Class 68

68001 & 68023 Defford 21 June 2017

68001 Evolution & 68023 Achilles pass Defford on 21 June 2017 with the 6M63 11:48 Bridgwater to Crewe nuclear flasks. Around the middle of the day on the longest day is hardly the ideal time to be taking pictures, especially when the subject is severely backlit. Therefore, I am surprised that this pictures looks as good as it does. The golden barley field behind the locos certainly helps.

68003 Bardrill 31 August 2016

68003 Astute passes Bardrill on 31 August 2016 with the 4A13 12:23 Grangemouth to Aberdeen Craiginches Tesco intermodal. This was running a few minutes early. A pity it wasn't either ten minutes early, or ten minutes late, as in either case in would have been in full (admittedly backlit) sun!

68003 Acle 26 May 2017

A quiet country station in Norfolk, yet even in 2017 it is possible to see a pair of loco hauled trains passing each other! There are four locos in view in this picture. 68003 Astute gets underway with the 2P11 08:46 Great Yarmouth to Norwich Greater Anglia service, with 68022 Resolution on the rear. In the other platform, 37419 Carl Haviland 1954-2012 brings up the rear of the 2P12 08:36 Norwich to Great Yarmouth, which is being led by 37405.

68003 Stracey Arms 26 May 2017

68003 Astute passes Stracey Arms on 26 May 2017 with the 2P29 17:17 Great Yarmouth to Norwich Greater Anglia service. The 1883 built Stracey Arms Drainage Mill seems to have lost most of its sails since I was last here 25 years ago!

68003 Buckenham 26 May 2017

68003 Astute passes Buckenham on 26 May 2017 with the 2C35 18:47 Great Yarmouth to Norwich Greater Anglia service. Just four minutes later the 2J88 19:02 Norwich to Lowestoft passed by in the opposite direction. led by 37405, and with 37419 Carl Haviland 1954-2012 bringing up the rear.

68004 Culham 18 July 2015

Old power and new power! With the disused Didcot Power Station dominating the background, 68004 Rapid approaches Culham on 18 July 2015 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z68 (appropriately!) 05:42 Newport to Carlisle 'Lakes & Border Explorer' railtour. This certainly makes a colourful picture, with five different liveries represented in the 13 coach train! For the first time since the introduction of the Class 60s in 1989 we have a new class of loco where some thought has gone into the visual aspect of the design. Not only does the class look good, but it sounds great as well. This could easily be heard leaving Didcot, a couple of miles away, and while not in the same league as Class 37s or 50s, is certainly an impressive noise.

68004 Gogarbank 30 August 2016

68004 Rapid passes Gogarbank on 30 August 2016 with the 5G13 15:00 Motherwell to Edinburgh ScotRail ECS. This picture neatly explains why I detest 25kV overhead lines, certainly as far as photography is concerned. However, being over 350 miles from home, I am not likely to see too many DRS locos on ScotRail Saltire liveried stock, so this is included purely as a record.

68004 North Queensferry 30 August 2016

68004 Rapid passes through North Queensferry station in the last of the afternoon's sunshine on 30 August 2016 with the 2G13 17:08 Edinburgh to Glenrothes with Thornton ScotRail service. This is one of two evening loco hauled trains on the Fife Circle. These are complemented by two trains in the morning rush hour.

68004 Aberdour 30 August 2016

68004 Rapid arrives at Aberdour station on 30 August 2016 with the 2K14 18:15 Glenrothes with Thornton to Edinburgh ScotRail service. Unfortunately the earlier sunny weather had long since disappeared, and it was now extremely dark.

68004 Tredington 22 July 2017

68004 Rapid passes Tredington on 22 July 2017 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z07 05:43 Bristol Temple Meads to Carlisle 'Lakeland Explorer' railtour. A superb sight, despite the inclusion of the two faded Anglia livered coaches amid the immaculate blue and grey set. I was extremely lucky with the lighting here, as although the morning had started sunny, it had been cloudy for quite some time before the train was due. As the train approached, the sun gradually got brighter, contrasting nicely with the dark clouds in the background. Then, just after the train had passed, the sun gradually faded out again. If only it always happened like that!

68005 Castle Donington 7 April 2015

68005 Defiant passes Castle Donington on 7 April 2015 with the 6U77 13:42 Mountsorrel to Crewe Basford Hall ballast hoppers, on this occasion running as empties. Interestingly, Realtime Trains showed no indication that this was running, and showed the identically timed departure to Carlisle as cancelled!

68007 North Queensferry 30 August 2016

Running 10 minutes late, 68007 Valiant arrives at North Queensferry station on 30 August 2016 with the 2L69 17:20 Edinburgh to Cardenden ScotRail service. The Saltire livery suits this class very well, with the angle of the white dots at the front neatly mirroring the curve of the cab front. Only two examples carry this colour scheme, with 68006 Daring being the other

68007 Aberdour 30 August 2016

68007 Valiant speeds through Aberdour on 30 August 2016 with the 5L70 18:24 Cardenden to Mossend Down Yard ScotRail ECS. Unfortunately it was now nearly dark, and despite using an aperture of f2.8, ISO 3200 was required in order to get the high shutter speed required.

68008 Kings Sutton 10 July 2015

68008 Avenger approaches Kings Sutton on 10 July 2015 with the 1U61 17:50 Marylebone to Banbury Chiltern Railways service. Assuming that when things settle down the Chiltern Railways silver 68s will be the normal motive power on this route, I was keen to get some pictures of the DRS blue locos on the workings, on a day when two were in use.

68008 Banbury 22 August 2015

68008 Avenger brings up the rear of the 1H26 07:12 Kidderminster to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service, as it approaches Banbury station on 22 August 2015. The impressive, and soon the be redundant Banbury North Signal Box adds a GWR touch to the modern scene.

68009 Wychnor Junction 3 June 2015

In superb low evening light, 68009 Titan slowly approaches Wychnor Junction on 3 June 2015 with the 6Z97 19:38 Toton to Crewe Basford Hall ballast. A feature of the Class 68 is the provision of very bright headlights. However, due to the pulse width modulation control for the LED lights, they don't always appear to be on when photographed, due to the shutter of the camera firing during the 'off' cycle. This also results in apparent flashing lights on video. In order to get a picture with all three lights correctly lit, I take a six frame per second burst to make sure one looks right. This doesn't always work, as even at six frames per second the optimum position for the loco might not match up with the best lights picture. No such problems here however!

68009 Kings Sutton 10 July 2015

68009 Titan approaches Kings Sutton on 10 July 2015 with the 1R55 16:47 Marylebone to Birmingham Moor Street Chiltern Railways service. While the Chiltern silver coaches certainly look good, even better is the blue and grey set used on the Banbury service.

68009 Kings Sutton 4 May 2016

68009 Titan passes Kings Sutton on 4 May 2016 with the 1K50 17:15 Marylebone to Kidderminster Chiltern Railways service. The 198 feet tall tower and spire of Kings Sutton church is obviously receiving some much needed maintenance, but then it is 600 years old!

68009 Piddington 13 August 2016

68009 Titan speeds past Piddington on 13 August 2016 with the 1G49 17:10 Marylebone to Birmingham Snow Hill Chiltern Railways service. I was very lucky with the sun here, as it was on the edge of a large black cloud, but instead of the cloud moving over the sun as I expected, it seemed to split into two just where the sun was. I've got to have some good luck sometimes!

68009 Charlton-on-Otmoor 15 August 2016

68009 Titan passes Charlton-on-Otmoor on 15 August 2016 with the 1T54 18:18 Marylebone to Oxford Parkway Chiltern Railways service. This was running a few minutes late, as some problem was requiring all trains to use the down line, therefore this train had to wait for the 1Y74 19:09 Oxford Parkway to Marylebone DMU to reach Bicester Depot West Junction. This newly upgraded line is fully bi-directionally signalled, so this is no great problem. Note the poppies already colonising the spoil heap in the foreground.

68009 Charlton-on-Otmoor 15 August 2016

68009 Titan brings up the rear of the 1Y75 19:29 Oxford Parkway to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service at Charlton-on-Otmoor on 15 August 2016. The loco is pushing the train under the newly constructed bridge giving access to Holts Farm.

68010 Ardley 21 April 2015

68010 passes Ardley on 21 April 2015 with the 1R37 13:15 Marylebone to Birmingham Moor Street Chiltern Railways service. The tall bridge in the background once carried the Ardley to Upper Heyford road across the line, but with the construction of RAF (later USAF) Upper Heyford, the road was severed, leaving it as a bridge to nowhere.

68010 Charlton-on-Otmoor 5 May 2016

68010 passes Charlton-on-Otmoor on 5 May 2016 with the 1T54 18:18 Marylebone to Oxford Parkway Chiltern Railways service. Most unusually this was running 10 minutes late, which was a little annoying, as the sun was gradually disappearing into a bank of high cloud. However, the light held out just long enough to produce a decent picture. This new vantage point is from a bridge giving access via a new concrete road to Holt Farm (just out of sight to the left). Unfortunately though this view is presumably only going to be transitory, as young trees having been planted all along the fence. The hedge visible just above the coaches marks the course of the old road, while the wooded slopes of Graven Hill can be seen in the background.

68010 Launton 15 August 2016

68010 races past Launton on 15 August 2016 with the 1K50 17:15 Marylebone to Kidderminster Chiltern Railways service. The pulsing LED headlights have been caught during their 'off' cycle, giving the impression that they are not functioning.

68010 Oddington 26 August 2016

68010 passes Oddington in superb evening light on 26 August 2016 with the 1T54 18:18 Marylebone to Oxford Parkway Chiltern Railways service. Luckily this was running exactly to time, as at the end of August this is only 45 minutes away from sunset. This new viewpoint has already become quite well known, being an easily accessible bridge on a no through road with virtually no traffic. How many years it will be before those bushes alongside the lineside fence ruin the pictures is anyone's guess!

68010 Hatton North Junction 27 August 2017

68010 Oxford Flyer approaches Hatton North Junction on 27 August 2017 with the 1R33 13:08 Marylebone to Birmingham Moor Street Chiltern Railways service. Sunday loco hauled trains on the Chiltern Line usually consist of one out and back working, but on this occasion due to the closure of Euston station, there were several additional Class 68 hauled trains.

68011 Bicester South Junction 1 July 2016

68011 rounds the new curve between Bicester South Junction and Gavray Junction on 1 July 2016 with the 5T03 05:52 Wembley to Bicester Village Chiltern Railways ECS. At Bicester Village it will form the 2T03 06:55 departure to Oxford Parkway.

68011 Oddington 16 August 2016

68011 passes Oddington on 16 August 2016 with the 1T54 18:18 Marylebone to Oxford Parkway Chiltern Railways service, running approximately 12 minutes late. Like all trains on this particular evening, this was running 'wrong line' on this bi-directionally signalled line.

68012 Princes Risborough 15 December 2014

68012 accelerates the 1H20 07:44 Banbury to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service away from Princes Risborough station on 15 December 2014, with 82302 at the leading end. This is the first Chiltern Railways passenger train to be worked by a Class 68. Unfortunately this was very awkward to photograph, as it was still before the sun had risen over the nearby Chiltern Hills, and was therefore quite dark, but even worse than that, this viewpoint is looking directly towards the brightening sky.

68012 Oddington 20 April 2016

68012 glints in the early morning light on 20 April 2016, as it passes Oddington with the 5T12 06:02 Wembley to Oxford Parkway Chiltern Railways ECS. It would return 40 minutes later, pushing the 1Y12 07:24 Oxford Parkway to Marylebone service. This was almost like the good old days of photographing Class 37s on the Weymouth route, or 50s on the West of England Line, as the 'Big Cat' could easily be heard several miles away in the still morning air.

68012 Oddington 12 May 2016

68012 passes Oddington in superb late evening light on 12 May 2016 with the 1T54 18:18 Marylebone to Oxford Parkway Chiltern Railways service. This was running 21 minutes late, due to an earlier broken down train at Denham. The rebuilding of the Bicester to Oxford line has created numerous new photographic locations, and at the moment the lineside is virtually completely clear of trees. This is in marked contrast to how grown up the line was when it was just a sleepy single tack byway.

68012 Kings Sutton 27 August 2017

68012 passes Kings Sutton on Sunday 27 August 2017 with the 1G45 16:10 Marylebone to Birmingham Snow Hill Chiltern Railways service. Not quite as good as the passenger traction of the past, but pretty close!

68013 Launton 21 April 2015

A powerful close up view of a powerful locomotive. Travelling at close to 100mph, 68013 passes Launton on 21 April 2015 with the 1R55 16:47 Marylebone to Birmingham Moor Street Chiltern Railways service. Photo taken from a public footpath crossing. Half an hour later 67008 worked the next northbound loco hauled service.

68014 Hatton 11 May 2015

68014 passes Hatton on 11 May 2015 with the 1R55 16:47 Marylebone to Birmingham Moor Street service, unusually for a Chiltern Railways train, running 19 minutes late. It was lucky that it wasn't further delayed, as the shadows were lengthening rapidly!

68014 Kings Sutton 4 May 2016

68014 passes Kings Sutton on 4 May 2016 with the 1U50 17:21 Marylebone to Banbury Chiltern Railways service. Not quite the entire rake of coaches has received Chiltern's new livery. The fifth coach is in the earlier blue and grey livery, while the seventh is in Arriva Trains Wales livery.

68014 Oddington 20 July 2016

68014 passes Oddington in superb evening light on 20 July 2016 with the 1T54 18:18 Marylebone to Oxford Parkway Chiltern Railways service. I wonder how many years this excellent new photographic vantage point will last for, as inevitably those little bushes near the fence won't stay small for very long!

68015 Banbury 1 July 2016

Having arrived a little earlier with the 5U06 05:02 Wembley to Banbury ECS, 68015 waits in platform 1 at Banbury station on 1 July 2016, ready to push the 1H06 06:04 Chiltern Railways service to Marylebone, forming one of the fast and frequent trains to London as advertised on the station sign.

68015 Launton 15 August 2016

68015 approaches the footpath crossing near Launton at high speed on 15 August 2016 with the 1K45 16:15 Marylebone to Kidderminster Chiltern Railways service. This train was terminated at Leamington Spa due to an earlier fatality near Solihull.

68015 Kings Sutton 22 April 2017

68015 passes Kings Sutton on 22 April 2017 with the 1G49 17:10 Marylebone to Birmingham Snow Hill Chiltern Railways service. With the train travelling at 90mph, I was lucky to get the loco correctly positioned between the signal and the spire of Kings Sutton church! Photo taken from a public footpath crossing.

68015 Islip 21 June 2017

68015 approaches Islip on 21 June 2017 with the 1T54 18:18 Marylebone to Oxford Chiltern Railways service. Despite it being a generally sunny day, I thought I might miss out on this one, as the sun had disappeared into a bank of cloud. Luckily however, that wasn't the end, as it reappeared again for another 40 minutes of light, before the clouds finally won!

68016 Uffington 21 May 2016

68016 Fearless passes Uffington on 21 May 2016 with the UK railtours 1Z27 07:09 Paddington to Carmarthen 'Welsh Dragon' railtour. 68017 Hornet can just be seen on the rear of the train. As this was supposed to be a completely cloudy day, I decided on this location, which would normally be hopeless if there was any chance of sun, especially this early in the morning. Amazingly just as the train came into view, the sun almost fleetingly broke through the dark clouds, brightening things up slightly. Another strange thing was that I drove to the location in drizzle, and back home in rain, yet for the time I was on the bridge there was no rain! 

68016 Defford 28 September 2016

68016 Fearless passes Defford on 28 September 2016 with the 1Q16 03:29 Landore to Derby RTC Network Rail test train, with classmate 68021 Tireless bringing up the rear. The train had spent the early morning visiting the western extremities of the Welsh railway network, including: Pembroke, Fishguard Harbour and Milford Haven. Although the sun was out for most of the time as I drove to this location, and similarly on my way home, unfortunately when this train passed there was no sign of the sun, and it was extremely dark.

68017 Standish Junction 24 September 2016

68017 Hornet passes Standish Junction on 24 September 2016 with the Northern Belle 1Z52 07:07 Cleethorpes to Bristol Temple Meads charter. 68002 Intrepid is on the rear of the train. The train had just spent a few minutes in Haresfield Loop in order to let a southbound Voyager pass.

68017 Oaksey 21 May 2017

68017 Hornet passes the site of Oaksey station on 21 May 2017 with the 5Z68 20:00 Swindon to Kidderminster Northern Belle ECS. Unfortunately I had misjudged just how low the sun would be here, and even when I arrived most of the line was in shadow. With no chance of any other location in the area being any better at this time in the evening, I had to make do with this record shot.

68018 Uffington 3 June 2017

68018 Vigilant passes Uffington on 3 June 2017 with the 1Z68 15:30 Paddington to Cardiff Central Northern Belle UEFA Champions League football special, with classmate 68017 Hornet on the rear. Running in the late afternoon, the lighting was going to be a bit of a problem for this train in the Swindon area, but I had chosen Uffington as being the location where the lighting would be the least head on, so naturally the sun was out most of the way there, and on the way home, but not while I was at the lineside! Note the new footbridge in the background.

68021 Ashchurch 16 July 2016

68021 Tireless pass Ashchurch on 16 July 2016 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z68 04:45 Taunton to Carlisle 'Lakeland Explorer' railtour. Shortly after this picture was taken, the train suffered a 30 minute delay due to an aggravated trespass incident at Worcester Shrub Hill.

68022 Goole 6 May 2017

68022 Resolution brings up the rear of the Pathfinder Tours 1Z11 06:00 Willington to Kings Cross 'Hull and Leeds Executive' railtour at Goole on 6 May 2017. The blue smoke at the front of the train betrays the presence of Deltic D9009 Alycidon.

68022 Acle 26 May 2017

68022 Resolution approaches Acle on 26 May 2017 with the 2P10 08:09 Norwich to Great Yarmouth Greater Anglia service. 68003 Astute is on the rear. 7,600hp to move three coaches does seem a bit over the top! The single track section extends from here to the line's junction with the Lowestoft route at Brundall.

68022 Reedham 26 May 2017

68022 Resolution passes the superb bracket signal at Reedham on 26 May 2017, as it pulls away from the station in the background with the 2J70 10:05 Norwich to Lowestoft Greater Anglia service. Just visible in the far distance, to the left of the station building, is the Hardley Drainage Mill, over a mile away, next to the River Yare.

68022 & 68003 Stracey Arms 26 May 2017

The 2P28 16:38 Norwich to Great Yarmouth Greater Anglia service crosses Tunstall Marshes, near Stracey Arms on 26 May 2017. 68022 Resolution (right) leads, and 68003 Astute (left) brings up the rear. As the conventional viewpoint would be very backlit, I opted for this side view, which would also include a large patch of the reads, that are so typical of the Norfolk area. Unfortunately, I had no accurate way of judging if I had left a large enough gap for the train. As this is the full frame, you can see that I only just got it right!

68023 South Marston 11 February 2017

68023 Achilles passes South Marston in atrocious light on 11 February 2017 with the 1Z50 12:35 Paddington to Cardiff Central rugby special, using the Belmond Northern Belle set of caches.  68025 Superb can just be seen on the rear of the train. The steel piles driven into the ground are the only visible signs here of Network Rail's hugely delayed electfrication programme.

68025 Bewdley 19 May 2016

One of the highlights of the Severn Valley Railway's 2016 Diesel Gala was the visit of brand new 68025 Superb. The DRS owned Vossloh locomotive is pictured departing from Bewdley in the drizzle on 19 May 2016 with the 15:56 Bewdley to Kidderminster service. The unusual coaching stock is former Southern Region 4-TC set 428, sporting 'fake wood' vinyls.

68027 Oxford North Junction 20 May 2017

Brand new 68027 slowly approaches Oxford North Junction on 20 May 2017 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z39 06:35 Didcot Parkway to Appleby 'Settle & Carlisle Pioneer' railtour. This was running a few minutes behind time, and so too was 70007 with the 4M62 04:31 Southampton Maritime to Lawley Street freightliner, which, after being sat at the signal in the background of this picture for 45 minutes, was let out (also a few minutes late) directly in front of the railtour.