Class 168

168001 Ardley Quarry 11 February 2008

168001 passes Ardley Quarry on 11 February 2008 with the 11:40 Stratford-upon-Avon to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. 168001 entered service in May 1998, and was the first new unit to be delivered to one of the then new privatised train operating companies. The former farm occupation bridge in the background now connects the two sections of the quarry.

168001 Hatton North Junction 19 February 2008

168001 passes Hatton North Junction on 19 February 2008 with the 13:20 Marylebone to Birmingham Snow Hill Chiltern Railways service. 168001 was naturally the first of the class to enter traffic (in May 1998), but it was initially a three car unit, gaining the fourth vehicle a few months later, although that vehicle was swapped with another unit in 2002. Unlike their predecessors Classes 165 & 166, the 168s have had numerous unit reformations, even so early in their careers.

168001 Kings Sutton 28 April 2008

The shape of the clouds oddly matches the front end of 168001, as it hurries south past Kings Sutton on 28 April 2008 with the 07:30 Kidderminster to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. This photo is taken from a public footpath crossing on the path which connects Kings Sutton village to Twyford Mill, on the Adderbury road.

168001 Tackley 20 June 2010

Cherwell Valley pastoral. The gate in the foreground hasn't opened for a very long time, and is gradually being overtaken by the surrounding vegetation. 168001 heads south near Tackley with the diverted 1V54 16:10 Birmingham Snow Hill to Oxford Chiltern Railways service on Sunday 20 June 2010. This would connect with a First Great Western train at Oxford, allowing passengers to reach London. The Chiltern Line was closed for engineering works.

168001 Tackley 20 June 2010

There is certainly no mistaking where this is! 168001 approaches Tackley station at high speed on Sunday 20 June 2010 with the 1G50 17:55 Oxford to Birmingham Snow Hill Chiltern Railways service. As the Chiltern Line was closed for engineering works, trains were running to Oxford to connect with First Great Western services to London. This brought the unusual sight of Class 168 units to the Cherwell Valley Line.

168001 Fritwell 8 September 2010

168001 passes Fritwell on 8 September 2010 with the 1G18 09:20 Marylebone to Birmingham Snow Hill Chiltern Railways service. Although the trees in this cutting have recently been cut back, there is still plenty of food for the local wildlife, courtesy of the hawthorn bushes and crab apple trees on the left.

168001 Great Bourton 8 December 2010

168001 passes Great Bourton on 8 December 2010 with the 12:52 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. Photo taken from a public footpath crossing, where the stile provides a handy slightly elevated vantage point.

168001 Launton 7 March 2011

168001 accelerates away from Bicester North station and passes Launton on 7 March 2011 with the 1H34 11:12 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. This makes an interesting comparison with the other two front end designs of Class 168s, seen on subsequent trains, firstly 168108, and then 168216. Strange that there is so much visual variation within one class, and yet Class 165 and 166 units look virtually the same!

168001 Kings Sutton 3 June 2011

Late evening at Kings Sutton on 3 June 2011. 168001 heads north with the 1K54 18:00 Marylebone to Kidderminster Chiltern Railways service. One of the reasons that this location is so popular, apart from the obvious attractions of the background, is that it is very late in the evening before any shadows start to cause problems in the foreground.

168001 Banbury (Hardwick) 5 June 2016

168001 heads north from Banbury on 5 June 2016 with the 1G12 08:15 Marylebone to Birmingham Snow Hill Chiltern Railways service. The immediate foreground was once the site of the junction for the Oxfordshire Ironstone Railway, which lead to the quarries at Wroxton, with the line curving away to the right through what is now the wooded area behind the train. There was also a line into the aluminium works, which was situated just a few hundred yards away, near Hardwick Farm. The track into the factory was lifted in the 1950s, and the line to Wroxton closed in 1967.

168001 & 168329 Launton 15 August 2016

168001 & (mostly hidden by the signal) 168329 pass Launton on 15 August 2016 with the 1T46 16:18 Marylebone to Oxford Parkway Chiltern Railways service. The train would shortly be taking the new sharply graded curve that links the Chiltern Line with the Oxford to Bicester route.

168001 Denham Golf Club 26 March 2017

168001 passes through the exceedingly quaint Denham Golf Club station on 26 March 2017 with the 1Y15 10:11 Oxford to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. Admittedly it was a Sunday, but in the entire hour and a half that I was one the station, not a single passenger, photographer, onlooker or local visited the station.

168001 & 165035 Piddington 17 September 2017

A perfect passing picture at Piddington on 17 September 2017. 168001 heads south with the 1H35 13:12 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service, passing 165035 with the 1G35 13:36 Marylebone to Birmingham Snow Hill. Despite firing off a fast sequence of shots, I thought at first that I hadn't quite got this precisely right. I wanted the two trains to be exactly opposite. However, I realise that if that had been the case, because of the side lighting, the front of 165035 would have cast a shadow on the left edge 168001's front end, so this in fact the ideal position!

168002 Quainton Road 17 October 1999

168002 pulls away from Quainton Road with the Hertfordshire Railtours 'Quainton Clubman' railtour on 17 October 1999. This tour which started from Marylebone, then traversed the freight only line to Calvert, Bicester and then on to Oxford. The Buckinghamshire Railway's site at Quainton is unusual in that is bisected by an operational mainline, albeit one that apart from specials such as this, sees a very infrequent freight service

168002 Bicester 17 October 1999

168002 passes under the Marylebone to Banbury line at Bicester, as it heads along the normally freight only Calvert to Oxford line with the Hertfordshire Railtours 'Quainton Clubman' railtour on 17 October 1999. This tour which started from Marylebone, had earlier called at Quainton Road. 168002's normal route would of course be on the line going over the bridge in the background , rather than under it. In 2010 Chiltern Railways have plans to construct a link line between these two routes in readiness for Marylebone to Oxford (via Bicester) trains.

168002 Claydon (Oxfordshire) 15 April 2008

168002 passes Claydon (near Banbury) with the 08:10 Kidderminster to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service on 15 April 2008. As with most of early April 2008, the day started without a cloud in the sky, and on this day stayed that way well into the afternoon. There was formerly a level crossing at Claydon, but now the lane ends in an access gate for Network Rail to gain access to the track, which was included along with the young ash tree to add some foreground interest to the picture.

168002 KIngs Sutton 28 April 2008

168002 passes the footpath crossing at Kings Sutton with the 06:46 Stratford-upon-Avon to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service on 28 April 2008. Another typical April day with a bright start, quickly followed by clouds rolling in from the west. The footpath at Kings Sutton runs alongside the line for a short distance before crossing the line, this picture being taken from the stile crossing the railway boundary fence.

168002 Hatton 29 October 2009

Autumn colours are starting to show on the lineside bushes as 168002 rounds the curve at Hatton on 29 October 2009 with the 1H44 13:52 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. The branch line to Stratford-upon-Avon can be seen diverging in the foreground.

168002 Piddington 13 August 2016

168002 passes Piddington on 13 August 2016 with the 1G47 16:40 Marylebone to Birmingham Snow Hill Chiltern Railways service. A slightly unusual composition, that wouldn't really work if it wasn't for the two trackside signs.

168002 Islip (Brookfurlong Farm) 16 August 2016

Harvesting is going on in the background near the village of Islip, as 168002 passes Brookfurlong Farm on 16 August 2016 with the 1Y68 18:09 Oxford Parkway to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. On this occasion all trains were for some reason running on their 'wrong' lines, making full use of the bi-directional signalling.

168002 Saunderton 9 April 2017

168002 races through Saunderton station on 9 April 2017 with the 1H13 08:55 Birmingham Moor Street to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. The up platform waiting room remains, but unfortunately the main station building (famously damaged by Suffragettes in 1913) has been demolished.

168002 Oxford Parkway 27 May 2017

The passengers head off towards their cars, as 168002 pulls out of Oxford Parkway station on 27 May 2017 with the 1T43 15:35 Marylebone to Oxford Chiltern Railways service. Oxford Parkway station was opened on 25 October 2015 as part of the Oxford to Bicester line upgrading. This was a major improvement for rail services in the area, although not as it was continually reported in the local media, the first station to open in Oxfordshire since 1935. Carterton, on the now closed Fairford Branch Line, was opened in 1944.

168003 Kings Sutton 14 November 2007

Superb afternoon autumnal lighting at Kings Sutton on 14 November 2007, as 168003 emerges from under the road bridge near Kings Sutton and heads south with the 1H42 13:12 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. It would not always be possible to take this picture at this time of year without wellies, as this field is very susceptible to flooding!

168003 Fritwell 9 June 2008

High summer on the Chiltern Line, with the Oxeye Daises giving some relief from the overall green landscape. 168003 passes Fritwell on 9 June 2008 with the 12:12 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service.

168003 Wormleighton Crossing 22 April 2009

168003 rounds the curve on the approach to Wormleighton Crossing with the 1H38 12:12 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service on 22 April 2009. The blackthorn blossom on the right is well past its best, now being a muddy brown, rather than white.

168003 Fritwell 18 April 2010

168003 passes Fritwell on 18 April 2010 with the 12:40 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. Just behind the bridge in the background is the 1147 yard long Ardley Tunnel. The line is in a cutting for several miles leading up to this tunnel.

168003 Great Bourton 23 April 2010

The farmer has very kindly blitzed the emerging crop with weedkiller to define the public footpath between Great Bourton and Williamscot. Superb low evening lighting in the Cherwell Valley just north of Banbury on 23 April 2010. With Peewit farm in the background, 168003 heads north with the 1K47 17:00 Marylebone to Kidderminster Chiltern Railways service.

168003 Tackley 20 June 2010

Engineering work on the Chiltern Line on Sunday 20 June 2010 saw a revised service operated by Chiltern Railways from Birmingham to Oxford, to connect with First Great Western trains for London. 168003 speeds through Tackley station with the 1V42 13:10 Birmingham Snow Hill to Oxford service. Obviously the leading vehicle of 168003 will require some cosmetic front end attention soon, as it has presumably hit something chipping a piece off the edge of the faring and punching a large hole on the corner of the moulding.

168003 Tackley 20 June 2010

168003 approaches Tackley at speed on 20 June 2010 with the 1G54 18:54 Oxford to Birmingham Snow Hill Chiltern Railways service. Due to engineering works on the Chiltern Line, a hourly procession of these diverted Class 168 units brought some welcome variety to the Oxford to Banbury line.

168003 Ardley Tunnel 15 October 2010

168003 emerges from Ardley Tunnel on 15 October 2010 with the 08:20 Marylebone to Birmingham Snow Hill Chiltern Railways service. A convenient farm occupation bridge allows this viewpoint, although obviously reasonably fast reactions are required, as there is not much warning of approaching trains!

168003 Kings Sutton 3 June 2011

168003 passes Kings Sutton on 3 June 2011 with the 1K50 17:00 Marylebone to Kidderminster Chiltern Railways service. The spire of the parish church in the background rises to a height of 198 feet, and according to the architectural historian Sir Nikolaus Pevsner, it is "One of the finest, if not the finest, spire in this county of spires".

168003 Watwick (Budbrooke Industrial Estate) 26 March 2014

168003 accelerates away from Warwick, and approaches the Budbrooke Industrial Estate, on 26 March 2014 with the 1G17 09:15 Marylebone to Birmingham Snow Hill Chiltern Railways service. This location is not far from Warwick Racecourse.

168004 Overthorpe 16 June 1999

168004 passes underneath the Jurassic Way footbridge near Overthorpe (in reality a farm occupation bridge) with the 18:00 Marylebone to Stourbridge Junction Chiltern Railways service on 16 June 1999. The unit was less than a year old when this picture was taken.

168004 Fenny Compton 19 June 2000

The old and the new at Fenny Compton on 19 June 2000. 168004 works the 17:12 Marylebone to Birmingham Snow Hill Chiltern Railways service, passing the unusual combination of adjacent upper and lower quadrant semaphore signals. Unfortunately these signals disappeared when Fenny Compton box closed in April 2004.

168004 Thrupp 30 April 2006 The Chiltern Line was closed for engineering works between Bicester North and High Wycombe on Sunday 30 April 2006. This resulted in a number of Chiltern Railways Class 168s working down the Cherwell Valley route to connect with First Great Western services at Oxford. Here we see 168004 passing Thrupp with the 1V35 11:10 Birmingham Snow Hill to Oxford service.
168004 Ardley Tunnel 11 February 2008

A little bit of low tech improvisation here. 168004 has a yellow plastic bag over its front coupler, and even though I was a long way away shooting on a long lens, I could hear this non-standard accessory flapping about above the sound of the engines! It is pictured rounding the curve past the site of the long closed Ayhno Park Platform, and approaching Ardley Tunnel with the 12:52 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service on 11 February 2008.

168004 Kings Sutton 23 April 2009

168004 speeds through Kings Sutton station with the 13:12 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Trains service on 23 April 2009, coincidentally the same train that I had photographed at Claydon the previous day. Patronage is good at this station, but if it increases still further as other rural stations have done recently, at least there is plenty of room for a car park extension by using the waste land on the right!

168004 Launton 2 September 2010

168004 nears journey's end, as it passes Launton on 2 September 2010 with the 15:43 Marylebone to Bicester North Chiltern Railways service. Photo taken from a public footpath crossing. As the railway is on a high embankment, it is surprising that the path does not pass underneath the railway via an occupation underbridge.

168004 Fritwell 11 October 2010

168004, which appears to be becoming my most frequently photographed Class 168 unit, passes Fritwell on a gloriously sunny 11 October 2010 with the 1H33 10:52 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. Right from my earliest days as a railway photographer, I have noticed that certain locos and units will turn up repeatedly for no apparent reason, while others will seem to avoid my camera completely!

168004 Kings Sutton 24 November 2010

Superb autumnal light at Kings Sutton on 24 November 2010, as 168004 speeds southwards with the 1H38 12:12 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. The bridge in the background is the well known photographic vantage point for northbound trains in the evening.

168004 Hatton 8 December 2010

168004 slows down for the stop at Hatton station on 8 December 2010, as it heads south with the 1H38 12:12 Birmingham Snow to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. Driving up to this location from West Oxfordshire, I passed through some superb frost covered landscapes, with the trees thickly covered with frost. Unfortunately, the sun had obviously had longer to get to work on it here, and the only sign of any frost is in the shadows on the left.

168004 Banbury 2 January 2011

A couple of people on the platform wave to passengers on the train, as 168004 resumes its journey at Banbury station on 2 January 2011. It is working the late running 09:40 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service.

168804 & 168110 Oddington 12 May 2016

168004 & 168110 pass Oddington on 12 May 2016 with the late running 1Y74 19:09 Oxford Parkway to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. This view clearly shows the site of the former level crossing, and also the newly installed footbridge in the background. Note the red lights being incorrectly displayed on the front of the train.

168004 Bicester MoD Reception Sidings 13 August 2016

A busy moment at Bicester MoD Reception Sidings on 13 August 2016. 168004 heads south with the 1T45 16:05 Marylebone to Oxford Parkway Chiltern Railways service, while 168107 approaches with the 1Y48 16:48 Oxford Parkway to Marylebone. Waiting in the sidings on the left is 165029 with the Branch Line Society 1Z72 16:29 Oxford Parkway to Marylebone 'Wycombe Wanderer' railtour, which in traditional Branch Line Society fashion spent the day traversing various non passenger loops and sidings.

168004 Charlton-on-Otmoor 21 March 2017

168004 speeds past Charlton-on-Otmoor on 21 March 2017 with the 1T21 10:06 Marylebone to Oxford Chiltern Railways service. Holts Farm, which was formerly well hidden from the railway by bushes, is now clearly visible from the newly upgraded line.

168004 North Oxford Golf Course 27 May 2017

168004 passes North Oxford Golf Course on 27 May 2017 with the 1Y48 16:42 Oxford to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. This is the view from a recently installed footbridge, on what is presumably a very little used footpath. After an ill defined route straight across the golf course fairways, the path then ends abruptly at the A34 dual carriageway!

168005 Claydon (Oxfordshire) 17 February 2007

168005 passes Claydon (Oxfordshire) on 17 February 2007 with the 12:12 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. The trees in the background are hiding both the Oxford Canal, and the course of the disused Fenny Compton to Woodford Halse line.

168005 Bishops Itchington 15 April 2008

168005 almost gets in the way of the photo at Bishops Itchington on 15 April 2008, as it heads north with the 09:50 Marylebone to Birmingham Snow Hill Chiltern Railways service. Approaching from the opposite direction is 66568 with the 4O14 04:35 Garston to Southampton freightliner

168005 Banbury 17 August 2009

In a brief patch of evening sunshine, 168005 passes Banbury stone terminal with the 17:10 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service on 17 August 2009. The Lafarge stone depot normally receives a weekly train from Mountsorrel.

168005 Brill Tunnel 24 May 2010

168005 has just emerged from Brill Tunnel on 24 May 2010, and is pictured heading south with the 1H38 12:12 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. As can be seen from the tree stumps on the left, extensive trackside vegetation clearance has taken place here, opening up the photographic viewpoint considerably.

168005 Tackley 20 June 2010

168005 approaches Tackley in superb late evening light on Sunday 20 June 2010 with the 1G58 19:58 Oxford to Birmingham Snow Hill Chiltern Railways service. The Chiltern Line was closed for engineering work, with trains being diverted to Oxford, from where passengers could travel onwards to London via First Great Western trains. Although a virtually completely sunny day (at least in the afternoon), typically just before this train was due a small cloud decided to find the sun. As there was little wind, it wasn't moving very quickly, and I thought the shot would be lost. However, just as the train came into view in the distance the sun gradually dropped out of the cloud. Talk about a close run thing!

168005 Banbury 3 July 2010

168005 passes under Hennef Way, Banbury on 3 July 2010 with the 2G06 06:15 Marylebone to Birmingham Snow Hill Chiltern Railways service. Due to engineering works, trains were running to a modified timetable, and while this train's Banbury departure was exactly the same time as normal, it in fact replaces the normal 06:24 service from Maryleone. Dramatic changes have taken place in this viewpoint since I started taking railway pictures, as can be seen in this view of 25297 taken in 1984.

168005 Ardley 25 June 2012

168005's front end appears to have lots of sticky tape marks and damaged paintwork, as it passes Ardley on 25 June 2012 with the 1H09 06:19 Birmingham Moor Street to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. It is approaching the site of the long closed Ardley station.

168005 Warwick (Budbrooke Industrial Estate) 26 March 2014

168005 passes the Budbrooke Industrial Estate, on the approach to Warwick, with the 1H38 09:55 Birmingham Moor Street to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service on 26 March 2014. This is my first picture of a Class 168 in the attractive new silver and white livery. It is also my first visit to this location, which is a footbridge with the industrial estate on one side, and Warwick Racecourse on the other. This train is accelerating away from Warwick Parkway (just out of sight around the corner), but will not be calling at Warwick's original station (a mile further on).

168005 Launton 21 April 2015

168005 passes Launton on 21 April 2015 with the 1N56 16:50 Marylebone to Bicester North Chiltern Railways service. Photo taken from a little used public footpath crossing. As the railway is on a high embankment at this point, you would have thought the footpath would pass underneath using an occupation bridge.

168005 Kings Sutton 4 May 2016

168005 passes Kings Sutton on 4 May 2016 with the 1G46 16:21 Marylebone to Birmingham Snow Hill Chiltern Railways service. In the background, restoration work is underway on the tower of the parish church.

168005 Charlton-on-Otmoor 5 May 2016

168005 passes Charlton-on-Otmoor in soft evening light on 5 May 2016 with the 1Y68 18:09 Oxford Parkway to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. This picture is taken from the recently constructed bridge giving access to Holt Farm.

168106 Souldern No.2 Viaduct 15 August 2008

168106 crosses Souldern No.2 Viaduct on 15 August 2008 with the 06:30 Kidderminster to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. The Banbury to Oxford line is behind this viaduct, but at a lower level, on the valley floor.

168106 Bletchingdon 23 April 2011

168106 passes the site of Bletchingdon station on 23 April 2011 with the 1V55 16:22 Birmingham Snow Hill to Oxford Chiltern Railways service. Due to engineering work its normal route via High Wycombe was shut, so a connection would be made with First Great Western trains at Oxford for London bound passengers.

168106 Great Bourton 3 August 2011

A typical slightly ominous late summer sky is developing in the background, as 168106 passes Great Bourton on 3 August 2011 with the 1K54 18:00 Marylebone to Kidderminster Chiltern Railways service. Photo taken from a public footpath crossing.

168106 Hatton 1 February 2012

168106 slowly eases off the Stratford-upon-Avon branch at Hatton on 1 February 2012 with the 1H35 11:20 Stratford-upon-Avon to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. The tight curve is subject to a 15mph speed restriction.

168106 Bishops Itchington 26 March 2012

168106 passes Bishops Itchington on 26 March 2012 with the 1H32 10:12 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. The front valance is showing the typical cracked and damaged appearance, which is the obvious result of having such a large area of damageable material at what should be buffer height.

168106 Launton 15 August 2016

168106 speeds past the public footpath crossing at Launton on 15 August 2016 with the 1G46 16:21 Marylebone to Birmingham Snow Hill Chiltern Railways service. It looks like the damage to the front valance has been repaired with glass fibre, but not yet sanded down and painted.

168106 Charlton-on-Otmoor 21 March 2017

A sweeping new vista, created by the upgrading of the Oxford to Bicester line. 168106 passes Charlton-on-Otmoor on 21 March 2017 with the 1Y27 09:36 Oxford to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. Islip church can just be seen in the far distance, on the left of the picture.

168106 Water Eaton 8 April 2017

The driver of 168106 washes his windscreen, as he passes Water Eaton on 8 April 2017 with the 1Y17 10:44 Oxford to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. Although this looks like a completely rural location, the large village of Kidlington (population over 13,000) is just out of view to the right, while the City of Oxford is also only a few miles away.

168106 Islip 21 June 2017

168106 calls at Islip station on 21 June 2017 with the late running 1T48 16:50 Marylebone to Oxford Chiltern Railways service. The wooded slopes of Graven Hill can be seen in the distance, along with the green footbridge near Brookfurlong Farm, and the white road bridge near Oddington.

168107 Souldern No.2 Viaduct 12 March 2005

168107 crosses Souldern No.2 Viaduct in a lucky patch of sunshine on 12 March 2005 with the 1H21 07:14 Kidderminster to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. This viaduct is considerably more hemmed in with bushes and trees than its neighbour to the south, Souldern No.1.

168107 Kings Sutton 3 March 2010

Kings Sutton church can just be seen in the distance as 168107 heads north on 3 March 2010 with the 11:20 Marylebone to Birmingham Snow Hill Chiltern Railways service. A dull day, but then this location would not really be possible if the sun was out due the angle of the line. So always look on the bright side - as it were!

168107 Oxford North Junction 13 June 2010

168107 passes Oxford North Junction on 13 June 2010 with the 1V31 10:10 Birmingham Snow Hill to Oxford Chiltern Railways service. This was one of a number of shuttle that ran throughout the day to connect with First Great Western trains at Oxford, the Chiltern Line being closed for engineering works.

168107 Bletchingdon 20 June 2010

A stranger in the Cherwell Valley! Chiltern Railways 168107 passes the site of Bletchingdon station on Sunday 20 June 2010 with the 1V46 14:10 Birmingham Snow Hill to Oxford service. Due to engineering work on the Chiltern Line, services were diverted to run to Oxford to connect with First Great Western trains to London. The coal yard on the site of the station is obviously still doing good business.

168107 Ardley Quarry 7 October 2010

168107 emerges from the bushes and speeds past the site of Ardley Quarry on 7 October 2010 with the 1H35 11:40 Stratford-upon-Avon to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. Note the remains of the long disconnected quarry siding in the foreground, with some indeterminate pieces of quarry equipment rusting quietly away in the 'four foot'.

168107 Bishops Itchington 2012

Normally, like most railway photographers, I tried to avoid having track workers in the picture, as their high-visibility clothing immediately attracts the eye, and spoils the picture. However, at Bishops Itchington on 26 March 2012 this pair stopped to acknowledge the train in exactly the right position to actually compliment the picture, especially as they are either side of the train, and both with hands raised, although maybe it looks a little odd, as they are looking towards where the train was a fraction of a second earlier! 168107 speeds by with the 1H29 09:55 Birmingham Moor Street to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service.

168107 Ashendon Junction 10 August 2012

It required a very early start to take this picture, as the location is a very long walk from the nearest road. 168107 passes the site of Ashendon Junction on 10 August 2012 with the 1H07 05:46 Birmingham Moor Street to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. This is the first through train of the day from Birmingham on the Chiltern route.

168107 Kings Sutton 18 September 2013

168107 passes underneath the farm occupation bridge near Kings Sutton station on 18 September 2013 with the 1G53 16:18 Marylebone to Birmingham Snow Hill Chiltern Railways service. Although Kings Sutton is well served by Chiltern Railways trains, this one will not be calling.

168107 Islip 1 November 2015

168107 races through Islip station at high speed on 1 November 2015 with the 1T29 12:05 Marylebone to Oxford Parkway Chiltern Railways service. The people standing on the platform are not intending passengers, but have taken the opportunity to watch the trains go by on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Having been running for just a week, the reintroduced service on the recently upgraded line is still attracting considerable local interest.

168107 Bivester South Junction 1 November 2015

168107 starts its descent of the severe gradient linking Bicester South Junction (near the 40mph restriction sign on the far right), with Gavray Junction, on the Oxford to Bletchley route. The train is the 1T39 14:35 Marylebone to Oxford Parkway Chiltern Railways service, pictured on 1 November 2015. This newly constructed chord has a gradient of 1 in 33, making it steeper than both the Lickey Incline and Dainton Bank! However, it is only a short section, although admittedly followed by a sharp curve. The transition in gradient can clearly be seen in comparison with the Chiltern Line, directly behind the train.

168107 Banbury 11 March 2016

168107 approaches Banbury on 11 March 2016 with the 1H51 14:12 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. This view, from the now bypassed Grimsbury Road bridge, is still an excellent vantage point to photograph southbound trains, although the background has changed somewhat since the 1980s.

168107 Bicester Village 13 August 2016

168107 pulls out of the incorrectly named Bicester Village station on 13 August 2016 with the 1T43 15:35 Marylebone to Oxford Parkway Chiltern Railways service. When the line was upgraded in 2015, the rebuilt station was renamed from Bicester Town, despite much local opposition. The white car in the background is passing over the London Road level crossing, which since the massive increase in the number of trains, has become a severe traffic bottleneck.

168107 Saunderton Lee 9 April 2017

Negotiating the section of line near Saunderton Lee that sees the Chiltern Line separate into two individual single lines, 168107 heads north on 9 April 2017 with the 1G12 08:15 Marylebone to Birmingham Snow Hill Chiltern Railways service.

168108 Bishops Itchington 23 June 2009

168108 speeds past Bishops Itchington with the 09:52 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service on 23 June 2009. Although largely sunny to start with, the inevitable mid morning cloud build up was just starting, as can be seen in the background.

168108 Banbury 21 September 2009

168108 begins to slow down for the Banbury station stop, as it passes the stone terminal just to the north of the town with the 09:42 Stratford-upon-Avon to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service on 21 September 2009.

168108 Launton 7 March 2011

168108 heads past Launton 7 March 2011 with the 1H35 11:38 Stratford-upon-Avon to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. A convenient footpath crosses the line here, and although a rather featureless location, it is ideal for winter and early spring photography, as nothing at all can shade the line.

168108 & 168112 Kings Sutton 3 June 2011

168108 & 168112 pass the iconic location of Kings Sutton on 3 June 2011 with the 1G45 16:00 Marylebone to Birmingham Snow Hill Chiltern Railways service. The two units would later be split at Birmingham, working back south as separate trains.

168108 Ardley 21 April 2015

168108 speeds past Ardley on 21 April 2015 with the 1H48 11:55 Birmingham Moor Street to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. Like most Chiltern trains this was running very nearly to time, in this case only 3 minutes late. Their superb punctuality record is obviously helped my virtually having their own dedicated route.

168108 & 172103 Water Eaton 1 November 2015

Superb autumn colours pictured in brilliant sunshine on the warmest November day on record. 168108 & 172103 pass Water Eaton on 1 November 2015 with the 1T27 11:35 Marylebone to Oxford Parkway Chiltern Railways service. This picture is taken from a new overbridge, which combines the role of the former footpath crossing linking Gosford with Water Eaton, and the private road linking Gosford with Northfield Farm. The concrete road leading to the farm ran along the far edge of the field on the left, past the WW2 pill box, and through the wood. There was formerly a bridge over the line where the new fence and signals can be seen in the background. In the far distance the house next to the line at Mill Lane, Islip, can just be seen.

168108 & 172103 Bicester South Junction 1 November 2015 168108 & 172103 traverse the newly constructed curve linking the Chiltern Line (in the background) with the Oxford to Bicester Line, at Bicester South Junction. The train is the 1T37 14:05 Marylebone to Oxford Parkway Chiltern Railways service, pictured on the gloriously sunny afternoon of Sunday 1 November 2015. The line opened to passenger traffic on the previous Monday, enabling passengers in Oxford to have a choice of route (and operators) for their daily commute to London.
168108 Brill Tunnel 19 January 2016

168108 emerges from Brill Tunnel on 19 January 2016 with the 1Y32 11:13 Oxford Parkway to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. This location had recently been cleared of lineside vegetation, but it is already starting to grow back.

168108 Banbury (Hardwick) 5 June 2016

168108 passes underneath the M40 motorway bridge near Banbury on 5 June 2016, as it heads south with the 1H17 09:38 Stratford-upon-Avon to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. Although this is a Sunday, this picture does give a false impression about the amount of traffic on the motorway!

168108 & 168002 Oddington 20 July 2016

168108 & 168002 pass Oddington on 20 July 2016 with the 1T52 17:50 Marylebone to Oxford Parkway Chiltern Railways service. Before the Bicester to Oxford line's upgrading there would have been no possibility of an evening picture on this stretch of line, as trees and bushes bordered the then single track line for most of its route.

168108 Oxford North Junction 25 March 2017

In early 2016 the area around Oxford North Junction still looks like a building site, after the recent completion of trackwork. 168108 runs along Chiltern Railway's bi-directional line on the approach to Oxford on 25 March 2017 with the 1T41 15:05 Marylebone to Oxford service.

168108 Water Eaton 8 April 2017

168108 passes Water Eaton on 8 April 2017 with the 1T27 11:35 Marylebone to Oxford Chiltern Railways service. This photo is taken from a new farm access bridge. The original road to the farm ran along the back edge of the oilseed rape field.

168108 Bicester South Junction 9 April 2017

168108 negotiates the curve between Bicester South Junction and Gavray Junction with the 1T31 12:35 Marylebone to Oxford Chiltern Railways service on 9 April 2017. All those newly planted saplings in the foreground do not bode well for photography at this location in a few years time!

168109 Ardley Tunnel 29 October 2008

168109 approaches Ardley Tunnel on 29 October 2008 with the 13:39 Stratford-upon-Avon to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. This location is becoming progressively more grown up, but there is still just enough of a gap to photograph a three car unit.

168109 Great Bourton 28 March 2012

A lovely early spring afternoon at Great Bourton on 28 March 2012. 168109 heads southwards with the 1H46 15:12 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. As can be seen from the line of trees, this is an excellent location for photography late in the day, but not so in the morning!

168109 Bucknell 5 March 2013

168109 speeds past Bucknell on 5 March 2013 with the 1H49 11:55 Birmingham Moor Street to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. I can't help thinking that the fairings on these units ought to be made of either a stronger or more flexible material, as this unit displays the all too common result of impact damage.

168109 Whitnash 27 September 2013

168109 passes Whitnash on 27 September 2013 with the 1G10 07:15 Marylebone to Birmingham Snow Hill Chiltern Railways service. Although not obvious from this view, the railway here marks the dividing line between open fields on the left, and the houses of Whitnash (effectively a suburb of Leamington Spa) on the right.

168109 Oddington 20 July 2016

Cloudscape with train. The afternoon of 20 July 2016 was very sunny in the Oxford area, but a little to the north it looked a bit different. I decided on this unusual composition to show the angry looking clouds that were obviously blotting out the sun to the north of Bicester. Here at Oddington, it was a warm summer evening. 168109 heads south with the 1T50 17:18 Marylebone to Oxford Parkway Chiltern Railways service.

168109 Bicester MoD Reception Sidings 13 August 2016

168109 passes Bicester MoD Reception Sidings on 13 August 2016 with the 1Y45 16:17 Oxford Parkway to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. Unfortunately this is heavily backlit, although the sun having partially disappeared behind a cloud has softened the light somewhat. However, this is the lighting that prevails for most of the day at this location.

168109 & 168322 Oxford North Junction 25 March 2017

168109 & 168322 approach Oxford North Junction on 25 March 2017 with the 1Y43 15:43 Oxford to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. The train is running along the new bi-directional line, used by Chiltern Line services to access Oxford station.

168109 Islip (Mill Lane) 6 August 2017

168109 had barely got up to line speed from its last stop at Oxford Parkway, when it has to start slowing for its next stop at Islip on 6 August 2017. It is working the 1Y12 09:01 Oxford to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service, and is seen here passing the site of Mill Lane level crossing, on the southern edge of the village of Islip

168110 Aynho Junction 7 May 2007

168110 heads north through the rain near Aynho Junction on 7 May 2007 with the 06:50 Marylebone to Birmingham Snow Hill Chiltern Railways service. Note the 'feather' on the signal on the left, indicating that the 07:50 Banbury to Marylebone service is approaching from the opposite direction.

168110 Banbury 19 September 2009

Banbury station, pictured just after sunrise on 19 September 2009. 168110, along with an unidentified Class 165, pulls out with the 2R01 06:10 High Wycombe to Birmingham Snow Hill Chiltern Railways service. A pair of Class 165 units (165024 nearest) are parked in the bay platform.

168110 Wolvercote Junction 22 August 2011

168110 passes Wolvercote Junction on 22 August 2011 with the 1V42 13:12 Birmingham Snow Hill to Didcot Parkway Chiltern Trains service. This diversion off the normal route is due to the extensive engineering work taking place on the Chiltern Line in connection with the so called 'Evergreen' route enhancement programme.

168110 & 168109 Ardley 25 June 2012

Consecutively numbered 168110 & 168109 speed past the site of Ardley station on 25 June 2012 with the 1W15 06:47 Stratford-upon-Avon to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. Ardley station, along with the other small stations on the route closed for passengers in 1963.

168110 Islip (Brookfurlong Farm) 20 October 2015

168110 heads north from Islip on 20 October 2015 with the 5Y08 09:44 Oxford Parkway to Bicester South Junction Chiltern Railways driver training special. Just visible in the murky background is Islip station, with St Nicholas church on the left. This massively upgraded line was due to reopen to passengers the following week, including a new service from Oxford to London (via Bicester).

168110 & 168325 Islip (Brookfurlong Farm) 20 October 2015

A very lucky passing photograph at Brookfurlong Farm (between Islip and Oddington) on 20 October 2015. 168110 heads south with a Chiltern Railways driver training special, passing 168325 heading in the opposite direction with a similar train. Despite numerous available paths, several trains were not running to time, and yet these two trains did not seem to appear on Realtime Trains. They could possibly be the 5T10 10:38 Bicester Gavray Junction to Oxford Parkway, and the 5Y12 10:53 Oxford Parkway to Bicester Gavray Junction, but these were both being shown as cancelled! This is the final week of driver training on the revamped Oxford to Bicester line, with a new direct service to London due to commence on 26 October.

168110 Islip (Brookfurlong Farm) 20 October 2015

Passing over immaculately laid and ballasted brand new track, 168110 passes Brookfurlong Farm, Islip, on 20 October 2015 with the 5Y12 10:53 Oxford Parkway to Bicester South Junction Chiltern Railways driver training special.

168110 & 172101 Water Eaton 1 Noveber 2015

168110 & 172101 pass Water Eaton on 1 November 2015 with the 1T25 11:05 Marylebone to Oxford Parkway Chiltern Railways service. This superb new vantage point (albeit with the inevitable palisade fencing) has been created by the construction of a new bridge over the redoubled and upgraded Bicester to Oxford line. The train is slowing down on the approach to Oxford Parkway.

168110 & 168004 Oddington 12 May 2016

168110 & 168004 pass underneath the brand new roadbridge at Oddington on 12 May 2016 with the 1T52 17:50 Marylebone to Oxford Parkway Chiltern Railways service. This was running 25 minutes late, due to a broken down train at Denham. The previous service hadn't got this far, reversing at Bicester Village because even later running.

168110 & 168217 Banbury (Hardwick) 5 June 2016

168110 & 168217 pass underneath the M40 motorway bridge near Hardwick Farm, Banbury, on 5 June 2016 with the 1H12 08:25 Birmingham Moor Street to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. This photo is taken from a virtually disused farm occupation bridge.

168110 Gavray Junction 1 July 2016

On 1 July 2016, 168110 passes Gavray Junction, and runs along the new chord to Bicester South Junction, which is a link between the Oxford to Bicester Line and the Chiltern Line. It is working the 1Y07 06:31 Oxford Parkway to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. Just visible in the background is DVT 82301 on the rear of the 5T03 05:52 Wembley to Bicester Village ECS, which was being led by 68011.

168110 Water Eaton 8 April 2017

168110 passes Water Eaton on 8 April 2017 with the 1Y20 11:11 Oxford to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. This is definitely an unconventional viewpoint, achieved by using a wide angle lens, and stopping down to f16, to get the whole scene in focus.

168111 Kings Sutton 14 November 2007

168111 is pictured at Kings Sutton a few minutes before sunset on 14 November 2007 with the Chiltern Railways 14:12 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone service. It was a sunny evening, but just as the sun was going down a bank of dark clouds rolled in from the north east and for a few minutes this unusual lighting transformed the scene, with the low sun giving everything a golden glow, contrasting with the dark menacing clouds.

168111 Ardley Tunnel 11 February 2008

168111 approaches Ardley Tunnel on 11 February 2008 with the 13:12 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. A long lens was required from my viewpoint on the opposite hillside. A nearer viewpoint being obstructed by lineside bushes.

168111 & 168004 Kings Sutton 3 June 2011

Unlike a lot of post privatisation services, there is plenty of passenger accommodation on this train! 168111 & 168004 speed past Kings Sutton on 3 June 2011 with the 1G51 17:37 Marylebone to Birmingham Snow Hill Chiltern Railways service, unfortunately running approximately fifteen minutes late.

168111 Hatton 1 August 2011

168111 rounds the curve at Hatton on 1 August 2011 with the 1H40 12:55 Birmingham Moor Street to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. This view clearly shows the weak design feature of these (and other) units. The valance on either side of the coupler is just not up to the job. This one being typical, with chunks missing, and numerous cracks visible.

168111 Hatton 1 February 2011

168111 sweeps round the curve at Hatton on 1 February 2012 with the 1H34 11:12 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. Crisp winter lighting, and a clean unit in Chiltern's distinctive, but restrained livery. Excellent!

168111 Ardley 25 June 2012

168111 passes the site of Ardley station (closed in 1963) with the 07:17 Banbury to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service on 25 June 2012. Note the bank of cloud approaching in the background. The Met Office had correctly predicted this, and it wouldn't be long before the superb early morning light disappeared.

168111 Kings Sutton 28 August 2015

Early morning at Kings Sutton on 28 August 2015, and the footpath crossing just north of the station provides one of the few places not plagued by shadows so soon after sunrise. 168111 heads south with the 1H14 06:28 Birmingham Moor Street to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service.

168111 Charlton-on-Otmoor 21 March 2017

168111 passes Charlton-on-Otmoor on 21 March 2017 with the 1T17 09:00 Marylebone to Oxford Chiltern Railways service. I thought I would try a wide view, as that will be the first casualty if vegetation starts to grow up around the new lineside fence on this recently upgraded line. Luckily they haven't planted trees along this fence, unlike other locations on the route, but even so, I can't imagine it will look like this in a few years time!

168111 Water Eaton 8 April 2017

168111 passes Water Eaton on 8 April 2017 with the 1T21 10:05 Marylebone to Oxford Chiltern Railways service. Note the Second World War pillbox in the background, one of a number alongside the River Cherwell, which is just behind the bushes.

168112 Kings Sutton 24 July 2006

168112 passes the unmistakable location of Kings Sutton on 24 July 2006 with the 1K47 17:00 Marylebone to Kidderminster Chiltern Train service. This has run non-stop from London, and its first stop will be Banbury, a few miles further north. From there on it will become an 'all stations' service.

168112 Ardley Quarry 11 February 2008

168112 passes near to the once rail served Ardley Quarry on 11 February 2008, as it works the 11:12 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. Note how, in common with many modern units, the high tech destination display doesn't photograph correctly, no doubt due to the scanning nature of the display.

168112 Ardley Quarry 7 October 2010

168112 passes Ardley Quarry on 7 October 2010 with the 13:10 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. The little specks in the sky are some of the flocks of birds that constantly patrol this location, presumably due to presence of a (mostly now capped) rubbish dump.

168112 Bicester South Junction 13 August 2016

A brief burst of sunshine amid the clouds, as 168112 rounds the new curve between Bicester South and Gavray Junctions on 13 August 2016 with the 1T39 14:35 Marylebone to Oxford Parkway Chiltern Railways service. In the background is the huge DHL warehouse, one of the many 'big sheds' that have now come to dominate the town of Bicester.

168112 Oddington 26 August 2016

168112 passes milepost 24 near Oddington, on the upgraded Bicester to Oxford line on 26 August 2016. It is working the 1T48 16:50 Marylebone to Oxford Parkway Chiltern Railways service. Prior to the reinstatement of double track this photographic vantage point did not exist. The bridge from which it was taken replaced a level crossing. Apart from a few small gaps the line was bordered by trees and large bushes, so this is a very rare instance of a line actually improving enormously for photography.

168112 Oddington 9 June 2017

168112 passes Oddington on 9 June 2017 with the 1T31 12:35 Marylebone to Oxford Chiltern Railways service. This picture clearly illustrates why I don't normally take pictures during the middle of the day during the summer. Although the average person thinks the bright sun is ideal for photography, the very high overhead angle gives very poor modelling, and harsh shadows. The only reason I was here was to photograph Flying Scotsman, which also explains the people wandering up the gravel road (there were lots more on the bridge as well).

168112 Islip 17 September 2017

168112 passes underneath the Kidlington Road bridge at Islip on 17 September 2017 with the 1Y05 08:38 Oxford to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. Already there is much new growth on the cutting sides, just a couple of years after all the trees were clearing in preparation for the line's redoubling.

168113 Fritwell 8 September 2010

168113 passes Fritwell on a rather gloomy 8 September 2010 with the 09:10 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. This is the view from a little used farm occupation bridge, that requires a fair walk from the nearest road.

168113 Wolvercote Junction 17 October 2010

With the Chiltern Line closed for engineering work on Sunday 17 October 2010, Chiltern Railways were operating a shuttle service to connect with First Great Western trains at Oxford. This brought the unusual sight of Class 168 units to the Cherwell Valley route. 168113 passes Wolvercote Junction with the 1V46 14:08 Stratford-upon-Avon to Oxford service. The single track line diverging to the left is the 'Cotswold Line' route to Worcester and Hereford.

168113 Ardley 25 June 2012

Some severe vegetation clearance has opened up the view of southbound trains at Ardley, as witnessed by 168113 heading southwards on 25 June 2012 with the 1H20 07:35 Stratford-upon-Avon to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service.

168113 Saunderton 9 April 2017

168113 approaches Saunderton at high speed on 9 April 2017 with the 1Y05 08:38 Oxford to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. Photo taken from the end of Saunderton station's up platform. Luckily the bonfire in the lineside garden was not quite fierce enough to give this a smoky foreground!

168113 Blackthorn 13 October 2017

168113 passes Blackthorn on 13 October 2017 with the 1H22 07:05 Kidderminster to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. This short cutting takes the line through Blackthorn Hill, a narrow ridge in an otherwise largely flat landscape.