Class 50

50011 Evenlode 16 February 1980

Technically a very poor picture, but included here for its historic interest. 50011 Centurion approaches Evenlode on a very dreary 16 February 1980 with the 12:50 Paddington to Worcester Shrub Hill service. At this time there was a full service of loco-hauled trains on the Cotswold Line throughout the day. A Praktica PLC2 with Pentacon 50mm lens wide open at f1.8 is hardly a recipe for a high quality image, but over an hour's work in Photoshop has turned it from totally useless to just about acceptable!

50011 Shipton 22 July 1980

50011 Centurion rounds the curve towards Shipton on 22 July 1980 with the 17:00 Paddington to Hereford service. Unfortunately this location has been completely lost due to uncontrolled tree growth. A slightly faster shutter speed would have helped here, but notwithstanding the slight front end blur, this is a fine historic picture and one of my few photos of an unrefurbished Class 50 taken in good light. As well as the classic traction, note the vintage bullhead track. In fact the steam age telegraph poles had only just disappeared from this section of line in 1980.

50011 Stonesfield 30 January 1982

Technically a very poor picture, taken in miserable lighting conditions, but not only is this one of the small number of pictures that I have of unrefurbished Class 50s, but also it is the only picture I took at this location before it became hopelessly overgrown. 50011 Centurion passes under Bridgefield Bridge, near Stonesfield with the 10:50 Paddington to Worcester Shrub Hill service on 30 January 1982.

50011 Circourt 27 October 1982

Still in original unrefurbished condition, 50011 Centurion passes Circourt Bridge, Denchworth with the 12:40 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads service on 27 October 1982. This was in the era when I never met any other photographers at what is now a very popular photographic spot. Even this rural location has changed considerably since this photo was taken. In addition to the obvious fact that the former relief lines have now been reinstated, other changes include the rebuilding of the bridge in the background, and the installation of a signal gantry just in front of it. Also both the PW hut and the dead elm trees have disappeared.

50011 Lyneham 30 May 1985

50011 Centurion races past Lyneham on 30 May 1985 with the 1B56 18:07 Paddington to Hereford 'Cathedrals Express'. This picture is taken from the approach to the level crossing, which is used by any large farm machinery that cannot negotiate the 7' 3" low bridge on the adjacent Milton-under-Wychwood to Lyneham road.

50011 Oxford 2 July 1985

A classic mid 1980s rail blue scene featuring two very different forms of heritage traction. 50011 Centurion moves slowly away from Oxford station on 2 July 1985 with the 1A18 07:00 Hereford to Paddington 'Cathedrals Express', while Class 119 L574 (51095, 59115 & 51056) waits in the siding for its next turn of duty. The inclusion of the GUV behind the locomotive was standard practice on the Cotswold Line at the time. I expect some of the Mk 2 coaches survive, but neither 50011 or L574 exist today, and neither does this view in anything like this form. The sidings in the foreground have long been replaced by a car park, and Oxford station has subsequently been rebuilt, complete with covered footbridge.

50011 & 43147 West Drayton 6 November 1986

Two classic forms of traction pass each other at speed at West Drayton on 6 November 1986. 50011 Centurion is heading for London with the 1F27 09:40 Oxford to Paddington Network SouthEast service, while 43147 brings up the rear of the 1B24 10:27 Paddington to Great Malvern 'Cotswold & Malvern Express' HST. Centurion had less than four months left in traffic when this picture was taken, becoming the first Class 50 to be withdrawn, when it was switched of for the last time in February 1987.

50011 Oxford 17 January 1987

With the temperature well below freezing, and the tracks still covered with the snow which had fallen three days previously, 50011 Centurion leaves Oxford station on 17 January 1987 with the 1F35 14:00 Oxford to Paddington Network SouthEast service. Centurion had only a little over a month left in traffic when this picture was taken, being withdrawn on 24 February, and therefore becoming the first Class 50 to be withdrawn from service. This is the final time that I photographed it. Prominent in the foreground are the two sidings used to store the occasional loco and DMUs, and which are amazingly still in situ, and still seeing occasional use. The same cannot be said for the sidings to the right, which were lifted in the late 1990s, and turned into a car park.

50012 Oxford 2 April 1983

50012 Benbow pulls away from Oxford station on 2 April 1983 with the 1A21 11:15 non-stop departure for Paddington. I spent many hours on the Osney Lane footbridge in the 1980s, as it was an ideal vantage point for taking pictures of southbound trains, and offered a wide range of photographic angles, as the long bridge crossed the scrapyard sidings next to Becket Street. As can be seen by the rusty sidings in the foreground, there was hardly ever going to be anything parked in the way blocking the view. Unfortunately this view was completely ruined when a car park was constructed on the former sidings in the late 1990s.

50012 Gloucester 12 November 1983

A photographer gets his picture of 50012 Benbow's nameplate at Gloucester on 12 November 1983, while in the background the 1E54 06:52 Swansea to Newcastle HST pulls out of the station. After this had left, Benbow would back onto the waiting vans, and depart with the 3B42 09:15 parcels to Swindon.

50012 Gloucester 12 November 1983

50012 Benbow leaves Gloucester station on an exceedingly gloomy 12 November 1983 with the 3B42 09:15 parcels to Swindon. I cannot remember now why I decided to visit Gloucester on such a dull day, or why I didn't photograph this train more often, and in better light. A time machine would be handy!

50012 Bourton 16 February 1984

50012 Benbow passes Bourton on a frosty 16 February 1984 with the 1B68 12:05 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads service. All looks normal here, but in fact single line working was in force, as the result of emergency repairs taking place between the site of Knighton Crossing and Uffington, after a freight train had derailed the previous day.

50012 Oxford 2 July 1985

50012 Benbow arrives at Oxford on 2 July 1985 with the 1F12 08:10 Paddington to Oxford service. There was still plenty of local freight activity in the area at the time, although it does tend to get in the way of the subject in this picture!

50012 Ascott-under-Wychwood 10 May 1986

50012 Benbow passes Ascott-under-Wychwood station under stormy skies on 10 May 1986 with the 1B46 17:05 Paddington to Hereford service. After passing over the level crossing next to which I am standing, the train will join the double track section, which continues as far as Moreton-in-Marsh. Very few trains actually stop at Ascott, which is obviously unfortunate for the villagers, as unlike some of the smaller stations on the Cotswold Line, it is actually situated in the village it is meant to serve.

50012 Finstock 14 September 1986

50012 Benbow is pictured just to the south of Finstock station with the 1A25 16:15 Hereford to Paddington service on 14 September 1986. At 90mph, a side shot like this requires quick reactions! Just having emerged from the cutting by the road bridge, it is now just about to cross the River Evenlode, which it will re-cross another eight times before it gets to Oxford.

50012 Oxford 21 October 1988

With less than two weeks to go before it was withdrawn from traffic, 50012 Benbow leaves Oxford station on 21 October 1988 with the 1F39 10:00 Oxford to Paddington Network SouthEast service. Unfortunately 50012 has gone the way of the battered Austin Allegro in the scrapyard on the right! While the scrapping of one of BL's 1970s products is hardly something to regret, the cutting up of Benbow at Vic Berry's at Leicester is a different story. The scrapyard has now also gone, and has become Oxford station's car park.

50013 Ruscombe 28 May 1983

50013 Agincourt passes Ruscombe on 28 May 1983 with the 1A34 12:15 Paddington to Oxford service. Agincourt was one of only six Class 50s that retained their original blue livery after refurbishment. The major external differences compared to an unrefurbished machine are the addition of a headlight, and the plating over of the former roof recess, and sandbox fillers.

50013 Knighton 12 June 1983

50013 Agincourt passes Knighton on 12 June 1983 with the 1A19 16:33 Cardiff Central to Paddington service. The Longcot to Compton Beauchamp road used to cross the line at Knighton Level Crossing. This was replaced by an underbridge a little further to the east in the 1970s. However, in the 1980s it was still possible to access the old road on both sides of the line.

50013 Hinksey 14 June 1983

50013 Agincourt heads south past Hinksey Yard on 14 June 1983 with what appears to be the 07:00 Oxford to Paddington 'all stations' service (confirmation anybody?). This would certainly be unusual, as DMUs were normally used on  these trains, not just for the lower traffic levels, but because of the shorter platforms at places like Appleford. Agincourt had arrived light engine from the south 90 minutes earlier. Just over two years later, I photographed this loco at the same location, although by then it had acquired large logo livery.

50013 Radley 1 December 1983

An almost monochromatic backlit picture of 50013 Agincourt as it speeds through Radley station on 1 December 1983 with the 1A26 09:50 Paddington to Oxford service. It is pictured in refurbished condition yet still carrying the original rail blue livery, one of six class members to do so. Radley station looked completely different in 1983, with car parking on both sides of the site, a remarkable lack of lineside clutter and of course the original (although shorn of its roof) Great Western Railway footbridge.

50013 South Moreton (Didcot East) 1 December 1983

50013 Agincourt races past South Moreton (Didcot East) on 1 December 1983 with the 1A21 11:15 Oxford to Paddington non-stop service. All this has now gone. Agincourt was scrapped in 1988, eight coach air conditioned loco hauled trains from Oxford have been downgraded to DMUs, the power station in the background is no more, and the viewpoint itself has now been ruined by the Great Western Mainline electrification scheme. Strangely however, the gas holder in the background survives, although seemingly disused, and collapsed down to its lowest position.

50013 Hinksey 4 July 1985

50013 Agincourt gathers speed as it leaves Oxford and passes Hinksey Yard with the 1A10 06:00 Hereford to Paddington service on 4 July 1985, while 31272 waits in the up loop with the 6V19 06:32 Bescot to Didcot Speedlink. A nice sunny morning, but very hazy. The footbridge here offers excellent views in both directions, but I kept wishing it was wider, as this is as far to the side as you can get on the east side, whereas on the other side, for afternoon trains, one has a choice of viewpoints.

50013 Badgeworth 12 October 1985

50013 Agincourt passes Badgeworth on 12 October 1985 with the 1S61 07:47 Cardiff Central to Glasgow InterCity service. Agincourt would work the train as far as Birmingham New Street. Some information sources have 50013 working the 1V76 09:36 Liverpool Lime Street to Penzance on this date. As this picture was taken at 09:20 in Gloucestershire, it clearly couldn't have been in Merseyside a quarter of an hour later!

50013 Radley 7 December 1985

50013 Agincourt approaches Radley on 7 December 1985 with the 1F31 11:35 Oxford to Paddington service. This would only call at Reading. Stations such as Radley were principally served by Class 117 DMUs at this time. Unfortunately, this wide open viewpoint has long since gone, and so of course has the 50!

50013 Cholsey 4 September 1987

50013 Agincourt approaches Cholsey with the 1F20 12:17 Paddington to Oxford Network SouthEast service on 4 September 1987. In the background is the site of Moulsford station, which closed as long ago as 1892, replaced by the nearby Cholsey & Moulsford station.

50013 Moreton-in-Marsh 13 September 1987

50013 Agincourt arrives at Moreton-in-Marsh with the 1B40 16:10 Paddington to Hereford service on 13 September 1987. Despite this train not being a Network SouthEast service, the customary full rake of NSE liveried Mk 1s is in use here. Note the long disused loading dock in the foreground.

50013 Moreton-in-Marsh 13 September 1987

After photographing 50013 Agincourt arriving at Moreton-in-Marsh with the 1B40 16:10 Paddington to Hereford service on 13 September 1987, a quick sprint to the other end of the station secured this second shot of the train as it accelerated away. This was my last photograph of this particular locomotive, as it was withdrawn a few months later and cut up shortly afterwards at Old Oak Common by staff from the famous loco disposal firm of Vic Berry of Leicester.

50014 Charlbury 16 May 1982

Unrefurbished 50014 Warspite rolls into Charlbury station with the 16:33 Paddington to Hereford service on 16 May 1982. This was shortly before most of the loco hauled trains on the Cotswold Line were replaced with units, leaving only a couple in each direction. Unfortunately I only have a few pictures from this era, and when you consider that at the time all services were worked by either Class 47s or more notably unrefurbished Class 50s it was a serious mistake not to take more. I am standing here on the site of the former down platform that was longer than the up platform, but of course was removed when the line was singled in 1971.

50014 South Moreton 29 May 1982

50014 Warspite passes South Moreton on 29 May 1982 with an unidentified up working. The time is just before midday, and although the inclusion of a GUV in the consist suggests a Cotswold Line train, most of these had ceased a couple of weeks previously. I've no idea why I took this from the wrong side, but it is included here for historical interest, not just for an unfreburbished Class 50 on the main line, but also for a functioning Didcot Power Station!

50014 Kingham 23 April 1983

50014 Warspite arrives at Kingham station in a very lucky patch of sunshine on 23 April 1983 with the 1A10 06:00 Hereford to Paddington InterCity service. This was the only original condition unrefurbished Class 50 still in traffic at this time, but exactly one month after this picture was taken Warspite arrived at Doncaster Works for refurbishment.

50014 Kingham 23 April 1983

50014 Warspite stands underneath the roadbridge at Kingham on 23 April 1983 whilst working the 1A10 06:00 Hereford to Paddington service. At the time this was the only unrefurbished Class 50 left in traffic, and would in fact move to Doncaster Works just a few weeks after this picture was taken. Therefore this was my last ever picture of a 'Hoover' in original condition, and when of course they really did 'hoover' due to the slightly problematical inertia air filtration equipment with which they were fitted with from new. 50014 emerged in its new guise on 7 December 1983.

50014 Banbury 24 April 1984

50014 Warspite heads north from Banbury on 24 April 1984 with the late running 1M10 05:50 Paddington to Manchester Piccadilly InterCity service. The town of Banbury can be seen in the background, but the view is about to be blocked by the new ring road, with the new bridge beginning to take shape on the left. Not only is the Class 50 now considered classic traction, but the bypass construction worker's cars, and even their crane also now look historic!

50014 Oxford 2 July 1985

50014 Warspite pulls out of Oxford station on 2 July 1985 with the 1F11 07:08 Oxford to Paddington service. Although obviously there were other photographers in the area at the time, I was often the only person present on this footbridge in the 1980s, even though there was a procession of Class 47s and 50s passing by. How times have changed!

50014 Bremell Sidings 2 July 1985

50014 Warspite passes Bremell Sidings (between Swindon and Purton) on 2 July 1985 with the 1B18 16:25 Paddington to Cheltenham service. The oil storage depot in the background was one of numerous such facilities constructed during the Second World War.

50014 Pirton 15 June 1986

50014 Warspite speeds past Pirton on Sunday 15 June 1986 with the 17:07 Worcester Shrub Hill to Cheltenham ECS. This loco had worked the 1B16 09:55 Paddington to Worcester earlier in the day, and this move was required to get the stock into position for its next train - the 1A69 18:15 Cheltenham to Paddington. Out and back across the Cotswolds via two different routes!

50014 Churchill Heath 23 April 1987

Pictured in weak evening sunshine and with blackthorn blossom prominent in the foreground, 50014 Warspite passes Churchill Heath with the 1B46 17:00 Paddington to Hereford service on 23 April 1987. Although remote from any roads (or perhaps because of that fact) this was an ideal location to photograph the evening loco hauled trains on the Cotswold Line during the 1980s, with the wood in the background adding to the picturesque location. Unfortunately the blackthorn bushes in the foreground got a little too dominant and eventually the view was lost. The sun was gradually fading out into high cloud on this occasion and as I already had the 100mm lens wide open at f2.8, in order to get 1/500sec required for Kodachrome 64, I was hoping the light wouldn't drop any further. It was several years before I bought the f2 version of that particular Canon lens!

50014 Deepcut 28 August 1987

Hoover and tanks! 50014 Warspite overtakes a train of army vehicles, as it rounds the curve at Deepcut on 28 August 1987 with the 1V09 09:10 Waterloo to Exeter St Davids Network SouthEast service. 33011 & 33030 were at the front of the MoD special.

50014 Souldern No.2 Viaduct 1 September 1987

50014 Warspite crosses Souldern No.2 Viaduct on 1 September 1987 with the 1V10 06:55 Leamington Spa to Paddington Network SouthEast service. Unfortunately the early morning mist was not clearing as fast as expected, and so there was no chance of any sunshine. Although this is scanned from a notoriously grainy 35mm Kodachrome 200 transparency, a startled wood pigeon can clearly be seen flying out from the second arch from the left.

50015 Oxford 29 October 1982

50015 Valiant approaches Oxford on 29 October 1982 with the 1A26 09:50 Paddington to Oxford service. At busy times trains used to be held at these signals, waiting for access to Oxford's single down platform, and in steam days there are stories of trains queuing up to get into the station on summer Saturdays! Passengers on the waiting train could then stare out of the window at the adjoining graveyard, or as can be seen here, look out the other side at Oxford South goods yard, with its fine brick built goods shed. By the time this photo was taken it was fenced off, and used as a National Carriers depot. This fine reminder of the Great Western Railway was demolished the following year.

50015 & 50031 Little Haresfield 16 April 1983

50015 Valiant & 50031 Hood pass Little Haresfield on 16 April 1983 with the 1V76 09:20 Liverpool Lime Street to Penzance service. Presumably, as this was well over an hour late, 50031 had failed, and 50015 was a last minute addition. The late running has unfortunately meant that the sun has become completely head on.

50015 Hinksey 12 May 1984

50015 Valiant passes the south end of Hinksey Yard, near Oxford (Hinksey South in railway parlance) on 12 May 1984 with the 14:15 Oxford to Paddington service. Note the luxury accommodation available on Oxford to London trains in the 1980s compared with today. Nine Mk 2 coaches (mostly air conditioned), three of which are first class. Over twenty years of progress has resulted in this being replaced by a three coach DMU, or two if you are lucky!

50015 Kingham 6 July 1984

As the weak evening sunshine fades away into thin cloud on 6 July 1984, 50015 Valiant pulls away from Kingham station with the 18:07 Paddington to Hereford service. This scene has changed considerably since this picture was taken. The trees on the left have grown considerably, completely obscuring the Langston Hotel seen in the background. This was originally built as a hunting lodge in the 1870s, before becoming a hotel with direct footbridge access to the station. Shortly after this photo was taken it became a nursing home.

50015 Charlbury 12 June 1985

There is now an extended platform where the Oxeye Daises are in this view of 50015 Valiant at Charlbury station on 12 June 1985. This is in the days when the Cotswold Line was a mere backwater, but still had a couple of loco hauled trains in each direction every day. Valiant is working the 1B46 17:05 Paddington to Hereford service.

50015 Chilson 16 June 1985

50015 Valiant passes Chilson on 16 June 1985 with the 1B16 09:55 Paddington to Worcester Shrub Hill service. Despite the less than ideal high overhead mid summer lighting, this is still one of my favourite Cotswold Line pictures, with the PW hut and solitary dead elm tree perfectly balancing the composition.

50015 & 50010 Severn Tunnel Junction 30 June 1985

Super power for the 1V25 10:17 Brighton to Cardiff Central service on 30 June 1985. 50015 Valiant & 50010 Monarch arrive at Severn Tunnel Junction to pick up just six passengers, although there are obviously a lot more Class 50 followers already aboard. I bet the first coach is completely full of them!

50015 Moreton-in-Marsh 7 June 1987

50015 Valiant arrives at Moreton-in-Marsh on 7 June 1987 with a rake of Network SouthEast liveried Mk1s. The reason for this was that the line to the north was closed and in order to form what should have been the 09:40 Worcester to Oxford service, the 50 had brought the stock in ECS from Oxford.

50015 Moreton-in-Marsh 7 June 1987

Strange goings on at Moreton-in-Marsh on 7 June 1987. 50015 Valiant has just run round its train and is backing onto the rake of Network SouthEast liveried Mk1s. The guard can just be seen removing the tail lamp for transfer to the other end of the train. The line north towards Worcester was closed and in order to form what should have been the 09:40 Worcester to Oxford service, the 50 had brought the stock in ECS from Oxford. Much better than a replacement bus service!

50015 Moreton-in-Marsh 7 June 1987

This is now a common manoeuvre at Moreton-in-Marsh, with a southbound train leaving from the northbound platform. However, in 1987 it was something of a novelty, certainly for a loco hauled train. With the line to the north closed, 50015 Valiant had brought in a rake of Network SouthEast liveried Mk1s ECS from Oxford on 7 June 1987, and is pictured departing with what would normally be the 09:40 Worcester to Oxford service.

50015 Wolvercote 10 July 1987

An easy job for a Class 50! 50015 Valiant passes Wolvercote on 10 July 1987 with the 1M85 12:38 Gillingham to Preston parcels. Luckily the dark clouds over Oxford in the background did not encroach on the sun until after all the evening's interesting workings had passed. If only it always worked out like that!

50015 Moreton-in-Marsh 16 August 1987

50015 Valiant arrives at Moreton-in-Marsh on 16 August 1987 with the 1B40 16:10 Paddington to Hereford service. Note the semaphore signals. On the original 6x7 slide all four separate posts can be clearly seen. Unfortunately this picture was taken on one of the few Agfachrome 100RS films that I tried around this time. Agfa promised that they had conquered their transparency film's infamous tendency to turn a funny colour with age (1960s CT18 being a prime example). I can now confirm that they hadn't! This picture has been salvaged with Photoshop from a fogged purple mess! Kodachromes from the same period still look as good as they day they came back from Kodak.

50015 Charlton 22 April 1988

50015 Valiant passes Charlton on 22 April 1988 with the 3A27 07:25 Plymouth to Paddington empty newspaper vans. In those days I only had a single Pentax 6x7 camera body, which did not have an interchangeable back. If it was loaded with black and white film, I had to be content with 35mm when the sun decided to come out, as here. The purchase of a second Pentax 6x7 a couple of years later was the very expensive answer to this problem! This is therefore from a 35mm slide, surprisingly in this case, Ektachrome 64, rather than my more usual (an better!) Kodachrome 64.

50015 Malago Vale 21 September 1990

50015 Valiant scuttles past the overgrown carriage sidings at Malago Vale (near Bristol) on 21 September 1990 with the 9C05 08:27 Bristol East to Exeter Riverside departmental working. Not only would you not see a Class 50 working an engineer's train at this location nowadays, but you wouldn't see anything at all, as houses have now been built on the land in the foreground!

50015 & 47810 Flax Bourton 21 September 1990

As well as ballast and other departmental trains, the DCWA allocated Class 50s were often used for sundry duties such as this. 50015 Valiant passes Flax Bourton on 21 September 1990, with 47810 in tow, destination unknown, but probably Bristol Temple Meads. The underground aviation fuel depot in the background, part of the Government Pipelines and Storage System, was still rail connected at this time, but the rusty siding proves that no tankers had been this way for a long time!

50015 Tiverton Junction 14 November 1990

On a miserably dull 14 November 1990, 50015 Valiant passes the remains of Tiverton Junction with the 9C05 08:27 Bristol East to Exeter Riverside departmental working. 50015 was allocated to the DCWA engineers pool from May 1988 until January 1991 and its normal duties were workings such as this around the Gloucester, Bristol & Exeter areas. After repainting into 'Dutch' livery to work a railtour in January 1991, it was again placed in the DCWA pool, although it did very little work afterwards. Note the oil depot in the background of this picture, which had just recently had its rail connection removed

50015 Foxhole 26 January 1991

50015 Valiant passes Foxhole on 26 January 1991 with the 1Z16 23:20 Manchester Piccadilly to Penzance 'Cornish Centurion' railtour. This location is approximately half way along the Burngullow to Drinnick Mill branch. After driving down from Oxfordshire in the dark, this was the first location where there was enough light (just!) to take a picture of the moving train.

50015 Burngullow 26 January 1991

50015 Valiant brings up the rear of the Pathfinder Tours 1Z16 23:20 Manchester Piccadilly to Penzance 'Cornish Centurion' railtour at Burngullow on 26 January 1991. The train had just traversed the Drinnick Mill branch, with 50008 Thunderer leading on the return. The distinctive concrete storage towers at Blackpool Dries dominate the background.

50015 Burngullow 26 January 1991

With the concrete storage towers at Blackpool Dries visible in the background, 50015 Valiant passes Burngullow on 26 January 1991 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z16 Manchester Piccadilly to Penzance 'Cornish Centurion' railtour. The track here was singled in the 1980s, but sense prevailed, and the second track was restored in 2004.

50015 Chacewater 26 January 1991

After taking the tour to Penzance, 50015 Valiant  heads back towards Truro on 26 January 1991 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z16 11:19 Penzance to Manchester Piccadilly 'Cornish Centurion' railtour. It is seen here passing Chacewater in the gloom.

50015 Luxulyan 26 January 1991

50015 Valiant passes Luxulyan on 26 January 1991, heading one of the all time classic Class 50 railtours - the Pathfinder Tours 1Z16 'Cornish Centurion'. After an overnight run from Manchester Piccadilly, the tour traversed the Carne Point and Drinnick Mills branches, before heading up the Newquay line as far as Bugle. It is pictured here returning from Bugle. Valiant was especially repainted into 'Dutch' livery for this railtour. 50008 Thunderer (on the rear of the train) was similarly adorned with a new livery - the so called 'Laira Blue' colour scheme.

50015 Lostwithiel 26 January 1991

50015 Valiant passes the creamery at Lostwithiel on 26 January 1991 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z16 11:19 Penzance to Bristol Temple Meads 'Cornish Centurion' railtour. 50008 Thunderer is out of sight on the rear of the train. The creamery on the right is clearly in use here, as a milk tanker lorry can be seen parked next to the storage tanks. However, it was to close later in the year. It had continued to be rail served until the mid 1980s.

50015 Gover Viaduct 4 May 1991

50015 Valiant crosses Gover Viaduct with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z16 'Cornish Centurion 2' railtour on 4 May 1991. 50008 Thunderer can be seen on the rear of the train. At this point in the tour the train was actually heading away from Penzance, as it had just visited the Drinnick Mill branch. The viaduct spans the valley of the Gover Stream, between St Austell and Trewoon.

50015 & 50008 Marazion 4 May 1991

50015 Valiant & 50008 Thunderer round the curve at Marazion with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z16 'Cornish Centurion 2' railtour on 4 May 1991, just a few miles from their destination - Penzance. These two machines were repainted into 'Dutch' and 'Laira blue' liveries respectively for Pathfinder's 'Cornish centurion' tour earlier in the year and at the same time were transferred from the DCWA engineers pool to the NWXC Network SouthEast Waterloo to Exeter reserve pool, although in reality they did very little work other than railtours after their repainting.

50015 Stoke Edith 5 May 1991

50015 Valiant passes Stoke Edith on 5 May 1991 with the 1Z28 12:40 Hereford to Worcester Shrub Hill special in connection the Hereford Rail Festival. The headboard behind the windscreen reads 'Hereford Swansong'. It was quite unusual at this time to see Valiant without Laira's other railtour pet loco, 50008 Thunderer, which had also started the year with a one off special repaint.

50015 Waller's Green 5 May 1991

50015 Valiant passes Waller's Green (between Ledbury and Hereford) on 5 May 1991 with the 1Z29 13:35 Worcester Shrub Hill to Hereford special. This was one of number of special trains run in connection the Hereford Rail Festival. Unfortunately the light had really deteriorated since the train was photographed on the outward run at Stoke Edith. I had never previously visited this location, and it was Tom Derrington who suggested it would make an excellent spot for the returning 50. I have never yet had cause to go back and take another picture here.

50015 & 50008 Minety 19 October 1991

Unfortunately just managing to avoid the best of the autumn sunshine, 50015 Valiant & 50008 Thunderer pass through the long closed station at Minety on 19 October 1991 with their penultimate railtour - the Pathfinder Tours 1Z16 07:58 Paddington to Cardiff 'Hoover Hoop'. The train had already traversed the Oxford to Worcester Cotswold Line, before crossing the hills for a second time via this Gloucester to Swindon route.

50015 & 50008 Ponthir 19 October 1991

Superb autumnal lighting at Ponthir on 19 October 1991, as 50015 Valiant & 50008 Thunderer head northwards with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z16 'Hoover Hoop' railtour, returning from Cardiff to Paddington via the long way round. The train, which had already taken a devious route to get to Wales, would return via Hereford, Worcester, Birmingham and Oxford.

500015 & 50008 Ledbury (Lower Mitchell Farm) 19 October 1991

Class 50 sunset. 50015 Valiant & 50008 Thunderer round the sharp curve near Lower Mitchell Farm, Ledbury on 19 October 1991, with the returning Pathfinder Tours 1Z16 'Hoover Hoop' railtour. With the sun rapidly setting, it was not easy to find a location between Hereford and Malvern that wasn't either totally shaded or impossibly backlit. This seemed about the best choice, and did in fact produce a nice glint effect. The racket as the locos climbed the severe gradient out of Ledbury Tunnel (just out of sight around the corner) was worth hearing, as well!

50015 Irwell Vale 4 October 1992

After BR had finished with 50015 Valiant at the end of 1991, it spent a good part of the following year in store, before being bought for preservation by the Manchester Class 50 Group, and moved to the East Lancashire Railway. It was soon put to work, and is pictured here at Irwell Vale on 4 October 1992, working a Rawtenstall to Bury service on its second day in traffic. This broadside view gives a good view of its unique (for a Class 50) 'Dutch' livery, which had been applied at Laira the previous year.

50015 & 50008 Burrs 4 October 1992

50015 Valiant & 50008 Thunderer were specially repainted for the January 1991 'Cornish Centurion' railtour, and spent the rest of the year as dedicated railtour locomotives. When they were both withdrawn as surplus to requirements on 24 November 1991, they both naturally entered preservation. For a while they worked together on the East Lancashire Railway, and are seen here passing Burrs on 4 October 1992 with the 15:05 Bury to Rawtenstall service, during the line's Diesel Gala.

50015 Ewood Bridge 18 June 1995

Class 50 ghost! 50015 Valiant was in use during the East Lancashire Railway's 1995 Diesel Gala in light green undercoat, as it was midway though its transformation from 'Dutch' engineer's livery to the large logo colour scheme. It is seen here at Ewood Bridge, en-route from Bury to Rawtenstall on 18 June 1995.

50015 Irwell Vale 18 June 1995

Looking startlingly different in light green undercoat, 50015 Valiant approaches Irwell Vale on 18 June 1995, en-route from Rawtenstall to Bury, during the East Lancashire Railway's Diesel Gala. As I had missed 50035 Ark Royal's famous mainline outing in grey undercoat, when it returned from Doncaster to the Western Region at the head of a service train in 1986, I wasn't going to miss the opportunity to get a picture of at least one Class 50 in this unconventional 'livery'!

50015 & 50033 Summerseat 11 July 1998

Resident 50015 Valiant & visiting 50033 Glorious pass Summerseat, on the East Lancashire Railway, with the 15:40 Bury to Rawtenstall service on 11 July 1998, during the line's Diesel Gala. The train is crossing the viaduct that carries the line over the River Irwell.

50015 Heaps Bridge 3 July 2011

The East Lancashire Railway's resident Class 50, 50015 Valiant passes Heap Bridge on 3 July 2011 with the 2E62 09:37 Ramsbottom to Heywood service. Yet another occasion when my visit to the line was blessed with a perfect sunny day (in marked contrast to the day's weather at home in Oxfordshire).

50015 & 50044 Heap Bridge 3 July 2011

Oh no, the clouds are coming! No need to panic, as this was the greatest extent of the cloud cover on 3 July 2011, during my visit to the East Lancashire Railway's Diesel Gala. Just a few small clouds bubbled up around midday then melted away again. 50015 Valiant & 50044 Exeter pass Heap Bridge with the 2J70 11:46 Rawtenstall to Heywood service. The one downside to this final day of the event was the non appearance of Loadhaul liveried 50135, which should have been working with 50044 on this train. Unfortunately it had failed the previous evening.

50015 & 50044 Heap Bridge 3 July 2011

50015 Valiant & 50044 Exeter pass the flowering elder bushes on the edge of the old quarry at Heap Bridge with the 2J77 13:05 Heywood to Rawtenstall service, during the East Lancashire Railway's Diesel Gala on 3 July 2011. 50015 was deputising for 50135, which had unfortunately failed the previous evening.

50015 Castor 11 April 2015

With sun and cloud alternating throughout the day, sooner or later my luck had to run out at the Nene Valley Railway's Diesel Gala on 11 April 2015. 50015 Valiant manages to miss the sun as it passes Castor with the 2M54 16:50 Peterborough to Wansford service.

50016 Ruscombe 28 May 1983

50016 Barham passes Ruscombe on 28 May 1983 with the 1A30 11:15 Paddington to Oxford service. Naturally I wouldn't normally have gone out on a rainy day like this, but I was in the area anyway, and so called in at Ruscombe for a short while. At least the dull day meant that pictures could be taken from the north side, giving a wider view of the fast lines.

50016 Cholsey 14 April 1984

50016 Barham passes Cholsey on 14 April 1984 with the 1A61 14:15 Oxford to Paddington service. In the background the Class 117/121 DMU combination of 51402, 59512 & 55034 pulls away from Cholsey station with the 2A13 13:40 Oxford to Paddington stopping train.

50016 Banbury 24 April 1984

50016 Barham approaches Banbury on 24 April 1984 with the 1O01 06:00 Derby to Poole InterCity service. Interesting enough, but what a pity I didn't photograph this train on the previous day, when it was worked between Birmingham New Street and Reading by 31117!

50016 Froxfield 20 June 1984

A slightly misty morning at Froxfield on 20 June 1984 as 50016 Barham heads eastwards with the 1F15 06:50 Westbury to Paddington. It may seem strange now, but this nine coach loco hauled train is an 'all stations' local service, pictured halfway between its Bedwyn and Hungerford stops. In 2012 there is a modern equivalent to this - the HST operated 1A72 06:07 Frome to Paddington, but otherwise local trains on this route are operated by Class 165 or 166 units.

50016 Shipton 23 March 1986

50016 Barham rounds the curve on the approach to Shipton station on 23 March 1986, as it works the 1B16 09:55 Paddington to Worcester Shrub Hill service. This was the first down train of the day on a Sunday at this time. This is one of the many locations along the Cotswold Line that has unfortunately been lost to the rampant growth of lineside vegetation.

50016 Cassington 16 May 1986

Lovely evening light near Cassington on 16 May 1986 as 50016 Barham works the 1B46 17:00 Paddington to Hereford service. There is plenty of luggage accommodation on this train as the first two vehicles are BG vans! This location is approximately half way between  the site of the former Yarnton Junction and the first station on the Cotswold Line - Hanborough., and is on the long single track section from Wolvercote Junction to Ascott-under-Wychwood.

50016 Lyneham 19 May 1986

The perfect way to start a day! Under a cloudless sky, 50016 Barham passes Lyneham with 1A10 06:00 Hereford to Paddington service on 19 May 1986. Given suitable weather conditions I often used to venture out to the Cotswold Line for this train before going to work (ah yes, I remember it well!), and on this particular occasion everything worked out fine, including the shutter of the slightly temperamental Pentax 6x7 not causing uneven exposure banding when used at the very necessary 1/1000sec!

50016 Ascott-under-Wychwood 19 October 1986

50016 Barham approaches Ascott-under-Wychwood on 19 October 1986 with the 1B16 09:40 Paddington to Worcester Shrub Hill service. The train frequency on the Cotswold Line was at an all time low during the 1980s. Admittedly this is a Sunday, but at nearly midday, this is the first down train of the day, out of a total of four!

50016 Kingham 16 April 1987

50016 Barham calls at Kingham station on 16 April 1987 with the 1B46 17:00 Paddington to Hereford service. Although I obviously took numerous pictures of these Class 50 hauled Cotswold Line trains during the 1980s, in hindsight I should have taken even more, especially considering how local the line is to me, and how many excellent locations there once were, before Railtrack, and latterly Network Rail completely abandoned all lineside maintenance!

50016 Shipton 18 April 1987

50016 Barham emerges from the mist at Shipton station on 18 May 1987, as it speeds eastwards with the 1A18 07:00 Hereford to Paddington 'Cathedrals Express'. This was obviously my favoured location for a picture at Shipton in bad weather, as I had photographed 50008 in a similar spot a few years before.

50017 Oxford (Walton Well Road) 21 May 1983

50017 Royal Oak crosses a backwater of the River Thames, as it accelerates away from Oxford on 21 May 1983 with the 1S61 06:45 Paddington to Edinburgh train, which it would work as far as Birmingham New Street. This is the view from Walton Well Road, which at the time still showed some evidence of the former Oxford loco depot (81F). Note the disused sidings near the allotments, and the water tower in the background.

50017 Marshfield 28 April 1984

With the outskirts of Cardiff visible in the background, 50017 Royal Oak passes Marshfield on 28 April 1984 with the 1O67 08:05 Cardiff Central to Portsmouth Harbour service. There seems to be plenty of first class accommodation on this train, with nearly half the train probably empty as a result!

50017 AScott-under-Wychwood 15 June 1985

50017 Royal Oak accelerates away from Ascott-under-Wychwood with the 1A25 08:05 Hereford to Paddington service on 15 June 1985. Ascott-under-Wychwood level crossing barriers and the start of the double track section can just be seen in the background.

50017 Oxford 2 July 1985

50017 Royal Oak pulls away from Oxford station on 2 July 1985 with the 1A10 09:00 Hereford to Paddington service. A superb picture taken in fine early morning light, which makes it all the more surprising that I didn't take this on my Pentax 6x7. However, this 35mm Kodachrome 64 transparency doesn't look too bad!

50017 & 50026 Gloucester 28 June 1987

Viewed from the convenient earth bank that used to parallel the railway at Gloucester, prior to a new road being built in the 1990s, 50017 Royal Oak & 50026 Indomitable wait to leave Gloucester station on 28 June 1987 with the Sundays only 3A16 15:40 Gloucester to Old Oak Common empty vans. This working was booked for a pair of Class 50s.

50017 Duffryn 15 August 1987

50017 Royal Oak rounds the sharp curve at Duffryn on 15 August 1987 with the 1A27 07:05 Carmarthen to Paddington service, which it had worked from Swansea. I haven't got many pictures of Class 50s in South Wales, especially in the early version of Network SouthEast livery. However, on this particular day I also photographed 50025 heading in the opposite direction.

50017 Denchworth 30 August 1987

50017 Royal Oak speeds past Denchworth on 30 August 1987 with the 3A16 15:40 Gloucester to Paddington empty vans. This train was booked for a pair of 50s, and the fact that there was only one loco on the train on this day was a bit of a disappointment at the time. This location is now much more difficult, with a large gantry effectively blocking out this viewpoint, which is why most people now chose to visit the nearby Circourt Bridge, which can just be seen in the distance.

50017 Evenlode 12 June 1988

Towards the end of the use of Class 50s on the Cotswold Line it was getting more common to see complete rakes of Network SouthEast liveried coaches hauled by appropriately liveried locomotives. On 12 June 1988, just a single blue and grey Mk2 spoils the illusion, as 50017 Royal Oak passes Evenlode with the 1B31 13:45 Paddington to Hereford service.

50017 Ascott-under-Wychwood 12 June 1988

50017 Royal Oak comes to the end of the double track section of the Cotswold Line at Ascott-under-Wychwood on 12 June 1988, as it heads down the Evenlode Valley with the 1A79 18:15 Hereford to Paddington service.

50017 Radley 30 June 1988

50017 Royal Oak approaches Radley on 30 June 1988 with the 1F52 17:32 Paddington to Oxford Network SouthEast service. Amazingly, from Reading this was an 'all stations' service, so the passengers at Radley will have eleven coaches to choose from, rather than the three that the equivalent train today would offer! Note the former pointwork for the Abingdon branch. The line closed in 1984, and although the majority of the track was lifted shortly afterwards, the two points visible here survived a little longer.

50017 Whitchurch 20 April 1991

50017 Royal Oak pulls away from Whitchurch station on 20 April 1991 with the 1O32 06:45 Exeter St Davids to Waterloo Network SouthEast service. The LSWR architecture is still much in evidence. 50017 was to only last another four months in traffic, failing with the Class 50's achilles heel - a main generator flashover.

50017 Buckhorn Weston Tunnel 25 May 1991

50017 Royal Oak approaches Buckhorn Weston Tunnel on 25 May 1991 with the 1V09 09:15 Waterloo to Exeter St Davids Network SouthEast service. This was a popular location during the last days of the Class 50s, as there was a good view in both directions. I bet the location has had less photographers visiting it in the quarter of a century since the Class 159s took over from the 50s, than in a single month during the heady days of 1991!

50017 Grateley 27 July 1991

50017 Royal Oak passes Grateley on a slightly misty 27 July 1991 with the 1V09 09:15 Waterloo to Exeter St Davids Network SouthEast service. Grateley station can be glimpsed underneath the bridge in the background. When it was opened it was in open country some distance from the village of Grateley. Subsequently, numerous houses were built on the roads around the station area.

50017 Milborne Wick 21 August 1991

50017 Royal Oak passes Milborne Wick on 21 August 1991 with the 1O34 08:10 Exeter St Davids to Waterloo Network SouthEast service. Although the scene looks peaceful enough, this was a very tense moment, as 50030 Repulse was approaching from the other direction with the 2V07 07:45 Basingstoke to Exeter St Davids, and it was a question of which would get here first!

50017 Bradfield 26 August 1991

50017 Royal Oak is well away from its normal area of operation as it skirts the estuary of the River Stour near Bradfield on 26 August 1991 with the Network SouthEast Liverpool Street to Harwich Parkeston Quay special, run in connection with the Colchester Depot Open Day. Even though it is organised by NSE, they haven't managed to get a uniform rake of coaching stock!

50017 Weeley 26 August 1991

Much old style railtour bellowing in evidence here, as 50017 Royal Oak passes through Weeley station on 26 August 1991 with the Network SouthEast Clacton to Liverpool Street special, one of a series run in connection with the Colchester Depot Open Day. Although this is within the Network SouthEast area, it certainly would not normally see anything as exotic as a Class 50.

50117 & 50015 Nethercott 19 September 1998

50117 Royal Oak (in reality 50017) & 50015 Valiant pass Nethercott on 19 September 1998 with the 17:25 Bishops Lydeard to Minehead service, during the West Somerset Railway's Diesel Gala. 50017 certainly looks smart in this livery, but unfortunately, as the trial with 50149 ultimately proved unsuccessful, it can only be a 'might have been' colour scheme. Perhaps if the sanding equipment hadn't been removed during the 1980s refurbishment of the class, the outcome might have been very different.

50117 & 50015 Blue Anchor 19 September 1998

50017 Royal Oak (running as 50117) & 50015 Valiant catch the last rays of the setting sun as they accelerate away from Blue Anchor with the 17:25 Bishops Lydeard to Minehead service on 19 September 1998. This was during the West Somerset Railway's Diesel Gala. 50017 is running with the number and livery (Railfreight General) which would have been applied to members of the class, had they followed the example of 50049 and been converted for purely freight use.

50117 Crowcombe Heathfield 20 September 1998

Cosmetically restored as fictional Railfreight conversion 50117 Royal Oak, 50017 approaches Crowcombe Heathfield with the 13:45 Norton Fitzwarren to Minehead service on 20 September 1998, during the West Somerset Railway's Diesel Gala.

50017 & 47703 Bredicot 24 June 2000

Surely the strangest livery ever to adorn a Class 50. 50017 passes Bredicot on 24 June 2000 in the company of 47703 with a northbound VSOE 'Northern Belle'. Very Art Deco, with gold banding and numbers. Although totally unauthentic, it looked quite good when clean, as here. However, it's use on the mainline in this condition was short lived.

50017, 50007, 50050 & 41001 Cossington 31 March 2016

A sparkling cavalcade of classic traction passes Cossington on 31 March 2016. 50017 Royal Oak, 50007 Hercules, 50050 Fearless, prototype HST power car 41001 & three immaculately restored MK3 HST coaches form the 5Z50 09:10 Hotchley Hill East Leake to Leicester, en-route to the Mid Norfolk Railway Diesel Gala. Unfortunately this was running 45 minutes late, which has resulted in the sun being rather too head on. After picking up 37905, this cavalcade would then proceed to the Mid Norfolk Railway, running as the 5Z50 12:10 Leicester to Dereham.

50017 Crownthorpe 2 April 2016

50017 Royal Oak passes Crownthorpe on 2 April 2016 with the 10:50 Dereham to Wymondham service, during the Mid Norfolk Railway's Diesel Gala. This definitely reminds me of Network SouthEast Paddington to Oxford trains of the late 1980s, with the exception that the loco is cleaner, and conversely, the coaches are tattier!

50017 Kimberley Park 2 April 2016

50017 Royal Oak emerges from the lineside bushes at Kimberley Park on 2 April 2016, as it works the 12:00 Wymondham to Derham service, during the Mid Norfolk Railway's Diesel Gala. A few midday clouds had started appear, and this picture only just escaped being ruined by one.

50018 South Marston 2 May 1982

50018 Resolution passes South Moreton on Sunday 2 May 1982 with an unidentified westbound working. Not appearing to match anything in the timetable, and being only six coaches long, I would guess at a relief service. Confirmation anyone? This was my first picture of Resolution, and the only time that I saw it prior to its refurbishment, which happened later that year.

50018 Kingham 4 June 1983

50018 Resolution approaches Kingham with the 08:05 Hereford to Paddington service on 4 June 1983. This photo is taken from the abutment of the former Banbury to Cheltenham direct flyover bridge, which in the 1980s before the bushes grew up was an excellent vantage point for the two southbound loco hauled trains in the morning as well as the two northbound trains in the evening, although I never once met another photographer there!.

50018 Shorthampton 8 June 1984

A dramatic low angle picture of 50018 Resolution as it rounds the curve near Shorthampton on 8 June 1984 with the 1C62 18:07 Paddington to Hereford service. The hot summer evening has certainly brought out the insects, and the front end is liberally coated with them. Just look at how many have been caught on the grease on the buffers!

50018 Hinksey 21 June 1986

The inclusion of a GUV in the formation immediately gives a clue to the destination of this train. 50018 Resolution approaches Hinksey on 21 June 1986 with the 1B46 17:07 Paddington to Hereford service. Even without reference to the timetable, the presence of a van in the train instantly identifies this as a Cotswold Line service, rather than one of the numerous London to Oxford trains, which were also in the capable hands of Class 50s at the time.

50018 Rangeworthy 4 September 1986

A ridiculously easy load for a Class 50! 50018 Resolution passes Rangeworthy on 4 September 1986. I'm not 100% sure about the details of this train, but as there was no booked Class 50 working at around this time (08:00), and in view of the very short train, I believe this to be the 2B14 07:00 Worcester Shrub Hill to Bristol Temple Meads DMU substitute.

50018 West Drayton 6 November 1986

50018 Resolution passes West Drayton on 6 November 1986 with the 1F25 09:20 Didcot to Paddington Network SouthEast service. Unfortunately the framing on this is a little out, with the track on the left slightly cropped. This was taken on a Pentax 6x7 mounted on a homemade bracket, acting as a slave to a Canon A1, through whose viewfinder I looked. Later I re-engineering the bracket with locating pegs that positioned the cameras more accurately, as I was getting too many of these pictures, where the Pentax had moved just slightly out of alignment.

50018 Whitchurch 17 June 1989

50018 Resolution arrives at Whitchurch station on 17 June 1989 with the 1L19 17:24 Salisbury to Waterloo Network SouthEast service. It looks like the site of the former loop line on the right was once used an allotment, but has been somewhat neglected!

50018 Grateley 13 April 1991

50018 Resolution passes Grateley on 13 April 1991 with the 1V11 11:15 Waterloo to Exeter St Davids Network SouthEast service. Just over two months later the loco was withdrawn with engine problems. After initially being stored at Laira and then Riverside Yard, Exeter, it was towed to Glasgow, and cut up at MC Metals in January 1993

50019 Ascott-under-Wychwood 15 August 1982

I have pictures of every Class 50 at work on the Cotswold Line, but in a couple of instances I only saw a particular locomotive once on the line, and then usually in atrocious light. Such is the case here, as 50019 Ramillies passes Ascott-under-Wychwood's last remaining semaphore signal on 15 August 1982 with the 1C48 16:10 Paddington to Hereford service.

50019 Oxford (Walton Well Road) 21 May 1983

50019 Ramillies approaches Walton Well Road, Oxford, on 21 May 1983 with the 1A25 08:05 Hereford to Paddington service, passing 56114 waiting in the down loop with MGR empties from Didcot Power Station. Ramillies is in the original blue livery, but in refurbished condition, with plated over sandboxes, and a revised roof layout, although perhaps the most obvious difference is the centrally placed headlight. Only the first six locos to be refurbished were outshopped in this all over blue.

50019 Upton Scudamore 16 August 1984

A welcome and unexpected sight at Upton Scudamore on 16 August 1984. 50019 Ramillies rolls down the gradient with the 7V85 13:32 Fareham to Westbury stone empties. Although they did work freight trains, the Class 50s were still at this time principally express passenger locos, so despite the very hazy light this still makes a very interesting picture, especially with the rake of vintage vacuum braked open wagons.

50019 Croome 24 October 1985

50019 Ramillies is glimpsed through the lineside bushes, as it passes Croome on 24 October 1985 with the 1S71 07:30 Penzance to Glasgow InterCity service, which it would work as far as Birmingham New Street. It would then take over the 1V90 10:45 Glasgow to Penzance, and return south three hours later. Note the ScotRail liveried BG van at the head of the train.

50019 Croome 24 October 1985

50019 Ramillies catches the last of the afternoon light, as it rounds the curve near Croome on 24 October 1985 with the 1V90 10:45 Glasgow to Penzance InterCity service, which it had taken over at Birmingham New Street. A few hours earlier it had worked north with the 1S71 07:30 Penzance to Glasgow. Ramillies performed this duty for several consecutive days.

50019 Oxford 5 May 1987

50019 Ramillies stands at Oxford station on 5 May 1987, prior to working the 1F33 13:00 Network SouthEast service to Paddington. This was a flying visit, as I had travelled to Oxford in my lunch hour purely to buy an all line timetable, and this just happened to be in the platform at the time! Imagine now have to physically go somewhere, and then pay for a timetable!

50019 Oxford 4 September 1987

Long early morning shadows at Oxford on 4 September 1987, as 50019 Ramillies pulls out of the station with the 1F19 07:50 Oxford to Paddington Network SouthEast service. With a BG van at the head of the formation, there would be plenty of space for London commuter's bikes (even if they weren't folding Bromptons!), unlike today's cramped Turbo units.

50019 Radley 30 June 1988

50019 Ramillies speeds through Radley station just before sunset on 30 June 1988 with the 1F74 19:05 Paddington to Oxford Network SouthEast service. A typical 1980s scene from Radley - in other words no passengers in evidence! In the following decades the station got progressively busier, and is now a well used commuter station. The former Great Western Railway footbridge has now been replaced by a more modern design.

50019 Charfield 13 March 1989

Two vintage forms of transport at Charfield on 13 March 1989! 50019 Ramillies passes a Volvo 66 parked on Little Bristol Lane. Ramillies had only been transferred to the DCWA departmental sector a few weeks earlier, and this is the only occasion that I saw it whilst an engineer's loco, and still wearing Network SouthEast livery. A couple of months later it received what would become known as the 'Laira Blue' livery. Happily Ramillies survives in preservation, but the quirky car with its unusual belt driven variable transmission has not been on the road since 1994, so is presumably scrapped, or else is rusting away in a barn somewhere!

50019 Compton Beauchamp 19 May 1989

Just a few weeks after being painted into its distinctive 'Laira Blue' livery, 50019 Ramillies passes Compton Beauchamp on 19 May 1989 with an eastbound loaded ballast train. At the time there was very little 'gen', so I was quite surprised to see this unexpected new livery variation. Three Class 50s eventually wore this attractive colour scheme, and although I managed a few more pictures of both 50019 and 50008, I never secured a picture of 50037 in this livery. However, there is some consolation in the fact that virtually nobody else did either, as it only carried the livery for a few weeks before being transferred back from the DCWA engineers pool to the Network South East passenger pool.

50019 Oxford 23 July 1989

A very pleasant surprise at Oxford on 23 July 1989. 50019 Ramillies slowly negotiates the pointwork to the south of Oxford station, as it brings an engineering train in from the Banbury line. As it was clear that it was going to drop off something (the wagons, tamper and van at the front of the train) in Oxford South Yard, a quick dash was made to Hinksey Yard for a second picture of this unusual appearance of a DCWA Class 50 in the Oxford area.

50019 Hinksey 23 July 1989

50019 Ramillies weaves across from the up relief line at Hinksey North and crosses both up and down lines to gain access to Hinksey Yard on 23 July 1989. It was bringing a train of spent ballast from an engineering possession on the Banbury line, and departed north again shortly afterwards with a loaded ballast train. This is an extremely rare appearance of a DCWA allocated Class 50 to the Oxford area, and probably the only time that 50019 visited whilst in its 'Laira Blue' livery, which it had received a couple of months previously.

50019 Hinksey 23 July 1989

50019 Ramillies engages in a spot of shunting at Hinksey Yard on 23 July 1989. After having brought in a load of spent ballast from the Banbury line. It is now moving a rake of ballast hoppers, prior to heading back to the worksite. This view clearly shows the yellow DCWA flash underneath the secondman's window.

50019 Flax Bourton 5 April 1990

Glinting in the strong backlighting, 50019 Ramillies passes the oil depot at Flax Bourton on 5 April 1990 with the 7C56 Meldon Quarry to Bristol East ballast. Despite putting in a good deal of effort into chasing the DCWA Class 50s during 1989 and 1990, this is one of only a handful of pictures that I have got of the 'Laira Blue' Ramillies working an infrastructure train. Lack of information, and having to go to work made things a lot more difficult in those days!

50019 Hullavington 3 July 1990

50019 Ramillies heads eastwards through the deep cutting near Hullavington on 3 July 1990 with a short ballast train. Admittedly not helped by the head on lighting, but the 'Laira Blue' livery is hardly evident in this view. Probably the loco hadn't had a wash since the distinctive colour scheme was applied just over a year earlier.

50019 Brent Knoll 6 July 1990

Work stained 50019 Ramillies passes Brent Knoll on 6 July 1990 with the 7C56 13:35 Meldon Quarry to Bristol East ballast. Although I tried to spend as much time as possible photographing the DCWA departmental Class 50s during 1990, it wasn't easy. Unreliable workings (this was one of the more reliable ones), and lack of up to date gen, made it very difficult. Consequently, with time off work not necessarily corresponding with good weather, some picture, like this one, had to be taken in very poor weather.

50019 Eridge 25 May 1997

50019 Ramillies was withdrawn by BR in September 1990, and sold to the Class 50 Locomotive Association the following year. Its first home in preservation was the Spa Valley Railway, where it stayed until 1998. Its is pictured here partially covered by tarpaulins at Eridge station on 25 May 1997.

50019 Dereham 6 December 1998

50019 Ramillies is just about to cross over Green Road level crossing as it leaves Dereham station on the Mid-Norfolk Railway the with the 13:00 'Santa Special' on 6 December 1998. 20069 can just be seen on the rear of the train working top'n'tail. 50019 had arrived at the MId-Norfolk a few months earlier, having the spent the first few years of its life in preservation at the Tunbridge Wells and Eridge Railway. The light dusting of snow was extremely localised.

50019 Whinburgh 24 March 2002

50019 Ramillies passes Whinburgh on 24 March 2002 with the 15:00 Dereham to Wymondham service, during the Mid Norfolk Railway's Diesel Gala. After being withdrawn from the national network in August 1990, Ramillies was first moved to the Tunbridge Wells and Eridge Railway, before eventually arriving in Norfolk in May 1998.

50020 Ascott-under-Wychwood 13 March 1982

50020 Revenge rattles the windows of Ascott-under-Wychwood Signal Box as it charges off the double track section of the Cotswold Line on 13 March 1982 whilst working the 08:08 Hereford to Paddington service. It wasn't until I was scanning this Kodachrome slide that I realised just how few trees there were at this spot in the early 1980s, in fact on the original slide the footpath crossing round the curve towards Shipton can clearly be seen (to the right of the loco near the solitary tree).

50020 Bourton 30 April 1983

50020 Revenge passes Bourton on 30 April 1983 with the 1B28 17:27 Paddington to Cheltenham service. This is nearly two decades after the end of steam, and yet there is still not one bush visible on the lineside. During the steam era lineside vegetation was rigorously controlled to prevent fires. This obviously carried on into the diesel era, but what a contrast to today, when Network Rail do nothing at all to maintain the lineside, and then wonder why they have problems with leaves on the line in the autumn!

50020 Little Bedwyn 22 October 1983

50020 Revenge speeds past Little Bedwyn on 22 October 1983 with what is presumably the 1A41 08:27 Penzance to Paddington HST replacement. Booked to pass Bedwyn at 12:58, it's not doing too badly passing me at 13:15. If this had been before the timetable change at the beginning of the month I would have expected the 1A55 11:14 Paignton to Paddington to be Class 50 hauled, but unless I am missing something, I presume this is the HST substitution. The working timetable shows nothing else until the next HST (1A49) at 13:38. Confirmation anyone?

50020 Hinksey 3 March 1984

A panoramic view of the north end of Hinksey Yard on 3 March 1984. 50020 Revenge heads south with the 14:15 Oxford to Paddington service. The Oxford skyline in the background is still free from the visually dominant Ice Rink which was to open later in the year. Hinksey Yard was constructed during World War 2, but by the 1980s had become very little used, however over twenty years after this picture was taken it is once again busy, in its new role as a ballast stockpile.

50020 Evenlode 16 February 1985

50020 Revenge passes Evenlode on 16 February 1985 in that ideal photographic combination - snow and sunshine. It is working the 1A07 08:05 Hereford to Paddington service. I had already photographed 50005 Collingwood from the more conventional viewpoint of the road bridge, but thought that this snow covered field would make an excellent foreground for the second of the morning's loco hauled trains. 50020 never seemed to be particularly common on the Cotswold Line, and I only have one other picture of it on the line.

50020 Coates 4 October 1987

50020 Revenge passes the site of the long closed Coates goods station on 4 October 1987 with the 3A16 15:40 Gloucester to Paddington empty vans. The source of the River Thames is in the field behind the train and the Thames Head Inn is situated on the main road next to the former station entrance. The very narrow road underbridge near the old station site is probably the most familiar landmark to motorists passing the site today.

50020 Charfield 13 March 1989

50020 Revenge spent its last two years in revenue earning service allocated to the DCWA pool, working engineers trains around the Gloucester, Bristol and Exeter areas. On 13 March 1989 it had charge of the 9C04 14:54 Gloucester to Bristol East Depot, seen here passing the remains of Charfield station. Note the rake of freshly painted wagons at the head of the train. The bridge in the background was the site of serious accident in 1928.

50020 Rewe 5 May 1990

50020 Revenge passes Rewe on 5 May 1990 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z17 Manchester Piccadilly to Meldon Quarry 'Taw & Tor Tourer' railtour. This was the final passenger outing for this supposedly 60 mph restricted Class 50, which had been part of the DCWA engineer's pool for the previous two years.

50020 Gunstone Mill 5 May 1990

50020 Revenge passes Gunstone Mill (near Crediton) on 5 May 1990 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z17 Manchester Piccadilly to Meldon Quarry 'Taw & Tor Tourer' railtour. A surprising choice of loco for a railtour, being a DCWA allocated machine with high engine hours and a 60 mph speed restriction (in theory!). Although it performed faultlessly, this was 50020's last passenger working, and it was withdrawn shortly afterwards.

50020 Yeoford 5 May 1990

With St Andrews church, Colebrooke prominent on the hill in the background, 50020 Revenge approaches Yeoford with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z17 Meldon Quarry to Manchester Piccadilly 'Taw & Tor Tourer' railtour on 5 May 1990. Although it looks like the loco is running wrong line, these are in fact now two independent single lines. The train is on the freight only Meldon branch, whilst the line on the right is the Barnstaple line. The two lines run parallel from Colebrooke to Crediton.