Aberystwyth Station 5 August 2002

Aberystwyth station pictured on a gloriously sunny 5 August 2002. This trainless scene gives an uninterrupted view of the station buildings and ornate platform awnings. The imposing station building was constructed in 1925 by the Great Western Railway. Originally with five platform faces, the facilities at the station have contracted through the years, and as can be seen from the single line of non rusty track, is now down to a single platform.

Ascott-under-Wychwwod Station 6 July 1978

Ascott-under-Wychwood station, pictured during a brief burst of sunshine on 6 July 1978. This historic view shows the track in the now lifted small goods yard, complete with ground signal. Some of the rail chairs were dated 1906. Also visible in the background is the marooned up platform, which became useless after the singling of the line in 1971. This was subsequently removed, and in recent years, with the reinstatement of the double track, a modern replacement has been provided. This slide is from my very first 35mm colour transparency film. Unfortunately this was a roll of Perutz C18, a film with quite unbelievably coarse grain (considering it was only ISO 50). Also, unlike the Kodachrome 64 which I used thereafter, time has not been kind to the images. Whilst the Kodachromes are as good as the day they arrived back from Hemel Hempstead, the Perutz has colour shifted markedly (corrected here).

Ascott-under-Wychwood Rail Chair 6 June 1979

A Great Western Railway cast iron chair dated Feb 1906 still in situ in the goods yard at Ascott-under-Wychwood on 6 June 1979. The small yard, which by this time was only used for stabling the occasional track machine, had obviously not seen any maintenance for a long time. Just look at the amount of rust on the railhead, and the terrible condition of the wooden key!

Ascott-under-Wychwood Level Crossing 10 May 1986

Ascott-under-Wychwood level crossing, pictured in some extremely dramatic lighting on 10 May 1986. The barriers and the adjacent signal box are illuminated by the evening sun, while to the south the landscape in under some very dark clouds. Since this picture was taken, the barriers have been replaced with a slightly modified design, and the signal box has acquired new windows. Also, it's a virtual certainty that the signalman's Morris Marina has long since gone to the scrapyard!

Ascott-under-Wychwood Station 6 October 2016

A trainless view of Ascott-under-Wychwood station, photographed on 6 October 2016. This clearly shows the new up platform, which was added in 2011, when the line was redoubled. Note the reproduction GWR seat, and the normal basic small station features: 'bus shelter' waiting room, electronic information point, and disabled friendly access ramps. The station was originally opened by the Oxford, Worcester & Wolverhampton Railway in 1853. It was called simply 'Ascott' until 1880.

Barmouth Level Crossing 18 June 1982

Vintage GWR infrastructure at Barmouth, pictured on a very overcast 18 June 1982. The semaphore signals, level crossing gates and signal box have all now been swept away. However, there is a happy ending, as the signal box has found a new home at Glyndyfrdwy, on the Llangollen Railway.

Bicester South Junction Footbridge 19 January 2015

As part of the work to construct a new chord linking the Oxford to Bletchley and Chiltern Lines at Bicester, a new footbridge has had to be provided to preserve a public right of way that predates both the railways. This is the view of the still to be opened bridge on the new line between Bicester South Junction and Gavray Junction, pictured on 19 January 2015.

Blunsdon 27 May 1979

Very early preservation days at Blunsdon, on what would later become the Swindon & Cricklade Railway. This picture, which was taken on 27 May 1979, shows the roadbridge at Tadpole Lane, Blunsdon, which was then in open country, rather than on the edge of Swindon's urban sprawl, as now. The only indication of the Swindon & Cricklade Railway Society's interest in the site, is the rather crude handmade notice hanging from the barbed wire. The original Blunsdon station opened in 1895, one of the last stations to be opened by the Midland & South Western Junction Railway. The GWR's ambivalence towards its former competitor is possibly why it closed to passengers in 1924, shortly after the grouping, although it remained open to goods traffic until 1937.

Blunsdon 21 October 1983

The Swindon & Cricklade Railway's site at Blunsdon, pictured on 21 October 1983. The first tentative length of track has been laid, and various items of building materials are lying around. In the foreground is what appears to be a GWR 45xx 2-6-2T cab roof. It would be another two years before the society was able to run its first trains.

Bridego Bridge 25 November 2016

Bridego Bridge, on the West Coast Mainline between Leighton Buzzard and Cheddington, pictured on 25 November 2016. This was the location that was used on 8 August 1963 to transfer the high value mailbags from the TPO train to the waiting lorry, during the Great Train Robbery. The train had been stopped a little further up the line at Sears Crossing, and then driven to this spot under the direction of the robbers. It has now probably become the most photographed rail underbridge in the UK! This picture was taken at 1/60sec to deliberately blur the passing Pendolino.

Carnforth Station 17 July 1999

Carnforth station is world famous as one of the settings used in the 1945 film Brief Encounter. The clock above the subway steps features prominently in the film, which starred Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard. Although the station has recently been refurbished, when I visited on 17 July 1999, it was a dismal, windswept and dilapidated place. 

Challow Bridge 1 November 2014

As part of the Great Western Mainline electrification programme, numerous road overbridges are having to be rebuilt to increase the headroom for the overhead wires. One of these is the A417 bridge at Challow. It was closed to traffic on 6 September 2014, and the old steel bridge was removed during a full line possession. This view, taken on 1 November 2014 from the temporary footbridge, shows the new roadway beams in place. Presumably the new structure will be mostly concrete, and not require much upkeep. Just as well, as Network Rail have a very poor record when it comes to such simple things as painting metal structures. The previous bridge at Challow had got into a very poor state, due to lack of maintenance.

Charlbury Name Board 19 July 2013

Charlbury station is full of character, and retains many ex Great Western Railway features, including a pair of traditional large wooden name boards, or running in boards, as they are more correctly called. Dahlias and rambling roses complement the scene on 19 July 2013, although brought thoroughly up to date by the car park in the background!

Charlbury Station Building 10 April 1987

Charlbury station is famous for its original Brunel designed wooden chalet style station building, which managed to survive the GWR rebuilding of nearby stations such as Kingham and Moreton-in-Marsh. The 1853 building was restored in 1979, and is now Grade II listed. This is the view from the car park on 10 April 1987, before parked cars made the view more difficult. This also shows the station in a slightly lighter colour than at present (or else more faded), and even includes a matching cream coloured telephone box.

Charlbury Station Footbridge Foundations 21 April 2011

After spending the whole of its 150+ years life without a footbridge, Charlbury station finally acquired one in 2011. Admittedly after the line was singled in 1971 it didn't need one, but the reinstatement of the down platform made it essential. The new platform is nearly complete, and work is underway on the footbridge foundations in this 21 April 2011 view.

Charlbury Station Seats 30 November 2016

Like most stations on the Cotswold Line, Charlbury's platforms have been provided with a number of replica GWR seats, which certainly adds to the period charm of the station. Less picturesque, but just as useful, is the new footbridge, which can be seen in the background here. In steam days a barrow crossing was considered sufficient to access the down platform, but when this was reinstated in 2011, this new footbridge was provided.

Cheltenham Racecourse Station Building 3 May 2004

The beautifully restored Cheltenham Racecourse station building is picture here on 3 May 2004. This marks the southern limit of the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, although the trackbed carries on towards Cheltenham through Hunting Butts Tunnel. The platforms are in a deep tree lined cutting, with this building at road level at the top of the cutting. The building is a rare survival of what is effectively a Great Western Railway prefabricated design. Even a Portakabin looked so much better in Victorian times!

Cheriton Channel Tunnel Terminal 21 December 1991

The partially built Cheriton Channel Tunnel Terminal, viewed from the nearby Castle Hill on 21 December 1991. Only some of the tracks have so far been installed. The two halves of the tunnel had met under the channel the previous year, but it would be 1994 before it officially opened. The rather empty M20 motorway is on the left.

Combe Halt 1 March 1979

Combe Halt was opened by the Great Western Railway on 8 July 1935, in order to encourage more traffic on the southern half of the Cotswold Line. Unfortunately, as can be see from this view, it was not particularly convenient for passengers, being situated in open country midway between the villages of Combe and Long Hanborough. Although reduced to a single platform with the singling of the line in 1971, otherwise it probably looks much as built in this 1 March 1979 picture, apart from the modern lampposts and signage. The station remains open, but is now backed by the inevitable lineside bushes. The bullhead track was replaced by continuous welded flat bottom rails in 1984.

Culham Station Building 25 February 2018

Culham station's Grade II listed Brunel designed station building is no longer in railway use, but has recently undergone extensive restoration, and is now in commercial use. It is pictured here in superb late afternoon light on 25 February 2018.

Culkerton Goods Shed 5 January 1985

The tiny station at Culkerton, on the Tetbury Branch, possessed an extremely impressive brick built goods shed, seemingly out of all proportion to its remote rural location. The tall structure is pictured on 5 January 1985, over two decades after the line had closed. Since this picture was taken, the building has been largely surrounded by trees, and is now nearly invisible from the road.

Dublin Connolly Turntable 24 May 2018

A remarkable survivor in the heart of a large city. The small turntable at Dublin Connolly station is pictured on 24 May 2018. Even more noteworthy than the fact that this vintage piece of equipment has survived in such an urban location, is the fact that until a few months before this picture was taken it was still rail connected, and had been in use until recently! It had been used to turn preserved steam locomotives on railtours, but its small size meant that even the diminutive Dublin & South Eastern Railway 2-6-0 No. 461 was a tight fit. Note the adjacent water tower.

Dublin Connolly Water Tower 24 May 2018

Many Irish railway stations retain their steam age water towers, often in a very overgrown state. The one at Dublin Connolly station was in use well after the end of regular steam workings, as it was used to service visiting railtours, which also explains the retention of the adjacent turntable. It is seen here on the morning of 24 May 2018.

Eccles Heath Bridge Plate 27 November 2006

Time was when most railway companies identified their major civil engineering structures with cast iron number plates, rather than just painted numbers. Some still survive, although the railwayana market ensures that a lot go missing (legitimately or otherwise!). Bridge 1613 at Eccles Heath (near Attleborough) has a modern replacement cast plate in the old style (with mileage). Pictured on 27 November 2006.

Eckington Midland Railway Boundary Post 9 April 1983

Numerous Midland Railway boundary posts still survive in remote locations. This one was pictured on 9 April 1983 near the River Avon at Eckington. The low spring sunshine and the sharpness of Kodachrome 64 film has resulted in possibly a century's worth of rust and lichen showing up clearly.

Eggesford Station 1 August 1990

The archetypal country station, the flower bedecked and ivy covered Eggesford station basks in the sunshine on 1 August 1990. The station was built by the North Devon Railway. The line from Exeter to Barnstaple opened in 1854.

Finstock Station 14 September 1986

In 1986 Finstock station was rebuilt, moving the single platform from one side of the line to the other. When the southern section of the Cotswold Line was singled in 1971, the down line was removed, leaving just the former up platform in use. The track was realigned in 1986 to approximately the centre of the former double track formation, and a new platform was constructed on the west side of the line. Prior to this opening, a temporary platform had to be added to the old up platform, as the track was now nowhere near the platform! This view, taken on 14 September 1986, shows all three platforms. On the left is the old 1930s sleeper built  platform, with its new scaffolding and plywood addition, while on the right the new platform takes shape. Once this new platform was commissioned, the old platform on the left, along with its approach gateway and path were removed.

Forth Bridge 16 July 1983

The unmistakable Forth Rail Bridge, photographed early on the morning on 16 July 1983, from North Queensferry. The railway bridge looks the same today, but the foreground view has altered. Deep Sea World, an aquarium with an underwater viewing tunnel, now occupies the water filled disused Battery Quarry, half of which has disappeared under their car park!

Goole Station Building 1 January 2000

Goole station once boasted an impressive red brick station building, which along with many other medium sized stations across the country became increasingly ill suited to the traffic requirements from the 1960s onwards. It is pictured here on 1 January 2000 from the car park, with various windows boarded up and signs of neglect. It was not to last much longer, being demolished shortly afterwards and replaced by small box like structure with no architectural merit.

Hallen Bridge 12 February 1994

The doubling of the Hallen Marsh Junction to Filton freight line near Bristol in the early 1990s had one serious problem; the bridge over the M5 motorway was only single track. Consequently a new span was positioned alongside the existing bridge to take the second track. On the night of 12 February 1994, the new 360 tonne span (which had been parked on the side of the motorway for some time) was slowly moved into position. In this view the new bridge has been moved along the closed motorway and is just starting to be slewed across to meet up with the existing bridge, which can be seen in the background.

Hallen Bridge 12 February 1994

Not a position you can normally stand in! Viewed from the middle of the closed M5 motorway (with permission) on the night of 12 February 1994, the new 360 tonne bridge has just been postioned next to the existing Hallen railway bridge. This was to take the new double track on the Hallen Marsh Junction to Filton freight line. Note the flat area in the foreground where the central barriers have been removed in order to allow the new span to be swung round from the southbound carriageway (on the right). Engineers are now checking the position of the structure before lowering the deck onto the abutments and removing the multi-wheeled trailers. A very strange experience to be standing on a motorway in the middle of the night watching a bridge being moved! 

Harlech Station 20 October 2014

Harlech station provides a crossing point on the otherwise single Pwllheli to Dovey Junction line. Consequently there are relatively busy periods when two trains arrive, during what is a fairly  infrequent train service. This is especially so when the schoolchildren come out of school! Children swarm all over the station on 20 October 2014, prior to catching either 158821 or 158830 with the 2J11 10:09 Birmingham International to Pwllheli Arriva Trains Wales service or 2G55 13:38 Pwllheli to Birmingham International respectively.

Havenhouse Level Crossing 14 June 1986

Havenhouse Level Crossing pictured on 14 June 1986. If it wasn't for the Bedford Rascal van (ironically brand new when this picture was taken), this could easily be a scene from decades earlier. Vintage wooden gates, signal box, and a Great Northern Railway somersault signal all add to the timeless atmosphere. All this has now gone, although thankfully the station building still survives.

Havenstreet Beware of Trains Notice 29 May 2013

A cast iron Southern Railway 'Beware of Trains' notice at Havenstreet on 29 May 2013. Once a common sight all over former SR lines, even into BR days, most of these have now either officially or unofficially disappeared, only to be seen at places such as the Isle of Wight Steam Railway.

Hebden Bridge Station Building 16 March 2015

Hebden Bridge station building, pictured on 16 March 2015. The building was constructed in 1893 by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, and replaced an earlier structure which had served the town since the opening of the line by the Manchester and Leeds Railway in 1840.

Hebden Bridge Station 16 March 2015

The staggered platforms of Hebden Bridge station, pictured on 16 March 2015. The station was opened by the Manchester ad Leeds Railway in 1840, although this station is a later rebuild. For once I was glad that the weather was so bad, as this picture would have been impossibly shadowy if the sun had decided to come out.

Heyford Station Building 17 September 1983

Heyford station (between Banbury and Oxford) became an unstaffed halt in the 1960s, but for a long time retained its original Great Western Railway station building. This fine stone structure is pictured on 17 September 1983, when in private use. Note how the platform must have originally been much lower, as the door into the building is now well below the current platform level! Unlike its near neighbour, Aynho, it was not converted into a private dwelling and was replaced by a basic 'bus shelter' in 1986.

Huttons Ambo NER Trespass Notice 30 August 1993

As late as 30 August 1993 this cast iron North Eastern Railway trespass notice was still serving its original purpose next to the York to Scarborough line at Huttons Ambo. Rather than replacing it with a more modern version, the former owning company and pre-decimal penalty have been painted out. I can't imagine that this still survives, as if Network Rail haven't replaced it by now, it has sure to have been spirited away into someone's railwayana collection!

Islip 21 April 2015

The upgrading of the Oxford to Bicester line is completely transforming what was once a sleepy backwater, with just a few trains each day. The reconstruction work is to a very high standard, with renewal of the trackbed, and numerous associated earthworks. This is the view south from Islip on 21 April 2015, with the bridge replacement for the former Mill Lane crossing in the background. Such is the extent of the work, that the only real clue that this view is the same as where I pictured D1015 Western Champion in 2013 is the tree in the centre of the picture!

Islip 9 July 2015

This is the view south from the road bridge in the village of Islip on 9 July 2015, showing the recently installed track for the upgrading of the Oxford to Bicester line, and the new bridge under construction near the site of Mill Lane level crossing. This view makes an interesting comparison to the same location pictured a few months earlier, before the track was laid.

Islip 21 April 2015

The new trackbed, freshly covered with a layer of brilliant white ballast, at Islip on 21 April 2015. The Oxford to Bicester line is being upgraded as part of Chiltern's new route to London, and for the East West Rail project. This is the cutting between the two road bridges, a location that was formerly very overgrown, and is hardly recognisable from the same view in 2012.

Islip 21 April 2015

Islip's new station takes shape on 21 April 2015. Fresh ballast has just been laid, and the supports for the new platforms are in situ. It must be lunchtime, as not a lot of work appears to be going on! The upgrading of the Oxford to Bicester line is part of Chiltern Railway's scheme to run trains from Oxford to London, via a new chord at Bicester.

Islip 21 April 2015

The rebuilding of Islip station, pictured on 21 April 2015. A ribbon of brilliant white ballast across the Oxfordshire countryside marks Chiltern Railway's upgrading of the Oxford to Bicester line, which had for many years been a sleepy single track backwater. All trace of the previous small station has disappeared under this new construction, but the gate on the left, visible just above the new platform marks the entrance to the former rail served oil terminal. In the background a new footbridge takes shape, which mostly obscures a new road bridge at Oddington, in the far distance. The hill on the horizon is Graven Hill, home to the Bicester Army Depot.

Islip 9 July 2015

Islip station under construction on 9 July 2015. The platforms are nearly complete, and the footbridge has been installed since I photographed this location a few months earlier. Just visible in the far distance near Oddington is a track machine on the newly installed up line.

Keadby Bridge 26 July 1986

Keadby Bridge (also known as the King George V Bridge) carries the Scunthorpe to Doncaster railway, and the A18 road, over the River Trent at Althorpe. The rolling lift bridge was built between 1912 and 1916, replacing an earlier swing bridge. This view, taken on 26 July 1986, shows the railway side of the bridge, with the lifting section on the right. The bridge was last raised in 1956, and was modified and fixed into position a few years later.

Kilsby Tunnel Airshaft 17 March 1989

Kilsby Tunnel, on the London & Birmingham Railway, was designed by Robert Stephenson, and opened in 1838. At the time it was the longest railway tunnel in the world. It is notable for the two original ventilation shafts, which feature massive castellated brick towers. The northern shaft, next to the A5, is pictured on 17 March 1989.

Kingham Station 4 June 1983

Kingham station was once an important junction, with lines diverging from the Oxford to Worcester line to Cheltenham in the west, and Banbury in the east. This lead to the construction of a far larger station than was strictly necessary for its rural location. After the Cheltenham and Banbury lines closed, its importance diminished, and during the mid 1970s its extensive brick built station buildings were demolished. One GWR building did survive, and is pictured here on 4 June 1983. This was situated at the north end of the site, near the diverging line to Cheltenham. There are plenty of period details here for the modeller, including: fire buckets, grindstone, an altered doorway, repaired roof, etc. The British Rail van is also now historic! The building has since been demolished, and an industrial estate now occupies the site.

Kingham Name Board 10 December 2014

Although Kingham station's elaborate GWR brick station building was demolished in the 1970s, the station does retain some Great Western identity, as it retains traditional GWR style running in boards. The up station name board is pictured, along with the 84 milepost, on 10 December 2014.

Kingham Footbridge Base 28 May 2016

Not so much a piece of infrastructure, more a piece of ex-infrastructure! The old Great Western Railway footbridge at Kingham station was replaced by a more modern structure in February 2016. Rather than excavate the base of the columns (which presumably go down quite a distance below the platform surface), the columns were cut off to leave short stumps. These were then filled with concrete, and timber added to form a flower bed. An excellent piece of improvisation! Picture taken on 28 May 2016.

Machynlleth Station Building 19 October 2014

Machynlleth station was opened in 1863 by the Newtown & Machynlleth Railway. The impressive stone station building, designed by the Chester architect Thomas Penson, still survives. This is the view from the road approach on 19 October 2014. Machynlleth was formerly the southern terminus of the narrow gauge Corris Railway. The Corris station was adjacent to the standard gauge station, but at a lower level.

Machynlleth Waiting Room 19 October 2014

Machynlleth station is still full of character. Even the wooden waiting room on the up platform still survives, having managed to avoid being replaced by the ubiquitous 'bus shelter', although one has been provided a little further along the platform, underneath the footbridge. It is pictured here on 19 October 2014.

Machynlleth Footbridge 19 October 2014

Machynlleth station footbridge, pictured during a brief sunny spell on Sunday 19 October 2014. Presumably of GWR origin, it still looks it pretty good condition, despite needing a coat of paint. However, not being accessible by the disabled, it could easily be removed in favour of a hideous modern replacement!

Medway Viaduct 11 May 2002

The impressive Medway Viaduct on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (HS1), and the adjacent new M2 motorway viaduct, both under construction on 11 May 2002. The original Medway Bridge on the M2 (opened in 1963) can be seen on the left. Both the new bridges were opened in 2003.

Minffordd Yard 19 October 2014

A panoramic view of the narrow / standard gauge interchange at Minffordd, pictured on 19 October 2014, with the 1 ft 11 in gauge Ffestiniog Railway in the foreground, and the standard gauge Pwllheli to Dovey Junction line in the background on the right. The diminutive Minffordd station is on the extreme right, situated on a tight curve, with the platform extending underneath the bridge carrying the Ffestiniog Railway. The overgrown remains of the exchange sidings can be seen. This is where slate was transshipped from the Ffestiniog to the standard gauge line. At one time the volume of slate transshipped exceeded that which was exported via Porthmadog. Nowadays the yard is used as a permanent way depot.

Mistley Station Building 26 August 1991

A fine show of hollyhocks at Mistley station on 26 August 1991. Situated not far from the River Stour, it is the first station on the Manningtree to Harwich line. The Eastern Union Railway 1854 built Italianate station building is no longer used by the railway, and has been considerably smartened up since this picture was taken. The distinctive chimney still dominates the scene.

North Filton Platform Name Board 23 July 1993

North Filton Platform was a diminutive stopping place, latterly in the shadow of Bristol Airport. It closed to passengers in 1964, but was still used afterwards for unadvertised workers services. The final train called in 1986. Although much decayed, the original name board was still intact, amid the brambles and the Rosebay Willowherb on 23 July 1993.

North Weald Footbridge 22 July 1993

North Weald station, with its original concrete footbridge, pictured on 22 July 1993, just over a year before the line closed. The conductor rails, and cables crossing the bridge clearly indicate that this was part of the London Underground network, but the rural Essex location is just about as far removed from most people's idea of the underground as it is possible to get. In 1993 trains only operated during the morning and evening peaks. After closure the line became the Epping Ongar heritage railway. Although the station building and signal box survive, unfortunately the footbridge's internal steel reinforcing rods were suffering from serious rust due to water ingress, with the result that bits of concrete were dropping off. The decision was taken to demolish it and replace it with a steel bridge recovered from Churchfields on the Central Line.

North Weald Station Car Park Sign 22 July 1993

Signs of neglect at North Weald on 22 July 1993. Brambles encircle the London Transport enameled station car park sign, with its more modern conditions of use notice. The little station on the Epping to Ongar line was only served by a couple of morning and evening peak trains, so all the signage seems a bit over the top. In fact my car was the only one there on this sunny morning!

Oddington 21 April 2015

A broad expanse of fresh white ballast at Oddington, on the Oxford to Bicester line, pictured on the evening of 21 April 2015. This view is looking back towards Islip, with the tower of St Nicholas church visible on the horizon. This extensive engineering project is transforming the route into a modern high speed mainline.

Oddington 21 April 2015

A new road bridge takes shape at Oddington, on the Oxford to Bicester line, seen here on 21 April 2015. There was a formerly a level crossing, giving access to Barndon Farm and Oddington Grange. The new bridge replaces that, and is part of the upgrading of the whole route in connection with Chiltern Railway's new route to London, and the East West Rail project.

Oddington 30 September 2015

An early morning view of the new track works at Oddington, on the redoubled Oxford to Bicester Line. Rail workers walk back towards the new road, after putting finishing touches to the lineside fence on 30 September 2015. There was formerly a level crossing just in front of the house. A new footbridge can be seen in the background, with Islip station in the far distance. Islip church is on the extreme left. I had hoped to get one of the crew training DMUs, but unfortunately this morning's trains had been cancelled!

Oxford Rewley Road Station 21 October 1988

Oxford originally had two railway stations, the Great Western Railway through station on the Didcot to Banbury line, which in a much modified form is still in use today, and the London & North Western Railway (later LMS) terminus. This was closed to passengers in 1951, with all services transferred to the adjacent GWR station. Goods traffic lingering on until 1984. Even though a largely prefabricated design, the building was quite impressive, and acquired grade II listing. It is pictured here on 21 October 1988, over a decade before the building was dismantled and transferred to the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre at Quainton.

Oxford Parkway Station 15 December 2014

This is the new Oxford Parkway station under construction, pictured on 15 December 2014. This will be the first new station to be opened in Oxfordshire since 1944 (not 1935 as quoted by Chiltern Railways). It is on the site of the former Second World War grain silo near Water Eaton. It is also the site of the Banbury Road stone terminal, and 59201 can just be glimpsed on the left of the picture, at the head of a stone train from Whatley, that is in the course of being unloaded. Unfortunately this was in a totaaly unphotographable position right up against the road overbridge.

Paddington Station Concourse 22 November 1986

Paddington Station concourse, pictured at 11:20 on 22 November 1986. The huge arrivals and departures board has since been removed, giving passengers a much better view of the impressive roof, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Matthew Digby Wyatt. As well as the usual departures for Weston-super-Mare, Reading, Penzance, Didcot Parkway and Swansea, the board also informs us that: 'Today's Sealink sailing from Rosslare to Fishguard has been cancelled due to rather nasty bit of weather'!

Pewsey Station Building 23 August 2013

Pewsey station still retains its original brick built station building, seen here in golden early morning light on 23 August 2013. The Berks & Hants line was opened as a broad gauge route in 1862, to provide a quicker route to the West Country compared to the Great Western Railway's original line via Bristol. Today the station is well used, serving not only the small town of Pewsey, but also the nearby larger towns of Devizes and Marlborough, now both devoid of railways.

Pewsey Station Building 23 August 2013

Pewsey station building, pictured from the platform side on 23 August 2013. Note the small integral canopy, which is sheltering a typical GWR station bench. The Victorian structure has been brought up to date with various modern fittings, including an audio help point, portable access ramps, automatic ticket machine and the inevitable posters reminding you to pay for car parking!

Pewsey Station Up Platform Waiting Room 23 August 2013

In 1984, Pewsey station's original up platform wooden waiting shelter was replaced by this splendid brick built structure, almost completely matching the original 1862 built station building on the opposite platform. This was a remarkable event, considering that in the 1970s and 80s the usual replacement would have been the ubiquitous 'bus shelter' type structure. Nearly three decades after it was built, it is now looking even more like its nearby Victorian inspiration, as it is starting to accumulate a good covering of lichen. Picture taken on 23 August 2013.

Portlaoise Station Building 22 May 2018

Portlaoise Station Building, pictured on 22 May 2018. Originally called Maryborough, the station was opened in 1847 by the Great Southern and Western Railway. It later became a junction, with the opening of the Waterford & Kilkenny Railway. The station ceased to be a junction in 1963, after the closure of the short branch to Abbeyleix. The line to Kilkenny had closed the previous year.

Reedham Station Building 26 May 2017

Reedham station in Norfolk opened by the Great Eastern Railway in 1904, replacing the earlier 1844 station, which was situated a little further to the east. The elaborate brick built station building (Now a private residence) is pictured on 26 May 2017.

Rousham GWR Boundary Post 18 April 2010

Along with most other Victorian railway companies, the Great Western Railway was very keen to mark out the exact boundary of its property. It installed numerous cast iron boundary posts along the borders of its domain, and amazingly a vast number still survive. This 1881 example is pictured amid the Lesser Celandines at Rousham on 18 April 2010. Obviously painted white at some time, just a few flakes of paint now remain.

Sapperton Tunnel Airshaft 26 December 1983

The 1,864 yard long Sapperton Tunnel originally had four airshafts, only two of which now survive. This is the southernmost one, pictured on 26 December 1983. It is rather short, and of quite a large diameter. Obviously there were concerns in the past that it was too short, hence the rather crude breeze block height extension.

Shipton Station Sign 13 October 1979

A piece of steam age railwayana surviving at Shipton station in 1979. Surprisingly, despite the presence of corporate BR signage on the station, the large enamel 'Shipton for Burford' sign still survived on the up platform. This picture was taken on a very gloomy 13 October 1979, and I was going to return shortly afterwards for a photo in better light. However, when I got around to going again, it had gone. Whether this was a legitimate removal or a 'rescue' by other interested parties is difficult to say. It proves that you should always take pictures of things that may disappear!

Shipton Station Sign 25 July 1993

The universally recognised BR 'double arrow' logo was one of the products of the 1964 rebranding programme, and even in this era of privatisation has come to represent the national network. It was once used on everything from the humblest item of literature right up to rolling stock and of course, station signage. Here is the sign for my local station at Shipton, looking almost brand new (perhaps it was) on 25 July 1993. It has since suffered the ravages of time and neglect.

Shipton Station Seat 15 November 2013

Shipton station on the Cotswold Line has only very basic facilities, but it does now have a replica Great Western Railway seat. It was installed by the Cotswold Line Promotion Group in memory of local flour mill owner, Ian Marmaduke Matthews, who died in 1999. It is pictured in the autumn sunshine on 15 November 2013.

Ashbury Crossing Footbridge 9 June 1987

The level crossing on the Shrivenham to Ashbury road was closed in the 1970s, and a concrete footbridge was provided to the side of the original crossing. This became one of my favourite photographic locations in the Vale of White Horse, so I have included this picture of the bridge taken in stunning late evening lighting on 9 June 1987. The village of Ashbury, after which the former crossing got its name, can just be seen in the distance.

Shrivenham Substation 13 March 2017

Railway electfrication requires substations at intervals along the line, to supply power to the overhead wires. Third rail electfrication requires frequent substations, but 25kV needs far fewer. This is a view of the substation being built on the site of Shrivenham station, to supply power to the new Great Western Mainline electfrication. Note that despite all the work that has gone on since the station closed, the platform is still in existence, and looks set to remain. The white building in the background is the former Victoria Hotel, latterly the Fat Dog restaurant, and now a private residence. Photo taken on 13 March 2017.

Souldern No.1 Viaduct 11 September 1988

The Chiltern line crosses two viaducts as it approaches Aynho Junction, where it joins the Oxford to Banbury line. Both these structures cross small tributaries of the River Cherwell. This is the southernmost of the, Souldern No.1 Viaduct, pictured on 11 September 1988.

Stroud Goods Shed 4 August 1991

Stroud Goods Shed is a remarkable survivor, still sporting its GWR lettering. Designed by Brunel for the broad gauge Cheltenham and Great Western Union Railway, the building is now quite naturally grade 2 listed. It is pictured here on 4 August 1991, just after the fitting of a new roof, but long before the fitting of the current roller shutters doors. The ineffective chestnut pale fencing has also now been replaced by new palisade fencing.

MSWJR Bridge Swindon 22 August 1978

A minor piece of Swindon's railway history, that disappeared long ago, and was probably rarely photographed. This is the bridge carrying the former Midland & South Western Junction Railway over the A420 (now the A3102), with the Great Western Mainline bridge in the background. When this picture was taken, on 22 August 1978, the rails were still in place on top of the bridge, although the line had been disused for many years. This scene is totally unrecognisable today, with the bridge in the background being the only point of reference. The MSWJR bridge has been demolished, and the road converted into a dual carriageway.

Thornton Abbey Name Board 2 December 2019

Thornton Abbey station is situated on the Barton-on-Humber branch, in a very rural location, some way from the nearest village. It is named after the medieval abbey, the imposing gatehouse of which can be seen beneath this picture of the station's prominent running in board, photographed on 2 December 2019. The abbey was of course closed in 1539, as part of Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries. The surviving gatehouse is notable as being one of the very earliest large scale brick buildings in England.

Toddington Station Building 13 March 1982

After closing in 1976, the track remained in situ at Toddington station for a further three years, but was lifted before the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway could take control of the site. The society moved in in 1981, and by the following year there were distinct signs of preservation progress. This view shows Toddington station building on 13 March 1982, with the first few courses of bricks in place for the soon to be reinstated platform.

Toddington Goods Shed 31 March 1990

Toddington Goods Shed, pictured on 31 March 1990, before it got hemmed in by more modern buildings. The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway had been on the site for less than a decade at this time. The GWR lorry naturally still survives, as does the red Triumph Spitfire (although not currently on the road).

Toddington Trespass Notice 29 September 2013

In addition to preserving the track, buildings, and of course the rolling stock, Britain's preserved railways also contain a myriad of smaller preserved artifacts. This cast iron Great Western Railway trespass notice was pictured at Toddington, on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, on 29 September 2013.

Westbury Station Building (Shropshire) 14 June 2003

Mention Westbury station, and most people would think of the busy junction station in Wiltshire. However, until 1960 there was another Westbury station, on the Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth former Cambrian Railways route. The station was some way from the village of Westbury, and was actually much nearer to a scatter of hamlets on the A58 Shrewsbury to Welshpool road, including Wattlesborough Heath and Halfway House. The station building is now a private residence, and is pictured here on 14 June 2003.

Westerleigh Oil Depot 22 July 1990

Westerleigh Oil Depot, pictured under construction on 22 July 1990. With the newly installed tanks yet to receive their cladding, the rusty metal really stands out in the weak evening sunlight. Just beyond the new office building in the background, is the Avon County Council waste terminal, which had opened a few years earlier, with the commencement of the 'Binliner' rubbish trains to Calvert. The lines on the right, which now end near the M4 motorway, were formerly part of the Midland Railway route to Bath.

Wolvercote Tunnel 24 August 2016

During 2016 work progressed steadily on upgrading the former LMS line between Oxford and the newly opened station at Oxford Parkway. This is the view looking south from the recently rebuilt First Turn bridge, near Wolvercote Tunnel, taken on 24 August 2016. Network Rail had originally agreed to lay so called 'silent track' here, in order to cut down on the disturbance that residents either side of the line will experience when this former sleepy single track byway is transformed into a busy mainline. However, they have now reneged on this promise, and are relying instead on the tall fences seen here as noise barriers. In all fairness, there is no such thing as 'silent track', only possibly 'slightly less noisy track', so Network Rail are probably right not to use it.

Wolvercote Tunnel 24 August 2016

Freshly laid ballast, recently reprofiled cutting sides, and new fences all contribute to a completely different view of Wolvercote Tunnel compared to when the line from Oxford to Bicester was a little used single track byway. This view, taken on 24 August 2016, shows work underway to complete the line between Oxford to Oxford Parkway, forming a new mainline link to London. Behind the trees in the background, unconnected work is also underway on the A40 roundabout. I use the word 'work' loosely, as the improvements are scheduled to take an unbelievable 16 months, and Oxfordshire County Council have quite rightly been criticised for this laughable timescale. I am not the only one to report hardly ever seeing any work going on through the roadworks.