Class 43 HST

43150 Tockenham Wick 20 April 1984

43150 passes Trow Lane near Tockenham Wick on 20 April 1984 with 1B16 16:05 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads service. Whilst not ideal from the lighting point of view, with the sun virtually straight down the track, it is one of the few pictures I have taken showing a HST with a test coach included in the formation. Unfortunately it is at the far end of the train, and only really apparent by its red and blue livery. The presence of two other people in the cab beside the driver also indicates that this is a test run. This wide open view has since been obscured by trees.

43150 Hinksey 12 February 1985

43150 passes the snow covered Hinksey Yard on 12 February 1985 with the 1F39 15:40 Oxford to Paddington service. In those days the railways were much more resilient, and less affected by severe winter weather. This, and most other trains on the day were running to time, with no cancellations!

43150 Oxford (Walton Well Road) 23 August 1985

43150 approaches Walton Well Road, Oxford, on 23 August 1985 with the 1B24 10:10 Paddington to Great Malvern service. Virtually everything in this picture has changed, and not for the better! 30 years later 43150 is still going strong, although sadly no longer in the stylish original InterCity 125 livery. What has really changed is the background. The waste ground and allotments have been replaced by a hideous tenement block of student flats, that has been universally condemned as an eyesore. Gone too is the old water tower on the site of Oxford depot, which in 1985 was still used for the stabling of locomotives. Note also the rakes of coaches in the carriage sidings, as this was the era when Oxford commuters had the luxury of proper loco hauled trains to London, rather than overcrowded DMUs.

43150 Milton 16 November 1988

43150 leads the 13:30 Paddington to Weston-super-Mare service past Milton Trading Estate on 16 November 1988. It is accelerating back up to the full line speed of 125 mph after its stop at Didcot. Although sunny, the very misty conditions means that Didcot Power station is virtually invisible in the gloom in the background.

43150 Wolvercote 18 May 1998

Livery transition time at Wolvercote Junction on 18 May 1998. 43150 Bristol Evening Post still retains InterCity livery, but the rest of the train is in excellent Great Western Trains colour scheme, which unfortunately did not last long, once the company was bought out by First Group. The train is the 1B48 17:10 Paddington to Hereford.

43150 Uffington 7 December 2010

43150 passes the site of Uffington station with the 1L54 11:55 Cardiff Central to Paddington First Great Western service on 7 December 2010. Freezing fog during the previous night had given trees and bushes in most areas a thick rime coating. Uffington was therefore the obvious place to go, as the Great Western Railway's love of Scots Pine trees around its stations has insured that there are still some trackside trees. The frost covered trees look superb as 43150 speeds eastwards underneath the signal gantry that once spanned the former freight loops.

43150 Radley 31 August 2012

With Didcot Power Station enjoying its last few months of power generation in the background, 43150 passes Radley on 31 August 2012 with the very late running 1P24 06:20 Paddington to Oxford First Great Western service.

43150 South Moreton (Didcot East) 13 September 2012

43150 weaves across from the up relief to the up main line at South Moreton (Didcot East) on 13 September 2012 with the 1P39 11:01 Oxford to Paddington First Great Western service. Most of these Oxford trains are formed of Class 165/166 Turbo units.

43150 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 23 October 2013

Superb lighting at Circourt Bridge, Denchworth on 23 October 2013, as 43150 speeds eastwards with the 1A10 09:00 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington First Great Western service. It was just over 40 years earlier that I first visited this location, for a day's observation. Unfortunately the Westerns, 31s and 47s were recorded in a notebook, rather than with a camera!

43150 Uffington 24 October 2013

43150 passes Uffington on 24 October 2013 with the 1A11 09:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington First Great Western service. A perfect autumn day, and the perfect quiet spot, well away from the road, to watch the trans go by.

43150Shrivenham 16 February 2014

43150 passes the grass covered up platform of the closed station at Shrivenham on 16 February 2014. The down platform also survives, although concealed by the foreground bushes. The train is the 1A16 11:20 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington First Great Western service. On the right is the Fat Dog pub, formerly the much more patriotically named Victoria.

43150 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 26 February 2014

Superb lighting at Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 26 February 2014, as 43150 speeds westwards with the 1C16 13:30 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads First Great Western service. Not so good lighting further east, by the look of the clouds!

43150 Challow 27 February 2014

43150 passes the site of Challow station on 27 February 2014 with the 1L36 08:31 Cheltenham Spa to Paddington First Great Western service. Challow station, along with the others in the Vale of White Horse, closed on 7 December 1964.

43150 Acton Turville 10 September 2014

43150 passes Acton Turville on 10 September 2014 with the 1L54 11:55 Cardiff Central to Paddington First Great Western service. Now almost lost in the trees in the background, is the site of Badminton station.

43150 Chilson 14 February 2016

43150 approaches Chilson on 14 February 2016 with the 1W02 10:42 Paddington to Hereford GWR service. It is passing the new signal that was installed when the line was redoubled in 2011. This was one of those days that was more or less completely sunny until I got in the car! By the time I was at the lineside there was a lot of cloud around, but miraculously the sun just managed to stay out for this, and even more miraculously was out again for the main event - LNER 4-6-2 60163 Tornado with the 1Z63 10:30 Paddington to Worcester Shrub Hill 'Red Rose' railtour.

43150 Daylesford 13 February 2017

43150 passes Daylesford on 13 February 2017 with the 1P36 15:22 Worcester Shrub Hill to Paddington GWR service. This one of the least well known Cotswold Line locations, despite the fact that it is a mere couple of minutes walk from the nearest road.

43150 Wendlebury (Langford Lane) 17 September 2017

43150 passes Langford Lane, Wendlebury, on 17 September 2017 with the diverted 1A12 08:28 Exeter St Davids to Paddington GWR service. Engineering work in the Reading area was causing all Swindon line trains to be diverted the Chiltern Line, and then via the new Bicester chord to Oxford.

43150 Moreton-in-Marsh (Dunstall Bridge) 2 May 2018

43150 approaches Moreton-in-Marsh on 2 May 2018 with the 1W03 18:22 Paddington to Worcester Shrub Hill GWR service. A long lens was required to clear the shadows from the trees bordering the lane running down to Dunstall Bridge.

43150 Highnam 26 June 2018

With Gloucester Cathedral and the Cotswold Hills in the background, 43150 brings up the rear of the diverted 1L90 17:24 Swansea to Paddington GWR service at Highnam on 26 June 2018. The golden field behind the train definitely improves the picture, adding a bit of colour contrast.

43150 Cassington 2 July 2018

43150 passes Cassington on 2 July 2018 with the 1P07 04:47 Hereford to Paddington GWR service. Only five minutes late here (which GWR regard as on time), but inevitably things got worse, and it arrived in London 18 minutes behind time.

43151 Oxford 25 September 1987

43151 Blue Peter II arrives at Oxford station under a dramatic sky on 25 September 1987 with the 1A49 13:45 Great Malvern to Paddington 'Cotswold & Malvern Express'. The distinctive tower of the Victorian St Barnabas church dominates the background.

43151 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 20 April 1991

Extremely dramatic lighting at Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 20 April 1991. 43151 races ahead of the storm with the 1B38 16:00 Paddington to Swansea service. Of course this fantastic light did not last very long, but it was good while it lasted, especially with the dark clouds contrasting so markedly with the flowering blackthorn bushes.

43151 Stroud 15 March 1996

43151 arrives at a rain soaked Stroud station on 15 March 1996 with the 11:52 Cheltenham to Paddington service. Stroud station retains plenty of Great Western atmosphere with a fine range of Cotswold stone built station buildings and original footbridge. Then as now this line is served by a combination of HSTs and units.

43151 St Blazey 18 July 1998

43151 brings up the rear of the 1C29 11:05 Paddington to Newquay Great Western Trains service at St Blazey on 18 July 1998. The leading power car (43030), and all the coaches are in Great Western's attractive 'Merlin' livery, with only 43151 displaying the obsolete InterCity colour scheme. Path, stream and railway run parallel for a considerable distance here.

43151 Foxhall Junction 8 October 2010

The cooling towers of Didcot Power Station dominate this view of Foxhall Junction, as 43151 approaches Didcot Parkway station on 8 October 2010 with the 1A16 12:00 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington First Great Western service. The start of Didcot's west curve, generally only used by freight trains, can be seen by the signal gantry in the background.

43151 Baulking 20 August 2011

43151 passes through the increasingly overgrown cutting at Baulking on 20 August 2011 with the 1A12 10:00 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington First Great Western service. It is getting very difficult to imagine that there were once two sidings underneath all that undergrowth on the right, with another one on the left.

43151 Little Somerford 6 March 2012

43151 speeds past Little Somerford on 6 March 2012 with the 1L51 11:55 Cardiff Central to Paddington First Great Western service. My little used 24mm lens has come into its own here, enabling the inclusion of a bold foreground.

43151 Washwood Heath 15 September 2012

A stranger in Birmingham! 43151 leads the Cotswold Line Promotion Group's Oxford to Scarborough 'Cotswold-Ouse Express' railtour past Washwood Heath on 15 September 2012, here running as the 1Z43 07:42 Oxford to York. 43139 is bringing up the rear. Although I shouldn't really have been surprised, I did find it a little odd that I was the only photographer at this location. First Great Western HSTs do not normally traverse this line, and the ideal combination of the perfect lighting angle and an instantly recognisable location, made this an ideal spot to picture this unusual working. No doubt if it had been Class 66 hauled there would have been plenty of photographers present, but probably not me!

43151 Swindon (Hay Lane) 10 July 2014

43151 passes Hay Lane, near Swindon, with the late running 1L32 06:58 Swansea to Paddington First Great Western service on 10 July 2014. This is one of those locations that I visited several times in the 1970s and 80s, but then largely ignored until the mad dash to record the scene before the route's impending electfrication.

43151 South Moreton (Didcot East) 19 December 2014

43151 leads the 1L48 09:28 Swansea to Paddington First Great Western service past South Moreton (Didcot East) on 19 December 2014. The cooling towers of Didcot Power Station that once dominated the background of this view have gone, leaving only the short chimneys of the gas fired plant, and the tall chimney of the disused coal fired plant.

43151 Cholsey 2 January 2015

Wave goodbye to another photographic vantage point! The first signs of the impending electfrication are evident at Cholsey on 2 January 2015, as 43151 heads towards London with the 1A17 12:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington First Great Western service.

43151 Shorthampton 3 July 2015

Superb late evening lighting on the Cotswold Line on 3 July 2015. The low sun breaks through the dark clouds to illuminate 43151, as it passes Shorthampton with the 1W08 18:22 Paddington to Hereford First Great Western service. The bridge in the background is a farm occupation bridge that hasn't seen any use for decades, and is now fenced off from both fields.

43151 Steventon 9 December 2015

Shortly after sunrise on 9 December 2015, 43151 approaches Steventon with the 1L32 06:58 Swansea to Paddington GWR service. The train would soon be passing something that is virtually extinct on this section of the Great Western Mainline - a closely spaced pair of public road level crossings.

43151 Aldington 11 April 2018

43151 passes evidence of recent vegetation clearance at Aldington on 11 April 2018, as it accelerates away from Evesham with the late running 1P31 12:09 Hereford to Paddington GWR service. The weather was grim, but thankfully free of the thick fog that enveloped the Cotswold Hills, as I drove across from West Oxfordshire.

43152 Marshfield 4 March 2006

The race is on at Marshfield on 4 March 2006! 43152 leads the 09:30 Swansea to Paddington First Great Western service, while 37411 cannot hope to catch up, as it works the 10:25 Cardiff Central to Newport special, run in connection with the Powergen Cup Rugby Semi-Finals Double Header.

43152 Wootton Rivers 24 April 2009

43152 rounds the curve at Wootton Rivers on 24 April 2009 with the 1C83 12:06 Paddington to Penzance First Great Western service. Plenty of signs of new green growth in the lineside bushes as they gear up for another year's growth and consequential reduction in photographic viewpoints!

43152 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 24 November 2014

43152 passes the recently installed, but thankfully fairly inconspicuous, fence near the site of Ashbury Crossing, Shrivenham, on 24 November 2014. The train is the 1C16 13:30 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads First Great Western service.

43152 Steventon 16 February 2018

Blue power car, green train. 43152 and its mismatched stock head past Steventon on 16 February 2018 with the 1G38 13:36 Paddington to Cheltenham Spa GWR service. A short section of line here is one of the last remaining non-wired sections of the route.

43153 Croome 29 December 1999

With just a couple of days of the old century left, 43153 The English Riviera, Torquay, Paignton, Brixham passes Croome on 29 December 1999 with the 1V47 07:10 Edinburgh to Plymouth Virgin CrossCountry service.

43153 Hinksey 6 June 2000

Matching shades of red at Hinksey Yard on 6 June 2000. 43153 The English Riviera, Torquay, Paignton, Brixham passes some redundant NFA Royal Mail vans, as it approaches Oxford with the 1M41 17:20 Bournemouth to Manchester Piccadilly Virgin CrossCountry service.

43153 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 2 February 2013

43153 leads the 1B35 12:45 Paddington to Swansea Fist Great Western service past the site of Ashbury Crossing at Shrivenham on 2 February 2013. After a fine start, the clouds were rapidly building up, and it wouldn't be long before the day's photography would be over!

43153 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 10 February 2014

43153 approaches Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 10 February 2014 with the 1A12 07:40 Paignton to Paddington First Great Western service. The sunshine would not last long, as can be guessed by the clouds in the background.

43153 Challow 8 April 2014

43153 passes the site of Challow station on 8 April 2014 with the 1L36 08:31 Cheltenham Spa to Paddington First Great Western service. As on many other former station sites, a thriving industrial estate now operates here.

43153 Crofton 8 August 2015

43153 runs alongside the Kennet & Avon Canal near Crofton on 8 August 2015 with the 1C76 09:06 Paddington to Plymouth First Great Western service. Virtually everything in the scene is some shade of green, so at least FGW's blue livery stands out. This will not look so good with their new green livery!

43153 Challow 4 December 2015

43153 passes the site of Challow station on 4 December 2015 with the 1L36 08:31 Cheltenham to Paddington GWR service. The morning was nothing like as sunny as the Met Office has predicted, in fact the cloud seemed to roll in from the west as soon as I had got the car out of the garage! However, when the sun did appear, the lighting was spectacular, with an impressive background of really dark clouds.

43153 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 1 December 2016

A frosty morning at Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 1 December 2016. 43153 passes the incomplete 25kV catenary, as it heads towards London with the 1L32 06:58 Swansea to Paddington GWR service. After visiting this location every year since 1978, and several times before that, my visits will now get less frequent when this eyesore is complete.

43153 Steventon 16 February 2018

43153 passes Steventon on 16 February 2018 with the 1B42 14:15 Paddington to Cardiff Central GWR service. The 650 feet tall chimney of the disused and partially demolished Didcot Power Station can be seen in the background.

43153 Moreton-in-Marsh (Dunstall Bridge) 5 April 2018

43153 passes underneath the recently rebuilt Dunstall Bridge, just to the south of Moreton-in-Marsh, on 5 April 2018 with the 1P18 06:42 Hereford to Paddington GWR service. The earlier stone built bridge had developed quite a noticeable dip in the centre of the arch.

43153 Charlbury 7 February 2019

43153 arrives at Charlbury on 7 February 2019 with the 1P31 12:09 Hereford to Paddington GWR service. A day with lots of cloud, and some sunny spells. Luckily this just managed to come in a sunny gap between two large black clouds.

43154 Eckington 26 June 1995

43154 Intercity crosses the River Avon at Eckington on 26 June 1995 with the 1V63 15:00 Newcastle to Plymouth service. I expect this power car has confused a few rail passengers, as it has the words 'Intercity' repeated on the bodyside. First on a red cast plate, and then in huge white letters!

43154 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 7 January 2010

The 1C11 11:00 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads First Great Western service is kicking up so much snow at Shrivenham on 7 January 2010 that the back of the train is completely blotted out. 43154 leads the train past the site of Ashbury Crossing.

43154 Charlbury 26 November 2010

Possibly my last picture of Charlbury station before the reinstatement of double track. 43154 arrives at the station on 26 November 2010 with the late running 1W29 11:22 Paddington to Great Malvern First Great Western service. Unfortunately, the more appropriate 43003 Isambard Kingdom Brunel was not on the front, but on the rear of the train. Just out of sight in the foreground a start has been made on clearing the ground for the second platform. Although the doubling is obviously a good thing, I can't help thinking that from a photographic viewpoint, this classic location is going to be compromised by the new platform. Happily, I have numerous pictures taken over the years here, from the days of the Class 50s onwards.

43154 South Moreton (Didcot East) 3 September 2014 The reconstruction of the Fulscot road bridge at South Moreton (Didcot East) required this structure to be built over the line to carry services. 43154 speeds underneath on 3 September 2014 with the 1C16 13:33 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads First Great Western service.
43154 Ardley 4 April 2015

43154 catches a brief burst of weak sunshine, as it passes Ardley on 4 April 2015 with the diverted 1A07 07:29 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington First Great Western service. This train had travelled via Oxford, and had just reversed at Banbury.

43154 Uffington 22 April 2015

43154 passes a field of oilseed rape near Uffington on 22 April 2015 with the 1C16 13:30 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads First Great Western service, while the balancing 1A19 13:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington train disappears into the distance.

43154 Compton Beauchamp 8 May 2016

Superb evening light at Compton Beauchamp on 8 May 2016, as 43154 speeds westwards with the 1C25 18:03 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads GWR service. This will be the last year of uninterrupted views along this line, before Network Rail's unbelievably mismanaged electfrication programme finally gets its act together.

43154 Brimpton 14 May 2016

Travelling very slowly, having nearly caught up with the 1K50 11:49 Reading to Bedwyn DMU, 43154 leads the 1Z10 11:33 Paddington to Paddington (via Frome) special past Brimpton on 14 May 2016. Making no stops other than the reversal at Frome, this is obviously something out of the ordinary. I presume it is a crew training run. Confirmation anyone?

43154 Combe 11 June 2018

The view from the footpath leading to Combe station! A bold close up study of 43154, as it races past the diminutive Cotswold Line station on 11 June 2018 with the 1P07 04:47 Hereford to Paddington GWR service. Note the newly installed five and ten coach stop board.

43155 Dawlish 3 May 1999

43155 City of Aberdeen leads the 1V38 06:05 Leeds to Plymouth 'Armada' Virgin Cross Country service past Dawlish on 3 May 1999. 43155 had received the Aberdeen plates at the eponymous station in June 1998, having had its previous The Red Arrows plates removed the previous day. This particular power car has certainly had its fair share of different names, as between 1985 and 1990 it was named BBC Look North!

43155 Pilning 27 April 2010

While 66127 waits in the down loop at Pilning on 27 April 2010 with the 6B33 13:33 Theale to Robeston Murco oil empties, 43155 speeds by with the 1B46 14:45 Paddington to Swansea First Great Western service. Note the recently relaid track, which has seen the repositioning of the points at the end of the loop to a much better position for photography.

43155 Bourton 1 July 2014

43155 emerges from the fog into the early morning sunshine at Bourton on 1 July 2014 with the 1L05 03:52 Swansea to Paddington First Great Western service. For some time there was just this small sunlit area, with Swindon in the background completely enveloped in fog.

43155 Denchworth 8 September 2014

Still looking immaculate, just a few weeks after its renaming, 43155 The Red Arrows 50 Seasons of Excellence speeds past Denchworth on 8 September 2014 with the 1C16 13:30 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads First Great Western service. The even more colourful Plymouth liveried 43163 is on the rear.

43155 Crofton 24 January 2015

43155 The Red Arrows 50 Seasons of Excellence runs alongside the Kennet & Avon Canal near Crofton on 24 January 2015 with the 1C79 10:59 Paddington to Plymouth First Great Western service. An interesting comparison of speeds here. Boats on the canal travel at 5mph, the HST does 125mph, but the Red Arrows commemorated by the nameplate can reach over 600mph!

43155 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 2 August 2015

43155 The Red Arrows 50 Seasons of Excellence speeds past the signs of impending electrification at Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 2 August 2015 with the 1G42 14:27 Paddington to Cheltenham Spa First Great Western service.

43155 Moreton-in-Marsh 6 June 2016

Although Moreton-in-Marsh has always been the northern limit for a few daily local trains over the Cotswold Line, these have traditionally been DMU operated. However, with the installation of a new semaphore signal controlling southbound departures from platform 1, in 2016 a couple of daily HSTs reverse at the station. 43155 The Red Arrows 50 Seasons of Excellence is seen here crossing over from the down (wrong) line to the up line on 6 June 2016 with the 1P21 07:10 Moreton-in-Marsh to Paddington GWR service. The new signal is on a much shorter post than the original up home, and just the finial can be seen above the front end of the second coach.

43155 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 14 September 2016

43155 The Red Arrows 50 Seasons of Excellence passes the site of Ashbury Crossing, near Shrivenham, on 14 September 2016 with the 1B37 13:15 Paddington to Cardiff Central GWR service. The 1L60 12:55 Cardiff Central to Paddington can just be seen disappearing into the distance.

43155 Chipping Sodbury Tunnel 7 April 2017

The interior of Chipping Sodbury Tunnel is obviously a bit leaky, as the driver of 43155 The Red Arrows 50 Seasons of Excellence feels the need to wash the windscreen, as his train emerges into the daylight from the western end of the tunnel on 7 April 2017. The train is the 1B42 14:15 Paddington to Cardiff Central GWR service.

43155 Steventon 16 February 2018

With yet another new housing estate dominating the background, 43155 The Red Arrows 50 Seasons of Excellence passes Steventon on 16 February 2018 with the 1C16 13:30 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads GWR service.

43156 Challow 17 May 1992

43156 races past the site of Challow station on 17 May 1992 with the 1A22 09:00 Swansea to Paddington InterCity service. As I was reasonably close, and the train was travelling at approximately 125mph, obviously a fast shutter speed was required. Therefore this was taken at 1/2000sec f2.8 on my trusty old totally mechanical 1970s vintage Canon F1 camera. Fujichrome RF50 has ensured that the result is virtually grain free. The disturbed ground in the foreground is the result of work to reinstate the down relief line, the exit point for which has already been installed.

43156 Shottesbrooke 10 October 1993

43156 passes Shottesbrooke on Sunday 10 October 1993 with the 1C32 11:35 Paddington to Plymouth InterCity service. Commonplace at the time, buy nearly quarter of a century later the sight of just a single power car in this 'Swallow' livery brings photographers from far and wide. Unfortunately this well known location near Maidenhead has been completely ruined by the staggeringly mismanaged Great Western Mainline electfrication project.

43156 Lower Basildon 3 February 2007

43156 speeds past Lower Basildon on 3 February 2007 with the 13:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington First Great Western service. Luckily, all trains were using the relief lines, which gives a much better view, compared to the very head on viewpoint of the main lines at this location.

43156 Uffington 10 February 2009

43156 Dartington International Summer School leads the 1A17 12:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington First Great Western service past Uffington on 10 February 2009. Note that even at this late date there is still one coach in his rake in the previous version of First Great Western's livery. After over a week of snow was now beginning to give way to floods, as can be seen in the next field. The sunny conditions didn't last much longer after I took this picture, as can be probably be guessed from the huge bank of cloud rolling in from the west in the background.

43156 Ascott-under-Wychwood 10 December 2011

Luxury transport for passengers at Ascott-under-Wychwood on 10 December 2011. Normally receiving a single Turbo operated service in each direction on weekdays only, First Great Western bowed to local pressure in the run up to Christmas 2011, and arranged for the 1P31 07:10 Hereford to Paddington to call at the station. A large group of locals are pictured braving the frosty weather, as 43156 Dartington International Summer School arrives at the newly constructed up platform.

43156 Ruscombe 22 July 2012

43156 Dartington International Summer School speeds past Ruscombe on 22 July 2012 with the 1A08 08:15 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington First Great Western service. 1/2000 sec shutter speed and quick reactions are required for this type of shot!

43156 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 26 February 2014

43156 Dartington International Summer School approaches Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 26 February 2014 with the 1B28 11:45 Paddington to Swansea First Great Western service. As it is not raining, and the driver is not washing the windscreen, I don't know why the windscreen wiper is in the vertical position!

43156 Shrivenham 11 August 2014

Extremely dramatic lighting at Shrivenham on 11 August 2014. 43156 Dartington International Summer School passes through the recently cleared old station site with the 1L16 06:30 Cheltenham to Paddington First Great Western service. Although the sun is really much too head on, I wasn't going to pass up the opportunity of a picture in such unusual lighting, with Swindon obviously getting a soaking under the dark clouds in the background.

43156 Coates 16 May 2015

43156 Dartington International Summer School passes Coates on 16 May 2015 with the diverted 1L86 16:28 Swansea to Paddington First Great Western service. Unfortunately this location is now quite overgrown, and only the distinctive dry stone wall at the top of the cutting identifies it as the location that I photographed 50020 Revenge from in 1987.

43156 Chilson 26 September 2015

43156 Dartington International Summer School passes Chilson on 26 September 2015 with the 1P37 08:43 Great Malvern to Paddington GWR service. Note the rustic fence on the left, with some posts consisting of little more the reinforcing steel!

43156 Charlbury (Cornbury Park) 20 June 2018

With some of the houses, and the parish church of Charlbury just visible in the background, 43156 Dartington International Summer School pulls away from the town's station on 20 June 2018 with the 1P36 15:22 Worcester Shrub Hill to Paddington GWR service.

43156 Uffington 29 October 2018

43156 Dartington International Summer School passes Uffington on 29 October 2018 with the 1L36 08:31 Cheltenham Spa to Paddington GWR service. This is a very rare picture of one of this particular operator's trains - it's running exactly on time!

43156 Shorthampton 14 February 2019

43156 Dartington International Summer School passes Shorthampton on 14 February 2019 with the late running 1W27 13:22 Paddington to Worcester Foregate Street GWR service. Recent lineside vegetation clearance has transformed this scene. Even in the 1980s the view was nothing like as open as this. The houses of Charlbury can be seen in the distance.

43157 Brimpton 28 June 1991

43157 leads the 06:46 Penzance to Paddington InterCity service past Brimpton on 28 June 1991. Colthrop paper mill, which closed in 2000, dominates the background. The flat area of land on the right is known as Midgham Marsh, this location being considerably nearer to the village of Midgham than Midgham station, which is actually in the village of Woolhampton.

43158 Breaston 23 September 2000

43158 approaches the footpath crossing adjacent to the M1 at Breaston on 23 September 2000. It is working the diverted 1E29 06:20 Plymouth to Newcastle Virgin CrossCountry 'Armada' service. A change to the usual elevated viewpoint from the motorway embankment, but only because I had just arrived at the crossing as the train came into view!

43158 Long Marston 17 December 2005

In faded and debranded Virgin Cross Country livery, 43158 brings up the rear of the 5Z22 08:52 Gloucester to Long Marston stock move on 17 December 2005, as it enters Long Marston depot hauled by 20905 & 20096. The location of the former Dartmoor The Pony Express nameplate can just be seen near the radiator grille. Along with 43121, which can be seen at the head of the train, it was being shuttled between secure storage sites, having previously been resident at MoD Bicester. Subsequently 43158 was re-engined with a MTU power unit and has since joined First Great Western's fleet.

43158 Steventon 19 February 2013

One of the level crossing barriers at the Causeway, Steventon was struck by a lorry on 19 February 2013, causing severe delays to rail traffic. 43158 accelerates the 1B40 13:45 Paddington to Swansea First Great Western service away from the crossing after being hand signaled across. The delay isn't having any affect on the train that can be seen stopped at the crossing in the background, as this is in fact the 5C10 12:40 St. Philips Marsh to Old Oak Common ECS, with 43189 leading and 43012 nearest the camera.

43158 Souldern No.2 Viaduct 7 April 2013

Neatly framed by one of the arches of Souldern No.2 Viaduct, 43158 heads south with the diverted 1Z19 08:50 Paddington to Swansea First Great Western service on 7 April 2013. A little earlier this train had crossed over the viaduct, heading in the opposite direction towards a reversal at Banbury. This lengthy detour was necessary due to the closure of Reading station for major engineering work. It only occurred to me that this would make a good picture whilst walking back to the car. Noticing that there was a reasonably clear gap under the arch, I thought it would make an excellent picture, as long as I could get the power car positioned correctly. Not easy as there is no margin for error and it is travelling at speed. Luckily it seems to have worked!

43158 Wootton Bassett 18 July 2013

43158 speeds past the site of Wootton Bassett station on 18 July 2013 with the 1L48 09:28 Swansea to Paddington First Great Western service. I wonder how long it will be before one of the purchasers of the new houses on the right complains about the noise of the railway, despite it pre-dating their new house by 173 years!

43158 Shrivenham 16 April 2014

43158 passes Shrivenham at speed on 16 April 2014 with the 1C17 14:00 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads First Great Western service. Although the blackthorn blossom is starting to go over, it still makes an excellent compliment to the field of oilseed rape on the right.

43158 South Marston 18 August 2014

Lovely light, and a superb cloud effect at South Marston on 18 August 2014. 43158 speeds past the junction for the disused branch into the Long Marston freight terminal, as it heads towards the capital with the 1L38 07:58 Swansea to Paddington First Great Western service.

43158 Grove 8 September 2014

43158 passes Grove on 8 September 2014 with the 1A11 09:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington First Great Western service. Just visible in the background is 66594, stopped at signals on the relief line near Denchworth Bridge, waiting for 43158 to clear the section.

43158 Oxford 1 April 2015

With the sun just high enough to light up the train, but with the station's car park still in shadow, 43158 pulls out of Oxford station on 1 April 2015 with the 1P19 05:28 Hereford to Paddington First Great Western service.

43158 Compton Beauchamp 14 April 2015

43158 speeds past Compton Beauchamp on 14 April 2015 with the 1C17 14:00 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads First Great Western service. Note the temporary safety barrier clipped to the rails on the left - the first sign of the impending electrification work, that will render this view hopelessly impeded by wires.

43158 Uffington 22 April 2015

The blackthorn is full bloom at Uffington on 22 April 2015, as 43158 leads the 1G38 13:36 Paddington to Cheltenham Spa First Great Western service past the fields of oilseed rape. This is not a very commonly photographed location, as it is a considerable walk from the nearest road!

43158 Culham 4 May 2016

With the partially demolished Didcot Power Station dominating the background, 43158 approaches Culham on 4 May 2016 with the 1D13 06:20 Paddington to Oxford GWR service. Clearly visible on the original hi-res image is a heron standing in the field towards the left of the picture.

43158 & 166202 Sonning 16 August 2016

An unequal race! 43158 rapidly overtakes 166202 in Sonning cutting on 16 August 2016, as it works the 1B51 15:45 Paddington to Swansea GWR service. 166202 is working the 2R47 15:12 Paddington to Reading stopping service.

43158 Uffington 23 September 2016

43158 speeds past Uffington on 23 September 2016 with the late running 1A11 09:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington GWR service. This was my last mast free visit to this location, the dreaded electfrication paraphernalia being installed a few weeks later.

43158 Lyneham 31 October 2016

A slightly unconventional viewpoint at Lyneham, on the Cotswold Line, on the sunny afternoon of 31 October 2016. 43158 heads north with the late running 1W33 13:22 Paddington to Worcester Shrub Hill GWR service. The standard viewpoint from the Milton-under-Wychwood to Lyneham road is a little uninspiring, so I used a wideangle lens and included the railings of a bridge than spans a small tributary of the River Evenlode. This provides a bold foreground and makes a more interesting picture, or at least I think so!

43158 Steventon 26 March 2017

With the cooling towers and tall chimney of the disused Didcot Power Station dominating the background, 43158 approaches Steventon on 26 March 2017 with the 1B46 14:37 Paddington to Port Talbot Parkway GWR service. Engineering work was preventing the train proceeding to its usual final destination of Swansea.

43158 Islip 17 September 2017

During the weekend of 16 & 17 September 2017, GWR services were diverted via the Chiltern Line due to engineering works at Reading. The trains regained their normal route by traversing the recently upgraded Oxford to Bicester Line. 43158 is pictured passing through Islip on the Sunday with the 1A07 07:41 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington service.

43158 Shorthampton 9 April 2018

43158 passes Shorthampton in the rain on 9 April 2018 with the 1P36 15:22 Worcester Shrub Hill to Paddington GWR service. The days of HSTs on the Cotswold Line are numbered, and already by this date the majority of the Great Malvern and Worcester trains have succumbed to the new Class 800 DMUs.

43159 Crofton 15 January 1991

43159 passes Lock No. 57 on the Kennet & Avon Canal at Crofton with the 06:46 Penzance to Paddington service on 15 January 1991. A very cold morning which started with a hard frost, which by the time this train passed had largely gone, although the edge of the lock was still very slippery. Therefore it was lucky that to perfectly position the lock gates for this picture I didn't have to stand right on the edge! The milepost on the right indicates 68 miles from Paddington and the adjacent sign is a speed restriction for the curve by Crofton Pumping Station.

43159 Neath 28 July 1991

43159 accelerates away from Neath with the 15:00 Paddington to Swansea InterCity service on 28 July 1991. It is crossing the River Neath (Afon Nedd) and will shortly cross both the A465 road seen in the foreground and the freight line to Onllwyn. All this on a sharp curve that takes the line though almost 180 degrees to get from one side of the valley to the other. Either traffic was lighter on the A465 in 1991 or I was lucky, as not a single vehicle has been Photoshoped out of this picture!

43159 Dainton 22 June 1996

Having just emerged from Dainton Tunnel, 43159 starts to roll downhill on 22 June 1996 with the 1A82 17:00 Penzance to Paddington service. Not that many pictures are taken from this angle, as the usual photographic vantage point is the field in the background, which is an ideal spot to photograph trains (especially steam) slogging up the gradient.

43159 Aynho Junction 30 March 2002

43159 approaches Aynho Junction on 30 March 2002 with the 1O12 06:50 Edinburgh to Bournemouth 'Wessex Scot'. Unfortunately a decade later passengers (sorry, customers) on this service would have to endure the noise and vibration of a five coach Voyager, rather than the comparative luxury of this 'heritage' traction. Such is progress!

43159 Sapperton 20 February 2010

43159 climbs Sapperton Bank on 20 February 2010 with the 1L40 09:00 Cheltenham to Paddington First Great Western service. It is on the tightly curved upper section of the climb, which at this point is on a gradient of 1 in 60, although this will ease to 1 in 90 once the train reaches Sapperton Tunnel a short distance further on. As would be expected in a heavily wooded valley, there are very few locations that are free of shadows on this route during the winter months.

43159 Uffington 22 April 2010

A fine spring day at Uffington on 22 April 2010. 43159 heads westwards with the 1G38 13:48 Paddington to Cheltenham Spa First Great Western service. Note the one remaining metal post of the original (presumably GWR) railway boundary fence.

43159 South Moreton (Didcot East) 22 September 2010

43159 passes South Moreton (Didcot East) on 22 September 2010 with the 1A14 11:00 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington First Great Western service. 43159 seems to have had a recent repaint, either that or it has been washed more recently than the coaches!

43159 Challow 11 February 2016

Challow, before the area was drowned in a sea of overhead catenary. 43159 heads towards London on 11 February 2016 with the late running 1L38 07:58 Swansea to Paddington GWR service. The more interesting 'Building A Greater West' liveried 43144 can just be seen on the rear.

43159 Rodbourne 19 July 2016

43159 rounds the curve near Rodbourne on 19 July 2016 with the 1L46 09:55 Cardiff Central to Paddington GWR service. Although the dreaded electfrication should have been completed here by now, the only indication are a few small marker posts in the undergrowth.

43159 Bourton 1 September 2016

Only the beginning of September, but there is already a golden autumn look to the scene at Bourton, as 43159 heads towards London on 1 September 2016 with the 1A09 07:12 Taunton to Paddington GWR service.

43159 Oddington 17 September 2017

Lengthening shadows (and approaching cloud!) at Oddington on 17 September 2017. 43159 heads south with the diverted 1B69 16:58 Paddington to Swansea GWR Service. Engineering works at Reading meant that HSTs for the West of England were traveling via the Chiltern Line as far as Bicester, and then heading to Didcot, via Oxford.

43159 Churchill Heath 22 June 2018

Near the longest day is the ideal time to photograph northbound evening trains on the Cotswold Line. 43159 catches the last of the light, as it passes Churchill Heath on 22 June 2018 with the 1W03 18:22 Paddington to Worcester Shrub Hill GWR service.

43159 Moredon 25 June 2018

43159 passes Moredon on 25 June 2018 with the diverted 1L32 06:24 Swansea to Paddington. The train's normal route via the Severn Tunnel was closed for engineering works. This line is commonly used for such diversions, but now the recently reinstated double track on this section helps enormously.

43159 Oaksey 3 July 2018

The evening shadows are lengthening at Oaksey on 3 July 2018, as 43159 heads north with the diverted 1B76 18:14 Paddington to Swansea GWR service. The train has just deviated from its normal route at Swindon, taking the Gloucester line rather than the route via the Severn Tunnel, which was closed for engineering works.

43159 Grove 12 July 2018

43159 passes Grove on 12 July 2018 with the 1L55 11:29 Swansea to Paddington GWR service. The wires are up, but good old fashioned diesel is still providing the power, long after the bodged electfrication scheme should have been complete.

43159 Crofton 14 July 2018

43159 passes Crofton Pumping Station on 14 July 2018 with the 1A77 07:50 Plymouth to Paddington GWR service. The pumping station contains the oldest working beam engine in the world, an 1812 Boulton and Watt engine, capable of lifting approximately one ton of water with each stroke, which it empties into the Kennet & Avon Canal, seen in the foreground of this picture.

43159 Charlbury 13 September 2018

43159 arrives at Charlbury on 13 September 2018 with the 1P31 12:09 Hereford to Paddington GWR service. Although getting another picture of a HST on the Cotswold Line, before they are all replaced by Class 800 DMUs is always important, this was not my main reason for visiting this location. The first production Vivarail Class 230 DMU, destined for West Midlands Trains, was due to make an appearance. The previous day a 5Q30 13:10 Long Marston to Bletchley path appeared, and was then cancelled, to be replaced by the usual Long Marston to Moreton-in-Marsh test runs, starting with the 5Z01 09:40 Long Marston to Moreton-in-Marsh. As is usually the case, these were also cancelled. In the afternoon a 5Z30 13:10 Long Marston to Charlbury path appeared, which is what I went out for. Like most Class 230 test runs, that also failed to run, so this picture of a type of train that does actually work was taken instead!

43160 Cockwood Harbour 1 November 1997

The final rays of the setting sun illuminate 43160 as it leads the 1E38 14:30 Paignton to Newcastle Virgin Cross Country service past Cockwood Harbour on 1 November 1997. An ideal location for photography (although my visits never seemed to correspond with high tide!), pictured here with a full compliment of local boats. This location has subsequently been compromised photographically, with the addition of a pointless fence along the embankment.

43160 Swindon (Hay Lane) 18 July 2013

43160 Sir Moir Lockhead OBE passes Hay Lane (near Swindon) on 18 July 2013 with the 1L34 07:28 Swansea to Paddington First Great Western service. Chief executive's perks - have a loco named after you! Sir Moir Lockhead is chairman of First Group.

43160 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 11 September 2015

43160 Sir Moir Lockhead OBE speeds past the site of Ashbury Crossing, near Shrivenham, on 11 September 2015 with the 1B40 13:45 Paddington to Swansea First Great Western service. Just visible near the rear of the train are the old gantry signal, together with its modern replacement. Apart from the tops of the steel piles, now hidden in the grass, the latter is the only sign of the impending electrification at this location.

43160 Tockenham Wick 16 February 2016

A location that I should have made more use of, but which was ruined by the GWR electfrication programme shortly after this picture was taken. 43160 Sir Moir Lockhead OBE climbs Dauntsey Bank at Tockenham Wick on 16 February 2016 with the 1A11 09:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington GWR service.

43160 Uffington 22 January 2017

43160 Sir Moir Lockhead OBE passes Uffington on 22 January 2017 with the 1G22 10:27 Paddington to Cheltenham Spa GWR service. The public footpath crossing, adjacent to the nearest electfrication mast has been closed for the third time in as many years, this time because of the Network Rail electfrication work site on the other side of the line. This location therefore now requires a long walk across the fields from the village of Uffington.

43160 Water Eaton 7 May 2018

Soft evening light at Water Eaton on 7 May 2018. 43160 Sir Moir Lockhead OBE heads towards Oxford with the diverted 1C28 18:27 Paddington to Plymouth GWR service. This new viewpoint was created when the Oxford to Bicester line was upgraded. It may last forever though, as numerous trees have been planted on the embankment on which I was standing to take this photo.

43160 Ascott-under-Wychwood 29 June 2018

43160 Sir Moir Lockhead OBE passes Ascott-under-Wychwood on 29 June 2018 with the late running 1W02 17:22 Paddington to Hereford GWR service. I had noticed the 'tramlines' in the wheat field, and thought that the two diverging tracks, and the single tree in the distance would make an interesting composition.

43160 Chilson 27 September 2018

43160 Sir Moir Lockhead OBE passes Chilson on 27 September 2018 with the 1P18 06:42 Hereford to Paddington GWR service. As is often the case, this was running late, this time the delay being blamed on a late running freight train between Worcester and Evesham. As I can find no evidence of any such train, and unless anybody knows anything to the contrary, this could well be another blame shifting exercise by GWR!

43160 Grove 22 October 2018

43160 Sir Moir Lockhead OBE approaches Grove on 22 October 2018 with the 1L32 06:59 Swansea to Paddington GWR service. Depressingly, this was one of only two eastbound HSTs that I saw during my two and a half hour session at this location. Admittedly the long lens has made it worse, but this just shows what a hideous eyesore the Great Western Mainline electfrication is. 70804 can be seen in the background, waiting on the relief line with the 6M50 07:55 Westbury to Bescot engineers train.

43161 Waltham St. Lawrence 2 June 1989

In the era when even short sighted photographers could identify HSTs at 125 mph, 43161 speeds past Waltham St. Lawrence with the 06:37 Swansea to Paddington 'Red Dragon Pullman' service on 2 June 1989. At this point on the Great Western mainline, not only are there two relief lines, but an up loop as well. St. James church at Ruscombe can be seen in the distance.

43161 Bathampton 5 April 1990

43161 speeds past Bathampton Junction on 5 April 1990 with the 1A31 09:20 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington service. This viewpoint is no longer possible, due to the demolition of the farm occupation bridge that I was standing on!

43161 Charlbury 17 March 1994

In early 2011 double track is being reinstated at this location, but on 17 March 1994 single track is the order of the day as 43161 Reading Evening Post pulls away from Charlbury station with the 1A23 06:55 Hereford to Paddington 'Cathedrals Express' service. Contrary to appearances this photo is taken from the right side of the fence, although nowadays the viewpoint is nothing like as open as this! Unfortunately I have very few pictures of InterCity liveried HSTs on the Cotswold Line, as I was probably ignoring the route a little after the demise of the Class 50s!

43161 Ashchurch 16 July 2002

The footbridge at the new Ashchurch (for Tewkesbury) station frames 43161, as it races through with the 1V51 12:08 Newcastle to Plymouth Virgin CrossCountry 'Devonian' on 16 July 2002. The station opened on 1 June 1997, on the site of the one that closed on 15 November 1971.

43161 Crofton 21 November 2006

43161 rounds the curve at Crofton with the 1A82 07:35 Plymouth to Paddington First Great Western service on 21 November 2006. Still wearing the original FGW purple livery, 43161 is just a couple of months away from being called to Brush for refurbishment, when a MTU engine would replace the original Paxman unit. It would emerge in the second version of the livery.

43161 Uffington 1 June 2009

The very last rays of the setting sun glint off the side of the late running 1L92 18:29 Swansea to Paddington First Great Western service led by 43161 at Uffington on 1 June 2009, while the low angle of the sun gives a pink tinge to the sky. The train is passing the site of a small quarry at Alfred's Hill, on the long curving section of embankment between the sites of Knighton Crossing and Uffington station. A remote location now seemingly only visited by rabbits!

43161 Denchworth 8 October 2009

43161 speeds past Denchworth on 8 October 2009 with the late running 1B37 13:15 Paddington to Cardiff Central First Great Western service. To show how fortunate we are in this country to have an ever changing look to the countryside as the seasons progress, compare this picture with 43185 taken at the same location just three months previously.

43161 Oxford (Walton Well Road) 13 July 2013

43161 unusually traverses the down relief line at Walton Well Road, Oxford, on 13 July 2013, as it works the 1W00 08:21 Paddington to Hereford First Great Western service. The failure of an axle counter on the Cotswold Line was delaying trains between Wolvercote Junction and Charlbury. The controversial Castle Mill student accommodation blocks dominate the background, completely spoiling what used to be a pleasant open view.

43161 Denchworth 22 November 2013

Only a few of the rooks in the trees have taken flight, as 43161 leads the 1L36 08:31 Cheltenham to Paddington First Great Western service past Denchworth on 22 November 2013. This picture is taken from the bridge on the Denchworth to Grove road, which requires the use of a long lens to carefully shoot through a large signal gantry, and in the case of autumnal and winter shots like this one, a very long lens to clear the foreground shadows! The much more well known photographic location of Circourt Bridge can be seen in the background. Presumably this viewpoint will soon be totally ruined by the forthcoming electrification.

43161 Steventon (Stocks Lane) 19 January 2016

The red bricks of the allotments wall really stand out in the low winter sunshine, as 43161 approaches Stocks Lane level crossing, Steventon, on 19 January 2016 with the 1B35 12:45 Paddington to Swansea GWR service.

43161 Combe (Grintleyhill Bridge) 19 April 2017

43161 brings up the rear of the 1W01 10:22 Paddington to Hereford GWR service at Combe on 19 April 2017. This almost aerial view is from the very tall Grintleyhill Bridge, which apart from a public footpath, merely gives access to a very remote cottage down by the River Evenlode.

43161 Kemble Wick 30 August 2017

A drizzly day at Kemble Wick on 30 August 2017. 43161 has just emerged from Kemble Tunnel with the 1L50 10:36 Cheltenham Spa to Paddington GWR service. The short length of Kemble Tunnel can be gauged by the fact that even at this angle, you can see straight though it!

43161 Hinksey 7 February 2018

43161 brings up the rear of the 1W27 13:22 Paddington to Worcester Foregate Street GWR service at Hinksey on 7 February 2018. A going away shot, but perfect light on the classic HST that is now living on borrowed time in the Oxford area.

43161 Bremell Sidings (site of) 22 April 2018

43161 passes the site of Bremell Sidings on 22 April 2018 with the 1G42 14:34 Paddington to Cheltenham Spa GWR service. Presumably in a few years time the field behind the power car will be covered in houses, just like the one in the distance. Since I started taking photos in the area in 1978, Swindon has sprawled out to the west, covering huge areas around the former small hamlets of Moredon, Common Platt and Shaw with vast housing estates.

43161 Lyneham 14 May 2018

43161 catches the last of the evening light, as it passes Lyneham on 14 May 2018 with the 1W03 18:22 Paddington to Hereford GWR service. This was running 23 minutes late, a not uncommon experience on the Cotswold Line in recent years.

43161 Chilson 21 June 2018

The longest day, and the sun is already high in the sky by 08:38, and as is often the case, after a clear start, clouds are starting to build up in the background. 43161 passes Chilson on 21 June 2018 with the 1P18 06:42 Hereford to Paddington GWR service.

43161 Steventon 2 August 2018

43161 approaches Steventon on 2 August 2018 with the 1L36 08:31 Cheltenham Spa to Paddington GWR service. The post and wire fence in the foreground is almost a wire and wire fence in places! Presumably this dates from the age of steam.

43161 Westley Wood 30 December 2018

43161 passes through Westley Wood on 30 December 2018 with the 1G14 09:38 Swindon to Cheltenham Spa GWR service. Out of sight on the rear is 43198 Oxfordshire 2007. Despite taking railway photographs in the area for over 40 years, this is the first time that I had visited this location. Apart from the fact that the spot is very difficult to photograph if the sun is out, I can't really think of a good reason why I hadn't visited before! Frampton Mansell church can be seen in the background.

43162 Crofton 15 January 1991

A friendly wave from the driver of 43162, as it leads the 1A43 09:35 Plymouth to Paddington service past Kennet & Avon Canal Lock No. 57 at Crofton on 15 January 1991. After many years of restoration, the Kennet & Avon Canal had reopened throughout the previous year, and is now a well used tourist waterway.

43162 Croome 19 August 1995

43162 Borough of Stevenage passes Croome on 19 August 1995 with the 1E29 06:20 Plymouth to Newcastle service. 43162 was originally named in 1984, but the standard style nameplates were removed in 1990 at Laira and replaced by the crude thin modern style, which barely show up in the picture. 

43162 Sunny Hill 18 August 1996

43162 passes Sunny Hill Recreation Ground, as it approaches Derby on 18 August 1996 with the 1E28 09:16 Bristol Temple Meads to Newcastle service. Willington Power Station can be seen in the background, still with three years power generation ahead of it when this picture was taken.

43162 Micklefield 4 September 1999

Old style Paxman Valenta pollution! 43162 throws out some black clag as it approaches Micklefield on 4 September 1999 with the 1V59 13:41 Newcastle to Swansea Virgin CrossCountry service. You can see why its a good idea to paint the roof black!

43162 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 8 September 2005

The track workers stand aside, as 43162 leads the 1C19 15:00 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads First Great Western service past Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 8 September 2005. A bit more high-vis in evidence than when I photographed a similar scene in 1987.

43162 Ascott-under-Wychwood 11 August 2012

A van crosses the level crossing at Ascott-under-Wychwood directly behind the 1P31 07:10 Hereford to Paddington First Great Western service on 11 August 2012. 43162 is leading in this extreme telephoto view, which emphasises the difference in alignment between the recently re-instated double track in the foreground, and the original in the distance. This view from the Mill Lane bridge used to be a very good photographic vantage point in the 1980s, but latterly became very overgrown. The new double track means things are slightly better, but a very long lens is still needed to clear the foreground bushes.

43162 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 23 October 2013

43162 leads the 1L34 07:28 Swansea to Paddington First Great Western service past Circourt Bridge, Denchworth in fantastic autumn light on 23 October 2013. One of the main rules of photographic composition is to never have the horizon running through the centre of the picture. However, in this case I couldn't resist including more of the dark clouds, that were luckily only depositing rain some distance from where I was standing! Needless to say, this superb lighting didn't last very long.

43162 Shrivenham 4 September 2014

43162 passes Shrivenham in hazy light on 4 September 2014 with the 1B25 10:45 Paddington to Swansea First Great Western service. The bushes on the right gradually grew up over the years, compromising this viewpoint. It would take the electrification of the line a couple of years later to remove them. That, however didn't help when the mast went up!

43162 Uffington 28 October 2014

Under an uninterrupted blue sky, 43162 passes Uffington on 28 October 2014 with the 1L42 08:28 Swansea to Paddington First Great Western service. Note that the first class coaches are unusually at the 'country' end of the train.

43162 Challow 21 March 2016

43162 passes Challow on 21 March 2016 with the 1A12 07:40 Paignton to Paddington GWR service. The green signal in the middle of the gantry indicates that the 1C09 10:00 Paddington to Paignton service is not very far away.

43162 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 15 August 2016

The desecration of my favourite photographic vantage point of Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, was almost complete by the summer of 2016. 43162 leads the 1C17 14:00 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads GWR service through the forest of masts on 15 August 2016, while the 1L62 12:28 Swansea to Paddington disappears into the distance. On the extreme right the chimney and surviving cooling towers of the disused Didcot Power Station can just be seen.

43162 Compton Beauchamp 26 August 2016

43162 passes Compton Beauchamp on 26 August 2016 with the 1A12 07:40 Paignton to Paddington GWR service. What a pity this set wasn't the other way round, as 'Building A Greater West' vinyl covered 43146 is on the rear!

43162 Stonesfield 8 May 2018

Shortly after dawn on 8 May 2018, 43162 Exeter Panel Signal Box 21st Anniversary 2009 passes Stonesfield with the 1P07 04:47 Hereford to Paddington GWR service. Even at this distance, the large red backed nameplate is clearly visible. A much travelled name, first appearing on 43163, and then 43012. As both locos have moved to Scotland, it is now 43162's turn to carry the plates!

43162 Moreton-in-Marsh (Dunstall Bridge) 31 March 2019

43162 Exeter Panel Signal Box 21st Anniversary 2009 approaches Dunstall Bridge, near Moreton-in-Marsh, on 31 March 2019 with the 1W39 13:37 Paddington to Worcester Foregate Street GWR service. 43185 Great Western is bringing up the rear. This and the returning 1P69 16:27 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington were two of the last scheduled Cotswold Line HST services.

43162 Hanborough 18 May 2019

Keeping up GWR's Cotswold Line tradition of late running, 43162 Exeter Panel Signal Box 21st Anniversary 2009 slowly pulls away from Hanborough station on 18 May 2019 with the penultimate northbound scheduled HST working over the line, the 1W29 11:22 Paddington to Great Malvern on 18 May 2019. As it was running half an hour late due to signalling problems between Oxford and Banbury, it was terminated at Worcester Shrub Hill. 43172 Harry Patch - The last survivor of the trenches is on the rear.

43163 & 43040 Compton Beauchamp 25 June 1996

43163 & 43040 head west along the Great Western Mainline on 25 June 1996 en-route from Old Oak Common to St Philips Marsh, Bristol. Although never common, these back to back power car moves were more frequent in the 1980s and 1990s and certainly made an interesting picture. In contrast to normal light engine convoy workings, which I do not normally bother to photograph unless the consist is particularly interesting, I always find these 'ultra short HST' working particularly photogenic.

43163 Uffington 1 December 2007

While stood on my stepladder, slowly sinking into the mud of a field near Uffington on 1 December 2007, the opportunity was taken to take a broadside picture of one of the many HSTs that passed. This called for split second timing and 1/2000 sec shutter speed! Refurbished 43163 heads west with the 10:30 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads First Great Western service. Note the taped up window in the guards compartment.

43163 Wolvercote 15 August 2008

43163 leads the 1P44 11:06 Great Malvern to Paddington First Great Western service past Wolvercote on 15 August 2008. It is accelerating after having just come off the Cotswold Line at Wolvercote Junction, just out of sight around the corner. In fact, the signal controlling the approach to Wolvercote Junction in the down direction can just be seen in the background displaying a red aspect, as this train has had to weave across to join the main line, therefore blocking the down line.

43163 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 27 August 2009

43163 Exeter Panel Signal Box 21st Anniversary 2009 passes the site of Ashbury Crossing at Shrivenham on 27 August 2009 with the 1B40 13:45 Paddington to Swansea First Great Western service. Note the large red backed nameplate which was unveiled during the previous month.

43163 Lower Moor 16 April 2010

43163 Exeter Panel Signal Box 21st Anniversary 2009 (note the large red backed nameplate) catches a very brief burst of sunshine at Lower Moor on 16 April 2010, as it works the 1W29 11:21 Paddington to Great Malvern First Great Western service. The huge recently constructed bank of greenhouses in the background hardly adds to the view, although as this is the Vale of Evesham, it should hardly comes as a surprise to see them being built.

43163 Kings Sutton 15 October 2010

43163 Exeter Panel Signal Box 21st Anniversary 2009 passes through Kings Sutton station on 15 October 2010 with the 1Z12 09:57 Banbury to Westbury First Great Western proving run, in connection with planned diversions over the Christmas period. It had earlier worked the 1Z11 08:03 Paddington to Banbury with 43183 leading, providing the very rare sight of an HST on the Chiltern Line. It would later work the 1Z13 12:10 Westbury to Waterloo and 1Z14 15:10 Waterloo to Paddington.

43163 Chilson 11 August 2012

43163 Exeter Panel Signal Box 21st Anniversary 2009 passes Chilson on 11 August 2012 with the 1P37 08:43 Great Malvern to Paddington First Great Western service. Coincidentally the previous train was worked by consecutively numbered 43162. Although this train passed in superb sunshine, the promised totally sunny day did not materialise, with fog early on, and high cloud turning the sun very milky in the afternoon.

43163 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 26 February 2014

43163 passes Circourt Bridge, Denchworth on 26 February 2014 with the 1C14 12:30 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads First Great Western service. The somewhat bizarre looking vinyls are advertising Singapore Airlines.

43163 Uffington 16 April 2014

Singapore Airlines advertising 43163 passes Uffington on 16 April 2014 with the 1L42 07:30 Carmarthen to Paddington First Great Western service. The train is slowing down for a 50mph restriction over new track near the site of Uffington station.

43163 South Marston 30 July 2014

43163 shows off its 'Plymouth - Britain's Ocean City' livery, as it passes South Marston on 30 July 2014 with the 1L28 07:08 Worcester Shrub Hill to Paddington First Great Western service. This is definitely an improvement on its previous Singapore Airlines advertising colour scheme. The line curving away behind the power car is the short branch to the South Marston Euro Terminal, which as can be seen from the rusty state of the track, sees very little use.

43163 Baulking 4 August 2014

'Visit Plymouth' liveried 43163 leads the 1L46 09:55 Cardiff Central to Paddington First Great Western service past Baulking on 4 August 2014, on the day that marks 100 years since the start of the First World War, and on a lighter note, 60 years since the maiden flight of the English Electric Lightning jet fighter.

43163 Woodborough 23 August 2014

A new footbridge has been provided at Woodborough, crossing the eastern end of the loop lines. 'Visit Plymouth' liveried 43163 passes underneath on 23 August 2014 with the 1A83 09:54 Penzance to Paddington First Great Western. Considering Network Rail's reluctance to provide appropriate bridges at other locations, this seems a very extravagant use of resources. The little used footpath which joins up with the road just a few yards to the left of this picture, could surely be diverted to run along the field boundary on the right, therefore eliminating the need for a bridge entirely. Look how close the bridge is to my vantage point on the nearby road bridge. Hardly much of a detour for ramblers!

43163 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 22 September 2014

Plymouth liveried 43163 passes Circourt Bridge, Denchworth on 22 September 2014 with the 1A14 11:00 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington First Great Western service. I had photographed this power car at the same location earlier in the year, although on that occasion it was coming from the other direction, and it was in its previous advertising livery incarnation.

43163 Denchworth 4 November 2014

43163 passes milepost 62 at Denchworth on 4 November 2014 with the 1A10 09:00 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington First Great Western service. The much frequented Circourt Bridge is in the background, although on this morning, completely free of photographers.

43163 South Moreton (Didcot East) 19 December 2014

'Visit Plymouth' liveried 43163 leads the 1A11 09:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington First Great Western service past South Moreton (Didcot East) on 19 December 2014. The two small chimneys of the gas fired Didcot B Power Station, and the tall chimney form the disused coal fired Didcot A Power Station can be seen in the background.

43163 Culham 11 June 2015

The City of Plymouth advertising livery is a little out of place in the Oxfordshire countryside, but First Great Western have yet to devise a City of Oxford colour scheme (hint, hint!). 43163 passes Culham on 11 June 2015 with the 1W07 17:22 Paddington to Hereford service.

43163 Compton Beauchamp 11 September 2015

43163, with its unique 'Plymouth - Britain's Ocean City' livery, passes Compton Beauchamp on 11 September 2015 with the 1L50 10:36 Cheltenham Spa to Paddington First Great Western service. The first signs of autumn can be seen in the bushes behind the train.

43163 Bourton 23 September 2015

43163 passes Bourton on 23 September 2015 with the 1A10 09:00 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington GWR service. This was a colourful HST morning, with the first GWR green liveried set and one of the 'Building A Greater West' power cars having already passed, and the 'Bristol 2015' power car yet to come.

43163 Hinksey 20 January 2016

43163 brings up the rear of the 1W33 13:22 Paddington to Worcester Foregate Street GWR service at Hinksey Yard on 20 January 2016. The cranes in the background are working on the site of Oxford's Westgate Shopping Centre redevelopment.

43163 Bourton 28 January 2016

43163 leads the 1L38 07:58 Swansea to Paddington GWR service past Bourton on the gloriously sunny morning of 28 January 2016. Not really very appropriate advertising, extolling the virtues of Plymouth on a train that comes from South Wales!

43163 Uffington 25 February 2016

43163 speeds past Uffington on 25 February 2016 with the 1A13 10:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington GWR service. I had noted this going west a couple of hours earlier on the rear of the 1C05 08:00 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads, and a quick check of the diagrams revealed it would return with this train. However, by this time the clouds that the Met Office had correctly predicted were building up rapidly. As I heard it approaching, I could see the fields both in the background, and to the north of the line going dark, as a large cloud enveloped the sun. Miraculously the light held just long enough to get this shot, and at least the clouds give the picture an impressive background.

43163 Denchworth 20 April 2016

43163 passes Denchworth with the 1G47 15:36 Paddington to Cheltenham GWR service on 20 April 2016. Finally, after an afternoon of nothing but blue HSTs, one of the GWR's vinyl covered power cars puts in an appearance. Note the signs of the hugely delayed and massively over budget electrification scheme.

43163 Sonning 26 April 2016

'Visit Plymouth' liveried 43163 passes through the recently cleared Sonning cutting on 26 April 2016 with the 1L24 06:28 Swansea to Paddington GWR service. The totally illogical way in which the Great Western electrification scheme is proceeding means that both to the west and east of Sonning the masts are up, but no sign of them here!

43163 Compton Beauchamp 26 August 2016

Immediately recognisable, even at a distance, 'Plymouth - Britain's Ocean City' liveried 43163 leads the 1L42 07:30 Carmarthen to Paddington GWR service past Compton Beauchamp on 26 August 2016. I said it two years ago, but this must definitely be the last summer of unobstructed photography at this location.

43163 Oaksey 15 September 2016

The instantly reconisable from any distance, 'Plymouth - Britain's Ocean City' liveried 43163 passes some major embankment strengthening work at Oaksey on 15 September 2016, as it heads towards Swindon with the 1L67 14:36 Cheltenham Spa to Paddington GWR service.

43163 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 10 October 2016

43163 brings up the rear of the 1B17 09:15 Paddington to Swansea GWR service at Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 10 October 2016. A going away shot, but a special livery, and full autumn sun, so why not! Full sets of masts here, but only one wire at the moment.

43163 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 2 November 2016

43163 approaches Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 2 November 2016 with the 1B46 14:45 Paddington to Swansea GWR service, passing some of the hugely delayed electrification infrastructure. If Network Rail had been in charge of the gauge conversion in 1892, we would probably still have broad gauge, such is their incredibly slow rate of work!

43163 South Marston 11 February 2017

43163 passes South Marston on the gloom on 11 February 2017 with the 1G29 12:15 Paddington to Cheltenham Spa GWR service. The miserable weather has given the opportunity to take the photograph from the north side of the line.

43163 Bourton 13 March 2017

43163 passes Bourton on 13 March 2017 with the 1L50 10:36 Cheltenham Spa to Paddington GWR service. Half an hour earlier, 43185 Great Western had passed by with the 1A13 10:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington service.

43163 Badsey 8 July 2017

Inappropriate advertising! 'Visit Plymouth' liveried 43163 passes Badsey on 8 July 2017 with the late running 1P65 15:13 Hereford to Paddington GWR service. A 'Visit Oxford' or 'Visit Worcester' branding would be more suitable for the Cotswold Line.

43163 Compton Beauchamp 17 July 2017

Could this be my last visit to Compton Beauchamp, at least for this classic view from the roadbridge? Although the masts are on the south side of the line here, there will soon be a double mast (similar to the one in the distance) right in the foreground of this view. 43163 passes the new ironmongery on 17 July 2017 with the 1G47 15:36 Paddington to Cheltenham Spa GWR service.

43164 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 16 December 2006

43164 gleams in the low winter sun as it approaches the site of Ashbury Crossing, near Shrivenham on 16 December 2006 with the 1C14 12:30 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads First Great Western service. It is hardly surprising that it looks clean, as it had only arrived back from refurbishment and re-engining at Brush a few weeks previously. It would however soon have to go back for rectification work.

43164 Hailey Wood 1 September 2007

43164 rounds the curve on the approach to Hailey Wood (between Sapperton on Coates) with the 1L22 07:29 Cheltenham to Paddington First Great Western service on 1 September 2007. This train has just emerged from Sapperton Tunnel, and will shortly be passing over the line of the much earlier Thames & Severn Canal Tunnel.

43164 Little Bedwyn 25 June 2010

A sparkling bright morning at Little Bedwyn on 35 June 2010. 43164 races past the tranquil Kennet & Avon Canal, as it heads towards the capital with the 1A74 05:53 Plymouth to Paddington First Great Western service. This is a limited stop service, running non-stop between Taunton and Reading.

43164 Hungerford Common 22 May 2012

43164 passes Hungerford Common on 22 May 2012 with the 1A81 08:44 Penzance to Paddington First Great Western service. This was the last westbound train on the line for most of the rest of the day, as a fatality at Ufton Nervet Level Crossing closed the line shortly afterwards. The train involved in the fatality was the 1C83 12:18 Paddington to Taunton, which came to a stand at around 13:10. As 43164's train should have passed Ufton at around 13:05, presumably it passed the scene just moments before the accident.

43164 Chilson 1 December 2012

The sun just starts to peek out from behind the early morning clouds, as 43164 passes Chilson on 1 December 2012 with the 1P37 08:43 Great Malvern to Paddington First Great Western service. Clearly visible in the background is Ascott Mill, which is situated well away from the rest of Ascott-under-Wychwood village.

43164 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 26 February 2014

43164 approaches Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 26 February 2014 with the 1C13 12:00 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads First Great Western service. Their timekeeping may leave a lot to be desired, by FGW do usually keep their trains clean!

43164 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 15 March 2014

Viewed from the footbridge at the site of Ashbury Crossing, 43164 passes Shrivenham on 15 March 2014 with the 1G38 13:36 Paddington to Cheltenham Spa service. There aren't many locations in the area where not a single bush is growing by the lineside fence!

43164 Bourton 17 September 2014

The horse in the field takes no notice as 43164 speeds past Bourton on 17 September 2014 with the 1G38 13:36 Paddington to Cheltenham First Great Western service. There are still no signs of the impending electrification here. No half rammed in piles, or other unsightly works. The signal gantry and Steppingstone Bridge (in the background) as yet remain untouched.

43164 Steventon 29 September 2015

43164 races past Steventon on 29 September 2015 with the 1B37 13:15 Paddington to Cardiff Central GWR service. In the background is the soon to be demolished 650 feet tall chimney of the redundant coal fired Didcot 'A' Power Station.

43164 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 20 January 2016

A frosty morning in the field just to the west of Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 20 January 2016. 43164 heads towards London with the 1A12 07:40 Paignton to Paddington GWR service. This is not a location that I had visited before, partly because if anyone was photographing from Circourt Bridge, I would be in their picture. Luckily, despite the sunny weather, there were no other photographers around on this occasion.

43164 Tockenham Wick 16 February 2016

With the background still obscured by early morning mist, 43164 climbs Dauntsey Bank near Tockenham Wick on 16 February 2016 with the 1A10 09:00 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington GWR Service. The chimney of the former Dauntsey Creamery stands out amid the trees.

43164 Steventon 28 August 2017

43164 passes the short mast free 'Steventon Gap' on 28 August 2017 with the 1L46 09:55 Cardiff Central to Paddington GWR service. Disputes over what will happen to the bridge I am standing on are delaying Network Rail's attempt to wire this section of the line.

43165 Oxford 21 October 1988

On the morning of 21 October 1988, the area to the north of Oxford station was enveloped in fog, whilst just to the south the early morning sun was trying to break through. 43165 emerges into the light, as it leaves Oxford station with the 1A18 07:07 Hereford to Paddington service.

43165 Compton Beauchamp 29 May 2002

43165 carries the early version of the First Great Western purple livery in this view at Compton Beauchamp on 29 May 2002. Only a few power cars received this stylish but presumably difficult to keep clean livery. It is working the 17:30 Paddington to Carmarthen service.

43165 Banbury 2 January 2011

43165 Prince Michael of Kent arrives at Banbury on 2 January 2011 with the 1C09 08:45 Paddington to Plymouth First Great Western service, diverted via the Chiltern Line and Oxford due to engineering work at Reading. Amazingly, two new semaphore signals have been provided at Banbury in order to allow these diverted HSTs to reverse in the station. Although generally a dull day, there was an annoying band of brightness near the horizon which I thought would spoil this picture. However, with considerable work in Photoshop, the result isn't too bad, and I even think the glint effect along the side of the train adds to the picture.

43165 & 221133 Up Hatherley 14 March 2011

A very lucky passing shot at Up Hatherley on 14 March 2011. 43165 Prince Michael of Kent accelerates away from Cheltenham with the 1L58 12:31 First Great Western departure to Paddington, while 221133 heads in the opposite direction with the 1M41 10:06 Paignton to Manchester Piccadilly CrossCountry service.

43165 Uffington 30 October 2012

A single ploughed furrow across the stubble field makes an interesting photographic foreground to this view at Uffington on 30 October 2012. 43165 Prince Michael of Kent passes by with the 1A11 09:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington First Great Western service. All trains were running a few minutes late on this occasion, due to a speed restriction just to the west of this point.

43165 Fritwell 13 April 2013

43165 Prince Michael of Kent passes Fritwell on 7 April 2013 with the diverted 1A16 11:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington First Great Western service. It has just emerged from Ardley Tunnel, having earlier reversed at Banbury, in order to access the Chiltern Line.

43165 Challow 2 January 2014

My first picture of 2014. 43165 Prince Michael of Kent passes the site of Challow station on 2 January 2014 with the 1L32 06:58 Swansea to Paddington First Great Western service. I have lots of HST pictures taken here with more even lighting, but just for a change I like the train standing out against a largely shadowed foreground.

43165 Woodborough 23 August 2014

An everyday picture of a HST on the Berks & Hants Line? Not quite, as this is in fact the diverted 1G38 13:12 Paddington to Cheltenham First Great Western service. 43165 Prince Michael of Kent leads the train through a brief patch of sunshine at Woodborough on 23 August 2014. The black clouds in the background were unfortunately a sign of things to come! The train's normal route via Swindon was closed due to engineering works in association with the opening of the new double track section of the Swindon to Kemble line.

43165 Uffington 22 April 2015

43165 Prince Michael of Kent passes a field of oilseed rape near Uffington on 22 April 2015 with the 1C15 13:00 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads First Great Western service. I resisted the temptation with this picture to stand in such a position that the entire foreground was filled with yellow. The resulting blue, yellow and brown colour contrast makes a more interesting composition.

43165 Steventon 19 January 2016

Signs of impending electrification at Steventon on 19 January 2016. 43165 Prince Michael of Kent passes a rusty tubular steel pile, lying in the grass next to a pair that have managed to be successfully driven in. The train is the 1B40 13:45 Paddington to Swansea GWR service.

43165 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 4 February 2017

What a pity that this wasn't the other way round! 43165 Prince Michael of Kent approaches the site of Ashbury Crossing, Shrivenham, on 4 February 2017 with the 1C16 13:27 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads GWR service. The much more colourful 43185 Great Western can just be seen on the rear. Note the seemingly random installation of the overhead electfrication masts. To the right of the picture there is a line of masts towards Compton Beauchamp, then a gap, then the three masts seen on the right, a gap, the single mast on the left, another gap, and so on!

43165 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 13 March 2017

43165 Prince Michael of Kent approaches the site of Ashbury Crossing, Shrivenham, on 13 March 2017 with the 1C15 13:00 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads. After decades of using this vantage point for photography, the masts mark the end of this particular viewpoint.

43165 Chipping Sodbury Tunnel 7 April 2017

43165 Prince Michael of Kent approaches Chipping Sodbury Tunnel on 7 April 2017 with the 1L68 14:56 Cardiff Central to Paddington GWR service. Much work has been done on clearing and stabilising the cutting sides at this location.

43165 Chilson 25 August 2017

43165 Prince Michael of Kent passes Chilson on 25 August 2017 with the 1P19 05:28 Hereford to Paddington GWR service. This was exactly one hour after sunrise, and the sun had only just started to reach the up line, with the down line still in shade. Luckily there wasn't any fog here, but it can clearly be seen in the background. As I was driving along the B4437, I could see a large bank of fog in the River Evenlode valley, and thought this location might be in the middle of it, but fortunately it was at least one field away!

43165 Lyneham 18 April 2018

Framed by a couple of lineside bushes at Lyneham, 43165 Prince Michael of Kent heads south along the Cotswold Line on 18 April 2018 with the late running 1P37 15:51 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington GWR service.

43165 Charlbury (Cornbury Park) 23 October 2018

Not much sign of autumn colours on the trees, but the hawthorn berries, and the red foliage of the dead Rosebay Willowherb plants add to the seasonal colour, as 43165 Prince Michael of Kent pulls our of Charlbury station, and passes Cornbury Park on 23 October 2018 with the 1P31 12:09 Hereford to Paddington GWR service. The tower of Charlbury church can be seen on the right.

43166 Waltham St Lawrence 8 April 1990

With the fast lines closed for Sunday engineering work, 43166 has no alternative but to use the relief line at Waltham St Lawrence on 8 April 1990, as it heads towards London with the 1A17 07:29 Weston-super-Mare to Paddington InterCity service.

43167 South Moreton 12 September 1985

43167 passes South Moreton on 12 September 1985 with the 1F33 12:35 Oxford to Paddington service. Note the unusual formation, with a second TGS vehicle replacing one of the trailer first coaches at the head of the train. The early running 6M23 10:12 Fawley to Longport LPG tanks can just be seen disappearing into the distance.

43167 Wolvercote 7 September 1988

43167 passes Wolvercote on 7 September 1988 with the 1B46 17:15 Paddington to Hereford service. This is the site of Wolvercote Siding (or Wolvercot Siding as the GWR called it). Photo taken from a long since closed footpath crossing.

43167 Charlbury 12 June 1989

A car park full of vintage cars at Charlbury on 12 June 1989, including several Vauxhall Novas and Austin Metros, a Datsun Cherry and a Vauxhall Viva that seems to be losing the battle with the tin worm! 43167 arrives with the 1B48 17:15 Paddington to Hereford InterCity service. I can't imagine health & safety rules now allowing trains to operate without a fence between the car park and the platform!

43168 Croome 9 April 1983

43168 leads the 07:44 Dundee to Plymouth InterCity service past Croome on 9 April 1983. At this time a lot of HSTs were still carrying their Class 253 (Western) and Class 254 (Eastern) set numbers on the front, as initially BR regarded them as multiple units. They are clearly not, and soon they were correctly listed as locomotives and coaches, making the front numbers redundant.

43168 Magor 14 March 1997

43168 leads the 1B34 15:00 Paddington to Swansea First Great Western service past Magor on 14 March 1997. Barely visible through the haze in the far distance, and partly obscured by trees, are the two towers of the new Severn Bridge.

43168 Aller 11 August 1999

43168 appears from out of the fog at Aller on 11 August 1999 with what is presumably a Paddington to Plymouth First Great Western special in connection with the total solar eclipse, which would happen in the West Country later that day. This also explains the long line of road traffic heading west, which I doubt is a normal feature of the Newton Abbot area at 07:20!

43168 Brimpton 19 October 2000

Autumn tints at Brimpton on 19 October 2000, as 43168 heads towards London with the late running 1A27 05:15 Penzance to Paddington 'Golden Hind'. This was the first up train of the morning from Cornwall, if you don't include the one that starts late the previous day. Although not a very inspired livery, and nothing like as attractive as the previous Great Western Trains 'Merlin' colour scheme, I should have made more of an effort to photograph HSTs in First Great Western's 'fag packer' livery. At the time however, I was still chasing all over the country searching out the last of the classic freight traction, and so can be excused for neglecting the everyday local scene.

43168 Aldermaston 23 November 2007

43168 looks superb in the crisp autumn light, as it rounds the curve near Aldermaston on 23 November 2007 with the 1C76 10:05 Paddington to Penzance First Great Western service. This view was ruined shortly afterwards by a radio mast, and a decade later by overhead electfrication masts.

43168 Norton 20 March 2009

43168 slows for the approach to Norton Junction on 20 March 2009, whilst working the 1P56 13:11 Hereford to Paddington First Great Western service, while one of the same operator's Class 158 units disappears around the corner with the 1V94 09:00 Brighton to Great Malvern service.

43168 Uffington 1 June 2009

A late summer evening at Alfred's Hill, Uffington on 1 June 2009. The driver of 43168 is using the traditional newspaper as an addition to the sun shade, as he drives the 1C26 18:30 Paddington to Weston-super-Mare First Great Western service towards the setting sun.

43168 Uffington 13 October 2009

The solitary oak tree in the middle of the field near Uffington makes an for an ideal photographic composition, especially with the shadow running exactly parallel to the train. 43168 heads west on 13 October 2009 with the 1B35 12:45 Paddington to Swansea First Great Western service. After a generally poor summer, the weather in mid October turned out to be much better, with largely sunny days and unseasonably warm temperatures.

43168 Oaksey 8 April 2010

In perfect spring light, 43168 approaches the site of Oaksey station with the 1L67 14:31 Cheltenham to Paddington 'Cheltenham Spa Express' First Great Western service on 8 April 2010. The cutting here has recently been cleared of vegetation by Network Rail, opening up a view that hasn't been available for decades. However, looking at the young ash saplings on the left, this will not last very long!

43168 Uffington 24 October 2013

Clouds rushing in from the west herald the end of the morning's photography, as 43168 catches the last of the sunshine as it speeds eastwards at Uffington on 24 October 2013 with the 1L50 10:31 Cheltenham to Paddington First Great Western service.

43168 Denchworth 23 July 2014

43168 speeds past Denchworth on 23 July 2014 with the 1B37 13:15 Paddington to Cardiff Central First Great Western service. Good practice at 'stopping' the 125mph train in the correct spot using a shutter speed of 1/2000sec, whilst waiting for a slightly slower 60087 to appear on the relief line in the foreground.

43168 Challow 30 July 2014

43168 speeds past Challow on 30 July 2014 with the 1C15 13:00 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads First Great Western service. A commonplace scene, but soon to be changed completely by the Great Western Mainline electrification scheme.

43168 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 16 April 2015

The dark clouds in the background are emphasised by a brief spell of spring sunshine at Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 16 April 2015. The driver of 43168 washes his windscreen, as he speeds westwards with the 1B42 14:15 Paddington to Cardiff Central First Great Western service, while the 1L65 1355 Cardiff Central to Paddington recedes into the distance. Note the two rabbits in the field in the foreground, who have obviously become completely accustomed to HSTs passing by at regular intervals!

43168 Oaksey 1 September 2017

43168 brings up the rear of the 1G11 07:36 Paddington to Cheltenham Spa GWR service at Oaksey on 1 September 2017. The ivy covered bridge looks picturesque, but after years of total neglect of the railway, Network Rail's new found zeal for trackside maintenance saw it removed several months after this picture was taken.

43169 Uffington 18 December 2004

43169 The National Trust speeds past the site of Uffington loops with the 1A17 12:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington First Great Western service on 18 December 2004. The area of ballast to the right of the train shows where the former loop was located. There were in fact loops on both sides of the line here, but after the re-installation of the relief lines between Wantage Road and Challow in 1994, these shorter loops were considered redundant and were subsequently removed, although as can be seen here, the signal controlling the exit from the up loop remained in situ!

43169 Uffington 30 July 2011

43169 The National Trust passes Uffington under a very milky sky on 30 July 2011 with the 1A13 10:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington First Great Western service. Network Rail have just finished strengthening the embankment here, which has included a long section reinforced with steel piling. The once numerous rabbit population in the foreground field have also recently been evicted by the farmer. However, unless there is a race of super rabbits at Uffington, I don't think they had anything to do with the embankment collapse!

43169 Standish Junction 31 August 2013

43169 The National Trust approaches Standish Junction (where it will diverge to the left) on 31 August 2013 with the 1L50 10:31 Cheltenham to Paddington First Great Western service. Photo taken from a public footpath crossing.

43169 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 30 December 2014

With the disused coal fired Didcot Power Station in the background, 43169 The National Trust approaches Circourt Bridge, Denchworth on 30 December 2014 with the 1C17 14:00 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads First Great Western service. Note the electrification foundation pile sticking up in the air to the left of the rear of the train.

43169 Denchworth 11 November 2016

43169 The National Trust passes the newly erected electfrication masts at Denchworth on 11 November 2016, as it heads westwards with the 1B35 12:45 Paddington to Swansea GWR service. What would Brunel make of Network Rail's efforts to desecrate his original Great Western Railway?

43169 Didcot North Junction 28 August 2017

43169 The National Trust approaches Didcot North Junction on 28 August 2017 with the 1P35 08:26 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington GWR service. In the background, the 1W19 09:22 Paddington to Worcester Foregate Street service is passing the masts of the massively delayed, horrendously over budget, and staggeringly incompetently managed electfrication scheme.

43169 Grove 30 November 2017

43169 The National Trust passes a frosty field at Grove on 30 November 2017 with the 1A09 07:13 Taunton to Paddington GWR service. Even though it was bitterly cold, the sun soon melted the foreground frost, so this was well worth arriving early for.

43169 Hinksey 7 February 2018

43169 The National Trust passes Hinksey Yard on 7 February 2018 with the 1P31 12:09 Hereford to Paddington GWR service. This was running quite slowly, as bizarrely the late running 4O21 09:15 Trafford Park to Southampton Western Docks intermodal had been let out right in front of it. After three hours of photography in the biting cold, it was now time to go home, especially as the sun was starting to disappear into high cloud coming in from the west. In fact, the sun had only just reappeared from behind a cloud a few minutes before this train was due.

43170 Eckington 9 April 1983

43170 crosses over the River Avon at Eckington on 9 April 1983 with the 1E30 07:05 Plymouth to Leeds InterCity service. I've often thought that sitting in a boat in the middle of the river would be the ideal photographic vantage point here, especially when the water is calm, like on this perfect spring morning. At least there is a partial refection of the power car in this more conventional viewpoint from the river bank.

43170 St George's 20 April 1985

A rather battered looking 43170 leads the 1A32 09:14 Swansea to Paddington service past St George's on 20 April 1985. This was one of those days when the sky seemed to be largely filled with clouds, but virtually every train came along in a sunny spell. If only it was always like that!

43170 Foxhall Junction 31 July 1986

43170 finds a brief sunny spell as it approaches Foxhall Junction on 31 July 1986 with the 11:19 Weston-super-Mare to Paddington. Didcot Power Station's huge coal stockpile dominates the background of this view, which is now much more restricted with tree growth. The four separate signal posts seen here have since been replaced by a gantry spanning all lines.

43170 Kemble 20 June 1987

43170 moves away from Kemble station on 20 June 1987 with the 1A15 07:23 Cheltenham to Paddington InterCity service. This picture gives a good overall view of what was once an important junction station, with lines diverging to Tetbury and Cirencester. The Tetbury trains diverged to the left, passing the water tower, while the trains to Cirencester departed from the curved platform on the right. Note the covered and glazed walkway that links the main building with the former Cirencester platform.

43170 Coates 16 August 1987

The site of Coates station (near Kemble) made an excellent location for photography in the 1980s, as vegetation had yet to start colonising the old station site (it is not that bad even now). 43170 passes by on 16 August 1987 with the 1B34 14:50 Paddington to Cheltenham service. And yes, that is my car in the background. A 1978 Mk1 Vauxhall Cavalier, which was pretty basic motoring. Also, 24 mpg is not very good for a 1.6 litre engine!

43170 Hinksey 5 July 1991

43170 passes the southern end of Hinksey Yard on 5 July 1991 with the 1A15 06:05 Hereford to Paddington InterCity service. Whereas now lines of engineer's wagons would be seen in the area between the middle of the train and the distant footbridge, in 1991 it was nothing but grass and bushes!

43170 Potbridge 1 January 2011

43170 leads the 1V10 12:33 Waterloo to Penzance First Great Western service past Potbridge (between Woking and Basingstoke) on 1 January 2011. Diverted away from its normal route due to the engineering blockade at Reading, it provides the very unusual sight of an HST working along the EMU dominated 750V DC electrified former Southern Railway line to the west.

43170 Challow 8 December 2014

43170 speeds past the site of Challow station on 8 December 2014 with the 1L42 07:30 Carmarthen to Paddington First Great Western service. On this occasion only about half of the booked passenger trains were running due to major signalling problems in the London area causing mass cancellations. Challow station, along with the other minor stations between Didcot and Swindon (Steventon, Wantage Road, Uffington and Shrivenham) closed to passengers almost exactly fifty years earlier, on 7 December 1964.

43170 Charlbury (Cornbury Park) 13 June 2015

43170 pulls away from Charlbury station, and rejoins the single track section of the Cotswold Line on 13 June 2015, as it passes Cornbury Park with the 1P65 15:13 Hereford to Paddington First Great Western service. Although obviously a sunny shot would be better, I rather like the way the recent rain highlights the fresh green foliage, complimented by the dark sky in the background.

43170 Callow Hill 16 February 2016

43170 passes Callow Hill on 16 February 2016 with the 1L48 09:28 Swansea to Paddington GWR service. This had been running exactly to time until Chipping Sodbury, when it caught up with the late running 4O70 09:58 Wentloog to Southampton Maritime freightliner. Bizarrely, this was not looped, and so continued to get in the way until Swindon. By this time the HST was running 25 minutes late, a delay from which it did not recover. Note that this train is unusually running with the first class coaches at the country, rather than the London end.

43170 Kingham 9 July 2016

Bang, bang, bang! With severe wheel flats (or some similar suspension problem) on the second coach, 43170 leads the 1W06 16:22 Paddington to Hereford GWR service into Kingham station on 9 July 2016. This is a recently created viewpoint from the station's repositioned footbridge. The base of the old bridge on platform 2 can be seen newly converted into flower beds.

43170 Hungerford Common 21 September 2018

43170 passes Hungerford Common on 21 September 2018 with the diverted 1A08 06:28 Exeter St Davids to Paddington GWR service. Axle counter problems at Challow caused this to be diverted via the Berks & Hants route. Note the recent evidence of tree removal on the left, also the unfortunate positioning of my car in the background!

43170 Hungerford Common 24 September 2018

There was some kind of signalling problem at Hungerford on 24 September 2018, with trains stopped in both directions at one point. Here we see 43170 bringing up the rear of the 1C78 11:03 Paddington to Plymouth GWR service, as it slowly comes to a stand at the red signal next to the bridge, while hidden from view just the other side of the bridge, the late running 1K17 11:41 Bedwyn to Paddington DMU is doing the same.

43171 Briton Ferry 25 March 1987

43171 is pictured approaching Briton Ferry on 25 March 1987 with the 15:35 Swansea to Paddington service. The consist is an almost complete rake of original liveried vehicles, except for the rear power car. At this date Briton Ferry station (now situated on the other side of the bridge this photo was taken from) had yet to be reopened.

43171 Blackwell 19 April 1988

Still wearing its obsolete set number 253045, 43171 passes the banner repeater signal at Blackwell on 19 April 1988 with the 11:00 Leeds to Plymouth service on 19 April 1988. The train is about to descend the 1 in 37 Lickey Incline. Blackwell station (which closed in 1965) was situated just at the end of the fence on the left, occupying the waste ground in front of the conifer tree.

43171 Didcot North Junction 22 June 1989

Having just traversed the east chord that avoids Didcot station, 43171 passes Didcot North Junction on 22 June 1989 with the 1B58 18:15 Paddington to Hereford 'Cathedrals Express'. The practice of displaying the obsolete Class 253 set numbers on the front of HST power cars was rapidly dying out by this time.

43171 Whiteball 2 May 1994

Proving that the InterCity swallow livery could look smart when clean, 43171 climbs towards Whiteball Summit on 2 May 1994 with the 1A45 09:35 Plymouth to Paddington. Most untypical bank holiday weather - blue skies with not a cloud visible all day!

43171 Bradford-on-Avon 9 January 2000

43171 approaches Bradford-on-Avon on 9 January 2000 with the diverted 08:45 Weston-super-Mare to Paddington First Great Western service. The train would complete its journey via the Berks & Hants line, as its normal route via Swindon was closed for engineering works.

43171 Uffington 18 December 2004

43171 leads the 1C14 12:30 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads First Great Western service past the site of Uffington station on 18 December 2004. A dull day is required for this viewpoint, as it is taken from the north side of the line. It has been many years since there was any kind of viewpoint from the south side of the line at this location.

43171 Wolvercote 10 April 2010

The first signs of spring are evident in the lineside trees at Wolvercote on 10 April 2010, as 43171 heads south with the 1P31 07:10 Hereford to Paddington First Great Western service. Although not evident here, there is a large lake behind the trees on the left. The Oxford Canal on the right, and Port Meadow, which is just on the other side of the bridge regularly floods in winter. There can be quite a lot of water in this vicinity at times!

43171 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 2 September 2013

Newspapers stuffed behind the sun visor still provide a low tech solution when driving into the sun! 43171 leads the 1L32 06:58 Swansea to Paddington First Great Western service past Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 2 September 2013.

43171 Kemble 7 June 2014

Viewed from above the northern portal of Kemble Tunnel, 43171 pulls out of the station with the 1L50 11:00 Cheltenham Spa to Paddington First Great Western service. The train is just entering the long single track section to Swindon.

43171 Culham 18 July 2015

Superb early morning light at Culham on 18 July 2015, with the disused Didcot Power Station in the background. Three of its cooling towers have already been demolished, and the other three, along with the turbine hall and chimney, are living on borrowed time. 43171 passes the scene with the 1W10 05:21 Paddington to Great Malvern First Great Western service.

43171 Denchworth 22 August 2015

43171 speeds past Denchworth on 22 August 2015 with the 1B40 13:45 Paddington to Swansea First Great Western service. Although the signal gantry slightly compromises photography here, that is nothing compared with what it will look like when the massively delayed electrification scheme finally reaches here!

43171 Shrivenham 3 October 2015

43171 speeds past the site of Shrivenham station on 3 October 2015 with the 1L42 08:28 Swansea to Paddington GWR service. After surviving unscathed for just over half a century since closure in 1964, the old platforms have finally been breached in order to construct a new road bridge, the footings of which can clearly be seen in the foreground. All this work is in preparation for the much delayed Great Western Mainline electrification.

43171 Little Haresfield 7 June 2017

Still accelerating away from Standish Junction (just visible near the bridge in the background), 43171 passes Little Haresfield on 7 June 2017 with the late running 1G21 09:36 Paddington to Cheltenham Spa GWR service.

43171 Uffington 22 September 2017

43171 speeds past Uffington on 22 September 2017 with the 1L34 07:28 Swansea to Paddington GWR service. Despite having taken many hundreds if pictures of HSTs in this area, the prospect of a sunny morning saw me visiting this familiar field once again, before the veteran locos move to pastures new, and the long delayed electfrication makes photography much more difficult.

43171 Daylesford 17 November 2017

43171 brings up the rear of the 1W01 10:22 Paddington to Hereford GWR service at Daylesford on 17 November 2017. Although it looks like the side panelling is relatively new, this bridge has always looked like this every since I can remember. Definitely a non-standard design.

43171 Moreton-in-Marsh (Dunstall Bridge) 7 January 2018

43171 accelerates away from Moreton-in-Marsh station on 7 January 2018 with the 1P51 13:15 Great Malvern to Paddington GWR service. The station can just be seen in the background, beyond the lower quadrant signals. Although these iconic HSTs will soon be replaced by Class 800 DMUs, at least I should be grateful that I live so near a line that still has working semaphore signals!

43171 Charlbury (Cornbury Park) 5 December 2018

With Class 800 DMUs taking over Cotswold Line services during 2018, by the end of the year one of the few trains still worked by HSTs was the 1W01 10:22 Paddington to Hereford GWR service, and the 1P39 15:14 Hereford to Paddington return. 43171 is seen here passing Cornbury Park, as it slows down on the approach to Charlbury station on 5 December 2018. As HSTs are now so rare, I thought I would also do the going away shot, which was opportune, as it was 43002 Sir Kenneth Grange, which I hadn't noticed as the train approached.

43171 Hungerford Common 15 May 2019

In the last week of HST operation on the Berks & Hants route, 43171 approaches Hungerford Common on 15 May 2019 with the 1C84 14:03 Paddington to Penzance GWR service. I pity the poor passengers doing the full 5 hour journey from the following week, sitting on the hard Class 802 DMU seats!