Class 201-203

1001 Ham Street 11 May 1996

Exactly ten years to the day since their withdrawal from mainline use, Hastings Diesels Ltd returned their beautifully preserved unit 1001 to the mainline with the 'The Hastings DEMU Phoenix' railtour on 11 May 1996. The tour is seen here en-route from Hastings to Ashford, passing through Ham Street station. It would later visit Canterbury, Dover, Folkestone Harbour & Charing Cross. Note that it is working here as a four car unit, without the later addition of a standard width CEP coach.

1001 Chester 17 August 1996

1001 indulges in a little shunting at Chester on 17 August 1996 prior to heading back to more familiar territory with the Hastings Diesels Ltd 'Crewe & Chester DEMU' railtour. Motor coach S60000 Hastings is leading in this view. The tour was run in connection with the Crewe Works Open Day, with the additional attraction of this extra mileage to Chester.

1001 Cowden 25 May 1997

1001 with DMBSO 60000 Hastings leading passes through Cowden station with the 08:34 Oxted to Uckfield service on Sunday 25 May 1997, during the Connex South Central's Uckfield Line Gala weekend. Note the long disused up platform, now virtually covered by grass and bushes. It was not far from here that a Class 205 ran past a red signal in 1994 and collided with a train on the single track section. Prior to the advent of radios in the cabs there was no means for the signalman (who was obviously aware of what was happening) to notify either driver.

1001 Crowborough 25 May 1997

1001 arrives at Crowborough station on 25 May 1997 with the 11:30 Uckfield to Oxted service. The use of the vintage Hastings unit was in connection with the Connex South Central's Uckfield Line Gala. The grass covered track on the left is the old headshunt to the former goods yard.

1001 Edenbridge 25 May 1997

1001 approaches Edenbridge on 25 May 1997 with the 15:30 Uckfield to Oxted service, part of Connex South Central's Uckfield Line Gala. Photography is quite difficult in this area due to the abundant lineside trees. This location (on the long straight section of track between Hever and Edenbridge Town stations) is one of the few open locations, and it probably wasn't always so judging by the cleared vegetation in the foreground!

1001 Great Yarmouth 31 August 1998

1001 has traveled widely in its new role and it seen here at the unlikely location of Great Yarmouth. It is arriving with the 13:35 Norwich to Great Yarmouth service on 31 August 1998, during its period on hire to Anglia Railways. After spending thirty years shuttling backwards and forwards between London and Hastings, since being acquired by Hastings Diesels Ltd the unit has often broken free of the former Southern Region. Great Yarmouth is a shadow of its former self, note the grass grown carriage sidings in the background.

1001 Great Yarmouth 31 August 1998

Classic traction overload at Great Yarmouth on 31 August 1998! 1001 leaves the station with the 14:24 service to Norwich, whilst in the background, D9000 Royal Scots Grey waits to return to London with the Anglia Railways 1G55 15:10 Great Yarmouth to Liverpool Street special.

1001 West Runton 26 September 1998

1001 passes through West Runton station on 26 September 1998 with the 2G02 14:15 Norwich to Sheringham service, proudly wearing a Pathfinder Tours headboard. Pathfinder have appropriated the train to connect with their 1Z27 05:37 Cardiff Central to Norwich 'Norfolk Excursioner' railtour. The thumper would return with the 2G01 15:16 Sheringham to Norwich, and then the Pathfinder passengers would head back south aboard the 1Z79 16:23 Norwich to Cardiff Central, arriving back in Wales at 23:09. 

1001 Southrepps 26 September 1998

1001 passes Southrepps on 26 September 1998 with the 2G01 15:16 Sheringham to Norwich service. The addition the Pathfinder Tours headboard indicates that it was being used by passengers off the Pathfinder 1Z27 05:37 Cardiff Central to Norwich 'Norfolk Excursioner' railtour. Since this picture was taken the vintage (and rather short) telegraph poles have been removed.

1001 Dainton 11 August 1999

1001 merges with the greenery as it passes Dainton on 11 August 1999 with the Hastings Diesels Ltd 1Z98 Buckfastleigh to Hastings 'Eclipse DEMU' railtour. This was the return working of one of a large number of special trains taking people to the West Country to view the total eclipse of the sun (and very impressive it was too!).

1001 Radley 9 December 2000

Terrible photographic conditions with extreme backlighting, but Thumper Units are extremely rare in the Oxford area, so the picture definitely had to be taken! With Didcot Power Station prominent in the background, 1001 passes through Radley station with the Hastings Diesels Ltd Hastings to Oxford 'Oxford Rover' railtour on 9 December 2000. The acute lighting in this picture clearly shows up the standard width coaches added in the centre of the formation.

1001 Castle Bar Park 20 April 2002

1001 passes slowly through Castle Bar Park with the Branch Line Society 'Western Essex Express' railtour on 20 April 2002. At this point it was running 30 minutes late as the 1Z67 11:50 Royal Oak Headshunt to Chelmsford. This mammoth tour started from Hastings at 06:07 and visited numerous sections of rare track around the London and Essex areas before finally arriving back at Hastings at 23:58! It managed to regain all of its lost time, despite being hampered here by being directly behind the 13:32 Greenford to Paddington train.

1001 Dean 21 March 2009

1001 with DMBS 60118 Tunbridge Wells leading thumps through Dean with the Hastings Diesels Ltd 1Z84 07:44 Hastings to Salisbury 'Wiltshire Warrior' railtour on 21 March 2009. Note the odd appearance created by the inclusion of standard width former 4-BIG buffet car 69337 in the centre of the formation, in what is otherwise a train of 'Hastings Gauge' Class 202 vehicles. Needless to say there were a large number of photographers on Dean station to photograph this train, as there were also numerous diversions to photograph.

1001 Eastleigh 21 March 2009

As the last of the sunlight fades away, 1001 with 60116 Mountfield leading rounds the curve from the Romsey line and approaches Eastleigh with the Hastings Diesels Ltd 1Z85 16:11 Salisbury to Hastings 'Wiltshire Warrior' railtour on 21 March 2009. This spot was chosen as not only is it a clearly identifiable location but it is also about the only place where the sun would be on the front of the train. If it had been running any later the shadow of the Lidl supermarket which is just out of shot to left would have caused problems, even though the light was getting so weak.

1001 Kemble 3 October 2009

1001 thumps through Kemble station with the Hastings Diesels Ltd 1Z27 07:00 Hastings to Worcester Shrub Hill 'Worcester Leveller' railtour on 3 October 2009. A day of intermittent rain and high winds, but this view is taken from the covered station footbridge, so is an ideal vantage point in such poor weather conditions. The timing of this tour was quite critical, as there are only a certain number of paths over the single track section from here to Swindon (the tracks can just be seen converging in the background).

1001 Uffington 24 April 2010

1001 passes milepost 68 as it heads west near Uffington on 24 April 2010 with the Hastings Diesels Ltd 1Z86 07:30 Hastings to Bridgnorth 'Severn Explorer' railtour. Although it doesn't look like it here, the sun is actually out, but there is so much hazy cloud diffusing the light that there are virtually no shadows. Typical, as this spot was chosen as the sun would just be on the front end at the required time! Note the seed heads of the Great Reedmace (Typha latifolia) growing in the lineside ditch. This is the plant that is commonly (but incorrectly) called the Bulrush.

1001 Bletchingdon 24 April 2010

1001 passes the site of Bletchingdon station on 24 April 2010 with the Hastings Diesels Ltd 1Z87 15:32 Bridgnorth to Hastings 'Severn Explorer' railtour. Note the inclusion of two standard width vehicles in the middle of this otherwise 'Hastings Gauge' unit. Bletchingdon station closed in 1964, but the site is still used for a once common railway activity - the distribution of domestic coal.

1001 Quainton Road 14 May 2011

1001 sits in the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre's Quainton Road station quietly thumping away, waiting to work the 1Z58 14:00 shuttle to Claydon LNE Junction, part of the Hastings Diesels Ltd 'Metrolander' railtour on 14 May 2011. It had arrived earlier in the day with the 1Z57 06:38 Hastings to Quainton Road, and had already worked one shuttle to Claydon at 11:35 (unsurprisingly the 1Z57!). I was surprised at how few people there were either from the tour or visiting the centre, as in spite of having to wait for a brief sunny spell to take this picture, I have not had to resort to cloning anyone out of the picture at all!

1001 Claydon 14 May 2011

1001 passes the long disused and grass covered platform at Calvert as it heads for Claydon LNE Junction with the 1Z58 14:00 shuttle from Quainton Road, part of the Hastings Diesels Ltd 'Metrolander' railtour on 14 May 2011. In the background is the unloading gantry for the Calvert landfill site, the final destination for a lot of London's (and until recently Bristol's) rubbish.

1001 Calvert 14 May 2011

After visiting the rural delights of Claydon LNE Junction (if that's the right phrase!), 1001 heads back to Quainton Road with the 1Z58 shuttle, part of the Hastings Diesel Ltd 'Metrolander' railtour on 14 May 2011. It is crossing the junction for the line into the Calvert landfill site. Claydon LNE Junction is only just around the corner, and is where the line from Quainton connects with the former Oxford to Cambridge line (now partly lifted).

1001 Waddesdon Manor 14 May 2011

1001 thumps past the remains of Waddesdon Manor station on 14 May 2011 with the Hastings Diesels 1Z59 15:08 Quainton Road to Hastings 'Metrolander' railtour. The crumbling edge of the platform face of this remote station can just be seen amid the bushes, otherwise the site is only marked by the presence of piles of redundant rails. The station's name was shortened to just Waddesdon later in its life, but in reality it's in the middle of nowhere, a good mile from the village, and even further away from Waddesdon Manor.

1001 Princes Risborough 14 May 2011

A brief period of very welcome sunshine occurs just at the right time as 1001 passes through Princes Risborough on 14 May 2011 with the Hastings Diesels Ltd 1Z59 15:08 Quainton Road to Hastings 'Metrolander' railtour. I didn't realise at the time just how close the edge of the cloud was, and it certainly looks like anyone on the station (just around the corner) missed on the sun. As the train had sat in Aylesbury North Loop for over ten minutes to allow a service train to pass, it had been a very easy drive from Waddesdon to this location, with loads of time to spare.

1001 Compton Beauchamp 7 July 2012

1001 is an unusual visitor the Great Western Mainline, as it passes Compton Beauchamp on 7 July 2012 with the Hastings Diesels Ltd 1Z52 16:25 Weston-super-Mare to Hastings 'Channel Two' railtour. I hope the tour participants enjoyed the 'Thumper' haulage more than what must have been a very bleak day by the seaside! This train certainly confused a few steam photographers, who were at this location for Oliver Cromwell, which followed a mere five minutes later with the 'Cotswold Venturer' railtour.

1001 Avoncliff 18 April 2015

One of the few railtours to run on 18 April 2015 was the Hastings Diesels 1Z08 06:44 Hastings to Cardiff Central 'Green Dragon' tour, the rest being cancelled due to the West Coast Rail fiasco, with that company's operating licence being withdrawn due to an incident caused by the crew tampering with the loco's safety equipment. Framed by bushes growing alongside the River Avon, 1001 thumps past Avoncliff, under a perfect blue sky.

1001 Westbury 18 April 2015

1001 arrives at Westbury on 18 April 2015 with the Hastings Diesels 1Z10 16:38 Cardiff Central to Hastings 'Green Dragon' railtour. Unfortunately this was running 11 minutes late, which with the sun rapidly going down made quite a difference with regard to the rapidly encroaching shadows. Luckily at least the front of the train is still in the light.

1001 Oxford North Junction 4 July 2015

1001 passes Oxford North Junction on 4 July 2015 with the Hastings Diesels 1Z41 15:50 Stratford-upon-Avon to Hastings 'Warwickshire Wanderer' railtour. The junction for the single track line to Bicester (presently being converted to an upgraded double track mainline) can be seen diverging to the right just behind the train. The relief line on the right ends just a few yards further on, having been temporarily lifted as part of the rebuilding programme. The trackbed of the seemingly abandoned down relief line reinstatement can be seen diverging to the left, with some extensive engineering works in the foreground. Nothing has be done to this in the past year. In the foreground is the footpath crossing allowing access to the Trap Grounds allotments, which has locked gates at each side, preventing unauthorised access.

1002 Little Kimble 11 May 1986

1002 thumps through the tiny station at Little Kimble on 11 May 1986 with 1Z25 LCGB / SEG 'Hastings DEMU Farewell' railtour. Not visible from this angle is sister unit 1032 on the rear. On arrival at Aylesbury, the two units were split. 1032 then headed back to London, followed a short while later by 1002. This was the very last day of mainline operations for the slimline thumpers, with all remaining units being withdrawn that night.

1005 Little Langford 8 March 1986

The horse takes absolutely no notice, as 1005 passes underneath the bridge at Little Langford on 8 March 1986 with the Branch Line Society 1Z26 06:20 Eastbourne to Merehead and Whatley Quarries 'Bedlam Belle' railtour. Thumper classmate 1007 was on the rear of the train.

1005 & 1007 Westbury 8 March 1986

1005 & 1007 pull away from Westbury station with the Branch Line Society 1Z26 'Bedlam Belle' railtour on 8 March 1986. The tour, which had started from Eastbourne at 06:20 had just visited both Merehead and Whatley quarries. Just visible in the background is a host of classic rail blue traction, including a Class 122 'bubble car' and several Class 47s & 56s.

1007 Stonegate 15 March 1986

1007 arrives at a very foggy Stonegate with the 08:45 Charing Cross to Hastings service on 15 March 1986. This was the penultimate day of DEMU operation on the route. Note the newly installed, but as yet unused 750V DC third rail. This picture proves that this website doesn't completely deserve the title Hondawanderer, but then Vauxhallwanderer just doesn't have the same ring to it!

1007 Etchingham 15 March 1986

1007 slowly accelerates away from Etchingham station on 15 March 1986, running wrong line with the 10:57 Hastings to Charing Cross service. This was the final weekend of DEMU operation on the route, with conventional EMUs taking over from the following Monday. This explains the single line working, as last minute adjustments are made prior to the big switch on.

1012 & 1004 Stonegate 15 March 1986

There is plenty of passenger accommodation on this train - twelve coaches no less! However, the residents of Stonegate are not going to benefit from this, as 1012 & 1004 speed non-stop through their station with the 10:10 Charing Cross to Hastings service on 15 March 1986. These vintage units would be replaced by EMUs just two days after this picture was taken.

1013 & 1035 Stonegate 15 March 1986

With a cheery wave from a member of the station staff, 1013 arrives at Stonegate with the 09:43 Hastings to Charing Cross service on 15 March 1986. Invisible due both to the fog and the curve of the track, unit 1035 brings up the rear of the train. Note the sign on the platform indicating that the line will be electrified from the following Monday. As can be seen, the third rail has yet to see any use and is still rusty.

1017 Portbury 12 October 1985

With the M5 Avonmouth bridge in the background, 1017 passes Portbury on 12 October 1985 with the SEG/RCTS 1Z39 'Somerset & Avon Hastings DEMU Railtour'. The train had started from Watford Junction and visited several lines in the Bristol area, this branch to Portishead undoubtedly being the highlight of the day. Much has changed since this picture was taken, and you would find it very difficult to even recognise this spot now. Although the track still lurks in the undergrowth, trees have now completely engulfed this view and the rough field behind and to the left of the train is now occupied by a massive industrial unit and its associated car park.

1017 Portbury 12 October 1985

1017 returns from Portishead and passes Portbury with the SEG/RCTS 1Z39 'Somerset & Avon Hastings DEMU Railtour' on 12 October 1985. This line had closed to passengers in 1964 and freight in 1981, but was visited by a number of specials during 1985, mainly marking the 150th anniversary of the GWR. Was this railtour the last train on the branch? Note the newly laid track. This just proves the old saying, that if the stations on a line get a coat of paint the line is probably going to be closed, and if the track is relaid it definitely is!

1017 Iron Acton 12 October 1985

1017 rounds the curve towards the level crossing at Iron Acton, on the Tytherington branch with the SEG/RCTS 1Z39 'Somerset & Avon Hastings DEMU Railtour' on 12 October 1985.This is quite oviously a going away shot, but is included here because not only is the light at the right angle, but the approaching shot was almost impossible due to being through a tunnel of trees. In addition to the Tytherington branch, this tour also visited Portishead, Severn Beach & Sharpness.

1017 Yate 12 October 1985

1017 slowly weaves off the Tytherington branch and rejoins the mainline at Yate with the SEG/RCTS 1Z39 'Somerset & Avon Hastings DEMU Railtour' on 12 October 1985. It would shortly reverse and continue on towards the next of its branch line visits - Sharpness. However, by now the light was going, so I headed home. 1017 was withdrawn a few months later and all six vehicles were cut up at Mayer Newman, Snailwell between 1988 and 1990.

1032 Charlbury 13 October 1984

1032 thumps through Charlbury station with the SEG/RCTS Hastings to Kidderminster 'Severn Valley Rambler' railtour on 13 October 1984. After seeing 33207 & 33025 pass this spot on 23 August 2008, I had mentioned to several people that they were not the rarest Southern Region traction to pass this way. This is possibly the only time a Hastings unit has traversed the Cotswold Line (confirmation anybody?), and rather like the 33 tour happened in appalling light, which was no joke when using Kodachrome 64! Note that this is before the platform was extended.

1032 & 1017 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 5 January 1985

Very unusual motive power on the Great Western Mainline at Circourt Bridge, Denchworth on 5 January 1985. 1032 & 1017 head west with the Hertfordshire Railtours 1Z27 07:20 Watford Junction to Maerdy 'Cymru DEMU' railtour. A mad panic set in during the mid 1980s to take these narrow bodied Hastings units to far flung places that they had never visited before, prior to their withdrawal in 1986 with the completion of the Hastings Line electrification.

1032 Dunsmore 11 May 1986

The Hastings units visited all kinds of places that they had never ventured to before in their last few months of service. Here we see 1032 on the Chiltern Line near Dunsmore on 11 May 1986 with the 1Z25 LCGB / SEG 'Hastings DEMU Farewell' railtour. The tour had started from Clapham Junction at 09:03 and traveled to Aylesbury with 1032 coupled to 1002. The two units then traveled back to London approximately fifteen minutes apart, before reforming for a run via Reading and Wokingham.