GWR Steam

Iron Duke Toddington 25 April 2011

Isambard Kingdom Brunel's Great Western Railway was originally constructed in the 1830s to the broad (7ft žin) gauge, for superior speed and comfort. Whilst the idea was (and still is) correct, the cost, and land required was a problem, and more importantly the vast majority of other lines being built at the time were to standard gauge. The end finally came in May 1892 when the remaining 177 miles of track from Paddington to Penzance was converted from broad gauge to standard gauge in two days! Just imagine how many months it would take Network Rail to do that now! With the exception of the small vertical boiler 0-4-0 loco 'Tiny', no original broad gauge locomotives survive. However, in 1985 a working replica of 4-2-2 Iron Duke was constructed. It is pictured here in the car park at Toddington station on 25 April 2011, during its visit to the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway.

1450 Didbrook 5 December 1999

14xx 0-4-2T 1450 passes Toddington's up home signal, as it accelerates past Didbrook with the 11:00 Toddington to Winchcombe 'Santa Special' on 5 December 1999. Built in 1935, 1450 spent a lot of its working life in the Oxford area, and was occasionally used on my local line, the Fairford Branch, which closed in 1962. 1450 is certainly the most widely traveled of the four preserved members of the class. 1420 & 1442 have remained in Devon, while 1466 was famously the first locomotive acquired by the Great Western Society in 1964 and now resides at Didcot. 1450 meanwhile has visited a number of preserved railways and even has a mainline ticket.

1450 & 7903 Toddington 3 June 2017

14xx 0-4-2T 1450 visited the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway in May 2017 for their 'Festival of Steam' event, and stayed to work the following weekend's autotrains, replacing the usual DMU operated trains. It is pictured here at Toddington on 3 June 2017, in the company of Hall Class 4-6-0 7903 Foremarke Hall, which is about to work the 10:00 service to Cheltenham Racecourse.

1450 Stanton 3 June 2017

14xx 0-4-2T 1450 passes Stanton on 3 June 2017 with the 11:16 Buckland to Winchcombe autotrain. The loco had arrived at the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway the previous month, in order to take part in the line's 'Festival of Steam' event. Here it is taking the place of the normal DMU, which until Broadway station opens, is generally the staple motive power north of Toddington.

1450 Hayles Abbey Halt 3 June 2017

14xx 0-4-2T 1450 passes Hayles Abbey Halt on 3 June 2017 with the 11:16 Buckland to Winchcombe autotrain. This was running in place of the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's usual DMU service, and making use of the loco and trailer's brief visit to the line. The halt is a newly completed recreation of the 1920s original, and was still not open for traffic when this picture was taken. The first halt was opened by the Great Western Railway in the hope of attracting visitors to the nearby Hayles (or Hailes) Abbey, a former Cistercian abbey, dissolved by Henry VIII's commissioners on Christmas Eve 1539, and later mostly demolished.

1501 Kidderminster 17 April 2016

15xx Class 0-6-0PT 1501 leaves the Severn Valley Railway's Kidderminster station on 17 April 2016 with the late running 09:30 service to Highley, while 50035 Ark Royal waits in the background, ready to follow it out with the 09:45 Kidderminster to Bridgnorth. Although designed by the GWR, the 15xx Class did not appear until 1949. Ten of these unusual outside cylinder pannier tanks were constructed, of which 1501 is the only survivor. The design was not particularly successful, as their high axle weight restricted their usefulness. They were largely employed on empty stick workings between Old Oak Common and Paddington.

2807 Cheltenham Racecourse 25 April 2011

Passengers chat to the crew of 1905 built 28xx 2-8-0 2807 at Cheltenham Racecourse station on 25 April 2011. It is waiting to work the 10:40 Cheltenham to Winchcombe service. At this time the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway is effectively two railways, with a landslip near Greet preventing through running. Steam trains operate on the southern section, with a DMU shuttle operating over the newly completed northern extension to Laverton.

2807 Winchcombe 25 April 2011

28xx 2-8-0 2807 arrives at Winchcombe on 25 April 2011 with the 12:00 service from Cheltenham Racecourse. As there is no through service to Toddington due to a landslip near Greet, the train is arriving at platform 1. For the 2011 season the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway is effectively operating as two independent lines.

2807 Dixton 24 July 2012

On one of the hottest days of the year there is no visible exhaust from the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's 28xx 2-8-0 2807, despite the fact that is working hard accelerating away from Gotherington station. It is passing Dixton with the 12:00 Cheltenham Racecourse to Winchcombe service on 24 July 2012.

2807 Hailes 6 September 2015

28xx 2-8-0 2807 passes Hailes on 6 September 2015 with the 10:00 Toddington to Cheltenham Racecourse service. This was the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's first train of the day, the 10 o'clock departure being the first southbound train, regardless of which timetable is in operation.

2807 Hailes 2 January 2017

28xx 2-8-0 2807 passes Hailes on 2 January 2017 with the 10:55 Cheltenham Racecourse to Toddington service. As this is approaching Toddington (the distant signal is just beyond the bridge), the loco had shut off, so despite the chilly temperature, there is no exhaust. The evidence of the loco's earlier voluminous exhaust can be seen in the background!

2857 Hailes 10 October 1992

28xx 2-8-0 2857 produces a fine exhaust as it passes Hailes, on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway on 10 October 1992 with the 12:00 Toddington to Winchcombe service, the first train of the day at the time. High voltage power lines now make photography a little more tricky at this location.

2857 Hailes 12 December 1992

28xx 2-8-0 2857 passes Hailes on 12 December 1992 with the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's 10:00 Toddington to Winchcombe Santa Special. Two decades later, this loco received national publicity when the story of its restoration featured in BBC4's 'Golden Age Of Steam Railways' programme.

2857 Eardington 17 September 2016

The fireman hoses down 28xx 2-8-0 2857's footplate, as the loco heads south past Eardington on 17 September 2016 with the 14:55 Bridgnorth to Kidderminster Severn Valley Railway service. This side on view is about the only angle for acceptable tender first photography.

3440 Hailes 13 October 1990

City class 4-4-0 3440 City of Truro approaches Hailes on 13 October 1990 with the 11:00 Toddington to Gretton service during the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's Great Western Weekend. This location was still free of high voltage electricity poles at this time. The view is now a little more restricted.

3440 Lea Marston 3 May 1992

The first locomotive to reach 100 mph - City Class 4-4-0 3440 City of Truro is pictured here passing Lea Marston at a slightly slower speed with a Derby to Paddington special on 3 May 1992, on what was thought at the time to be its last main line outing. However, just as the locomotive emerged from retirement in 1957 to work passenger trains, so it did in the 21st Century.

3440 Ardley Tunnel 3 May 1992

City class 4-4-0 3440 City of Truro approaches the north portal of Ardley Tunnel with a Derby to Paddington special on 3 May 1992. A nice bit of soft evening backlighting and an excellent location but anyone hoping to use this spot now will be severely disappointed, as apart from a small gap the entire embankment is now covered with bushes.

3440 Malago Vale 8 May 2004

On 8 May 2004, City class 4-4-0 3440 City of Truro commemorated its 1904 100mph record breaking run by retracing the same route, almost exactly 100 years after the event. It is pictured here passing Malago Vale, soon after leaving Bristol Temple Meads with the 1Z34 09:55 Bristol Temple Meads to Kingswear 'Ocean Mail 100' railtour.

3440 Greet 24 May 2009

City class 4-4-0 3440 City of Truro rounds Chicken Curve at Greet on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway with the 11:55 Cheltenham Racecourse to Toddington service on 24 May 2009, during the line's 25th anniversary 'Cotswold Festival of Steam'.

3440 Hailes 18 October 2009

City class 4-4-0 3440 City of Truro passes Hailes on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway with the Toddington to Winchcombe Elegant Excursions ECS on 18 October 2009. The Elegant Excursions series of luxury dining trains are the only ones that run the full length of the line non-stop. I can verify this, as I was in the train coming the opposite way, when City of Truro passed through Winchcombe while we were in the loop.

3738 Didcot Railway Centre 5 May 2013

57xx 0-6-0PT 3738 stands outside the main shed at the Didcot Railway Centre on 5 May 2013. 3738 was built at Swindon in 1937, and spent most of its working life on empty stock workings in the London area. It was rescued from Barry scrapyard by the Great Western Society in the mid 1970s.

3803 Gotherington 3 June 2010

28xx 2-8-0 3803 makes a spirited departure from Gotherington on 3 June 2010 with the 09:28 service to Toddington, during the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's GWR 175 Festival of Steam. Note that Gotherington's as yet uncommissioned home signal is position on the 'wrong' side of the line, due to sighting problems on the tight curve. As this was one of the first workings of the day, a good exhaust effect was guaranteed, however later on the high temperatures ensured there was hardly a wisp of exhaust.

3803 Dixton 3 June 2010

Hardly ideal photographic conditions, with the harsh overhead sun not providing good illumination and the heat resulting in a clear exhaust. Despite appearances, 28xx 2-8-0 3803 is actually working hard here as it passes Dixton on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway with the 12:23 Gotherington to Toddington service, during the line's GWR 175 Festival of Steam.

4160 Gotherington 3 June 2010

51xx 2-6-2T 4160 blackens the sky as it departs from Gotherington on 3 June 2010 with the 10:38 service to Toddington, during the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's GWR 175 Festival of Steam. It has just crossed over the Gotherington to Gretton road bridge, which can just be seen in the background by the 10 mph sign.

4160 Dixton 3 June 2010

51xx 2-6-2T 4160 passes Dixton with the 13:33 Gotherington to Toddington service on 3 June 2010, during the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's GWR 175 Festival of Steam. 57xx 0-6-0PT 4612 had earlier brought the train into Gotherington, and is now hitching a ride back to Toddington on the rear of the train.

4270 Hailes 6 September 2015

The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's resident heavy freight tank loco, 42xx 2-8-0T 4270, passes the last few Rosebay Willowherb flowers at Hailes on 6 September 2015, as it works the 11:10 Toddington to Cheltenham Racecourse service. This was supposed to be a totally sunny day, but note the unforecast clouds building up in the background.

4270 Toddington 15 July 2017

42xx 2-8-0T 4270, pictured inside the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's Toddington shed on 15 July 2017. 4270 was built at Swindon in 1919, and like most of its class, spent the majority of its life working heavy coal trains in South Wales. It was withdrawn from Cardiff East Dock shed in September 1962. Here it is displaying the Newport Ebbw Junction (NPT) shed code, where it was allocated in the 1940s.

4277 Toddington 31 March 1990

Early preservation days on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway. 42xx Class 2-8-0T 4277 is still a long way from returning to service as it sits in the bay at Toddington on 31 March 1990. This bay has for a long time now been the permanent home to an exhibition coach.

4612 Winchcombe 23 May 2010

57xx 0-6-0PT 4612 gets some prestigious work on 23 May 2010, as it works the Elegant Excursions Toddington to Gotherington Sunday Lunch special. It is seen here departing from Winchcombe, on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway. The high sun is hardly the most photogenic lighting, with harsh shadows obscuring most of the underframe detail, and although there is still some hawthorn blossom out, it is getting towards the worst time of year for photography, not only due to the high sun, but also the unremitting uniform green colour of the landscape.

4612 Prescott 3 June 2010

Under a cloudless sky, 57xx 0-6-0PT 4612 passes a field of buttercups as it crosses the Gretton to Gotherington road near Prescott with the 11:48 Gotherington to Toddington service, during the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railways GWR 175 Festival of Steam on 3 June 2010.

4612 Gotherington 3 June 2010

57xx 0-6-0PT 4612 arrives at Gotherington on 3 June 2010 with the 13:00 train from Toddington, during the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's GWR 175 Festival of Steam. Although you would think that a sunny mid summer day with deep blue skies would be ideal for photography, this is not necessarily true. Certainly around the middle of the day the high sun throws the wheels and underframe into deep shadow. Photographers - always complaining about something!

4612 Didbrook 3 June 2010

Barely a wisp of exhaust as 57xx 0-6-0PT 4612 passes Didbrook on 3 June 2010 with the 15:55 Toddington to Gotherington service, during the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's GWR 175 Festival of Steam. Pipe laying work is going on in the vicinity of Toddington station, and the course of the work can just be seen in the background, behind Toddington's up home signal.

4920 Didbrook 6 May 1996

Hall Class 4-6-0 4920 Dumbleton Hall passes Didbrook on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway with the 11:00 Toddington to Far Stanley service on 6 May 1996. The tree just coming into leaf makes an ideal frame for the photo, but unfortunately anyone trying to replicate this shot today would have to contend with some high tension electricity lines behind the loco, and increased vegetation growth on the embankment.

4930 & 7029 Nant-y-Derry 6 July 1985

In dull weather that was unfortunately typical of the GW150 summer of 1985, Hall Class 4-6-0 4930 Hagley Hall & Castle Class 4-6-0 7029 Clun Castle pass Nant-y-Derry with the Kidderminster to Cardiff 'Western Stalwart' railtour on 6 July 1985. This location has since become very overgrown, as this view nearly two decades later proves.

4936 Toddington 31 March 1990

The low late afternoon sun accentuates the rust and primer on Hall Class 4-6-0 4936 Kinlet Hall, as it sits in a line of unrestored rolling stock at Toddington, on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway. The date is 31 March 1990, and it would be another decade before this loco was finally returned to steam, although not on this particular line.

4936 Stratton St Margaret 17 June 2000

Hall Class 4-6-0 4936 Kinlet Hall passes Stratton St Margaret on 17 June 2000 with the Vintage Trains 08:10 Birmingham Snow Hill to Didcot 'SLS Special' railtour. This was Kinlet Hall's inaugural mainline run, but leaking tubes and various other problems resulted in 37668 being called upon to assist for the return working. 

4936 Blakedown 30 December 2000

Hall Class 4-6-0 4936 Kinlet Hall passes Blakedown on 30 December 2000 with the Past Time Rail 1Z40 08:08 Stratford-upon-Avon to Newport 'Taffy Apple' railtour. Perfect photographic conditions of sunshine and snow, but despite selecting a low viewpoint, the train has been largely obscured by drifting exhaust. The loco had only returned to the mainline a few months earlier, after not having been steamed for 36 years. 

4965 Fenny Compton 18 April 1999

A recreation of the SLS Specials from the 1950s & 1960s passes Fenny Compton in fine style on 18 April 1999. Hall Class 4-6-0 4965 Rood Ashton Hall was used for this Birmingham Snow Hill to Didcot special, which later returned via the Cotswold Line. I had guessed that the cutting here would mean that the exhaust would not be affected by the wind too much, and I hoped by using a long lens the semaphore signals would stand out, assuming the exhaust didn't blow down and obscure them. For once everything worked out right!

4965 & 4936 Milton 10 March 2001

Steam power old and new, although in this case the old has now outlived the new! Hall Class 4-6-0s 4965 Rood Ashton Hall & 4936 Kinlet Hall get into their stride at Milton on 10 March 2001 with the 06:16 Colchester to Bristol Temple Meads 'Bristolian' railtour, which they had just taken over at Didcot. As can be seen from the Class 60 hauled MGR train in the background, Didcot Power Station was still very much in use. However, just over a decade later this 2,000 megawatt plant was shut down, unfortunately thereby lowering the nation's generating capacity reserve.

4965 Kings Sutton 18 December 2005

Sunday 18 December 2005 dawned clear and bright with the prospect of two Great Western locos on the main line near Banbury within an hour or so of each other. Needless to say things didn't go as planned, with 6024 King Edward 1 leaving Paddington two hours late with a special to Stratford-upon-Avon! On hearing this news, I left my selected spot near Aynho and went to the footpath crossing near Kings Sutton to see Hall Class 4-6-0 4965 Rood Ashton Hall on the 1Z65 11:30 Solihull to Didcot Christmas Lunch Special. This is one of the few locations that would be completely clear of shadows at this time of year, so naturally the clouds rolled in from the west and by the time the train came the lighting was really miserable! Note the long suffering photographers on the bridge in the distance still waiting for 6024.

4965 & 4953 Heyford 19 May 2007

On 19 May 2007, Vintage Trains Ltd ran the 1Z57 08:38 Solihull to Bristol Temple Meads 'Two Halls to Bristol' railtour using 4-6-0s 4965 Rood Ashton Hall & 4953 Pitchford Hall. Unfortunately the bright start didn't last long, as clouds rolled in from the west. However, a lucky break in the clouds occurred just at the right time as the tour passed Heyford, running exactly to time.

4965 & 4953 Baulking 19 May 2007

After a water stop at Oxford on 19 May 2007, the Vintage Trains Ltd 1Z57 08:38 Solihull to Bristol Temple Meads 'Two Halls to Bristol' railtour is pictured passing Baulking with 4-6-0s 4965 Rood Ashton Hall & 4953 Pitchford Hall. After driving through rain from the previous location at Heyford, I was quite surprised when yet again the sun came out in time for the train!

4965 Harbury 15 March 2008

On 15 March 2008, Hall Class 4-6-0 4965 Rood Ashton Hall worked its last mainline railtour prior to a planned overhaul at Tyseley. It is pictured climbing towards Harbury Tunnel with the Vintage Trains 1Z43 10:38 Solihull to Didcot '4965 Adieu' tour. Unfortunately the classic view from this location is now completely impossible due to the growth of some quite substantial trees. However I chose this not particularly inspiring viewpoint from the other side of the cutting because I knew it would be working hard and the exhaust would be clear of the rather bland sky.

4965 & 5043 Sapperton 20 February 2010

A 'Hall' & 'Castle' tackle the notorious Sapperton Bank in fine style on 20 February 2010. 4-6-0s 4965 Rood Ashton Hall & 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe storm up the final 1 in 60 section of the gradient  with the Vintage Trains 1Z43 08:05 Tyseley to Didcot 'Great Western Incursion' railtour. A cold morning, with virtually no wind, a sunny location on the steepest part of the bank - what could possibly go wrong? Nothing at all for once, and the sight and sound was truly spectacular. However, as can be seen from the dark trees on the extreme right, the clouds were starting to build and very shortly the chance of any sun would be disappearing rapidly.

4965 & 5043 Uffington 20 February 2010

After seeing 4-6-0s 4965 Rood Ashton Hall & 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe storm up Sapperton Bank with the Vintage Trains 1Z43 08:05 Tyseley to Didcot 'Great Western Incursion' railtour on 20 February 2010, I thought it was highly unlikely that I would get a second decent picture, as the weather had deteriorated with rain showers and masses of thick cloud. However, I ventured out to Uffington to see the 1Z65 15:45 Didcot to Tyseley return, just in case the weather improved. Miraculously, the clouds cleared away a few minutes before the train arrived, leaving this fantastic cloudscape in the background. Even though this location is a fair walk from the nearest road, I was surprised that there was only one other photographer here to record the scene.

4965 & 5043 Sapperton 2 April 2011

Hall Class 4965 Rood Ashton Hall & Castle Class 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe storm up the 1 in 60 Sapperton Bank, on the approach to Sapperton Tunnel with the Vintage Trains 1Z45 08:05 Tyseley to Didcot 'Coronation Express' railtour on 2 April 2011. The tour was arranged to coincide with the introduction into service of 6023 King Edward II at the Didcot Railway Centre.

4965 & 5043 Uffington 2 April 2011

Hall Class 4965 Rood Ashton Hall & Castle Class 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe pass Uffington on 2 April 2011 with the Vintage Trains 1Z46 15:50 Didcot to Tyseley 'Coronation Express' railtour. Most participants on this tour had no doubt been inspecting newly restored King Class 6023 King Edward II at Didcot Railway Centre, which was making its public debut in a sparkling coat of British Railways experimental blue paint. Unfortunately the promised sunny afternoon had soon given way to thick cloud rolling in from the west buy the time this train passed Uffington.

4965 Ascott-under-Wychwood 14 February 2015

Hall Class 4-6-0 4965 Rood Ashton Hall passes Ascott-under-Wychwood Signal Box at high speed on 14 February 2015 with the Vintage Trains 1Z36 12:30 Tyseley to Oxford 'Valentines Dinner Express' railtour. This was just as the persistent drizzle had turned into heavy rain! Although there were a couple of others photographers on the opposite platform, I was surprised to be the only person at this particular spot. Given the awful weather, I thought it was the obvious place to go, as it shows the train passing one of the line's few remaining signal boxes. Until the reconstruction of Ascot's second platform in 2011 this view was not possible.

4965 Churchill Heath 21 November 2015

Hall Class 4-6-0 4965 Rood Ashton Hall passes Churchill Heath (between Kingham and Bruern) on 21 November 2015 with the Vintage Trains 1Z36 09:30 Tyseley to Oxford 'Oxfordshire Explorer' railtour, or alternatively, according to the headboard, 'Tilly's Birthday Express'! Although there was guaranteed sunshine, the strong wind threatened to cause problems with the exhaust blowing down, so I hoped this location, partly in the lee of Churchill Heath Wood, would give a bit of shelter. The result was even better than I had hoped for, and I've even caught the loco in the 'rods down' position, favourite by perfectionist steam photographers!

5029 Stanton Gate 7 March 1991

Castle Class 4-6-0 5029 Nunney Castle emerges from the fog at Stanton Gate on 7 March 1991 with its Derby to Sheffield mainline loaded test run. I suppose this picture is atmospheric, but it has required a lot of careful work in Photoshop and Neat Image to get rid of Kodachrome 200's excessive grain, without removing its inherent sharpness.

5029 Moreton-in-Marsh 8 June 1991

This is definitely something you wouldn't see nowadays! Swarms of enthusiasts, mix with interested locals, as Castle Class 4-6-0 5029 Nunney Castle takes water at Moreton-in-Marsh on 8 June 1991. This was the loco's first mainline passenger working - an InterCity sponsored Paddington to Great Malvern special. Although obviously with a stationary train, and the signals at danger, there is absolutely no danger whatsoever, modern health & safety would just not allow this kind of mass trespass. Whole families can be seen enjoying the spectacle, and if the kids are getting bored, they can always walk along the point rodding!

5029 Standish Junction 8 June 1991

Castle Class 4-6-0 5029 Nunney Castle takes the Swindon line at Standish Junction on 8 June 1991 with its first mainline passenger working - an InterCity sponsored Paddington to Great Malvern special. The outward route was via the Oxford to Worcester Cotswold Line, with the return working being routed via the Golden Valley line. Unfortunately the weather was miserable all day.

5029 Banbury 19 April 1992

Castle Class 4-6-0 5029 Nunney Castle makes a spirited departure from Banbury on 19 April 1992 with the Paddington to Stratford-upon-Avon 'William Shakespeare' railtour. This was my default location for photographing northbound steam tours on the Oxford to Leamington line, as it was the easiest spot to reach after chasing the train from somewhere further south.

5029 Milton 27 June 1993

Castle Class 4-6-0 5029 Nunney Castle heads west from Didcot, and passes Milton on 27 June 1993 with the Paddington to Worcester 'Cotswold Venturer' railtour, allegedly the first steam hauled train on this section of line since the demise of mainline steam in 1965. A slightly large consumer of coal - Didcot Power Station, dominates the background.

5029 Radley 12 June 1994

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Didcot to Oxford line, Castle Class 4-6-0 5029 Nunney Castle worked a series of shuttle specials between the two towns on 12 June 1994. All the local families have come out to see it as it passes through Radley heading towards Oxford. Note that they have plenty of room to wander about as this is before Network Rail had the idiotic idea of fencing off most of the platform width and therefore forcing people to stand nearer fast moving trains!

5029 Oxford 12 June 1994

I do not normally take pictures of steam locomotives working tender first, but this one has a certain novelty value. Castle Class 4-6-0 5029 Nunney Castle passes underneath the Osney Lane footbridge at Oxford in lovely evening light on 12 June 1994, with a special train from Didcot. This was one of a number of trains run to mark the 150th anniversary of the Didcot to Oxford line. Whilst tender first running is very common on most preserved railways (usually 50% of the time!), mainline tender first running is a lot more unusual. This footbridge has been the best known railway photographic vantage point in Oxford for generations.

5029 Wolvercote Junction 19 June 1994

Castle Class 4-6-0 5029 Nunney Castle comes off the Cotswold Line at Wolvercote Junction on 19 June 1994 with the 'Cotswold Venturer' railtour. This tour originated at Paddington and was steam hauled from Didcot, the outward route being via Swindon and the 'Golden Valley' line to Cheltenham. With both mainline routes across the Cotswold Hills being covered, the tour certainly lived up to its name. Note that the Royal Mail liveried support coach at the head of the train does a reasonable job at blending in with the maroon coaching stock.

5029 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 17 July 1994

I think we can see that all is not well here! Castle Class 4-6-0 5029 Nunney Castle is clearly in trouble as it darkens the sky at Shrivenham on 17 July 1994 whilst hauling the Didcot to Worcester 'Cotswold Venturer' railtour. After the tour had passed I spent an hour or so watching the local fire brigade putting out the fires on the side of the cutting just up the line at Bourton. This and further lineside fires in the Golden Valley resulted in Railtrack imposing a steam ban for the southern half of the country.

5029 Banbury 18 December 1994

Spectacular backlighting at Banbury on 18 December 1994, as 4-6-0 5029 Nunney Castle heads north with the ill fated Paddington to Stratford-upon-Avon 'William Shakespeare' railtour. Nunney Castle was not having much success on the mainline at the time, with a series of embarrassing failures, and on this occasion late running and finally running out of coal and having to be rescued by a diesel brought about an immediate mainline ban!

5029 & 6024 Tockenham Wick 19 May 2001

Castle Class 4-6-0 5029 Nunney Castle & King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 storm up Dauntsey Bank and approach Tockenham Wick with the Pathfinder Tours 06:45 Minehead to Paddington 'Capital Castles' railtour on 19 May 2001. A slightly misnamed railtour, but the 'Capital Castle and King' (or similar) doesn't quite have the same ring to it! King Edward 1 worked the train unaided to Bristol Temple Meads, however it was removed at Swindon with a hot axle box, leaving Nunney Castle to work on single handed to London.

5029 Wootton Bassett (Chaddington Lane) 10 November 2001

Castle Class 4-6-0 5029 Nunney Castle just manages to find a small patch of weak sunshine, as it passes Chaddington Lane, just to the east of Wootton Bassett, with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z81 08:05 Swansea to Paddington 'Red Dragon' railtour on 10 November 2001. A water stop at Swindon allowed another picture to be taken at South Marston.

5029 South Marston 10 November 2001

Castle Class 4-6-0 5029 Nunney Castle passes South Marston on 10 November 2001 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z81 08:05 Swansea to Paddington 'Red Dragon' railtour. Note the new line under construction on the right, leading into the South Marston Industrial Estate. Having just chased the train from near Wootton Bassett, I was expecting some other photographers to already be on this bridge, however, the only other person at this location was a local taxi driver, who just happened to stop just before the train was due.

5029 Bishton 15 February 2003

Castle Class 4-6-0 5029 Nunney Castle passes Bishton on 15 February 2003 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z66 04:44 Crewe to Bridgend 'Exe Tawe' railtour. Note the relief lines diverging off to the right, as they approach the Bishton Flyover. The tour had been hauled by 46035 between Crewe and Newton Abbot. Nunney Castle then worked the train back to Bristol, then through the Severn Tunnel to Wales. 46035 followed light engine, and worked the train back from Bridgend.

5029 Ebbw Junction 15 February 2003

Castle Class 4-6-0 5029 Nunney Castle passes Ebbw Junction on 15 February 2003 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z66 04:44 Crewe to Bridgend 'Exe Tawe' railtour. The train is just getting into its stride again, after an hour long water stop at Newport.

5029 & 6024 Compton Beauchamp 28 June 2010

Castle Class 4-6-0 5029 Nunney Castle & King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 make light work of the Steam Dreams 1Z32 17:38 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington 'Cornish Riviera Express' on 28 June 2010. It had earlier in the day worked up from the West Country as the 1Z31 09:07 Penzance to Bristol. The train having worked down to Penzance two days previously. Unfortunately, after a completely sunny day, a bank of thick cloud rolled in from the west just a few minutes before the train was due. However, as this would have been a very backlit picture, perhaps the more subdued light is a blessing in disguise!

5043 Challow 17 April 2010

Castle Class 4-6-0 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe heads along the down relief line at Challow on 17 April 2010 with the Vintage Trains 1Z21 11:33 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads 'Bristolian' railtour. This was the first steam hauled non-stop run between London and Bristol since the early 1960s, made possible by the extra water capacity resulting from installing tanks in the former GUV van directly behind the tender. As you can imagine, every bridge along the line was packed with sightseers (helped by the good weather).

5032 Uffington 17 April 2010

The low evening sun glints off the boiler of Castle Class 4-6-0 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe as it passes Uffington with the Vintage Trains 1Z24 17:02 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington 'Bristolian' railtour on 17 April 2010. This was the return working of the first steam hauled non-stop working along the route since the 1960s. The former GUV van number 96175 which can be seen directly behind the tender has been fitted out internally with water tanks, which enabled this record breaking run to take place. The loco is obviously in fine condition, as it is running 12 minutes early at this point. That was just the beginning, as it managed to knock a whopping 45 minutes of the schedule, reaching Paddington in 109 minutes!

5043 Rousham 18 April 2010

Castle Class 4-6-0 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe is pictured at full speed leaning into the curve at Rousham on 18 April 2010 as it heads the Vintage Trains 1Z50 12:35 Slough to Solihull special, returning the locomotive back to its Birmingham base after its triumphant Great Western Mainline non-stop run of the previous day. This is one of the marginally better locations for a northbound train between Oxford and Banbury at this time of day, but even so is very backlit. As I suspected, I was the only person to walk the mile or so from the nearest road to get to this spot. Very careful timing was required here, in order not to get the loco partly obscuring the ancient tree on the left.

5043 Heyford 1 May 2010

Castle Class 4-6-0 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe passes Heyford on 1 May 2010 with the Vintage Trains 1Z88 07:37 Solihull to Didcot Parkway 'Beltane Express' railtour. This was not the location I had in mind for this tour, but a sunnier than expected morning dictated that a location clear of shadows would be needed. Of course the obvious then happens, at the time the train is due the sun is nowhere to be seen!

5043 Wolvercote 19 June 2010 Castle Class 4-6-0 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe runs along the up relief line at Wolvercote on 19 June 2010 with the Vintage Trains 1Z53 07:06 Solihull to Swansea 'Red Dragon' railtour. Even at 08:30 the 'Castle' is nearing journey's end, for it will hand the train over to LMS Princess Class 4-6-2 6201 Princess Elizabeth at Foxhall Junction, Didcot. Note how close the trees are to the track on the relief line, with the exhaust blasting up through the leaves. Obviously a bit too close, because close inspection of the high res version of this picture shows a clump of leaves caught in mid flight in front of the first coach, having obviously been knocked off one of the overhanging branches!
5043 Souldern Wharf 11 December 2010

Castle Class 4-6-0 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe passes a very gloomy Souldern Wharf on 11 December 2010 with the Vintage Trains 1Z55 08:24 Birmingham Moor Street to Paddington 'First Moor Street Express'. As the tour's name implies, this was the first steam special to originate from Moor Street. Oddly, there were no other photographers at this location. I have previously managed to get away from the crowds while photographing steam, but that is when I have trekked across the fields. Admittedly this is at the end of a no through road, but it is a proper tarmaced road, and you can park near the bridge, so I've no idea why I was the only person here!

5043 Chilson 17 September 2011

Castle Class 4-6-0 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe battles through the pouring rain at Chilson on 17 September 2011 with the Vintage Trains Ltd 1Z97 06:30 Tyseley to Paddington 'Cathedrals Express' railtour. This is the first steam train to traverse the Cotswold Line since the recent reinstatement of double track. I had specifically chosen this location, as if the sun had been out the angle would have been perfect! Typically it was sunny whilst driving to Chilson and again on the way home. Ironically this was the only significant rain of the day, and it certainly was significant! Even though I was shielding the camera from the rain until the very last moment, the filter on the front of the lens was totally covered with spots afterwards.

5043 Shorthampton 17 September 2011

Just after sunset on 17 September 2011, Castle Class 4-6-0 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe storms past Shorthampton in spectacular style with the Vintage Trains Ltd 1Z98 16:20 Paddington to Tyseley 'Cathedrals Express' railtour. The setting sun has given the sky a delicate pink hue, and is also highlighting the loco's boiler and smokebox.

5043 Claydon (Oxfordshire) 15 October 2011

Great Western sunrise! Castle Class 4-6-0 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe is pictured just as the first rays of sunshine break through the early morning mist at Claydon on 15 October 2011. It is working the Vintage Trains Ltd 1Z43 07:05 Solihull to Bristol Temple Meads 'Berks & Hants Aquae Sulis' railtour. I particularly like the way the very low sun has tinged the exhaust yellow.

5043 Lyneham 20 October 2012

Castle Class 4-6-0 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe returned to the Cotswold Line on 20 October 2012, with the Vintage Trains 1Z53 15:50 Oxford to Tyseley 'Cotswold Explorer' railtour. Unfortunately, near Ascott-under-Wychwood the train was brought to a stand by a report that a train in the opposite direction had hit an obstruction. Therefore it was running 40 minutes late by the time it passed Lyneham, and any hope of some weak sunshine had long passed!

5043 Souldern No.2 Viaduct 6 April 2013

Castle Class 4-6-0 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe crosses Souldern No.2 Viaduct on 6 April 2013 with the Vintage Trains 1Z44 09:57 Birmingham Moor Street to Marylebone 'Marylebone Flyer' railtour. I really didn't think I was going to get this picture in the sun, as the viaduct was still in the shadow of one of the many clouds as the train could be seen approaching through the trees.

5043 Rousham 13 April 2013

Castle Class 4-6-0 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe looks superb in the early morning sunshine, as it passes Rousham (between Banbury and Oxford) on 13 April 2013 with the Vintage Trains 1Z76 07:05 Solihull to Salisbury 'Moonraker' railtour. This was the second Saturday in a row that I had photographed this particular locomotive. Luckily the dry grass in the foreground was still intact after the passing of the train, unlike certain parts of the lineside on the previous tour, after 5043 had decided to do some fiery vegetation clearance! As this location is approximately a mile from the nearest road, I didn't expect many photographers to turn up, but even so I was slightly surprised when I found I was the only person standing in this field. This just proves what I have noticed on previous occasions, that a lot of steam photographers do not like to walk more than a few yards from their cars!

5043 Claydon (Gloucestershire) 25 May 2013

A surprised sheep looks on, as Castle Class 4-6-0 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe passes Claydon (Gloucestershire) on 25 May 2013 with the Vintage Trains 1Z34 07:30 Tyseley Warwick Road to Minehead 'Whistling Ghost' railtour. 5043 would give way to Hall Class 4-6-0 6960 Raveningham Hall on the West Somerset Railway.

5043 Sapperton Tunnel 19 October 2013

Castle Class 4-6-0 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe is still working hard as it emerges from Sapperton Tunnel on 19 October 2013, despite the fact that it is descending a 1 in 94 gradient. Its hard work is over, having just toiled up the lengthy Sapperton Bank with the Vintage Trains 1Z53 07:40 Tyseley to Oxford 'Cotswold Explorer' railtour.

5043 Adlestrop 19 October 2013

Castle Class 4-6-0 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe approaches the site of Adlestrop station with the Vintage Trains 1Z54 15:26 Oxford to Tyseley 'Cotswold Explorer' railtour on 19 October 2013. Amazingly, this is the first time I have used this location for nearly three decades. Despite appearances, the train would have been clear of shadows, had the sun decided to come out, but the amount of tree growth has been phenomenal since my last picture was taken here in 1984.

5043 Kidlington (Sandy Lane) 12 April 2014

Not quite the result I was hoping for! Castle Class 4-6-0 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe passes Sandy Lane, Kidlington, on 12 April 2014 with the Vintage Trains 1Z36 07:06 Solihull to Bristol Temple Meads (via Newbury) 'Berks & Hants Aquae Sulis' railtour. The exhaust has blown down to such an extent that most of the train is obliterated, although the water carrier GUV at the front of the train stands out clearly!

5043 Chilson 4 October 2014

Castle Class 4-6-0 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe passes Chilson on 4 October 2014 with the Vintage Trains 1Z35 15:26 Oxford to Tyseley 'Cotswold Explorer' railtour. The train is making quite a severe brake application here, and was down to a very slow speed as it disappeared from view towards Ascott-under-Wychwood. Presumably there was an brief unscheduled stop there, as the train was still clearly visible heading up the valley as I drove along the Burford road, over five minutes later.

5043 Chilson 27 August 2016

Castle Class 4-6-0 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe drifts almost silently past Chilson on 27 August 2016 with the Vintage Trains 1Z53 08:27 Tyseley to Oxford 'Summer At The Palace' railtour. Just 20 minutes earlier, the modern version of the Great Western green livery passed by, in the form of 166205. I was surprised top be the only person at this location, especially as it is one of the better spots on the Cotswold Line with regard to the light angle. The train passed in the very last of the morning's weak sunshine. The advancing cloud heralded the arrival of bad weather, with the West Oxfordshire area experiencing one of the most ferocious thunderstorms in many years later in the afternoon.

5043 Ashchurch 8 October 2016

Photographers crowd both platforms of Ashchurch (for Tewkesbury) station on 8 October 2016, as Castle Class 4-6-0 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe passes through with the Vintage Trains 1Z53 08:02 Tyseley to Oxford 'Cotswold Explorer' railtour. Although both the station, and the footbridge just to the north were packed, I was the only person standing on the nearby roadbridge.

5043 Claydon (Gloucestershire) 25 March 2017

Castle Class 4-6-0 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe passes Claydon (Gloucestershire) on 25 March 2017 with the Vintage Trains 1Z43 09:30 Tyseley to Hereford 'Welsh Marches Express' railtour. The strong wind was blowing the exhaust away from the train, and with not a cloud in the sky, for once it seemed that nothing could go wrong, and indeed nothing did!

5043 Upper Heyford 8 April 2017

Castle Class 4-6-0 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe crosses the Oxford Canal near Upper Heyford on 8 April 2017 with the Vintage Trains 1Z76 06:55 Solihull to Salisbury 'Moonraker' railtour. Although there is perfect reflection of the loco in the water, the picture is somewhat spoiled by the lineside vegetation obscuring most of the train. However, as I have used just about every possible photographic location between Banbury and Didcot previously, I thought I would try something different for a change.

5043 Wolvercote 8 April 2017

A perfect spring evening at Wolvercote on 8 April 2017. Castle Class 4-6-0 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe heads north with the Vintage Trains 1Z77 16:26 Salisbury to Solihull 'Moonraker' railtour. This was an obvious choice of location to photograph this train, as apart from the ugly palisade fence, there is nothing whatever to cast a shadow across the scene. The black smoke seemingly provided at the last minute for the benefit of the many photographers on the bridge, was a definite bonus!

5051 Culham 12 June 1983

Castle Class 4-6-0 5051 Drysllwyn Castle has just set fire to the embankment, as it passes Culham on 12 June 1983 with the Paddington to Stratford-upon-Avon 'William Shakespeare' railtour, which the loco had taken over at Didcot. Shortly after the train had passed, there was the bizarre sight of a fire engine driving across the field in the background in an attempt to get to the fire!

5051 Heyford 14 April 1984

Castle Class 4-6-0 5051 Drysllwyn Castle approaches Heyford on 14 April 1984 with the Great Western Society Paddington to Stratford-upon-Avon railtour, which the steam loco took over at Didcot. It may seem hard to believe, but this picture of 57315 is taken from the same location! In 1984 a single bush behind the steam loco was the precursor to the abundant vegetation that was to follow in years to come. This picture is actually taken slightly to the left of the modern day picture, and in fact in the 1980s pictures could be taken looking along the canal (just out of the picture on the left) and still include the railway! Note Rousham church in the background.

5051 & 18000 Toddington 3 June 2010

A real 'Castle and 'Kerosene Castle'! Castle Class 4-6-0 5051 Earl Bathurst poses in the morning sunshine next to GWR gas turbine loco 18000 at Toddington on 3 June 2010. Brought together, along with many other Great Western Railway exhibits for the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's GWR 175 celebrations, these two locos show the Great Western's idea of express passenger locos 1920s and 1940s style. While the Castle Class continued to perform on top link trains well into the BR era, the Brown Boveri built gas turbine failed to live up to its promise and was destined to be just a one off.

5080 Bearley 16 April 1990

Castle Class 4-6-0 5080 Defiant passes Bearley on 16 April 1990 with the 12:59 Tyseley to Stratford-upon-Avon 'Shakespeare Express' railtour. An interesting vintage rake of coaches, including a twelve wheel vehicle. In the background is the Edstone Aqueduct, on the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal.

5080 Blunt's Green 16 April 1990

Castle Class 4-6-0 5080 Defiant passes Blunt's Green (between Henley-in-Arden and Danzey) on 16 April 1990 with the late running 17:15 Stratford-upon-Avon to Tyseley 'Shakespeare Express' railtour. Unfortunately this locomotive is no longer in running order, being at static exhibit at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre at Quainton. At least it is still in much better condition than when I climbed all over it as a child when visiting Barry scrapyard!

5080 Greet Tunnel 26 August 1990

Castle Class 4-6-0 5080 Defiant emerges from the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's 693 yard long Greet Tunnel on 26 August 1990, whilst working the 13:00 Toddington to Gretton service. The relative lack of vegetation around the tunnel mouth indicates that it hasn't been that long since one of the railway's mammoth vegetation clearance operations.

5080 Greet 13 October 1990

Castle Class 4-6-0 5080 Defiant drifts past Greet on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway with the 14:00 Toddington to Gretton service on 13 October 1990. 5080 was built in 1939, emerging from Swindon Works with the name Ogmore Castle. It was renamed Defiant in 1941 in honour of the WW2 Boulton Paul Defiant fighter aircraft. Luckily the Castle class was far more successful than the Defiant, which was hopelessly underpowered and vulnerable to Luftwaffe attack.

5199 Carrog 31 May 2012

5101 Class 2-6-2T 5199 waits at Carrog station on the Llangollen Railway on 31 May 2012, prior to forming the 12:00 service to Llangollen. Built in 1934, this locomotive is one of the fortunate few that survived by virtue of a long sojourn in Woodham's scrapyard at Barry. After a lengthy restoration, it retuned to service in 2003.

5199 Corwen 30 May 2016

5101 Class 2-6-2T 5199 stands at Corwen station after arriving with the 15:50 service from Llangollen on 30 May 2016. This temporary timber and scaffolding built platform is at the Llangollen Railway's present western limit, but a permanent station will later be constructed approximately 200 yards further west, nearer to the town.

5322 Didcot Railway Centre 5 May 2013

43xx 2-6-0 5322 runs along the demonstration line at Didcot Railway Centre on 5 May 2013, passing the TPO apparatus. This highly successful mixed traffic design was introduced in 1911, and eventually 342 were built, with later locomotives having a side window cab. Unfortunately only two have survived into preservation.

5526 Didbrook 24 May 2009

45xx 2-6-2T 5526 makes a spirited departure from Toddington station on 24 May 2009 with the 09:30 Toddington to Winchcombe service using GWR autotrailer 178, during the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's 25 the anniversary 'Cotswold Festival of Steam'. It is pictured approaching Didbrook.

5526 Hailes 24 May 2009

45xx 2-6-2T 5526 has just passed Didbrook and is pictured rounding the curve towards Hailes on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway with the 10:30 Toddington to Winchcombe service using GWR autotrailer 178 on 24 May 2009. This loco worked an intensive push pull service throughout the day, during the line's 'Cotswold Festival of Steam'.

5526 Hailes 24 May 2009

The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's 25th anniversary 'Cotswold Festival of Steam' was blessed with superb weather, particularly on 24 May 2009. However, the high temperatures meant that trains later in the day displayed very little exhaust. Here 45xx 2-6-2T 5526 ambles along between Hailes and Winchcombe under cloudless skies with the 12:40 Toddington to Winchcombe service using GWR autotrailer 178.

5542 Dixton 6 May 2013

45xx 2-6-2T 5542 coasts past Dixton, on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, with the 12:20 Toddington to Cheltenham Racecourse service on 6 May 2013. Note how the clearance of the vegetation from the cutting sides has allowed the cowslips and other wild flowers to thrive.

5542 Hailes 26 May 2013

45xx 2-6-2T 5542 passes Hailes on 26 May 2013 with the 10:50 Toddington to Cheltenham Racecourse freight, during the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's 'Cotswold Steam Celebration' event. The Southern Railway 'Queen Mary' bogie brake van is being used to convey passengers.

5619 Toddington 7 August 1993

56xx 0-6-2T 5619 stands in Toddington Yard, on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, on 7 August 1993. It is clearly out of use, with a binliner wrapped around the chimney. Built at Swindon Works in 1925, like the majority of its class, it spent its working life in South Wales, finally being withdrawn from Barry shed in 1964. Unsurprisingly it then made the short journey to Barry scrapyard, where it resided until 1973. It has appeared at a number of preserved railways in recent years, but in BR livery, rather than the GWR colour scheme seen here.

5786 Chinnor 24 April 2011

57xx Class 0-6-0PT 5786 arrives back at Chinnor station on 24 April 2011 with the returning 13:15 service. Chinnor is the only station on the line open to the public, with the far end of the route (Thame Junction) being a little short of the line's ultimate destination - Princes Risborough. The station building here is an exact replica of the original, which had unfortunately been demolished before the preservation society took over in 1990. Luckily the identical station building at Watlington (the original terminus of the line) survives, and although in a derelict state, provided much useful information for the reconstruction of Chinnor. 

5972 & 3440 Didbrook 24 May 2009

Next stop Hogsmeade! Hall Class 4-6-0 5972 Hogwarts Castle (in reality Olton Hall) accelerates away from Toddington and passes Didbrook with the 10:00 Toddington to Cheltenham Racecourse service on 24 May 2009 during the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's 'Cotswold Festival of Steam'. Barely noticeably behind the loco is City Class 4-4-0 3440 City of Truro, which had recently been turned to face north.

6000 Radley 19 June 1983

Two forms of steam power at Radley on 19 June 1983! While the now demolished Didcot Power Station contributes to the National Grid in the background, onlookers make sure they get their pictures of King Class 4-6-0 6000 King George V, as it races through Radley station with the Didcot to Stratford-upon-Avon 'William Shakespeare' railtour. Radley station has certainly changed since this picture was taken, with much tidying up and increased car parking. Surprisingly the red Austin Allegro has not been scrapped, but then neither is it still on the road. In a barn somewhere perhaps! Yes, I can easily read the registration off the original Kodachrome slide, and yes I have checked with the DVLA!

6000 Brimscombe 21 August 1985

King Class 4-6-0 6000 King George V coasts downhill past Brimscombe on 21 August 1985 with the one of the Swindon to Gloucester specials, run in connection with the GW150 celebrations. The people in the background are being relatively restrained, just congregating around the footpath crossing. In other places there was lots of blatant trespass, which seemed to be largely ignored in the 1980s. It certainly wouldn't be now!

6023 Didcot Railway Centre 5 May 2013

A dramatic low angle picture of King Class 4-6-0 6023 King Edward 11 at Didcot Railway Centre on 5 May 2013, with steam railmotor 93 & autotrailer 92 in the background. The 'Red Dragon' headboard is slightly at odds with the single autotrailer, which was the King's load for the day!

6024 Wilmcote 16 April 1990

The photographers get their pictures, as King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 thunders through Wilmcote station on 16 April 1990 with the 09:59 Tyseley to Stratford-upon-Avon 'Shakespeare Express' railtour. This was the loco's second day of passenger working as a mainline certified loco, having previously completed a couple of main line test runs in February and March.

6024 Henley-in-Arden 16 April 1990

King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 is the centre of attention (even amongst the local dogs!) as it passes through the picturesque station at Henley-in-Arden on 16 April 1990 with the Tyseley to Stratford-upon-Avon 'Shakespeare Express' railtour. The station is a little less picturesque now, following the removal of the semaphore signals, and demolition of the signal box.

6024 & 97252 Banbury 24 November 1990

King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 gets under way from the Banbury water stop with the Didcot to Derby 'Royal Venturer' railtour on 24 November 1990. Diehard steam aficionados were not best pleased during the 1980s & 1990s with the use of former Class 25 locos as ETS generators, but this certainly adds a period feel to the photo now! Ethel (Electric train heat ex locomotive) 97252 (the former 25314) keeps the passengers warm, while 6024 does all the work moving the train.

6024 Hatton 12 January 1991

In glorious winter light, and with a perfect exhaust, King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 passes Hatton with the Didcot to Derby 'Derby Sovereign' railtour on 12 January 1991. It was a very cold day, with icy roads making driving difficult, and even when the train arrived there was still a trace of frost on the sleepers. At the time the photographers were cursing the inclusion of Ethels in the consist to heat the train (in this case Ethel 1, the former 25310), and even being a diehard diesel photographer, I have to admit that the Inter City liveried ex locomotive does rather spoil the Great Western effect here.

6024 Kemble 7 October 1991

King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 makes a spectacular start from Kemble station on 7 October 1991 with the Flying Scotsman Services 14:20 Hereford to Paddington 'West Mercian Express' railtour. King Edward 1 would work the train as far as Swindon. The use of flash (by prior arrangement) has certainly produced an impressive night picture of a moving train, although with just a single flashgun, the rather grainy Kodachrome 200 was required to get a decent exposure.

6024 Aynho Junction 7 December 1991

King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 blasts past Aynho Junction on 7 December 1991 with the Paddington to Stratford-upon-Avon 'William Shakespeare' railtour. This was the King's first visit to Paddington since restoration. Unusually, it had not travelled through Reading and Oxford, but via the Chiltern Line, which probably explains the fine exhaust here, as it opens up after rejoining the Oxford route at Aynho Junction, just out of sight around the corner.

6024 Severn Bridge 12 April 1993

Viewed from the footpath on the original Severn Bridge, King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 rounds the curve from Chepstow with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z40 09:00 Worcester Shrub Hill to Gloucester (via Newport and Hereford) 'Severn-Wye' railtour on 12 April 1993.

6024 Ponthir 12 April 1993

Despite the miserable weather conditions, King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 makes a fine sight as it passes Ponthir on 12 April 1993 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z40 09:00 Worcester Shrub Hill to Gloucester (via Newport and Hereford) 'Severn-Wye' railtour.

6024 Kingham 22 August 1993

Viewed from a now impossible to get to viewpoint, King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 passes through Kingham station at high speed on 22 August 1993 with the Didcot to Worcester Shrub Hill 'Cotswold Venturer' railtour.

6024 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 30 January 1994

King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 approaches Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 30 January 1994 with the 08:40 Didcot to Cardiff (via Gloucester) 'Red Dragon' railtour. It is passing the then recently completed relief lines, reinstated to cope with the increase in coal traffic to Didcot Power Station.

6024 Didcot North Junction 24 April 1994

King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 accelerates away from Didcot and passes Didcot North Junction on 24 April 1994 with the Paddington to Stratford-upon-Avon 'William Shakespeare Express' railtour, or according to the headboard, the 'Richard Hilton Memorial'.

6024 Narroways Hill Junction 6 May 1994

King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 passes Narroways Hill Junction, Bristol, on  6 May 1994 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z57 07:45 Plymouth to Gloucester 'Tamar Severn Ltd' railtour. A uniform rake of maroon stock, hardly any heads out of the windows, and no headboard. If it wasn't for GW on the tender instead of the BR logo, this could almost be a picture from the 1950s, although the lineside hut obviously wouldn't be covered in graffiti in the 1950s!

6024 Goring 5 February 1995

On a miserably dull 5 February 1995, King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 heads along the Great Western Mainline near Goring with the Paddington to Paignton 'Silver Dart' railtour (despite the 'Cornish Riviera Express' headboard!). Obviously someone had arranged a variation for the lineside photographers, as the reporting numbers had vanished and the headboard had been changed by the time the train left Didcot.

6024 Foxhall Junction 5 February 1995

King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 makes a volcanic start from Didcot on 5 February 1995 with the Paddington to Paignton 'Silver Dart' railtour. It seen here weaving across onto the down mainline at Foxhall Junction. Interestingly the headboard ('The Kenneth Leech Memorial') has been changed since I saw the train a little earlier near Goring.

6024 Burlescombe 25 February 1995

King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 storms up Wellington Bank at Burlescombe on 25 February 1995 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z62 11:28 Newton Abbot to Wolverhampton 'Exe-Tawe' railtour. The train had been diesel hauled on the outward leg. Just over a mile from this point it would plunge into Whiteball Tunnel, which marks the summit of the climb.

6024 Bathpool 25 February 1995

'Look Daddy, a steam train!' King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 gets some young (and not so young) admirers as it passes Bathpool with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z62 11:28 Newton Abbot to Wolverhampton 'Exe-Tawe' railtour on 25 February 1995. It is accelerating away from the water stop at Taunton. Normally you wouldn't want people in the picture, but in this case they help balance the composition, filling in the gap between the train and the muddy River Tone on the left.

6024 Narroways Hill Junction 25 February 1995

After a shower of rain, the very weak winter sun briefly illuminates King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 as it climbs past Narroways Hill Junction, Bristol with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z62 11:28 Newton Abbot to Wolverhampton 'Exe-Tawe' railtour on 25 February 1995. As there was not going to be much change of any real sun, I was quite surprised when it looked this good, with the white exhaust standing out well against the dark background. Not bad for 15:35 on a February afternoon!

6024 Pilning 2 October 1996

King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 has steam to spare as it climbs out of the Severn Tunnel and passes Pilning on 2 October 1996 with the 25th Anniversary re-run of the 'Return to Steam' special from Hereford to Birmingham Snow Hill. This was only its second railtour on its recently re-acquired mainline ticket.

6024 Acton Turville 2 October 1996

King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 passes Acton Turville on 2 October 1996 with the 25th Anniversary re-run of the 'Return to Steam' special from Hereford to Birmingham Snow Hill. The site of Badminton station is by the bridge in the background, with the station building just visible above the last coach.

6024 Wolvercote Junction 2 October 1996

In the very last of the afternoon's light, King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 approaches Wolvercote Junction on 2 October 1996 with the 25th Anniversary re-run of the 'Return to Steam' special from Hereford to Birmingham Snow Hill. Despite having seen the train at Pilning, Acton Turville and Shrivenham (no sun there, unfortunately), I thought it might be worth a shot here as well, despite the low light. I was amazed to find I was the only person on the bridge - a very unusual situation for a steam special, especially somewhere this easy to get to!

6024 Thrupp 27 December 1996

King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 starts the assault of Sapperton Bank as it passes Thrupp with the Worcester to Didcot 'Devonian' railtour on 27 December 1996. A slightly odd name for a railtour from Worcestershire to Oxfordshire! Although it was a miserably dull day, a near perfect exhaust against an impressive background makes up for the dire weather.

6024 Dainton 5 April 1997

King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 lives up to the tour's name as it climbs Dainton Bank on 5 April 1997 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z55 06:29 Birmingham International to Plymouth 'King of the Banks' railtour. Slightly unfortunate that the locomotive is partly in a shadow of its own making, but a fine location to see (an hear!) this iconic loco tackling the ferocious gradient.

6024 South Brent 5 April 1997

A contrast in motive power at South Brent on 5 April 1997. King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 works the Pathfinder Tours 1Z55 15:05 Plymouth to Birmingham International 'King of the Banks', while a Great Western Trains HST heads in the opposite direction. Almost a complete photographic disaster, but an interesting depiction of half a century's worth of loco development.

6024 Cullompton 5 April 1997

King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 runs alongside the M5 motorway at Cullompton with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z55 15:05 Plymouth to Birmingham International 'King of the Banks' railtour on 5 April 1997. King Edward 1 would work the train as far as Taunton.

6024 Banbury 10 January 1998

King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 makes a volcanic start from Banbury on 10 January 1998 with the 1Z27 Paddington to Gloucester 'Cathedrals Express' railtour. The 'King' had taken over from a diesel at Didcot, and would work to Gloucester via Birmingham and Worcester.

6024 Droitwich 10 January 1998

King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 arrives at Droitwich on 10 January 1998 with the 1Z27 Paddington to Gloucester 'Cathedrals Express' railtour. The train had just worked up from Didcot (where steam replaced diesel) and then via Birmingham. I'm not sure if the Vauxhall Viva in the background is still in existence, but twelve years after this picture was taken the Honda on the left certainly is, admittedly now with 373,000 miles on the clock!

6024 Croome 10 January 1998

Superb winter lighting at Croome on 10 January 1998, as King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 heads south with the 1Z27 Paddington to Gloucester 'Cathedrals Express' railtour, which it had worked from Didcot. I don't often have this much luck, with the sun at the right angle and the exhaust exactly in the right place!

6024 Lostock Hall Junction 28 March 1998

King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 blackens the sky as it pulls away from a brief stop at Lostock Hall Junction on 28 March 1998. It is working the Pathfinder Tours 1Z34 05:40 Swindon to Carlisle 'Cumbrian Mountain Express' railtour, which it took over at Crewe. If you think this exhaust looks a bit thick, it's nothing compared with what it was putting out as it approached the junction!

6024 Malago Vale 9 May 1998

King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 makes a vigorous departure from Bristol on 9 May 1998 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z56 06:40 Coventry to Par 'Par King Pioneer' railtour. It is seen here passing Malago Vale, after taking over the train just around the corner at Bristol Temple Meads. Kings were banned from Cornwall in the days of steam, but track improvements in recent years had made this inaugural run into the Royal Duchy possible.

6024 Eckington 2 August 1998

King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 crosses the River Avon at Eckington on 2 August 1998 with the 'Cotswold Venturer' railtour. The tour was steam hauled between Didcot and Worcester via Kemble and return. Needless to say there was a gallery of photographers at this classic spot, however, I was one my own when I saw it a little while later at Compton Beauchamp.

6024 Compton Beauchamp 2 August 1998

King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 passes Compton Beauchamp on 2 August 1998 with the 'Cotswold Venturer' railtour. The tour was steam hauled between Didcot and Worcester via Kemble, this being the return working in the evening. This is the only occasion that I can remember photographing a steam special on the mainline and being the only photographer present! This is even more surprising given the fact that this is one of the better locations for an eastbound train in the Vale of White Horse in the evening, most other spots being far too backlit.

6024 Aller 19 September 1998

King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1's exhaust merges with the mist, as it rounds the sharp curve at Aller on 19 September 1998 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z24 05:30 Paddington to Penzance 'Penzance Pirate' railtour. In the still air the smoke hangs over the main line in the background, directly above the locomotive.

6024 St Germans Viaduct 19 September 1998

King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 crosses St Germans Viaduct with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z24 05:30 Paddington to Penzance 'Penzance Pirate' railtour on 19 September 1998. The muddy banks of the River Tiddy and the moored boats make an excellent picture, and luckily after a long drive from Oxfordshire, after a misty start, the weather remained cloud free all day!

6024 Angarrack Viaduct 19 September 1998

King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 crosses Angarrack Viaduct (near Hayle) with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z24 05:30 Paddington to Penzance 'Penzance Pirate' railtour on 19 September 1998. Although not immediately apparent from this view, the village of Angarrack is in fact directly underneath this viaduct, with some houses being only a few yards away from the piers.

6024 Culham 14 November 1998

The perils of steam photography! While the exhaust shows up well in the weak morning light, the excess of steam from everywhere but the chimney does is best to blot out King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 as it passes Culham on 14 November 1998 with the Didcot to York 'Ports to Port Express' railtour. Not one for the perfectionists, but I now quite like the atmospheric effect, and of course the view is now historic, as an even bigger steam generator can be seen in the background - the now closed Didcot Power Station.

6024 Hatton 14 November 1998

King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 climbs Hatton Bank on 14 November 1998 with the Didcot to York 'Ports to Port Express' railtour. Not as much autumn colour as I expected, but also not as much escaping steam as in the previous picture of the train at Culham!

6024 Tackley 13 November 1999

King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 blasts up Tackley Bank on 13 November 1999 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z42 04:42 Crewe to Weymouth 'Wessex Royale' railtour, which the King had worked from Stratford-upon-Avon. The exertion is already beginning to take its toll here, with the first signs of scorching around the bottom of the smokebox door. This had got considerably worse by the time I saw it again at South Moreton.

6024 South Moreton 13 November 1999

With a heavily scorched smokebox, King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 passes South Moreton on 13 November 1999 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z42 04:42 Crewe to Weymouth 'Wessex Royale' railtour. Although the burnt smokebox door had got considerably worse than when I saw it a little earlier at Tackley, it wasn't that the caused the loco to be declared a failure at Weymouth, but a problem with one of the valves. 33109, which can just be seen amid the swirling smoke on the rear of the train was already helping out by pushing as required at this point. It had to take over completely and bring the train back to Crewe from Weymouth unaided.

6024 Appleford 13 April 2002

The driver hangs on to his cap as King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 races through Appleford station on 13 April 2002 with the Birmingham Snow Hill to Paddington 'London Express' railtour. This was of course the obvious location to take this picture, with a classic GWR loco passing a pair of those other icons of the Great Western - the corrugated iron pagoda hut. Unfortunately, while 6024 lives on, the same cannot be said for the pagoda huts, which have since been replaced with a couple of standard 'bus shelters'.

6024 Thingley Junction 11 December 2004

King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 emerges from the fog at Thingley Junction on 11 December 2004 with the Past Time Rail 07:25 Taunton to Paddington 'Merchant Venturer' railtour. The 'King' took over the train at Bristol Temple Meads. The train was running a few minutes late, but a few more minutes more would have helped, as the fog was only just starting to thin a little.

6024 Bourton 8 September 2006

Looking faintly ridiculous as it heads east along the Great Western Mainline with a single support coach, GWR 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 passes Bourton with the 5Z20 09:28 Bristol Barton Hill  to Old Oak Common positioning move on 8 September 2006, in connection with the following day's John Betjeman Centenary special. Note the increasing sprawl of Swindon's industrial estates visible on the horizon, and also the bi-directional signaling in the background, with 'feathers' for Bourton's pair of crossovers.

6024 Uffington 9 September 2006

To celebrate the centenary of poet laureate Sir John Betjeman's birth, a special train ran on 9 September 2006 from London to Bristol conveying distinguished guests to a grand celebration at St Mary Redcliffe church using King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1. The 1Z24 10:11 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads special is pictured passing the site of Uffington loops in far from ideal conditions for steam photography. It was a very warm day, and although the loco was working hard, there is barely a trace of exhaust. The train had just been held in Challow loop for an hour's watering stop, but due to a late running HST was now running ten minutes late. 67005 Queen's Messenger is luckily being hidden by the trees on the rear of the train.

6024 Bourton 28 August 2010

King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 dodges the shadows as it passes Bourton on 28 August 2010 with the 1Z29 09:34 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington 'Bristolian' railtour. As this train was organised by Torbay Express Ltd, a full rake of chocolate and cream coaches was virtually guaranteed. The right loco, with the right coaches on the correct route.

6024 Wantage Road 2 February 2012

King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 has an easy job on 2 February 2012, as it works the 5Z25 12:15 Southall to Yeovil Junction support coach move. I don't normally photograph these single coach trains, but as I was already in position waiting for 6B33, and the lighting was perfect, it would have been rude not to.

6024 Steventon 3 March 2012

King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward 1 makes a splendid sight (and sound!) as it passes Steventon on 3 March 2012 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z26 09:33 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington 'Bristolian' railtour. A little early morning rain had cleared and the sun was finally coming out, although as can be seen from the fact that the level crossing at the rear of the train is in shade, a few clouds were still making for an anxious few minutes for the waiting photographers as the train approached from the west.

6106 Greet 24 December 1990

Christmas Eve steam in the Cotswolds. 61xx 2-6-2T 6106 crosses over the B4632 at Greet on 24 December 1990, as it accelerates away from Winchcombe station, and heads back to Toddington, with one of the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's 'Santa Specials'. Bunker first running rarely photographs well, but in this case I think the picture looks OK. Needless to say this view is no longer possible, as the tiny saplings in the foreground are now full size trees!

6412 Hailes 5 October 2002

64xx 0-6-0PT 6412 passes under the road bridge at Hailes on 5 October 2002 with the 10:00 Toddington to Gotherington service. The pannier tank was visiting the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway from its normal home on the South Devon Railway. Surprisingly I haven't had to clone any people out of the picture here, either the photographers were stood well to the right (most likely) or there weren't any (very unlikely when steam is running!).

6412 Chinnor 26 March 2017

64xx 0-6-0PT 6412 brings up the rear of the 12:15 Chinnor to Thame Junction service, on the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway, as it leaves Chinnor on 26 March 2017. The train is being hauled by the line's unique Clayton Bo-Bo diesel loco D8568.

6412 Bledlow 26 March 2017

64xx 0-6-0PT 6412 passes Bledlow on 26 March 2017, en-route from Thame Junction to Chinnor. This approximately half way along the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway, which is the northern section of the erstwhile Watlington branch.

6412 Thame Junction 9 April 2017

64xx 0-6-0PT 6412 pulls away from Horsenden Lane Crossing (just visible in the background), as it starts its journey from Thame Junction to Chinnor, on the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway on Sunday 9 April 2017.

6619 Rolvenden 2 June 2013

56xx 0-6-2T 6619 coasts round the curve on the approach to Rolvenden station, on the Kent & East Sussex Railway, with the 10:40 Tenterden Town to Bodiham service on 2 June 2013. The train has just descended a lengthy 1 in 50 gradient. 6619 was a long time resident at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, a location even more remote from its native GWR than the K&ESR!

6695 Harmans Cross 28 September 2013

56xx Class 0-6-2T 6695 makes a spirited departure from Harmans Cross station, on the Swanage Railway, with the 10:40 Norden to Swanage service on 28 September 2013. 6695 was built in 1928, and like most of its class, spent most of its life in South Wales. It was withdrawn in 1964, and was rescued from Barry scrapyard in 1978.

6960 St Devereux 10 November 1984

With steam to spare, Hall Class 4-6-0 6960 Raveningham Hall passes St Devereux (between Hereford and Abergavenny) with the 'Welsh Marches Express' railtour on 10 November 1984. For once I have managed to get a steam photograph with the exhaust going in exactly the right place, not obscuring the coaches and with the shadow showing up well on the side of the cutting. 6960 worked the tour from Hereford to Newport and return and SR 4-6-2 35028 Clan Line worked between Shrewsbury and Hereford.

6960 Cheltenham Racecourse 4 October 2003

Hall Class 4-6-0 6960 Raveningham Hall stands at Cheltenham Racecourse station on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway on 4 October 2003, after arriving with the 11:20 train from Toddington. Note the GWR planted Scots pine trees on the embankment behind the locomotive.

6998 Banbury 14 March 1993

Hall Class 4-6-0 6998 Burton Agnes Hall makes a spirited departure from its booked water stop at Banbury on 14 March 1993 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z43 09:40 Bristol Temple Meads to Stratford-upon-Avon 'William Shakespeare Express' railtour. The loco worked the train from Didcot.

6998 Radley 3 May 1993

Radley station seems surprisingly free of local sightseers, as Hall Class 4-6-0 6998 Burton Agnes Hall speeds through the as yet unmodernised station with the Great Western Society 09:50 Didcot to Oxford 'Cathedrals Express' shuttle service on 3 May 1993.

6998 Hailes 17 October 1993

Hall Class 4-6-0 6998 Burton Agnes Hall passes over the bridge that spans a small stream, just south of Hailes, on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway. It is working the 13:15 Toddington to Gretton service on 17 October 1993, during the line's Steam Gala.

6998 & 60103 Hailes 17 October 1993

A very unusual GWR and LNER combination at Hailes, on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, on 17 October 1993. Hall Class 4-6-0 6998 Burton Agnes Hall & LNER A3 4-6-2 60103 Flying Scotsman work the 16:15 Toddington to Gretton service, during the line's Steam Gala.

7029 Frampton Mansell 20 August 1985

Castle Class 4-6-0 7029 Clun Castle passes Frampton Mansell in the pouring rain on 20 August 1985 with the 1Z06 14:00 Gloucester to Swindon special, one of a series of trains run in connection with the Great Western 150 celebrations. Unfortunately the weather during the summer was quite poor, and most of the trains ran in poor conditions, although this was particularly bad!

7029 Hailes 21 June 1995

Catching the very last of the summer evening's light, Castle Class 4-6-0 7029 Clun Castle passes Hailes on 21 June 1995 with 19:30 'Mid Summer Night Special' from Toddington to Far Stanley. Clun Castle was of course the loco selected to haul the final scheduled steam hauled service on the Western Region, which it worked between Paddington and Banbury in 1965.

7325 & 2968 Lickey Incline 31 January 1998

In dreary dull and misty conditions 43xx GWR 2-6-0 7325 & LMS 2-6-0 2968 storm up the 1 in 37 Lickey Incline with the 'Inclined Salopian' railtour on 31 January 1998. The tour was steam hauled from Gloucester to Shrewsbury and back as far as Bescot on the return. This location is Pikes Pool, approximately half way up the bank.

7752 Hailes 8 December 1991

57xx Class 0-6-0PT 7752 makes a fine show as it passes Hailes on 8 December 1991 with the 11:00 Toddington to Winchcombe 'Santa Special'. 7752 is one of the members of this ubiquitous class that had a second lease of life with London Transport, where it was numbered L94. It was one of the last handful of steam locomotives to work for LT, being withdrawn in 1971.

7760 & 9600 Burbage Common 2 March 2002

57xx 0-6-0PTs 7760 & 9600 charge past Burbage Common (between Hinckley and Leicester) with the Vintage Trains 2Z57 08:20 Tyseley to Tyseley (via Leicester and Stenson Junction) 'Ivanhoe' railtour on 2 March 2002. Obviously they didn't think it worthwhile making an 'Ivanhoe' headboard! Despite the difficulty of finding anywhere where the sun would be on the front, the chance to record a pair of panniers on the mainline was not to be missed.

7760 & 9600 Swannington 2 March 2002

57xx 0-6-0PTs 7760 & 9600 pass Swannington on 2 March 2002 with the Vintage Trains 2Z57 08:20 Tyseley to Tyseley (via Leicester and Stenson Junction) 'Ivanhoe' railtour. By this time the early morning sunshine had given when to thick cloud, so a repeat of the sunlit shot at Burbage Common was not on the cards!

7802 Dainton 16 March 1996

At barely more than walking speed, Manor Class 4-6-0 7802 Bradley Manor makes a tremendous effort to conquer the formidable Dainton Bank with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z34 13:34 Totnes to Worcester Shrub Hill 'Dart-Exe Cursion' railtour on 16 March 1996. I really thought that at any minute it was going to loose all grip and go into a mega slip, but it managed to make it into Dainton Tunnel without either slipping or stalling. Surprisingly 47712 on the rear of the train did not appear to be helping at all, merely adding to the weight!

7808 & 5900 Wolvercote 6 October 1979

My first mainline steam picture from the early days of steam preservation. 7808 Cookham Manor & 5900 Hinderton Hall blast their way north from Oxford on 6 October 1979 with the Great Western Society Paddington to Shrewsbury 'Capital Venturer' railtour. The location is the footpath crossing on Wolvercote Common (long since removed). Although it is difficult to tell with the severe backlighting, the coaching stock is a full rake of preserved GWR coaches, one of the last times these were used on a mainline railtour. Considerable work was required in Photoshop for this picture, as the original is a very poor looking Kodachrome taken with a Praktica PLC2 whose metering wasn't that good in backlit situations!

7808 Didcot Railway Centre 5 May 2013

Manor Class 4-6-0 7808 Cookham Manor reposes in the Great Western Society's locomotive shed at the Didcot Railway Centre on 5 May 2013. This is one of the locos that has never seen a scrapyard, being purchased directly from British Railways in 1965.

7812 & 50035 Kidderminster 17 April 2016

Two generations of Western Region motive power at Kidderminster on 17 April 2016. Manor Class 4-6-0 7812 Erlestoke Manor arrives at the station, while 50035 Ark Royal ticks over in the background. Dominating the scene is the Severn Valley Railway's newly opened Kidderminster Diesel Depot.

7819 Barmouth 2 August 1987

Manor Class 4-6-0 7819 Hinton Manor comes off Barmouth Bridge on 2 August 1987, and takes the sharp curve towards the station with the 11:20 Machynlleth to Barmouth 'Cardigan Bay Express'. This was a summer dated service organised by BR's Provincial sector. Although I have photographed this locomotive several times on the Severn Valley Railway, this is the only time that I saw it out on the mainline. Note the other rails in this picture - the rusty remnants in the old slipway passing underneath the bridge in the foreground.

7820 Hailes 3 May 2016

Manor Class 4-6-0 7820 Dinmore Manor passes Hailes on 3 May 2016 with the 10:00 Toddington to Cheltenham Racecourse service. The Great Western Railway built 20 78xx Manor Class locos in 1938/9, principally to replace 43xx 2-6-0s, and for use on lines where 'Hall' & 'Grange' 4-6-0s were barred because of their weight. The class proved so useful that another 10 were built by BR in 1950. Dinmore Manor was the first of this batch. It was withdrawn from Shrewsbury shed in 1965. The loco languished in Barry scrapyard until 1979, when it was moved to the Gwili Railway. Full restoration took place at the Birmingham Railway Museum, then after a spell on the West Somerset Railway, the loco moved to the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway in 2014.

7820 Didbrook 25 March 2017

Neatly framed by the gnarled old tree, vintage water trough, and slightly distressed metal gate, Manor Class 4-6-0 7820 Dinmore Manor passes Didbrook on 25 March 2017 with the 10:00 Toddington to Cheltenham Racecourse service. This was the first train of the day on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway.

7903 Greet Tunnel 29 October 2006

Hall Class 4-6-0 7903 Foremarke Hall emerges from the 693 yard long Greet Tunnel on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway with the 11:20 Cheltenham Racecourse to Toddington service on 29 October 2006. The apparently contradicting signal is the result of Winchcombe signal box being switched out, and the line operating on the one engine in steam principle. The once clear cutting at this location is now once again being invaded by bushes and brambles, but luckily just near the tunnel mouth is still relatively open.

7903 Winchcombe 24 May 2009

Hall Class 4-6-0 7903 Foremarke Hall drifts into Winchcombe station on 24 May 2009 with the 13:00 Cheltenham Racecourse to Toddington service, during the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's 25th anniversary 'Cotswold Festival of Steam'.

7903 Greet Tunnel 18 October 2009

Hall Class 4-6-0 7903 Foremarke Hall approaches Greet Tunnel on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway on 18 October 2009 with the 14:00 Cheltenham Race Course to Toddington service. The oak tree forms a convenient frame and helps covers up what would otherwise be a very drab looking sky.

7903 Winchcombe 23 May 2010

Hall Class 4-6-0 7903 Foremarke Hall passes Winchcombe's home signal at danger after a track circuit failure on 23 May 2010. It is working the Gloucestershire & Warwickshire Railways Elegant Excursions Sunday Lunch special, returning from Gotherington to Toddington, with 57xx 0-6-0PT 4612 on the rear working top'n'tail. The volunteer on the left has just had to wind the point motor over by hand to allow the passage of this train, and all the ensuing delay affected services on the line for the rest of the day.

7903 Dixton 25 May 2013

Hall Class 4-6-0 7903 Foremarke Hall passes Dixton on 25 May 2013 with the 10:10 Toddington to Cheltenham Racecourse service, during the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's 'Cotswold Steam Celebration' event.

7903 Hailes 29 September 2013

Hall Class 4-6-0 7903 Foremarke Hall passes Hailes on Sunday 29 September 2013 with the 15:50 Toddington to Cheltenham Racecourse service. Preserved railways such as the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway have now become so much part of the scene, that everyday scenes such as this no longer attract many photographers. Despite the excellent afternoon light, I was the only person on the bridge at Hailes on this occasion.

7903 Hayles Abbey Halt 3 June 2017

The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's Hall Class 4-6-0 7903 Foremarke Hall passes the recently completed Hayles Abbey Halt on 3 June 2017 with the 10:00 Toddington to Cheltenham Racecourse service. The halt would be officially opened three days later.

9400 Swindon Museum 15 July 1989

94xx 0-6-0PT class pioneer 9400, pictured in the old Great Western Railway Museum at Swindon on 15 July 1989. Unlike its modern over commercialised replacement, this old museum had real character, even if it was often a little short of visitors! I have seen numerous pictures of this loco in its new home, where it seems that it is impossible to get an uninterrupted view of the front like this, but pictures of the interior of this former church building seem a little scarce, so this is partly to rectify that.

9600 Souldern No.1 Viaduct 3 July 2010

After seeing the empty stock for the Chiltern Railways 'Centenary Express' railtour arrive at Banbury from Tyseley behind 47773 on 3 July 2010, my worst fears were confirmed, as the main tour loco, GWR 57xx 0-6-0PT 9600 was working bunker first. This immediately reduced the possible number of locations for a photograph further south, and my original plan to see the train at Fritwell was abandoned. A side view would be required, so I opted for this view of the train crossing Souldern No.1 Viaduct. Deddington church can just be seen in the background as the pannier scurries along with the 1Z28 10:05 Banbury to Chinnor, celebrating 100 years since the opening of the line.

9600 Ardley Quarry 3 July 2010

An extremely unusual visitor to the Chiltern Line! With the M40 motorway in the background, GWR 57xx 0-6-0PT 9600 makes a fine sight on 3 July 2010 as it heads north past the site of Ardley Quarry with the Chiltern Railways 1Z38 13:45 Chinnor to Banbury 'Centenary Express' railtour, celebrating 100 years of The Great Western Railway's direct line via Bicester. Although running fifteen minutes late, it was going extremely well considering its seven coach load, and made a fantastic noise as it passed me. Incidentally, because this location requires a walk of nearly a mile from the nearest road (not counting the motorway!), I was the only photographer here. Luckily, after several long periods of cloud, the sun decided to come out just at the critical moment!

9642 Parkend 23 March 2002

On 23 March 2002, 57xx 0-6-0PT 9642 simmers quietly at Parkend on the Dean Forest Railway with a demonstration freight train during a photo charter by the EMRPS. 9642 only just qualifies as Great Western loco, having been built in 1946. It spent its last years at Southall depot, although was briefly transferred to Old Oak Common prior to being withdrawn in November 1964. It then worked for the National Coal Board at Maesteg, before entering preservation.

93 Didcot Railway Centre 5 May 2013

1908 built steam railmotor No.93 arrives at Didcot Halt, in the Didcot Railway Centre on 5 May 2013, after a trip along the short demonstration line. This unique vehicle had just been paired up with autotrailer 92, effectively making the world's only steam multiple unit (SMU?). 93 was itself converted into an autotrailer in 1934, after the steam railmotor experiment was abandoned. It was withdrawn in 1956, but survived for a number of years as a departmental vehicle.