3001 Westenhanger 11 May 1996

3001 passes through Westenhanger station on 11 May 1996 with the 9133 13:44 Lille to Waterloo service. This view has now been completely transformed. The bushes behind the platform on the left have all gone, making way for the construction of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (HS1), on which of course the Eurostars now run.

3002 Westenhanger 16 July 1999

3002 leads the 9O43 16:07 Paris Gare du Nord to Waterloo service past Westenhanger on 16 July 1999. Plenty has changed here since this picture was taken. Eurostars now travel on a dedicated overhead electrified high speed line, running along the line of the fence on the left. What remained of the field on the left has subsequently been swallowed up by a service station on the nearby M20. Even the farm bridge which I am standing on to take this picture has been demolished!

3002 Willesborough 19 July 2002

Soon to be running on the new line on the left, working from the 25kV AC overhead, rather than the 750V DC third rail, the 9I53 17:56 Brussels Midi to Waterloo service passes Willesborough on 19 July 2002, led by 3002. The first of the new overhead masts can be seen ironically directly above the soon to be used pantograph on 3002.

3002 Sevington 3 June 2013

3002 speeds past Sevington in fine evening light on 3 June 2013 with the 9I49 16:56 Bruxelles Midi to St Pancras International service. This was my first visit to Kent since the Channel Tunnel Rail Link was completed. Ironically I already have a picture of this particular Eurostar set, just a little further to the west, over a decade earlier, and running on the 750V DC third rail.

3004 Whetsted 28 January 2001

3004 passes Whetsted (near Paddock Wood) with the 9I24 10:27 Waterloo to Brussels Midi service on 28 January 2001. Not a location that would be much good in the summer, but in the middle of winter there is just enough gaps in the lineside bushes for a different angle from the standard shot from the nearby bridge.

3101 Willesborough 19 July 2002

The setting sun turns 3101 golden as it heads past Willesborough with the Fridays only 9O54 19:23 Waterloo to Paris Nord service on 19 July 2002. I was lucky that this train was booked to pass during the relatively brief period when a perfect glint picture could be taken and before the shadows of the bushes on the left would have become a problem. An interesting picture as it shows the new high speed line under construction in the background, with the masts erected but as yet no overhead wires. Soon of course these Eurostar services would be using this new line with the consequent severe reductions in photographic possibilities, not only due to the overhead wires but also due the prominent fencing that would appear in many locations.

3107 Queen Street 23 August 1999

3107 leads the 9O39 15:19 Paris Nord to Waterloo service through the Kent countryside at Queen Street (near Paddock Wood) on 23 August 1999. This is on the long virtually dead straight section of line between Ashford and Tonbridge, which surprisingly yields very few good photographic vantage points.

3201 Sandling 8 September 2002

3201 leads the 9O19 10:19 Paris Gare du Nord to Waterloo service through Sandling station on a dull 8 September 2002, although at least it had just stopped raining! A scene that is now history as the Eurostars now use their own dedicated high speed route from London to the tunnel, and in any case have had their third rail collector shoes removed, making this scene impossible to repeat. Note the banner repeater signal on the left, giving advance warning of the aspect of the next signal.

3206 Sevington 16 July 1999

A brief patch of sunshine spotlights 3206 as it leads the 9O46 17:15 Waterloo to Paris Gare du Nord service past Sevington on 16 July 1999. Although there is no sign of the forthcoming high speed line which would soon parallel this line on the right, preparations to protect the house behind the lead power car are underway, with a fence being erected to keep the diggers at bay.

3213 Sevington 3 June 2013

Not having stopped at Ashford International, 3213 is probably travelling at or near line speed (186mph) as it passes Sevington on 3 June 2013 with the 9O44 17:31 St Pancras International to Paris Nord service. A big improvement on the 100mph that was the maximum possible when these trains operated on the classic 750V DC third rail lines on the left.

3215 Queen Street 15 March 1995

3215 passes Queen Street (near Paddock Wood) on 15 March 1995 with the 9014 09:23 Waterloo to Paris Gare du Nord service. With hindsight I should have made more trips to Kent to photograph the Eurostars while they were still running on the third rail.

3216 Westenhanger 11 May 1996

3216 leads the 9O28 12:53 Waterloo International to Paris Nord Eurostar service past Westenhanger on 11 May 1996. This view changed considerably during the following decade. Surprisingly the derelict station house has remained much the same, but the new high speed line now occupies a broad strip of land to the right of the track here, and of course a present day Eurostar train would use the new line. And yes, the Honda Accord parked in the car park is the one that gives this website its name!

3220 Sevington 14 February 1998

3220 leads 3219 past Sevington in the fading light on 14 February 1998 with the 9I41 14:56 Brussels Midi to Waterloo International Eurostar service. If the occupants of the picturesque cottage thought they had problems living close to a railway line when this picture was taken, they will certainly think they have now, as the new high speed line has subsequently been constructed between the existing line and their house!

3221 Westenhanger 11 May 2002

Transition time at Westenhanger on 11 May 2002. 3221 speeds westwards through the station with the 9019 10:19 Paris Nord to Waterloo service. Work is well under way to construct the parallel Channel Tunnel Rail Link (HS1), which in due course would be the route that the Eurostars would use in this country. Coincidentally, I visited this location exactly six years earlier, before any work had started, and when the station's down platform was backed by tall bushes.

3221 Sandling 8 September 2002

According to the station clock at Sandling it is 11:42:28 exactly, as the 9I24 10:14 Waterloo to Paris Gare du Nord service rushes through lead by 3221. At least it was moving, as when I traveled on the Eurostar, it stopped in the Sandling area for a few minutes for no obvious reason!  The date of this picture is 8 September 2002, a day of intermittent rain showers.

3230 Whetsted 28 January 2001

3230 heads through the Kent countryside at Whetsted with the 9O18 10:10 London Waterloo to Paris Gare du Nord service on 28 January 2001. These superb trains were somewhat restricted when working from the 750v third rail due to limited current capacity, but at least the old route through was more photogenic, without the clutter of the overhead catenary. This photo is taken from the A228 bridge, which is one of the few locations in the area that is clear of shadows during the winter months. The village of Five Oak Green can be seen in the background.


3311 Adwick-le-Street 8 March 2003

Unfortunately I have very few pictures of Eurostars on the East Coast Main Line, as during their brief period of operation on the route, I was busy chasing the rapidly diminishing ranks of Class 37s and other classic traction. However, here is 3311 leading the 09:10 Kings Cross to Leeds service through Adwick-le-Street on a very dull 8 March 2003.