Aberystwyth Cliff Railway 5 August 2002

The Aberystwyth Cliff Railway, pictured on 5 August 2002. This 4 ft 10 in funicular opened in 1896, ascending from near sea level at the north end of the town, to near the top of Constitution Hill, ascending approximately 430 feet in its 778 ft length. Three bridge cross the line, all of which can be seen in this view. The two cars were originally operated using the water balance system, but the line was electrified in 1921. This picture is taken half way up the incline, where the tracks separate sufficiently for the two cars to pass each other.

Barry Scrapyard 25 March 1987

The unmistakable sight of steam locomotives rusting away in Dai Woodham's scrapyard at Barry. I had visited the yard in 1973, and took some very poor B&W Instamatic photos, but it wasn't until 1987, when the number of locos in the yard had reduced considerably, that I returned to the yard armed with a proper camera and some Kodachrome 64. This is the scene on 25 March 1987, with Southern Railway rebuilt West Country Class 4-6-2 34046 Braunton prominent in the foreground, next to LMS 8F 2-8-0 48173. In the distance, between these two, is Merchant Navy 4-6-2 35011 General Steam Navigation. On the left is Stanier Black Five 4-6-0 44901, and completing this diverse line up, the two locos on the right are GWR 42xx 2-8-0Ts 4253 & 5227.

Barry Scrapyard 25 March 1987

Dai Woodham's scrapyard at Barry, pictured on 25 March 1987. The tenderless loco in the centre of the picture is LMS Black Five 4-6-0 44901. It is surrounded by GWR 2-6-2 tanks, with 'Small Prairie' 45xx 2-6-2T 5539 alongside, and 'Large Prairie' 5101 2-6-2T 4115 in front. In the background is Southern Merchant Navy 4-6-2 35011 General Steam Navigation.

Barry Scrapyard 25 March 1987

A melancholy scene at Dai Woodham's scrapyard at Barry, photographed on 25 March 1987. LMS Class 8F 2-8-0 48173 is marked up for sale to the Bitton Railway 8F Group. In the foreground is GWR 45xx 2-6-2T 5539, with LMS 'Black Five' 4-6-0 44901 just behind. This was in particularly poor condition (note the sections cut out of the smokebox), and although saved from the yard, has still not yet been restored.

Bedwyn Derailment 7 May 1983

Bedwyn station pictured on 7 May 1983, the day after a stone train derailed whist passing through, partly demolishing the platform. The errant MSV open wagon that caused the accident can be seen dumped in the old bay platform on the left. The rails have already been removed, and work is about to start to clear up the mess, with a train of Grampus wagons waiting to receive the spoil.

Bedwyn Derailment 7 May 1983

Clearance work at Bedwyn station on 7 May 1983, the day after a stone train derailed, damaged the up line. With both lines closed, a digger gets to work loading a train of Grampus wagons with ballast and damaged sleepers.

Bedwyn Derailment 7 May 1983

The damaged MSV wagon that caused the derailment at Bedwyn station on 6 May 1983, pictured the following day unceremoniously dumped upside down in the old bay platform. Note that one axle has been completely ripped away in the accident.

Bedwyn Derailment 7 May 1983

Grampus wagon DB991769 receives another shovel full of ballast, as work proceeds to clear the site of a stone train derailment at Bedwyn station on 7 May 1983. The accident, which happened the previous day, was caused when an old MSV open wagon became derailed whilst passing through the station, damaging both the track and the platform.

Celebrating 60 Years Headboard 1 September 2018

The 'Celebrating 60 Years 1958 - 2018' headband, carried by D5314, on the Caledonian Railway, pictured at Brechin on 1 September 2018. Although this applies to the Class 26 fleet, it could equally well apply to me! I was born in 1958, but to be strictly accurate D5314, which may well have been completed in 1958, did not enter service until January 1959.

Cairngorm Mountain Railway 30 August 2018

The Cairngorm Mountain Railway, the only funicular railway in Scotland, opened in 2001. It climbs 1,509 feet up the northern slope of Cairn Gorm, and is used extensively during the winters months by skiers. The 2 metre (6 ft 6 in) gauge line works on the permanently connected cable system, with one car being hauled to the top, while the other descends. The two cars pass in a short section of double track half way up the incline. Carriage No.2 Cairn approaches Base station, after descending with the 16:10 departure from Ptarmigan station on 30 August 2018.

Raildata Camera 70806 Charlbury 30 November 2016

A close up view of the Fugro Raildata Rail Infrastructure Alignment Acquisition System mounted on the front of 70806, pictured while the locomotive waited in Charlbury station on 30 November 2016, as it worked the 0C08 07:22 Westbury to Westbury (via Worcester Shrub Hill) survey working. Note the purple laser light shining on the track.

6163 Crowle 28 November 2016

Ex Virgin Railways Mk 2 coach 6163 has found a very different use in retirement, being mounted on a short section of track in a field next to the 7 Lakes Country Park, Crowle, for use as a safety demonstration vehicle. It is pictured here on 28 November 2016. Note the pseudo HST nose. Various emergency services exercises take place, demonstrating level crossing safety, etc.

Edington Lineside Fire 11 March 1986

Lineside vegetation control - 1980s style! Although the trackside looks in excellent condition anyway (certainly by today's standards!), the long grass at Edington is being burned off on 11 March 1986, casually supervised by one track worker, who is standing in the middle of the down line. There were a couple of others workers nearby, but the whole thing seems very casual, and with trains still running past! It certainly looks like a bit of a heath & safety nightmare, but as Network Rail no longer do any kind of lineside maintenance, the problem isn't going to arise nowadays!

Edington Lineside Fire 11 March 1986

With the (admittedly infrequent) trains passing by just yards away, a track worker sets light to the embankment at Edington on 11 March 1986, starting a controlled burn to rid the trackside of dead grass and brambles. This was a common steam age practice, but I don't remember seeing it done too often in the 1980s. Network Rail do not do anything like this, and in fact apart from an occasional blitz to make up for years of neglect, they don't do any kind of lineside maintenance whatsoever, which explains why the national network is in such terrible condition.

D80104 Cabside Number 13 May 2012

Due to the non arrival of most of the visiting locomotives for the Swanage Railway's 2012 Diesel Gala, resident BR 4MT 2-6-4T steam locomotive 80104 was 'upgraded' to a diesel in order to help out. A spot of renumbering was in order, so it acquired a 'D' prefix for the event. Its new cabside number is pictured here at Harmans Cross on 13 May 2012.

Cotswold Line 150 Headboard 8 June 2003

The Cotswold Line Promotion Group's homemade 'Cotswold Line 150' headboard fixed to the front of 166212 on 8 June 2003. Pictured at Kingham on the return working of the CLPG's Oxford to Evesham special, commemorating the line's opening in 1853.

Vic Berry's Scrapyard Leicester 31 May 1987

A general view of Vic Berry's scrapyard at Leicester, taken on 31 May 1987. The remains of a Class 501 EMU is surrounded by piles of scrap, with various loco cabs stored in the foreground. Still in one piece on the right are 25037 & 25095, along with a couple of Class 101 vehicles.

Vic Berry's Scrapyard Leicester 31 May 1987

Vic Berry's scrapyard at Leicester, pictured on 31 May 1987. A pile of Class 25 cabs is topped off by the cab of 25284, while on the left Class 101 DTCL 54411 and Class 104 DMBS 54422 are similarly perched high in the air, sitting on other redundant rolling stock. The background is dominated by condemned Mk1 sleeper coaches.

Vic Berry's Scrapyard Leicester 31 May 1987

Class 25 and 40 cabs share Vic Berry's scrapyard at Leicester with assorted coaches and DMU vehicles, including a Class 101 driving trailer. This scene of chaos was captured on 31 May 1987. This is the view from the public footpath that ran alongside the site (note the trespass notice in the foreground). Some of the loco parts were identifiable, but some were not, as the numbers and TOPS panels had been cut out for sale to enthusiasts.

Vic Berry's Scrapyard Leicester 31 May 1987

The mangled remains of Class 40 and 25 cabs litter the foreground of this view of Vic Berry's Scrapyard, Leicester, on 31 May 1987. A still complete Class 25 can be seen amid the coach bodies in the background. Just visible in the far distance on the right is the replica of New York's Statue of Liberty, standing on top of the old Liberty shoe factory in Eastern Boulevard. This building was demolished in 2002, but the statue was saved, and can now be seen at the junction of Upperton Road and Western Boulevard.

Vic Berry's Scrapyard Leicester 31 May 1987

A pile of coaches and DMU vehicles at Vic Berry's scrapyard at Leicester, pictured on 31 May 1987. Class 101 DTCL 54411 sits on top of the pile, next to Class 104 DMBS 54422. Underneath is a Mk 1 sleeper coach, while a line of Class 27 cabs can be seen in the background.

27049, 27053 & 27037 Vic Berry's Leicester 26 September 1987

The famous locomotive stack at Vic Berry's scrapyard, Leicester, pictured on 26 September 1987. The bodies of 27049, 27053 & 27037 form the end of a huge pile of Class 27s and Class 25s waiting for scrapping, following the mass withdrawal of the classes by BR. Being easily viewed from nearby footpaths, this amazing spectacle became a minor tourist attraction in the late 1980s!

M53714 & 25059 Vic Berry's Leicester 26 September 1987

Some Class 120 DMUs had an extended lease of life by being stripped of all seating, and converted into parcels vehicles. One such was DMBC M53714, forming part of set EP (Etches Park) 522. It was withdrawn in April 1987, and is seen here in Vic Berry's scrapyard, Leicester, on 26 September 1987, in the company of 25059, and another unidentified DMU vehicle.

HAA Wagon 359473 Moira West Junction 23 October 1989

The HAA coal hopper was one of the most successful wagon types of the 1960s, completely revolutionising the movement of coal between collieries and power stations, using what became known as the 'merry-go-round' principle. Over 11,000 of these wagons were built between 1964 and 1982. 359473 is pictured at Moira West Junction on 23 October 1989.

Moreton-in-Marsh Wagons 5 April 1984

An interesting and now historic view of the former Shipston-on-Stour branch at Moreton-in-Marsh station, photographed on 5 April 1984. The Shipston-on-Stour branch  started life as the Stratford and Moreton Tramway, opening as early as 1826. The branch to Shipston followed ten years later, and the line was later converted to a conventional railway, with the tramway section to Stratford-upon-Avon being lifted in 1918. This view shows the truncated remains of the line at Moreton, with the branch's route now blocked by a modern silo. This remained as a siding for many tears, and is here playing host to a ballast train waiting for the following weekend's engineering works. I cannot quite read the number of the ZFV Dogfish wagons against the buffer stop, but the ZUV Shark plough brake van is DB993904, and the loaded YGH Sealion hopper in the foreground is DB982630.

DB977338 Moreton-in-Marsh 19 April 1992

An unusual visitor to Moreton-in-Marsh on 19 April 1992. Mobile Rack Assessment coach DB977338 is parked in the down refuge siding, reason unknown. This was formerly Mk 2 9387. It was often worth a look at Moreton-in-Marsh on a Sunday, as in the 1980s and 90s there would occasionally be something unusual stabled in this siding.

Otherton Sidings 2 November 1985

Littleton Colliery was served by a short branch line that diverged from the West Coast Mainline just to the south of Penkridge station. Unfortunately I never did manage to photograph a train on the line, but on 2 November 1985, I took this picture of a rake of HAA MGR wagons at Otherton Sidings, at the point, approximately a third of the way along the branch, where the line changes direction. I presume the three wagons on their own are cripples, that have been detached from various trains. The M6 motorway can be seen in the background. I particularly like the lighting in this picture, and the composition is certainly helped by the inclusion of the silver birch tree. The colliery closed in 1993, and this track has now been lifted.

Rickerscote Accident Aftermath 10 March 1996

On 8 March 1996 the Mossend to Willesden Transrail freight train derailed at Rickerscote (just south of Stafford), after an axle on one of the liquid carbon dioxide tankers failed. Unfortunately the wreckage was almost immediately struck by 86239 hauling the 1S09 Cardiff to Glasgow TPO. This is the scene two days later, with recovery operations underway. 86239 has jack knifed, and come perilously close to the nearby house. The crane is about to lift one of the TPO vehicles, while one of the CO2 tankers can seen wedged up against one of the catenary masts.

Severn Tunnel Junction Yard 30 June 1985

Severn Tunnel Junction Yard, pictured on 30 June 1985. Note the huge variety of wagons types, and the still healthy level of traffic. At this time the yard was a main Speedlink hub, but two years later the entire site, and the adjacent loco depot, was closed. Gloucester took over a lot of the yard's work, until the Speedlink network was withdrawn in 1991.

Tree growing on track at Shipton 15 June 2016

Weeds growing on railway tracks are commonplace on the national network nowadays due to Network Rail's neglect, but this bonsai conifer happily growing in the ballast at Shipton station is a different order of poor maintenance. Sculpted by the passage of westbound trains, this small tree was photographed (with a long lens) from the down platform on 15 June 2016. The old style GWR gangers would be shocked at the state the track is now allowed to get into.

TEA 89004 Standish Junction 24 September 2016

Ex works TEA bogie tank wagon 89004 really stands out compared to its much more typically grubby neighbours, as it forms part of the 6B13 05:02 Robeston to Westerleigh Murco train at Standish Junction on 24 September 2016. The train was being hauled by 60054. Not only is the wagon in a different livery to its neighbours, but also all three wagons in this picture show detail differences of design.

6B33 Standish Junction 12 October 2016

The one that got away! Despite leaving home in plenty of time to get to Standish Junction to photograph the diverted 6B33 13:00 Theale to Robeston Murco oil empties on 12 October 2016, I was most annoyed to find the train passing underneath the bridge as I arrived! It had managed to become half an hour early since I checked just before leaving home. So here for all wagon enthusiasts is the going away shot, with 60019 Port of Grimsby & Immingham heading off into the distance. The superb light, plus the unusual location (for 6B33) makes the picture worthwhile. Note the 'End' wording that someone has thoughtfully added to the last wagon!

Thingley Junction 17 March 1995

During the 1990s the sidings at Thingley Junction were used to store a variety of rolling stock pending possible preservation. At various times the remote location hosted several locomotives, even at one time including 50017 Royal Oak. This 17 March 1995 view shows a line of withdrawn Mk1 coaches awaiting their fate. The town of Chippenham can be seen in the background, with St Paul's church on the left.

Toddington 13 March 1982

Very early preservation days at Toddington on 13 March 1982. Just a year after the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway took over the site, the first sections of track are down, and several steam locos in various states of disassembly form a line between the goods shed and the station, the most complete of which is the freshly painted GWR Hall Class 4-6-0 5952 Cogan Hall, which can be seen in the distance.

35006's Boiler Toddington 31 March 1990

Painted in red oxide primer, the firebox and boiler of Southern Railway Merchant Navy Class 4-6-2 35006 Peninsular & Oriental S. N. Co. really stands out in the late afternoon light at Toddington on 31 March 1990. The loco had arrived at the Gloucestershire & Warwickshire Railway in 1983, but the painstaking restoration would be a long affair, with the loco finally entering traffic in 2016.

73129 Nameplate 4 November 2006

An ex nameplate! 73129's bodyside clearly shows where the City of Winchester nameplate and crest were affixed. The removed plates also reveal the former BR corporate blue colour scheme underneath the faded Network SouthEast livery. The various patches of bare metal only give a hint of the terrible condition of the loco's bodywork at this time (4 November 2006), when pictured at Toddington station. At several places there were holes where the steel sheet had completely rusted through. After running for several years in the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway in this condition, major bodywork restoration was finally undertaken.

Toton Depot 9 June 2018

Toton Depot, pictured on the evening of 9 June 2018. Although still a busy railfreight traction depot, unfortunately the interesting variety of traction of previous years has been replaced by the dull uniformity of Class 66s, with just a few Class 60s & 67s to relieve the monotony.

Uffington Track Relaying 1 August 1993

The business end of the Redland self-discharge train in action at Uffington on 1 August 1993. Track relaying was in progress, and the train was slowly being propelled backwards along the up line by 37158 & 37092, while ballast was flung onto a plastic membrane that had been laid where the down line would later go.

Uffington Track Relaying 1 August 1993

The Redland self-discharge train deposits new ballast onto a recently laid plastic membrane at Uffington on 1 August 1993, during track relaying operations. 37158 & 37092 are slowly propelling the train backwards, and would luckily soon park in an ideal position for photography.

68504 Up Hatherley 4 December 2018

Arlington Fleet Group translator vehicle 68504 (formerly Gatwick Express GLV 9105), pictured in the consist of the 5Q32 10:24 Portbury Automotive Terminal to Crewe ECS at Badgeworth on 4 December 2018. This was the delivery run of Spanish built EMU 397003. In addition to the two translator vehicles, there were four barrier vehicles acting as brake runners. Note the temporary brake pipe being fed in through the side window of the EMU. It clearly needs these brake vehicles, as the rusty brake disc on the EMU proves that its brakes are inoperative.