Class 66

66501 Coedkernew 20 July 2000

Almost exactly a year old, but still nearly a year away from acquiring the name Japan 2001, 66501 passes Coedkernew amid the lengthening shadows on the evening of 20 July 2000 with the 4S81 18:20 Pengam to Coatbridge freightliner. At this time there were still only ten Freightliner Class 66s in the country, and the sight of a 'Fred' working one of their trains instead of a 47 or 57 was still a novelty. How times have changed!

66501 Bishops Itchington 17 August 2002

66501 Japan 2001 rounds the curve near Bishops Itchington on 17 August 2002 with the 4O54 05:45 Leeds to Southampton freightliner. Commonplace now, but at the time these locos still had novelty value, after years of freightliner trains being hauled by Class 47s, and latterly Class 57s.

66501 South Marston 22 June 2010

66501 Japan 2001 passes South Marston with the 4O51 10:00 Wentloog to Southampton freightliner on 22 June 2010. If you think this train looks a little lightly loaded, compare it with 66536 which followed ten minutes later with the newly introduced 4L32 Bristol Parsons Street to Tilbury service. This is actually a fairly good load for 4O51. This was the start of 45 minutes of hectic Freightliner activity, with 66623 following on later with 6M22 Westbury to Mountsorrel.

66501 Souldern Wharf 11 December 2010

66501 Japan 2001 passes Souldern Wharf (between Banbury and Oxford) in near darkness on 11 December 2010 with the 4O14 07:00 Birch Coppice to Southampton freightliner. Just visible on the right is Souldern No.2 Viaduct, on the Banbury to Marylebone line. This picture is yet another example of the excellent full aperture performance of the Canon EF-S 60mm Macro lens. Pin sharp at 1/500sec f2.8 at ISO 800.

66501 Denchworth 3 September 2012

The pioneer Class 66/5, 66501 Japan 2001 passes Denchworth on 3 September 2012 with 4L30 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe 'Wineliner'. No apologies for yet another picture at this location, as there is not long to go now before the overhead wires go up, and the shot disappears completely.

66501 Uffington 24 October 2013

66501 Japan 2001 passes Uffington on 24 October 2013 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. With a bit of luck this is one of the few locations in the Vale of White Horse that should still be photographically acceptable after the installation of the overhead wires.

66501 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 15 April 2014

The blackthorn is in full bloom at Circourt Bridge, Denchworth on 15 April 2014, as 66501 Japan 2001 passes by with the 4L32 11:00 Bristol to Tilbury freightliner. On this occasion it was running along the main line, rather the relief line, as booked.

66501 Uffington 16 April 2014

66501 Japan 2001 passes Uffington on 16 April 2014 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. This location offers various trackside viewpoints, especially in spring, when this prominent tree is well worth including in the picture. In summer it is obviously less interesting, and in the winter its shadow reaches the line. Unfortunately this spot is now less easy to get to, as Network Rail have decided to close the adjacent footpath crossing. This happened in September 2013, allegedly for three weeks. Seven months later it is still blocked!

66501 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 1 December 2016

Running over an hour late, and consequently with the sun now off the front end,  66501 Japan 2001 approaches Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 1 December 2016 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner.

66502 & 66505 Wormleighton Crossing 22 April 2009

You don't get many opportunities to photograph double headed Freightliner 66s, especially when the leading locomotive has just been released from works. Sported a freshly painted cab, 66502 Basford Hall Centenary 2001 leads classmate 66505 (dead in tow) past Wormleighton Crossing with the 4O27 07:12 Ditton to Southampton freightliner on 22 April 2009. 66502 had only been released from Glasgow Works the previous day. The crow perched in the tree is obviously not impressed!

66502 Tackley 21 May 2009

66502 Basford Hall Centenary 2001 speeds through Tackley station on 21 May 2009 with the 4O17 15:49 Lawley Street to Southampton freightliner. Just visible in the shadows in front of the car on the left is the local rail enthusiast cat. This tabby had just walked across the crossing, then sat down and watched the train go by before wandering off into the village!

66502 Heyford 1 May 2010

In a brief sunny interlude, 66502 Basford Hall Centenary 2001 passes Heyford on 1 May 2010 with the late running 4O14 06:39 Birch Coppice to Southampton freightliner. The wait for this train was enlivened by a near miss slow speed collision of two narrowboats on the nearby Oxford Canal! One didn't see the other approaching due to the narrow gap of a bridge, with the result that there was much reversing of engines to avoid an impact. Not that much damage can be done at 5mph!

66502 Overthorpe 28 January 2011

66502 Basford Hall Centenary 2001 passes underneath the M40 motorway near Overthorpe (to the south of Banbury) on 28 January 2011 with the 4O54 06:13 Leeds to Southampton freightliner. This photo is taken from the farm occupation bridge that carries the Jurassic Way long distance footpath across the line. A long lens is required at this time of year to avoid the long shadows.

66502 Steventon 19 February 2013

66502 Basford Hall Centenary 2001 passes Steventon on 19 February 2013 with the 4V50 10:32 Millbrook to Wentloog freightliner. I had been meaning to visit this location for some time, before Didcot 'A' Power Station is closed and the well known local landmark disappears. A still day ensured that the steam from the cooling towers was rising vertically, but when this train passed there just happened to be a cloud of steam connecting the two columns, producing this very strange effect. It's a pity that the gap caused by the empty flats at the front of the train doesn't quite mach up with the three left hand cooling towers!

66502 Compton Beauchamp 30 March 2015

Running half an hour behind schedule, 66502 Basford Hall Centenary 2001 passes Compton Beauchamp on 30 March 2015 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. This late running was very fortunate, as a stubborn patch of cloud had by then had time to clear out of the way!

66502 Challow 21 March 2016

66502 Basford Hall Centenary 2001 moves onto the up relief line at Challow on 21 March 2016 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. This is probably my most frequently photographed freight train, principally because it runs at an ideal time for the light, and because since the announcement of the Great Western Mainline electrification scheme, I have taken every opportunity to photograph it before the wires go up and ruin all my favourite Vale of White Horse locations.

66502 Tockenham Wick 19 July 2016

66502 Basford Hall Centenary 2001 passes Tockenham Wick on 19 July 2016 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. The Network Rail vandals have disfigured the bridge in the background by adding an unrequired height extension to the parapet. Do they really think this is necessary in such a quiet rural location?

66502 Uffington 23 September 2016

With ominous indications of the forthcoming electfrication in the foreground, 66502 Basford Hall Centenary 2001 passes Uffington on 23 September 2016 with the 4L32 10:58 Bristol to Tilbury freightliner. Photo taken from a public footpath crossing.

66502 Wolvercote 25 June 2018

Running 81 minutes late, 66502 Basford Hall Centenary 2001 passes Wolvercote on 25 June 2018 with the 4M67 14:17 Southampton Maritime to Hams Hall freightliner. The track panels in the foreground are in connection with the reinstatement of the down relief line between here and Oxford North Junction, an operation which has taken an exceedingly long time, not helped by the fact that after it was initially laid, it was then taken up again, only to be laid a second time!

66503 Harbury 22 December 2008

A busy moment at Harbury on 22 December 2008! 66503 The Railway Magazine swings round the curve with the 4M55 08:58 Southampton to Lawley Street freightliner, while the back end of the 4O04 09:35 Washwood Heath to Eastleigh intermodal (hauled by 66024) can be seen disappearing into Harbury Tunnel. Note the banner repeater signal which has already retuned to danger. This gives advanced warning of the state of the signal by the tunnel mouth.

66503 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 18 October 2011

The autumn colours are starting to show at Circourt Bridge, Denchworth on 18 October 2011 as 66503 The Railway Magazine gets a clear road and heads east along the main line with the 4O24 11:00 Bristol West to Thamesport freightliner. Note how the green backed Railway Magazine nameplate almost completely merges in with the loco's same colour bodyside.

66503 Kennington 27 November 2015

66503 The Railway Magazine passes Kennington on 27 November 2015 with the 4O54 06:12 Leeds to Southampton Maritime freightliner. Kennington Junction is just out of sight around the corner, and if it wasn't for the trees, the Morris Cowley branch would be easily visible in the background.

66503 Bourton 1 September 2016

66503 The Railway Magazine passes Bourton on 1 September 2016 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. Despite the original claims that the Great Western Mainline electrification would be finished by now, the only evidence here is the capped steel piles hiding in the long grass. Unfortunately however, the masts are belatedly heading ever nearer!

66503 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 24 January 2017

66503 The Railway Magazine runs along the up relief line at Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 24 January 2017 with the 4O51 10:00 Wentloog to Southampton freightliner. It's difficult to tell with Network Rail's slow and erratic progress with the electfrication works, but this could be the last occasion that I use this particular vantage point.

66504 South Moreton (Didcot East) 24 May 2007

Just a few boxes, unusually in the middle of the train, on the 4M58 11:00 Southampton to Ditton freightliner, seen here passing South Moreton (Didcot East) on 24 May 2007, hauled by 66504. The bridge in the background is a farm occupation bridge that used to be one of my favourite photographic locations, until it was replaced a few years after this picture was taken by a high sided monstrosity that makes photography extremely difficult.

66504 South Marston (Didcot East) 22 September 2010

66504 heads east from Didcot and approaches South Moreton on 22 September 2010 with the 4O51 10:00 Wentloog to Southampton freightliner. A most unusual situation for this service - a fully loaded train, with not a single empty flat wagon!

66504 Steventon 8 March 2011

66504 passes the site of Steventon station on 8 March 2011 with the 4O24 11:00 Bristol Parsons Street to Thamesport freightliner. The rear of the train is crossing Stocks Lane Level Crossing, while just visible in the background is the small signal cabin controlling the adjacent Causeway Level Crossing.

66504 Yarnton 4 May 2011

A light load for 66504 on 4 May 2011 as it rounds the curve at Yarnton with the 4O09 10:17 Trafford Park to Southampton freightliner. This view would obviously not have been possible in steam (or early diesel) days. Note the stump of a telegraph pole amid the brambles and wild hops, directly below the loco's bufferbeam.

66504 & 66589 Oxford 16 January 2012

66504 has classmate 66589 dead in tow as it passes through Oxford station on 16 January 2012 with the 4O54 06:15 Leeds to Southampton freightliner. I had a prior engagement in Oxford, and therefore I thought I would take the opportunity to take a few pictures from my erstwhile favourite location from the 1980s - the Osney Lane footbridge. As the light would be head on when I arrived, I wasn't going to bother taking any pictures until it moved round a little. However, a pair of 66s was worth pressing the shutter for, in spite of the awful lighting.

66504 Grove 22 October 2018

66504 passes Grove on 22 October 2018 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. This is one of the small number of Class 66s to receive the 'Powerhaul' colour scheme, now superceded by the Genesee & Wyoming orange livery.

66505 Kings Sutton 23 April 2009

66505 passes Kings Sutton on 23 April 2009 with the 4M61 13:00 Southampton to Trafford Park freightliner. It was once noticeable that Freightliner 66s were kept in a better external condition than their EWS cousins, but judging by this one the novelty of keeping what were once new locomotives clean has worn off!

66505 Denchworth 16 August 2010

66505 dodges the shadows at Denchworth on 16 August 2010, as it heads east with the 4O51 10:00 Wentloog to Southampton freightliner. Even though it is only mid August and despite what the experts are predicting with regard to a late autumn, the first signs are already visible in the trackside vegetation, notably the emerging hawthorn berries.

66505 Great Bourton 3 August 2011

66505 passes Great Bourton on 3 August 2011 with the 4M99 16:57 Southampton to Trafford Park freightliner. A lucky break as this is usually a Class 70 working. The picture is taken from a public footpath crossing which is ideal for late summer evenings, as nothing at all can shade the line in either direction.

66505 Tackley 3 October 2011

66505 passes through Tackley station on 3 October 2011 with the 4O09 10:18 Trafford Park to Southampton freightliner. This diminutive station marks the very eastern edge of the village. The footpath crossing here leading into the neighbouring fields.

66505 Steventon 9 December 2015

66505 approaches Steventon on 9 December 2015 with the 4L32 11:00 Bristol to Tilbury freightliner. Unusually, there is a second loco (66558) hitching a ride on the rear of the train. Having most of the boxes on the rear of the train has not helped the photographic composition, but I have gone for a little variety, with a wider view, including the ploughed field in the foreground.

66506 Raskelf 26 November 2001

66506 Crewe Regeneration passes Raskelf on 26 November 2001 with a Redcar to Cottam Power Station coal train. Note the 'Railtrack Renewing Your Railway' sticker on the cabside. Slightly ironic, as under Railtrack's watch the network deteriorated considerably, indirectly leading to several serious accidents.

66506 Hatfield & Stainforth 15 March 2007

66506 Crewe Regeneration passes through Hatfield & Stainforth station on 15 March 2007 with the 4R10 Eggborough Power Station to Immingham empty coal hoppers. The back end of the train is negotiating Stainforth Junction, coming off the freight only line from Applehurst Junction.

66506 Steventon 8 May 2008

Running over three hours late, 66506 Crew Regeneration passes Steventon with the 4V60 10:55 Calvert to Bristol Avon binliner empties on 8 May 2008. This massive late running results in a much better picture, as normally during the summer months the sun would not be on the front of the loco at this location. It appears that Didcot Power Station in the background is shut down, or at least the coal fired plant, as there is not a trace of smoke visible from the main chimney.

66506 Uffington 15 July 2019

66506 Crewe Regeneration passes Uffington on 15 July 2019 with the 6A15 03:54 Whatley Quarry to Appleford Mendip Rail stone hoppers. The edge of a large mass of cloud can be seen in the background. During the short time I was at this location, it had appeared from nowhere in the east, and moved right across to the west, eliminating any chance of the forecast sunny morning!

66507 Uffington 12 February 2008

Carefully framed beneath the overhanging branches of a roadside tree, 66507 is pictured near Uffington with the 4V60 10:55 Calvert to Bristol binliner empties on 12 February 2008. The line between Didcot and Swindon runs through rather uninteresting countryside, so I am always on the lookout for different vantage points to photograph familiar trains, and am particularly pleased with this view, as the branches for once are in the ideal photographic position.

66507 Hatton North Junction 19 February 2008

66507 rounds the curve at Hatton North Junction with the 6M01 14:08 Hinksey to Stud Farm ballast empties on 19 February 2008. This was a day of extreme weather contrasts, with some areas being completely fog bound all day, and other areas starting misty, then clearing, only to have the fog reappear. This was the case only a few miles south of here, but luckily at Hatton the sun stayed out right to the end of the day.

66507 Maud's Bridge 24 November 2011

66507 passes the field access level crossing at Maud's Bridge on 24 November 2011 with the 6M49 07:38 Immingham to Rugeley Power Station imported coal. To the left of the train is the flat expanse of Nun Moors, an area of reclaimed land divided by numerous drainage dykes.

66507 Baulking 16 March 2016

66507 passes Baulking on 16 March 2016 with the 4M18 09:47 Fairwater Yard to Washwood Heath recovered concrete sleepers. Some attempt has been made to cut back the lineside bushes at this location, in preparation for the forthcoming electrification. But over three decades of total neglect have made it unlikely that the early 1980s view will ever be recreated.

66507, 66506 & 66557 Uffington 22 January 2017

The 0Y97 10:50 Hinksey to Stoke Gifford light engine move on 22 January 2017 produced a trio of Freightliner 66/5s, and being in position at the lineside it seemed churlish not to photograph them. 66507, 66506 Crewe Regeneration & 66557 pass the recently installed electfrication masts at Uffington.

66507 Oxford 2 February 2019

66507 passes through Oxford station on 2 February 2019 with the 4O29 08:50 Crewe Basford Hall to Southampton Maritime freightliner. Although there had been a heavy snowfall the previous day, a good deal of it had already disappeared, which was surprising, as the temperature was still low enough to make the ice covered steps up to the footbridge from which this picture was taken extremely slippery.

66508 Heck Ings 28 November 2006

66508 approaches Heck Ings in superb autumnal light on 28 November 2006 with another rake of coal empties from Drax Power Station. The signals in the background are at Hensall Junction, where the Drax and Goole lines diverge.

66508 Wolvercote 12 July 2016

66508 passes the worksite for the reinstatement of the down relief line at Wolvercote, as it heads north on 12 July 2016 with the 6M28 18:25 Hinksey to Bescot engineer's working. On the right is Port Meadow, now separated from the line by a totally over the top palisade fence.

66508, 66544 & 66587 Denchworth 23 August 2016

66508, 66544 & 66587 stand on the down relief line at Denchworth on 23 August 2016, stopped at signals midway along the Challow to Wantage Road four track section of the Great Western Mainline, with the massively delayed 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. After a 20 minutes late start, the train ran into problems in the Swindon area, and rescue came in the form of Heavy Haul locos 66508 & 66544, therefore not only is this triple header very unusual, but the leading two locomotives would not normally be seen on a freightliner. They entered the loop at Challow 197 minutes late, and by the time they had let a couple of HSTs pass here, left a staggering 210 minutes late!

66509 Uffington 9 February 2007

66509 passes Uffington in a snowstorm on 9 February 2007 with the 4V60 10:55 Calvert to Bristol binliner empties. Although Uffington no longer has its loops, it does still retain this pair of crossovers, which are occasionally used to facilitate wrong line running.

66509 Maud's Bridge 24 November 2011

66509 passes Maud's Bridge on 24 November 2011 with the 4R35 09:00 Drax Power Station to Immingham coal empties. Notice how the Freightliner sticker above the number on the cabside at this end of the loco has faded almost to white. The early morning low cloud was just starting to break up, only to roll back in again shortly afterwards.

66509 South Moreton 10 September 2015

An easy load of just seven vintage Seacow wagons for 66509, pictured passing signs of impending (and severely delayed) electrification at South Moreton on 10 September 2015. It is working the 6V27 13:30 Eastleigh to Hinksey departmental service. This working was taken over by Freightliner Heavy Haul in late 2013, another working that DBS couldn't keep hold of.

66509 Steventon 25 January 2018

66509 approaches Steventon on 25 January 2018 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. This is probably my most frequently photographed freight train of recent years, although with this line's electfrication, that will no doubt change!

66509 Daylesford 6 March 2019

66509 brings up the rear of the 6Y43 15:41 Hinksey to Honeybourne ballast train at Daylesford on 6 March 2019. Classmate 66587 is leading. The train was heading for a major track relaying operation on the Long Marston branch.

66509 Uffington 29 March 2019

66509 passes Uffington on 29 March 2019 with the 4L36 07:45 Wentloog to Felixstowe North freightliner, while the 1G21 09:36 Paddington to Cheltenham Spa IET does its best to get in the way. Although I have numerous pictures of freightliners at this location, I would still have been annoyed if the EMU had completely blocked out the train on such a perfect sunny morning!

66510 Knighton 1 May 2007

66510 approaches the site of Knighton Crossing (between Didcot and Swindon) with a short rake of ballast empties on 1 May 2007. The level crossing was closed in the 1970s and replaced by a road underbridge just to the east, which made use of the convenient section of embankment seen here.

66510 Uffington 23 November 2010

66510 passes some late autumn colours at Uffington on 23 November 2010 with the 4V60 10:57 Calvert to Bristol Barrow Road Avon Binliner. The end is nigh for this working, which I have been photographing virtually from the start, 25 years ago. The good old days obviously saw much more interesting traction, starting with Class 47s, and including 37s, 56s, 58s & 60s.

66510 Tackley 29 June 2015

66510 approaches Tackley on 29 June 2015 with the 6M28 18:16 Hinksey to Bescot engineer's working. This loco is now 15 years old, and is starting to show it. There are several areas of bare metal, where the paint has fallen off, but surprisingly unlike a lot of its classmates, it is not yet going rusty. Also, the black exhaust wasn't just for my benefit at this particular spot, but it was putting out smoke all the time it was in view. I suppose now that its got all these 'faults', it can be classed as heritage traction!

66510 South Marston 27 October 2017

General Motors clag! 66510 piles on the power, as it passes South Marston on 27 October 2017 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. I suppose as the loco is now seventeen years old it is entitled to smoke a bit!

66512 Hensall (Heck Lane) 13 March 2008

66512 approaches Heck Lane, Hensall with the 6R10 09:44 Immingham to Drax Power Station coal train on 13 March 2008, just as the sun was fading out into high cloud. The level crossing next to Hensall station can just be seen behind the train. The station is little used, as the passenger service on this section of line is so sparse, and no doubt the line would have been closed where it not for the vast tonnage of coal being moved in trains such as this to Drax.

66512 Fenwick 16 June 2010

In superb evening light on 16 June 2010, 66512 heads down the East Coast Mainline at Fenwick with another load of coal for one of the Aire Valley Power Stations. Despite the sunshine, notice that virtually the entire sky to the north is filled with cloud, which despite looking like it was increasing, actually melted away later on.

66512 Denchworth 15 April 2019

66512 passes Denchworth on 15 April 2019 with the 4L36 07:45 Wentloog to Felixstowe North freightliner. This viewpoint looked totally different 40 years earlier, completely free of clutter, and with a much more photogenic bridge in the background.

66512 Bredon 2 May 2019

After the rain! Although it had just about stopped raining in this view of Bredon on 2 May 2019, it is clearly still tipping it down to the south, in the Cheltenham direction. 66512 heads northwards with the 4E40 14:10 Port Talbot Grange to York Holgate Sidings, comprising a rake of Genesee & Wyoming branded MWA bogie box wagons.

66513 Manningford Bruce 30 November 2013

66513 passes Manningford Bruce on 30 November 2013 with the 6B21 10:45 Theale Lafarge to Pengam stone empties. It seems that virtually every wagon has been attacked by graffiti vandals. There was plenty of warning of this train's approach, as it could be heard hooting for various footpath crossings, a good five minutes before it finally came into view.

66513 Whitley Bridge Junction 13 March 2014

66513 passes Whitley Bridge Junction on 13 March 2014 with the 4R36 11:45 Drax Power Station to Immingham coal empties. Just out of sight to the left is one of the other of the Aire Valley's giant coal fired power stations - Eggborough.

66513 & 66571 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 7 March 2016

66571 failed prior to departure with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner on 7 March 2016, and 66513 was called upon to assist. Although this resulted in the bonus of a picture of a double headed train, it did mean that because it was well over an hour late, the sun was no longer on the front. 66513 & 66571 pass Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, with the sun having only just reappeared from behind one of the clouds that was now rapidly building up from the west.

66513 Moreton-in-Marsh 10 November 2016

66513 passes slowly through Moreton-in-Marsh station on 10 November 2016 with the 3S33 05:56 Swindon to Gloucester Horton Road Rail Head Treatment Train. 66523 is on the rear. The train would stop a few yards further on, and then use the crossover in the foreground to gain the down line, before heading back to Worcester. The Freightliner locos had been hired in by Colas, after both 56078, and its replacement 56104 failed three days earlier.

66513 Kidlington (Sandy Lane) 21 January 2017

66513 passes Kidlington (Sandy Lane) on 21 January 2017 with the 4O14 07:37 Hams Hall to Southampton Maritime freightliner. This was just as the sun started to disappear into fog, which was suddenly rolling in from the east, as can be seen in the background. It had been completely sunny up until this point, but within a few minutes the whole area was shrouded in thick fog.

66513 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 23 February 2017

66513 runs along the up relief line at Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 23 February 2017 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. Progress on the electfrication work here is painfully slow, and although it gives photographers a temporary reprieve, it does make you wonder why this kind of work takes so much longer than it did in the 1960s!

66514 Cholsey 15 November 2013

66514 passes Cholsey on 15 November 2013 with the 6V27 12:52 Eastleigh to Hinksey, a working which Freightliner Heavy Haul had recently acquired from DBS. With DBS loosing so much traffic to the likes of Freightliner and Colas, it does at least make the freight workings in the Thames Valley a little more interesting, even if it does only mean a different coloured 'Shed'!

66515 Oxford North Junction 20 May 2017

Very early in the morning at Oxford North Junction, and the shadows are still some way across the track. 66515 heads south on 20 May 2017 with the 4O18 05:03 Lawley Street to Southampton freightliner. The fact that it was running early hasn't helped with the lighting!

66515 Wolvercote 21 June 2017

Running 68 minutes late, and just a few minutes before the sun finally disappeared into a large mass of cloud, 66515 passes Wolvercote on 21 June 2017 with the 4M99 17:00 Southampton Maritime to Trafford Park freightliner. On the right is the abandoned project to reinstate the down relief line, with most of the newly laid track having been lifted.

66515 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 15 May 2019

Framed by the hideous 25kV catenary at the site of Ashbury Crossing, 66515 speeds past Shrivenham on 15 May 2019 with the 4O70 09:56 Wentloog to Felixstowe North freightliner. These ugly structures make the ones on the East Coast Mainline look inconspicuous!

66516 Steeple Aston 27 November 2010

66516 storms through the tree lined cutting near Steeple Aston on 27 November 2010 with the 4M65 08:55 Southampton Maritime to Birch Coppice intermodal service. An extremely dull morning, with light snow showers, but the ideal conditions to take pictures at this spot, which even after a recent massive tree pruning exercise, is still impervious to all but the high summer sun.

66516 South Marston 30 June 2015

66516 slowly passes South Marston on 30 June 2015 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. The track workers are getting ready to start digging trial holes for the forthcoming electrification masts. Presumably the blue markings on the ballast to the right of the loco indicates the position of a mast. Several further groups of men are already at work in the background. The lorry in the background was stationary for some time, as traffic on the slip road from the A419 onto the A420 had come to a complete stop, as the result of an accident.

66516 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 23 December 2015

The birds have stripped most of the sloes off the blackthorn bush near Circourt Bridge, Denchworth on 23 December 2015, as 66516 passes by in the background with the 4L32 11:00 Bristol to London Gateway freightliner. After a morning's conventional photography from the nearby bridge, I decided on a more arty view of this particular train.

66516 Steventon 6 June 2018

Running 39 minutes late, 66516 passes Steventon on 6 June 2018 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. The tall radio mast no longer spoils this location, as the overhead catenary now completely ruins the whole scene!

66517 Circourt 2 November 2006

66517 at Circourt Bridge, Denchworth with the diverted 4O54 06:13 Leeds to Southampton freightliner on 2 November 2006. This was the beginning of an interesting twenty minutes, in which the assembled photographers had three freights from the east after a long period of nothing but HSTs.

66517 Cholsey 6 December 2006

66517 passes Cholsey on 6 December 2006 with the 4O54 06:13 Leeds to Southampton freightliner. Note the amount of rail sections left lying in the four foot and next to the down main line. Surely in today's health and safety conscious age, and with trains traveling on this line at 125 mph this is something of an oversight.

66517 South Moreton (Didcot East) 24 May 2007

66517 passes South Moreton (Didcot East) on 24 May 2007 with the 4O54 06:13 Leeds to Southampton freightliner. Didcot Power Station in the background had less than four years of generating left when this picture was taken, and with the station's closure, the cooling towers are now history.

66517 Hinksey 12 June 2010

66517 passes Hinksey Yard (near Oxford) with the 4O54 06:13 Leeds to Southampton freightliner on 12 June 2010. The trees have now virtually obscured the former view of Oxford from this spot, although the tower of St. Barnabas church in Jericho can just be seen in the distance above the rear of the train.

66517 Denchworth 10 April 2015

After a brief stop at the signal gantry adjacent to Denchworth road bridge, 66517 moves off again with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner on 10 April 2015. This was running late when it joined the relief line at Challow, put rejoined the main line at Wantage Road ahead of time.

66517 Farleaze 28 January 2016

66517 passes Farleaze (between Badminton and Hullavington) on 28 January 2016 with the 4O70 09:58 Wentloog to Southampton Maritime freightliner. This location is down a no through road with no houses beyond the bridge, therefore probably the highest proportion of visitors are railway photographers!

66517 Kennington 9 September 2017

Although the clouds are rapidly building up in the background, the sun is still fully out as 66517 passes Kennington on 9 September 2017 with the 4O14 06:46 Hams Hall to Southampton Maritime freightliner. This was running an hour behind schedule, having started out from Hams Hall 79 minutes late.

66518 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 18 October 2007

66518 approaches the site of Ashbury Crossing, near Shrivenham with the 4V60 10:55 Calvert to Bristol binliner empties on 18 October 2007. Although a reliable runner, nowadays you know exactly what traction you're going to get on this train, unlike the pre Freightliner era. Mid October and still very little sign of any autumn colour in the trees behind the train.

66518 Wantage Road 6 November 2007

The weather forecasters got it wrong again on 6 November 2007. A sunny day was predicted, and indeed it did start sunny, but it soon clouded up and by the time I got to the lineside near the site of Wantage Road station it was mainly cloudy with occasional sunny breaks. I was surprised to see 66518 on the 4V60 10:55 Calvert to Bristol binliner empties, as this particular train should have passed while I was still en-route to the location. However, I was lucky that it was running late as it passed in a few seconds worth of sun, which nicely spotlights the train against the dark clouds in the background. Note that the rear of the train is in shadow, and as the train was passing me the light in the foreground dropped as well. Definitely a very lucky shot!

66518 Compton Beauchamp 16 July 2013

66518 passes Compton Beauchamp on 16 July 2013 with the 6V87 11:57 Neasden to Stoke Gifford stone empties. With a large area of high pressure dominating the weather, cloudless skies and high temperatures are the order of the day. Whilst the general public (mostly) loves it, for photography it is not so good, with harsh overhead lighting for most of the day.

66518 Grove 8 September 2014

66518 passes Grove on 8 September 2014 with a rather short 4M18 08:50 Fairwater Yard to Washwood Heath concrete sleepers. This picture neatly illustrates how freight trains can often run early. Instead of waiting for nearly 50 minutes on the up relief line, it is speeding along the up main. However, a stop of over an hour further north at Fenny Compton brought it back to right time.

66518 Steventon 5 January 2017

66518 approaches Steventon on 5 January 2017 with the 4O51 10:00 Wentloog to Southampton freightliner, passing the not very welcome addition to the Great Western Mainline. Electfrication may have some benefits, but God is the infrastructure ugly!

66518 Uffington 26 April 2018

66518 passes Uffington on 26 April 2018 with the 4L31 09:57 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. This had been retimed to allow for additional paths for the diverted stone trains from Westbury, but even so was running over half an hour late.

66518 Wolvercote 25 June 2018

Not exactly a taxing load! 66518 passes Wolvercote on 25 June 2018 with the 6M28 18:16 Hinksey to Bescot engineer's working, on this occasion comprising just a single empty spoil wagon. The foreground is dominated by the worksite for the reinstatement of the down relief line.

66518 Tackley 27 June 2018

I went to Tackley on 27 June 2018 primarily to photograph the 6M28 18:16 Hinksey to Bescot engineer's working, so I was not overly impressed to see this approaching! 66518 picks up speed, after inexplicably coming to a stand just a little further south, as it works what is clearly the 0M28 18:16 Hinksey to Bescot.

66518 & 66563 Kemble 3 July 2018

66518 & 66563 pass through Kemble station on 3 July 2018 with the diverted 4O57 13:29 Wentloog to Southampton Maritime freightliner. The curved former Cirencester branch bay platform can be seen behind the lead locomotive, with the Great Western Railway station master's house in the background.

66519 Cossington 13 November 2013

66519 passes Cossington on 13 November 2013 with the 6M01 11:19 Tinsley to Bardon Hill stone empties. A long lens is required at this time of year in order to clear the numerous shadows in the immediate foreground. The reason for the large number of photographers on the bridge in the background, is because D1015 has just passed by in the opposite direction with the 6D02 11:21 Wellingborough to Mountsorrel stone empties.

66519 Woodborough 23 August 2014

66519 passes Woodborough on 23 August 2014 with the diverted 6V33 11:56 Neasden Charrington to Pengam stone empties. Unfortunately the more interesting 6B33 11:27 Theale to Margam Murco oil empties, and 6V62 11:20 Tilbury Riverside to Llanwern steel empties were both cancelled.

66519 Didcot North Junction 16 February 2018

66519 approaches Didcot North Junction on 16 February 2018 with the extremely short 4O15 07:21 Lawley Street to Southampton Maritime freightliner. I am used to photographing partly loaded freightliners, or even a full length train of flats with just a few boxes, but this short formation (thankfully fully loaded) is much more unusual.

66519 Wolvercote 2 August 2018

66519 passes Wolvercote on 2 August 2018, running as the 0M28 18:16 Hinksey to Bescot, in place of the 6M28 18:16 Hinksey to Bescot engineer's working. My second uncharacteristic light engine picture of the day, following on from a much more interesting picture of D1935 early in the morning. Note the weld in the recently relaid track directly under the loco's leading wheel.

66520 Waltham St Lawrence 27 July 2007

66520 is pictured near Waltham St Lawrence on 27 July 2007 with the 6M91 11:00 Theale to Earles empty cement tanks. The photo is taken from Chalkpit Bridge on the Waltham St Lawrence to Knowl Hill bridleway. There are several photo locations in the area, including the footpath bridge seen in the middle distance and a further one towards Shottesbrooke, but tall trees on the south side of the line means they all tend to be very shady on the main lines.

66520 Crowle 28 November 2012

66520 passes a watery landscape at Crowle on 28 November 2012 with the 4R12 08:20 Doncaster Decoy to Immingham coal empties. One of the swans on the Stainforth & Keadby Canal in the background has obviously found something tasty to feed on underneath the water. In additions to the canal and the foreground drainage channel, there are floods in the fields in the background.

66520 Tackley 15 February 2019

66520 approaches Tackley on 15 February 2019 with the late running 4O49 10:42 Crewe Basford Hall to Southampton Maritime freightliner. A long walk from the nearest road, but worth it, as it is one of the most photogenic locations on the line between Banbury and Oxford.

66522 Baulking 4 March 2011

You couldn't get a more appropriate loco for its train than this! The unique Shanks liveried 66522 East London Express hauls the similarly branded 4V60 10:57 Calvert to Bristol Avon binliner past Baulking on 4 March 2011. A pity the loco wasn't round the other way with the lime green end leading, but this is early 2011 and the sun is out for once, so I should stop complaining!

66522 Steventon 8 March 2011

Shanks liveried 66522 East London Express approaches Steventon on 8 March 2011 with the 4V60 10:57 Calvert to Bristol Avon binliner, passing the well used freight loops. Didcot Power Station is of course the familiar background landmark.

66522 Crofton 22 May 2012

My first picture of the unique Shanks liveried 66522 East London Express with the lime green end leading. On 22 May 2012 it is seen rounding the curve at Crofton with the 6A21 08:28 Cardiff Pengam to Theale stone train. It would certainly look a lot better if it had received a wash recently!

66522 Hatfield & Stainforth 28 November 2012

A pity it wasn't the other way round, but its always nice to see 66522 East London Express, as it makes a change from the normal Freightliner livery. On 28 November 2012, the unique liveried loco approaches Hatfield & Stainforth station with another load of imported coal from Immingham. This luckily corresponded with one of the few sunny spells.

66523 & 66560 Gossington 8 April 2010

66523 & 66560 pass Gossington with the 4Z70 08:53 Rugeley Power Station to Stoke Gifford coal empties on 8 April 2010, substituting for an unavailable Class 70. Are they ever going to live up to their promised reliability? Luckily the late running of this train had meant that the sun had come around and was now on the front.

66523 Up Hatherley 14 January 2011

66523 slowly passes Up Hatherley on 14 January 2011 with the 4V06 Rugeley to Stoke Gifford coal empties. The train was following a unit out of Cheltenham station, which is a short distance around the corner, beyond the bridge in the background.

66523 Moreton-in-Marsh 10 November 2016

66523 stands on the up main line at Moreton-in-Marsh on 10 November 2016, having just arrived with the 3S33 05:56 Swindon to Gloucester Horton Road Rail Head Treatment Train, led by 66513. It would shortly be heading back to Worcester. Four semaphore signals can be seen in this view, and behind the furthest one, the new farm occupation bridge that has just been installed, replacing the original which was showing worrying sagging in the centre of the arch.

66523 Moreton-in-Marsh 10 November 2016

66523 stands in Moreton-in-Marsh station on 10 November 2016, waiting to head back to Worcester with the 3S33 05:56 Swindon to Gloucester Horton Road Rail Head Treatment Train. Almost impossible lighting, with the weak sun directly behind the train, but worth a picture for the unusual sight of a Class 66 at Moreton-in-Marsh. 66513 is the rear loco.

66523 Moreton-in-Marsh 10 November 2016

66523 leaves Moreton-in-Marsh on 10 November 2016 with the 3S33 05:56 Swindon to Gloucester Horton Road Rail Head Treatment Train, having arrived a little earlier led by 66513. The Freightliner locos had been hired in by Colas, as due to the failure of both 56078 & 56104 three days earlier, they had run out of locos! This pictures makes an interesting comparison to the same scene a week earlier, when Colas could rely on their vintage Type 5 traction!

66524 Ruscombe 1 May 2013

66524 runs at a fair speed along the up relief line at Ruscombe on 1 May 2013, as it works the 07:01 Stoke Gifford to Thorney Mill stone train, utilising a rake of exceedingly grubby ex Bardon hoppers. Unfortunately this ideal photographic spot will shortly be lost as the Great Western Mainline is electrified.

66524 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 14 September 2016

66524 approaches Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 14 September 2016 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. On this occasion it is correctly running along the up relief line, rather than the main, where it often holds up the following 1A11 09:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington GWR HST.

66525 Manningford Bruce 12 April 2007

Diverted via the Berks & Hants line due to the closure of Basingstoke station for major track alterations, 66525 passes Manningford Bruce with the 4O35 09:40 Crewe Basford Hall to Southampton freightliner on 12 April 2007. Although completely sunny when I set out from home, a lot of cloud had built up by the time I reached the lineside. In fact the train is in a lucky patch of weak sun, both the background and the immediate foreground are in shadow.

66525 Hall Royd Junction 16 November 2015

66525 passes Hall Royd Junction on 16 November 2015 with the 6M09 05:45 Immingham to Fiddlers Ferry imported coal. This was slightly unexpected, as there was no mention whatsoever on Realtime Trains of this particular working, not even showing it as cancelled!

66525 Didcot North Junction 30 March 2019

66525 passes Didcot North Junction on 30 March 2019 with the 4O27 05:21 Garston to Southampton Maritime freightliner. It looks like the ash tree in the foreground will severely obstruct this a viewpoint in a few years time!

66526 & 66530 Great Heck 2 March 2002

A poignant moment at Great Heck on 2 March 2002. In tribute the Steve Dunn, the driver who tragically lost his life in the previous year's rail accident, 66526 Driver Steve Dunn (George) & 66530 came to a stand on the main line at the site of the accident whilst working the Pathfinder Tours 1Z66 15:50 York to Crewe 'Steve Dunn Memorial' railtour. To see a passenger train come to a stop in the middle of nowhere and then move off after a two minute stand is certainly different. As it was very nearly dark, it also made photography marginally less difficult.

66526 Cample 8 June 2007

Catching the last rays of the setting sun on 8 June 2007, 66526 Driver Steve Dunn (George) passes Cample with the 6E72 New Cumnock to Cottam Power Station coal train. Note that the sun has already disappeared from the mountains in the background. The loco is named after the driver of the coal train who died in the Heck rail crash in 2001.

66526 & 66568 Tackley 3 July 2014

Just after sunrise on 3 July 2014, 66526 Driver Steve Dunn (George) & 66568 sweep round the curve to the north of Tackley station with the 4M95 03:23 Southampton to Trafford Park freightliner. 66568 was of course dead in tow, but it still makes an interesting picture, especially as this is one of the few locations in the Oxford area that would be fully lit, with the sun on the front at this ridiculously early time of the morning.

66526 Tackley 15 February 2019

66526 Driver Steve Dunn (George) approaches Tackley on 15 February 2019 with the 4O09 10:12 Trafford Park to Southampton Maritime freightliner. The loco is named after the Freightliner driver who sadly lost his life in the 2001 Great Heck rail disaster.

66527 Charlbury 1 March 2007

No sooner had I added the picture of 37276 to this website, with a caption explaining how there had been no freight on the southern end of the Cotswold Line for many years, when this happens! 66527 Don Raider and 66507 worked the 6Z49 10:51 Neasden to Long Marston on 1 March 2007 conveying a rake of PGA hopper wagons formerly used on the Wool to Neasden sand trains for storage at Long Marston. Normally such trains would be routed the long way round via Swindon and Worcester. The use of top'n'tail locos was necessary because the run-round loop at Honeybourne is out of use due to the state of the track. Remarkably I was the only person to witness this most unusual working passing through the Brunel designed station at Charlbury in a very lucky patch of sun.

66527 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 2 April 2007

66527 Don Raider approaches Ashbury Crossing at Shrivenham with the 4V60 10:55 Calvert to Bristol binliner empties on 2 April 2007. The location was chosen because its one of the few spots between Didcot and Swindon where the sun would be on the nose after the clocks had changed at the end of March, even then it is only just glancing across the front. Incidentally, the crossing was replaced by a footbridge many years ago, yet the name remains!

66527 Natton 3 February 2012

Superb winter lighting at Natton on 3 February 2012, as 66527 Don Raider passes by with the 4V06 08:53 Rugeley Power Station to Stoke Gifford coal empties. Although the temperature was barely above freezing, the fact that there was virtually no wind meant that it wasn't too bad standing around in the sunshine. It wasn't to last, as the following day saw heavy snow falls.

66528, 66550, 66548, 66549 & 66607 Beechbrook Farm (Ashford) 19 July 2002

The transient railway. Once this was all fields, and now it is all fields again! Beechbrook Farm depot was constructed next to the A20 road to the north of Ashford, during the construction of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (HS1). For a few years it was extremely busy, but such has been its total obliteration, that there is no sign now that a railway was ever here. In this 19 July 2002 view there are at least 11 locos in view. 66528, 66550, 66548, 66549 & 66607 are parked in the foreground, with several other Class 66s (both Freightliner and EWS) in the background. Just visible in front of the trees in the background is Class 14 D9504. 

66528 Gateforth 14 March 2008

66528 passes Gateforth on 14 March 2008 with the 6Y50 08:31 Butterwell to Drax coal hoppers. A conveniently cleared vegetation free patch has been carefully maintained amid the roadside gorse bushes here, just in the right position for photography. So, with a natural windbreak from the remaining bushes (as long as the wind isn't from the north!) and an Armco barrier to sit on, it makes for a very pleasant spot to wait for the next train.

66529 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 1 November 2007

66529 heads along the Great Western Mainline near the site of Ashbury Crossing, Shrivenham on 1 November 2007. The loco is well matched livery wise to the Avon County Council wagons, the working being the 4V60 10:55 Calvert to Bristol Avon binliner empties.

66529 Didcot North Junction 16 February 2018

66529 passes Didcot North Junction on 16 February 2018 with the 6O26 10:19 Hinksey to Eastleigh departmental working. Note the new bridge height extensions in the background. I shouldn't really complain, bearing in mind some of the hideous structures that Network Rail have installed to protect electrified lines, but the few inches added to this bridge seems hardly worth the trouble!

66530 Barby Nortoft 21 April 2010

With the masts of Rugby Radio Station in the background, 66530 passes Barby Nortoft on 21 April 2010 with the 4L92 14:03 Ditton to Felixstowe freightliner. Often the preserve of a pair of Class 86s, but a single 66 is definitely a much better fit between the posts here!

66530 Bagworth 28 March 2012

66530 passes Bagworth on 28 March 2012 with the 6M14 10:14 Harlow Mill to Bardon Hill stone empties. Not much colour apart from the green of the loco in this view, with a pile of grey ballast, concrete footbridge, and masses of dead vegetation completing the picture.

66531 Tilts 24 November 2008

66531 crosses over the East Coast Mainline at Tilts on 24 November 2008 with the 6M07 11:05 Roxby to Pendleton GMC Binliner empties. This is on the freight only line to the north of Doncaster, from Stainforth to Adwick. Unfortunately the sunshine earlier in the day had now given way to high level cloud.

66531 Tackley 15 May 2010

66531 approaches Tackley with the 4O14 06:39 Birch Coppice to Southampton 'Fresh Air Express' on 15 May 2010. This freightliner service normally has a much more healthy load than the two containers visible here. 66531 looks to be in desperate need of some cosmetic attention to its front end. Less than nine years old and there are already large rust patches developing around the cab windows - not a good sign!

66531 Hensall 13 March 2014

66531 passes through Hensall station on 13 March 2014 with the 6E94 23:53 (the previous day) Hunterston High Level to Drax Power Station coal train. The impressive Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway station building presides over a station that has a very sparse train service, but which is noteworthy in that the level crossing has one of the few surviving sets of electrical operated wheel gates, which operate by an electric motor attached to the gate opening and closing the crossing by powering a small attached wheel, operating on the roadway.

66532 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 18 October 2007

66532 P&O Nedlloyd Atlas has just passed the site of Shrivenham station and is just approaching the site of Ashbury Crossing with the 4O51 10:02 Wentloog to Southampton freightliner. The date is 18 October 2007 and the lengthening autumn shadows have required the use of a very long lens. This has compressed the perspective, so that the distinctive manor house at Bourton (top left) now appears very close, rather than a mile distant.

66532 Uffington 29 September 2011

66532 P&O Nedlloyd Atlas approaches the site of Uffington station on 29 September 2011 with the 4L32 11:00 Bristol West to Tilbury freightliner, running just four minutes behind the 4O51 Wentloog to Southampton, hauled by classmate 66535.

66532 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 19 March 2012

66532 P&O Nedlloyd Atlas passes under Circourt Bridge, Denchworth on 19 March 2012 with the 4L30 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe 'Wineliner'. Running 45 minutes late, it has no need of its booked stop at Wantage Road, and so is charging along the up main in fine style. On the left in the distance the first clouds of the morning can be seen bubbling up. Within a short time they would build up considerably, making it lucky that this train wasn't running any later!

66532 Tackley 18 June 2015

Superb late evening light at Tackley on 18 June 2015. 66532 P&O Nedlloyd Atlas heads north with the 4M97 17:30 Southampton Maritime to Hams Hall freightliner. The Dog Roses on the right add to the feeling of high summer.

6532 Thingley 19 June 2017

66532 P&O Nedlloyd Atlas passes Thingley on 19 June 2017 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. Strangely, although this location is only around 50 miles from home, this is only my second visit, and my first ever picture looking in this direction!

66532 Uffington 22 September 2017

With clouds steadily building up from the west, 66532 P&O Nedlloyd Atlas passes the incomplete electrification infrastructure at Uffington on 22 September 2017 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner.

66533 Challow 6 December 2008

66533 Hanjin Express / Senator Express approaches the site of Challow station with the diverted 4O54 05:33 Leeds to Southampton freightliner on 6 December 2008. The use of a long lens is required here to avoid the bushes and large signal gantry in the foreground. Note how this has compressed the perspective, with Circourt Bridge at Denchworth clearly visible in the distance.

66533 Denchworth 16 August 2010

66533 Hanjin Express / Senator Express ambles along the up relief line at Denchworth on 16 August 2010 with the 4O24 Bristol Parson Street to Grain 'Wineliner'. I would not normally take pictures of every Class 66 that came along whilst at one location, as I have mentioned on the Introduction page, but in this case I have made an exception, especially as there is not a 'Red Shed' amongst them!. On this occasion three freightliners passed within less than 40 minutes, the other tow being 66563 & 66505. Incidentally the more commonly used Denchworth vantage point (Circourt Bridge) can be seen in the background. This alternative location requires careful framing and a long lens in order to shoot underneath a massive signal gantry.

66533 Chippenham 10 September 2014

66533 Hanjin Express / Senator Express passes Chippenham on 10 September 2014 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. I had gone to his location as it would be clear of shadows on this early autumn morning. Unfortunately, that other feature of autumn, fog, had only just started to clear!

66533 Compton Beauchamp 14 April 2015

66533 Hanjin Express / Senator Express passes Compton Beauchamp on 14 April 2015 with the 4L32 11:00 Bristol to Tilbury freightliner. Unfortunately this was running over an hour late, having left the Parsons Street freightliner terminal at 12:16, rather than 11:00. There was little opportunity to make up time until a booked layover at West Drayton.

66534 Baulking 4 March 2011

66534 OOCL Express passes the increasingly overgrown location of Baulking on 4 March 2011 with the 4L32 11:00 Bristol Parsons Street to Tilbury 'Wineliner', luckily with all the containers marshaled at the head of the train. The site of Uffington station in the background is now very nearly obscured from view.

66534 & 66542 Radley 23 April 2013

66534 OOCL Express & 66542 pass Radley on 23 April 2013 with the 4O17 15:48 Lawley Street to Southampton Maritime freightliner. Note the hot air balloon in the background. I wouldn't normally have bothered with this picture, but I couldn't resist it as it is a double header.

66534 Steventon 19 August 2013

Two minutes makes all the difference! Running a trivial two minutes early means that 66534 OOCL Express passes Steventon in perfect lighting, with dark clouds in the background, rather than the totally useless conditions that existed just a minute later. The date is 19 August 2013 and the train is the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner.

66534 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 2 September 2013

66534 OOCL Express runs along the up relief line at Circourt Bridge, Denchworth on 2 September 2013 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. Note how the red backed nameplate stands out so much better than the green type, so favoured by Freightliner. It seems this loco is a regular on this train, as I saw it on the same working two weeks previously.

66534 Swindon (Hay Lane) 10 July 2014

66534 OOCL Express passes Hay Lane (near Swindon) on 10 July 2014 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. Because it runs at a time before the clouds usually start to build up, this is probably my most photographed train on the Great Western Mainline, as I attempt to cram in as much photography as possible before the wires go up.

66534 Cholsey 2 January 2015

66534 OOCL Express approaches Cholsey on 2 January 2015 with the 4O48 11:47 Hams Hall to Southampton freightliner. Just visible to the right of the loco is one of the unused steel piles for the forthcoming Great Western Mainline electrification. The tops of the installed ones can be seen in the foreground on the left, and just in front of the recently erected masts, another couple of every photographer's bęte noire lie in the grass waiting for installation.

66534 South Moreton 10 September 2015

Approaching an adverse signal, 66534 OOCL Express runs slowly through the cutting at South Moreton on 10 September 2015 with the 4M62 14:19 Southampton Maritime to Garston freightliner. The old bridge at this location had a parapet that was so low that it made an excellent seat, its modern replacement needs a ladder just to see over the top!

66534 Oxford 2 February 2019

66534 OOCL Express passes through Oxford station on 2 February 2019 with the 4O05 07:03 Birch Coppice to Southampton Maritime freightliner, passing 166208, which is waiting to follow it with the 1P35 10:00 Oxford to Paddington GWR service.

66535 Uffington 1 December 2007

66535 heads through the Vale of White Horse near Uffington with the diverted 4O27 01:35 Ditton to Southampton freightliner on 1 December 2007. This train had been held in the loop at Challow to allow 3 HSTs and the Hertfordshire Railtours 'Worcester Christmas Fayre' railtour to overtake it.

66535 Bishops Itchington 15 April 2008

On 15 April 2008 services were severely disrupted on the Birmingham to Oxford route by a broken rail at Knightcote (between Banbury and Leamington). All up trains were hand signaled through the red signal seen in the background, and had to travel over the temporarily clamped rail at 5 mph. While 66535 speeds past the blackthorn blossom at Bishops Itchington with the unaffected 4M50 07:25 Southampton to Crewe freightliner, a Chiltern Railways Turbo unit waits to precede south. At one point there were three trains in view on the up line, with one preceding at walking pace along the embankment just around the corner, one stopped at the signal seen here, and yet another at the preceding signal on the other side of the bridge!

66535 Wolvercote 15 August 2008

66535 passes Wolvercote on 15 August 2008 with the lightly loaded 4O27 07:12 Ditton to Southampton freightliner. The lack of a load on the front section of the train reveals the little used up good relief line, which runs from Wolvercote Junction to Oxford. Not too many years ago it was regularly used by MGR coat trains to Didcot Power Station and empty car trains to Morris Cowley. Neither of these services now operate on this route, and as can be seen here what little freight traffic that remains tends to use the main line.

66535 Uffington 29 September 2011

66535 passes Uffington on 29 September 2011 with the 4O51 09:58 Wentloog to Southampton freightliner. This photo is taken from a public footpath crossing near the site of Uffington station. Despite the fact that it is little used, it has recently been upgraded, for the first time acquiring a proper walkway across the tracks.

66535 Uffington 22 October 2011

66535 passes Uffington on 22 October 2011 with the 4V50 10:54 Southampton to Wentloog freightliner. In order to include this overhanging branch in the picture, I had to fight my way through the undergrowth that surrounds the remains of the long closed Wilts & Berks Canal. Even after clearing away much of the nuisance branches and brambles, I still had to put up with a large branch pushing into my back as I took this. It is ironic that with such a large open field in the foreground, I had to squeeze into such an uncomfortable position just for the sake of a better picture!

66535 Yarnton 14 January 2012

66535 passes a very cold and frosty Yarnton on 14 January 2012 with the 4O27 05:26 Garston to Southampton freightliner. The train will shortly be entering the up relief line at Wolvercote Junction, to allow a following passenger service to overtake.

66535 Uffington 23 July 2012

66535 passes Uffington on 23 July 2012 with the 4L30 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe 'Wineliner'. Coincidentally, I saw this same locomotive at this very spot les than a year before, although on that occasion is was working the 4O51 09:58 Wentloog to Southampton freightliner.

66536 South Marston 22 June 2010

66536 passes South Marston on 22 June 2010 with the newly introduced 4L32 10:00 Bristol Parsons Street to Tilbury freightliner. The line curving away to the right serves the Swindon Keypoint industrial estate, and sees regular trains from the Honda car plant.

66536 Brest Bourton 8 December 2010

66536 passes Great Bourton on 8 December 2010 with 4O27 05:40 Garston to Southampton freightliner. Admittedly I was walking along the footpath towards the railway and hadn't quite got to my intended location yet, but I had noticed this gate on a previous occasion, so quickly got into position, altered the camera settings to give enough depth of field (as this is taken on a short telephoto lens), and an instant variation of viewpoint!

66536 Oxford 1 April 2015

Just after sunrise on 1 April 2015, 66536 passes through Oxford station with the 6X25 04:45 Bescot to Hinksey engineer's train. This would normally run as 6V25, but the inclusion of the point carriers necessitates a X headcode. In the background, the 1D09 06:20 Paddington to Oxford HST waits at platform two.

66536 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 20 April 2015

66536 approaches the site of Ashbury Crossing, near Shrivenham, on 20 April 2015 with the 09:57 Willesden Euro Terminal to Fairwater Yard, conveying various track plant used over the weekend for engineering work. Classmate 66507 is on the rear of the train. Whist I was out in the morning, this was not showing as having left, so I went home. However, after lunch I noticed that it had left two hours late. As this would now make a better picture, with the sun on the front, I went back out again! It had lost even more time by the time it reached Shrivenham.

66536 Moreton-in-Marsh (Dunstall Bridge) 2 May 2018

66536 brings up the rear of the 6X04 14:00 Fairwater Yard to Honeybourne North Junction PW train, as it approaches Moreton-in-Marsh on 2 May 2018. This was one occasion where a zoom lens might have been useful, but even so I easily managed to change prime lenses from a 100mm to a 60mm while the train was passing under the bridge, after photographing 66543 leading the train. If I had got up earlier the previous day, I could have got a picture of this train heading south at this location, presumably in weak early morning sunshine. However, as it was booked to pass 05:27 (before sunrise!) I didn't bother. In the event it passed nearly an hour late. Never mind, you can't win them all!

66536 Steventon 15 May 2018

Running 20 minutes late, 66536 passes Steventon on 15 May 2018 with the 4V31 07:53 London Gateway to Bristol freightliner. This was the last westbound train to pass for a while, as shortly after this a HGV struck Steventon Causeway level crossing barriers, resulting in severe delays while trains were hand signalled across.

66537 Baulking 25 June 2010

What's all this then, a full load on the 4O51 10:00 Wentloog to Southampton freightliner, surely not! 66537 has indeed got a very respectable load on the usually lightly loaded 4O51, as it passes a very overgrown Baulking on 25 June 2010. Now that the lineside bushes are in full leaf, it is no longer possible to see the road bridge near the site of Uffington station, which was always an obvious landmark in the background of this view.

66537 Denchworth 27 July 2012

66537 passes Denchworth on 27 July 2012 with the 4O51 09:58 Wentloog to Southampton freightliner. In the background is the popular photographic location of Circourt Bridge (although sans photographers today). The bridge I am standing on is less used, as this view requires careful positioning and a long lens in order shoot through a signal gantry that covers all four tracks.

66537 Heyford 20 April 2016

A picture that I had been meaning to take for some time. 66537 approaches Heyford on 20 April 2016 with the 4O15 07:43 Hams Hall to Southampton Maritime freightliner. This is the view from the Oxford Canal towpath, looking across the swiftly flowing River Cherwell and the riverside meadows.

66538 Heyford 29 March 2002

66538 passes through Heyford station on 29 March 2002 with the 4O14 04:32 Garston to Southampton freightliner. The picturesque Great Western Railway footbridge has now been replaced with a more modern design.

66538 Kidlington 2 May 2007

What I thought was going to be a ruined picture, turns out to be perfect passing shot. On 2 May 2007, while waiting to photograph 66538 approaching Kidlington with the 4O27 06:50 Ditton to Southampton freightliner, I heard the ominous whine of a voyager behind me as the freightliner came into view. Thinking the unidentified Class 221 on the 11:46 Bournemouth to Glasgow Virgin service would completely block out the 66 I just kept the shutter pressed and let the camera fire several frames per second in the hope of getting the picture. The bridge visible in this view is a farm occupation bridge near Thrupp, while just visible in the distance is the isolated church at Hampton Gay.

66538 Heyford 14 September 2007

66538 passes Heyford on 14 September 2007 with the 4M50 07:25 Southampton to Hams Hall freightliner. Its hard to believe that this location once had open views across the fields towards the village of Rousham!

66538 Rousham 16 February 2008

66538 heads down the Cherwell Valley near Rousham with the 4O14 01:35 Ditton to Southampton freightliner on 16 February 2008. The frost was just starting the melt from the field of long grass in the foreground, but it was still bitterly cold! This field separates the railway from the Oxford Canal, which comes closer and then parallels the line from the trees on the right all the way to Heyford station, approximately a mile further north.

66538 Tackley 2 September 2010

Golden evening light at Tackley on 2 September 2010, as 66538 heads north with the 4M68 14:55 Southampton to Birch Coppice intermodal. On the extreme right is the chimney of the long disused (but once rail connected) Shipton-on-Cherwell cement works.

66538 Yarnton 14 January 2012

A thick frost coats the grass and bushes on 14 January 2012, as 66538 passes Yarnton with the 4O14 06:33 Birch Coppice to Southampton freightliner. The train is slowing down in order to access the relief line at Wolvercote Junction. Unfortunately these ideal photographic conditions didn't last long, as the sun soon removed the white covering from the vegetation.

66538 Tackley 25 June 2012

A very early morning picture taken at Tackley on 25 June 2012. 66538 heads northwards with the 4M95 03:48 Southampton Maritime to Trafford Park freightliner. Photo taken from a bridge on a bridleway between Tackley and Northbrook.

66538 Uffington 14 October 2015

66538 passes Uffington on 14 October 2015 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. This photo is taken from a public footpath crossing, which was closed by Network Rail in September 2013 for (according to a notice fixed to the fence) 21 days. In fact it remained closed for nearly two years. I thought that being very little used, it would be stopped up permanently, but instead of that, it has been reopened with the addition of a brand new boarded crossing. Previously you just walked across the ballast.

66539 South Moreton 8 May 2008

66539 passes South Moreton on 8 May 2008 with the 4O51 10:02 Wentloog to Millbrook freightliner. The pollarded horse chestnut trees that are such a feature of this location are just coming into flower. These were presumably planted by the Great Western Railway.

66539 Hinksey 30 December 2008

66539 passes Hinksey Yard (near Oxford) with the 4O54 06:13 Leeds to Southampton freightliner on 30 December 2008. I hadn't realised it at the time, but from this angle the tower of St Barnabas Church, Jericho can just be seen peeking through the trees in the distance above the third container. Although it was a sunny afternoon, the day had started with thick cloud, which had not even started to clear when I left home (less than twenty miles away).

66539 Uffington 4 June 2011

Under a very dark sky, 66539 passes the site of Uffington Junction station on 4 June 2011 with the 4V50 05:08 Southampton to Wentloog freightliner. I could not believe how the completely clear sunny morning changed to 100% cloud within just a few miles, as I was approaching from the Farngdon direction. It did mean however that my original choice of location a little further up the line was abandoned in favour of this spot, which can only be photographed from the north side of the line and therefore needs a dull day. Always look on the bright side (or not in this case!).

66539 Thorne South 18 April 2014

The diminutive Thorne South station is now totally dominated by a huge footbridge, complete with long shallow angled disabled friendly approach ramps. 66539 passes underneath this new structure on 18 April 2014 with the 4R16 11:30 Ratcliffe Power Station to Immingham coal empties.

66539 Wootton Bassett (Chaddington Lane) 8 September 2016

66539 passes Chaddington Lane (near Wootton Bassett) on 8 September 2016 with the 4L32 10:58 Bristol to Tilbury freightliner. I think Freightliner need to pay some attention to the state of this loco, as the tin worm seems to have got to work on the front end!

66540 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 20 July 2006

66540 Ruby approaches Circourt Bridge, Denchworth on 20 July 2006 with the 4O51 10:02 Wentloog to Southampton freightliner. The load is typical of the period, i.e. less than half a train and all of it on the back! The use of a long lens has compressed the perspective, with the bridge on the site of Challow station clearly visible behind the signal gantry in the background.

66540 Heyford 19 May 2007

A lucky patch of sunshine illuminates 66540 Ruby, as it passes Heyford on 19 May 2007 with the 4O14 04:32 Garston to Southampton freightliner. The name Ruby was chosen the previous year to mark the 40th anniversary of Freightliner.

66540 Great Bourton 28 March 2012

66540 Ruby passes Great Bourton on 28 March 2012 with the 4O55 12:15 Leeds to Southampton freightliner, having nearly been blocked out by 67018 pushing 1R48 northwards. What could very nearly have been a total cock up, has instead turned out to be a reasonable passing shot.

66540 Hinksey 4 December 2012

66540 Ruby passes Hinksey on 4 December 2012 with the 4O54 06:15 Leeds to Southampton freightliner. Somebody has obviously used the wrong sized numeral for the last digit of the loco's number on the front end, using instead the larger size, as used on the cabside.

66540 Challow 18 February 2015

66540 Ruby passes Challow on 18 February 2015 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. Despite running virtually to time, this was somewhat bizarrely routed along the up main line, therefore delaying the 1A11 09:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington HST, which was right behind it, and which should have overtaken it at Wantage Road!

66540 Bourton 28 January 2016

66540 Ruby passes Bourton on 28 January 2016 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. The tree line in the background marks the course of two other forms of transport: the A420 Oxford to Swindon road, and the long disused Wilts & Berks Canal.

66540 Challow 11 February 2016

66540 Ruby passes Challow on 11 February 2016 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. This train is booked to use the relief line, but due to several late running HSTs creating a sufficiently large gap, it was left to run on the main, going into the loop at Steventon instead.

66540 Banbury 11 March 2016

On time? Well, the lorry certainly is according to its company name. So in fact is 66540 Ruby, as it passes underneath Hennef Way, Banbury, on 11 March 2016 with the 4M68 13:53 Southampton Maritime to Garston freightliner. It is running slowly up to a red signal, for its booked 17 minute stop on the down relief line.

66541 Callow Hill 12 April 2011

66541 passes the blackthorn blossom at Callow Hill on 12 April 2011 with the 4O51 09:58 Wentloog to Southampton freightliner. Although reasonably bright, typically the light was nothing like as good as when 43146 passed by with the 1L51 10:55 Cardiff Central to Paddington First Great Western service.

66541 Radlley 17 December 2012

66541 approaches Radley on 17 December 2012 with the 4O54 06:15 Leeds to Southampton freightliner. Very head on lighting, but with trees on either side of the line, midday is the only time of day that this location is clear of shadows during the winter months.

66541 Cholsey 2 January 2015

66541 runs along the up relief line at Cholsey on 2 January 2015 with the 4L32 11:00 Bristol to Tilbury freightliner. The masts on the left had sprung up over the Christmas holiday, heralding the end of yet another well used photographic location.

66541 Brentingby 31 March 2016

With the houses and factories of Melton Mowbray forming the background, 66541 passes Brentingby on 31 March 2016 with the 4L93 10:08 Lawley Street to Felixstowe North freightliner. The clouds in the background are a hint of what was to come - the Met Office having been a bit optimistic yet again!

66541 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 9 August 2016

66541 approaches the site of Ashbury Crossing, near Shrivenham, on 9 August 2016 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. In the background is the new road bridge near the site of Shrivenham station. Compared with some of the hideous eyesores that Network Rail have imposed on this line, this bridge is actually quite well designed and in keeping with the landscape.

66541 Compton Beauchamp 26 August 2016

After overnight rain, the morning of 26 August 2016 was clear and bright. There was nothing out of the ordinary in the local area to photograph, but the good weather was too good to waste, so yet another trip was made to Compton Beauchamp. Due to the massively delayed Great Western Mainline electrification, photographers have gained two whole extra years of photography at this well known spot. Here is yet another picture of the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner, on this occasion hauled by 66541. I may have photographed 4L31 on countless occasions, but that will probably come to an abrupt stop once the wires go up!

66542 & 66590 Hinksey 9 January 2010

66542 & 66590 pass Hinksey Yard (near Oxford) in ideal photographic conditions with the 4O02 11:14 Lawley Street to Southampton freightliner on 9 January 2010. Although some photographers complain about empty container flats in freightliner consists, I think the snow covered flats behind the locos here actually improve the composition of the picture.

66542 South Moreton (Didcot East) 3 September 2014

After being closed for an unbelievable nine months, the reconstructed Fulscot Bridge near South Moreton (Didcot East) was opened on 29 August 2014. Although the middle of the bridge has the usual impossibly high parapet, the sides are fairly low. Although electrification will soon ruin the location for photographers, at present the spot is actually slightly better than before, as there is now a pavement to stand on, out of the way of the traffic. The brand new bridge is pictured in this slightly arty view, taken on 3 September 2014. 66542 approaches with the 4O27 05:40 Garston to Southampton freightliner.

66542 Oxford 30 January 2015

Watched over by a herring gull from on top of one of the station car park's lampposts, 66542 passes through Oxford station on 30 January 2015 with the 4O15 07:43 Hams Hall to Southampton freightliner. The huge bank of cloud that would put an end to the sunny morning can already be seen in the distance.

66542 Compton Beauchamp 30 March 2015

66542 passes Compton Beauchamp on 30 March 2015 with the 4O59 07:04 Wentloog to Southampton freightliner. I didn't expect to still be taking pictures at this location in the spring of 2015, but the Great Western electrification is so far behind schedule, that all of us photographers have got a short reprieve!

66542 Kimbridge 8 September 2016

66542 passes Kimbridge on 8 September 2016 with the 4M97 17:32 Southampton Maritime to Hams Hall freightliner. The train is approaching the site of Kimbridge Junction, where the former Southern Railway line to Stockbridge and Andover branched off to the right. The line was closed in 1964 as a result of the Beeching report.

66542 Hinksey 2 November 2016

The red DB Cargo spoil wagons in the foreground providing a striking contrast to this scene at Hinksey Yard taken on 2 November 2016. 66542 passes by with the 4O90 06:12 Leeds to Southampton Maritime freightliner.

66542 Wolvercote Junction 31 October 2018

66542 passes Wolvercote Junction on 31 October 2018 with the 4O49 09:22 Crewe Basford Hall to Southampton Maritime freightliner. A picture that could have been taken at any time in the last few years, apart from the fact that the loco now sports revised black headlight clusters.

66543 & 66564 Pilning 27 April 2010

66543 gives a helping hand to failed classmate 66564 with the 4O51 10:00 Wentloog to Southampton freightliner on 27 April 2010. Running over five hours late the pair are pictured climbing out of the Severn Tunnel towards Pilning. It shows just how vulnerable Freightliner's operation at Wentloog is, when the location is so far away from any rescue loco in the event of a failure.

66543 Oxford (Walton Well Road) 5 May 2012

A symphony in green! The fresh spring foliage nicely compliments 66543 as it slowly passes Walton Well Road, Oxford, on 5 May 2012 with the 4O27 05:26 Garston to Southampton freightliner. Aristotle Lane footbridge in the background marks the site of Oxford North Junction, where the line to Bicester diverges to the right.

66543 Challow 27 February 2014

66543 diverges onto the up relief line at Challow on 27 February 2014 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. Always worth a picture, although not as interesting as the traction that could be seen on a freightliner at this spot two decades previously!

66543 Bourton 9 April 2015

Time for a repaint? Rusty patches disfigure the front end of 66543, as it passes Bourton on 9 April 2015 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. With the Great Western Mainline electrification scheme over a year behind schedule, there is an unexpected reprieve for photographers in the Vale of White Horse.

66543, 66598 & 66508 Kennington 9 September 2017

In the very last of the morning's sunshine, with literally seconds to go before the dark clouds visible in the background blotted out the sun, 66543, 66598 & 66508 pass Kennington on 9 September 2017 with the 0O26 10:50 Hinksey to Eastleigh light engine move. This would normally be the 6O26 departmental working, but on this occasion there was no traffic on offer.

66543 Stonesfield 30 April 2018

Freight traffic on the southern end of the Cotswold Line is virtually non-existent, and although this is an infrastructure train, rather than a revenue earning working, it is still out of the ordinary. 66543 passes Stonesfield on 30 April 2018 with the 6X04 14:00 Fairwater Yard to Honeybourne North Junction, conveying materials for the much needed relaying of the Long Marston branch. Fourteen IFA wagons loaded with sleepers are followed by a selection of track machines. 66526 is bringing up the rear. Note the various coloured stanchions on the sleeper wagons. I deliberately chose this location, as recent tree clearance has opened up a lengthy vista, sufficient for an unobstructed view of this long train. Hiding in the trees in the background is the lofty bridge carrying the Stonesfield to North Leigh road.

66543 Moreton-in-Marsh (Dunstall Bridge) 2 May 2018

66543 approaches Moreton-in-Marsh on 2 May 2018 with the 6X04 14:00 Fairwater Yard to Honeybourne North Junction, conveying seventeen IFA wagons loaded with sleepers and several track machines, with 66536 bringing up the rear. This was the second of two trains running during this week in connection with track relaying on the Long Marston branch. As this was just 45 minutes before sunset, there were very few locations on the Cotswold Line that would be free of shadows, and indeed I had to change to a longer lens as shadows from trees one field away from the line were already beginning to intrude. This is also an ideal location to photograph a lengthy train such as this, and therefore I was surprised that no other photographers turned up.

66544 Metal Bridge 17 May 2002

66544 crosses the River Esk at Metal Bridge with the 6Z39 11:16 New Cumnock to Drax Freightliner coal hoppers on 17 May 2002. As both the A74 road and the railway cross the river here, it doesn't take much imagination to work out what the local pub (and therefore the locality) is named after! Although sunny, it was an extremley blustery day, and with virtually nothing to lessen the full force of the wind coming in off the Irish Sea, an exposed footbridge was not the best place to spend any length of time!

66544 Cossington 22 March 2012

66544 passes Cossington on 22 March 2012 with the 4G61 08:30 Ratcliife Power Station to Daw Mill Colliery coal empties. Just about acceptable lighting on this, with the sun getting very head on, although still worth waiting for after my main reason for visiting the location, 950001 on 2Z08.

66544 Sherburn-in-Elmet 22 July 2014

66544 passes Sherburn-in-Elmet on 22 July 2014 with the 6E94 23:53 Hunterston High Level to Drax Power Station coal hoppers. On the right is the base of the former goods yard crane, whilst on the left the colourful lineside vegetation includes Buddleia (Buddleja davidii) and Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis).

66544 Wantage Road 6 December 2014

66544 pulls way from Wantage Road (just visible in the background) on 6 December 2014 with the 6X59 12:30 Westbury to Reading West Junction engineers train. Note the point carriers near the rear of the train. Photo taken from a little used (except by railway photographers!) public footpath crossing.

66544 Kingham 17 June 2015

A very unusual working on the southern section of the Cotswold Line on 17 June 2015. In a surprising, and very brief patch of sunshine, 66544 passes through Kingham station with the late running 6L31 Long Marston to Ipswich, conveying 18 green liveried four wheel TTA fuel oil tanks. The loco had travelled up from Southampton light engine, but initially there was some confusion as to what the return load would be, as Realtime Trains insisted the return working was starting from Honeybourne Sidings, which did seem rather unlikely. Due to the late departure from Long Marston, there were further doubts whether it would run via the Cotswold Line as booked, or if it might run into pathing problems south of Charlbury and go via the Cheltenham and Swindon line instead. Luckily for me it stuck to the original plan, although it was by now over an hour late. Note the GWR style running in board on the right.

66545 Maud's Bridge 14 March 2007

66545 passes Maud's Bridge with a rake of empty HHA wagons bound for Immingham on 14 March 2007. The location is between Thorne and Crowle, where the line parallels the Stainforth & Keadby Canal for a number of miles.

66545 Shrivenham 7 November 2008

66545 passes Shrivenham with the 4V60 10:55 Calvert to Bristol Avon Binliner empties on 7 November 2008. I went to this location to get a picture of the 3S33 Didcot to Kings Norton Rail Head Treatment train, only to see it pass through as I was getting out of the car! As the sun was shining, and as there was a fair amount of autumn colour showing in the background, I decided to wait for this train, rather than going straight back home! Although I have now got numerous pictures of this service since it acquired Class 66 haulage, I always think the virtually perfectly matched colour of the containers works well with the green Freightliner locomotive.

66545 Steventon 12 May 2019

Running 47 minutes early, and having just slowed down the progress of the final 1A10 08:15 Weston-super-Mare to Paddington GWR HST, by being signalled out of the relief line in front of it, 66545 passes Steventon on 12 May 2019 with the 6Y46 10:19 (09:21 in reality) Hinksey to Abbotswood Junction ballast train.

66546 Goole 7 May 2007

66546 approaches Goole on 7 May 2007 with the 6Y52 12:24 Hull Docks to Barrow Hill coal hoppers. The Hull to Goole line was surprisingly busy with freight traffic on a Saturday at this time, with two trains earlier in the day going to Ferrybridge Power Station (6Y49) and Drax Power Station (6Y51).

66546 Bourton 3 November 2016

66546 passes Bourton on 3 November 2016 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. A stepladder on top of a roadside grit bin was the low tech solution to looking over the hedge here, in order to get a wider view!

66546 Grove 25 February 2019

After a twenty minute wait at a red signal in the distance, 66546 gets under way again at Grove on 25 February 2019 with the 4L36 07:45 Wentloog to Felixstowe North freightliner. The train should have been recessed at Swindon Stratton Green, rather than Challow.

66547 Carlton 15 March 2007

Viewed through a 200mm lens, which emphasises the change in gradient just to the rear of the train, 66547 approaches Linwith Lane at Carlton with another load of coal for Drax Power Station on 15 March 2007. This double track line serves only Drax, and sees an intensive freight service supplying the UK's largest coal fired power station.

66547 Tackley 6 June 2016

66547 speeds past Tackley on 6 June 2016 with the 6M28 18:16 Hinksey to Bescot engineer's working, on this occasion made up of four different types of wagons. The footpath on the right leads to a network of other local paths, that either double back to the south end of the village, or connect up with the Oxfordshire Way and the Oxfordshire Canal Walk.

66547 Hinksey 7 February 2018

66547 passes Hinksey Yard on 7 February 2018 with the 4O49 09:22 Crewe Basford Hall to Southampton Maritime freightliner. This was running 23 minutes late, which was not too bad considering that earlier in its journey it was running an hour behind time.

66548 Uffington 7 December 2010

66548 passes a frosty Uffington on 7 December 2010 with the 4V60 10:57 Calvert to Bristol Barrow Road Avon Binliner. 66548 is less than nine years old and already has huge rust patches all over the front end. This just highlights the very poor standard of finish of these GM products. Oxfordshire had largely escaped the snow of the previous few weeks, but overnight fog (only partly cleared) had left icy deposits all over the lineside vegetation.

66548 Souldern Wharf 21 April 2015

66548 passes Souldern Wharf on 21 April 2015 with the 6V16 11:24 Stud Farm to Hinksey ballast. This view clearly shows the difference in levels between the Oxford line, and the Chiltern line, approximately a mile south of where the lines diverge, at Aynho Junction. Souldern No.2 Viaduct, just visible in the background above the blackthorn blossom, is on the Chiltern route.

66548 Yarnton 20 December 2016

66548 passes Yarnton on 20 December 2016 with the 4O49 09:22 Crewe Basford Hall to Southampton Maritime freightliner. Definitely not ideal lighting, with the sun very head on, but worth recording for the sculptural effect of the tree's bare branches, if nothing else!

66548 Melton Ross 6 November 2017

A rapidly vanishing sight on UK railways: a coal train, or in this case the returning empties. 66548 passes Melton Ross on 6 November 2017 with the 4L28 09:51 Hunslet to Immingham empty hoppers. With coal fired power stations being closed, or converted to biomass, these trains could well become completely extinct.

66549 Waddesdon Manor 1 August 2007

66549 approaches the site of Waddesdon Manor station on the Aylesbury to Calvert line with the 6M80 13:12 Dagenham to Calvert binliner on 1 August 2007, bringing yet more of the South East's rubbish to dump in a big hole in the ground! This section of line is freight only, its only traffic being these waste trains. Calvert receives three trains daily via this route, the other two coming from Cricklewood and Northolt. 

66549 Challow 1 April 2019

It was not a good start for Freightliner when they took over the Moreton-on-Lugg stone trains from DB Cargo on 1 April 2019. Whilst 66549 was working the 6O85 03:26 East Usk Yard to Hothfield Siding loaded stone hoppers, it set off lineside safety equipment near Wootton Bassett, and had to have a couple of wagons removed. This was obviously a bonus for me, as the booked time passing Challow was well before sunrise, but here it is running 210 minutes late, and therefore in perfect light.

66551 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 9 October 2003

66551 approaches Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 9 October 2003 with the 6V60 10:655 Calvert to Bristol Avon Binliner empties. The bridge in the background would offer a similar photographic vantage point, were it not for that huge signal gantry in close proximity!

66551 Shorthampton 10 February 2013

66551 passes Shorthampton in the pouring rain on 10 February 2013 with the 6Y12 10:00 Abbotswood to Hinksey ballast, returning from an earlier engineering possession. Whilst a Freightliner Class 66 is certainly unusual on the Cotswold Line, the real of highlight of the day was to have been 60010 coming from the opposite direction within ten minutes of this train, with the 6W97 08:45 Toton to Bescot long welded rails. Unfortunately this only got as far as Hinksey Yard!

66551 Grove 30 November 2017

66551 passes Grove on 30 November 2017 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. I never used this location before the wires went up, as the high voltage cables that now end at the poles on the extreme left, crossed the line here. Ironically therefore the 25Kv electfrication has marginally improved this view!

66552 Standish Junction 6 October 2012

66552 Maltby Raider passes Standish Junction with the 4V46 11:15 Rugeley to Stoke Gifford coal empties on the fine autumnal afternoon of 6 October 2012. The line at the higher level is the 'Golden Valley' route to Swindon and London.

66552 Uffington 5 May 2017

66552 Maltby Raider passes Uffington on 5 May 2017 with the 4E18 09:47 Fairwater Yard to Doncaster Wood Yard reclaimed concrete sleepers. Photo taken from a new footbridge, which replaces a former footpath crossing, which was situated in the immediate foreground. The remains of this had been removed since I was here a few weeks earlier.

66552 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 12 April 2019

66552 Maltby Raider approaches Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 12 April 2019 with the 4L36 07:45 Wentloog to Felixstowe North freightliner. The local wildlife seems to have already got used to the line's electfrication, as a pair of Blue Tits were making their nest in a hole in one of the catenary supports!

66553 Hinksey 24 October 2018

66553 arrives at Hinksey Yard on 24 October 2018 with the 6V27 13:31 loaded ballast hoppers from Eastleigh. The reflection in the windscreen is from the footbridge handrails (and somebody's bike!). 20 minutes later I would take an almost identical picture of this train, but with one addition!

66553 & 66121 Hinksey 24 October 2018

Having arrived at Hinksey Yard 20 minutes earlier on 24 October 2018 with the 6V27 13:31 departmental working from Eastleigh, 66553 has now added rival company's DB Cargo 66121 to the consist for a spot of shunting.

66554 Maud's Bridge 13 March 2008

66554 passes Maud's Bridge on 13 March 2008 with what is presumably the  4R14 08:00 Ferrybridge Power Station to Immingham coal empties. The slight curve here is where the line starts to run parallel with the Stainforth & Keadby Canal.

66554 Upper Heyford 23 March 2011

Over the years I have got pictures of various classes of locomotives bringing coal down to Didcot Power Station from the north. However, Freightliner Class 66s are a bit of a novelty, so I was keen to get a picture of the recently introduced 6Z98 12:57 Daw Mill Colliery to Didcot Power Station working whilst I was at Upper Heyford on 23 March 2011. So here it is, headed by 66554 and heading down the Cherwell Valley in the warm spring sunshine.

66554 South Moreton 28 April 2015

66554 passes South Moreton on 28 April 2015 with the 6O26 10:19 Hinksey to Eastleigh, on this occasion conveying new track panels and wagons of spent ballast. Directly behind the train is the new electrification works depot, on the site of the old Moreton Sidings.

66554 Hatton 11 May 2015

66554 slowly draws to a halt in the down loop at Hatton on 11 May 2015 with the 6M28 18:16 Hinksey to Bescot engineer's working. The 1H88 19:14 Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone Chiltern Railways Class 168 unit can be seen in the background.

66554 Kings Sutton 4 May 2016

The evening shadows are lengthening as 66554 passes Kings Sutton on 4 May 2016 with the 6M28 18:25 Hinksey to Bescot engineer's working. The driver is acknowledging the photographers on the bridge, it being one of those locations where there is guaranteed to be photographers present if the sun is shining.

66554 Oxford 12 December 2017

66554 has unfortunately received the attention of some graffiti vandals. It is seen here passing through Oxford station in perfect snowy conditions on 12 December 2017 with the 4O15 07:21 Lawley Street to Southampton Maritime freightliner.

66555 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 1 November 2007

The rabbits in the field in the foreground take no notice of 66555 as it approaches Ashbury Crossing at Shrivenham with the 6Z60 10:51 Neasden to Newton Abbot Hackney Yard sand empties on 1 November 2007. This loco appears to be something of a regular on this train, which runs as required and is the return working of the train that originates at Burngullow. Unfortunately there was no sun when it passed me, even though it was a generally bright day.

66555 Clay Mills 25 June 2014

Just managing to stay ahead of the advancing cloud, 66555 passes Clay Mills on 25 June 2014 with the 4E72 12:33 Rugeley Power Station to Barnetby coal empties. Prominent in the background is the Victorian Clay Mills Pumping Station.

66556 Bletchingdon 23 November 2012

The shadows are lengthening as 66556 passes the site of Bletchingdon station on 23 November 2012 with the 4O27 05:40 Garston to Southampton freightliner. The overnight rain has caused the River Cherwell to burst its banks and flood the field in the background.

66556 Culham 18 July 2015

Early morning freightliner at Culham on 18 July 2015. 66556 heads north with the 4M62 04:31 Southampton to Lawley Street freightliner, running half an hour early. The golden early morning light highlights both the field of weeds in the foreground and the redundant Didcot Power Station in the background, now with only one set of its original six cooling towers still remaining.

66556 Bourton 23 September 2015

The first signs of autumn at Bourton on 23 September 2015, as 66556 runs through the cutting with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. I didn't think I would get another autumn's photography at this location, but Network Rail's mismanaged electrification scheme is so massively behind schedule, that I have been given a reprieve!

66556 Compton Beauchamp 25 September 2015

66556 passes Compton Beauchamp on 25 September 2015 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. As is often the case, this was holding up the 1A11 09:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington HST, which was following directly behind it, at reduced speed.

66556 Kings Sutton 11 June 2018

66556 passes Kings Sutton on 11 June 2018 with the 6M28 18:16 Hinksey to Bescot engineer's working. A reasonable load, especially for this train, which is quite often just single wagon! It hardly ever warrants the use of 3,300 hp loco.

66557 Rise Hill Tunnel 6 September 2004

Dark clouds hang over the fells, as 66557 finds a brief patch of weak sun, as it approaches Rise Hill Tunnel on 6 September 2004 with the 4Z44 06:50 Drax Power Station to Killoch coal empties. Just out of sight around the corner is Dent station, the highest station on the national network.

66557 East Midlands Parkway 11 March 2010

66557 passes through East Midlands Parkway station on the up relief line with the 6V94 07:35 Earles Sidings to Theale cement tanks on 11 March 2010. This was supposed to be a completely sunny day. However, in reality after a promising bright start, this was one of the few sunny periods that actually corresponded with a train passing!

66557 Tackley 20 July 2016

66557 approaches Tackley in fading light on 20 July 2016 with the 4M97 17:32 Southampton Maritime to Hams Hall freightliner. Apart from the well known Kings Sutton location, this is one of the few decent locations for northbound evening photography between Oxford and Banbury.

66557 Cholsey 20 January 2017

66557 approaches Cholsey on 20 January 2017 with the 4L32 10:58 Bristol to London Gateway freightliner. The bridge parapet to the right of the loco is where Hithercroft Road passes underneath the line, with the track on the right being the Cholsey & Wallingford Railway's approach to Cholsey station.

66557, 66506 & 66507 Uffington 22 January 2017

66557 brings up the rear of the 0Y97 10:50 Hinksey to Stoke Gifford light engine convoy at Uffington on 22 January 2017. 66506 Crewe Regeneration is the middle locomotive, with 66507 leading the ensemble. Note the position of a forthcoming electfrication mast in the foreground.

66557 Cholsey 16 February 2018

Self portrait at Cholsey! 66557 approaches the station on 16 February 2018 with the 4O49 09:22 Crewe Basford Hall to Southampton Maritime freightliner. Not only am I visible in the large mirror placed at the end of the platform for the benefit of passenger train drivers, but so is 387158, which is just about to set off with the 2N34 11:57 Paddington to Didcot Parkway GWR service. This was one of those nervous occasions when a train coming from behind could easily have completely ruined the picture. At least in this case I could keep an eye on it without taking my eye off the viewfinder!

66558 Uffington 27 August 2008

66558 passes the site of Uffington loops with the 4O51 10:02 Wentloog to Millbrook freightliner on 27 August 2008. Somehow I doubt that the freightliner driver really needs the L plate! I rather like this location, as the loco is framed nicely by the signal gantry, which as can be seen from its width, once spanned four tracks. Note also the redundant up loop signal on the right.

66558 Tollerton 12 March 2009

66558 passes Tollerton on 12 March 2009 with the 6B53 09:43 Redcar to West Burton Power Station coal train. This location is adjacent to a footpath crossing to the north of the village, and despite the fact that is a fair walk from the nearest road, I was surprised that nobody else turned up, considering Tornado was due on a railtour from the other direction.

66558 Hatton 1 February 2012

With frost still on the tracks in the foreground, 66558 swings round the curve at Hatton on 1 February 2012 with the 4O54 06:15 Leeds to Southampton freightliner. Note the large area of missing paint on the front end, showing that even locos as new as this can start going rusty!

66558 Denchworth 8 January 2014

66558 runs along the up relief line at Denchworth on 8 January 2014 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. The 1L38 07:58 Swansea to Paddington First Great Western HST is rapidly catching it up, and will soon be overtaking. That's what that shadow underneath the bridge in the background is. I'm not sure why somebody has used the wrong sized numerals for the loco's front end number, obviously only realising too late that the larger figures wouldn't fit in the available space!

66558 & 66516 Steeple Aston 17 March 2014

There is evidence of some crude patch painting on the front end of 66558, as it leads 66516 past Steeple Aston on 17 March 2014 with the 4O54 06:13 Leeds to Southampton freightliner. At least some attempt has been made to stop the rust spreading any further!

66559 Baulking 24 March 2009

66559 passes Baulking with the 6B11 12:30 Thorney Mill to Pengam empty stone hoppers on 24 March 2009. To anyone visiting this rural spot today with its handful of farms and cottages, it is hard to imagine that several hundred years ago it was a much more important settlement with a thriving market. Perhaps the last straw was when the Great Western Railway removed part of the village's large green to make way for their pioneering line to Bristol in the 1840s!

66559 Wychnor Junction 3 June 2015

66559 approaches Wychnor Junction on 3 June 2015 with the 6M46 12:54 Aldwarke to Crewe Basford Hall scarp empties. I wasn't initially going to take this, as it was approaching during a cloudy spell. However, at the last minute the front end was illuminated by a little brightness.

66559, 66596 & 66561 Hinksey 7 February 2018

66559, 66596 & 66561 pass Hinksey Yard on 7 February 2018 with the infrequent 4E18 09:47 Fairwater Yard to Doncaster Wood Yard concrete sleepers. Definitely not he best location for a picture of a triple headed train, but worth recording for the novelty value!

66559 Kings Sutton 11 June 2018

The classic location of Kings Sutton, which always attracts railway photographers on a sunny summer evening. 66559 heads north on 11 June 2018 with the 4M67 14:17 Southampton Maritime to Hams Hall freightliner.

66560 & 56106 Kilnhurst 27 December 2003

Certainly not the picture I was hoping for, although I suppose it is definitely different. When 56106 had problems near Barrow Hill on 27 December 2003, whilst working the Pathfinder Tours 1Z73 07:20 Crewe to Carlisle 'Settle & Carlisle Circular 1' railtour, 66560 was sent to assist, taking the train on to Calder Bridge Junction, Wakefield. Here 56078 took over, working the train for the rest of the day. So here is the Fred / Grid combination pictured passing Kilnhurst in awful light, running an hour late.

66560 Oddington 1 August 2007

66560 approaches Oddington on the Calvert to Oxford line with the 4V60 10:55 Calvert to Bristol binliner empties on 1 August 2007. Although this section of track has recently been upgraded, just the other side of the crossing the track reverts to 95lb per yard bullhead track. Apart from the infrequent Oxford to Bicester passenger service, the binliner is the only train to use this route.

66560 Hinksey 30 December 2008

With virtually all the track now in shadow, 66560 is illuminated by the very last of the weak winter sun as it passes Hinksey Yard (near Oxford) with the 4O27 07:12 Ditton to Southampton freightliner on 30 December 2008. As I took my first railway picture of 2008 from this location, I thought it was only appropriate that I should also take the final one of the year from the same spot!

66560 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 4 February 2009

66560 passes Shrivenham in very poor light on 4 February 2009 with the early running 4V60 10:55 Calvert to Bristol Avon Binliners empties. I was tempted not to bother taking this picture, but due this train's 'as required' unpredictability I decided to take it, and opted for a slightly different viewpoint to include as much of the remaining snow as possible. By now all hope of the promised sunny intervals had disappeared as high cloud had drifted in from the south west.

66560 Bourton 1 July 2014

With the background still shrouded in dense fog, 66560 passes Bourton in the early morning sunshine on 1 July 2014 with the 6O56 03:30 Pengam Reception Sidings to Angerstein Wharf stone hoppers. I was lucky with my choice of location here, as in addition to the line towards Swindon obviously been completely foggy, the line behind me also disappeared into the gloom!

66560 Chipping Sodbury Tunnel 10 July 2014

66560 emerges from Chipping Sodbury Tunnel on 10 July 2014 with the 6V33 11:56 Neasden Charrington to Stoke Gifford stone empties. The first of the tunnel's six ornamental brick airshafts can be seen on the tree covered spoil mound in the background.

66560 Steventon 15 May 2018

66560 approaches Steventon on 15 May 2018 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. Behind the trees in the background is the former rail connected Steventon Army Depot. It is now a totally non rail connected private storage facility.

66561 Compton Beauchamp 30 June 2011

66561 passes Compton Beauchamp on 30 June 2011 with the 6Z39 13:24 Avonmouth to Didcot stone train. Coincidentally, consecutively numbered 66562 had passed this way a couple of hours previously with the 4O51 09:58 Wentloog to Southampton freightliner. The Swindon to Didcot line can be a hive of Freightliner activity during the middle part of the day!

66561 Kennington 3 April 2017

66561 passes Kennington on 3 April 2017 with the 4O14 07:43 Hams Hall to Southampton Maritime freightliner. Just three minutes later, 70008 followed it with the early running 4O18 07:24 Lawley Street to Southampton Maritime.

66562 Kibworth Harcourt 25 June 2008

66562 emerges from the bushes at Kibworth Harcourt on 25 June 2008 with the 6F12 08:49 Forders Sidings to Stud Farm ballast empties. It would maybe have been alright at this time of year, but this is definitely not the location to go to if the sun is out in the winter, or at least not until Network Rail deal with the encroaching vegetation!

66562 Launton 15 August 2008

66562 approaches the site of Launton station (closed 30 December 1967) with the 4V60 10:55 Calvert to Bristol Avon Binliner empties on 15 August 2008. The use of a long lens to avoid the various items of lineside clutter around the level crossing has accentuated the unevenness of the track. This and the corresponding early morning loaded train are the only trains to use this section of line, although there is a very slim possibility that passenger services may one day return in the form of an Oxford to Cambridge service. The local press frequently has articles speculating on the line's reopening, however the proposers of these grand ideas really have very little grasp about the practicalities of such an ambitious project.

66562 Compton Beauchamp 30 June 2011

66562 just manages to catch some weak sunshine as it passes Compton Beauchamp on 30 June 2011 with the 4O51 09:58 Wentloog to Southampton freightliner. This was one of those days when the sun generally seemed to coincide with the gaps between the trains and the drive home!

66562 South Moreton 8 September 2012

66562 passes South Moreton on 8 September 2012 with the 4O29 08:14 Crewe Basford Hall to Southampton freightliner. Just visible in the background, under the bridge is the tail end of the 6B33 12:12 Theale to Margam Murco oil empties, hauled by 60079.

66562 Claypole (Balderton Crossing) 22 July 2019

66562 passes through the flat meadows bordering the River Witham, as it approaches Balderton Crossing, Claypole, on 22 July 2019 with the 4E24 11:00 London Gateway to Leeds freightliner, running just a few minutes late.

66563 Hatfield & Stainforth 15 March 2007

66563 passes Hatfield Colliery and approaches Hatfield & Stainforth station on 15 March 2007 with another load of imported coal from Immingham to the Aire Valley Power Stations. Ironically passing a coal mine, this imported coal is being hauled by an imported locomotive. A sign of progress?

66563 Denchworth 16 August 2010

66563 passes Denchworth on 16 August 2010 with the 4L32 10:00 Bristol Parsons Street to Tilbury freightliner, one of a pair of new services taking imported wine to Bristol (these of course being the returning empty boxes). Are they all alcoholics in Bristol? Careful inspection of this picture shows a wood pigeon having a very lucky escape (look just below the rear cab door). It just managed to pass in front of the loco by a few feet.

66563 Tackley 19 November 2010

It requires a long walk to get to this location! 66563 runs down the Cherwell Valley near Tackley on 19 November 2010 with the 4O27 05:26 Garston to Southampton freightliner. Although the lineside bushes are a little intrusive, the broad sweep of the curve, and the rustic gate in the foreground make a good picture.

66563 Uffington (Viewed from White Horse Hill) 12 May 2012

66563 passes between the fields of oilseed rape near Uffington on 12 May 2012, as it leads west with the 4V51 Southampton to Wentloog freightliner. Viewed from over two miles away, on the top of White Horse Hill, this panorama stretches from Oxleaze Farm in the foreground, to the National Trust's impressive fourteenth century Great Coxwell Tithe Barn which just be seen in the background, on the extreme left of the picture.

66563 Radley 17 December 2012

66563 passes through Radley station on 17 December 2012 with the Mondays only 4O49 10:30 Birch Coppice to Southampton freightliner. On every other weekday the 4O27 05:40 Garston to Southampton runs in this path.

66563 Denchworth 8 July 2013

With a HST already appearing underneath Circourt Bridge in the distance, ready to overtake it, 66563 runs along the up relief line at Denchworth on 8 July 2013 with the 4L32 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. Coincidentally, I saw this particular loco on a very similar train, at this location in 2010. On that occasion it was routed along the main line.

66563 Whitley Bridge Junction 13 March 2014

66563 passes Whitley Bridge Junction on 13 March 2014 with the 14:12 Drax Power Station to Hatfield Main Colliery coal empties, while in the background 66729 Derby County waits for its booked time with the 4D21 14:35 Eggborough Power Station to Doncaster Decoy GBRf coal empties.

66563 South Marston 26 April 2017

66563 passes South Marston in the pouring rain on 26 April 2017 with the 4L30 16:25 Bristol to London Gateway freightliner. Unfortunately I never did manage to get a photograph of a train coming off the now disused South Marston Euro Terminal branch.

66564 South Moreton 16 August 2010

On 16 August 2010 I made a brief visit to one of my favourite spots for lineside photography in the Didcot area during the 1980s and 1990s - the farm occupation bridge between the two road bridges at South Moreton. 66564 is pictured passing by with the 4M68 14:55 Southampton to Birch Coppice freightliner. This bridge always used to be very photographer friendly with a very low parapet that doubled as a seat! Network Rail replaced this and the bridge near the village (just visible in the background) over Christmas and New Year 2009/10 for gauge enhancement purposes. I had been told that tat the replacement was definitely photographer unfriendly, and so it proves to be with a ladder required even to see over it. I know in the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter, but why do these new bridges have to be so ugly? They stand out like a huge silver blots on the landscape.

66564 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 23 October 2013

Just managing to beat the advancing clouds, 66564 passes Circourt Bridge, Denchworth on 23 October 2013 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. This was a good morning for timekeeping on this route, not only was this bang on time, but so was 66846 on 6M50, which passed in even better light.

66564 Tackley 9 June 2017

66564 approaches Tackley on 9 June 2017 with the 4M99 17:00 Southampton Maritime to Trafford Park freightliner. This is not the Freightliner hauled train I had intended to photograph here. My target was the 6M28 18:25 Hinksey to Bescot engineer's working, but that left 70 minutes late, well after the sun had disappeared, and I had gone home!

66565 Wantage Road 17 November 2009

I try not to replicate pictures I have already taken, but on 17 November 2009 I came pretty close with the 4V60 10:55 Calvert to Bristol binliner empties. 66565 is pictured approaching the site of Wantage Road station amid some fine late autumn colours. Apart from the different cloud patterns, and the fact that the containers are missing from the first wagon, this picture is not much different to 66518 pictured at the same spot and on the same train two years previously.

66565 Upper Heyford 23 March 2011

Just a handful of oak leaves have managed to survive the winter on the trackside tree at Upper Heyford, as 66565 passes by with the slightly late running 4O27 05:40 Garston to Southampton freightliner on 23 March 2011. This photo is taken from a farm occupation crossing and yet surprisingly (considering how local it is to me) this is the first time I have taken a picture here.

66565 Hinksey 15 February 2013

66565 passes Hinksey Yard on 15 February 2013 with the 4O49 09:23 Crewe Basford Hall to Southampton freightliner. A mundane subject, but I'm not sure how many more pictures I will get at this well used location before it is ruined forever by the forthcoming overhead wires.

66566 Hinksey 9 January 2010

With the snow from the previous week still covering the ground, and the prospect of a sunny day, I ventured out on Saturday 9 January 2010 to Hinksey (near Oxford). Wisely leaving the car at the top of South Hinksey village, rather than being unable to climb the slight hill back out of the village if I used my usual parking spot, I was still quite surprised to be the only railway photographer that had ventured to this location. I arrived on the footbridge just as 66566 appeared with the 4O29 08:14 Crewe Basford Hall to Southampton freightliner.

66566 Hinksey 28 October 2011

66566 speeds past Hinksey on 28 October 2011 with the 4O27 05:40 Garston to Southampton freightliner. Apart from the benefit of some autumn colours, this location at the north end of Hinksey Yard has deteriorated considerably in recent years. It used to be completely open, allowing pictures to be taken from a much wider angle without encroaching shadows even in winter. The trees are also hiding a view of Oxford, albeit the rather less salubrious area away from the famous colleges.

66566 Yarnton 20 January 2014

66566 passes Yarnton on 20 January 2014 with the 4054 06:13 Leeds to Southampton freightliner. The bridge in the background carries the A44 Oxford to Woodstock road over the line. This sees a lot of traffic, whilst the footbridge I am standing on sees virtually no traffic whatsoever!

66566 Yarnton 23 May 2015

It almost looks like rain in the background, as 66566 passes Yarnton on 23 May 2015 with the 4O29 08:59 Crewe Basford Hall to Southampton freightliner. There is certainly plenty of fresh green foliage in this view, with the ash tree on the left making a conventional viewpoint impossible. Approximately half way along the train is Yarnton Lane level crossing, with the house next to Sandy Lane crossing just visible in the far distance.

66566 Cholsey 20 January 2017

66566 approaches Cholsey on 20 January 2017 with the 4O51 10:00 Wentloog to Southampton freightliner. With the Great Western Mainline having been disfigured by the overhead catenary, platform end shots such as this are now one of the few viable photographic options.

66566 Kennington 3 April 2017

With just five boxes on the rear of the train, 66566 passes Kennington on 3 April 2017 with the Mondays only 4O15 03:32 Crewe Basford Hall to Southampton Maritime freightliner. The convenient gap in the lineside trees on the right allows pictures to be taken very early in the morning here. Surprisingly however, this is the first time that I have visited this spot in the morning, probably because until recent years there were various other locations that could be used for early morning pictures, but mostly sadly now lost to encroaching vegetation.

66566 Uffington 25 September 2018

66566 passes Uffington on 25 September 2018 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. The overhead wires have ruined many photographic locations in the Vale of White Horse, but this is one of the few places where a decent picture can still be taken.

66567 Yarnton 24 May 2007

66567 passes Yarnton on 24 May 2007 with the 4O17 15:49 Lawley Street to Southampton freightliner. Photo taken from a recently erected footbridge on a seldom used footpath between Yarnton church and the A44 Woodstock to Oxford road. Coincidentally, I photographed this loco passing underneath this footbridge just a few months later.

66567 Yarnton 7 January 2008

66567 heads through the rain at Yarnton (near Oxford) with the 4E44 09:29 Southampton to Leeds freightliner on 7 January 2008. The bridge in the background was constructed a few years ago on the footpath between Yarnton village and the A44. Although not a brilliant vantage point, it is possible to take pictures of northbound trains on summer evenings from the far right corner.

66567 Yarnton 2 February 2008

66567 passes Yarnton on 2 February 2008 with the 4O14 01:15 Ditton to Southampton freightliner. Ironically I had seen this same loco only a few weeks before heading the opposite direction with 4E44. In that instance I photographed it from the bridge seen in the background.

66567 Wootton Bassett 8 April 2011

66567 joins the original Great Western Mainline at Wootton Bassett Junction on 8 April 2011 whilst working the 4O51 09:58 Wentloog to Southampton freightliner. The rear of the train is still on the 1903 built Badminton line, which was built primarily to connect with South Wales via the Severn Tunnel. Unfortunately Wootton Bassett station is long gone, replaced by the usual collection of graffiti covered and vandalised portakabins.

66567 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 4 July 2011

Catching a brief spell of the rapidly diminishing sunshine on 4 July 2011, 66567 passes Circourt Bridge, Denchworth with 4O51 09:58 Wentloog to Southampton freightliner. The trees on the right mark the site of a former pond (there also used to be one on the opposite side of the line). These were obviously originally quarries used for supplying the materials for the bridge approach road embankments. The bridge replaced a former level crossing on this site in the early twentieth century and the ponds do not feature on Ordnance Survey maps until after this date.

66567 Didcot North Junction 20 October 2011

Didcot North Junction is a location where the majority of freight trains are travelling faster than the passenger services. Most passengers trains (apart from some Voyagers) call at Didcot Parkway, whilst a lot of freights take the avoiding line. Such is the case here, as 66567 speeds southwards on 20 October 2011 with the 4O14 07:00 Birch Coppice to Southampton freightliner.

66567 Grove 5 September 2013

66567 runs along the Great Western Mainline near Grove on 5 September 2013 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. A very long lens is required at this location, in order to avoid the shadows from the trees on the left. Note the two huge rust patches on the front of the loco. Surely someone ought to touch up such damage to prevent the rust getting worse.

66567 Kemble 27 September 2016

66567 races through Kemble station on 27 September 2016 with the diverted 4O57 13:29 Wentloog to Southampton freightliner. Unfortunately this corresponded with just about the dullest part of the afternoon! I hadn't actually intended to take this picture, but as I arrived a little early for the diverted 6B33 13:00 Theale to Robeston Murco oil empties, it was a welcome bonus, especially as my intended target for the afternoon, the Derby RTC to Landore (via Swindon) test train, was so late by the time that it got to Gloucester, that it missed out this section entirely and went straight to South Wales to regain time.

66567 Uffington 28 January 2019

Running 28 minutes early, and unfortunately with no boxes at the front of the train, 66567 passes Uffington on 28 January 2019 with the 4L36 07:45 Wentloog to Felixstowe North freightliner. This replaces the former 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North train.

66568 Bishops Itchington 15 April 2008

66568 rolls slowly around the corner at Bishops Itchington with the 4O14 04:35 Garston to Southampton freightliner on 15 April 2008. There was a broken rail a mile south of this spot, near Knightcote, and a queue of trains was building up due to having to be hand signaled through the affected section at 5 mph. 66568 had been stationary for some while at the signal in the distance (just visible to the left of the blackthorn bushes), and was only traveling at about 20 mph as it passed me, preparing to stop at the next red signal. Years ago single line working would have been introduced around the affected stretch, but nowadays the repairs are carried out between trains.

66568 Somerton 10 April 2012

66568 rounds the curve at Somerton on 10 April 2012 with the 4O14 07:00 Birch Coppice to Southampton freightliner. Although there is a fairly restricted view of approaching trains from this direction, there is always plenty of warning of their approach, as despite the adjacent level crossing only serving one house, and being at the end of an extremely rough half mile track, Network Rail have still felt the need to fit the crossing with an audible warbler.

66568 & 66567 Bourton 13 March 2017

66568 & 66567 pass Bourton on 13 March 2017 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. Due to the random installation of the electfrication masts, there is still a view of sorts here, but note that there are three unused piles in front of the first mast, and another three before the next one. Either there is going to be some complicated additions here, or Network Rail put the piles in the wrong place. Given their incompetence elsewhere, that seems fairly likely!

66568 Uffington 11 April 2017

Viewed from the new footbridge at Uffington, 66568 works the 4L31 09:27 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner on 11 April 2017. Due to work being undertaken at Bath station, this had been retimed and diverted via Bristol Parkway. I was really lucky to get this in the sun, as it was still cloudy in the foreground when the train first came into view behind the trees on the left.

66568 Shrivenham 4 July 2019

66568 passes Shrivenham on 4 July 2019 with the 4L36 07:45 Wentloog to Felixstowe North freightliner. Although it is still possible to take a picture here, the addition of the overhead catenary and palisade fencing means the view is nothing like as good as when the old roadbridge was still in place.

66569 Kings Sutton 24 July 2006

In glorious evening light, 66569 passes Kings Sutton with the 4S59 15:00 Southampton to Coatbridge freightliner on 24 July 2006. Despite the good lighting, this was a not a very successful evening for photography, as a signalling problem further down the line at Radley not only resulted in most trains running later, but resulted in the cancellation of the Class 37 hauled 6M28 Didcot to Bescot engineers train, which is what I had gone there for!

66569 Rousham 16 February 2008

66569 passes Rousham (between Banbury and Oxford) with the 4O27 04:32 Garston to Southampton freightliner on 16 February 2008. This picture does give the impression that I have just felled two ash trees that were in the way, however, I was glad to see that somebody had already done this. Presumably another photographer, but this is not a very well known location, and it does require a walk of at least a mile from the nearest road, which does tend to put most people off!

66569 Circourt 12 May 2009

66569 traverses the up relief line at Circourt Bridge, Denchworth on 12 May 2009 with the 4O51 10:00 Wentloog to Millbrook freightliner. The trees behind the locomotive mark the site of a small pond, which was presumably created when excavating material for the bridge approach roads. In the 1970s ponds were still visible on both sides of the line here. The trees in the background are much more recent, having been planted in the 1980s.

66569 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 10 February 2014

66569 passes Circourt Bridge, Denchworth in a lucky patch of sunshine on 10 February 2014 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. An interesting seasonal comparison can be made with the same loco at this location in May 2009.

66569 Denchworth 31 October 2014

66569 passes Denchworth on 31 October 2014 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. Luckily the 1C08 09:30 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads First Great Western HST has just got out of the way in time! Not much signs of autumn here yet, with the only colour being provided by the mass of hawthorn berries on the bushes behind the locomotive.

66569 Culham 9 July 2015

66569 approaches Culham on 9 July 2015 with the 4M98 17:30 Southampton to Hams Hall freightliner. This was my third visit to this location in less than a month, but as the spot has recently been cleared of vegetation, and will soon be ruined by the forthcoming electrification, I am making full use of it!

66569 Challow 24 February 2016

With the buildings of Petwick Farm visible above the train, 66569 passes Challow on 24 February 2016 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. Although this was routed along the relief line, it was still traveling at a reasonable speed, and I thought the view might be blocked by the 1C08 09:30 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads GWR HST, but luckily that passed by with a few seconds to spare, and can be seen approaching the road bridge in the background. 

66570 Dean 21 March 2009

66570 passes through Dean station (between Salisbury and Romsey) with the diverted 4O14 01:15 Ditton to Southampton freightliner on 21 March 2009. Its usual route would have been the direct line between Basingstoke and Eastleigh, but here has traveled via Andover and the Laverstock line at Salisbury.

66570 Tackley 15 May 2010

66570 swings round the curve near Tackley on 15 May 2010 with the 4O27 06:40 Garston to Southampton Maritime freightliner. Luckily a much more heavily loaded train than the preceding 4O14 service. The bridge just visible half way along the train is where the line crosses over the River Cherwell.

66570 Oxford 16 January 2012

66570 speeds through the centre road of Oxford station on 16 January 2012 with the 4O49 10:13 Birch Coppice to Southampton freightliner. The tower of St Barnabas church in Jericho can be seen on the extreme right. This Victorian building features in Thomas Hardy's 'Jude the Obscure', and is just as much a distinctive Oxford landmark as the more famous 'Dreaming Spires'.

66570 Radley 31 August 2012

A fine late summer morning at Radley on 31 August 2012. 66570 is running exactly to time with the 4O14 07:00 Birch Coppice to Southampton freightliner. This is one of the few locations between Oxford and Didcot that offers an unobstructed view of trains from the east side of the line.

66570 Compton Beauchamp 24 March 2014

66570 passes Compton Beauchamp on 24 March 2014 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. No sign of the electrification masts here yet, but the dreaded catenary is coming soon to spoil this classic viewpoint!

66570 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 7 August 2014

66570 passes the site of Ashbury Crossing (near Shrivenham) on 7 August 2014 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. The bridge in the background was replaced shortly after this picture was taken, as part of the Great Western Mainline electrification scheme.

66570 Compton Beauchamp 11 September 2015

With a uniform rake of Maersk boxes on the KTA pocket container wagons at the head of the train, 66570 passes Compton Beauchamp on 11 September 2015 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. With the Great Western electrification scheme well over a year behind schedule, there are still virtually no signs of it at this location.

66570 & 66560 Oxford (Walton Well Road) 12 December 2017

66570 & 66560 speed north through Oxford on 12 December 2017 with the 4M55 09:02 Southampton Martime to Lawley Street freightliner. I wouldn't normally take such a backlit picture, but the sun sparkling off the snow certainly makes it look different. Note the extensive work taking place on the left of the picture.

66571 Blagrove 14 May 2014

66571 passes Blagrove (near Swindon) on 14 May 2014 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. This is a location that I had been meaning to visit for some time. The recently created vantage point is an apparently pointless footbridge, that links a virtually unused footpath from Wroughton with West Swindon. The fact that this bridge has full disabled access ramps, when Network Rail will not provide such facilities when they rebuild the extremely well used footbridge over Hinksey Yard, Oxford, is a little ironic!

66571 Wolvercote 19 January 2015

66571 runs along the up relief line at Wolvercote on 19 January 2015 with the 4O48 11:26 Hams Hall to Southampton freightliner. This relief line starts near Wolvercote Junction, which is just out of sight around the corner.

66571 Steventon Stocks Lane 19 January 2016

66571 passes Stocks Lane level crossing, Steventon, on 19 January 2016 with the 4L32 11:00 Bristol to Tilbury freightliner. Note the vapour trail of the plane heading off in a north westerly direction, in the distance, directly above the locomotive.

66571 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 20 January 2016

66571 approaches Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 20 January 2016 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. Unfortunately this was running an hour late, which means the sun has just gone off the front of the loco. Note the ominous presence of a pair of capped electrification mast piles in the foreground.

66571 Baulking 4 May 2016

66571 passes Baulking on 4 May 2016 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. Just visible in the background is the recently reconstructed bridge that marks the site of the long closed Uffington Junction station.

66572 Grove 31 March 2014

66572 ambles slowly along the up relief line near Grove on 31 March 2014, as it prepares to stop at Wantage Road to allow a following HST to pass. It is working the 4O57 08:13 Wentloog to Southampton freightliner. The loco could certainly do with a repaint. Note the two huge rust patches on the front end!

66572 Banbury 22 August 2015

66572 passes the soon to be made redundant 95 lever frame Banbury North Signal Box on 22 August 2015 with the 4O14 07:37 Hams Hall to Southampton Maritime freightliner. Note the mix of GWR lower quadrant and LMS upper quadrant signals.

66572 Kingham 16 December 2015

A rare revenue earning freight train traversed the southern section of the Cotswold Line on 16 December 2015. After arriving light engine from Southampton earlier in the day, 66572 worked a train of freightliner flats and two bogie oil tanks from Long Marston to Ipswich. It is pictured passing underneath the new footbridge (not yet in use) at Kingham station, running 17 minutes early and in terrible light, with drizzle just starting to add to the general dreariness. Despite obviously starting from Long Marston, this was running as the 6L31 12:06 Honeybourne Sidings to Ipswich.

66572 Baulking 1 April 2016

A glimpse trough the lineside bushes at Baulking on 1 April 2016. The colourful containers mark this out as the 4L32 10:58 Bristol to Tilbury freightliner. 66572 passes the location that would soon be photographically ruined by the installation of overhead catenary.

66572 Oaksey 15 September 2016

The closure of the Severn Tunnel for major engineering works in September 2016 brought the welcome prospect of numerous freight trains on the 'Golden Valley' route between Gloucester and Swindon. 66572 passes Oaksey on 15 September 2016 with the diverted 4O57 13:29 Wentloog to Southampton freightliner.

66572 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 15 November 2018

We often complain when the Met Office gets the forecast wrong, and their predicted sunny day is mostly cloud. However, sometimes they get it wrong the other way. 15 November 2018 was supposed to be a completely cloudy day, and even the usually over optimistic BBC forecast agreed. Instead the morning was mostly sunny, and when I arrived at Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, the only cloud visible was what can be seen in the distance here. It was totally blue sky in the other direction! 66572 passes by with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner.

66573 Wantage Road 26 March 2007

66573 accelerates away from Wantage Road on 26 March 2007 with the 4O51 10:02 Wentloog to Southampton freightliner. It had traveled along the up relief line from Challow, and had waited at the end of the four track section (just beyond the bridge in the background) for the passage of a couple of HSTs. Unfortunately the main traffic on this service is fresh air, and this very light load is not at all unusual.

66574 Yarnton 2 June 2004

66574 passes Yarnton on 2 June 2004 with the 4M99 16:19 Southampton to Trafford Park freightliner. Unfortunately a decade of uncontrolled lineside growth has now made this view virtually impossible. A pity, as it is a quiet traffic free spot in which to enjoy an evening's photography. An even greater pity is that there was no footbridge here in the good old days, when there was considerably more variety of traction, and even less bushes!

66574 Grassthorpe 25 January 2008

66574 passes Grassthorpe (between Retford and Newark)  with the 4L85 08:57 Leeds to Felixstowe freightliner on 25 January 2008. Luckily this perfect lighting lasted for quite a long time. The dark clouds covered most of the sky, but for once the big blue patch was just where the sun was - why doesn't that happen more often?

66575 Awbridge 21 March 2009

66575 passes Awbridge (near Romsey) with the diverted 4O54 05:33 Leeds to Southampton freightliner on 21 March 2009. The Salisbury to Romsey line is regularly used as a diversionary route at weekends bringing a welcome variety of traction to the route.

66575 Bourton 31 August 2010

66575 must be really struggling with this massive load! It is pictured passing Bourton on 31 August 2010 with the 4O24 11:00 Bristol Parsons Street to Grain 'Wineliner'. I just missed the other 'Wineliner' as I was making sure the car was parked clear of the field entrance, in case a farmer wanted access. Of course, when you take the trouble to do this rather than just leaving the car anywhere, you never see a farmer - and this was no exception!

66575 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 4 July 2011

Running a staggering 210 minutes late, former Freightliner liveried 66575 runs along the down relief line at Circourt Bridge, Denchworth with the 6V78 03:10 Dollands Moor to Margam Colas steel empties on 4 July 2011. This delay of over three hours only got worse, because once the train arrived at Swindon the driver was obviously out of hours, as it didn't leave there until 19:55! This train is normally virtually impossible to photograph, as the sun would be right behind it at the booked time. Here it is merely backlit. Note that the loco still carries the green livery of its former operator (minus any branding), but with the addition of Colas logos below the cab side windows.

66576 Yarnton 1 September 2008

66576 Hamburg Sud Advantage passes Yarnton with the 4O14 05:28 Garston to Southampton freightliner on 1 September 2008. This is a very awkward location for photographing southbound trains due to the shadows from the trees on the right. However, at this time of year the White Poplar trees behind the loco make a good background with the silver undersides of the leaves standing out against the sky.

66576 Uffington 27 September 2008

66576 Hamburg Sud Advantage passes Uffington with the diverted 4O54 05:33 Leeds to Southampton freightliner on 27 September 2008. This diversion was due to the Reading to Basingstoke line being closed for engineering works. Note the strange lighting effect, as the sun just starts to break through the early morning fog. The background is still murky but a shaft of sunlight neatly picks out the train. Photo taken from a public footpath crossing.

66577 Souldern 15 August 2008

66577 passes through the lush Oxfordshire countryside near Souldern on 15 August 2008 with the 4O14 05:28 Garston to Southampton freightliner. Not a location you will see very often, as it requires a lengthy walk from the nearest public road.

66577 Didcot 10 December 2009

66577 pulls away from a signal check at Didcot on 10 December 2009 with the 4O51 10:02 Wentloog to Southampton freightliner. The popularity of Didcot Parkway station with commuters can be gauged by the virtually full car park. A nice little earner for Network Rail at Ł5.90 per car per day!

66577 Wolvercote 10 April 2010

66577 passes Wolvercote with the 4O14 06:39 Birch Coppice to Southampton freightliner on 10 April 2010. It was just starting to slow down here under amber signals, as it was obviously catching up 66178, which had passed just a few minutes before. Two freights within five minutes is unfortunately not an indication of the level of traffic you can expect in the Oxford area on a Saturday!

66579 Bishops Itchington 14 November 2009

66579 glows in the early morning autumnal sunshine as it rounds the curve at Bishops Itchington with the 4O14 07:00 Birch Coppice to Southampton freightliner on 14 November 2009. The good lighting was quite a surprise, as the forecasters had predicted torrential rain accompanied by gale force winds. Admittedly all this came later!

66580 South Marston 11 December 2007

66580 passes South Marston on 11 December 2007 with the 4O51 10:02 Wentloog to Southampton freightliner. The area in the foreground marks the entrance to the former sidings, little used and long since lifted. Photo taken from a public footpath crossing.

66584 knighton 1 May 2007

66584 approaches Knighton with the late running 4V60 10:55 Calvert to Bristol binliner empties on 1 May 2007. The verdant green new foliage on the embankment contrasts starkly with the barren looking 'Set-aside' field in the foreground.

66584 Baulking 24 March 2009

On 24 March 2009 I popped out for an hour or so to one of my favourite local spots at Baulking (now a shadow of its former self - literally!). During my brief visit the first freight to appear was the late running 4V60 10:55 Calvert to Bristol Avon Binliner with 66584 in charge. After an initial dearth of pictures when Freightliner took over, I have now got a vast number of photos of this working, so would normally ignore this train, but as the lighting was perfect I added it to my growing collection of Freightliner sheds on this working!

66585 & 70002 Charfield 2 March 2010

So much for General Electric reliability! 66585 The Drax Flyer gives a helping hand to failed 70002 with the 4Z70 08:53 Rugeley Power Station to Stoke Gifford coal empties on 2 March 2010, seen here passing Charfield. The three month old 70002 had disgraced itself at Cheltenham, caused severe delays to following passenger services. If your impression of a loco class's performance is gleaned from first impressions, this is not a good start. Not having bothered to obtain a picture of a Class 70 until now, I decided to wait around for this train as the light was good, only for this to happen! I had assumed that the class's extreme ugliness would be compensated for by ultra reliability, but apparently not. 

66585 Fenwick 17 September 2012

Just before the lights went out! 66585 The Drax Flyer runs ahead of the approaching clouds at Fenwick on 17 September 2012 with the 4R16 11:00 Eggborough Power Station to Immingham coal empties. Drax Flyer on the Eggborough Flyer?

66585 Balne Lowgate 12 March 2014

66585 The Drax Flyer is appropriate traction for the 14:12 Drax Power Station to Hatfield Main Colliery coal empties, seen here passing Balne Lowgate on 12 March 2014. The last time I saw this loco was approximately a mile south of this location, on a similar working.

66585 Combe (Grintlehill Bridge) 11 December 2018

The track on the Long Marston branch had been partly replaced in early 2018, but there was work still to do at the end of the year, and so a train of track panels and ballast was booked over the Cotswold Line on 11 December 2018. The unforecast sunny day was welcome in some ways, but in mid winter it severely restricts the number of photographic locations. 66585 is seen here approaching Grintleyhill Bridge, near Combe, with the 6Y40 10:24 Hinksey to Honeybourne North Junction, with 66592 Johnson Stevens Agencies bringing up the rear. The diminutive Combe station can just be seen in the background. There is a slightly more side view available here, but not if you want to quickly reposition yourself for the much better lit going away shot!

66586 Shrivenham 15 November 2007

Almost a Freightliner Class 66 passing shot at Shrivenham on 15 November 2007. 66586 heads west with the 4V60 10:55 Calvert to Bristol Avon Binliner, while just visible in the background are the wagons of a Jersey Marine to Hackney train of stone empties headed by 66603. What a pity that the binliner wasn't running just a few seconds earlier in order to get both in the picture!

66587 Oxford (Walton Well Road) 23 May 2009

66587 approaches Walton Well Road, Oxford, on 23 May 2009 with the well loaded 4O14 Ditton to Southampton freightliner. This train had traveled down the up relief line from Wolvercote Junction and had just rejoined the main line at Oxford North Junction, just past Aristotle Lane footbridge in the background.

66587 Kings Sutton 24 November 2010

66587 passes Kings Sutton on 24 November 2010 with the 4O27 05:40 Garston to Southampton freightliner. Despite appearances this is not a trespass shot, but taken from a footpath crossing that leads from Kings Sutton village to Twyford MIll.

66587 Denchworth 16 October 2012

66587 passes Denchworth on 16 October 2012 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. A lot of photographers wouldn't have bothered to take this picture, as only the front of the train is in the sun. However, I rather like the spot lit effect, against the dark background. Needless to say, the other way round with only the back of the train in sun is a definite no no.

66587 Baulking 30 June 2014

The 4L32 11:00 Bristol to Tilbury freightliner is a good photographic subject during the month of June, when the countryside is virtually all the same shade of green. This 'Wineliner' train usually includes a majority of bright orange containers, contrasting nicely with the green foliage. On 30 June 2014, virtually the whole train is composed of orange boxes, pictured here passing Baulking behind 66587.

66560 Bourton 1 July 2014

This is the second day in a row that I have photographed 66587 on a freightliner originating from Bristol. On 30 June 2014 I saw it at Baulking with the 4L32 11:00 Bristol to Tilbury, and here it is on 1 July 2014 at Bourton with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North.

66587 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 27 April 2016

66587 just manages to keep ahead of the advancing cloud, as it approaches Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 27 April 2016 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. This view is about to change forever when the hugely delayed electrification scheme eventually takes shape. However, in the last quarter of a century the view has already altered beyond all recognition, with the reinstating of four tracks and the growth of the wood in the background, to say nothing of the change in the traction!

66587 Daylesford 6 March 2019

Clearly struggling with its massive load, 66587 slowly passes Daylesford on 6 March 2019 with the 6Y43 15:41 Hinksey to Honeybourne ballast. Out of sight at the rear of the train of 25 JJA ballast hoppers is 66509. Initially I went to Shipton to photograph this, as it was raining, and as well as being my nearest location on the Cotswold Line, I could sit in the car until it passed Ascot-under-Wychwood, and therefore avoid getting soaked! However, when I got there, the sun started to come out, and as there is no decent sunny side shot there, I came to Daylesford, where there is. Then of course the sun went in again! It did get brighter, and the sun was almost on the point of coming out again when the train came into view.

66588 Tackley 17 December 2008

66588 crosses the River Cherwell near Tackley with the 4O54 06:13 Leeds to Southampton freightliner on 17 December 2008. I had been waiting for a sunny winter afternoon to visit this remote location which in summer is slightly compromised by a few lineside bushes, but after the leaves have gone allows a number of different viewpoints with nothing obstructing the low winter sunlight.

66588 Oxford 21 January 2013

66588 passes through Oxford station on 21 January 2013 with the 4O54 06:15 Leeds to Southampton freightliner. Although not too bad for anything passing through the centre road, this viewpoint has been severely compromised by the construction of Oxford station's enlarged car park. Not so much for the fence and cars (after all, there was a scrapyard there before!), but more by the tall lampposts which really get in the way for a wider view.

66588 Uffington 11 October 2016

The early morning fog was very slow to clear on 11 October 2016, so here is a misty picture of 66588 passing Uffington with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. The minimalist metal gate in the foreground looks as if it is pointing towards the locomotive. And no, I did not position it that way!

66588 Frisby-on-the-Wreake 30 September 2017

66588 passes Frisby-on-the-Wreake on 30 September 2017 with the diverted 4M87 09:46 Felixstowe North to Crew Basford Hall freightliner. Unfortunately this superb combination of full sun and dark clouds in the background didn't last very long. I was very lucky to get this picture in the sun, as the light collapsed very shortly afterwards.

66589 Didcot North Junction 8 March 2011

66589 rounds the curve on the approach to Didcot North Junction with the 4O14 07:00 Birch Coppice to Southampton freightliner on 8 March 2011. For once the empty flats near the front of the train are a bonus, as it shows the rest of the train snaking round the curve. Unfortunately the very long lens has accentuated the hazy background caused by a period of settled high pressure.

66589 Wolvercote 4 May 2011

66589 brushes past the bushes as it negotiates the up relief line at Wolvercote on 4 May 2011 with the 4O49 09:23 Crewe Basford Hall to Southampton freightliner. There is some serious vegetation control needed here, as despite the slow speed the train was visibly causing massive disturbance in the luxuriant trackside growth, with some branches being hit by the train.

66589 & 66539 Cromwell Moor 15 October 2011

A pair of 'Freds' on the 4E22 05:55 Felixstowe to Leeds freightliner on 15 October 2011. 66589 & 66539 slow down prior to being looped at Cromwell Moor to allow two trains (First Hull Trains 180 and East Coast HST) to pass.

66589 Washwood Heath 15 September 2012

66589 slowly passes Washwood Heath on 15 September 2012 with a well loaded 4L90 08:57 Lawley Street to Felixstowe freightliner. 08588 can be seen on the left, having a weekend's rest from shunting concrete sleepers.

66589 Denchworth 22 November 2013

66589 runs along the up relief line at Denchworth on 22 November 2013 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. A crisp, clear but very cold morning, which proved to be ideal conditions to get a picture of this train passing the last of the autumn foliage at this location. The forthcoming electrification means I won't be able to get the shot next year!

66589 Shrivenham 9 April 2014

66589 passes underneath the B4000 roadbridge at Shrivenham on 9 April 2014 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. This was running twenty minutes late, and although the weather was still OK at the booked time, the bright sunny morning was as usual starting to be replaced by broken cloud. Worryingly, a large black cloud, the edge of which can be seen on the left, was threatening to ruin the picture. Luckily the sun just managed to hold out! This girder bridge is due to be replaced as part of the Great Western Mainline electrification scheme.

66589 Shrivenham 2 March 2015

66589 passes through the remains of Shrivenham station on 2 March 2015 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. The 1/2000sec shutter speed used here was not so much to freeze the train's movement, but to counteract the gale force wind! Although sunny, the strengthening wind was beginning to make standing on the bridge very unpleasant, and I was glad to get back in the car!

66589 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 5 January 2017

66589 passes Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 5 January 2017 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. No progress has been made with the electfrication at this location for many months, with the gantry on the right not yet being matched by one on the left.

66589 Steventon 1 March 2017

A surprising burst of sunshine highlights not only 66589, as it approaches Steventon on 1 March 2017 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner, but also the rusty electfrication mast base lying in the grass. 

66589 South Marston 20 June 2017

Who said that Class 66s don't clag! 66589 is clearly not in the best of health, as it darkens the sky at South Marston on 20 June 2017 with the late running 4L31 09:27 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. Photo taken from a public footpath crossing.

66589 Challow 28 November 2017

66589 runs along the up relief line at Challow on 28 November 2017 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. Most of my favourite photographic location on the Great Western Mainline have been completely ruined by the electfrication masts, but this one still offers a number of different vantage points, albeit with the masts still disfiguring the view.

66590 Great Bourton 3 August 2011

Running slightly early, 66590 passes Great Bourton in some welcome late evening sunshine with the 4O29 15:18 Trafford Park to Southampton on 3 August 2011. Hidden by the trees in the background is the village of Cropredy, famous not only for the Civil War battle of 1644, but laterally for Fairport Convention's annual music festival.

66590 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 19 November 2013

66590 passes Circourt Bridge, Denchworth on 19 November 2013 with the 4L32 11:00 Bristol to Tilbury freightliner. Note the leaves just to the left of the loco. These are being blown off the silver birch tree on the right, to be deposited across the down relief line on the left of the picture. Pure chance means I haven't had to Photoshop any small yellow specks from the front of the loco!

66590 South Moreton 19 December 2014

Still running on the up main line, but just about to be moved across to the up relief, 66590 passes South Moreton (Didcot East) on Friday 19 December 2014 with the 4O51 09:58 Wentloog to Southampton freightliner.

66590 Compton Beauchamp 12 October 2015

66590 passes Compton Beauchamp on 12 October 2015 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. Yet again autumn comes around, but there is still no sign of the much delayed Great Western Mainline electrification at this location. A welcome a very surprising reprieve!

66590 Upper Heyford 8 April 2017

The sun is just starting to break through the early morning fog at Upper Heyford on 8 April 2017, as 66590 crosses the Oxford Canal with the 4O18 05:03 Lawley Street to Southampton Maritime freightliner. Unfortunately the lineside bushes have grown up a lot since I was last here, but at least the still morning has insured a near perfect reflection in the water.

66590 Shipton 23 April 2018

66590 passes through Shipton station on 23 April 2018 with the 0F96 10:45 Long Marston to Hinksey route learner. Only a light engine, but locos of any sort are rare on the southern section of the Cotswold Line, so worth recording. It had earlier worked the 0F95 08:01 Stoke Gifford to Long Marston, and would later work the 0F97 13:41 Hinksey to Stoke Gifford.

66591 Bletchingdon 26 March 2009

In some weak spring sunshine on 26 March 2009, 66591 passes the site of Bletchingdon station with the 4O05 12:00 Birch Coppice to Southampton intermodal. Just visible on the horizon are a couple of water towers that mark the site of the former RAF Upper Heyford airbase, latterly home to the USAF and for a long time home to the swing wing F-111 bombers. Its closure in 1994 was a direct consequence of the ending of the Cold War.

66591 Hinksey 9 January 2010

66591 passes Hinksey on 9 January 2010 with the 4O54 05:27 Leeds to Southampton freightliner. The line of wagons in the foreground appear to be the only stock that has moved in the yard since the snow fell three days previously. Despite the bitterly cold conditions, a lot of the snow had already fallen off the trees at this location.

66591 Shrivenham 27 June 2011

66591 passes the site of Shrivenham station on 27 June 2011 with the Mondays only 4L30 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe 'Fresh Air Express', or bearing in mind the nature of the inbound loading train, should that be 'Wine Empties'? Just three boxes on an a string of flats wouldn't normally make much of a picture, but at least it does show more of the old platform face, which survives here amid the encroaching vegetation.

66591 Challow 2 January 2014

With the doomed A417 Challow roadbridge in the background, 66591 heads eastwards along the Great Western Mainline on 2 January 2014 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. Challow station (serving the villages of West and East Challow, as well as Childrey and Stanford-in-the-Vale) closed in 1964.

66591 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 22 September 2014

66591 passes Circourt Bridge, Denchworth on 22 September 2014 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. As I have been visiting this location for over 40 years, I felt I had to pay it one last visit before the wires go up. Whilst a side view will presumably still be possible, this more conventional viewpoint will obviously be severely affected by the wires. The piles have already been driven in here, or at least most of them have. It looks like geological difficulties have prevented the one next to the gantry, and the one just in front from being hammered in fully, leaving the incongruous sight of tubular metal posts sticking up several feet in the air!

66591 Compton Beauchamp 16 May 2016

66591 passes Compton Beauchamp on 16 May 2016 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. Note the recent vegetation clearance on the bank behind the locomotive, preparatory work for the forthcoming route electrification.

66591 Baulking 27 May 2016

Running 50 minutes late, 66591 passes Baulking on 27 May 2016 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. The bridge in the background marks the site of Uffington station, which was formerly the junction for the Faringdon Branch. Electrification is progressing very slowly here, nothing having happened in the last eight months.

66591 Challow 16 August 2016

66591 moves onto the up relief line at Challow on 16 August 2016 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. This will probably be my last visit to this location, as clearly once the wires go up the shot will be ruined. There will still be photographic possibilities from the nearby field, but this view from the road bridge will be lost forever.

66591 Compton Beauchamp 17 July 2017

66591 passes Compton Beauchamp on 17 July 2017 with the lightly loaded 4L30 16:25 Bristol to London Gateway freightliner. It's a pity that Network Rail didn't follow the example of HS1 (the Channel Tunnel Rail Link), where the electfrication masts, whilst still intrusive, are slim, and of a uniform design. Instead we have this mess, with ugly posts seemingly all of different heights.

66591 Purton 17 September 2018

66591 passes Purton on 17 September 2018 with the 6X04 12:56 Fairwater Yard to Yate track renewal train. Although I had selected this location for its perfect sun angle, with no intrusive late afternoon shadows, I had forgotten just how long the train was. Nearly half of it is hidden by the bushes in the background, complete with 66552, which is bringing up the rear.

66591 Didcot North Junction 30 March 2019

66591 slowly approaches Didcot North Junction on 30 March 2019 with the 4O05 07:03 Birch Coppice to Eastleigh East Yard freightliner. The lack of boxes on the back of the train allows an uninterrupted view of 66542 on the rear. This will be used later to draw the train back into East Yard, after the train arrives at Eastleigh station, via the line from Romsey. The train's normal destination would be Southampton Maritime.

66591 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 29 April 2019

With a long and loud blast on the horn for the benefit of a couple of track workers, 66591 passes Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 29 April 2019 with the 4L36 07:45 Wentloog to Felixstowe North freightliner.

66592 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 26 February 2014

66592 Johnson Stevens Agencies passes Circourt Bridge, Denchworth on 26 February 2014 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. Although the original Freightliner green is probably my favourite Class 66 livery, I still much prefer the original recipient of the Johnson Stevens Agencies name!

66592 Uffington 10 March 2015

A different viewpoint at Uffington on 10 March 2015. 66592 Johnson Stevens Agencies heads eastwards along the Great Western Mainline with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. By standing in the field and shooting across the top of the hedge, I was able to include the overhanging branches of the tree in the picture. The road is just the other side of the hedge, and there was the possibility that a passing car may spoil the picture. However, just as I was about to press the shutter, a cyclist passed by. Luckily he didn't stop to inquire as to what I was doing standing on a stepladder in the field!

66592 Steventon 9 December 2015

66592 Johnson Stevens Agencies approaches Steventon on 9 December 2015 with the late running 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. The trees hide the former Steventon Army storage depot (now a commercial storage facility). This was formerly rail served, as was the nearby depot at Milton.

66592 Sonning 16 August 2016

66592 Johnson Stevens Agencies passes through Sonning cutting on 16 August 2016 with the 4O13 12:05 Daventry International to Southampton Maritime freightliner. For well over a hundred years this location has been used by railway photographers (I have seen broad gauge pictures taken here!), but that will soon come to and end with the electrification of the route.

66592 Combe (Grintleyhill Bridge) 11 December 2018

66592 Johnson Stevens Agencies brings up the rear of the 6Y40 10:24 Hinksey to Honeybourne North Junction engineer's train at Grintleyhill Bridge, Combe, on 11 December 2018. The train, which was being led by 66585, was destined for track renewal work on the Long Marston branch. Theoretically it should have been possible to get another picture of this, as it was booked to stop at Charlbury for over half an hour. I made no attempt to try to chase it, as I could see no good reason why it would wait at Charlbury at all. Sure enough, it went straight through, converting an on time appearance here into being 27 minutes early at Ascott-under-Wychwood.

66593 Waltham St Lawrence 27 July 2007

Torrential rain (126.2mm was recorded at Brize Norton in 24 hours!) on 20 July 2007 resulted in numerous lines being closed due to flooding, and one week later the line through Oxford was still closed, resulting in various freight services being diverted via alternative routes. On 27 July, 66593 is pictured ambling down the relief line at Waltham St Lawrence (between Reading and Maidenhead) with the 4M55 08:58 Southampton to Lawley Street freightliner. This is not the usual location at Waltham St Lawrence, but from the footbridge in the fields towards Shottesbrooke. The bridge in the background is Chalkpit Bridge, on the bridleway between Waltham St Lawrence and Knowl Hill.

66593 Hinksey 2010

66593 3MG Mersey Multimodal Gateway passes Hinksey on 12 June 2010 with the diverted 4V46 11:09 Crewe Basford Hall to Wentloog freightliner. This would shortly be taking the west curve at Didcot to travel to Wales via the Severn Tunnel. Its usual route is of course the much more direct one via Hereford. Although the locos look the same, the consist on this train looks very different from that of 4O54, which passed by just four minutes earlier.

66593 Tackley 25 June 2012

It is 05:24 on 25 June 2012, and the early morning mist is swirling across the valley from the nearby River Cherwell, as 66593 3MG Mersey Multimodal Gateway heads northwards past Tackley with the 4E01 02:15 Southampton to Leeds freightliner. Not really ideal photographic conditions, but it does invoke the atmosphere of a very early midsummer morning.

66593 Culham (Lock Wood) 10 December 2012

Clearly showing off its distinctive 3MG Mersey Multimodal Gateway nameplate, 66593 passes Lock Wood near Culham in the last of the winter afternoon's light on 10 December 2012 with the 4O49 10:30 Birch Coppice to Southampton freightliner.

66593 Challow 19 November 2013

66593 3MG Mersey Multimodal Gateway approaches Challow on 19 November 2013 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. The two posts just inside the fence in the middle distance are all that remains of a former farm occupation crossing. Numerous such crossings existed in the steam era, but rightly have now largely been removed from the 125 mph line.

66593 Uffington 23 September 2016

Running half an hour late, 66593 3MG Mersey Multimodal Gateway approaches the site of Uffington station on 23 September 2016 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. Note the unusual style of nameplate.

66593 Uffington 22 January 2017

66593 3MG Mersey Multimodal Gateway passes Uffington in superb winter light on 22 January 2017 with the 6Y56 10:14 Westbury to Bradford Junction ballast. This is really is travelling the long way round, as Westbury and Bradford Junction are only a few miles apart, but this has travelled via Newbury, Reading and Didcot! This three hour jaunt was required in order to enter the engineering possession from the north.

66594 Tackley 19 March 2009

A well loaded 4O05 12:00 Birch Coppice to Southampton Intermodal passes Tackley on 19 March 2009 with 66594 NYK Spirit of Kyoto in charge. The loco is just crossing over the River Cherwell, one of numerous crossings of the river between Banbury and Oxford. Although an excellent viewpoint, a long train such as this is a fairly tight squeeze between the trees in the distance and the hedge which is just out of shot to the right.

66594 Wolvercote 2 September 2011

66594 NYK Spirit of Kyoto slowly negotiates the up relief line at Wolvercote on 2 September 2011, as it brushes past the overhanging vegetation with the 4O49 09:23 Crewe to Southampton freightliner. Just behind this impenetrable thicket of bushes is a much earlier form of transport - the Oxford Canal, which was opened throughout in 1790.

66594 Yarnton 7 January 2012

66594 NYK Spirit of Kyoto passes the RH Transport bus depot and storage yard at Yarnton on 7 January 2012 with the 4O14 06:33 Birch Coppice to Southampton Maritime freightliner. The little used Yarnton Lane level crossing an be seen in the background.

66594 Bourton 1 March 2012

66594 NYK Spirit of Kyoto passes Bourton on 1 March 2012 with the lightly loaded 4V50 10:54 Southampton to Wentloog freightliner. Obviously the pollution from years of rail traffic can't be too bad in this area, as the lineside bushes have a rich covering of lichen, which can only thrive in an unpolluted environment. Note the surviving remnant of the steam age on the farm occupation bridge in the background. The white painted area was used to make sighting of the semaphore signals easier.

66594 Swindon (Hay Lane) 18 July 2013

66594 NYK Spirit of Kyoto passes Hay Lane (near Swindon) on 18 July 2013 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. One of the hottest day of the year (28°c), and definitely one where it was better to be driving in an air conditioned car, rather than standing in the sun at the lineside!

66594 Bourton 4 March 2014

66594 NYK Spirit of Kyoto passes Bourton on 4 March 2014 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. Almost exactly two years before, I had photographed this same loco from the bridge in the background, travelling in the opposite direction.

66594 Wootton Bassett 10 July 2014

66594 NYK Spirit of Kyoto passes Wootton Bassett on 10 July 2014 with the 4L32 11:00 Bristol to Tilbury freightliner. Just visible in the background is Wootton Bassett Junction, where the line from South Wales comes in from the right.

66594 & 66533 Shrivenham 4 September 2014

Definitely a double bonus at Shrivenham on 4 September 2014! 66594 NYK Spirit of Kyoto & 66533 Hanjin Express / Senator Express pass the recently cleared old platforms with the 4L32 11:00 Bristol to Tilbury freightliner. Although a pair of 66s on a freightliner is not that unusual, a named pair is noteworthy. The other part of the double bonus is the few minutes of full sun, on an otherwise fairly cloudy day. Judging by the dark clouds in the background, the good light was quite localised. The lookout man was protecting a group of track workers who were working near the farm occupation bridge in the background.

66594 Grove 8 September 2014

66594 NYK Spirit of Kyoto runs along the up relief line near Grove on 8 September 2014 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. It had just spent a short while stopped at the signal gantry near Denchworth Bridge, which can just be seen in the background.

66594 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 1 October 2015

66594 NYK Spirit of Kyoto ambles along the up relief line at Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 1 October 2015 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. No apologies for yet another picture at this location, but I have been visiting this spot since 1973, and with the forthcoming electrification the incentive to visit will be lost.

66594 Kings Sutton 4 May 2016

66594 NYK Spirit of Kyoto & 66533 Hanjin Express / Senator Express passes Kings Sutton on 4 May 2016 with the 4M67 14:16 Southampton Maritime to Garston freightliner. Kings Sutton church is clearly having some serious work done to the tower and base of the spire.

66594 Shrivenham 11 August 2016

66594 NYK Spirit of Kyoto passes Shrivenham on 11 August 2016 with the 4O70 09:56 Wentloog to Southampton Maritime freightliner. Note the two electrification mast bases just to the right of the loco. Surprisingly the electrification work hasn't seen the removal of either of the old station platforms, so the piles have been driven straight through the old platform surface!

66594 & 66538 Culham 28 March 2018

66594 NYK Spirit of Kyoto & 66538 approach Culham on 28 March 2018 with the 4E18 09:47 Fairwater Yard to Doncaster Wood Yard reclaimed concrete sleepers. Although at present spared the unsightly mess of electfrication, the new slightly over the top (literally!) signal in the background hardy improves the scene.

66594 Grove 14 May 2018

66594 NYK Spirit of Kyoto passes Grove on 14 May 2018 with the 4E18 09:47 Fairwater Yard to Doncaster Wood Yard concrete sleepers. A different kind of wires used to disfigure this location. Before the 25kV wires were installed, a high voltage power line crossed the railway here.

66595 Challow 10 October 2013

66595 passes Challow on 10 October 2013 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. It is weaving from the up main to the up relief, which is just as well, as the 1A11 09:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington First Great Western service was just 1 minute 45 seconds behind it!

66595 Baulking 16 March 2016

Running nearly an hour late, 66595 passes Baulking on 16 March 2016 with the 4L32 11:00 Bristol to London Gateway freightliner. Unfortunately the forecast sunny intervals had ceased as soon as I had arrived at the location, but at least the dull conditions allowed this view from the north side of the line. It gives a clear view down the cutting towards the site of Uffington station, by the new bridge in the background. There is clear evidence of recent tree clearance, as well as numerous steel piles for the forthcoming Great Western Mainline electrification.

66595 Compton Beauchamp 17 March 2016

Work stained 66595 passes Compton Beauchamp on 17 March 2016 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. The cutting side behind the locomotive had recently received the attention of Network Rail's chainsaws, after many years of neglect. The difference is especially noticeable when compared with 66502 working the same train a year earlier. This is in preparation for the massively delayed and over budget Great Western Mainline electrification scheme.

66596 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 3 December 2008

On 3 December 2008 nearly new 66596 approaches the site of Ashbury Crossing at Shrivenham with the 4V60 10:55 Calvert to Bristol Avon binliner. On this occasion the footbridge was packed with photographers, most of whom were admittedly waiting for the steam hauled special, but it does seem a little ironic that I hardly ever met anyone else at this location when photographing the much more interesting variety of traction in the 1980s!

66597 Heyford 29 October 2008

Heyford station is a very awkward location for photography with a new footbridge that dominates the site and requires the use of a moderate wideangle lens to include the entire structure when standing on the nearby road bridge. On 29 October 2008, 66597 rushes with the 4O54 06:13 Leeds to Southampton freightliner. I would normally crop out the shadow of the bridge (and myself!) in the foreground, but have left it in to emphasise the very small gap in which you can take pictures at this location. The Oxford Canal can just be seen on the right of the picture.

66597 Croome 25 March 2011

66597 heads south through Croome on 25 March 2011 with the 4V47 11:15 Rugeley Power Station to Stoke Gifford coal empties. No phone masts or palisade fencing here, but the blue drain covers are the latest Network Rail trackside eyesore!

66597 Tackley 14 June 2017

66597 Viridor passes through Tackley station on 14 June 2017 with the 4O14 05:36 Garston to Southampton Maritime freightliner. The loco received the name Viridor in October 2011, to commemorate the partnership with Viridor Ltd's recycling operation.

66597 Steventon 2 August 2018

66597 Viridor approaches Steventon on 2 August 2018 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. A couple of months of drought have changed the appearance of the landscape considerably since I took a picture of this train just a short distance away, in mid May.

66598 South Moreton 8 February 2012

66598 passes South Moreton on a very gloomy 8 February 2012 with the 4Z30 05:30 Taunton Fairwater Yard to Washwood Heath scrap sleepers. It is slightly ironic that I should photograph this, as the other train that I photographed at this location was a load of brand new sleepers heading in the opposite direction! Note the remains of the previous weekend's snow just visible on the hills in the distance.

66598 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 19 March 2012

66598 heads east along the Great Western Mainline at Denchworth on 19 March 2012. I wouldn't normally bother taking a picture of a light engine, but this does give an uninterrupted view of Circourt Bridge. This well known photographic vantage point once had a flat steel parapet, which had become very corroded by the time it was replaced some years ago. Note the retention of the original brick abutments. Photo taken from a public footpath crossing.

66598 Shrivenham 14 April 2014

Running an hour late, 66598 passes through the remains of Shrivenham station on 14 April 2014 with the 6L35 05:33 Cardiff Tidal to Dagenham scrap empties. While the CCTV camera monitors the car park, a rook monitors the scene from the top of the tallest tree! Unlike the nearby closed stations at Wantage Road and Challow, Shrivenham retains both platforms, complete with coping stones, although with the removal of the loops, now some distance from the running lines.

66599 Park Drain 13 March 2013

66599 passes Park Drain (between Doncaster and Gainsborough) on 13 March 2013 with the 07:43 Sudforth Lane to Immingham coal empties. This was a surprising site for a station, in the sparsely populated flat landscape well away from any large centres of population. Even more surprising was the nearby hotel, which must surely have been a very optimistic speculative build. The station closed to passengers in 1955 and goods in 1964.

66599 Challow 17 May 2018

Not having being signalled onto the relief line, 66599 was passing Challow at some considerable speed, when photographed on 17 May 2018. It is working the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner.

66599 Uffington 29 October 2018

Unusually running slightly early, 66599 passes Uffington on 29 October 2018 with the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. The early running was only temporary. It was over an hour late by Acton, and two hours late by Colchester! Note the moon clearly visible near the top of the picture.

66601 Melton Ross 26 July 2003

66601 The Hope Valley approaches Melton Ross on 26 July 2003 with the 6E55 10:35 Kingsbury to Humber oil empties. This loco was named prior to entering service in November 2000, and although not obvious from this angle, the 'o' of Hope Valley name is painted in Blue Circle blue to mark the connection of Freightliner with the Hope to Dewsbury cement traffic.

66601 Baulking 30 April 2009

66601 The Hope Valley passes through the exceedingly overgrown cutting between Uffington and Baulking with the 6U72 11:56 Westbury to Stud Farm ballast empties on 30 April 2009. Luckily the HST working the 1B31 12:15 Paddington to Cardiff First Great Western service has just got out of the way in time! There was plenty of warning that a freight train was approaching as the up line signal was flashing amber indicating that the next train would be looped a few miles further on at Challow.

66601 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 31 August 2010

66601 The Hope Valley passes the site of Ashbury Crossing, Shrivenham on 31 August 2010 with the 6Z60 Theale to Stoke Gifford stone empties. With a booked departure time of 15:30 it has done very well to get here by 15:48! It's a good job passenger trains don't run with that kind of flexibility!

66602 Oxford 13 July 2002

An odd location for a Freightliner Class 66! On 13 July 2002, 66602 rests amongst the buddleia and assorted weeds in the siding to the south of Oxford station (known locally as the West Midland siding). Apparently it was there for several days, but quite why it got to be abandoned amongst the shrubbery is unclear.

66602 Grennholme 19 June 2006

66602 swings round the reverse curves at Greenholme on 19 June 2006 with a southbound loaded ballast train. The split level M6 motorway can be seen in the background. The real reason for waiting here was the imminent arrival of a pair of Class 50s, returning from Scotland.

66602 Circourt 12 May 2009

66602 approaches Circourt Bridge, near Denchworth on 12 May 2009 with the 6U72 11:56 Westbury to Stud Farm ballast empties. As often happens during the late spring and summer, it had clouded up somewhat during the middle of day, but luckily this cleared away later in the day. The same loco worked this train the previous day, as seen here at Hatton.

66602 Milford Junction 15 September 2012

66602 weaves slowly across the pointwork at Milford Junction on 15 September 2012 with a loaded coal train, while 66531 waits to follow it light engine from the York direction. The compressed perspective of a long telephoto lens (needed to clear the shadows in the foreground)  certainly emphasis the snaking of the wagons across the junction.

66603 Denchworth 24 March 2011

Unusually given a run along the mainline, rather than the loop, 66603 passes Denchworth on 24 March 2011 with the 6M22 11:56 Westbury to Stud Farm ballast empties. Although sunny, the high pressure had ensured that thin high cloud was taking the edge of the light, probably an advantage in a backlit picture like this.

66603 Challow 19 December 2013

66603 passes underneath the roadbridge at Challow on 19 December 2013, as it heads eastwards with the 6M40 11:56 Westbury to Stud Farm ballast empties. Note the bank of cloud in the background. Unfortunately it wasn't long before this obliterated the sun for the rest of the day.

66604 Hinksey 12 April 2013

66604 passes underneath the A423 Oxford ring-toad, and approaches Hinksey Yard on 12 April 2013 with the 6M40 11:56 Westbury to Stud Farm ballast empties. The stream on the right is a constant source of flooding at thus point.

66604 Wolvercote Junction 31 October 2018

Since the 6M40 11:56 Westbury to Stud Farm ballast empties went over to GBRf operation in 2014, Class 66/6s have been rare visitors to the Oxford area, Therefore I was particularly pleased to see 66604 at Wolvercote Junction on 31 October 2018, especially as it passed during a brief sunny period, amidst dark clouds. The train is the 6C61 12:11 Banbury Reservoir to Bristol East stone empties. The loaded train had worked north overnight as the 04:05 Bristol East to Banbury Reservoir. Freightliner is working these trains on behalf of DB Cargo.

66605 Knottingley (England Lane) 11 March 2011

With a rake of ex Fastline hoppers in tow, 66605 is bound for Drax Power Station on 11 March 2011, as it passes England Lane, Knottingley in some welcome spring sunshine. The photo is taken from a footbridge that spans a level crossing whose gates are normally set against the road traffic.

66607 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 3 December 2008

In perfect winter light, 66607 approaches the site of Ashbury Crossing at Shrivenham with the 6V60 10:31 Angerstein Wharf to Cardiff Pengam Freightliner Heavy Haul stone empties on 3 December 2008. The relatively clean loco contrasts strongly with the wagons which are now looking very work stained.

66607 Milford Junction 15 September 2012

66607 passes Milford Junction on 15 September 2012 with the 6R15 14:52 Immingham to Sudforth Lane coal hoppers. As this is a Saturday, the sidings in the background are full to capacity with rakes of wagons.

66607 Wootton Bassett 18 July 2013

66607 passes the site of Wootton Bassett station on 18 July 2013 with the 6M40 11:56 Westbury to Stud Farm ballast empties. It had been held for a few minutes just beyond the bridge in the background, to allow a South Wales HST to cross in front of it. The builder's site office on the right must be unbearably hot on what is one of the hottest days of the year. Imagine working in a windowless box standing in full sun. No wonder the door is open!

66607 Little Fenton 12 November 2013

66607 passes Little Fenton on 12 November 2013 with the 4S15 12:57 Drax Power Station to Hunterston coal empties. Photo taken from a public footpath crossing midway between Church Fenton and Sherburn-in-Elmet.

66607 Melton Ross 6 November 2017

66607 passes Melton Ross on 6 November 2017 with the 6T25 13:34 Immingham to Scunthorpe iron ore. I particularly like the contrast between Freightliner's bright green livery, and the rusty brown of the ore hoppers.

66608 Kings Sutton 28 May 2010

66608 rounds the curve on the approach to Kings Sutton station with the 6M22 11:56 Westbury to Stud Farm ballast empties on 28 May 2010. The trees and hawthorn bushes behind the locomotive hide the spot where the Banbury & Cheltenham Direct Railway diverged for the start of its journey across the Oxfordshire Hills and the Cotswolds, to meet up with the Midland & South Western Junction Railway at Andoversford. The line closed as a through route in 1951, but the section of line from Kings Sutton to the first station (Adderbury) remained open for freight until 1969, when the final customer, Bibby & Sons ceased using rail. A short spur survived near this spot for a further two years.

66609 North Killingholme 8 November 2003

66609 passes North Killingholme on 8 November 2003 with the 6E55 10:03 Kingsbury to Humber empty oil tanks. At the time this was the only booked Freightliner working in the area on a Saturday, amid a sea of EWS red. How things have changed!

66609 & 66546 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 15 June 2004

On 15 June 2004, 66609 gives a helping hand to 66546 with the 4V60 10:55 Calvert to Bristol Avon Binliner. The ensemble is pictured passing Circourt Bridge, Denchworth. Unfortunately, two green locomotives, with a rake of green containers passing through a landscape that at this particular time of year is virtually all one shade of green, does not make for a very good picture.

66609 Shrivenham 9 June 2006

The last rays of the setting sun highlight this Class 66/6 top'n'tail formation of assorted Network Rail track machines and permanent way vehicles passing Shrivenham on 9 June 2006, en-route from South Wales to Didcot. 66609 leads the ensemble, while 66603 can just be seen on the back. The intensity of the headlight is obvious in these conditions.

66609 Goole (Potters Grange Junction) 8 May 2007

66609 passes Potters Grange Junction, Goole on 8 May 2007 with the 6Y56 14:45 Hull Docks to Ferrybridge Power Station imported coal. Unfortunately the foreground bushes between the Knottingley and Doncaster lines have grown up considerably since this picture was taken, severely limiting the viewpoint. Just visible in the background is 66230, which has missed its correct departure time with the 6H93 17:04 Goole to Peterborough Yard sand empties, and would be stuck there for another half an hour.

66610 South Marston 11 December 2007

Although it is something of a challenge, I am always looking for slightly different photographic viewpoints on the Didcot to Swindon line. Here's one I hadn't tried before, between the two footpath crossings at South Marston. The hawthorn bush on the right provides a frame for 66610 as it heads west with the 4V60 10:55 Calvert to Bristol binliner empties on 11 December 2007.

66610 Baulking 14 January 2010

66610 passes a snowy Baulking on 14 January 2010 with the 6M22 11:56 Westbury to Stud Farm ballast empties. An interesting comparison can be made with the same working (albeit running with a different headcode) taken at the same spot in very different seasonal conditions. Unfortunately most of the snow had already disappeared from the lineside trees and bushes at this location, although ironically further from the railway there was still a fair covering on most trees.

66610 Compton Beauchamp 30 June 2011

66610 passes Compton Beauchamp on 30 June 2011 with the 6M22 11:56 Westbury to Stud Farm ballast empties. For a slightly different angle on a mundane subject I decided to included the lichen encrusted bridge parapet and the abundant sycamore saplings, which have always been such a particular feature of this bridge.

66610 Steventon 19 February 2013

66610 slowly approaches Steventon on 19 February 2013 with the 6M22 11:56 Westbury to Stud Farm ballast empties. All trains were coming to a stand at the village's level crossing, as it had just been damaged by an van. This caused considerable delays while trains were hand signaled across.

66610 Grove 23 August 2019

Work stained 66610 runs along the down relief line at Grove on 23 August 2019 with the 6C48 17:10 Appleford to Whatley Quarry stone empties. It would spend the best part of the next hour sat at Challow, waiting for its booked path.

66612 Calehill Heath (Charing) 19 July 2002

66612 brings up the rear of an empty ballast train heading back to Beechbrook Farm along the partially completed Channel Tunnel Rail Link at Calehill Heath (near Charing) on 19 July 2002. 66554 is the lead locomotive, and in a remarkable example of parallel running, it can just been seen keeping pace with Class 20 D8188 on a wiring train, whilst in front of that is a tamper unit. This was just a selection of a whole series of trains that were all heading home after a day's work on the new line.

66612 & 66618 Pinxton 17 April 2004

66612 Forth Raider & 66618 Railways Illustrated Annual Photographic Awards - Ian Lothian pass Pinxton signal box, as they bring up the rear of the Pathfinder Tours 1Z86 07:13 Birmingham International to York 'Minstering Monk' railtour on 17 April 2004. 60096 was the lead locomotive.

66612 & 66618 Walton 17 April 2004

66612 Forth Raider & 66618 Railways Illustrated Annual Photographic Awards - Ian Lothian pass Walton, as they return from Monk Bretton on 17 April 2004 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z86 07:13 Birmingham International to York 'Minstering Monk' railtour.

66612 Heck Ings 28 November 2006

At just after 15:00 on 28 November 2006, the last rays of the setting sun illuminate 66612 Forth Raider as it approaches Heck Ings with an empty coal train from Drax Power Station. Hensall Junction is just behind the rear of the train, with the little used line to Goole carrying straight on into the distance. The Drax line curves in from the left, and consequently the train is pulling away from the speed restricted curve.

66612 Souldrop 21 April 2010

66612 Forth Raider rolls down the grade at Souldrop on 21 April 2010 with the 6L88 Bardon Hill to Bow Olympic stone. Unfortunately not corresponding with a sunny spell, but worth recording anyway, as this is obviously a (relatively) short term flow in connection with the London 2012 Olympic Games.

66612 Kings Sutton 24 November 2010

The unmistakable landmark of St Peter & St Paul's church at Kings Sutton on the left gives away the location of this picture. 66612 Forth Raider heads north on 24 November 2010 with the 6M22 11:56 Westbury to Stud Farm ballast empties. Kings Sutton station is just out of sight behind the bushes.

66613 Compton Beauchamp 23 February 2012

66613 manages to find a tiny patch of sunshine as it heads eastwards past Compton Beauchamp on 23 February 2012 with the 6M40 11:56 Westbury Virtual Quarry to Stud Farm ballast empties. This brief sunny interlude seemed to follow the train along all the way from the Ashbury Crossing footbridge, which can just be seen in the background.

66613 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 19 November 2013

Long shadows, low afternoon light, and varied autumn tints at Circourt Bridge, Denchworth on 19 November 2013. 66613 heads westwards with the 6V33 11:56 Neasden Charrington to Stoke Gifford stone empties. I was hoping to get a nice sunny shot of the Class 60 hauled 6B33 13:00 Theale to Robeston empty oil tanks, but that was cancelled, so this is a less interesting substitute.

66613 Melton Ross 6 November 2017

66613 passes Melton Ross on 6 November 2017 with the 6K23 11:42 Scunthorpe to Immingham iron ore empties. Notice the small areas of patch painting. At least some attempt has been made to repair any damage. Some Freightliner 66s have quite large rust patches.

66614 Pengam 7 February 2004

66614 passes Pengam on 7 February 2004 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z70 06:26 Crewe to Margam 'Valley Vostock' railtour. Although this loco was only a few months old at the time, and therefore something of a novelty, a much more interesting loco had already worked an earlier part of the tour.

66614 Stenson Junction 4 November 2009

66614 weaves off the Sheet Stores line at Stenson Junction on 4 November 2009 with the 4Z98 06:45 Sudforth Lane to Daw Mill coal empties. Note the all too common vandal graffiti attacks on several of the wagons.

66615 Baulking 4 March 2011

66615 passes Baulking on 4 March 2011 with the 6M22 11:56 Westbury to Stud Farm ballast empties. The Armco barrier behind the loco is next to the Stanford-in-the-Vale to Baulking road, which was diverted to run next to the railway in the late 1970s, when a large fullers earth quarry was opened up in the field through which the original road ran.

66615 Uffington 29 September 2011

The solitary tree standing in the field next to the line at Uffington is just crying out to be used photographically. So, on a cloudless 29 September 2011, by standing next to the overgrown remains of the Wilts & Berks Canal, I was able to try this broadside view. 66615 passes by with the 6M40 11:56 Westbury Virtual Quarry to Stud Farm ballast empties.

66615 Cossington 21 February 2019

66615 passes Cossington on 21 February 2019 with the 6M91 11:13 Theale Lafarge to Hope (Earles Sidings) cement empties. It would have been a lot better photographically if it had been on the relief line, but at least the fast line is still more or less free of shadows.

66615 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 15 July 2019

2019 has seen a very welcome increase in Freightliner workings along the Vale of White Horse line, with the company taking over the former DB Cargo operated stone workings. Unfortunately the 25kV catenary now limits the photographic possibilities. 66615 approaches Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 15 July 2019 with the 6A10 08:39 East Usk Yard to Hayes & Harlington stone hoppers.

66615 Didcot North Junction 29 July 2019

66615 approaches Didcot North Junction on 29 July 2019 with the 6A15 03:54 Whatley Quarry to Appleford stone train. This was running 12 minutes early, which was slightly unfortunate, as the shadows might have been a bit less intrusive at the booked time.

66617 Kings Sutton 23 April 2009

Although not as clear as it once was, there is still a reasonable view of northbound trains from the occupation bridge near Kings Sutton station. On 23 April 2009, 66617 is pictured heading north with the 6U72 11:56 Westbury to Stud Farm ballast empties.

66617 Bourton 31 August 2010

66617 passes Bourton on 31 August 2010 with the 6M22 11:56 Westbury to Stud Farm ballast empties. It is lucky that this was only traveling relatively slowly and HSTs travel at 125mph, because on this occasion they both came into view from opposite directions at the same time. The HST can just be seen exiting stage left.

66617 Compton Beauchamp 7 July 2014

66617 passes Compton Beauchamp on 7 July 2014 with the 6L35 05:36 Cardiff Tidal to Dagenham scrap empties. A fine sunny morning, that as predicted started to cloud up by mid morning, followed by rain in the afternoon - a typical British summer's day!

66617 Shrivenham 11 August 2014

66617 passes the site of Shrivenham station on 11 August 2014 with the 6L35 05:36 Cardiff Tidal to Dagenham scrap empties. Obviously a regular on this train, I had photographed it on the same working just over a month previously. Network Rail have recently cleared the old platforms here of all vegetation, in readiness for the forthcoming electrification, therefore I was keen to get a picture before the masts get in the way. Unfortunately, the light is still very head on when this train runs, but luckily the weak sun between rain showers provided the ideal lighting, with Swindon presumably getting a heavy downpour under the dark clouds in the background. Luckily the train was running exactly on time, as the rain was coming my way! In view of the dodgy weather I didn't wait for the two next freights, which was just as well, as the 6M50 Westbury to Bescot was cancelled, and the 4L31 Bristol to Felixstowe freightliner ran two hours late!

66617 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 2 August 2015

Things do not always go to plan with railway photography! On Sunday 2 August 2015, the 6V82 13:54 Tunstead to Westbury Lafarge cement tanks was diverted via Oxford and the Vale of White Horse, due to the line being closed at Bath for electrification works. Passing Shrivenham in the late evening, this would allow a sunlit picture with the sun on the front from the footbridge on the site of Ashbury Crossing. However, not only did the sun disappear into a large bank of cloud, but more importantly the train was over 40 minutes late. Admittedly this was an improvement on being over an hour late at Oxford, but it still meant that it was nearly dark when it passed me. So purely for the record, as cement trains through the Vale of White Horse are something of a novelty, here is 66617 passing Ashbury Crossing at 21:05, taken at 1/500 sec f2.8 at ISO3200.

66618 Wantage Road 2 February 2012

66618 Railways Illustrated Annual Photographic Awards - Alan Barnes heads east along the Great Western Mainline near the site of Wantage Road station on 2 February 2012 with the 6M40 11:56 Westbury Virtual Quarry to Stud Farm ballast empties. Alan Barnes is the latest of three names to adorn this loco (on a smaller plate below the main nameplate). Previous recipients being Ian Lothian and David Gorton.

66618 South Moreton 11 April 2019

66618 Railways Illustrated Annual Photographic Awards - Alan Barnes passes South Marston on 11 April 2019 with the 13:13 Hayes & Harlington to Stoke Gifford stone empties. This had been running early, but then sat at Challow until its booked time, which was a pity, as the light was getting slightly head on.

66618 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 12 April 2019

66618 Railways Illustrated Annual Photographic Awards - Alan Barnes approaches Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 12 April 2019 with the 6C96 07:46 Banbury Reservoir to Bristol East stone empties. This was not booked to use the relief line, but it was a bonus that it did, as it makes the overhead wires less intrusive.

66618 Compton Beauchamp 10 July 2019

66618 Railways Illustrated Annual Photographic Awards - Alan Barnes passes Compton Beauchamp on 10 July 2019 with the 6C48 17:10 Appleford to Tytherington stone empties. Naturally the pleasant evening sunshine had all but disappeared shortly after I left home!

66618 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 12 July 2019

66618 Railways Illustrated Annual Photographic Awards - Alan Barnes approaches the site of Ashbury Crossing, near Shrivenham, on 12 July 2019 with the 6C48 17:10 Appleford to Whatley Quarry stone empties. More by luck than design, there is just enough room to get the entire train in the picture at this location.

66619 Compton Beauchamp 21 June 2014

66619 Derek W. Johnson MBE passes Compton Beauchamp on 21 June 2014 with the 6V33 11:56 Neasden Charrington to Pengam stone empties. Being the longest day doesn't of course guarantee any sunshine at the critical moment!

66620 Wellingborough 23 April 2010

66620 rounds the curve on the approach to Wellingborough on 23 April 2010 with the 6M91 11:24 Theale to Earles Sidings cement empties. This is one of the very few locations on the Midland Mainline where the sun is on the front of the loco for this train.

66620 Melton Ross 6 November 2017

A picture that you cannot normally take, as the roadside barrier at Melton Ross is where all the photographers stand, taking their pictures of eastbound trains. As they had all gone home, I decided to use the barrier and tree as a frame for 66620, as it works the 4C75 13:39 Scunthorpe to Immingham coal empties on 6 November 2017.

66621 Steventon Stocks Lane 29 September 2009

66621 is just about to cross Stocks Lane Level Crossing in Steventon with the 6M22 11:56 Westbury to Stud Farm ballast empties on 29 September 2009. Steventon has two level crossings, Stocks Lane and Causeway, the latter is approximately where the rear end of this train is. Luckily both are on minor roads in the village, and through traffic has makes use of a overbridge.

66621 Uffington 13 October 2009

66621 passes Uffington on 13 October 2009 with the 4V60 10:55 Calvert to Bristol Avon binliner. The signal gantry that it is approaching presumably dates from the introduction of colour lights in the mid 1960s. This would obviously explain its terrible condition. What might at first sight appear to be brown paint is in fact rust, with only a few flecks of the original silver paint remaining!

66621 Denchworth 16 August 2010

66621 runs along the down relief line at Denchworth on 16 August 2010 with the 6V60 11:56 Angerstein Wharf to Newton Abbot Hackney Yard empty Bardon stone hoppers. I had only just taken this picture when a FGW HST appeared under the bridge in the background, showing just how useful these relief lines between Wantage Road and Challow can be.

66621 Barrow upon Trent 17 March 2015

In a brief patch of weak sunshine on an otherwise largely dull day, 66621 passes Barrow upon Trent on 17 March 2015 with the 6M49 07:45 Immingham to Rugeley Power Station imported coal. The sunny patch was only very localised, as can be seen by the dark clouds in the background.

66621 Clay Cross 9 June 2018

Just prior to coming to a stand at a red signal, 66621 passes Clay Cross on 9 June 2018 with the 6M91 11:11 Theale Lafarge to Hope (Earles Sidings) empty cement tanks. I hadn't visited this location for many years, so I shouldn't really have been surprised at how overgrown it has now become!

66621 Thrupp 9 January 2019

What happens when you deliberately seek out one of the few local spots that is not plagued by shadows on an early January afternoon? Yes, that's right, a few minutes before the train arrives, the sun goes in! 66621 passes Thrupp on 9 January 2019 with the 6C96 12:40 Banbury Reservoir to Bristol East stone empties. A nice clean set of wagons, but note how the rear cab of 66621 is completely covered in white dust.

66621 Wolvercote 11 January 2019

66621 moves onto the up relief line at Wolvercote on 11 January 2019 with the 6C96 12:40 Banbury Reservoir to Bristol East stone empties. This train is a bit random, and whilst it always runs to time, it only seems to run on about half of the booked days. Note the new livery for the MWA wagons, which includes a yellow stripe along the base, and over the lip of each wagon. Also, the new yellow and orange Freightliner logo, part of the company's rebranding after being acquired by Genesee & Wyoming Inc.

66621 Tackley 15 February 2019

With a fanfare of horns from the driver who probably didn't expect anyone to be stood in a remote field near Tackley, 66621 crosses over the River Cherwell, as it heads south on 15 February 2019 with the 6C96 12:40 Banbury Reservoir to Bristol East stone empties. Already some moron has defaced several of the newly painted wagons.

66621 Wolvercote Junction 27 March 2019

66621 pulls away from a brief signal check at Wolvercote Junction on 27 March 2019 with the 6C96 12:40 Banbury Reservoir to Bristol East stone empties. Unfortunately the vandalised wagon at the front of the train is an all too common occurrence nowadays. Note the recent replacement of several small sections of rail.

66621 Bredon 2 May 2019

66621 approaches Bredon on 2 May 2019 with the 6V55 12:51 Radlett Redland Roadstone to East Usk Yard stone empties. This was just five minutes behind the much more interesting 66789, so it was worth the short wait in the gloom and drizzle.

66623 South Marston 22 June 2010

Freightliner's unique Bardon Aggregates blue liveried 66623 Bill Bolsover passes South Marston on 22 June 2010 with the 6M22 11:56 Westbury to Stud Farm ballast empties. Not ideal lighting, with the sun no longer on the front end, but as I was in the area and knew that the loco was on the train, I decided it was worth waiting to get this picture, especially as I had not seen this particular locomotive before. The standard Freightliner green roof does give the impression this repaint was done on the cheap!

66623 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 18 October 2011

Bardon Aggregates blue liveried 66623 Bill Bolsover just manages to keep ahead of the encroaching clouds, as it passes Circourt Bridge, Denchworth on 18 October 2011 with the 6M40 11:56 Westbury Virtual Quarry to Stud Farm ballast empties.

66623 Wolvercote 21 October 2011

Running approximately 45 minutes late, 66623 Bill Bolsover heads north from Oxford on 21 October 2011 with the 6M40 11:56 Westbury Virtual Quarry to Stud Farm ballast empties. It is passing the first of the autumn colours near the village of Wolvercote.

66623 Didcot North Junction 9 July 2019

2019 sees Freightliner gaining more traffic at the expense of DB Cargo, with the acquisition of the Mendip area stone traffic. This also includes the trains from the recently reopened Tytherington Quarry. Running 21 minutes early, 66623 passes Didcot North Junction on 9 July 2019 with the 6C48 17:10 Appleford to Tytherington stone empties. At least the immaculate bright orange loco helps to compensate for the miserable weather!

66623 Uffington 15 July 2019

66623 passes Uffington on 15 July 2019 with the 6A85 02:40 Moreton-on-Lugg to Hayes & Harlington stone hoppers. As this was forecast to be a sunny morning, I decided to see if there would be any early morning shadows from either the footbridge, or the lineside bushes when taking a picture from the north side of the bridge at Uffington. The sun was just about to rise as I approached Uffington, then some fog rolled in, and then a huge bank of cloud appeared from the east, meaning that this picture was taken in atrocious light. Not exactly what I was expecting!

66623 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 15 July 2019

66623 approaches Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 15 July 2019 with the 6B35 11:10 Hayes & Harlington to Stoke Gifford stone empties. Freightliner's new bright orange Genesee & Wyoming livery certainty stands out amid the greens of mid summer.

66623 Bredon 16 July 2019

66623 passes Bredon on 16 July 2019 with the 6V55 13:26 Radlett Redland Roadstone to East Usk Yard stone empties. Another occasion when it was mostly sunny when I left home, but totally cloudy when I arrived at the lineside!

66624 Harrowden Junction 21 April 2010

One of Freightliner's 'Super Sheds', 66624 passes Harrowden Junction on 21 April 2010 with the 6M54 12:30 Thorney Mill to Bardon Hill stone empties. With a maximum tractive effort of 105,080 lbf, the Class 66/6s are not quite a match for the Class 59s (113,550 lbf), but considerably better than a standard 66s paltry 92,000 lbf.