 2013

Golden evening light at Wolvercote on Sunday 9 June 2013. 166213 passes the works to reinstate the down relief line, as it slows on the approach to Wolvercote Junction, where it will take the Cotswold Line with the 1W59 18:42 Paddington to Worcester Shrub Hill First Great Western service.

166213 Chilson 9 August 2016

166213 passes Chilson on 9 August 2016 with the 2Z26 08:02 Worcester Shrub Hill to Oxford GWR service. Cotswold Line services were being operated by DMUs, terminating at Oxford, due to extensive engineering works taking place at Hinksey. This was in order to install a new culvert, replace bridge decking, and raise the track by 650mm.

166213 Shorthampton 10 August 2016

Cotswold greenery! 166213 passes Shorthampton on 10 August 2016 with the 2Z39 11:21 Oxford to Worcester Foregate Street GWR service. All Cotswold Line trains were starting from, or terminating at Oxford, due to major engineering work to alleviate flooding problems at Hinksey.

166213 Moreton-in-Marsh 12 June 2017

166213 leaves Moreton-in-Marsh on 12 June 2017 with the 1P39 10:22 GWR service to Paddington. This had arrived as the rear unit of the 1W00 08:21 Paddington to Hereford. The train was then split in the station, with the front unit going on to Hereford, and this unit heading back from whence it came.

166214 Chilson 29 August 1993

166214 passes Chilson on 29 August 1993 with the 2F02 11:20 Oxford to Great Malvern Network SouthEast service. The trackside bushes are already starting to get out of control, and it wouldn't be long before this view disappeared entirely due to Railtrack, and then Network Rail's complete lack of lineside maintenance.

166214 Culham (Lock Wood) 30 May 1998

A location that I only visited a few times, and has now been lost to the inevitable rampant lineside vegetation growth. 166214 passes Lock Wood, near Culham, on 30 May 1998 with the 1F61 14:13 Hereford to Paddington Thames Trains service. The bridge in the background carries the line over the River Thames.

166214 Yarnton 6 July 2006

The gap in the bushes at Yarnton is just sufficient for a three car Turbo! 166214 heads north on 6 July 2006 with the 1D47 16:51 Paddington to Banbury First Great Western service. Notice the First Group branding on the obsolete (but stylish) Thames Trains livery.

166214 Goring 12 April 2008

A lucky picture at Goring on 12 April 2008 shows examples of both classes of 'Turbo' unit. On the left 166214 is rapidly overtaking 165114 whilst working the 08:30 Oxford to Paddington First Great Western service. On the right, 165114 is traversing exactly the same route, but is having a much more leisurely journey stopping at all stations. It left Oxford before 166214 at 08:21, but will arrive at Paddington exactly half an hour after the 166. Twenty years ago the local services would have been operated by Class 117 DMUs, so therefore a 'Turbo' unit is an improvement, but the Oxford to Paddington 'fasts' were operated by Class 47s or 50s and coaches, so a three car unit is definitely not an improvement!

166214 Shorthampton 24 May 2012

166214 passes Shorthampton on 24 May 2012 with the 1W23 09:50 Paddington to Moreton-in-Marsh First Great Western service. Although cleared of vegetation a few years earlier, this location is rapidly going back to its hopelessly overgrown state.

166214 Hinksey 16 April 2013

166214 passes Hinksey Yard in superb spring light on 16 April 2013 with the 2N52 16:25 Paddington to Oxford First Great Western service. Unfortunately this location will become hopeless once the overhead wires go up, and presumably the replacement footbridge will not be photographer friendly either!

166214 South Moreton 7 May 2013

166214 passes South Moreton on 7 May 2013 with the 2M50 15:57 Paddington to Banbury First Great Western service. This classic location had already been partly ruined by the installation of a high sided bridge, but would shortly be totally ruined by the Great Western Mainline electfrication scheme!

166214 Heyford 13 December 2014

Contrasting forms of transport at Heyford pictured on a gloriously sunny 13 December 2014. 166214 (running as a two car unit) arrives at the station with the 2L43 11:03 Banbury to Oxford First Great Western service, while alongside a large part of Oxford Narrowboat's fleet is moored at Heyford Wharf on the Oxford Canal. I had been meaning to take this picture for some time, but it requires a still day (for a good reflection), and a stopping train, as the gap between one lamppost and the shadow of the previous one is very tight!

166214 Shipton 26 September 2015

166214 speeds through Shipton on 26 September 2015 with the 1P40 09:51 Great Malvern to Paddington GWR service. Shipton's diminutive station can be seen amid the trees in the background. In steam days this was known as Shipton for Burford. The town of Burford, four miles distant, never having been railway connected.

166214 Charlbury 31 October 2015

166214 arrives at Charlbury station on Saturday 31 October 2015 with the 1P47 12:06 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington GWR service. The background is dominated by the disabled friendly footbridge that was installed when the down platform was reinstated in 2011. The station announcement for this train was of limited use. Not only did it repeat that 'the next to arrive at platform two is the 12:06 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington', even as the unit was leaving the station, but it also insisted that it was formed of five carriages. This would be true on a weekday, when this train is a Class 180, but not at the weekend!

166214 Hanborough 2 March 2016

With the tower of St Laurence's Church, Combe visible in the distance, 166214 approaches Hanborough on 2 March 2016 with the 1P51 12:09 Hereford to London Paddington GWR service. As can be guessed by the tree stumps dotting the embankment, this location has recently been cleared of vegetation, creating a completely open view, something I have not known at this spot in all the time I have been taking pictures.

166214 Churchill Heath 21 April 2016

166214 runs alongside Churchill Heath Wood (near Kingham) on 21 April 2016 with the 1P51 12:09 Hereford to Paddington GWR service. Unusually, the Met Office had actually been rather pessimistic with their forecast, predicting virtually 100% cloud all day. Instead, there were lengthy sunny periods during the afternoon.

166214 & 165134 Brimpton 14 May 2016

GWR green liveried 166214 & blue liveried 165134 pass Brimpton on 14 May 2016 with the 5Z31 11:37 Newbury Racecourse to Reading ECS. This was the first of three empty stock workings returning from the racecourse after working additional services from Reading. The special occasion was the Al Shaqab Lockinge Day racing festival.

166214 Bretforton 2 October 2016

166214 speeds past Clayfield Road level crossing, Bretforton, with the 1P37 09:20 Great Malvern to Paddington GWR service on 2 October 2016. There are no really early morning trains on the Cotswold Line on a Sunday, and while on a weekday there would have been six up trains by 10:00, this is the first Sunday train. I deliberately chose a wide view here, in order to include not only the former crossing keeper's cottage, but also the barrier, lights and other paraphernalia of a typical automatic half barrier level crossing.

166214 Finstock 6 March 2017

166214 passes through Finstock station on 6 March 2017 with the 1P43 11:22 Worcester Shrub Hill to Paddington GWR service. Despite only being served by two trains a day, Finstock station has recently received upgraded LED lighting. This obviously is more efficient, but not when they are left on all day! Not easy to see from this angle, but the lights are definitely on!

166214 Uffington 21 October 2017

166214 passes Uffington on 21 October 2017 with the 5U48 07:20 Reading Traincare Depot to Bristol High Level Siding ECS. A going away shot was required here, not only because the lighting was better, but also because the view the other way is obstructed by even more ironmongery than seen here.