Class 43 HST

43070 Pangbourne 28 April 1993

43070 leads the 1O12 07:10 Edinburgh to Poole 'Wessex Scot' through Pangbourne cutting on 28 April 1993. All the Great Western Mainline HSTs used the lines in the foreground, which does not make such a good picture. However, this inter-regional train is running on the relief line, as booked, which provides a far better photographic angle. Unfortunately I only visited this location a couple of times. Naturally now it is inaccessible, as the health & safety people would have a fit if the public could still access this kind of location!

43070 South Moreton (Didcot East) 4 December 1999

Fantastic lighting at South Moreton (Didcot East) on 4 December 1999, as 43070 brings up the rear of the 1S37 12:20 Bournemouth to Edinburgh 'Dorset Scot'. The train is weaving across from the down main to the down relief line, in order to by-pass Didcot via the curve to Didcot North Junction.

43070 Aynho 20 July 2000

43070 passes underneath Aynho Flyover on 20 July 2000 with the 1O06 06:17 Manchester Piccadilly to Bournemouth Virgin CrossCountry service. 43070 had only just joined the Virgin fleet, and would only stay with the operator for three years before moving on to Midland Mainline, and then via Cotswold Rail, to First Great Western.

43070 Stonehouse (Bristol Road) 15 April 2006

It was miserably dull day on 15 April 2006, but the prospect of two different liveried HST power cars on a rake of Midland Mainline stock on the Heartland Rail 1Z27 08:00 Gloucester to Penzance railtour was too good a chance to pass up, especially as it turned out it would be the only picture I would get of either of these unique liveried machines. Cotswold Rail silver liveried 43070 is pictured at the head of the train approaching the site of Stonehouse (Bristol Road) station, with the long disused siding disappearing into the undergrowth in the foreground. If you think this livery is unusual, it's nothing compared to what was on the back.

43070 Wantage Road 6 November 2007

43070 The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers leads the 1C17 14:00 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads First Great Western service towards the site of Wantage Road station on 6 November 2007 amid some glorious autumn colours.  6C48 (59004), 6B24 (60042), 4D12 (66067) and 6B33 (worryingly 66237 instead of the booked Class 60) had all passed me in poor light, and I had to wait until the very end of the afternoon before the clouds finally cleared away. The low sun certainly brings out the colours, and to prove how much difference the lighting and the time of year makes to a picture, look at the same location on an early spring afternoon.

43070 Oaksey 4 March 2014

Giving the impression of running wrong line, 43070 The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers leads the 1G29 11:36 Paddington to Cheltenham First Great Western service past the site of Oaksey halt on 4 March 2014. The newly laid track for the redoubling of the line in the foreground has yet to receive any ballast.

43070 Milton 8 March 2014

With the disused Didcot Power Station in the background, 43070 The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers passes Milton on 8 March 2014 with the 1C15 13:00 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads First Great Western service. Note the preparatory building works in the field on the right. This became a whole estate of car dealers (Jaguar, Land Rover, Vauxhall & Volkswagen).

43070 Bourton 2 July 2014

43070 The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers leads the 1A18 13:00 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington First Great Western service past Bourton on 2 July 2014. 43070 was named at Paddington station on 16 October 2007 by the Duke if Edinburgh. The Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) is a Second World War merger of various Army maintenance units, including the Royal Engineers, and the Royal Army Ordnance Corps.

43070 Shrivenham 4 September 2014

The lookout man with his flag is definitely keeping a look out, as 43070 The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers sweeps through the recently cleared site of Shrivenham station on 4 September 2014. It is working the 1L50 10:20 Cheltenham to Paddington First Great Western service.

43070 Uffington 28 October 2014

Running slowly due to a temporary speed restriction, 43070 The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers passes Uffington on 28 October 2014 with the 1C14 12:30 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads First Great Western service. It is passing the 6M40 11:56 Westbury to Stud Farm ballast empties, led by 66757. The uninterrupted blue sky seen here is deceptive, as a huge bank of dark cloud was approaching front behind!

43070 Shrivenham 4 September 2014 43070 The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers speeds past Shrivenham on 5 November 2014 with the 1G38 13:36 Paddington to Cheltenham First Great Western service. I had photographed this power car just two months previously at the same location, but on that occasion traveling in the opposite direction.
43070 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 18 February 2016

43070 The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers passes the site of Ashbury Crossing, near Shrivenham, in perfect winter light on 18 February 2016 with the 1B27 11:15 Paddington to Cardiff Central GWR service. The much delayed electfrication is not now far off, as can be seen from the steel piles on the trackside.

43070 Cattybrook 19 July 2016

Viewed from high above Patchway Tunnels, 43070 The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers passes Cattybrook on 19 July 2016 with the 1L54 11:55 Cardiff Central to Paddington GWR service. The River Severn can be seen in the background.

43070 Daylesford 11 September 2016

43070 The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers passes Daylesford on 11 September 2016 with the 1P57 13:32 Hereford to Paddington GWR service. This is not a very well known location, due to the fact that it is a farm occupation bridge. It is however, only a few yards from the nearest road.

43070 Challow 6 April 2017

43070 The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers passes Challow on 6 April 2017 with the 1L36 08:31 Cheltenham Spa to Paddington GWR service. This is the start of the four track section to Wantage Road, and consequently has these massive overhead structures, more reminiscent of the 1940s Woodhead electfrication, rather than a 21st Century line!

43070 Moreton-in-Marsh 16 April 2018

43070 The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers passes Moreton-in-Marsh's up advanced starter signal on 16 April 2018, as it accelerates away from the station with the 1P18 06:42 Hereford to Paddington GWR service. I was really surprised to get this picture in the sun, as although there were only a few clouds about at the time, just as it was approaching the sun went behind one of them. I'm sure as it drew level with the signal it was still dull. However, I fired off a burst anyway, and amazingly the fast moving cloud had cleared out of the way in the nick of time!

43070 Fawler 8 May 2018

43070 The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers passes Fawler on 8 May 2018 with the 1P18 06:42 Hereford to Paddington GWR service. Luckily the power car does not match the coaches, as the blue livery provides a contrast to the green of the spring landscape, as does the cultivated field in the foreground, which definitely improves the composition of the picture. The houses in the foreground are part of the small hamlet of Fawler, while those on the hillside in the background are in the village of Finstock.

43070 Moreton-in-Marsh (Dunstall Bridge) 18 May 2018

Two blue power cars sandwich a complete rake of green coaches at Dunstall Bridge, Moreton-in-Marsh on 18 May 2018. 43070 The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers leads the 1P18 06:42 Hereford to Paddington GWR service away from Moreton-in-Marsh station (just visible beyond the bridge in the background).

43070 Fawler 3 July 2018

43070 The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers crosses the River Evenlode at Fawler on 3 July 2018 with the 1P07 04:47 Hereford to Paddington GWR service. The Cotswold Line crosses the River Evenlode fifteen times. This total would have been higher, had not the river been diverted in several places to avoid crossing and re-crossing the stream within a few yards.

43070 Edington 6 July 2018

In the last summer of HST operations on the Berks & Hants route, 43070 The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers speeds past Edington on 6 July 2018 with the 1A73 05:29 Plymouth to Paddington GWR service.

43070 Moreton-in-Marsh (Dunstall Bridge) 6 August 2018

43070 The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers seems to turn up on the 1P18 06:42 Hereford to Paddington GWR service whenever I photograph it at Moreton-in-Marsh in 2018! Here it is again, viewed from Dunstall Bridge on 6 August 2018, still paired up with a green set of coaches, just like when I photographed here a few months earlier.

43070 Combe 8 January 2019

43070 The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers approaches Combe on 8 January 2019 with the 1W27 13:22 Paddington to Worcester Foregate Street GWR service. The train is still accelerating away from Hanborough station, which is just over half a mile away, at the other end of a deep cutting. As the close up view of the train on the embankment is rather bland, I decided to use a moderate wide angle, and include the oak tree as a frame, which on this occasion I think has worked quite well. 

43071 Finedon Road 21 May 1989

43071 accelerates away from Wellingborough and passes Finedon Roadwith the 16:35 St Pancras to Nottingham service on 21 May 1989. Note the old steam shed in the background and the lines of redundant HTV hoppers being stored in the sidings. Since the picture of 43056 was taken a few years previously from the bridge just out of sight around the corner, the semaphore signalling has been replaced by colour lights, but major track rationalisation has yet to take place.

43071 Millbrook 15 Aoril 1997

43071 Forward Birmingham rounds the curve at Millbrook on 15 April 1997 with the 1S37 12:19 Bournemouth to Edinburgh 'Dorset Scot'. I'm not sure whether the dog is reacting to the train or its owners! The loco's name relates to an Exmouth lifeboat, the money for which was raised in Birmingham.

43071 Pilning 8 September 2006

43071 speeds through the weed choked platforms at Pilning station on 8 September 2006 with the 12:45 Paddington to Swansea First Great Western service. At this time Pilning had the luxury of one train a day in each direction. A few months after this picture was taken this was cut to one train a week in each direction!

43071 Acton Turville 27 March 2007

43071 speeds past Acton Turville with the 13:45 Paddington to Swansea First Great Western service on 27 March 2007. At this time the whole FGW HST fleet had just about been repainted into this livery, only for yet another livery to be launched! It almost seems that that a new livery is launched as soon as the final vehicle has been painted in the previous colours!

43071 Uffington 12 February 2008

Strange happenings at Uffington on 12 February 2008. 43071 has just received an amber signal near Uffington whilst working the 13:00 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads First Great Western service. It passed me at slow speed, coming to a stop at the next signal, where it waited for 15 minutes! Whether this had anything to do with 66145 on the preceding train is not clear, but it was certainly strange to see an HST stopped in open country, right over the minor road bridge to Uffington, with the driver walking around outside, between conversations with the signalman!

43071 Aldington 16 June 2010

43071 passes Aldington under brilliant blue skies on 16 June 2010 with the 1W29 11:22 Paddington to Great Malvern First Great Western service. Previously a well wooded cutting, the clearance of trees here has opened up a welcome new Cotswold Line viewpoint. However, judging from past experience, all the cut down vegetation will soon grow back again!

43071 Uffington 29 September 2011

43071 approaches the site of Uffington station on 29 September 2011 with the 1A15 11:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington First Great Western service. Note the sleeper built crossing just in front of the power car. This is virtually all that remains of the site of the former Uffington loops.

43071 Steventon 19 February 2013

43071 approaches Steventon on 19 February 2013 with the 1L55 11:28 Swansea to Paddington First Great Western service. This was the first time I had visited this location, although I had photographed from the nearby level crossing and roadbridge many times over the previous decades.

43071 Wootton Bassett 10 July 2014

43071 passes the new housing development at Wootton Bassett on 10 July 2014 with the 1A14 11:00 Bristol Temple to Paddington First Great Western service. Wootton Bassett Junction, where the Bristol and South Wales routes meet, can be seen in the background.

43071 Little Haresfield 22 September 2016

43071 passes Little Haresfield on 22 September 2016 with the 1G11 07:36 Paddington to Cheltenham Spa GWR service. The train is still accelerating away from Standish Junction, which is situated near the bridge that can just be seen in the background.

43071 Evesham 31 July 2017

43071 passes Evesham Signal Box in a lucky patch of sunshine on 31 July 2017 with the 1P57 14:25 Great Malvern to Paddington GWR service. Evesham lies on a bend in the River Avon. The train has just crossed the river, and will re-cross it again just after leaving the station.

43071 Hungerford Common 24 September 2018

43071 passes underneath the road bridge at Hungerford Common on 24 September 2018 with the late running 1A81 07:41 Penzance to Paddington GWR service. Note the mix of blue and green coaches, a common occurrence during 2018.

43071 Honeybourne 5 October 2018

43071 is moving slowly, as it approaches Honeybourne station on 5 October 2018 with the 1W25 12:21 Paddington to Worcester Shrub Hill GWR service. In the background, 950001 is moving even more slowly, as it heads off towards Long Marston at much less than walking speed with the 2Q08 11:28 Burton-on-Trent Wetmore Sidings to Bristol High Level Siding Network Rail test train.

43071 Bretforton 10 October 2018

43071 brings up the rear of the 1P31 12:09 Hereford to Paddington GWR service at Bretforton on 10 October 2018. This was running to the standard Cotswold Line time, i.e. 41 minutes late! The feathery yellow foliage in  the foreground is the remains of the field's former asparagus crop.

43071 Hungerford Common 15 May 2019

Shortly before the West of England trains were downgraded to Class 802 DMU operation, 43071 passes Hungerford Common with the 1C82 13:03 Paddington to Plymouth GWR service. The date is 15 May 2019, just three days before the end.

43072 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 27 August 2007

An interesting working occurred on the former Great Western Mainline on Bank Holiday Monday 27 August 2007. Instead of one of the usual First Great Western HSTs on this route, this is a Midland Mainline set hired to Virgin Trains! Running 25 minutes early, 43072 Derby Etches Park leads the 5Z53 07:10 Laira to Reading ECS past Shrivenham, prior to working the 1Z53 11:45 Reading to Leeds Virgin Trains special in connection with the Reading Festival. It originated from Laira due to having worked the 1V49 09:41 Newcastle to Newquay Virgin service two days previously. For the record 43060 was the rear power car. Unfortunately what started out as a sunny morning rapidly deteriorated into a cloudy day, but luckily I just got this in a small patch of sun.

43073 Nottingham 2 April 1994

43073 pulls out of Nottingham station on 2 April 1994 with the delayed 17:18 InterCity service to St Pancras. The new magistrate's court takes shape on the left, contrasting with the remnants of some Victorian brick buildings on the right. In pre-double yellow line days, there is some very convenient parking for my BMW, and a fellow photographer's Ford Escort!

43074 Beighton 25 November 2008

43074 passes Beighton on 25 November 2008 with the diverted 1C29 11:18 Sheffield to St Pancras East Midlands Trains service. Due to the three month closure of Bradway Tunnel, on the Sheffield to Chesterfield line for essential engineering works, all passenger trains were diverted via the normally freight only route via Tinsley and Beighton Junction. The section of line pictured here is subject to a severe speed restriction, and although accelerating slightly once over the crossing, trains seemed to be approaching the signal box in the background at little more than walking speed.

43075 Peascliffe Tunnel 14 June 1986

In 2016 it was the Great Western Mainline that was being steadily desecrated in the name of progress, as the electrification marched westwards. However, thirty years earlier the same fate was befalling the East Coast Mainline. The posts are in place on the approach to Peascliffe Tunnel (near Grantham) on 14 June 1986, as 43075 heads northwards with the 15:30 Kings Cross to Newcastle InterCity service.

43075 Souldrop 4 May 1987

43075 is pictured at Souldrop (near Sharnbrook) on 4 May 1987 working the 15:15 St Pancras to Sheffield service. As was common at the time both power cars are in the InterCity Executive livery, whilst the coaches are still in the original blue and grey colour scheme The two relief lines visible on the left at a lower level have since been replaced by a single bi-directional line.

43076 Harroeden Junction 21 May 1989

43076 leads the 15:38 Nottingham to St Pancras InterCity service past Harrowden Junction on 21 May 1989. In 1989 this was just a double track mainline, with the former relief lines having been removed. However, in 2009 a single bi-directional relief line was reinstated at this location.

43077 Didcot North Junction 6 May 1990

43077 brings up the rear of the Hertfordshire Railtours 07:15 Derby to Paignton 'Torbay Express' railtour on 6 May 1990. It is taking the west curve at Didcot North Junction, a route not normally used by passenger trains. The lead power car is similarly liveried 43081.

43077 Blackford 3 May 2008

Driving up the A9 between Stirling and Perth on 3 May 2008 I realised that the 1S15 12:00 Kings Cross to Inverness National Express East Coast 'Highland Chieftain' was due very shortly. I parked in the layby near the Highland Spring mineral water factory at Blackford and had just a few minutes to wait before 43077 appeared. Blackford signalbox can be seen in the background. Note also the ruined chapel on the hill in the background. I was a little worried that the train that was signaled on the up line might block out the picture, but luckily that appeared a minute later.

43078 Kemble 3 October 2009

43078 arrives at Kemble station on 3 October 2009 with the 1L50 11:00 Cheltenham to Paddington First Great Western service. AS can be seen by the number people on the platform, Kemble is now a very busy station, serving a wide rural community, although of course the branch lines to Cirencester and Tetbury are long gone.

43078 Wantage Road 6 December 2014

43078 approaches the site of Wantage Road station on 6 December 2014 with the 1B35 12:41 Paddington to Swansea First Great Western service. With less than three weeks to go until Christmas, I was surprised at the amount of leaves that were still on the trees.

43078 Bourton 20 April 2015

A wave from the driver of 43078 as the 1B51 15:45 Paddington to Swansea First Great Western service passes Bourton on 20 April 2015. The blue plastic covered rolls are for use during the following weekend's lowering of the track, to increase the headroom for electrification. The fresh ballast on the opposite line shows that the up line was tackled the previous weekend.

43078 Compton Beauchamp 12 October 2015

43078 passes Compton Beauchamp on 12 October 2015 with the 1L46 09:55 Cardiff Central to Paddington GWR service. Thanks to Network Rail's total incompetence with regard to the Great Western electrification project, I have unexpectedly managed to get another autumn's photography at this location!

43078 Bourton 26 August 2016

43078 passes Bourton on 26 August 2016 with the 1L46 09:55 Cardiff Central to Paddington GWR service. The bases for the forthcoming electfrication masts can be seen both in the foreground, and just to the right of the front of the train.

43078 Steventon 25 January 2018

43078 approaches Steventon on 25 January 2018 with the 1A11 09:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington GWR service. Although the electfrication looks complete, the wires were not yet energised when this picture was taken, and in fact ended just a few yards behind where I am standing.

43078 Moreton-in-Marsh (Dunstall Bridge) 2 May 2018

43078 approaches Moreton-in-Marsh on 2 May 2018 with the late running 1W02 17:22 Paddington to Hereford GWR service. This is the same mixed blue and green set that I photographed the previous day, on that occasion from the other end, with 43087 leading.

43078 Challow 17 May 2018

43078 passes underneath the recently reconstructed road bridge at Challow with the 1L42 07:22 Carmarthen to Paddington GWR service on 17 May 2018. The former bridge bisected Challow station's platforms, so the stinging nettles in the foreground mark site of the eastern end of the down platform.

43078 Great Bedwyn 2 July 2018

43078 passes Great Bedwyn on 2 July 2018 with the 1C91 17:33 Paddington to Paignton GWR service. The vintage buffer stop in the foreground was removed shortly afterwards, when the siding was lengthened to accommodate the new Class 800 DMUs. Bedwyn station can just be glimpsed through the bridge in the background.

43078 Moreton-in-Marsh 13 February 2019

43078 arrives at Moreton-in-Marsh station on 13 February 2019 with the 1P31 12:09 Hereford to Paddington GWR service. This is booked to wait in the station for ten minutes, and so I was going to get another picture of it leaving. However, as usual, it was running late, so I didn't quite make it to the other bridge in time!

43078 Norton Junction 16 May 2019

43078 brings up the rear of the 5Z43 09:43 Laira to Long Marston ECS at Norton Junction on 16 May 2019. The train is being led by 43091, which is approaching one of Norton's few remaining semaphore signals. The train would shortly be reversing at Worcester.

43078 Honeybourne 16 May 2019

43078 attracts some attention at Honeybourne on 16 May 2019, as it takes the Long Marston line with the 5Z43 09:43 Laira to Long Marston ECS. 43091 is bringing up the rear. Whilst HSTs were until recently commonplace on the tracks through the station on the left, it is only these off lease storage moves that bring them to this line.

43079 Kettering 21 May 1989

A super abundance of hawthorn blossom at Kettering on 21 May 1989 as the 10:33 Nottingham to St Pancras service accelerates away from the station, with 43079 leading. The field on the left subsequently succumbed to the spread of housing which can already be seen in the background. 43079 can no longer be seen on this route, as it was transferred to Laira in 1998 for use on the Great Western Mainline.

43079 Whitacre Junction 18 August 1996

43079 passes Whitacre Junction on Sunday 18 August 1996 with the diverted 1V46 09:15 Leeds to Plymouth InterCity service. Note the broken headlight cover, with the smashed remains of the clear plastic hanging loose.

43079 Uffington 2 November 2006

43079 catches the very last rays of the setting sun, as it passes Uffington on 2 November 2006 with the 1G47 15:36 Paddington to Cheltenham Spa First Great Western service. Photo taken from a very little used public footpath crossing.

43079 Lyneham 28 June 2012

43079 passes Lyneham on 28 June 2012 with the 1W47 15:51 Paddington to Worcester Shrub Hill First Great Western service. It's amazingly how quickly some conifer trees grow (ask anyone who has had any dealings with a Leylandii hedge!), as there was no evidence of this wood in 1986.

43079 Ardley 7 April 2013

43079 leads the diverted 1A12 09:48 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington First Great Western service past Ardley on 7 April 2013. Despite the hazy light, I wasn't going to miss the opportunity to get some pictures of HSTs working on the Chiltern Line. The scorched trackside is the result of a fire caused by 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe which passed this way with a railtour the day before. This resulted in the return leg of the journey being piloted by a Class 47, and also severe delays to Chiltern Trains services, while the fire brigade tackled the blaze.

43079 Radley 23 April 2013

With the eighteenth century Nuneham House just visible behind the bush on the left, 43079 leads the 1D51 16:49 Paddington to Oxford First Great Western service through the upper Thames Valley on 23 April 2013. The location is between Radley and Kennington, one of the few local spots that hasn't succumbed to lineside bushes in the last few years.

43079 Cholsey 8 July 2014

43079 speeds past Cholsey on 8 July 2014 with the 1A04 06:35 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington First Great Western service, while in the background 165101 trundles along the up relief line with the 2P22 06:25 Banbury to Paddington. A historic picture, as not only will Didcot Power Station soon no longer be a prominent feature of the background here, but also the forthcoming electrification will soon ruin the view forever. Note the steel piles by the side of the track, and the first of the new masts in the distance.

43079 Croome 9 August 2014

43079 speeds past Croome on 9 August 2014 with the 1L40 08:36 Worcester Shrub Hill to Paddington First Great Western service. This is the only FGW HST to use this route on a Saturday, the majority of Worcester to London trains going of course via the Cotswold Line. It runs just a few minutes behind the 1V44 CrossCountry service, allowing the photographer a choice of liveries.

43079 Bourton 8 August 2015

43079 passes Bourton on 8 August 2015 with the 1A18 13:22 Chippenham to Paddington First Great Western service. Normally this would be the 13:00 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington, but the closure of the line through Bath for lowering of the track for the forthcoming electrification, has led to the recasting of numerous services. This view has recently been improved by the removal of a radio mast near the trees on the right. However, it's a temporary respite, as the overhead catenary will soon ruin the location completely!

43079 Uffington 30 September 2015

43079 speeds past Uffington on 30 September 2015 with the 1B46 14:45 Paddington to Swansea GWR service. The radio mast and bridge in the background mark the site of Uffington station, which was the junction for the former Faringdon branch.

43079 Steventon (Stocks Lane) 19 January 2016

43079 races past Stocks Lane level crossing at Steventon on 19 January 2016 with the 1C14 12:30 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads GWR service. The plume of steam rising up in the background is from Didcot's gas fired power station, while the redundant chimney of the original coal fired power station (soon to be demolished) can be seen above the bridge in the background.

43079 Uffington 11 April 2017

43079 approaches the site of Uffington station on 11 April 2017 with the 1L38 07:58 Swansea to Paddington GWR service. It seems that there will be a view of sorts from this new footbridge, even once the dreaded overhead wires belatedly make their appearance.

43079 Corsham 19 June 2017

Corsham station closed in 1965, and the platforms and buildings were demolished shortly afterwards. The goods shed remains however, and is seen here with its decrepit and overgrown addition, on 19 June 2017. New houses now dominate the background of this view, and it is the continued growth of the town of Corsham that has resulted in persistent calls for the reopening of the station. 43079 passes by with the 1A11 09:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington GWR service.

43079 Chilson 25 August 2017

43079 speeds past Chilson on 25 August 2017 with the 1P26 06:42 Hereford to Paddington GWR service. The noise is obviously enough to cause the pigeon sitting on the high voltage electricity wires on the right to take flight!

43079 Chalford 8 May 2018

43079 starts the ascent of Sapperton Bank at Chalford on 8 May 2018 with the 1L50 10:36 Cheltenham Spa to Paddington GWR service. The buildings directly behind the power car mark the site of Iles Mill, one of many former woolen mills in the Stroud Valley. Just visible in the background is the signal box at St. Mary's Crossing.

43079 Moreton-in-Marsh (Dunstall Bridge) 4 August 2018

43079 accelerates away from Moreton-in-Marsh on 4 August 2018 with the 1P61 14:35 Great Malvern to Paddington GWR service. This is the final summer of HSTs over the Cotswold Line, a route that has been home to these iconic trains for 34 years.

43079 Charlbury 7 August 2018

43079 passes underneath the very old roadbridge, and the new footbridge, as it arrives at Charlbury station on 7 August 2018 with the 1P39 15:14 Hereford to Paddington GWR service. HSTs are gradually being replaced on the Cotswold Line by Class 800 DMUs, but late afternoon during the summer of 2018 still offers the possibility of seeing four of them within 25 minutes at Charlbury.

43079 Challow 4 January 2019

Once the mainstay of the Great Western Mainline, but in early 2019 only a few HSTs soldier on, amid a sea of Class 800 bi-mode unites. 43079 passes Challow on 4 January 2019 with the 1G38 13:36 Paddington to Cheltenham Spa GWR service.

43079 Grove 25 February 2019

43079 speeds past Grove on 25 February 2019 with the 1A08 06:57 Taunton to Paddington GWR service. A sign of the times is that this was the only HST I saw during this lineside visit, amid a sea of Class 800 bi-mode units.

43080 Defford 21 July 1990

43080 passes Defford with the 14:40 Newquay to Leeds 'InterCity Holidaymaker' on 21 July 1990. It was one of those balmy summer evenings where the sun just fades out into hazy high cloud and as can be seen here at only 19:10 there is only a hint of shadows remaining. This is the first picture I took of this particular power car, not having seen it prior to it having buffers fitted.

43080 South Moreton 30 April 1994

Buffer fitted 43080 leads the 1M14 14:20 Bournemouth to Manchester Piccadilly 'Pines Express' past South Moreton on 30 April 1994. Note the recently pollarded trees, a surprising concession to good old fashioned trackside maintenance. I doubt if anyone in Network Rail nowadays knows how to pollard trees!

43080 Kings Sutton 31 May 1994

43080 passes Kings Sutton on 31 May 1994 with the 1M25 16:16 Bournemouth to Manchester Piccadilly InterCity service. Although it seems to have had a fairly recent repaint, at least to the red and white part of the livery, this obviously hasn't extended to the large number on the front end, which is now barely legible. Non standard, so not part of the painting specification!

43080 Water Orton 6 April 2002

43080 swings round the curve at Water Orton on 6 April 2002 with the 1E29 06:28 Plymouth to Newcastle 'Armada' Virgin CrossCountry service. Naming trains seems a little pointless without a headboard, which makes naming HST worked trains doubly pointless!

43081 Ampthill (Millbrook) 29 May 1988

43081 passes Ampthill (Millbrook) in hazy sunshine on Sunday 29 May 1988 with the 08:30 Sheffield to St Pancras service. A complete uniform train in the InterCity Executive livery, although 43081 has a minor livery variation - a small black rectangle on the white band underneath the front end number.

43081 Didcot North Junction 6 May 1990

43081 takes the west curve at Didcot North Junction on 6 May 1990 with the Hertfordshire Railtours 07:15 Derby to Paignton 'Torbay Express' railtour, with 43077 bringing up the rear. HSTs are of course no strangers to the Didcot area, but do not normally traverse the west curve. In 1990 this location was still fairly rural, but even in those days some of Didcot's rubbish seems to be lining the tracks! A pair of thumper units had passed by in the opposite direction a little while before with the Kingfisher Railtours 'Bescot Pioneer' railtour.

43081 Harringworth 12 February 1995

With the 1,275 yard long Harringworth Viaduct prominent in the background, 43081 leads the diverted 08:39 Sheffield to St Pancras service along the freight only Corby line on 12 February 1995. Harringworth station (closed to passengers in 1948 and freight in 1966) can be seen just above the rear of the train. The signal box, just visible to the right of the station building, has now been moved to Pitsford & Brampton station on the Northampton & Lamport Railway.

43081 Kirkham Abbey 26 July 2008

43081 Midland Valenta rounds the curve at Kirkham Abbey with the East Midlands Trains 1Z43 15:15 Scarborough to Leicester 'Valenta Venturer' railtour on 26 July 2008. 43064 125 Group can just be seen on the rear of the train. Both these power cars were named the previous day, especially for this railtour. Given the fact that this is the classic location on the Scarborough line and the weather was good (although we almost lost the sun at the critical moment here), I was surprised that only two other photographers were with me in the field to see this piece of history. I suppose I shouldn't really be that surprised, as some railway photographers have a very narrow outlook and even now many ignore HSTs completely. I find this attitude very odd, especially as the HST with its classic streamlined shape is far more photogenic than the intrinsically ugly Class 66s that dominate the freight scene, which some seem to consider the only thing worth photographing.

43081 Cossington 21 February 2019

With a toot and a friendly wave from the driver, 43081 passes Cossington on 21 February 2019 with the 1B58 15:45 Nottingham to St Pancras International East Midlands Trains service. I wonder how long it will be before the field in the background is taken over by even more new houses, like the ones in Sileby just visible in the distance?

43082 Kilnhurst 27 December 2003

43082 Derbyshire First passes Kilnhurst on 27 December 2003 with a Neville Hill to Sheffield ECS working. Note the inclusion of a single coach in the then new livery. The power car could certainly do with a repaint, or at the very least a wash! This was one of those annoying situations when the sun was disappearing in and out of the clouds, so only very weak sun for this picture!

43082 Cossington 28 January 2008

Still in Midland Mainline livery (albeit devoid of all branding), 43082 leads the 11:27 Sheffield to St Pancras East Midlands Trains service past Cossington on 28 January 2008. East Midlands Trains had taken over the franchise from Midland Mainline in November 2007, so pending the application of a new livery, all trace of the previous owner's identity had to be removed.

43083 Harrowden Junction 10 April 1994

43083 speeds past Harrowden Junction on 10 April 1994 with the 08:54 Sheffield to St Pancras service. Note the course of the former relief lines on the right. In 2009 a bi-directional line was reinstated here easing the bottleneck between Kettering and Wellingborough.

43083 Tupton 10 March 1997

43083 passes Tupton on 10 March 1997 with the 1C37 15:24 Sheffield to St Pancras service. On the extreme right, a tall lamp post marks out the site of Avenue Sidings, which formerly occupied the area of scrubland behind the train.

43083 Harrowden Junction 11 January 2014

43083 passes Harrowden Junction shortly after sunrise on 11 January 2014 with the 08:16 Corby to St Pancras East Midlands Trains service. With the sun this low it is very tricky to find locations that aren't completely in the shade.

43084 Kidderminster 12 January 1991

Long before its days of racing up and down the East Coast Mainline in a smart black livery, working for Grand Central Railways, 43084 County of Derbyshire is pictured leaving Kidderminster on 12 January 1991 with the Hertfordshire Railtours 'Severn Valley Circular' railtour. This had traveled from St Pancras via Kettering, Sutton Park and Dudley to reach Kidderminster, returning via Oxford. A dull and misty day, but the chance to get a picture of a buffer fitted HST at the unlikely location of Kidderminster was not going to missed!

43084 Radley 12 June 1994

43084 County of Derbyshire speeds through Radley on 12 June 1994 with the 12:17 Manchester Piccadilly to Reading service, which had just traversed the Cotswold Line rather than its customary route via Banbury. This was a regular timetabled event on Sundays at the time, bringing a whole new range of destinations to Cotswold Line passengers. The people on the down platform are waiting to see GWR 4-6-0 5029 Nunney Castle with a special train to mark the 150th anniversary of the Didcot to Oxford line.

43084 Cholsey 22 July 1994

43084 County of Derbyshire leads the 16:16 Bournemouth to Manchester Piccadilly service past Cholsey on 22 July 1994. 43084 is one of the eight HST power cars fitted with buffers in 1987 in connection with DVT trials on the East Coast Main Line. It is a busy moment at Cholsey station in the background, as both the 18:19 Didcot to Paddington and the 17:23 Paddington to Oxford services can just be seen calling at the station.

43084 Acton Turville 29 March 1996

43084 County of Derbyshire finds a lucky patch of sun as it passes Acton Turville with the 1B36 15:00 Paddington to Swansea on 29 March 1996. Probably one of my most photographed HST power cars, as it seems to follow me around everywhere!

43084 Overthorpe 16 June 1999

Buffer fitted 43084 County of Derbyshire leads the 1E42 16:20 Bournemouth to Leeds Virgin CrossCountry service underneath the farm occupation bridge at Overthorpe on 16 June 1999. And no, I was not responsible for the tree pruning in the foreground. If I had done it, I would have covered up the cut ends!

43084 Grassthorpe 25 January 2008

After many setbacks, Grand Central Railways began operations between Sunderland and London in December 2007, using refurbished HST sets. On 25 January 2008, 43084 leads the 14:10 York to Kings Cross service past Grassthorpe. This service is temporarily starting from York, but when the full timetable is implemented will start from Sunderland at 12:30.

43084 Great Heck 14 March 2008

43084 leads the 1A60 06:46 Sunderland to Kings Cross Grand Central 'Zephyr' service through Great Heck on 14 March 2008, unusually running a few minutes late. Although still sunny, a bank of thin cloud had just started to drift up from the south taking the edge of the light. The siding on the right leads to the Plasmor block works, which dispatches a daily train of building blocks to Bow.

43084 Langford 12 May 2008

43084 leads the 1A60 06:46 Sunderland to Kings Cross Grand Central 'Zephyr' service past Langford on 12 May 2008. 43166 in the obsolete Midland Mainline livery can just be seen on the rear of the train. Langford (between Biggleswade and Hitchin) is one of the relatively few unobstructed photographic locations on the southern end of the East Coast Mainline.

43084 Bishop Wood 26 July 2008

43084 passes Bishop Wood (between Doncaster and York) with the 1N28 16:50 Kings Cross to Sunderland Grand Central service on 26 July 2008. I seem to be photographing this particular Grand Central power car on a roughly two monthly basis. Eventually I will get a decent picture of one of the others! After a largely sunny day, the sun was just starting to melt away into high cloud.

43085 Ratcliffe-on-Soar 1 July 1985

The cooling towers of Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station dominates the background, as 43085 City of Bradford heads down the Midland Mainline with the 17:00 Derby to St Pancras service on 1 July 1985. Unfortunately I didn't record the loco's number at the time, but have been able to work it out by careful scrutiny of the nameplate on the 6x7 slide scan. Many thanks to the several HST experts who confirmed my conclusion.

43086 Milton Ernest 4 May 1987

43086 passes Milton Ernest on 4 May 1987 with the late running 07:50 Barnsley to St Pancras service. A typical formation of the period (although the coaches especially are unusually clean). Two InterCity Executive (as it was called then) liveried power cards, with a complete rake of original blue and grey stock. The repainting of the power cards was always ahead of the coaches.

43086 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 21 February 1993

Transition time at Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, when it was (nearly!) a three track main line. The two relief lines were reinstated during 1992-4, with the down line being completed first. This is the scene on 21 February 1993, with the down line layed, but clearly not straightened yet. 43086 passes by the work site with the 1A25 07:00 Swansea to Paddington service.

43086 Ashchurch 28 May 1994

43086 passes Ashchurch on 28 May 1994 with the 1V39 06:05 Leeds to Plymouth 'Armada' InterCity service. In those days even short sighted photographers could easily get the power car's number, no matter how fast it was going!

43086 Baulking 22 May 2012

43086 passes through the lush spring greenery at Baulking on 22 May 2012, as it speeds westwards with the 1B46 14:45 Paddington to Swansea First Great Western service. Note that the word 'First' is missing from the front faring, below the headlights.

43086 Chilson 25 May 2012

43086 catches the weak early morning sun at Chilson on 25 May 2012, as it heads towards the capital over the newly doubled section of the Cotswold Line with the 1P21 05:35 Hereford to Paddington First Great Western service. Notice how it appears to have lost its 'First' branding from the front, with just the logo remaining.

43086 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 11 September 2015

With the first class coaches unusually at the 'country end' of the train, 43086 leads the 1C15 13:00 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads First Great Western service past the site of Ashbury Crossing, near Shrivenham, on 11 September 2015.

43086 Compton Beauchamp 25 September 2015

Running slowly under double amber signals, 43086 passes Compton Beauchamp on 25 September 2015 with the 1A11 0930 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington GWR service. As this runs directly behind the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner, it often crawls along until the freight reaches the loop at Challow.

43086 Denchworth 28 September 2015

43086 races underneath the signal gantry at Denchworth on 28 September 2015 with the 1L32 06:58 Swansea to Paddington GWR service. Split second timing and a shutter speed of 1/2000sec are required here! The early morning fog had only just cleared, and had I arrived in time for the 6M50 07:55 Westbury to Bescot freight, there would have be no picture, as the gantry was barely visible through the fog. In the event 6M50 had passed just before I arrived, running 40 minutes early.

43086 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 20 January 2016

Sunshine, frost, and still no electrification masts, what more could you want? 43086 approaches Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 20 January 2016 with the 1L32 06:58 Swansea to Paddington GWR service. Naturally the frost in the field didn't last very long, but at least the sun kept shining.

43086 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 7 March 2016 43086 approaches Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 7 March 2016 with the 1A08 05:09 Plymouth to Paddington GWR service. I don't know why the posts nearest most of the bridges in the Vale of White Horse have not been installed, but it does give a reprieve for photographers!
43086 Compton Beauchamp 8 May 2016

43086 glistens in the late evening backlighting at Compton Beauchamp on 8 May 2016, as it heads towards the capital with the 1A29 16:10 Plymouth to Paddington GWR service. Only recently has it been possible to get an uninterrupted view of the entire train at this spot. Preparations for the much delayed electrification work have seen the removal of several trees from this location.

43086 Bremell Sidings (site of) 14 September 2016

43086 passes Purton Oil Depot (formerly known as Bremell Sidings, when it was rail connected) on 14 September 2016 with the diverted 1B48 15:15 Paddington to Swansea GWR service. This was running 15 minutes late, due to getting held up at Swindon, as the station was overloaded with trains waiting for an obstruction to be removed from the Bristol line.

43086 Challow 28 November 2017

43086 passes underneath the extremely unphotogenic ironmongery at Challow on 28 November 2017 with the 1L38 07:59 Swansea to Paddington GWR service. The wires are not yet energised here, and so the venerable HSTs have still got a few more months left.

43086 Kingham 10 February 2018

43086 arrives at Kingham station in the rain on 10 February 2018 with the 1P40 09:45 Great Malvern to Paddington GWR service. Coincidentally, consecutively numbered 43087 arrived from the other direction five minutes later with the delayed 1W21 09:22 Paddington to Worcester Foregate Street service.

43086 Charlbury (Cornbury Park) 26 March 2018

My reason for visiting the Cornbury Park bridge just to the south of Charlbury on 26 March 2018, was to photograph the 1P31 12:09 Hereford to Paddington HST. However, it became clear that it was going to be totally cloudy by the time that came, despite there being hardy a cloud in the sky when I set off for the short 12 mile trip! So, by way of consolation, here is 43086 bringing up the rear of the 1W25 12:21 Paddington to Worcester Shrub Hill GWR service. At least the approaching dark clouds make a striking contrast with the sunlit foreground.

43086 Hungerford Common 27 February 2019

43086 passes Hungerford Common on 27 February 2019 with the 1C82 13:03 Paddington to Penzance GWR service. What a pity this set wasn't the other way round, as the much more interesting InterCity liveried 43185 Great Western is on the rear.

43087 Billingham 12 April 1998

43087 passes Billingham on 12 April 1998 with the diverted 1E08 09:50 Aberdeen to Kings Cross 'Northern Lights' GNER service. Sunday engineering works had closed part of the East Coast Mainline, and trains were being diverted along the circuitous coastal route via Sunderland and Hartlepool. Billingham station, which has a single short island platform, can just be glimpsed on the other side of the road bridge.

43087 Yate 6 August 1998

The sheep take no notice, as 43087 leads the 1M25 18:45 Bristol Temple Meads to Preston Virgin CrossCountry service past Yate on 6 August 1998. InterCity swallow liveried power cars on Virgin red stock was a common sight in the late 1990s, as Virgin seemed to be much quicker at painting their coaches compared to their locos.

43087 Stonehouse (Bristol Road) 15 April 2006

43087 brings up the rear of the Heartland Rail 1Z27 08:00 Gloucester to Penzance railtour on 15 April 2006, as it passes the site of Stonehouse station. This has got to be one of the oddest liveries applied to a loco in this country, but you certainly can't miss it! A slightly more conventional Cotswold Rail silver liveried 43070 was on the front of the train. Despite the fact that HSTs look the same going either way (ignoring the red tail lights), I don't normally bother with going away shots, but this one just had to be done, especially as I would not see it again in this livery.

43087 Kingham 22 September 2008

Three passengers prepare to board the 1P49 12:40 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington First Great Western service as it arrives at Kingham station on 22 September 2008, headed by 43087. Note the amusing missing letter of the front end logo!

43087 Challow 19 November 2013

43087 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment Royal Logistic Corps passes Challow on 19 November 2013 with the 1L28 07:08 Worcester Shrub Hill to Paddington First Great Western service. It looks like the concrete sleepers in the foreground have been lying around for some considerable time, judging by how overgrown they are!

43087 Shrivenham 9 April 2014

43087 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment Royal Logistic Corps speeds underneath the B4000 Shrivenham to Ashbury roadbridge, by the site of Shrivenham station, with the 1L28 07:08 Worcester Shrub Hill to Paddington First Great Western service on 9 April 2014. This bridge is due to be demolished as part of the Great Western Mainline electrification scheme.

43087 Uffington 16 April 2014

43087 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment Royal Logistic Corps passes Uffington on 16 April 2014 with the 1A10 09:00 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington First Great Western service. Not exactly an easy name to remember, and slightly ironic when this particular power car was once emblazoned with the word 'Hornby' in huge letters on the bodyside!

43087 Shrivenham 20 April 2016

43087 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment Royal Logistic Corps passes the recently cleared site of Shrivenham station on 20 April 2016 with the 1A16 07:41 Penzance to Paddington GWR service. Unfortunately this newly opened up viewpoint disappeared with the installation of the overhead electfrication equipment a year later.

43087 South Marston 15 July 2016

43087 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment Royal Logistic Corps passes South Marston on 15 July 2016 with the 1G60 17:42 Paddington to Cheltenham Spa GWR service. The new Swindon police headquarters can just be seen on the extreme right.

43087 Little Bedwyn 16 July 2016

43087 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment Royal Logistic Corps approaches Little Bedwyn on 16 July 2016 with the 1C92 18:06 Paddington to Penzance GWR service. I had chosen this location as the north side of the line would be lit at this late stage of the day. Naturally there was no sun!

43087 South Marston 20 June 2017

43087 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment Royal Logistic Corps passes South Marston on 20 June 2017 with the 1A11 09:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington GWR service. The pile of cable on the right indicates some imminent (probably!) electfrication work. At this time this was one of the few mast free sections of the Great Western Mainline.

43087 Thrupp (Gloucestershire) 13 January 2018

43087 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment Royal Logistic Corps runs down the Golden Valley at Thrupp on 13 January 2018 with the 1G29 12:15 Paddington to Cheltenham Spa GWR service. To the left of the train is Ham Mill Bridge, on the Thames & Severn Canal, with Ham Mill Lock just visible through the arch.

43087 Kingham 10 February 2018

43087 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment Royal Logistic Corps slowly pulls into Kingham station in the pouring rain on 10 February 2018 with the late running 1W21 09:22 Paddington to Worcester Foregate Street GWR service. Interestingly, what would originally have been the other power car of 1970s Eastern Region set 254016 (43086) had just left the station with the 1P40 09:45 Great Malvern to Paddington GWR service. In the background of this view the recently cleared site of the former roadside garage can be seen, along with a Pulham's minibus, waiting to work the 11:00 Kingham to Bourton-on-the-Water No.802 service.

43087 Chilson 1 May 2018

Blue, green, blue, green, blue, blue, blue, green, blue, blue! GWR are obviously no longer making any attempt to keep their new green liveried coaches in complete rakes. In crisp early morning light on 1 May 2018, 43087 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment Royal Logistic Corps passes Chilson with the 1P18 06:42 Hereford to Paddington service.

43087 Uffington 29 October 2018

43087 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment Royal Logistic Corps passes Uffington on 29 October 2018 with the 1A08 06:28 Exeter St Davids to Paddington GWR service. Unfortunately no signs of any autumn colour yet in the lineside wood, but at least there was no problem with early morning fog here, although it wasn't far away, judging by the background.

43088 Rangeworthy 13 August 1994

43088 leads the 1V42 06:40 Newcastle to Penzance 'InterCity Holidaymaker' (as BR liked to brand it in those days) past Rangeworthy on 13 August 1994. Largely ignored by a lot of photographers at the time (not me!), a bit more interest would be generated nowadays if a complete HST rake was repainted into this livery!

43088 Compton Beauchamp 7 November 2009

43088 passes Compton Beauchamp on 7 November 2009 with what is presumably the late running 1A14 11:00 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington First Great Western service. Obviously there was some problem further west, as it was quickly followed by a further two HSTs. I had expected a little more autumn colour on the trees at this location, but presumably the recent high winds have added to the Rail Head Treatment Train's work, by blowing them onto the track.

43088 Uffington 7 January 2012

A typically dramatic winter sky forms the backdrop to 43088 as it passes Uffington on 7 January 2012 with the 1A14 11:00 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington First Great Western service. Note the recently completed embankment strengthening works near the rear of the train. This viewpoint is one of the few in the Uffington area that doesn't require any walking, as it is taken from the side of the Uffington to Fernham road.

43088 Crofton 22 May 2012

43088 sweeps round the curve at Crofton on 22 May 2012 with the 1A85 05:41 Penzance to Paddington First Great Western service. Its curves like this that prevent the HSTs from fulfilling their full potential on the route, with little chance to reach 125mph.

43088 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 15 March 2014

Clear early spring light at Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) on 15 March 2014. 43088 heads westwards with the 1C15 13:00 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads First Great Western service. The old wooden fence seems to be holding up remarkably well, as it looks unchanged since at least 1986, at which time it was presumably already quite ancient!

43088 Steventon 29 September 2015

The delayed Great Western Mainline electfrication is finally coming! Two steel piles show just how much is under the ground once they have been driven home, as they loom over 43088 at Steventon on 29 September 2015. The train is the 1L52 10:28 Swansea to Paddington GWR service.

43088 Challow 11 February 2016

43088 passes Challow on 11 February 2016 with the 1L36 08:31 Cheltenham Spa to Paddington GWR service. This was during the short period between the removal of some annoying lineside vegetation, and the installation of the even more annoying overhead electfrication catenary!

43088 Kingham 16 April 2016

43088 arrives at Kingham station on 16 April 2016 with the 1W06 16:21 Paddington to Hereford GWR service. This is a newly created viewpoint courtesy of the station's new footbridge. The old GWR footbridge used to cross the tracks by the HST's first coach. Despite it being 18:05, the 17:55 Pulhams bus to Chipping Norton is still waiting in the station forecourt, as its schedule is designed specifically to connect with this train.

43088 Steventon 3 October 2016

43088 passes Steventon on 3 October 2016 with the 1U40 13:45 Paddington to Bristol Parkway GWR service. This service operates between 12 September and 21 October 2016, during the time that the Severn Tunnel is closed for engineering work in connection with the route's electfrication. Normally this would be the 1B40 13:45 Paddington to Swansea. Most trains to South Wales were diverted via Gloucester, but some such as this one, terminated at Bristol Parkway. The background of this view is still dominated by Didcot Power Station, over three years after the coal fired Didcot A plant was closed, as it was not fitted with flue gas desulphurisation equipment.

43088 Charlton-on-Otmoor 17 September 2017

43088 passes Charlton-on-Otmoor on 17 September 2017 with the diverted 1C21 15:32 Paddington to Penzance GWR service. Disappearing into the distance is the 1A22 11:01 Penzance to Paddington. These trains were being diverted over the Chiltern route due to engineering works in the Reading area.

43088 Chilson 8 January 2019

43088 passes Chilson on 8 January 2019 with the 1W00 08:21 Paddington to Hereford GWR service. In the 1980s, I took several pictures of trains passing underneath the roadbridge at Chilson, but always from the other direction. The recent clearance of all the lineside vegetation has opened up the view on the west side of the bridge (sadly not on the other side!), so I decided to try this new angle. Unfortunately the sun was still in a large area of thin cloud when the train came. Of course a couple of minutes later it was back to full brightness!

43089 Kemble 5 June 2008

43089 Hayabusa leads Network Rail's New Measurement Train through Kemble on 5 June 2008 with the 1Z22 06:48 Derby to Cheltenham (via Hereford and Swindon) test train, with 43014 bringing up the rear. At this point it was running 40 minutes early and consequently was following right behind the 12:31 Cheltenham to Paddington HST. In fact it had a very brief signal check in the station, just enough to result in the sun disappearing! It is pictured just about to enter the single track section to Swindon and also the 415 yard long Kemble Tunnel.

43090 Bramley 15 May 1993

43090 approaches Bramley on 15 May 1993 with the 1O12 07:10 Edinburgh to Bournemouth InterCity service. The Reading to Basingstoke line is not blessed with many photographic locations, this being one of the few that isn't ruined by vegetation or pylons, or both!

43091 Eckington 28 February 1998

43091 Edinburgh Military Tattoo crosses the River Avon at Eckington on 28 February 1998 with the 1V39 06:05 Leeds to Plymouth 'Armada' Virgin CrossCountry service. The Malvern Hills can be seen in the background (approximately ten miles away).

43091 Cholsey 6 December 2006

With the village of North Moreton visible in the background, 43091 approaches Cholsey on 6 December 2006 with the 10:30 Swansea to Paddington First Great Western service. There seem to be nearly as many lengths of rail lying around, as actually forming the track!

43091 Uffington 9 February 2007

43091 passes a snowy Uffington on 9 February 2007 with the 1A17 12:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington First Great Western service. Note the long defunct signal on the right, a reminder of the former loops that existed at this location.

43091 Combe 8 July 2010

A historic moment at Combe station on 8 July 2010, as 43091 calls with the 1W00 08:22 Paddington to Hereford First Great Western service. Normally only one Turbo unit in each direction stops at this remote station for the handful of loyal regular passengers. However, to mark the 75th anniversary of the opening of the station by the Great Western Railway, a special stop order was granted for this HST service to call and pick up a party of local schoolchildren heading for a day trip to Worcester. Proceedings are watched over by FGW's station manager and interested locals.

43091 Dorn 5 March 2011

This 5 March 2011 view shows the newly reinstated up line at Dorn (near Moreton-in-Marsh), part of the Cotswold Line upgrade. 43091 passes by with the 1P37 08:43 Great Malvern to Paddington First Great Western service. Considerable embankment strengthening work has been carried out since I was last here six months before. Of course this location is much more photogenic with the up trains apparently running 'wrong line', as it gives a wider viewpoint, and will certainly be a very unusual occurrence one the new track is commissioned.

43091 Oaksey 8 April 2011

43091 passes Oaksey on 8 April 2011 with the 1L67 14:31 Cheltenham Spa to Paddington First Great Western service. This section of line, which was singled in 1968, would be redoubled in 2014, following complaints of late running caused by the long single track section.

43091 Little Somerford 6 March 2012

A gardener tends his allotment at Little Somerford on 6 March 2012 as 43091 speeds by with the 1B27 11:15 Paddington to Cardiff Central First Great Western service. The owner of the plot on the left is making use of some unwanted CDs as a bird scaring device - a very common an effective modern form of pest control!

43091 Challow 19 September 2012

43091 speeds past Challow on 19 September 2012 with the 1A09 07:12 Taunton to Paddington First Great Western service. There is virtually no evidence now that Challow station once occupied this site. The last remnants of the platforms were removed when the relief lines were reinstated.

43091 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 14 December 2013

43091 approaches Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 14 December 2013 with the 1C15 13:00 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads First Great Western service. The sunshine was quite localised, with it being considerably cloudier just a short distance to the east.

43091 Baulking 1 April 2016

43091 passes the signs of its own demise, as it speeds past Baulking on 1 April 2016 with the 1L48 09:28 Swansea to Paddington GWR service. When eventually the hugely delayed electfrication that the steel piles herald is complete, the HSTs, for so long the staple power of the route, will move on to pastures new.

43091 Daylesford 2 July 2016

43091 leads the 1P65 15:39 Great Malvern to Paddington GWR service past Daylesford on 2 July 2016. The sun was out for the entire time I was at this location, yet the short journey there was in the rain, and the drive home was in what can only be described as a torrential downpour!

43091 Norton Junction 16 May 2019

Off lease 43091 passes Norton Junction on 16 May 2019 with the 5Z43 09:43 Laira to Long Marston ECS. 43078 is out of sight on the rear. This was during the last week of GWR HST operation, and is one of a number of sets that have been consigned to Long Marston for storage.

43091 Honeybourne 16 May 2019

43091 brings up the rear of the 5Z43 09:43 Laira to Long Marston ECS at Honeybourne on 16 May 2019. 43078 is the lead power car. With the exception of one coach, a complete green rake. It does seem rather a waste of money repainted so many coaches, when shortly afterwards they are being consigned to storage!

43092 Upper Heyford 14 February 1995

43092 crosses the Oxford Canal at Upper Heyford on 14 February 1995, as it heads south with the 1O06 06:17 Manchester Piccadilly to Bournemouth service. The Oxford Canal pre-dates the railway at this location by 63 years.

43092 Holyhead 29 May 1999

43092 Institution of Mechanical Engineers 150th Anniversary 1847-1997 prepares to leave Holyhead station on 29 May 1999 with the 1A62 13:38 Virgin CrossCountry departure for Euston. I'm surprised that in today's health & safety conscious world, a broken headlight cover with sharp edges doesn't constitute reason enough to declare the train a failure!

43092 Uffington 14 April 2008

Spring is here! A field of oilseed rape brightens up the foreground as 43092 leads the 1L32 06:59 Swansea to Paddington First Great Western service towards the site of Uffington station (closed in 1964). The out of use signal formerly controlled the exit from Uffington's down loop, which was removed when the relief lines were installed between Challow and Wantage Road. This picture was taken on 14 April 2008, a day that started bright and clear, but like numerous other spring days in 2008 had become largely cloudy by mid-morning.

43092 Challow 12 May 2009

43092 speeds past the site of Challow station on 12 May 2009 with the 1B40 13:45 Paddington to Swansea First Great Western service. Look what's peeking out from behind the roadbridge, yes, its light blue liveried 60074 Teenage Spirit working the 6B33 13:42 Theale to Robeston Murco oil empties. Normally this train waits in the loop for a couple of HSTs to pass, however today it had to wait for thirty minutes while four HSTs sped by.

43092 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 7 January 2010

Ideal photographic conditions at the site of Ashbury Crossing, near Shrivenham, on 7 January 2010. 43092 hurries through the snow with the 1B27 11:15 Paddington to Cardiff Central First Great Western service.

43092 Compton Beauchamp 30 April 2013

During the latter half of April 2013, Network Rail carried out major engineering work between Taunton and Castle Cary, which resulting in certain trains from the West Country being diverted via Bristol. Here we see 43092 leading the 1Z30 05:40 Plymouth to Paddington First Great Western service past Compton Beauchamp on 30 April 2013. Although it looks no different from the usual trains on the Swindon to Didcot line, this one has in fact come the long way round. It would normally run as the 1A75 via Westbury.

43092 Charlbury 19 July 2013

The reinstatement of double track at Charlbury, with the rebuilding of the down platform, has opened up the possibility of taking pictures of southbound trains passing the Brunel designed 1853 built station building. 43092 arrives with the 1P56 13:14 Hereford to Paddington First Great Western service on 19 July 2013. A mixture of eras here, with the wooden station building being complimented by GWR style benches, but less so by the modern CCTV cameras!

43092 Challow 19 November 2013

43092 nears the site of Challow station on 19 November 2013, as it speeds towards the capital with the 1A10 09:00 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington First Great Western service. A fine and surprisingly warm autumn morning.

43092 South Marston 30 July 2014

43092 speeds past the junction with the line from the little used South Marston Euro Terminal, near Swindon on 30 July 2014. It is working the 1A09 07:12 Taunton to Paddington First Great Western service. A shutter speed of 1/2000sec and quick reactions were required for this side view.

43092 Shrivenham 2 March 2015

43092 races through the remains of Shrivenham station on 2 March 2015 with the 1A10 09:00 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington First Great Western service. It looks like the last time 43092 was cleaned, it didn't extend to the faring under the headlights!

43092 Crofton 7 May 2016

A tranquil scene at Crofton on the Kennet & Avon Canal, is momentarily disturbed by the passage of 43092, as it heads towards the capital with the 1A75 05:40 Plymouth to Paddington GWR service on 7 May 2016. This was a dull morning, but the reflection in the canal reveals that some blue sky was not far away, but unfortunately it didn't reach this spot in time for D1015 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z52 07:37 Paddington to Okehampton 'Western Challenger' railtour.

43092 Shrivenham 13 March 2017

The rebuilding of the roadbridge at Shrivenham required the construction of a large work compound in the field to the west of the bridge. This, together with the electfrication masts, have now spoiled the view from the road. 43092 heads west on 13 March 2017 with the 1C13 12:00 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads GWR service.

43092 Islip 7 May 2018

Unfamiliar territory for a HST. 43092 passes through Islip station on 7 May 2018 with the diverted 1C24 16:27 Paddington to Penzance GWR service. Given the rarity of the traction at this location, and the guaranteed sunshine, I was surprised that there were so few photographers around. Even more strange considering the iconic HSTs are not likely to feature in many more such diversions.

43093 Lickey Incline 24 May 1997

In fine early morning lighting, which certainly highlights the Virgin Cross Country red livery, 43093 (appropriately named Lady In Red) climbs the 1 in 37 Lickey Incline with the 1E28 07:04 Bristol Temple Meads to Newcastle service on 24 May 1997. The location is Pikes Pool, approximately half way up the formidable gradient that was once such an operational problem in the days of steam. No such problems with a HST however, which not only has plenty of power but its own banker as well!

43093 Cossington 14 July 2002

Chris de Burgh's favourite loco! 43093 Lady In Red passes Cossington on 14 July 2002 with the 1T99 14:16 Banbury to Edinburgh Virgin CrossCountry service. Unfortunately lineside vegetation now prevents such a wide view at this location.

43093 Acton Turville 27 March 2007

43093 in the new version of First Great Western's livery is matched with a set of stock in the old livery as it passes Acton Turville on 27 March 2007 with the late running 1B42 14:15 Paddington to Cardiff Central train. The sun, which although reasonably bright early on had always been hazy, was now starting to fade away, despite it only being mid afternoon.

43093 Pilning 27 April 2010

43093 leads the 1B42 14:15 Paddington to Cardiff Central First Great Western past Pilning on 27 April 2010. The train has just started on the three mile descent at 1 in 100 into the Severn Tunnel. This will then be followed by an even steeper 1 in 90 three mile climb out the other side.

43093 Denchworth 16 August 2010

43093 passes Denchworth on 16 August 2010 with the 1B42 14:15 Paddington to Cardiff Central First Great Western service. Before the route's electfrication, this was a pleasant spot to watch the trains go by, free from the fast moving road traffic of the nearby, and much more popular Circourt Bridge.

43093 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 31 August 2010

43093 approaches the site of Ashbury Crossing, near Shrivenham, on 31 August 2010 with the 1B40 13:45 Paddington to Swansea First Great Western service. An earlier form of transport, the Wilts & Berks Canal, once ran parallel with the railway, a short distance to the north, amid the bushes in the background.

43093 Chipping Sodbury 31 August 2013

43093 passes the site of Chipping Sodbury station on 31 August 2013 with the 1B28 11:45 Paddington to Swansea First Great Western service. The station site still retains a couple of sidings, which are occasionally used by the permanent way department.

43093 Farleaze 18 November 2014

43093 passes Farleaze on 18 November 2014 with the 1L48 09:28 Swansea to Paddington First Great Western service. I had wanted to get a picture here with some autumn colour on the trees, before the electrification masts go up, and ruin the view forever. Unfortunately most of the leaves have already been blown off the trees in the lineside copse.

43093 Westbury 18 April 2015

43093 slowly rounds the curve from Heywood Road Junction, and approaches Westbury station on 18 April 2015 with the 1C89 17:06 Paddington to Plymouth First Great Western service. There is a triangle of lines at this point, with a connecting line passing behind the bushes in the background, linking with the left hand route at Hawkeridge Junction.

43093 DEnchworth (Circourt Bridge) 5 October 2016

43093 passes the masts of the hugely delayed, and massively over budget electfrication scheme at Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 5 October 2016. The train is the 1G47 15:36 Paddington to Cheltenham Spa GWR service.

43093 Compton Beauchamp 13 May 2017

With the electrification masts still only on one side of the line, recently repainted 43093 brings up the rear of the GWR 1Z67 15:55 Bishops Lydeard to Paddington 'Somerset Explorer' railtour at Compton Beauchamp on 13 May 2017. 43002 Sir Kenneth Grange is the lead power car.

43093 Chilson 3 June 2017

A green, blue, green combination at Chilson on 3 June 2017. 43093 heads the 1P31 07:10 Hereford to Paddington GWR service, with similarly liveried 43188 on the rear. Unfortunately for GWR's new corporate image, the coaching stock is still in the old First Great Western colours. At least it makes for a slightly more interesting picture!

43093 Charlbury 14 June 2017

A livery mismatch at Charlbury on 14 June 2017. 43093 approaches the station with the 1P26 06:42 Hereford to Paddington GWR service. Note the plethora of HST stop boards, with the ones on the right hardly ever getting any use, as although the line is now bi-directionally signalled, this is only for emergency use.

43093 Bicester South Junction 17 September 2017

43093 Old Oak Common HST Depot 1976 - 2018 rounds the sharp curve between Bicester South Junction and Gavray Junction on 17 September 2017 with the diverted 1B28 10:58 Paddington to Swansea GWR service. Although very difficult to tell because of the dull dark green colour scheme, the bodyside graphics represent different generations of Great Western motive power (King, Hall, Warship, Western, Class 50, HST, Class 180 & Class 800).

43093 South Marston 27 October 2017

Just an hour after sunrise, 43093 Old Oak Common HST Depot 1976 - 2018 passes South Marston on 27 October 2017 with the 1A08 05:09 Plymouth to Paddington GWR service. Unfortunately the ripples on the bodyside show up just as much as the graphics depicting various Western locos!

43093 Grove 30 November 2017

43093 Old Oak Common HST Depot 1976 - 2018 passes Grove on 30 November 2017 with the 1A08 05:09 Plymouth to Paddington GWR service. Unfortunately the bodyside logos hardly show up at all in this light, not helped by the numerous ripples in the metalwork.

43093 Steventon 15 May 2018

43093 Old Oak Common HST Depot 1976 - 2018 slowly passes Steventon on 15 May 2018 with the 1C10 10:30 Paddington to Weston-super-Mare GWR service, after being hand signalled over Causeway level crossing, which had just been damaged by a lorry. Having left London over half an hour late, this added delay meant that the train was now running 85 minutes late, and was consequently cancelled at Swindon. In the background the 1L51 10:51 Cardiff Central to Paddington HST has just arrived at the obstruction.

43093 Froxfield 14 July 2018

43093 Old Oak Common HST Depot 1976 - 2018 passes Froxfield on 14 July 2018 with the 1A76 06:57 Plymouth to Paddington GWR service. This location is getting progressively more overgrown, Ten years ago it was still just possible to glimpse the Kennet & Avon Canal on the left, and in the 1980s there was hardly any lineside vegetation.

43093 Churchill Heath 22 October 2018

43093 Old Oak Common HST Depot 1976 - 2018 brings up the rear of the 1W27 13:22 Paddington to Worcester Foregate Street GWR service at Churchill Heath on 22 October 2018. Usually the silhouettes of various Great Western and Western Region motive power hardly shows up at all, but from this angle the graphics really stand out. 43180 was at the front of the train.

43094 Bromham 4 May 1987

43094 catches the last of the weak evening sunshine, as it passes Bromham on 4 May 1987 with the 18:00 St Pancras to Nottingham service. Note the ghost image of the loco's number under the windscreen. This was a quiet rural location when this picture was taken, but now the A6 Clapham bypass is just the other side of the hedge.

43094 Kingston Lisle 6 January 2009

43094 catches the very last rays of the setting sun near Kingston Lisle (between Didcot and Swindon) on 6 January 2009 as it works the 14:30 Paddington to Weston-super-Mare First Great Western service. After a day when the temperatures barely got above freezing, the ice remains undisturbed on this rarely visited farm track remote from any road. The converging lines of the fence posts lit up by the low sun make for an ideal photographic composition, but timing was critical, as just a few minutes later the rapidly sinking sun meant that the whole of the foreground area was in shadow.

43094 Little Bedwyn 8 October 2009

A very tight location, with a moderate wideangle lens required in order to include both the church and the Wilts & Berks Canal. This is the view from the footbridge in the village of Little Bedwyn on 8 October 2009, as 43094 speeds westwards with the 1C74 08:18 Paddington to Exeter St Davids First Great Western service.

43094 Chalford 15 July 2013

The railway at Chalford, on the 'Golden Valley' route between Cheltenham and Swindon, has become very overgrown in recent years, with trees and bushes almost touching the trains. In addition, the down line near the site of Chalford station has grass and other weeds growing in the 'four foot'. 43094 climbs the gradient past the site of the old station on 15 July 2013 with the 1L36 08:31 Cheltenham to Paddington First Great Western service. The terrible state of the down line can clearly be seen here. As the line curves away in the background, a carpet of grass completely covers the sleepers! The old time track lengthmen would have a heart attack if they saw a mainline in this condition. 

43094 South Moreton 19 August 2013

43094 passes South Moreton on 19 August 2013 with the 1L51 10:55 Cardiff Central to Paddington First Great Western service. There seem to be nearly as many rails lying either in, or next to, the four foot, as there are actually in use!

43094 Bourton 30 October 2013

43094 leads the 1A06 06:20 Weston-super-Mare to Paddington First Great Western service past Bourton shortly after sunrise on 30 October 2013. 43094's paintwork really is in a state. Although it doesn't show up too badly from this angle, there are numerous small rectangular patches of a darker shade of blue on the bodyside. To complete the piebald appearance, the front valance appears to be a different colour, although with a standard colour emergency coupling cover.

43094 Chippenham 10 September 2014

43094 emerges from the fog on 10 September 2014, as it approaches Chippenham with the 1C05 08:00 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads First Great Western service. This picture is taken from Cocklebury Lane, on the only occasion that I visited this spot. This is the only picture I took of a westbound train here, at a location that has now been lost underneath the 25kV wires.

43094 Uffington 14 October 2015

43094 speeds past Uffington on 14 October 2015 with the 1L32 06:58 Swansea to Paddington GWR service. The temporary speed restriction termination board on the down line had presumably not been removed from earlier engineering work, as trains seemed to be approaching it at full line speed. Note the wooden peg and white sack in the foreground, which marks the site of one of the forthcoming and much delayed masts for the overhead electrification.

43094 Compton Beauchamp 5 May 2016

43094 passes Compton Beauchamp on 5 May 2016 with the 1L34 07:28 Swansea to Paddington GWR service. Note the patches of darker paint on the bodyside, which made 43094 easy to identify, particularly from a rear viewpoint, where the number wasn't clearly visible.

43094 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 9 August 2016

Easily recognised by virtue of the squares of darker coloured paint on the bodyside, 43094 approaches the site of Ashbury Crossing, near Shrivenham, on 9 August 2016 with the 1L50 10:36 Cheltenham Spa to Paddington GWR service.

43094 Chilson 1 December 2016

43094 passes Chilson on 1 December 2016 with the 1W32 12:20 Paddington to Worcester Shrub Hill GWR service. Just as the Met Office had predicted, the sunny morning was now giving way to clouds rolling in from the north. By the time I had completed the long walk back to the car, the clouds seen in the background here had obliterated the sun for the rest of the day.

43094 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 24 January 2017

43094 approaches Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 24 January 2017 with the 1B28 11:45 Paddington to Swansea GWR service. This wide view will be the only one possible when Network Rail finally manage to complete the wiring of this hugely mismanaged and vastly over budget electfrication programme.

43094 Steventon 16 February 2018

As the afternoon sun starts to fade out into high cloud, 43094 passes the still incomplete electfrication infrastructure at Steventon on 16 February 2018 with the 1B48 15:15 Paddington to Cardiff Central GWR service. With the village's ever expanding housing estates, some of which are visible in the background, how long will it be before the new residents are clamouring for the reopening of Steventon station?

43094 Chilson 17 August 2018

43094 passes Chilson in slightly hazy light on 17 August 2018 with the 1P18 06:42 Hereford to Paddington GWR service. This was running 10 minutes late, which according to GWR is still just classed as on time! Even allowing for this, their current punctuality record is absolutely appalling, with only 77.8% of trains arriving within 10 minutes of the booked time (June-July 2018). Compare that with the 'bad old days' of British Rail, when 88.4% was archived in June 1992, using the same criteria. No way do they deserve the title Great Western Railway, as there is nothing great about the company's extremely poor performance, and it reflects badly on the legacy of the real Great Western Railway (1835-1947).

43095 Usan 4 May 2008

43095 heads south through the rain at Usan on 4 May 2008 with the 13:50 Aberdeen to Kings Cross National Express East Coast service. Despite the awful weather conditions, I am really pleased with this picture, as it vividly portrays the often typical Scottish weather. With Usan signalbox in the background and the train perfectly framed between the two semaphore signals it is certainly atmospheric. However, the leaden skies and rain does hide what would be a view of part of Montrose in the background! Usan signalbox controls the entrance to the short single track section of line to Montrose, this can just be seen in front of the box in the background.

43097 Dainton 16 March 1996

43097 climbs Dainton Bank on 16 March 1996, with a single Mk3 coach and a Porterbrook liveried barrier vehicle. The crowds on the bridge in the background can be explained by the imminent arrival of GWR Manor Class 4-6-0 7802 Bradley Manor attacking the bank with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z34 13:34 Totnes to Worcester Shrub Hill 'Dart-Exe Cursion' railtour.

43097 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 23 December 2001

HSTs have been the staple motive power at this location for nearly four decades. However, red liveried Virgin Cross Country examples were by no means an everyday occurrence. 43097 leads the late running 1V46 08:40 Leeds to Plymouth past Circourt Bridge, Denchworth on 23 December 2001, diverted away from its usual route by Sunday engineering works.

43097 Crofton 30 September 2011

43097 Environment Agency rounds the curve at Crofton on 30 September 2011, and passes Crofton Lock No. 60 on the Kennet & Avon Canal. It is working the 1C77 10:06 Paddington to Penzance First Great Western service. This train is the 'Cornish Riviera', but without a headboard it just looks like any other train, which indeed is was it is nowadays. The name has been slightly devalued from the heydays of the Great Western Railway.

43097 Compton Beauchamp 14 March 2013

A slightly different viewpoint of the Great Western Mainline near Compton Beauchamp on 14 March 2013. 43097 Environment Agency passes by a gnarled old lineside tree, as it heads eastwards with the 1A11 09:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington First Great Western service.

43097 Denchworth 7 May 2013

Before the view over the railway gate at Denchworth was ruined by overhead catenary and palisade fencing. 43097 Environment Agency speeds westwards on 7 May 2013 with the 1B37 13:15 Paddington to Cardiff Central First Great Western service.

43097 Shorthampton 7 September 2013

43097 Environment Agency passes Shorthampton on 7 September 2013 with the 1W07 17:12 Paddington to Worcester Foregate Street First Great Western service. This is one occasion when I think photographing the train from the 'wrong' side as far as lighting goes, actually works.

43097 Bourton 16 February 2014

With the first class coaches unusually at the rear of the train, 43097 Environment Agency passes Bourton in crisp winter light on 16 February 2014 with the 1L46 09:55 Cardiff Central to Paddington First Great Western service.

43097 Challow 8 April 2014

With clouds building up from the west, in the usual way after a sunny start to the day, 43097 Environment Agency passes the site of Challow station on 8 April 2014 with the 1L34 07:28 Swansea to Paddington First Great Western service.

43097 Bourton 13 March 2017

The shape of things to come! 43097 Environment Agency passes Bourton on 13 March 2017 with the 1L48 09:28 Swansea to Paddington GWR service. The posts have already ruined the scene, the forthcoming wires will make it impossible!

43097 Steventon (Stocks Lane) 6 April 2017

43097 Environment Agency approaches Stocks Lane level crossing, in the centre of the village of Steventon, with the 1A19 13:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington GWR service on 6 April 2017. There is a temporary hiatus here with regard to the electfrication of the line, whilst the problem of the nearby low bridge is sorted out.

43097 Hungerford Common 21 September 2018

Diverted away from its usual route due to the failure of an axle counter at Challow, 43097 Environment Agency passes Hungerford Common on 21 September 2018 with the 1A13 10:30 Bristol Temple Meads to  Paddington GWR service. I was lucky to get this in such stunning light, but the black clouds in the background signalled that it was time to head for home!

43097 Stoulton 30 January 2019

43097 Environment Agency passes Stoulton on 30 January 2019 with the 1P31 12:09 Hereford to Paddington GWR service, Unfortunately this set was the opposite way round to what I expected, and therefore the much more interesting InterCity liveried 43185 Great Western was on the rear.

43097 Bruern 14 February 2019

43097 Environment Agency passes the privately preserved Bruern Signal Box on 14 February 2019, as it heads down the Evenlode Valley with the 1P31 12:09 Hereford to Paddington GWR service. This box has become quite mobile since it ceased being used by BR in November 1973. When in use it was situated on the other side of the level crossing, and after decommissioning was moved to the roadside verge, adjacent to the nearby house. It has subsequently been moved to this position, at the bottom of the house's garden, next to the line. I have a memento of its BR days, as I was given a couple of the brass signal lever plates by the last signalman in 1973.

43098 Hinksey 27 February 1999

Virgin CrossCountry red for the power car, but not yet for the coaches. The late 1990s saw yet another livery transition period for the HST fleet, with numerous mismatched scenes such as this. 43098 Railway Children passes Hinksey on 27 February 1999 with the 1S39 11:19 Bournemouth to Edinburgh 'Wessex Scot'.

43098 Charlbury 9 June 2008

43098 arrives at Charlbury station with the 1W47 15:51 Paddington to Worcester Shrub Hill First Great Western service on 9 June 2008, with 43016 on the rear. This fine uninterrupted view of the station has since been lost due to the construction of a second platform and footbridge, which although obviously a good thing as far as passengers are concerned, has made photography at this iconic station much more difficult.

43098 Charlbury (Cornbury Park) 15 January 2009

43098 skirts the edge of Cornbury Park, on the approach to Charlbury station with the 1W02 10:22 Paddington to Hereford First Great Western service on 15 January 2009. Recent tree clearance at this location has not only opened up the view slightly, but completely transformed the road that leads towards Cornbury Park and over the railway.

43098 Charlbury (Cornbury Park) 21 April 2011

On 21 April 2011, work is well underway at Cornbury Park, just to the south of Charlbury station to reinstate the double track that was removed in 1971. This is the point where the redoubling will end, leaving the section to Wolvercote Junction as single track. 43098 passes by the work site with the 1P56 13:11 Hereford to Paddington First Great Western service. I had just watched the digger at the bottom of the cutting descend from the top using its arm as a stabiliser. I suppose it was safe, but I wouldn't like to do it!

43098 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 19 November 2013

A golden autumn afternoon at Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 19 November 2013. 43098 speeds westwards with the 1B40 13:45 Paddington to Swansea First Great Western service. Just visible by the seventh coach is the recently installed foot crossing. What a waste of money, as with the electfrication of the route a few years later it was replaced by a footbridge! The little used footpath had always existed, but with nothing other than a sign to indicates its location.

43098 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 22 September 2014

A slightly different viewpoint at Circourt Bridge, Denchworth on 22 September 2014. This wider than normal view includes the trees on the site of the former trackside pond. 43098 passes by at very slow speed with the 1L51 10:55 Cardiff Central to Paddington First Great Western service. Unbelievably, 70014 had just been let down the main line right in front of it, rather than being diverted onto the relief line! As taking pictures of a fast moving subject with a wide angle lens is tricky, this unexpected slow speed HST was very welcome!

43098 Challow 1 November 2014

43098 races past Challow on 1 November 2014 with the 1C16 13:30 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads First Great Western service. Although this looks like a perfect sunny day, there was in fact a large bank of black clouds moving in from the west, which would soon indicate that it was time to home!

43098 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 24 November 2014

A perfect autumn afternoon at the site of Ashbury Crossing, near Shrivenham, so no apologies for another picture from this classic location, before the wires go up. 43098 speeds westwards with the 1C14 12:18 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads First Great Western service on 24 November 2014.

43098 Uffington 29 November 2014

The last golden light of the afternoon shows up the autumn colours on the bushes behind the train, and the lone tree in the filed on the right at Uffington on 29 November 2014. 43098 passes by with the 1C17 13:50 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads First Great Western service. In the background the starlings are already staring to gather ready to find a place to roost.

43098 Cholsey 2 January 2015

43098 passes a row of recently erected electfrication masts at Cholsey on 2 January 2015, as it heads towards London with the 1L48 09:28 Swansea to Paddington GWR service. Yet another classic photographic location succumbs to modernisation!

43098 Bourton 25 July 2016

Unbelievable lighting at Bourton 25 July 2016. After a long period of heavy cloud, at 20:14, less than a hour before sunset, the sun suddenly drops out of the cloud to provide this fantastic light, with the sunlit landscape contrasting with the inky blackness of the background. 43098 heads westwards with the 1B81 19:15 Paddington to Swansea GWR service. Needless to say this superb light did not last very long.

43099 Goring 28 August 1991

With the harvest well under way in the background, 43099 approaches Goring on 28 August 1991 with the 06:55 Aberdeen to Poole 'Dorset Scot' service. This had only just gone over to HST operation with a consequent dramatic improvement in timing, although to travel from one end of the country to the other still took over twelve hours.

43099 Holme 25 April 1998

43099 leads the 1S71 07:15 Penzance to Edinburgh 'Cornish Scot' Virgin CrossCountry service past the flooded fields at Holme on 25 April 1998. There had recently been a long spell of particularly heavy rain, causing widespread flooding throughout the country. This flood has been caused by the River Bela bursting its banks.

43099 Hinksey 1 September 1999

A side view of 43099 as it passes Hinksey Yard (near Oxford) on 1 September 1999 with the 1E42 16:20 Bournemouth to Leeds Virgin CrossCountry service. Note the London Midland Region electrification vehicles in the foreground, which were stored in the yard for a number of years in the 1990s. The flat walkway on the roof provides access to the overhead line for wiring gangs.

43100 Hinksey 25 June 1993

43100 leads the 1M14 14:20 Bournemouth to Manchester Piccadilly InterCity service past a virtually deserted Hinksey Yard on 25 June 1993. Although it is partly worn away, note the non-standard small size number below the windscreen.

43101 Great Paxton 20 September 1986

43101 Edinburgh International Festival races along the East Coat Mainline near Great Paxton on 20 September 1986 with the 1S07 08:00 Kings Cross to Aberdeen 'Aberdonian'. 43101 had been named two years earlier, the plates being unveiled at Edinburgh Waverly station, by opera singer Jessye Norman.

43101 Didcot North Junction 31 July 1999

43101 The Irish Mail passes Didcot North Junction on 31 July 1999 with the 1O13 11:06 Newcastle to Bournemouth Virgin CrossCountry service. This power car was immediately recognisable whilst in Richard Branson's ownership due to the extremely large painted on 'nameplate'. Note that over two years after acquiring the franchise, it is still difficult to find a complete rake of stock in the then new livery. Plenty of power cars (and Class 47s) had been repainted by this time.

43102 Old Denaby 9 December 1995

43102 passes Old Denaby on 9 December 1995 with the 1E29 06:20 Plymouth to Newcastle InterCity service. Since this picture was taken the trees and bushes have grown considerably, and while Mexborough station can still just about be seen, everything else in the background of this picture is now obscured by vegetation, which might actually be an improvement!

43103 Bromsgrove 23 September 1989

43103 John Wesley reaches the bottom of the 1 in 37 Lickey Incline on 23 September 1989 with the 06:25 Bradford Forster Square to Paignton InterCity service. This would have been an excellent spot to photograph the Class 35 Hymek Lickey bankers in the 1970s, when up to three specially modified locos (first gear locked out of use) were used to give trains a mighty push up the bank. Unfortunately I didn't take up photography until after the last of the Hymeks had been withdrawn.

43103 Lickey Incline 13 July 1996

The 1E28 07:04 Bristol Temple Meads to Newcastle HST climbs the 1 in 37 Lickey Incline on 13 July 1996, led by 43103. The two mile bank was a real problem in the days of steam, but is no problem for a HST, with 4500 hp available.

43104 Aynho Junction 7 December 1991

A wintry scene at Aynho Junction on 7 December 1991. 43104 heads north with the 1S03 08:40 Poole to Edinburgh service. The working timetable noted that this was to run at 110mph maximum over the normally 125mph section between Reading and Didcot, presumably for timing purposes.

43105 Finedon 21 May 1989

43105 passes the site of Finedon station with the 08:33 Nottingham to St Pancras InterCity service on Sunday 21 May 1989. Note the non-standard small front number. Finedon station closed to passengers in 1940, and freight in 1964. It was a considerable distance from the village of Finedon, and was actually closer to Burton Latimer. However, Isham and Burton Latimer station was more convenient for that village, although even that had closed by 1950.

43106 Worting Junction 29 July 1991

No mistaking the identity of this HST power car! 43106 leads the 08:40 Poole to Edinburgh 'Dorset Scot' past Worting Junction on 29 July 1991, just a few days after this service had been diagrammed for HSTs in place of the previous Class 47 haulage. Worting Junction is where the non-electrified Salisbury line joins the Southampton route. This excellent view of the complicated trackwork and vintage corrugated iron PW hut is from a farm occupation bridge.

43107 Stockton 3 April 1999

43107 leads the diverted 1E12 09:55 Aberdeen to Kings Cross GNER 'Northern Lights' service past Stockton on 3 April 1999. Due to engineering work on the Darlington line over the Easter weekend, most services were diverted via Sunderland, Hartlepool and Stockton. This view shows the typical poor state of most railways in an urban location, with all kinds of rubbish strewn all over the track, not helped by the fact that large areas of former railway land (such as that on the left) are now semi-derelict.

43107 Flax Bourton 11 August 2007

Due to the inadequacy of the Voyager fleet, Virgin Cross Country has to hire GNER HST sets for some Saturday services to the West of England during the summer peak. On 11 August 2007, 43107 Tayside leads the 1E46 10:32 Paignton to Newcastle Central service past Flax Bourton. This location is a footpath bridge in the middle of nowhere, and I fully expected to be on my own. However, I hadn't been there long when large groups of cyclists started appearing, until eventually the bridge was packed! It turned out that it was the opening of the route as part of the Sustrans national cycle network.

43107 Offord Cluny 16 August 2007

43107 Tayside speeds past Offord Cluny on 16 August 2007 with the 1N06 11:30 Kings Cross to Newcastle GNER service. The franchise (owned by Sea Containers) would soon be terminated and replaced by National Express East Coast, which turned out to be a complete disaster!

43108 Gleneagles 28 April 1998

There is certainly no mistaking this location! Prominent nameboards at both ends of the station announce the faded splendour of Gleneagles as 43108 rolls in with the 1S15 12:00 Kings Cross to Inverness 'Highland Chieftain' GNER service on 28 April 1998. The elaborate station buildings are certainly out of all proportion to the small number of passengers that now use this station, and as can be seen here the buildings are mostly boarded up and out of use.

43109 Gloucester 5 August 1989

43109 Yorkshire Evening Press leaves Gloucester on 5 August 1989, having just reversed in the station with the 08:22 Nottingham to Paignton InterCity service. At this time Horton Road depot was still host to various track machines and locomotives. 37167 can be seen on the right.

43109 Crubenmore 21 April 2003

43109 passes Crubenmore on 21 April 2003 with the 1E12 07:55 Inverness to Kings Cross GNER 'Highland Chieftain'. Crubenmore Lodge, a former Victorian hunting lodge, which featured in the BBC series 'Monarch of the Glen', can be seen amid the trees in the background.

43109 Bardrill 23 April 2003

43109 leads the 1E12 07:55 Inverness to Kings Cross GNER 'Highland Chieftain' past Bardrill (near Gleneagles) on 23 April 2003. This power car has subsequently be renumbered to 43309 in line with GNER's policy of adding 200 to the numbers of their re-engined power cars. This seems a strange numbering procedure, especially in view of the fact that other franchise operators have retained the original number after refurbishment.

43111 Abbots Ripton 16 August 1988

43111 speeds past Abbots Ripton on 16 August 1988 with the 07:18 Peterborough to Kings Cross InterCity service. In addition to long distance work on the ECML, HSTs were employed on early morning commuter trains such as this, taking just under an hour to get to the capital. The large numbers under the windscreen were carried by most ECML power cars at this time, which was a welcome aid to identification, because the other application of the number was in a tiny font near the guard's compartment, and not at all easy to read at 125mph!

43111 Aynho 29 June 1993

43111 speeds past Aynho on 29 June 1993 with the 17:16 Bournemouth to Manchester Piccadilly InterCity service. At this time the majority of these cross country services were in the hands of Class 47s, with just a few trains diagrammed for HSTs. The train is approaching the site of Aynho station and the junction with the Chiltern Line.

43111 Houndwood 3 May 2008

A profusion of gorse bushes in full bloom at Houndwood on 3 May 2008, as 43111 heads south with a rake of reliveried National Express East Coast coaches on the 08:35 Edinburgh to Kings Cross service on 3 May 2008. 43111 is in the transitional livery, with rebranding on the former GNER colour scheme.

43112 Defford 21 July 1990

43112 passes Defford on 21 July 1990 with the 15:05 Paignton to Newcastle InterCity service. There was certainly no problem in the recording the number of this HST. The large numbers under the windscreen certainly made enthusiast's life easier in the 1990s!

43115 Shaldon Bridge 15 September 1991

With foam on the windscreen from the windscreen washers, 43115 Yorkshire Cricket Academy rounds the curve at Shaldon Bridge next to the River Teign as it pulls away from the Teignmouth stop with what is presumably the late running 10:25 Bristol Temple Meads to Plymouth InterCity service.

43116 Peascliffe Tunnel 14 June 1986

Transition time on the East Coast Mainline. 43116 City of Kingston upon Hull emerges from Peascliffe Tunnel on 14 June 1986 with the 14:35 Edinburgh to Kings Cross InterCity service. The masts for the forthcoming electrification have been installed, but the wires have yet to spoil the view!

43116 Kingswood Tunnel 11 June 2007

43116 emerges from Kingswood Tunnel with the 1E12 07:55 Inverness to King's Cross GNER service on 11 June 2007. This is the only daily GNER HST from Inverness, the remainder of the service being provided by First ScotRail units. I had planned to photograph the following Pathfinder railtour at this spot, but although an HST power car is OK, a pair of Class 37s would be partly obscured by the overhanging bushes, so I sought an alternative location.

43118 Slochd Viaduct 16 June 2006

The hills are shrouded in clouds as 43118 City of Kingston upon Hull crosses Slochd Viaduct with the 1E12 07:55 Inverness to Kings Cross 'Highland Chieftain' GNER service on 16 June 2006. The following year 43118 would become 43318 with the replacement of its original Paxman Valenta engine with an MTU unit.

43120 Burn 8 June 1997

43120 leads the 1S20 11:00 Kings Cross to Aberdeen 'Northern Lights' GNER service past Burn on 8 June 1997. The GNER franchise was only just over a year old at this time, and while the company had made good progress repainting its HST power cars into their new stylish dark blue livery, as can be seen here, it was less well advanced with coach repainting.

43120 Culloden Viaduct 28 August 2005

Miserably dull conditions, and with the infamous Scottish midges biting at Culloden Viaduct on 28 August 2005. 43120 London 2012 Candidate City accelerates off the viaduct with the 1E16 09:40 Inverness to Kings Cross GNER service, which today be terminating at Stevenage due to engineering work.

43121 Severn Tunnel Junction 15 April 1991

43121 passes the desolate remains of Severn Tunnel Junction Yard on 15 April 1991, as it prepares to descend into the tunnel with the 1A51 11:32 Swansea to Paddington 'St. David Pullman', on this occasion not quite living up to its premium service name by running ten minutes late. The former depot's fueling point is one of the few surviving indications in this picture of the importance of the once busy freight centre.

43121 Old Denaby 31 March 1997

43121 passes Old Denaby on 31 March 1997 with the 1E29 06:20 Plymouth to Newcastle Virgin Cross Country service. At this time a lot of the inter-regional trains were supposedly named trains (in this case Armada), but as HSTs cannot easily be fitted with headboards, and even the loco hauled trains did not carry them, it all seemed a bit pointless!

43121 Ty Croes 13 May 2000

A wave from the driver of 43121, as the 1A62 13:38 Holyhead to Euston Virgin West Coast service speeds through Ty Croes station on 13 May 2000. Situated in rural Anglesey, the diminutive station has platforms staggered either side of a level crossing. Naturally this HST will not be stopping, the local service on Anglesey being provided by DMUs.

43128 Narroways Hill Junction 10 August 1989

A footbridge that is familiar to generations of railway photographers in the Bristol area. 43122 passes underneath the bridge near Narroways Junction on 10 August 1989 with the 13:18 Plymouth to York InterCity service.

43122 Wolvercote Junction 11 February 2008

43122 leads the 1P57 13:23 Hereford to Paddington First Great Western service off the Cotswold Line at Wolvercote Junction on 11 February 2008. All except one vehicle are former Midland Mainline coaches, temporarily on hire to First Great Western . 43145 can be seen bringing up the rear. There is certainly a noticeable shift in the camber (or superelevation) of the line as it joins the main Banbury to Oxford line.

43122 Charlbury 9 May 2009

The hawthorn in the hedges is just coming out at Charlbury on 9 May 2009 as 43122 slows for the station stop with the late running 1P26 06:35 Great Malvern to Paddington First Great Western service. Note the vegetation clearance work visible on the side of the cutting on the left. This is connection with the forthcoming redoubling of the line.

43122 Radley 8 October 2009

43122 speeds through Radley on 8 October 2009 with the 1P57 16:01 Oxford to Paddington First Great Western service. The bridge caries the road to Lower Radley, which as its name suggests, is situated on lower ground, near the River Thames.

43122 Daylesford 1 November 2010

43122 passes Daylesford on 1 November 2010 with the 1W29 11:22 Paddington to Great Malvern First Great Western service. I was revisiting this location after a number of years absence, and whilst the view is nothing like as clear as it was in the good old days, a northbound shot is still just about possible. It only occurred to me at the last minute that 1P47 was booked to pass this spot at virtually the same time. In the event they were just over a minute apart.

43122 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 11 February 2012

A bitterly cold 11 February 2012, with some frost still persisting at midday. An unusually grubby 43122 leads the 1C11 11:00 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads First Great Western service past the site of Ashbury Crossing, near Shrivenham.

43122 Kingham 28 May 2012

43122 calls at Kingham station on 28 May 2012 with the 1P56 13:14 Hereford to Paddington First Great Western service. The footbridge originally extended further to the right, not only crossing the Banbury to Cheltenham line platforms (now swallowed up by the bushes), but also continuing on into the nearby Langstone Arms Hotel.

43122 Steventon (Stocks Lane) 10 March 2015

43122 approaches Stocks Lane level crossing in the village of Steventon on 10 March 2015 with the 1C15 13:00 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads First Great Western service. Despite the cluttered background, I like this location for the rustic allotment shed, and weathered brick wall.

43122 Churchill Heath 21 November 2015

43122 passes Churchill Heath in superb autumnal light on 21 November 2015 with the 1P51 12:13 Hereford to Paddington GWR service. The bridge in the background serves as a farm occupation bridge, and also carries a footpath across the line. The line here is close to the River Evenlode, and for a short distance is on a low embankment, as it crosses the diminutive Sars Brook, which joins the Evenlode just to the left of this picture. A slight change in the fence on the left gives away the location of brook. Sars Brook gives its name to the nearby village of Sarsden.

43122 Baulking 10 August 2016

43122 leads the 1C19 15:00 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads GWR service past Baulking on 10 August 2016. The electrification masts are gradually creeping westwards and therefore this could very well be my last visit to this location, which I have been visiting since the late 1970s. I note that the masts are all at slightly different angles!

43122 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 2 November 2016

Vale of White (and Brown) Horse! 43122 passes the equine residents of the field next to Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 2 November 2016, as it heads westwards with the 1B37 13:15 Paddington to Cardiff Central GWR service. The three remaining cooling towers of the disused Didcot Power Station can just be seen in the distance, on the extreme right.

43122 Claydon (Gloucestershire) 16 September 2017

43122 passes Claydon (Gloucestershire) on 16 September 2017 with the 1L40 08:37 Worcester Shrub Hill to Paddington GWR service. The early morning fog and low cloud has cleared enough to reveal Bredon Hill in the background.

43122 Edington 6 July 2018

There is plenty of evidence of recent lineside vegetation clearance at Edington on 6 July 2018, as 43122 passes through the shallow cutting just to west of the site of Edington & Bratton station with the 1A75 05:05 Penzance to Paddington GWR service.

43122 Fiddington 16 July 2018

43122 passes Fiddington on 16 July 2018 with the 1L28 07:08 Worcester Shrub Hill to Paddington GWR service. Most Worcester to London trains travel via the Cotswold Line (or North Cotswold Line as it now seems to be branded), but this one travels via Stroud and Swindon.

43122 & 43182 Charlbury 7 August 2018

Charlbury station, full of HSTs on 7 August 2018. 43122 is just arriving with the 1W32 15:50 Paddington to Moreton-in-Marsh GWR service, while in the other platform, 43182 brings up the rear of the 1P39 15:14 Hereford to Paddington service.

43122 Undy 7 October 2018

43122 passes Undy on 7 October 2018 with the 1L60 12:24 Swansea to Paddington GWR service. The rebuilt bridge, and the encroaching masts are signs of the massively delayed, over budget, and staggeringly mismanaged electfrication scheme.

43123 Hampton Gay 4 May 1995

The sheep and lambs take no notice, as buffer fitted 43123 passes Hampton Gay on 4 May 1995 with the 1M41 17:16 Bournemouth to Manchester Piccadilly service. Amazingly, although this was a weekday, and the time was only 19:35, this was the last northbound cross country train on the line at the time. The last rays of the setting sun are illuminated the tower of Hampton Gay church, which together with a ruined manor house and a farm, are all that remains of the former village. The undulations in the foreground field may indicate where the deserted medieval village once was, the more extensive earthworks in the field on the other side of the line definitely do.

43123 Gateforth 17 June 2010

43123 passes Gateforth on 17 June 2010 with the 1A62 12:30 Sunderland to Kings Cross Grand Central service. Note the common HST problem of a broken horn grille. They just aren't strong enough to survive the impact with a pigeon (or anything else)!

43124 South Marston 2 May 1982

43124 speeds past South Marston (near Swindon) on 2 May 1982 with the 07:55 Swansea to Paddington service. Much has changed in this picture in the intervening years. There are of course unfortunately no HSTs remaining in the original livery and all the dead elm trees have since fallen down. However, the major change has been the removal of the side of the cutting behind 43124 to make way for the siding serving the giant Honda car plant which was built in the fields to the right of this view.

43124 Norton 20 March 2009

The catkins on the right are a welcome herald of spring, as 43124 passes Norton on 20 March 2009 with the 1W02 10:22 Paddington to Hereford First Great Western service. The M5 motorway in the background looks surprisingly empty, even for a weekday at midday.

43124 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 20 January 2016

43124 approaches Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 20 January 2016 with the 1A11 09:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington GWR service. I would not normally take a picture from this location, as I would be in the picture of any photographer standing on Circourt Bridge. However, on this occasion, despite the sunny weather, there was nobody else around.

43124 Sonning 26 April 2016

43124 passes through the picturesque (and soon to be desecrated by overhead electfrication paraphernalia) cutting at Sonning on 26 April 2016 with the 1A07 06:48 Weston-super-Mare to Paddington GWR service. Note the bluebells near the top of the cutting in the background.

43124 Moreton-in-Marsh 6 June 2016

43124 passes underneath the farm occupation bridge just to the south of Moreton-in-Marsh on 6 June 2016 with the late running 1P13 04:50 Hereford to Paddington GWR service. The bridge also caries a bridleway linking the Moreton-in-Marsh to Evenlode road with the A429 Fosse Way.

43124 Honeybourne 24 February 2018

43124 brings up the rear of the late running 1W00 08:22 Paddington to Hereford GWR service at Honeybourne on Saturday 24 February 2018. Note how the little station is now dominated by the disabled friendly footbridge.

43125 Tockenham Wick 29 October 1983

43125 climbs Dauntsey Bank and passes Tockenham Wick on 29 October 1983 with the 12:58 Weston-super-Mare to Paddington service. Being one of the early recipients of the Executive livery the unit still carries the soon to be abandoned set numbers. At this time there were only two complete new liveried HSTs sets and 43125 had been one of the first power cars released in the new colours (along with 43126) only a few weeks before this picture was taken. Initially these two power cars worked with standard blue and grey coaches.

43125 Wetmore 11 August 1990

43125 passes Wetmore on 11 August 1990 with the 1E28 06:48 Cardiff Central to Newcastle service. The footbridge, and adjacent disused former North Staffordshire Railway bridge have now been replaced by a new road. Hiding under the railway bridge is 08829, which was engaged in shunting a rake of HAA coal hoppers.

43125 Norton Fitzwarren 30 October 1991

43125 speeds past Norton Fitzwarren on 30 October 1991 with the 10:15 Liverpool Lime Street to Plymouth service. Taunton Cider was obviously doing good business in the 1990s. Unfortunately the factory has since closed and all the signs of industry visible here have been swept away.

43125 Bourton 31 October 2008

43125 accelerates away from Swindon with the 09:29 Swansea to Paddington First Great Western service on 31 October 2008. This high embankment which carries the line over the A420 Swindon to Oxford road has been the scene of several landslips in the past, but dumping of ballast and other strengthening work has largely now cured the problem. However, there appears to be some unevenness in the track with a noticeable hump by the four and fifth coaches, although possibly accentuated by the long lens used here.

43125 Shorthampton 6 November 2011

An appropriate number for one of the power cars that were originally launched as the InterCity 125. 43125 passes Shorthampton on 6 November 2011 with the 1W03 12:42 Paddington to Hereford First Great Western service. Following just seven minutes behind this (a feat that could not have happened before the recent reinstatement of double track) were a pair of 37s on a railtour.

43125 Grove 14 July 2014

Not a new livery, but just the effects of a recent windscreen wash! 43125 passes Grove on 14 July 2014 with the 1L46 09:55 Cardiff Central to Paddington First Great Western service. Tree clearance work in readiness for the forthcoming electrification has allowed a slightly wider viewpoint at this location.

43125 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 8 January 2015

In glorious winter afternoon light, 43125 leads the 1G38 13:36 Paddington to Cheltenham First Great Western service past Circourt Bridge, Denchworth on 8 January 2015. Just visible near the last coach is the recently installed boarded footpath crossing. An odd development, as Network Rail usually closes remote footpath crossings, and this one is certainly very little used!

43125 Compton Beauchamp 14 July 2016

Long after the electrification should have been complete at this location, there is still virtually no evidence of the Great Western route modernisation at Compton Beauchamp on 14 July 2016. 43125 speeds towards the capital with the 1L20 05:58 Swansea to Paddington GWR service. Nearly 40 years of continuous service on this route easily makes the HST the most successful British train of all time. They will be a hard act to follow, and will the Class 800 & 801 units still be around in 2056?

43125 Chipping Sodbury Tunnel 7 April 2017

43125 emerges from Chipping Sodbury Tunnel on 7 April 2017 with the 1B51 15:45 Paddington to Swansea GWR service. I wanted to take this extreme telephoto view of the tunnel to give a good clear view of the entrance, before the forthcoming electfrication ruins this classic view forever.

43125 South Marston 10 November 2017

43125 passes South Marston on 10 November 2017 with the late running 1B35 12:45 Paddington to Swansea GWR service. What a pity this set wasn't the other way round, as the much more photogenic InterCity Swallow liveried 43185 Great Western is bringing up the rear.

43125 Charlbury 2 January 2018

43125 arrives at Charlbury station on 2 January 2018 with the 1P18 06:42 Hereford to Paddington GWR service. After having just photographed 800011 arrive with one of the first trains on the line to be worked by the new Hitachi units, I thought it worth picturing the old order, in its last few months on the route. 43125 and the first coach are in the old blue livery, while the rest of the train is in the green colour scheme, not that you can tell in the atrocious light! I particularly like the way the lights underneath the canopy of the Brunel designed station contrast with the surrounding gloom. On this occasion the Met Office had got the forecast absolutely right. They said it would start raining around 09:00, and that is exactly what it did, but by that time I was on the way home!

43125 Steventon 25 January 2018

Filthy 43125 leads an equally grubby blue coach, at the head of an otherwise green rake at Steventon on 25 January 2018. The train is the 1L34 07:29 Swansea to Paddington GWR service. Well after the electfrication should have been completed, there are still no wires here.

43125 Didcot North Junction 16 February 2018

43125 pulls away from a brief signal check at Didcot North Junction on 16 February 2018 with the 1P19 09:01 Oxford to Paddington GWR service. In the background 43174 can just be seen, bringing up the rear of the 1W00 08:21 Paddington to Hereford service

43125 Tredington 6 June 2018

Off to pastures new, after 39 years on the former Western Region. 43125 passes Tredington on 6 June 2018 with the 5Z46 17:46 Bristol St Philips Marsh to Chaddesden Sidings ECS, with classmate 43128 bringing up the rear. With increasing numbers of Class 800 bi-mode units entering service, the HST fleet is gradually being redeployed, and in this case heading for a new life in Scotland. Note that all branding has been removed from the power car, although a ghost image of the 'First Great Western' lettering can still just be seen. Initially this was booked to be the 5Z46 17:46 Bristol St Philips Marsh to Ely Papworth Sidings, but the schedule got changed shortly before departure, only to revert back to the Ely destination when it was on the move, and then back to Chaddesden again shortly afterwards! In the event it worked from Chaddesden to Ely the following day.

43126 Shrivenham 7 July 1985

43126 City of Bristol speeds through the remnants of Shrivenham station on 7 July 1985 with the 1A31 07:50 Swansea to Paddington service. This view has altered slightly in the past quarter of a century (that makes me feel old!). The Victoria pub on the right is now the Fat Dog restaurant, the tall Scots Pine tree in the background has gone, and clump of conifers now fills in the gap in the bushes. Surprisingly however, the two platform faces seen here still survive, although there is now the inevitable palisade fencing all around.

43126 Baulking 30 April 2009

43126 passes Baulking in the rain (note the windscreen wiper) with the 1G29 11:48 Paddington to Cheltenham First Great Western service on 30 April 2009. Although it was drizzling slightly, by the look of the dark clouds in the background the Oxford area was getting a lot more rain! This picture also demonstrates the exceedingly high quality of the Canon EF-S 60mm macro lens. Although taken with the lens wide open, the original high-res version shows that it is absolutely pin sharp all over, something which you would not find with virtually any other lens. Technical details for those interested - Canon 50D, 60mm f2.8 EF-S macro lens, 1/2000 sec f2.8 ISO400.

43126 Challow 2 January 2014

In preparation for the forthcoming electrification, many year's worth of vegetation has been cleared from alongside the Great Western Mainline. One location that has benefited is Challow, with the field just to the east of the station site also receiving a new (and surprisingly photographer friendly) fence. On 2 January 2014, I decided to take a broadside picture of one of the UK's finest and most successful trains - the HST, which has plied this route for nearly four decades. 43126 heads eastwards with the 1L36 08:31 Cheltenham to Paddington First Great Western service.

43126 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 22 September 2014

43126 passes Circourt Bridge, Denchworth on 22 September 2014 with the 1A10 09:00 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington First Great Western service. Note the piles sticking up in the air in the middle distance, presumably the result of geological difficulties encountered whilst preparing for the forthcoming electrification.

43126 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 2 August 2015

Still looking immaculate, just five days after being released back into traffic in its striking 'Bristol 2015 European Green Capital' livery, 43126 passes Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 2 August 2015 with the 1B51 15:30 Paddington to Swansea First Great Western service. Although the lighting is rather head on, I particularly wanted to get a picture of this power car while it was still clean, as the largely white colour scheme will soon start to look less than pristine. Note that while the piles for the electrification masts have been fully driven into the ground on the south side of the line, those on the north side are still sticking up in the air to various degrees, and have been left untouched for nearly six months.

43126 Bourton 23 September 2015

'Bristol 2015 European Green Capital' liveried 43126 passes Bourton on 23 September 2015 with the 1A11 09:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington GWR service. This concluded a very colourful hour, which included the first GWR green liveried HST set, one of the 'Building A Greater West' power cars, and the 'Visit Plymouth' power car. An excellent morning's photography!

43126 Steventon 9 December 2015

The driver of 'Bristol 2015 European Green Capital' liveried 43126 has a drink of coffee, as he approaches Steventon on 9 December 2015 with the 1L36 08:31 Cheltenham to Paddington GWR service. The silver birch trees make an excellent background here, especially in winter with the white bark catching the light.

43126 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 7 March 2016

A slightly arty view of Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, taken on 7 March 2016. 'Bristol 2015 European Green Capital' liveried 43126 heads east with the 1L42 07:30 Carmarthen to Paddington GWR service. This was running 45 minutes late, after getting delayed in the Cardiff area. This wide angle view includes not only the steel structure of the roadbridge (a modern replacement for the GWR girder bridge which had serious corrosion problems), but also clearly shows the piles for the forthcoming electrification masts, which will be positioned right up against the bridge.

43126 Baulking 16 March 2016

With signs of impending electfrication visible on the left, 'Bristol 2015 European Green Capital' liveried 43126 passes Baulking on 16 March 2016 with the 1C14 12:30 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads GWR service.

43126 Ashchurch 3 May 2016

'Bristol 2015 European Green Capital' liveried 43126 runs slowly over newly laid track at Ashchurch on 3 May 2016 with the 1L28 07:07 Worcester Shrub Hill to Paddington GWR service. Although seeing one of the Great Western's vinyl covered power cars is often the highlight of the day, this was not so today, as something much more spectacular would be coming from the other direction half an hour later!

43126 Wantage Road 13 July 2016

43126 passes Wantage Road on 13 July 2016 with the 1C10 10:30 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads GWR service. This picture is taken from the newly opened A338 roadbridge. Whilst it was always possible to take pictures from the old bridge, situated a few yards to the west, it was certainly not advisable, as it is a very busy road, and there was nowhere to stand out of the traffic. The new bridge is much better, with plenty of room to stand clear of the traffic. Unfortunately the benefit will soon be lost, as the Great Western Mainline electrification proceeds. However, as with several other bridges, there are temporarily less masts near the bridge during the construction phase, allowing for this reasonably uncluttered picture.

43126 Challow 16 August 2016

'Bristol 2015 European Green Capital' liveried 43126 passes the site of Challow station on 16 August 2016 with the 1L36 08:31 Cheltenham Spa to Paddington GWR service. As with most locations on the Great Western Mainline, the electrification mast nearest to the bridge has yet to be installed, allowing this temporary uninterrupted view.

43126 Compton Beauchamp 22 August 2016

Almost, but not quite! I thought I was going to get a passing shot of two of GWR's vinyl liveried HSTs at Compton Beauchamp on 22 August 2016. 'Bristol 2015 European Green Capital' liveried 43126 heads east with the 1L90 17:28 Swansea to Paddington, but unfortunately 43146, wearing its 'Building A Greater West' colour scheme, is just to far away to be recognised as such, as it brings up the rear of the 1B79 18:45 Paddington to Swansea service.

43126 Denchworth 23 August 2016

43126 looks superb in the sunshine at Denchworth on 23 August 2016, but unfortunately the same cannot be said for the hideous overhead electfrication catenary that is slowly ruining all photographic vantage points in the area. The train is the 1C17 14:00 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads GWR service. Equally colourful 43144 can just be seen on the rear.

43126 Bourton 26 August 2016

'Bristol 2015 European Green Capital' liveried 43126 passes Bourton on 26 August 2016 with the 1A13 10:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington GWR service. Coincidentally, I had photographed this power car at this location nearly a year earlier. There is little difference in the views, apart from the fact that the listed Bourton road bridge in the background is now slightly more visible, as the old signal gantry has been replaced by a small pair of individual signals. Also, note the ominous presence of plastic yellow capped electrification mast bases in the foreground.

43126 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 23 February 2017

'Bristol 2015 European Green Capital' liveried 43126 is two years out of date, as it approaches Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 23 February 2017 with the 1G21 09:36 Paddington to Cheltenham Spa GWR service.

43126 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 28 March 2017

A gloomy morning allowed me to take this picture from the north side of the line at the site of Ashbury Crossing, Shrivenham, on 28 March 2017, thus avoiding the intrusive new electfrication masts. 'Bristol 2015 European Green Capital' liveried 43126 heads westwards with the 1B25 10:45 Paddington to Swansea GWR service.

43126 Wolvercote 8 April 2017

'Bristol 2015 European Green Capital' liveried 43126 passes Wolvercote on 8 April 2017 with the 1W07 17:21 Paddington to Worcester Foregate Street GWR service, passing the abandoned project to reinstate the down relief line.

43126 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 15 June 2017

Superb lighting at Shrivenham on 15 June 2017, as 43126 passes the site of Ashbury Crossing with the 1L38 07:59 Swansea to Paddington GWR service. The Met Office had correctly predicted a couple of hours of complete cloud cover in the morning, after a sunny start, and before a largely sunny afternoon. However, during this gloomy spell, a tiny hole appeared in the cloud just as this train came into view, giving about 20 seconds of sunshine, with dark clouds in the background. Motto: always be prepared for the unexpected.

43126 Thingley 19 June 2017

43126 passes Thingley on 19 June 2017 with the 1A09 07:12 Taunton to Paddington GWR service, while in the background, what is presumably a school minibus crosses the bridge next to the former Roebuck Inn (now a private house).

43127 Swindon 15 July 1989

43127 arrives at Swindon under a cloudless sky on 15 July 1989 with the 1A31 10:40 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington InterCity service. 43127 had been in traffic exactly ten years when this picture was taken, but even the most optimistic observer in 1989 would probably not have predicted that it would still be in front line service 26 years later! It was already on its second livery, although still branded as 'Intercity 125'.

43127 Acton Turville 27 March 2007

43127 Sir Peter Parker 1924 - 2002 Cotswold Line 150 kicks up a trail of dust as it passes Acton Turville on 27 March 2007 with the 1L65 13:55 Cardiff Central to Paddington First Great Western service. At this time the sight of a complete train in the original FGW livery was getting rarer as more vehicles wee outshopped in the new a blander version of the colour scheme.

43127 Dorn 1 August 2011

The newly reinstated, but not yet commissioned up line at Dorn (near Moreton-in-Marsh) gives the impression that 43127 Sir Peter Parker 1924 - 2002 Cotswold Line 150 is running 'wrong line' with the1P56 13:14 Hereford to Paddington First Great Western service on 1 August 2011. A somewhat tight location for photography, which will obviously improve once the correct line comes into use. However, this picture is included for its soon to be historic interest.

43127 Dorn 26 March 2012

Highly appropriate motive power for the 1P65 15:14 Hereford to Paddington First Great Western service on 26 March 2012. 43127 Sir Peter Parker 1924 - 2002 Cotswold Line 150 passes Dorn on the recently doubled section of the Cotswold Line in glorious spring sunshine. Sir Peter Parker was of course chairman of BR during the late 1970s and early 1980s, and frequently used the Cotswold Line to travel from his home at Minster Lovell.

43127 Wolvercote 27 May 2012

In early 2012 many years of undergrowth was cleared from the site of the former down relief line at Wolvercote. However, before Network Rail could complete their work, Oxford City Council complained and halted any further work. A slightly hypocritical stance from a council that has a very poor reputation with regard to tree felling, having removed many trees in the past contrary to the public's wishes! 43127 Sir Peter Parker 1924 - 2002 Cotswold Line 150 passes the newly opened vista in soft evening light on 27 May 2012 with the 1W08 17:42 Paddington to Hereford First Great Western service. On the right cattle graze amid the buttercups of Port Meadow.

43127 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 22 September 2014

43127 Sir Peter Parker 1924 - 2002 Cotswold Line 150 speeds past Circourt Bridge, Denchworth on 22 September 2014 with the 1C15 13:00 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads First Great Western service, rapidly overtaking 66087 which is slowly proceeding along the down relief line with the 7C54 13:06 Oxford Banbury Road to Westbury Mendip Rail stone empties.

43127 Cholsey 2 January 2015

Signs of impending electrification at Cholsey on 2 January 2015. On the left a line of newly installed masts catch the sun, while on the right a couple of unused piles can be seen lying in the grass alongside the track. 43127 Sir Peter Parker 1924 - 2002 Cotswold Line 150 passes by with the 1A11 09:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington First Great Western service.

43127 Challow 21 March 2016

43127 Sir Peter Parker 1924 - 2002 Cotswold Line 150 speeds past Challow on 21 March 2016 with the late running 1B28 11:45 Paddington to Swansea GWR service. 66174 can be seen in the background, waiting in the loop with the 6B35 10:46 Hayes & Harlington to Moreton-on-Lugg stone empties. Usually such trains stop much nearer the signal than this.

43127 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 20 April 2016

43127 Sir Peter Parker 1924 - 2002 Cotswold Line 150 approaches the site of Ashbury Crossing, near Shrivenham, on 20 April 2016 with the 1G38 13:36 Paddington to Cheltenham Spa GWR service. The steel piles on the right indicate that this is the last year of unobstructed photography at this location.

43127 Compton Beauchamp 8 May 2016

Felling of lineside trees in preparation for the much delayed electrification work has opened up numerous photographic locations along the Great Western Mainline. There is clear evidence of the recent work in the foreground of this view at Compton Beauchamp. 43127 Sir Peter Parker 1924 - 2002 Cotswold Line 150 heads west on 8 May 2016 with the 1C23 17:03 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads GWR service.

43128 Charlbury (Cornbury Park) 4 July 1985

With the tower of St Mary's church, Charlbury visible in the distance, 43128 leads the 13:12 Great Malvern to Paddington ''Cotswold & Malvern Express' past Cornbury Park on 4 July 1985. At the time this and the balancing down working (the 10:10 Paddington to Great Malvern) were the only HST worked services on the Cotswold Line. At around this time there were reports in the local press of a wallaby being seen on the line in this area, although no local zoo or private animal collection admitted to losing any animals!

43128 Swindon 28 October 1992

43128 slowly rounds the sharp curve on the approach to Swindon station from the Gloucester direction on 28 October 1992. It is leading the 1A22 07:30 Cheltenham to Paddington InterCity service. The former Great Western Railway works in the background was undergoing extensive restoration work at this time. This view has predictably changed somewhat since this picture was taken. In addition to the inevitable radio communications mast, the small shed on the right has been removed, and a huge warehouse unit has been built just behind it.

43128 Dawlish 3 May 1999

With a complete rake of matching Great Western Trains stock, 43128 passes Dawlish on 3 May 1999 with the 1C14 08:33 Paddington to Plymouth 'Mayflower' Great Western Trains service. A graphic illustration of how quickly the tide recedes can be seen when comparing this view with the same location exactly an hour later when 43155 passed with 1V38.

43128 Culham 15 June 1999

43128 approaches Culham with the 1B58 18:27 Paddington to Hereford First Great Western service on 15 June 1999, with consecutively numbered power car 43129 bringing up the rear. The whole train is in the revised Great Western livery which was not welcomed at the time, but retrospectively seems quite restrained and certainly blends in well with the summer foliage in this view. This location has subsequently become much more difficult due to the growth of the bushes along the edge of the field.

43128 Uffiington 7 April 2011

The oilseed rape field is just coming into flower, as 43128 leads the 1B37 13:15 Paddington to Cardiff Central First Great Western service past Uffington on 7 April 2011. Unlike a lot of my favourite photographic positions in the Uffington area, there is no need to walk very far for this view, as it is right next to a road!

43128 Foxhall Junction 21 August 2011

For the Npower League 2 football match between Oxford and Swindon on 21 August 2011, First Great Western ran a special train between the two places, using the normally freight only West Curve at Didcot. Although I doubt whether any of those on board have appreciated the rare passenger mileage, 43128 is pictured at Foxhall Junction in the drizzle leading the 11:23 Oxford to Swindon special off the curve onto the bi-directional relief line, with the rear power car (43160) still just coming off the curve. Oxford won the game 2-1.

43128 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 19 March 2012

43128 speeds past Circourt Bridge, Denchworth on 19 March 2012 with the 1L32 06:58 Swansea to Paddington First Great Western service. The train is passing the site of the long abandoned village of Circourt, which was recorded as having a manor house in the thirteenth century. I think I might have stumbled upon a certain Welsh driver's trademark, as the carefully positioned newspapers underneath the sun visor exactly mirror a picture I took of a slightly earlier train a few months previously!

43128 Wantage Road 15 January 2013

43128 approaches Wantage Road on 15 January 2013 with the 1B31 12:15 Paddington to Cardiff Central First Great Western service. I particularly like this picture, with the ash trees on the right balancing the composition, and with the puddle filled track heading off into the distance from the middle of the picture.

43128 Shipton 13 June 2015

The Cotswold Line's diminutive station at Shipton gets a greater number of stopping trains on a Saturday, compared to a weekday. One such is the 1P37 08:43 Great Malvern to Paddington First Great Western service, which brings the incongruous sight of a HST stopping at this small wayside station, where as can be seen from this view, only a small part of the train is actually alongside the platform. 43128 is pictured in the rain on 13 June 2015. The whole scene is dominated by F.W.P. Matthews flour mill.

43128 Compton Beauchamp 27 May 2016

43128 speeds past Compton Beauchamp on 27 May 2016 with the 1B35 12:45 Paddington to Swansea GWR service. Long after the electrification of this route should have been complete, there is virtually no sign of any progress in this picture.

43128 Crofton 23 August 2016

43128 runs alongside the Kennet & Avon Canal near Crofton on 23 August 2016 with the 1C76 10:06 Paddington to Penzance GWR service. The boat is not ideally positioned. It would have been far better if it was in the foreground, rather than hiding in the shadows!

43128 Grove 11 November 2016

This must be unique, as it is a location that has actually got marginally more photogenic as a result of the mis-managed Great Western Mainline electrification programme, at least until the wires go up. Previously the view looking east from the footpath near Grove was completely ruined by high voltage electricity wires crossing the line. However, the electrification work has seen these put underground. 43128 heads west on 11 November 2016 with the 1B37 13:15 Paddington to Cardiff Central GWR service.

43128 Steventon 5 January 2017

With not a sign of any electfrication work, on a line that should by this time have been fully wired, 43128 speeds past Steventon on 5 January 2017 with the late running 1C11 11:00 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads GWR service. The plume of steam in the background is from the gas fired Didcot B Power Station.

43128 Bicester South Junction 17 September 2017

43128 descends the steeply graded sharp curve between Bicester South Junction and Gavray Junction on 17 September 2017 with the diverted 1B40 12:58 Paddington to Carmarthen GWR service. Engineering work at Reading was causing GWR's trains to be diverted via the Chiltern Line, bringing the highly unusual sight of HSTs in the Bicester area.

43128 Challow 17 May 2018

No passengers on this one! 43128 races past Challow on 17 May 2018 with the 3B35 09:43 Bristol Parkway to Paddington GWR ECS. There are occasional empty stock workings on the route, but usually, like this one, they are one off workings to a VSTP (Very Short Term Planning) schedule.

43129 Kintbury 2 April 2007

43129 passes Kintbury with the 13:05 Paddington to Plymouth First Great Western service on 2 April 2007. One of the few occasions when a 1/2000 sec shutter speed was essential! Numerous different views can be had along the line to the west of Kintbury, as the canal towpath runs close to the railway for a considerable distance.

43129 Hinksey 30 December 2008

43129 passes Hinksey Yard on 30 December 2008 with the 12:31 Oxford to Paddington First Great Western service. The footbridge from which this is taken is a bit exposed, but as long as there is no noticeable wind, even in winter it is a pleasant place to spend a few hour watching trains.

43129 Combe 8 July 2010

Combe station, on the Cotswold Line was opened by the Great Western Railway (as Combe Halt) on 8 July 1935. This explains the balloons and flags decorating the station exactly 75 years later on 8 July 2010, as 43129 speeds through with the 1P26 06:43 Hereford to Paddington First Great Western service. Normally only one train in each direction calls at this station, but today was different, with a specially arranged stop being made by the 08:22 Paddington to Hereford train.

43129 Manningford Bruce 30 November 2013

I couldn't resist using this slightly unconventional viewpoint at Manningford Bruce on 30 November 2013, in order to include in the picture the autumn foliage on the oak tree that was growing conveniently near the line. 43129 heads westwards with the late running 1C79 11:06 Paddington to Plymouth First Great Western service.

43129 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 14 November 2014

To commemorate the centenary of the start of the First World War, First Great Western have applied vinyl poppies to the side of 100 of their fleet of HST power cars. One such, 43129, leads the 1B35 12:45 Paddington to Swansea service past the site of Ashbury Crossing, Shrivenham on 14 November 2014.

43129 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 10 October 2016

The masts are up, and the wires will shortly follow to spoil forever this view from Circourt Bridge, Denchworth. 43129 heads towards the capital on 10 October 2016 with the 1A09 07:12 Taunton to Paddington GWR service.

43129 Whitehill 23 March 2017

43129 passes Whitehill (between Combe and Finstock) on 23 March 2017 with the 1W25 12:21 Paddington to Worcester Shrub Hill GWR service. In the field next to the line just to the right of this picture is North Leigh Roman Villa, which includes a fine mosaic pavement.

43129 Aldington 21 March 2017

43129 passes a posh, and obviously brand new, shed at Aldington on 21 March 2017, as it works the 1W25 12:21 Paddington to Worcester Shrub Hill GWR service. A sight that is becoming increasingly common in the countryside is the solar 'farm', one of which can be seen in the background.

43129 Islip 17 September 2017

43129 passes Islip in the rain on 17 September 2017 with the 1C07 08:32 Paddington to Plymouth GWR service. This was being diverted due to engineering works in the Reading area. The recently upgraded Islip station is situated on the other side of the bridge.

43129 Steventon 25 January 2018

43129 entered service in August 1979, and with its impending move away from the Great Western Mainline, will probably just miss out on its fortieth anniversary on the route. Doing what it has done for nearly four decades, it is pictured approaching Steventon on 25 January 2018 at the head of the 1L36 08:31 Cheltenham Spa to Paddington GWR service.

43129 Hanborough 12 May 2018

43129 approaches Hanborough in the rain on 12 May 2018 with the 1P71 16:35 Great Malvern to Paddington GWR service. Although obviously I prefer to take pictures in sunshine, pictures taken in the rain have their own atmospheric quality, and certainly look better than pictures taken on a dry but dull day.

43129 Challow 14 May 2018

43129 races past Challow on 14 May 2018 with the 1C18 14:30 Paddington to Weston-super-Mare GWR service. The wires here are still not energised, with the whole electfrication project running years behind, and massively over budget.

43129 Moreton-in-Marsh 18 May 2018

43129 brings up the rear of the late running 1W00 08:21 Paddington to Hereford GWR service at Moreton-in-Marsh on 18 May 2018. The HSTs are in their last few months of operation on the Cotswold Line, but the semaphore signals have a much brighter future!

4319 Fawler 22 June 2018

43129 passes Fawler on 22 June 2018 with the 1P12 05:28 Hereford to Paddington GWR service. The houses of Finstock can be seen in the background, and on the left is one of the many bridges over the River Evenlode on this stretch of line. The line crosses the river four times within a mile at this point.