Class 168

168214 Ardley Quarry 9 August 2003

168214 passes Ardley Quarry on 9 August 2003 with the 15:02 Marylebone to Banbury Chiltern Railways service. 168214, the first of the Class 168/2 sub-class, was just four months old when this picture was taken. Just behind the rear of the train is the public footpath crossing on the Ardley to Middleton Stoney footpath, whilst in the background is the M40 motorway. The overgrown line in the foreground formerly gave access to the quarry.

168214 Bishops Itchington 15 April 2008

168214 rounds the curve at Bishops Itchington with the 09:52 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service on 15 April 2008. Chiltern Railways generally keep their fleet in pristine condition, which can't be easy with so much white in the livery!

168214 Claydon (Oxfordshire) 22 April 2009

168214 passes Claydon (near Banbury) on 22 April 2009 with the 13:12 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. The line of trees in the background that the rooks are using for nest building marks the course of the former Stratford-upon-Avon & Midland Junction Railway.

168214 Kings Sutton 28 May 2010

With the hawthorn in full bloom, 168214 passes through Kings Sutton station on 28 May 2010 with the 1H49 14:52 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. Even at this rural location (or more likely because of its peacefulness) it seems someone thinks it's any ideal place to watch the trains go by.

168214 Ardley Quarry 7 October 2010

168214 passes the former rail served Ardley Quarry on 7 October 2010 with the 12:40 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. It may look like a pleasant rural location, but the methane leaking from the nearby capped rubbish dump makes it a slightly malodorous spot to wait for trains!

168214 Kings Sutton 18 September 2013

168214 dashes through Kings Sutton station on 18 September 2013 with the 1H51 14:12 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. As can be seen from the fields in the background, Kings Sutton station is on the very edge of the village.

168214 & 168325 Oddington 1 November 2015

168214 & 168325 pass Oddington on 1 November 2015 with the 1T31 12:35 Marylebone to Oxford Parkway Chiltern Railways service. It's hard to believe, but this redoubled and upgraded line was formerly a single track line, largely hemmed in by trees and bushes. Note the pile of timber in the foreground, left over from the construction.

168214 & 168325 Bicester South Junction 1 November 2015

168214 & 168325 round the curve between Bicester South Junction and Gavray Junction in the last of the afternoon light on 1 November 2015 with the 1T41 15:05 Marylebone to Oxford Parkway Chiltern Railways service. Directly behind them is the London to Birmingham Chiltern Line.

168214 & 168004 Oddington 26 August 2016

168214 & 168004 pass Oddington on 26 August 2016 with the 1T52 17:50 Marylebone to Oxford Parkway Chiltern Railways service. What I hadn't noticed at the time was the hot air balloon in the background, obviously taking advantage of the cooler air in the evening to get more lift.

168214 Denham Golf Club 26 March 2017

168214 races through the picturesque Denham Golf Club station on 26 March 2017 with the 1H13 09:30 Bicester North to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. The Great Western Railway pagoda huts are a remarkable survivor at this location, but with Network Rail's aversion to paint, their long term survival might be in doubt!

168215 Hatton North Junction 19 February 2008

168215 passes Hatton North Junction with the 14:52 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service on 19 February 2008. The line diverging here is the route to Stratford-upon-Avon. The shadows are a real problem here, but I realised this would be the last train of the day that I would be able to get a picture of with the whole train more or less evenly lit. Note that some of the trees are still covered in frost, from the freezing fog that had covered this area in the morning.

168215 Ardley Tunnel 29 October 2008

168215 approaches Ardley Tunnel on 29 October 2008 with the 13:39 Stratford-upon-Avon to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. Just visible in the background is the start of Souldern No.1 Viaduct, the first of two structures that carries the line above small tributaries of the River Cherwell.

168125 Bishops Itchington 23 June 2009

168215 speeds past Bishops Itchington on 23 June 2009 with the 1H27 08:10 Kidderminster to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. There is no hope of identifying the working from the electronic destination display, as unlike the old fashioned roller type, they do not show up correctly in a photograph.

168215 Brill Tunnel 24 May 2010

168215 emerges from Brill Tunnel on 24 May 2010 with the 11:52 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. The combination of a very long lens and a warm day has imparted a slightly shimmering effect to the picture.

168215 Ardley Tunnel 7 October 2010

168215 approaches Ardley Tunnel on 7 October 2010 with the 12:52 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. This picture is taken from a farm occupation bridge, which affords an excellent view in the opposite direction of trains leaving the tunnel.

168215 Souldern Wharf 11 December 2010

The Chiltern Line was closed for engineering works on Saturday 11 December 2010, with Chiltern Railways services diverted via the Cherwell Valley line, to connect with First Great Western trains at Oxford. 168215 passes Souldern Wharf with the 1G16 09:30 Oxford to Birmingham Snow Hill train.

168215 Kineton 2 August 2014

A DMU well off the beaten track! 168215 comes to a stand at the stop board on the approach to MoD Kineton on 2 August 2014 with the Branch Line Society / Chiltern Railways 'Semaphore & Sidings Tracker' railtour. The tour had started from Birmingham, and spent a good part of the day traversing various sidings in the Banbury area. In the evening it visited the 3 mile freight only branch from Fenny Compton to Kineton. At this point it was running as the 1Z72 18:06 Banbury to Birmingham Moor Street. The bridge visible in the background carries the line over the M40 motorway. I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised, but despite the fact that this is the just about the best location on the branch, especially considering the angle of the light, there were no other photographers present to record the scene. If it had been loco hauled, the place would have been swarming with people, and yet a Class 168 on a railtour, and especially here, is very unusual.

168215 Water Eaton 1 November 2015

168215 nears journey's end, as it passes Water Eaton on Sunday 1 November 2015 with the 1T23 10:37 Marylebone to Oxford Parkway Chiltern Railways service. The early morning fog had only just cleared, giving me my first view of this newly created vantage point.

168215 Piddington 13 August 2016

168215 speeds past Piddington on 13 August 2016 with the 1G49 17:10 Marylebone to Birmingham Snow Hill Chiltern Railways service. The relatively new silver grey front end is already showing distinct signs of wear and tear.

168215 & 168004 Haddenham 20 January 2017

168215 & 168004 pass the site of the original Haddenham station on 20 January 2017 with the 1H30 09:55 Birmingham Moor Street to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. The modern Haddenham & Thame Parkway station is situated just beyond the bridge in the background.

168216 Bishops Itchington 14 November 2009

168216 dodges the shadows as it passes Bishops Itchington on 14 November 2009 with the 1H21 07:14 Kidderminster to Marylebone Chiltern Trains service. Weddington Farm on the top of Weddington Hill dominates the background.

168216 Dorton 24 May 2010

168216 approaches the site of Dorton Halt with the 10:52 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service on 24 May 2010. This small station opened in 1937 and closed in 1963, along with a number of other rural stations on the route. At least the line itself survived, and after a period of stagnation that saw it reduced to a single track, is now once again thriving.

168216 Oxford (Walton Well Road) 13 June 2010

168216 passes Walton Well Road, Oxford, on Sunday 13 June 2010 with the diverted 1V26 09:10 Birmingham Snow Hill to Oxford Chiltern Railways service. Because of engineering works on the Chiltern Line, various Chiltern Railways trains were booked to run to Oxford to connect with First Great Western services to London. If Chiltern Railways plans come to fruition, this will soon no longer be an occasional sight at Oxford, as the company aims to run regular services to London via a new chord at Bicester.

168216 Launton 7 March 2011

168216 gets into its stride as it accelerates away from Bicester station (the footbridge of which can just about be seen in the distance), and passes Launton on 7 March 2011 with the 1H36 11:55 Birmingham Moor Street to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. Although some industrial estate buildings can be seen on the right, the train conveniently hides the Kraft and DHL 'big sheds'!

168216 Kings Sutton 3 June 2011

168216 passes Kings Sutton in superb evening light on 3 June 2011 with the 1D47 16:34 Marylebone to Birmingham Snow Hill Chiltern Railways service. A hackneyed location, but with light like this, and the church in the background, it certainly makes a splendid picture.

168216 Hatton 1 February 2012

With frost still on the tracks in the foreground, 168216 sweeps round the curve at Hatton on 1 February 2012 with the 1H32 10:12 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. The Grand Union Canal is directly behind the train, but even in winter it is now virtually completely hidden from view.

168216 Bucknell 5 March 2013

168216 passes Bucknell on 5 March 2013 with the 1H48 11:38 Stratford-upon-Avon to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. Despite being just a very short distance from the village, there was never a station at Bucknell. The nearest station was Ardley, a mile to the north.

168216 Hatton 11 May 2015

168216 passes Hatton on 11 May 2015 with the late running 1G46 16:18 Marylebone to Birmingham Snow Hill Chiltern Railways service. Unfortunately the overgrown cutting sides now make this rather head on viewpoint necessary.

168216 Oddington 12 May 2016

168216 passes Oddington on 12 May 2016 with the 1T48 16:50 Marylebone to Oxford Parkway Chiltern Railways service. This picture is taken from the recently constructed roadbridge, replacing the earlier level crossing. It looks like this excellent new viewpoint will only be temporary, judging by the line of young trees planted alongside the fence.

168216 & 168113 Islip (Brookfurlong Farm) 16 August 2016

168216 & 168113 pass Brookfurlong Farm, Islip, on 16 August 2016 with the 1Y74 19:09 Oxford Parkway to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. I had walked across the fields on the footpath from the village of Islip, which can be seen in the background, passing the combine harvester that can be seen at work. When I walked across the field to the bridge, he had only completed a few rows, yet when I walked back just short of two hours later, he had nearly finished!

168216 Islip 19 April 2017

168216 arrives at Islip station on 19 April 2017 with the 1Y27 09:36 Oxford to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. Although the re-engineered line now has a half hourly service, only a limited number of these trains call at Islip. For instance, anyone missing this train to London, would have to wait nearly four hours for the next one!

168217 Oxford North Junction 13 June 2010

An unusual visitor to the Oxford area on Sunday 13 June 2010. Due to engineering works on the Chiltern Line, some Chiltern Railways services were diverted to run to Oxford, where passengers would continue their journey onwards to London via First Great Western trains. 168217 passes Oxford North Junction with the 1V22 09:19 Banbury to Oxford service - the first of the day's diverted trains. The line to Bicester can be seen in the background diverging to the right.

168217 Oxford North Junction 13 June 2010

Sunday 13 June 2010 brought some variation to the type of DMUs to be seen in the Oxford area, with Chiltern Railways Class 168s visiting on trains diverted off the Chiltern Line. Trains worked down from the north to Oxford to connect with First Great Western trains to London. 168217 heads back north with the 1G18 10:10 Oxford to Birmingham Snow Hill Chiltern Railways service, pictured here less than a mile into its journey, approaching Oxford North Junction.

168217 Heyford 20 June 2010

168217 speeds through Heyford station with the 1V50 15:10 Birmingham Snow Hill to Oxford Chiltern Railways service on 20 June 2010. This is one of the hourly services diverted away from the Chiltern Line, which was closed for engineering works. It is not very often when you visit a station that you see one of your own pictures! However, my picture of 165120, taken from this footbridge was used as part of the poster at the entrance to the station advertising what is now branded 'The Oxford Canal Line'.

168217 Ardley Tunnel 30 December 2011

168217 speeds through the rain towards Ardley Tunnel on 30 December 2011 with the 1F92 08:09 Kidderminster to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. This is one of Chiltern's express trains (as they used to be called in the good old days!), becoming a non-stop service after Warwick Parkway. This makes it one of the few trains that passes non-stop through Banbury.

168217 Fritwell 7 April 2013

168217 passes Fritwell on 7 April 2013 with the 11:40 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. Surprisingly I never visited this location in the days when this was a sleepy single track backwater, operated by Class 115 DMUs, despite it being relatively close to home.

168217 Shrewley 3 July 2013

168217 passes Shrewley on 3 July 2013 with the 1H76 18:40 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. It was obvious that the few people who know about this vantage point had not approached the footbridge from the direction that I did, as the footpath was virtually blocked by vegetation, including six feet high stinging nettles!

168217 & 168005 Brill Tunnel 19 January 2016

168217 & 168005 emerge from Brill Tunnel on 19 January 2016 with the 1H30 09:55 Birmingham Moor Street to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. Brill Tunnel is so short, and with so little ground above, it makes you wonder why the didn't just continue the cutting straight through!

168217 Oddington 20 July 2016

168217 passes Oddington on 20 July 2016 with the 1Y68 18:09 Oxford Parkway to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. The train is just passing over the site of the former level crossing, now replaced by the bridge upon which I am standing.

168218 Ardley Tunnel 11 February 2008

A conveniently sized gap in the lineside bushes allows this excellent view of 168218, as it approaches Ardley Tunnel on 11 February 2008 with the 12:12 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service.

168218 Great Bourton 23 April 2010

168218 catches the last rays of the setting sun as it passes Great Bourton on 23 April 2010 with the 17:30 Marylebone to Birmingham Snow Hill Chiltern Railways service. The picture is taken from a public footpath crossing.

168218 Kings Sutton 28 May 2010

168218 speeds through Kings Sutton station on 28 May 2010 with the 13:12 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. Note the large bird of prey (Red Kite, Buzzard?) just about getting out of the way of the train, and visible in front of the rear coach.

168218 & 168216 Ashendon Junction 10 August 2012

168218 & 168216 speed past the site of Ashendon Junction on 10 August 2012 with the 1H09 06:19 Birmingham Moor Street to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. In pre-grouping days the line from High Wycombe and Princes Risborough was owned jointly by the Great Western and Great Central Railways. At Ashendon Junction the two routes diverged, with the Great Western heading towards Banbury, and the Great Central towards Calvert. Only the former GWR route remains open today. The junction employed a flyover, which explains why the two lines can be seen diverging at this point. Note how the public footpath has its own little central refuge between the two tracks.

168218 & 168002 Charlton-on-Otmoor 5 May 2016

A superb new photographic vantage point has been created near Charlton-on-Otmoor, on the recently upgraded Bicester to Oxford line. Previously Holts Farm was accessed by a private level crossing at the end of a long lane from the village. Now a new bridge has been constructed just to the south of the original (now blocked) crossing, and a new concrete road goes round in a huge loop to connect to the farm. Until the bushes planted by the fence grow up, this gives fantastic views from all angles. 168218 & 168002 head south on 5 May 2016 with the 1T52 17:50 Marylebone to Oxford Parkway Chiltern Railways service. The site of the old level crossing is just behind the rear of the train.

168218 Bucknell 13 October 2017

168218 passes Bucknell on 13 October 2017 with the 1G17 09:10 Marylebone to Birmingham Snow Hill Chiltern Railways service. I was taking advantage of the dull day, as with any sun this particular angle would virtually always be totally backlit.

168219 Overthorpe 28 January 2011

Dramatic lighting near Overthorpe on 28 January 2011, as 168219 passes underneath the M40 motorway with the 09:55 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. As can be guessed from the dark clouds in the background, this spectacular lighting didn't last very long!

168219 Great Bourton 28 March 2012

Late March is one of my favourite times of year for photography, and when there is often light like this, you can understand why. 168219 passes Great Bourton on 28 March 2012 with the 17:10 Birmingham Moor Street to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service.

168219 Launton 21 April 2015

168219 passes Launton on 21 April 2015 with the 1U53 16:21 Marylebone to Banbury Chiltern Railways service. It will shortly be calling at Bicester North station. This picture is taken from a public footpath crossing that crosses the high embankment to the south of Launton village.

168219 Banbury 22 August 2015

168219 passes Banbury North Signal Box on 22 August 2015 with the 1H37 09:14 Stratford-upon-Avon to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. Banbury North Box was destroyed by Network Rail in March 2017, in what can only be described as a mindless act of vandalism.

168219 Islip 6 August 2017

168219 passes Islip on 6 August 2017 with the 1Y05 08:38 Oxford to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. The bridge in the background is a new footpath and bridleway crossing, replacing the former Mill Lane level crossing. This view has changed completely since D1015 Western Champion was an extremely unusual visitor to the line in 2013.

168219, 168108 & 168327 Kings Sutton 27 August 2017

Three of the four Class 168 sub classes in one train at Kings Sutton on 27 August 2017. Only the Class 168/0 variant is missing in this 168/2, 168/1 & 168/3 convoy. 168219, 168108 & 168327 work the 1G47 16:40 Marylebone to Birmingham Snow Hill Chiltern Railways service.

168321 Kings Sutton 4 May 2016

168321 passes Kings Sutton on 4 May 2016 with the 2G46 16:24 Marylebone to Birmingham Snow Hill Chiltern Railways service. This train is booked for a two car unit, which is surprising, given the fact that it leaves London at the start of the rush hour.

168322 Islip (Brookfurlong Farm) 20 October 2015

168322 passes Brookfurlong Farm, near Islip, on 20 October 2015 with the 5T14 11:25 Bicester Gavray Junction to Oxford Parkway Chiltern Railways driver training special, running an hour early. This was one of a whole series of specials that ran throughout the day.

168322 Islip (Brookfurlong Farm) 20 October 2015

168322 passes Brookfurlong Farm, near Islip, on 20 October 2015 with the 5Y10 10:24 Oxford Parkway to Bicester Gavray Junction Chiltern Railways driver training special. The reconstructed Islip station can be seen in the background. 168322 is one of a batch of former TransPennine Class 170s. Class 168/1s & 168/2s are effectively the same design as Class 170s.

168322 Islip (Brookfurlong Farm) 20 October 2015

168322 heads north from Islip (the station can just be glimpsed in the background) on 20 October 2015 with the 5Z16 12:03 Oxford Parkway to Princes Risborough Chiltern Railways driver training special. In the background is the former Islip oil depot, which used to be rail connected.

168322 Launton 15 August 2016

168322 passes Launton on 15 August 2016 with the 2G46 16:24 Marylebone to Birmingham Snow Hill Chiltern Railways service. This photo is taken from the seemingly little used (I have never met anyone here) footpath crossing between the village of Launton and the southern edge of Bicester.

168322 Islip (Brookfurlong Farm) 16 August 2016

A new footbridge near Brookfurlong Farm, just to the north of Islip, spans the recently upgraded Bicester to Oxford line. This picture, taken on the evening of 16 August 2016, shows 168322 passing this new vantage point with the 1T50 17:18 Marylebone to Oxford Parkway Chiltern Railways service. The bi-directionally signalled line was being fully exploited on this occasion, with all trains effectively running 'wrong line'. In the background on the right a combine harvester is at work, and Charlton-on-Otmoor church can just be made out in the extreme distance.

168322 & 168109 Oxford North Junction 25 March 2017

168322 & 168109 pass Oxford North Junction on 25 March 2017 with the 1T37 14:05 Marylebone to Oxford Chiltern Railways service. This location has changed out of all recognition in the last few years, as Chiltern have modified the trackwork to allow their trains to access Oxford station. Even the footbridge from which this picture was taken has been replaced.

168322& 168325 Ardley 14 August 2017

168322 & 168325 pass Ardley on 14 August 2017 with the 1H32 10:12 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. Unfortunately this once excellent viewpoint, from a lofty overbridge, is now, like most of the railway network, getting very overgrown.

168322 & 168326 High Wycombe 27 August 2017

168322 & 168326 round the sharp curve on the approach to High Wycombe station on 27 August 2017 with the 1Y18 10:42 Oxford to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. I bet this is a wheel slip hot spot in the autumn!

168323 Islip 21 June 2017

168323 passes through Islip station on 21 June 2017 with the late running 1T46 16:18 Marylebone to Oxford Chiltern Railways service. The 1Y65 17:23 Oxford to Marylebone train can just be seen disappearing into the distance. This picture was taken through the slightly tinted Perspex footbridge side screens, as I had forgotten how high the bridge sides were, and didn't have time to go back to the car for my stepladder. It doesn't seem to have affected the quality by shooting through the plastic!

168324 Banbury 11 March 2016

168324 passes the warehouses that line the approach to Banbury, as it prepares to stop at the town's station with the 1H53 14:55 Birmingham Moor Street to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service on 11 March 2016. This unit was formerly 170304.

168324 Charlton-on-Otmoor 15 August 2016

168324 passes Charlton-on-Otmoor on 15 August 2016 with the 1Y70 18:29 Oxford Parkway to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. You can tell this a newly upgraded line, as there isn't a tree, or even a bush, next to the lineside fence!

168324 & 168109 Charlton-on-Otmoor 21 March 2017

168324 & 168109 pass Charlton-on-Otmoor on 21 March 2017 with the 1T19 09:35 Marylebone to Oxford Chiltern Railways service. In the background is Holts Farm, which was formerly accessed by a level crossing, which was situated by the new fence in the background. The new farm road crosses the line by a bridge, which provides this excellent viewpoint.

168324 Wendlebury (Langford Lane) 17 September 2017

168324 passes Langford Lane, near Wendlebury, on 17 September 2017 with the 1T21 10:05 Marylebone to Oxford Chiltern Railways service. This picture is taken from a recently constructed roadbridge, which a replaces a level crossing a little further to the north.

168324 Gavray Junction 17 September 2017

168324 rounds the sharp curve at Gavray Junction on 17 September 2017 with the 1Y23 11:42 Oxford to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. The Aldi supermarket, and nearby houses at the moment mark the limit of Bicester's urban sprawl, but what's the betting that the field on the left will succumb eventually?

168325, 168110 & 168322 Islip (Brookfurlong Farm) 20 October 2015

168325, 168110 & 168322 pass Brookfurlong Farm (between Oddington and Islip) on 20 October 2015 with the 5T03 08:40 Aylesbury to Oxford Parkway Chiltern Railways driver training special. This is the first train of the day, and would split into three at Oxford Parkway to maximise the driver training potential. The Oxford to Bicester line has been massively upgraded, and these trains are in connection with the introduction of a passenger service from Oxford to Marylebone, via Bicester, commencing on 26 October. In the background is the new road bridge giving access to Oddington Grange and Barndon Farm, replacing the former level crossing.

168325 Islip (Brookfurlong Farm) 20 October 2015

168325 runs along the recently upgraded Bicester to Oxford Line on 20 October 2015 with a Chiltern Railways driver training special. It is pictured near Brookfurlong Farm (between Oddington and Islip). In the background is the new bridge that replaces the former Oddington level crossing. This is just six days before the line reopens, with a new direct Oxford to London (via Bicester) service.

168325 Islip (Brookfurlong Farm) 20 October 2015

168325 passes Brookfurlong Farm (near Islip) on 20 October 2015 with the 5Z17 13:04 Princes Risborough to Oxford Parkway Chiltern Railways driver training special. Passenger trains commence running on 26 October, giving Oxford a new direct service to London (Marylebone this time instead of Paddington). Both the footbridge and the distant roadbridge in this picture are new, offering excellent new photographic vantage points on what used to be a very challenging line. Such is the complete transformation of the route that it is hard to believe this is the same spot that I photographed 47727 at in 2013!

168325 & 168214 Gavray Junction 1 November 2015

168325 & 168214 round the curve from Gavray Junction on Sunday 1 November 2015 with the 1Y33 13:48 Oxford Parkway to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. This newly constructed line links the Oxford to Bletchley line (in the background) with the Marylebone to Birmingham line. The town of Bicester forms the background to this view, from the Aldi supermarket just beyond the railway, to St Edburgh's church on the skyline.

168325, 168111 & 168216 Oddington 20 April 2016

168325, 168111 & 168216 pass Oddington on 20 April 2016 with the 1Y10 06:47 Oxford Parkway to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. Three different subclasses, and three different numbers of coaches per set. 168325 (Class 168/3 - two coaches), 168111 (Class 168/1 - three coaches) & 168216 (Class 168/2 - four coaches).

168325 Charlton-on-Otmoor 5 May 2016

168325 runs parallel with the new concrete road that leads to Holts Farm, near Charlton-on-Otmoor. It is working the 1T50 17:18 Marylebone to Oxford Parkway Chiltern Railways service. The date is 5 May 2016, just a few months into the upgraded line's operation, and before the newly planted trees alongside the fence have started to grow!

168325 Oddington 26 August 2016

A close up view of 168325, as it passes Oddington on 26 August 2016 with the 1T50 17:18 Marylebone to Oxford Parkway Chiltern Railways service. This unit was converted from TransPennine Express Class 170 170305 in 2015.

168325 & 168218 Water Eaton 8 April 2017

The upgrading of the Oxford to Bicester line entailed the building of a number of new bridges, creating several excellent new photographic vantage points. However, this picture is a warning to photographers not to waste time taking advantage of this, as the planting of numerous tree saplings next to the bridges will remove these new vistas in time. This is the view from the new farm access road at Water Eaton on 8 April 2017. 168325 & 168218 head south with the 1T25 11:05 Marylebone to Oxford Chiltern Railways service.

168325 & 168327 Islip (Mill Lane) 6 August 2017

Viewed from a recently installed bridge, 168325 & 168327 pass the site of Mill Lane level crossing, Islip, on 6 August 2017 with the 1Y04 08:10 Oxford to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. Although the palisade fence in the foreground is not very photogenic, I thought I would take this wide view while it is still possible. As the fence prevents access to the lineside, and because Network Rail do not do any kind of regular lineside maintenance, the few bushes and weeds by the lineside will become an overgrown jungle in a few years, effectively blocking this view.

168325 & 168113 Charlton-on-Otmoor 17 September 2017

168325 & 168113 pass Charlton-on-Otmoor on 17 September 2017 with the 1T47 16:35 Marylebone to Oxford Chiltern Railways service. Until the newly planted trees on the left grow to full size, this is one of the best photographic locations on the recently upgraded Bicester to Oxford line.

168325 & 168113 Oddington 17 September 2017

168325 & 168113 head away from the camera at Oddington on 17 September 2017 with the 1Y56 18:11 Oxford to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. With a constant procession of DMUs passing this location, there would normally be any reason to take a going away shot. However, I took this because of the fantastic lighting, which as can be guessed from the dark clouds in the background, didn't last for much longer. I particularly like the way the line of electricity poles stand out against the dark surroundings.

168326 & 168328 Water Eaton 8 April 2017

A long lens view of Oxford Parkway station, and Oxford Banbury Road stone terminal, viewed from Water Eaton, half a mile to the north. The stone terminal sidings are now much further north than previously, as the new station occupies their former location. 168326 & 168328 accelerate away from the station with the 1Y15 10:09 Oxford to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. 8 April 2017.

168326 & 168113 Wendlebury (Langford Lane) 17 September 2017

168326 & 168113 pass Langford Lane, Wendlebury, on 17 September 2017 with the 1Y15 10:11 Oxford to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service, having just passed 172103 & 172102 working the 1T19 09:33 Marylebone to Oxford.

168327 & 168321 Gavray Junction 9 April 2017

168327 & 168321 round the curve from Gavray Junction on 9 April 2017 with the 1Y26 12:11 Oxford to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. The town of Bicester dominates the background, and at the rate they are throwing up houses, will probably soon occupy the filed on the left as well!

168327 Hatton North Junction 27 August 2017

168327 and a pair of unidentified classmates pass Hatton North Junction on 27 August 2017 with the 1H37 13:55 Birmingham Moor Street to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. Even in midsummer this location is now plagued by shadows from the trees on the left.

168328 & 168329 Haddenham 20 January 2017

Consecutively numbered 168328 & 168329 pass Haddenham on 20 January 2017 with the 1Y32 11:10 Oxford to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. They have just called at Haddenham & Thame Parkway station, which is just beyond the bridge in the background.

168328 & 168322 Banbury 2 April 2017

168328 & 168322 approach Banbury on 2 April 2017 with the 1H53 16:55 Birmingham Moor Street to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. The day had started sunny, but it had already become completely cloudy by 09:00. Now, in the evening, the clouds were starting to melt away again.

168328 & 168326 North Oxford Golf Course 27 May 2017

168328 & 168326 pass North Oxford Golf Course (behind the trees) with the 1T45 16:05 Marylebone to Oxford Chiltern Railways service on 27 May 2017. This excellent new vantage point has been created by the installation of a footbridge on the recently upgraded Bicester to Oxford line. I never visited the location when it was a sleepy single track branch line, as there was no footbridge, and the line was hemmed in by trees and tall bushes. Oxford Road Junction was formerly situated where the line disappears from view, and the trees on the left mark the course of the former LMS loop line to Yarnton Junction, on the GWR Oxford to Worcester Line. This line was closed in 1965.

168329 Oddington 20 April 2016

Sunrise at Oddington on 20 April 2016. 168329 is bathed in a golden glow as it works the 2T01 06:05 Bicester Village to Oxford Parkway Chiltern Railways service. This is on the recently upgraded and doubled former LMS Bicester to Oxford line, which explains the lack of lineside vegetation and the new lineside fences. Note how the further of the two fences in the background follows the contours of the medieval ridge and furrow field system, which is presumably associated with the nearby Oddington Grange.

168329 Oddington 20 April 2016

168329 passes Oddington on 20 April 2016 with the 1Y07 06:31 Oxford Parkway to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. Extremely low angle early morning light, with the shadow of the new road bridge still making its presence felt in the foreground.

168329 & 168001 High Wycombe 27 August 2017

The highest and lowest numbered Class 168s approach High Wycombe station on 27 August 2017. 168329 & 168001 are working the 1H17 09:38 Stratford-upon-Avon to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. The high brick retaining wall is a distinctive feature of High Wycombe, but unfortunately there is now a 'wall' of trees on the other side of the line, which makes photography difficult, even in mid summer.