Class 230

230001 Broad Marston 21 June 2017

Vivarail's innovate Class 230 DEMU was used on a series of shuttle services along the Long Marston branch on 21 & 22 June 2017, in connection with the Rail Alliance Rail Live 2017 event. The unit uses former London Underground D78 stock, powered by Ford diesel engines. 230001 passes Broad Marston on 21 June with the shuttle service that had connected with the train that arrived at Honeybourne from London at 08:49.

230001 Long Marston 21 June 2017

230001 arrives at Long Marston on 21 June 2017 with a shuttle service from Honeybourne, bringing visitors to the Rail Alliance Rail Live 2017 event. Despite the novelty of the unusual newly converted rolling stock, and the good weather, there were only a few photographers around, as for some bizarre reason a lot of photographers only seem to take pictures of loco hauled trains!

230001 Long Marston 21 June 2017

230001 leaves Long Marston on 21 June 2017, heading for Honeybourne, to pick up another load of passengers for the Rail Alliance Rail Live 2017 event being held on the Long Marston site. And yes, the train is brushing aside the vegetation (note the branch in front of the lower part of the windscreen)!

230001 Honeybourne 21 June 2017

230001 approaches Honeybourne on 21 June 2017 with the 16:00 Long Marston to Honeybourne shuttle service, in connection with the Rail Alliance Rail Live 2017 event. Vivarail's conversion of former London Underground D78 stock into a DMU seems quite successful, at least on the reasonably level Long Marston branch. However, when the unit was tested on the Cotswold Line (visible on the right) the previous week, it struggled with the gradients. It is to be hoped that any problems can be sorted, as this seems to be an ideal replacement for the Class 142-144 Pacer fleet.

230001 Moreton-in-Marsh 6 July 2017

Vivarail's prototype Class 230 DEMU performed another test run on the Cotswold Line on 6 July 2017. 230001 is pictured here pulling out of Moreton-in-Marsh station, after arriving with the 5Z30 09:40 Long Marston to Moreton-in-Marsh test run, which had run almost exactly to time. It would proceed just a short distance, before using the crossover visible in the foreground to gain access to the down line. It would then head back from whence it came as the 5Z31 10:30 Moreton-in-Marsh to Long Marston. If anyone had told me in the 1980s, when I was photographing Class 50s on the Cotswold Line, that three decades later I would photograph ex London Underground stock working under its own (diesel) power on the route, I would have thought they were mad!

230001 Moreton-in-Marsh 6 July 2017

A stranger on the Cotswold Line!. Prototype Class 230 DEMU 230001 crosses over from the up to the down line at Moreton-Marsh on 6 July 2017, after arriving with the 5Z30 09:40 Long Marston to Moreton-in-Marsh test run. After a brief wait in the station, it would head north with the 5Z31 10:30 Moreton-in-Marsh to Long Marston. The event was so noteworthy that one of the track workers by the signal box went back to his van to get his camera to record the event!

230002 Moreton-in-Marsh 13 September 2019

Vivarail's hybrid diesel/battery ex underground stock unit 230002 made its first test run along the Cotswold Line on Monday 9 September 2019. However, it wasn't until the end of the week, the supposedly unlucky Friday 13th, that the sun finally made an appearance. 230002 is pictured arriving at Moreton-in-Marsh on 13 September 2019 with the 5T01 09:23 test run from Long Marston.

230002 Moreton-in-Marsh 13 September 2019

After arriving at Moreton-in-Marsh on 13 September 2019 with the 5T01 09:23 test run from Long Marston, 230002 used the crossover at the south end of the station in order to head back from whence it came with the 5T02 10:30 Moreton-in-Marsh to Evesham West Junction.

230002 Moreton-in-Marsh 13 September 2019

230002 waits at an almost deserted Moreton-in-Marsh station on 13 September 2019, prior to working the 5T02 10:30 Moreton-in-Marsh to Evesham West Junction test run. It had arrived a little earlier as the 5T01 09:23 from Long Marston. 230002 was originally converted from ex underground D78 stock into a two car battery EMU, but is running here with the addition of a centre car containing diesel generator sets, which charge the batteries en-route, rather in the manner of a hybrid car, such as the Toyota Prius.

230002 Moreton-in-Marsh 13 September 2019

Old and old/new! 230002 leaves Moreton-in-Marsh station on 13 September 2019 with the 5T02 10:30 Moreton-in-Marsh to Evesham West Junction test run. The semaphore signal is pure Great Western, and the train is late 1970s vintage underground stock, repurposed for the modern era as a diesel/battery hybrid unit.

230003 Long Marston 18 September 2018

After several false starts over the previous weeks, 230003 finally left Long Marston on its delivery run to the Bedford to Bletchley line on 18 September 2018. Running an hour late due to the late running of 50008 Thunderer with the 4Z68 11:38 Long Marston to Wembley container flats, 230003 is pictured leaving Long Marston with the 5Q13 13:10 Long Marston to Bletchley TMD ECS. This is the first of three units that Vivarail are supplying to London Northwestern Railway to replace Class 150s on the Marston Vale line. Although it made its long journey to Bletchley successfully (even turning late running into being 55 minutes early at one point), it did seem to have a spot of bother at the start, as just after I took this picture, it shut down briefly underneath the bridge!

230003 Long Marston 18 September 2018

A wave from a member of the train crew, as 230003 gets under way again, after briefly shutting down underneath the bridge at Long Marston, just as it was leaving with the 5Q13 13:10 Long Marston to Bletchley TMD ECS on 18 September 2018. This short stop allowed this second picture to be taken from the nearby public footpath.

230003 Moreton-in-Marsh 18 September 2018

230003 passes through Moreton-in-Marsh station on 18 September 2018 with the 5Q13 13:10 Long Marston to Bletchley TMD ECS. This was the delivery run of the first production Class 230 unit that Vivarail are supplying to London Northwestern Railway, to work on the Bedford to Bletchley Line. Over the years I photographed some very unusual motive power on the Cotswold Line, but a two car ex London Underground EMU, converted to a DMU by the addition of a couple of Ford 3.2 litre diesel engines has got to be on of the most unusual!

230004 Charlbury 7 February 2019

The second of the three Class 230 DMUs for the Marston Vale Line made its delivery run from Long Marston to Bletchley via the Cotswold Line on 7 February 2019. Curiously this run was not activated on the system until after it had left, which caused problems for some photographers, but I was easily able to go out for a picture at the southern end of the Cotswold Line. I initially went to Finstock, as I had already thought of the caption for the resultant picture (Small train, small station), but that was in shade, so my next choice was nearby Charlbury. So here is 230004 arriving at Charlbury in crisp winter light with the 5Q13 13:10 Long Marston to Bletchley ECS. As it had to wait in the station for a northbound HST, I drove round to Cornbury Park for another picture.

230004 Charlbury (Cornbury Park) 7 February 2019

230004 accelerates away from its brief stop at Charlbury station, and passes Cornbury Park on 7 February 2019, as it works the 5Q13 13:10 Long Marston to Bletchley ECS, this being its delivery run, prior to taking up duties on the Marston Vale Line. It only stopped at Charlbury for a few minutes to allow a HST to come off the single track section of the Cotswold Line from Wolvercote Junction, but that was enough time to drive round from Charlbury station, where I had seen it arriving a little earlier.

230004 Tackley 7 February 2019

230004 passes Tackley on 7 February 2019 with the 5Q13 13:10 Long Marston to Bletchley delivery run. This unit is the second of three ex London Underground units, converted by Vivarail at Long Marston, for use on the Bedford to Bletchley 'Marston Vale' line.

230004 Husborne Crawley 2 October 2019

Pictured midway between the stations of Aspley Guise and Ridgmont, 230004 passes Husborne Crawley on 2 October 2019 with the 2S09 10:01 Bletchley to Bedford London Northwestern service. Note the clouds in the background. The Met Office got the forecast exactly right on this occasion, predicting a fair amount of cloud in the Midlands, and lots of sun further east. This is precisely what I based my trip on, and after a little cloud around midday, it proved to be a gloriously sunny day.

230005 Finstock 20 February 2019

Small train, small station! Dimensionally challenged ex London Underground unit 230005 passes through the equally diminutive Finstock station on 20 February 2019 with the 5Q13 13:10 Long Marston to Bletchley ECS. This was the unit's delivery run, and I was particularly keen to get a picture of it on the Cotswold Line, as I had previously photographed the other two Vivarail Class 230 DMUs en-route to the Marston Vale line, and wanted a picture of all three on their delivery runs. The platform information screen is displaying its usual helpful message - 'Train information is not currently available. Disconnected - No modem detected' I don't suppose this really matters, as Finstock only sees two daily stopping trains.

230005 Husborne Crawley 2 October 2019

230005 passes Husborne Crawley on 2 October 2019 with the 2S08 09:29 Bedford to Bletchley London Northwestern Railway service. This is the third generation of DMU that I have photographed on this line. Firstly various classes of first generation units, then Class 150 & 153, and now these converted ex underground units.

230005 Aspley Guise 2 October 2019

The Bletchley to Bedford line used to be a wonderful backwater of semaphore signaling and manually controlled level crossing gates, until it was completely modernised a few years ago, robbing it of any character. However, this user operated crossing at Berry Lane, Aspley Guise, still survives, providing a hint of the old railway. 230005 accelerates away from Aspley Guise station (just visible in the background) with the 2S11 11:01 Bletchley to Bedford London Northwestern service on 2 October 2019. A woman from the nearby farm was waiting to cross after this had passed, and when I explained that I was photographing these new units, she said: 'What, the one's that keep breaking down?'!

230005 Forders Sidings 2 October 2019

230005 approaches Forders Sidings on 2 October 2019 with the 2S12 11:55 Bedford to Bletchley London Northwestern service. Three of these units were supplied by Vivarail, two being required to operate the daily shuttle service on what is now branded the 'Marston Vale Line'.

230006 Aldington 21 May 2020

Having just come to a stand, after performing a brake test just this side of the bridge in the background, 230006 gets under way again at Aldington on 21 May 2020 with the 13:23 Honeybourne Sidings to Evesham West Junction mileage accumulation run. This is one of five battery/diesel hybrid units being built for Transport for Wales.

230006 Bretforton 21 May 2020

230006 approaches Clayfield level crossing, Bretforton, on 21 May 2020 with the 14:33 Honeybourne to Evesham West Junction mileage accumulation run. In order to fully test the unit, before delivery to Transport for Wales, numerous test runs have been undertaken, not just between Honeybourne and Evesham, but also including trips to Moreton-in-Marsh and Stourbridge Junction. Note the toy dinosaur behind the windscreen!

230006 Breforton 21 May 2020

Transport for Wales 230006 heads away from the camera at Bretforton on 21 May 2020 with the early running (but still not reported on Realtime Trains!) 15:13 Evesham West Junction to Honeybourne mileage accumulation run.

23006 Bretforton 21 May 2020

230006 passes Bretforton on 21 May 2020 with the 15:32 Honeybourne to Evesham West Junction mileage accumulation run. The unit is on test, prior to entering service with Transport for Wales. This dramatic low level picture is taken from a public footpath crossing.

230006 Dorn 25 May 2020

Underground in the Cotswolds! Vivarail's battery/diesel hybrid former London Underground D78 unit 230006 passes Dorn on 25 May 2020 with the 15:11 Stourbridge Junction Goods Loop to Moreton-in-Marsh mileage accumulation run. The train was approaching a red signal, which changed to amber as it got nearer. The striking red and white Transport for Wales livery certainly shows up well in the all over green late spring landscape.

230006 Moreton-in-Marsh 25 May 2020

230006 leaves Moreton-in-Marsh on 25 May 2020 with the 16:37 mileage accumulation trip to Worcester Shrub Hill. Surprisingly, after over forty years of taking photos in the area, I had never previously taken a picture from this particular spot. Moreton-in-Marsh station can be seen through the arch of the bridge in the background.

230006 Moreton-in-Marsh 25 May 2020

230006 heads away from Moreton-in-Marsh on 25 May 2020 with the 16:37 Moreton-in-Marsh to Worcester Shrub Hill mileage accumulation run. This was one of a large number of test runs undertaken with the battery/diesel hybrid unit, before its entry into service with Transport for Wales.

230007 Aldington 23 June 2020

The second of the diesel/battery hybrid units for Transport for Wales, 230007, passes Aldington on 23 June 2020 with the 10:17 Evesham West Junction to Honeybourne North Junction mileage accumulation run. The unit had stopped just after it appeared round the bend, in order to perform a hill start test. Even just a few yards after starting, the unit was already moving quite briskly, so it obviously has an adequate performance- at least on dry rails!

230007 Aldington 23 June 2020

230007 has just passed underneath the rather delicate looking footbridge at Aldington, as it heads eastwards on 23 June 2020 with the 11:13 Evesham West Junction to Honeybourne North Junction mileage accumulation run.

230007 Bretforton 23 June 2020

230007 passes Bretforton on 23 June 2020 with the 11:55 Evesham West Junction to Honeybourne Sidings mileage accumulation run. The unit will be heading for Transport for Wales, once it has been thoroughly tested on the Cotswold Line. The Clayfield Road level crossing can be seen in the background.

230008 Honeybourne 6 October 2020

230008 slowly passes behind the rear of Honeybourne station, prior to reversing and joining the Cotswold Line on 6 October 2020. This is yet another of Vivarail's mileage accumulation runs - the 09:38 Long Marston to Moreton-in-Marsh.

230008 Honeybourne 6 October 2020

Quickly picking up speed, after joining the Cotswold Line just around the corner, 230008 passes through Honeybourne station on 6 October 2020 with the 09:38 Long Marston to Moreton-in-Marsh mileage accumulation run. This is the third of five Class 230s destined for Transport for Wales.