Class 800-802

800001 Old Dalby (Asfordby Depot) 28 August 2015

800001, the prototype for the fleet of new Hitachi built bi-mode units stands at the Asfordby Depot end of the Old Dalby test track on 28 August 2015. It's pantograph is up, and some systems on board are running, but there are no signs of imminent movement. Note that the nose cone sections have been retracted to reveal the coupling. 800001 was constructed at Hitachi's Kasado works in Japan, and shipped to this country from the port of Kobe aboard the MV Tamerlane, arriving at Southampton on 11 March 2015, and was unloaded the following day. Being built in Japan this will presumably be virtually fault free, but even so an extensive programme of testing was undertaken prior to the fleet's introduction into service in 2017.

800001 Shrivenham (Ashbiry Crossing) 28 March 2017

800001 passes the site of Ashbury Crossing, near Shrivenham, on 28 March 2017 with the 1X80 10:37 Paddington to Bristol Parkway test run. This picture says it all really, with the Japanese built bi-mode DEMU delivered on time, and seemingly proving to be very reliable, while Network Rail's attempt to electrify the Great Western Mainline is years behind schedule, and massively over budget. It's a good job these units are bi-modes, as they are certainly going to need their engines, even on this stretch of line, which should have been fully wired by now!

800001 South Marston 28 March 2017

800001 passes South Marston on 28 March 2017 with the 1X81 12:19 Bristol Parkway to Paddington test run. The white colour scheme of this first production unit certainly shows up, and looks more impressive than the drab dark green that the GWR units will be outshopped in. However, practically green is probably better on the working railway, as I presume 800001 has had lots of tender loving care and cleaning, to keep it looking this pristine.

800001 Uffington 29 March 2017

800001 passes Uffington on 29 March 2017 with the 5X80 10:37 Paddington to Bristol Parkway test run. The site of Uffington station in the foreground is now a worksite for the Great Western Mainline electfrication project. The forsythia bush in the foreground is a herald of spring, even if the weather isn't!

800001 Steventon 29 March 2017

800001 passes Steventon on 29 March 2017 with the 5X81 12:19 Bristol Parkway to Paddington test run. An extremely dull day has enabled this picture to be taken from the north side of the line, which also gives a view down the long straight beyond the village's two level crossings in the background.

800001 & 800002 Challow 6 April 2017

800001 & 800002 pass Challow on 6 April 2017 with the 5X31 10:17 Swindon to Reading West Junction test run. A pity the 'Inspiration Delivered' red logo covered 800002 was not leading, but it can be seen underneath the road bridge. However, the white livery of 800001 certainly shows up well in the early morning sunshine. Sunshine was certainly not predicted by the Met Office!

800001 & 800002 Steventon 6 April 2017

Running 23 minutes early, 800001 & 800002 pass Steventon on 6 April 2017 with the 5X33 12:46 Swindon to Reading West Junction test train. I presume that once they are in service, two five car Class 800/0s will be an unusual working, with a single nine coach Class 800/3 being used for longer trains. The formation pictured here has no corridor connection between the two halves.

800001 & 800002 Uffington 5 May 2017

800001 & 800002 pass Uffington in a very lucky patch of sunshine on 5 May 2017 with the 5X32 11:04 Reading West Junction to Swindon test train. This was formerly the site of Uffington loops, which were removed after the line was quadrupled between Challow and Wantage Road. What a pity that the footbridge from which this picture was taken wasn't installed decades ago, before the electfrication masts and the radio mast disfigured the view.

800001 South Marston 29 June 2018

800001 passes South Marston on 29 June 2018 with the 5Z19 10:03 North Pole IEP Depot to Highbridge Loop crew training run. In the event it only travelled another three miles, and then returned from whence it came as the 5Z21 11:55 Swindon to North Pole IEP Depot.

800001 South Marston 29 June 2018

I certainly didn't expect to see this! Less than half an hour after it passed South Marston on 29 June 2018 with the 5Z19 10:03 North Pole IEP Depot to Highbridge Loop crew training run, 800001 was back again, clearly having gone nowhere near Highbridge! It had reversed at Swindon, and was now running as the 5Z21 11:55 Swindon to North Pole IEP Depot.

800002 & 800001 Challow 6 April 2017

800002 & 800001 approach Challow at high speed on 6 April 2017 with the 5X30 08:24 North Pole IEP Depot to Swindon test run, the first of a series of test runs undertaken over the Great Western Mainline on this particular day.

800002 & 800001 Steventon 6 April 2017

After their booked sojourn in the down loop, 800002 & 800001 regain the mainline at Steventon on 6 April 2017 with the 5X32 11:04 Reading West Junction to Swindon test train. Unfortunately this corresponded with one of the clouds that were now building up. The reflection of some of these can be seen in the shiny black area above 800002's windscreen.

800002 & 800001 Uffington 5 May 2017

800002 & 800001 pass Uffington on 5 May 2017 with the 5X31 10:17 Swindon to Reading West Junction test run. This was running nine minutes late, due to the previous westbound trip from North Pole IEP Depot having left London 35 minutes late. This late running was fortunate, as I had only just arrived at Uffington's new footbridge. This immaculate pair of white liveried bi-mode units certainly stand out against the green foliage, which is something that unfortunately will not be the case with the dark green production units that will soon be commonplace on this line. Also, it seems that a pair of five car units is a perfect fit for this particular location!

800003 & 800004 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 15 June 2017

800003 Queen Victoria & 800004 Isambard Kingdom Brunel approach the site of Ashbury Crossing, near Shrivenham, on 15 June 2017 with the 5X19 07:34 North Pole IEP Depot to Taunton test run. 800004 would be detached at Swindon, leaving 800003 to go on alone, with 800004 following shortly afterwards as the 5X20 09:06 (10:20 in reality) Swindon to Taunton. It looks like 800004 is in a different livery in this picture, but that is purely a result of reflections from the bright sky. In fact GWR's green livery is so dark, that it is nothing but reflections along the entire highly polished bodyside and roof!

800003 Steventon 28 August 2017

800003 Queen Elizabeth II passes Steventon on 28 August 2017 with the 3X14 09:50 Stoke Gifford to Reading Traincare Depot test run. The short gap in the electfrication masts at this point is due to the ongoing battle between villagers and Network Rail concerning the proposed demolition of the roadbridge. At least there is still one photographic vantage point still left on the line, at least in the short term!

800003 South Marston 27 October 2017

800003 Queen Elizabeth II passes South Marston on 27 October 2017 with the 3Z24 10:10 Stoke Gifford to Reading Traincare Depot crew training run. Although it looks like a completely sunny day, there was in fact a lot of cloud to the south, and it was lucky that this was running two minutes early, as shortly afterwards the clouds starting getting in the way of the sun.

800004 Compton Beauchamp 22 August 2016

800004 Isambard Kingdom Brunel passes Compton Beauchamp in near darkness on 22 August 2016 with the 5X80 19:12 Stoke Gifford to North Pole IEP Depot ECS. This is my first picture of a Class 800 actually on the move, but unfortunately GWR's drab dark green livery and the atrocious light do make an ideal combination! Although these units will regularly work along this line in due course, I thought it would be opportune to get at least one picture of these new trains at this location while there is still no evidence of the overhead electrification catenary.

800004 Oaksey 1 September 2017

800004 Sir Daniel Gooch passes the site of Oaksey station on 1 September 2017 with the 3X17 09:02 Gloucester to Swindon crew training test run. Although there were only a few small clouds in the sky at this time, I was fortunate to get this in the sun, as it was cloudy just before it came into view, and again just after it had passed by! Photo taken from a public footpath crossing.

800005 & 800006 Steventon (Stocks Lane) 8 November 2017

800005 & (hidden by the buddleia bush) 800006 approach Stocks Lane, Steventon, on 8 November 2017 with the 1B40 13:45 Paddington to Swansea GWR service. A long lens was required here in order to clear numerous foreground shadows.

800005 Honeybourne 20 March 2018

800005 slowly approaches Honeybourne station on 20 March 2018 with the late running 1W29 14:21 Paddington to Worcester Foregate Street GWR service, which on this occasion was terminated at Worcester Shrub Hill. This location is hardly reconisable compared with the picture I took of 50046 Ajax a mere 36 years earlier!

800006 & 800005 South Marston 27 October 2017

Two weeks after their eventful introduction into service, when in front of the country's media they suffered both power supply and air conditioning failures on the very first run, the offending IEP units (800006 & 800005) were behaving themselves on 27 October 2017, when seen here passing South Marston with the 1B12 08:15 Paddington to Cardiff Central GWR service.

800006 & 800005 South Marston 10 November 2017

800006 & 800005 pass South Marston in fading afternoon light on 10 November 2017 with the 1B40 13:45 Paddington to Swansea GWR service. Not much progress has been made with the overhead electfrication since I photographed these same two units passing this spot two weeks earlier.

800006 & 800012 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 24 November 2017

The wires are up at Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 24 November 2017, but not yet energized, so 800006 & 800012 are running on diesel power, as they head westwards with the 1B40 13:45 Paddington to Swansea GWR service.

800006 & 800013 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 15 December 2017

A picture that neatly sums up the desecration of the Great Western Mainline. 800006 & 800013 pass the site of Ashbury Crossing, Shrivenham, with the 1C10 10:30 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads GWR service on 15 December 2017. Because the electfrication project is so far behind schedule, these new bi-mode units will be running on diesel power past this spot for a while yet!

800006 Yarnton Junction (site of) 19 January 2018

The moles have certainly been busy in this field near the site of Yarnton Junction. 800006 slowly approaches Wolvercote Junction with the 1P29 12:00 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington GWR service on 19 January 2018. Initially I hadn't intended to take this picture, but as I was walking back to the car, I realised that it was only a few minutes away, so decided to linger. I am quite pleased with the picture, not so much for the traction, but by the way the mole hills and dramatic cloud formation add to the scene.

800006 Moreton-in-Marsh (Dunstall Bridge) 21 April 2018

The sheep in the field next to Dunstall Bridge suddenly take fright, as 800006 approaches Moreton-in-Marsh on 21 April 2018 with the 1W13 07:22 Paddington to Great Malvern GWR service. Recent tree clearance has opened up this view considerably.

800007 & 800014 Steventon Stocks Lane 6 June 2018

The sign on the post identifies the location. 800007 & 800014 approach Stocks Lane level crossing, in Steventon, on 6 June 2018 with the 1L38 07:24 Swansea to Paddington GWR service. It's not an optical illusion, the mast on the right really is leaning!

800007 Kemble 3 July 2018

800007 races through Kemble station on 3 July 2018 with the diverted 1L65 12:20 Swansea to Paddington GWR service. Note the recent tree clearance on the right. The grass covered curved platform was formerly used by branch line trains to Cirencester.

800008 Uffington 22 September 2017

New meets old at Uffington on 22 September 2017. 800008 heads east with the 3X15 10:25 Swindon to Reading Traincare Depot test run, while 43162 gets in the way with the 1B20 09:45 Paddington to Swansea GWR service. This is obviously not the picture I had hoped for, but luckily I managed to get an uninterrupted view of 800009, which followed half an hour later.

800008 & 800009 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 16 October 2017

Monday 16 October 2017 saw the first booked GWR passenger service using the new Class 800 bi-mode units. Unfortunately things did not get off to a very good start, with one of the two diagrams being cancelled after the first run, due to problems raising the pantograph and a faulty air conditioning unit. Ironically, a good old reliable HST had to take over the diagram later in the day! The other diagram was worked by 800008 & 800009, and they are seen here approaching the site of Ashbury Crossing, near Shrivenham, with the 1B28 11:45 London Paddington to Swansea service. This picture is taken in possibly the worst ever conditions that I have seen during the middle of the day. ISO 3200 was required for this, and yet the Met Office was still indicating that the area was in full sun! It is extremely ironic that this massive error is on the thirtieth anniversary of the 1987 hurricane, which they failed to predict!

800008 & 800009 South Marston 27 October 2017

800008 & 800009 pass South Marston on 27 October 2017 with the 1A11 09:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington GWR service. Presumably once the nine car Class 800/3s are built, there will be less need to use five car Class 800/0s in pairs like this.

800008 Moreton-in-Marsh 16 April 2018

800008 leaves Moreton-in-Marsh on 16 April 2018 with the 1P22 08:25 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington GWR service. In the background the track clearance gang can be seen at work, clearing several decades worth of vegetation from the trackside. Note the evidence of their recent work in the foreground.

800008 Bledington Heath 16 June 2018

With its colourful 'Pride stripes' clearly visible, 800008 pass Bledington Heath on 16 June 2018 with the 1W00 08:22 Paddington to Hereford GWR service. The track is dead straight here, and Kingham station, a mile to the south, would be visible, were it not for the rampant tree growth encroaching on the line.

800009 Uffington 22 September 2017

800009 passes Uffington on 22 September 2017 with the 3X14 10:10 Stoke Gifford to Reading Traincare Depot test run. These new units look quite presentable in white, so much better than the awfully dull GWR green livery that they will end up in. Obviously white is not a very practical livery for the railway environment, but surely Great Western could have picked something better than the almost universally disliked green. Although there wasn't much chance of the sun going in for this picture, that would soon change, as can be seen from the mass of cloud in the background.

800009 Oakle Street 28 June 2018

800009 Sir Gareth Edwards passes Oakle Street on 28 June 2018 with the diverted 1B55 16:15 Paddington to Swansea GWR service. The train's normal route via the Severn Tunnel was closed for engineering works. The Cotswold Hills can be seen in background.

800010 & 800012 Churchdown 22 October 2017

800010 & 800012 pass Churchdown on Sunday 22 October 2017 with the 5X01 08:55 Stoke Gifford to Tiverton Loop (via Worcester) gauging test run. I had hoped that this would be one of the 'as delivered' white ones, which look much better in these poor lighting conditions than GWR's awful drab dark green livery.

800010 Combe (Grintleyhill Bridge) 19 January 2018

New traction on the Cotswold Line. With Lower Westfield Farm prominent in the background, 800010 Michael Bond approaches Combe on 19 January 2018 with the 1P22 08:25 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington GWR service. Grintleyhill Bridge provides this lofty vantage point.

800010 Wolvercote Junction 19 January 2018

A rear view of 800010 Michael Bond, as it takes the Cotswold Line at Wolvercote Junction on 19 January 2018 with the 1W23 11:22 Paddington to Worcester Foregate Street GWR service. The pantograph on the roof will never see any use at this location!

800010 Shipton 21 February 2018

800010 Michael Bond passes Shipton on 21 February 2018 with the 1P25 09:54 Great Malvern to Paddington GWR service. It was unexpectedly sunny during the morning, so with hardly a cloud in the sky, I drove the short distance to Shipton. No sooner had I got there than the clouds appeared, and within ten minutes it was full cloud. It's enough to make you think someone is controlling the weather and playing games with you! However, the dull conditions (which in fairness is what was forecast!) allowed me to take this view from the north side of the line. Recent vegetation clearance has opened up the view of FWP Matthews flour mill.

800010 Honeybourne 24 February 2018

800010 Michael Bond calls at Honeybourne station on 24 February 2018 with the 1P47 12:06 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington GWR service. The printed Michael Bond 'nameplate' and Paddington Bear graphic can be seen below the cab side window, but what is not obvious from this viewpoint, is that the unit's doors all feature pictures of Paddington Bear in various poses. Although a sunny day, it was bitterly cold, which explains the salt liberally scattered all over the platforms.

800011 South Marston 12 June 2017

Fresh out of the box! Brand new 800011 passes South Marston on 12 June 2017 with the 5X71 10:10 North Pole IEP Depot to Stoke Gifford delivery run. The unit had left the Newton Aycliffe factory just three days earlier. It's a pity that the Great Western units are not going to retain this white livery, as it looks so much better than the awful dark green colour scheme that they will eventually be painted in. Class 800 activity in the Swindon area is now stepping up a gear, as just 18 minutes later, Virgin East Coast interloper 800101 also passed this way.

800011 Charlbury 2 January 2018

The new era on the Cotswold Line. 800011 arrives at Charlbury station on 2 January 2018 with the 1W14 06:52 Paddington to Great Malvern GWR service. This was supposed to have been the first revenue earning working of one of these units over the Cotswold Line, but in the event this same unit worked a Paddington to Hereford and return train two days earlier. Despite the fact that it was still virtually dark, and that these trains will be the staple motive power on this line for decades to come, I thought it worth recording the dawn of the new era, and decided to picture the brand new train passing Brunel's 165 year old wooden station building.

800011 Combe 19 January 2018

800011 passes Combe on 19 January 2018 with the 1P25 09:54 Great Malvern to Paddington GWR service. Apart from the awful dark green livery, I think these new units are quite stylish, especially considering some of the hideous designs that have appeared recently (Class 380, 385, etc). However, on many services they are replacing HSTs, so they are following on from the most successful train ever to run in this country, so they have a hard act to follow!

800011 Chilson 7 February 2018

During the first few weeks of their operation over the Cotswold Line, 800011 has proved to be one of the most frequent performers of the new Hitachi Class 800 DMU fleet. It is pictured here passing Chilson on 7 February 2018 with the 1P22 08:25 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington GWR service.

800011 & 800022 Steventon 16 February 2018

800011 & 800022 pass Steventon on 16 February 2018 with the 1B40 13:45 Paddington to Swansea GWR service. Due to their lower power to weight ratio when running on diesel, these new bi-mode units struggle to keep up with HST timings, although in this case the train managed to arrive at its destination a mere five minutes late.

800012 & 800010 Badgeworth 22 October 2017

800012 & 800010 pass Badgeworth on Sunday 22 October 2017 with the 5X01 08:55 Stoke Gifford to Tiverton Loop gauging test run. They had just reversed at Worcester, and would shortly be taking the Stroud line to Swindon, where they would reverse again.

800012 Moreton-in-Marsh 16 April 2018

800012 approaches Moreton-in-Marsh on 16 April 2018 with the 1W14 06:52 Paddington to Great Malvern GWR service. The front of the unit is crossing the public footpath crossing that connects the southern end of Moreton-in-Marsh with the Evenlode road. The crossing was originally just behind where I am stood, but was shifted further south so that if anything was stored in the down refuge siding (very unlikely!), then the footpath could still be used. The buffer stop for the siding can be seen on the right. The official route for the footpath on this side is between the fences where I am stood, but virtually everyone now uses a short cut across the field on the left.

800013 & 800006 Grove 30 November 2017

The wires are up, but not the pantographs! 800013 & 800006 are still running on diesel power, as they pass Grove on 30 November 2017 with the 1A11 09:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington GWR service. The sun has melted the early morning frost, except in the shade of the hedge in the foreground.

800013 Charlbury (Cornbury Park) 20 June 2018

800013 is slowing for the approach to Charlbury station on 20 June 2018, as it passes Cornbury Park with the 1W14 06:52 Paddington to Great Malvern GWR service. Recent tree clearance has opened up this view nicely, although because it is looking south, an overcast day such as this is best for photography.

800014 Finstock 19 December 2017

My first picture of a Class 800 DMU on the Cotswold Line. 800014 arrives at Finstock station on 19 December 2017 with the 5Z26 09:11 Hereford Diesel Sidings to Stoke Gifford selective door opening test run. The train came to a stand with the leading vehicle underneath the roadbridge, and a member of staff got out of the second coach and looked down the train. After taking a picture on his phone, he reboarded the train, and test complete, the train set off towards Oxford. Class 800s had previously made several forays up the line, but they were either at night, or in the case of the one a week earlier, happened during heavy snow that prevented me getting out to photograph it! Note the unhelpful train indicator, which kept cycling through a series of messages saying it couldn't find the modem or GPS signal. Also, as you can tell from the winter sunshine, the time definitely isn't 21:18!

800014 & 800008 Steventon 16 February 2018

800014 & 800008 pass Steventon on 16 February 2018 with the 1C17 14:00 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads GWR service. The wires end at the fourth stanchion, so this train is running on diesel power, despite the fact that electfrication should by now be complete.

800014 Hanborough 21 March 2018

800014 approaches Hanborough on 21 March 2018 with the 1P25 09:54 Great Malvern to Paddington GWR service. Just three months into their operation on the Cotswold Line, in early 2018 the Class 800s operate most trains on the route, except for the Hereford HSTs, and the Class 165s to Moreton-in-Marsh.

800014 Lyneham 26 July 2018

Although it is questionable whether the introduction of the Class 800 DMUs is actually an improvement over the HSTs on the Cotswold Line, they are certainly an improvement over the various types of DMU that have been used on the evening 'all stations' local service on the line. 800014 is seen here passing Lyneham, whilst still accelerating away from Shipton station on 26 July 2018 with the 1W33 16:22 Paddington to Great Malvern GWR service. Unfortunately the improved rolling stock has not been matched with improved punctuality - this was running 15 minutes late.

800015 & 800013 Steventon 25 January 2018

800015 & 800013 approach Steventon on 25 January 2018 with the late running 1A09 07:12 Taunton to Paddington GWR service. Although most of the line through the Vale of White Horse has been ruined for photography by the controversial electfrication programme, this location is still passable, and offers a variety of (albeit similar) views along the length of this farm track.

800015 Charlbury 30 January 2018

GWR ancient and modern at Charlbury. The classic Great Western Railway style running in board on the right contrasts markedly with the brand new Hitachi built bi-mode DMU arriving at the station on 30 January 2018. 800015 is working the 1P29 12:00 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington GWR service.

800016 & 800006 Steventon 25 January 2018

Where have the wires gone? This is the point near Steventon in early 2018 where the 25kV wires abruptly end. 800016 & 800006 still have to rely on their diesel engines for the moment, as they head towards London on 25 January 2018 with the 1A10 09:00 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington GWR service

800016 Shipton 23 April 2018

800016 speeds through Shipton on 23 April 2018 with the 1P25 09:54 Great Malvern to Paddington GWR service. Shipton's diminutive station can be seen in the background. Note the extremely basic fence between the railway and the FWP Matthews flour mill car park. 

800016 Moreton-in-Marsh (Dunstall Bridge) 2 May 2018

800016 accelerates away from Moreton-in-Marsh on 2 May 2018 with the 1P42 17:26 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington GWR service. Despite the fact that the field behind the train is obviously very boggy, how long will it be before developers cover it with even more housing estates, like the one in the background?

800016 Moreton-in-Marsh 4 August 2018

With a field of golden wheat on the right, and an almost equally golden field of parched grass behind, 800016 approaches Dunstall Bridge, near Moreton-in-Marsh on 4 August 2018 with the 1W37 13:22 Paddington to Great Malvern GWR service.

800017 & 800015 Uffington 26 April 2018

Still running on their diesel engines, due to the massive delay in the vastly over budget and staggeringly mismanaged electfrication scheme, 800017 & 800015 speed past Uffington on 26 April 2018 with the late running 1L46 09:49 Cardiff Central to Paddington GWR service.

800018 Chilson 25 January 2018

800018 passes Chilson on 25 January 2018 with the 1P29 12:00 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington GWR service. This is of course a going away shot, but the pulsing LED taillights have been caught during their 'off' cycle, so only the line on which it is travelling gives the game away, and of course the absence of a driver!

800018 Hinksey 7 February 2018

800018 passes Hinksey Yard on 7 February 2018 with the 1P25 09:54 Great Malvern to Paddington GWR service. The bright red of the DB Schenker MXA ballast wagons in the foreground certainly contrasts markedly with the drab dark green livery of the bi-mode unit, which looks almost black in the admittedly very head on lighting.

800020 Moreton-in-Marsh 19 April 2018

800020 approaches the farm occupation crossing near Moreton-in-Marsh on 19 April 2018 with the 1W14 06:52 Paddington to Great Malvern GWR service. The bridge in the background is the recently reconstructed Dunstall Bridge.

800020 & 800008 Grove 14 May 2018

800020 & 800008 pass Grove on 14 May 2018 with the 1A10 09:00 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington GWR service. Just visible in the background is 59202, which is stopped at a red signal on the up relief line with the late running diverted 7A09 06:26 Merehead Quarry to Acton Mendip Rail 'jumbo' stone train.

800020 Bretforton 19 May 2018

800020 approaches Clayfield Crossing, near Bretforton, on 19 May 2018 with the 1W29 11:22 Paddington to Great Malvern GWR service. The train has just called at Honeybourne station, which is just out of sight around the corner.

800021 & 800023 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 18 January 2018

Running nearly an hour late due to the down main line being closed at Didcot, 800021 & 800023 approach Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 18 January 2018 with the 1B27 11:15 Paddington to Cardiff Central GWR service. 72 cylinders at work here, until they energize the overhead wiring!

800021 Bretforton 19 May 2018

New fence, new train! 800021 passes Bretforton on 19 May 2018 with the 1P47 12:06 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington GWR service. At least the new lineside boundary here isn't one of Network Rail's hideous palisade eyesores.

800023 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 15 December 2017

On possibly its first outing on the Great Western Mainline, brand new 800023 passes the site of Ashbury Crossing, Shrivenham, on 15 December 2017 with the late running 5Z01 10:18 North Pole IEP Depot to Bristol Parkway test run. It had worked down from the its birthplace at Newton Aycliffe just four days earlier, running as the 5X80 08:56 Doncaster to North Pole.

800024 & 800011 Steventon 15 May 2018

800024 & 800011 approach Steventon on 15 May 2018 with the 1L38 07:54 Swansea to Paddington GWR service. Using steel rods to reinforce concrete fence posts is fine until the water gets in and rusts the steel. The expansion then destroys the posts. Note how some of these posts have virtually no concrete left on them!

800024 Moreton-in-Marsh 18 May 2018

Contrasting technologies at Moreton-in-Marsh on 18 May 2018. 800024 arrives at the station with the 1P25 09:54 Great Malvern to Paddington GWR service, passing one of Moreton's classic Western Region lower quadrant semaphore signals.

800025 & 800028 Challow 11 July 2018

800025 & 800028 pass Challow under an impressive sky on 11 July 2018 with the late running 1C16 13:30 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads GWR service. Hopefully this will soon be a historic picture, as eventually the unit's pantographs will actually be utilising the massively over budget overhead electfrication!

800026 Hinksey 7 February 2018

Just a few weeks old, 800026 still looks smart, despite its awful dark green livery, as it passes Hinksey Yard on 7 February 2018 with the 1P29 12:00 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington GWR service. It will be a long time before the pantograph on the roof of the leading vehicle gets any use at this location!

800026 Hanborough 12 May 2018

800026 accelerates away from Hanborough station in the rain on 12 May 2018 with the 1W07 17:22 Paddington to Worcester Foregate Street GWR service. Although there has been a welcome clearance of lineside vegetation here, making photography possible once more, unfortunately the traction is not as interesting as it was three decades earlier!

800027 Cassington 18 April 2018

800027 passes Cassington on 18 April 2018 with the 1P25 09:54 Great Malvern to Paddington GWR service. It is a pleasure to find a location that has actually now become better than I have ever known it photographically. After decades of neglect, the Cotswold Line is receiving plenty of attention from the chainsaw, and this viewpoint has benefited greatly.

800027 Charlbury 18 April 2018

800027 arrives at Charlbury station on 18 April 2018 with the late running 1W29 14:21 Paddington to Worcester Foregate Street GWR service. Apart from the obvious difference in rail traction, this view differs from pictures I took here in the 1980s, as now virtually all the cars in the car park are either black or silver, with just the occasional white or red vehicle. What a difference to the myriad of bright colours that car manufacturers offered a few decades ago!

800027 & 800013 Uffington 26 April 2018

Overhead wires, but still no power! 800027 & 800013 speed past Uffington on 26 April 2018 with the 1L51 10:51 Cardiff Central to Paddington GWR service. Two five car units running on diesel will one day be replaced by a single nine car unit running on electricity!

800027 Bremell Sidings (site of) 6 July 2018

800027 passes the oil depot on the site of Bremell Sidings, as it heads away from is normal route with the 1B55 16:15 Paddington to Swansea GWR service on 6 July 2018. Instead of going via the Severn Tunnel, the train was reaching South Wales via Gloucester.

800028 Ascott-under-Wychwood 14 May 2018

In 2018 the two daily trains that serve Ascott-under-Wychwood station are formed of very different stock. The early morning up train utilises a two car Class 165, while the evening down train uses one of the newly built Class 800 units. 800028 arrives at the station on 14 May 2018 with the 1W33 16:22 Paddington to Great Malvern GWR service.

800028 & 800025 Steventon 15 May 2018

800028 & 800025 approach Steventon on 15 May 2018 with the 1L48 09:23 Swansea to Paddington GWR service. This was slowing down on the approach to a red signal, as moments earlier a large lorry had demolished one of the barriers of Causeway level crossing!

800029 Honeybourne 5 May 2018

800029 approaches Honeybourne on 5 May 2018 with the 1W02 10:35 Maidenhead to Hereford GWR service, just as 37601 Perseus moves off after a brief pause on the Long Marston branch, as it hauls EMU 350234, running as the 5Q94 08:55 Northampton EMD to Long Marston. Engineering works meant that all Cotswold Line trains were starting from Maidenhead. Note the recent trackside clearance on the right.

800029 Challow 14 May 2018

Diesel power under the wires. Still unable to make use of the yet to be commissioned overhead electfrication, 800029 speeds past Challow on 14 May 2018 with the 1B31 12:15 Paddington to Cardiff Central GWR service.

800030 Honeybourne 24 February 2018

Brand new 800030 leaves Honeybourne station on 24 February 2018 with the 1P40 09:45 Great Malvern to Paddington GWR service. Like a lot of Cotswold Line services in early 2018, this train actually started from Worcester Shrub Hill. The Great Malvern to Worcester section of the line is seeing an appalling level of services, with numerous trains cancelled. The line as a whole has seen a massive nose dive in reliability, despite the introduction of these new trains. On this day however, there were 'only' three complete cancellations!

800030 Charlbury (Cornbury Park) 26 March 2018

800030 accelerates away from Charlbury station on 26 March 2018 with the 1P29 12:00 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington GWR service. This location, on the road to Cornbury Park, has recently been cleared of much lineside vegetation, after years of total neglect. Although this has opened up this afternoon viewpoint nicely, not much has been done to the other side, which in the 1980s was still totally free of bushes. Charlbury church can be seen amid the trees in the distance.

800030 Moreton-in-Marsh (Dunstall Bridge) 2 May 2018

800030 approaches Moreton-in-Marsh on 2 May 2018 with the 1W33 16:22 Paddington to Great Malvern GWR service. This is the recently cleared view from Dunstall Bridge, which except for the awkwardly placed sign, is now just as good photographically as it was thirty years ago.

800030 Uffington 27 July 2018

This view clearly shows the hideous eyesore that the electfrication project has inflicted upon the Great Western Mainline. Unfortunately, this viewpoint, from the new footbridge at Uffington, never existed before electfrication. Running very slowly because of high rail temperatures, 800030 heads west on 27 July 2018 with the 1B63 17:15 Paddington to Carmarthen GWR service.

800031 Steventon 16 February 2018

Five to go! 800031 makes its maiden run along the Great Western Mainline on 16 February 2018 with the 5X30 14:17 North Pole IEP Depot to Swindon test run. The previous day it had worked down from the North east as the 5X80 08:56 Doncaster Carr to North Pole IEP. The five car Class 800/0s for GWR are numbered 800001 to 800036, so only five more of these have yet to arrive, plus of course the nine car Class 800/3s, and the Class 802s.

800031 & 800008 Uffington 26 April 2018

The new order at Uffington. A new footbridge for a different view, new overhead catenary for an impeded view, and something new to photograph. 800031 & 800008 head eastwards on 26 April 2018 with the 1A10 09:00 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington GWR service.

800031 Cashes Green 30 June 2018

800031 passes Cashes Green on 30 June 2018 with the diverted 1B40 13:12 Paddington to Swansea GWR service. The train actually started from Reading at 13:40, allegedly due to a problem with the brakes. Not bad for a brand new train!

800032 AScott-under-Wychwood 21 March 2018

800032 races through Ascott-under-Wychwood station on 21 March 2018 with the 1P22 08:25 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington GWR service. There would be very little prospect of anybody getting in the way of my picture here, as the next train to call at the platform I am standing on is over eight hours away!

800032 Badsey 4 August 2018

Summer 2018 sees a mixture of Class 165s, 166s, HSTs and Class 800s operating services over the Cotswold Line, with a gradual increase in the latter. 800032 is seen here passing Badsey on 4 August 2018 with the 1P47 12:06 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington GWR service.

800033 Wolvercote 18 March 2018

Brand new 800033 passes Wolvercote on 18 March 2018 with the 1P45 11:14 Great Malvern to Paddington GWR service. In the foreground is the reinstated down relief line, which during the last few years has been installed, lifted, and reinstalled again!

800033 Moreton-in-Marsh (Dunstall Bridge) 5 April 2018

800033 passes Dunstall Bridge, Moreton-in-Marsh, on 5 April 2018 with the 1P22 08:25 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington GWR service. There are various viewpoints possible at this location, and for this one I have deliberately gone for the 'train in the landscape' type of picture.

800034 Honeybourne 20 March 2018

800034 stands at Honeybourne station on 20 March 2018 with the 1P33 13:55 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington GWR service. As this was a very dull day, I decided to take the opportunity to take a picture from what would normally be the shady side of the train, especially as the train was stopped in exactly the right spot.

800034 Moreton-in-Marsh (Dunstall Bridge) 5 April 2018

After years of total neglect, 2018 finally sees some vegetation clearance along the Cotswold Line. Several large trees have disappeared from this view from Dunstall Bridge, Moreton-in-Marsh. 800034 heads north on 5 April 2018 with the 1W14 06:52 Paddington to Great Malvern GWR service.

800035 Charlbury 22 June 2018

800035 accelerates away from Charlbury station on 22 June 2018 with the 1W14 06:52 Paddington to Great Malvern GWR service. The pantographs on the roof of this bi-mode unit will certainly never be needed on this section of line!

800035 Churchill Heath 22 June 2018

800035 passes Churchill Heath on 22 June 2018 with the 1W33 16:22 Paddington to Great Malvern GWR service. These DMUs unusually do not have engines under every vehicle, the two outer driving vehicles being unpowered.

800036 Stonesfield 2 July 2018

800036 heads down the Cotswold Line near Stonesfield on 2 July 2018 with the 1P14 07:10 Moreton-in-Marsh to Paddington GWR service. This train has seen three different forms of motive power within as many months. It started 2018 as a Class 165 working, was then upgraded to a HST service, and has now been downgraded again to a Class 800 DMU.

800101 South Marston 12 June 2017

An East Coast interloper on the Great Western Mainline! Virgin East Coast 800101 passes South Marston on 12 June 2017 with the 5X32 11:02 Reading West Junction to Swindon test run. Note the Azuma branding, which is what Virgin have decided to christen their fleet (it means East in Japanese). I'm sure enthusiasts will eventually think up different names for these high tech DMUs! Just 18 minutes earlier one of the GWR's new five car units also passed this spot, on its delivery run from the Newton Aycliffe factory.

800304 Stonesfield 2 July 2018

800304 passes a rather scrappy field of peas near Stonesfield on 2 July 2018, as it heads down the Cotswold Line with the late running 1P12 05:28 Hereford to Paddington GWR service. With the Hereford trains starting to be taken over by Class 800s, the end is definitely approaching for HSTs in the Cotswolds!

800304 Hinksey 23 July 2018

At little more than walking speed, 800304 passes Hinksey Yard on 23 July 2018 with the 1P36 15:22 Worcester Shrub Hill to Paddington GWR service. This had managed to traverse the Cotswold Line exactly on time (no mean achievement in 2018!), but had then become involved in the massive delays caused by problems with the newly laid track at Oxford. On the left are the wagons of the 4L40 16:42 Morris Cowley to Purfleet BMW Mini car carriers, while just visible in the background is the 6Z71 15:00 Swindon European Metal Recycling to Aldwarke scrap train.

800304 Hinksey 23 July 2018

800304 passes Hinksey Yard on 23 July 2018 with the late running 1W36 17:52 Paddington to Worcester Shrub Hill GWR service. There is certainly plenty of capacity increase on the Cotswold Line with these new nine car units, but replacing HSTs with DMUs doesn't exactly seem like an improvement!

800304 Wolvercote 2 August 2018

On the evening of 2 August 2018, whilst photographing at Wolvercote, I noticed that the cows on Port Meadow had wandered across to the near the track, so decided to take a wider view, to include them in the picture. This works up to a point, but they are not exactly facing the right way for the camera! 800304 runs along the new down relief line with the 1W36 17:52 Paddington to Worcester Shrub Hill GWR service. This was running 23 minutes late, due to signalling problems near Slough. In view of this, I decided not to wait for the following 1W03 18:22 Paddington to Hereford train, which was probably just as well, as that was twice as late!

800305 Wellhouse Bay 28 June 2018

With the River Severn and the Cotswold Hills forming the scenic backdrop, 800305 passes Wellhouse Bay on 28 June 2018 with the late running diverted 1B63 17:15 Paddington to Carmarthen GWR service. The train's normal route via the Severn Tunnel was closed for engineering works.

800305 Ascott-under-Wychwood 29 June 2018

The new order on the Cotswold Line. 800305 passes Ascott-under-Wychwood with the 1W36 17:52 Paddington to Worcester Shrub Hill GWR service on 29 June 2018. Whether five underfloor engines is an improvement over the HST's engine at either end is open to question!

800305 Great Bedwyn 2 July 2018

The new order on the Berks & Hants Line. 800305 pulls slowly away from Bedwyn station (hidden by the trees), as it works the 1J91 17:07 Paddington to Frome GWR service on 2 July 2018. The cow is not impressed! The well used footpath crossing connects Great Bedwyn Village with the Kennet & Avon Canal.

800306 Moreton-in-Marsh (Dunstal Bridge) 21 June 2018

The new type of premium train on the Cotswold Line. 800306 approaches Dunstall Bridge, Moreton-in-Marsh, on 21 June 2018 with the 1W29 14:21 Paddington to Worcester Foregate Street GWR service. The five car Class 800/0s started operating Cotswold Line services on the last day of 2017, but the nine car Class 800/3s did not come on stream until June 2018.

800307 Ledbury Viaduct 5 August 2018

A location that I had been meaning to visit for over three decades, but somehow never go around to! 800307 crosses Ledbury Viaduct on 5 August 2018 with the 1W02 10:36 Paddington to Hereford GWR service. The 31 arch brick viaduct was built in 1859 for the Worcester and Hereford Railway.

800307 Ledbury 5 August 2018

The new and the old at Ledbury on 5 August 2018. Brand new 800307 leaves the station with the 1P63 14:32 Hereford to Paddington GWR service, passing a pair of vintage lower quadrant signals, and the 133 year old Great Western Railway signal box.

800308 Oaksey 3 July 2018

Brand new 800308 passes the site of Oaksey Halt on 3 July 2018 with the 5Z30 14:17 North Pole IEP Depot to Swindon (via Gloucester) crew training run. After reversal at Gloucester, it would return an hour and a half later.

800308 Oaksey 3 July 2018

After reversing at Gloucester, 800308 passes Oaksey for the second time on 3 July 2018 with the 5Z30 14:17 North Pole IEP Depot to Swindon crew training run. Apart from the awful livery, these new trains look quite stylish. Unfortunately however, they are not as comfortable to travel in compared to a HST, mainly due to the very basic hard seats.

802001 & 802002 Grove 30 November 2017

My first picture of a Class 802 - the version of the IEP bi-mode unit with more powerful engines. 802001 & 802002 pass Grove on 30 November 2017 with the 5Z19 09:34 North Pole Depot to Taunton Signal E483 test run. Note the complete lack of any GWR branding.

802002 & 802001 Uffington 26 April 2018

802002 & 802001 pass Uffington on 26 April 2018 with the late running 5Z90 07:49 Stoke Gifford to Reading test run. These are the high powered variant of the IEP fleet, with 2820hp available per set, as opposed to 2250hp on a Class 800. Once in passenger operation (from July 2018) they will principally work on the West of England Line.

802101 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 14 May 2018

My first picture of a nine coach Class 802. 802101 speeds underneath Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 14 May 2018 with the 5Z90 07:39 Stoke Gifford to Reading test rum. Note that the relatively new bridge in the background is already going rusty. Nothing will probably done about this, as Network Rail do not seem to know what paint is. They replace rather than maintain.

802101 Grove 14 May 2018

802101 passes Grove on 14 May 2018 with the 5Z92 10:36 Bristol Parkway to Paddington test run. This higher powered version of the Hitachi IEP fleet is not destined for this route, but will instead be used for the West of England line, via Newbury.

802101 Challow 14 May 2018

802101 runs along the down relief line (as booked) at Challow on 14 May 2018 with the 5Z93 12:17 Paddington to Bristol Parkway test run. I had already photographed the earlier 5Z90 & 5Z92 runs. I didn't bother with the 5Z91, 5Z93 or 5Z95! Note the lack of any GWR branding.

802101 Steventon 15 May 2018

Looking even more drab without any GWR branding, 802101 approaches Steventon on 15 May 2018 with the 5Z92 10:36 Bristol Parkway to Paddington test run. This is the point where sidings formerly diverged to the right to serve the Steventon Army Depot.