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47491 Charlbury 14 April 1987

47491 Horwich Enterprise catches the last of the weak evening sunshine, as it pulls away from Charlbury station on 14 April 1987 with the 1B46 17:00 Paddington to Hereford service. There was roughly 50/50 chance whether this train would be Class 47 or 50 hauled during its last few months of loco hauled operation in 1987.

L407 & 55034 South Moreton (Didcot East) 1 December 1983

The Pressed Steel company produced two classes of DMU during the late 1950s and early 1960s at their factory at Linwood, in Scotland - the three car Class 117s and the single car Class 121s. The Class 121s were effectively a Class 117 DMBS vehicle with a cab at both ends. As both types were allocated to the Western Region, there were various occasions when they operated together. Such was the case on 1 December 1983, when Class 117 L407 (51342, 59494 & 51384) and Class 121 L134 (55034) worked the 2A57 11:55 Oxford to Paddington service, seen here passing South Moreton (Didcot East).

L406 Blackwater 17 July 1993

L406 (51383, 59493 & 51341) calls at Blackwater station on 17 July 1993 with the 2O42 18:05 Reading to Guildford Network SouthEast service. Although the small industrial building on the left still exists, the larger one on the right has been replaced by a multi-storey car park.

165113 Hungerford Common 21 September 2018

The driver of 165113 washes the windscreen, as the unit passes Hungerford Common on 21 September 2018 with the 1K09 08:41 Bedwyn to Paddington GWR service. It is accelerating away from Hungerford station, the footbridge of which can just be seen in the background. Also just visible in the background, between the unit and the station, is the buffer stop and the long disused down refuge siding, which was due to be removed the following evening.

43175 Hungerford Common 21 September 2018

43175 passes underneath the Hungerford Common road bridge on 21 September 2018 with the 1A75 05:05 Penzance to Paddington GWR service. This viewpoint has recently been opened up by the removal of numerous lineside trees.

59205 Hungerford Common 21 September 2018

59205 enters the up loop at Hungerford Common on 21 September 2018 with the 7A09 07:16 Merehead Quarry to Acton Mendip Rail 'jumbo' stone train. Although booked to use the loop at Woodborough, this train is not booked to use this loop, but on this occasion it was sidelined here for 12 minutes, to allow trains to pass, on what turned out to be a busy morning, with diverted passenger trains from the Swindon line using the route, due to a broken axle counter at Challow.

165117 Hungerford Common 21 September 2018

Autumn fungi are sprouting amid the tree stumps in the foreground, as 165117 passes Hungerford Common on 21 September 2018 with the 1K13 09:41 Bedwyn to Paddington GWR service. Numerous trees and bushes have been cleared from the lineside, creating a whole series of photographic opportunities, unavailable since the 1980s.

66952 Hungerford Common 21 September 2018

You get plenty of stone trains here, but not many freightliners! 66952 passes Hungerford Common on 21 September 2018 with the diverted 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner. This was a definite bonus, as I had gone here purely with the intention of photographing some HSTs, before they all disappear. It was only after I arrived that a problem with an axle counter at Challow started sending trains via the Berks & Hants, instead of via Swindon. This meant twice as many HSTs, as well as this!

59201 Hungerford Common 21 September 2018

59201 passes Hungerford Common on 21 September 2018 with the 7C31 09:59 Theale to Whatley Quarry Mendip Rail stone empties. This location has recently been cleared of all lineside trees, which also means that the sewage works in the background is now more prominent!

43097 Hungerford Common 21 September 2018

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

50048 Hinksey 4 July 1985

50048 Dauntless passes Hinksey Yard on 4 July 1985 with the 1F31 11:35 Oxford to Paddington service. Not ideal lighting, with the sun almost head on, but it does show plenty of detail, being a 6x7 slide, and I haven't got that many pictures of Dauntless in the Oxford area. I saw it more often in later years on the West of England line.

50045 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 28 September 1985

50045 Achillies emerges from the fog at Shrivenham on 28 September 1985 with the 1A26 08:25 Weston-super-Mare to Paddington service. This was the last Saturday of the summer timetable, and from the following week 1A26 would become the 08:57 Cardiff Central to Paddington, passing this spot five minutes later. This photo is taken from the site of the old Ashbury level crossing, which was replaced by a concrete footbridge in the 1970s.

50046 & 50029 Exminster 15 September 1991

In connection with the Laira Open Day on Sunday 15 September 1991, the 17:04 Plymouth to Waterloo Network SouthEast service was double headed by 50046 Ajax & 50029 Renown. The duo are pictured passing Exminster in miserable light. Both locos had a short time left in traffic. Ajax was withdrawn exactly two months later, while Renown just managed to make it into 1992

50049 Wickwar Tunnel 10 August 1985

50049 Defiance emerges from the 1,401 yard long Wickwar Tunnel on 10 August 1985 with the 1V88 13:25 Manchester Piccadilly to Paignton service. The small bridge in the background is a combined aqueduct and footbridge.

50041 Shipton 18 April 1987

Oh no, its all gone wrong! 50041 Bulwark passes through Shipton station on 18 April 1987 with the 1A25 08:00 Hereford to Paddington service, just as 47639 Industry Year 1986 heads in the opposite direction with the diverted 1M88 06:33 Poole to Manchester Piccadilly service. At the time I considered this a ruined picture, but with the benefit of hindsight, the fact that this is one of the Cotswold Line's few loco hauled trains crossing a diverted service, makes an unusual, if slightly awkwardly composed, picture, especially as at the time most of the Cotswold Line was single track.

55006 Thame 29 June 1986

55006 stands at Thame station on 29 June 1986 with the Hertfordshire Railtours 13:50 High Wycombe to Thame 'Thame Phoenix' special. Note the specially added new platform edging, and the flimsy looking Network SouthEast style nameboard. This was the first passenger train here since 1963.

55006 Thame 29 June 1986

55006 makes a smoky departure from Thame station on 29 June 1986 with the 14:35 Thame to High Wycombe' Thame Phoenix' special, one of a number of shuttle trains operating on the branch, bringing passenger trains back to the town after a gap of 23 years. Sadly this was just a brief return, as apart from a few other specials, no other passengers would use this station. No chance of any renaissance now, as the line is now a cycle track, and an industrial estate occupies the grassy area on the right. In all the excitement the driver has forgotten to chance the lights, and the unit is displaying red lights both at the front and at the rear!

01547 Long Marston 18 September 2018

Thomas Hill 0-6-0 diesel hydraulic 01547 shunts four container flats at Long Marston on 18 September 2018. This makes an interesting comparison with the same loco shunting a couple of tanks the previous year. Obviously a lot of shunting has taken place during that time, as all the stock in the background is either different, or has been moved around.

50008 Long Marston 18 September 2018

Running 83 minutes late, 50008 Thunderer arrives at Long Marston on 18 September 2018, running as the 0Z68 06:39 Leicester to Long Marston light engine. The newly applied sticker below the loco's number reads: 'Hanson & Hall Rail Services Solutions'.

50008 Long Marston 18 September 2018

50008 Thunderer arrived at Long Marston on 18 September 2018 in weak sunshine, and departed 40 minutes later in miserably dull conditions, but predictably between the two there was a short period of brilliant sunshine. Therefore I couldn't resist taking this picture of the loco bathed in sunshine as it waits at the still closed gates, after arriving as the 0Z68 06:39 from Leicester. This picture gives a good overall view of the Long Marston site, showing the huge variety of stock that is stored there.

50008 Long Marston 18 September 2018

50008 Thunderer leaves Long Marston on 18 September 2018 with four flats, running as the 4Z68 11:38 Long Marston to Wembley. There was certainly no chance that this would leave at 11:38, as at that time Thunderer was approaching Pershore, on its way here as the 0Z68 light engine, running 95 minutes late! Consequently this is leaving Long Marston at 13:00.

230003 Long Marston 18 September 2018

After several false starts over the previous weeks, 230003 finally left Long Marston on its delivery run to the Bedford to Bletchley line on 18 September 2018. Running an hour late due to the late running of 50008 Thunderer with the 4Z68 11:38 Long Marston to Wembley container flats, 230003 is pictured leaving Long Marston with the 5Q13 13:10 Long Marston to Bletchley TMD ECS. This is the first of three units that Vivarail are supplying to London Northwestern Railway to replace Class 150s on the Marston Vale line. Although it made its long journey to Bletchley successfully (even turning late running into being 55 minutes early at one point), it did seem to have a spot of bother at the start, as just after I took this picture, it shut down briefly underneath the bridge!

230003 Long Marston 18 September 2018

A wave from a member of the train crew, as 230003 gets under way again, after briefly shutting down underneath the bridge at Long Marston, just as it was leaving with the 5Q13 13:10 Long Marston to Bletchley TMD ECS on 18 September 2018. This short stop allowed this second picture to be taken from the nearby public footpath.

230003 Moreton-in-Marsh 18 September 2018

230003 passes through Moreton-in-Marsh station on 18 September 2018 with the 5Q13 13:10 Long Marston to Bletchley TMD ECS. This was the delivery run of the first production Class 230 unit that Vivarail are supplying to London Northwestern Railway, to work on the Bedford to Bletchley Line. Over the years I photographed some very unusual motive power on the Cotswold Line, but a two car ex London Underground EMU, converted to a DMU by the addition of a couple of Ford 3.2 litre diesel engines has got to be on of the most unusual!

43010 Moreton-in-Marsh 18 September 2018

43010 approaches Moreton-in-Marsh on 18 September 2018 with the 1W27 13:22 Paddington to Worcester Foregate Street GWR service. As everyone has now come to expect from this poor performing franchise operator, this train was running late, 15 minutes in this case. Recent vegetation clearance has opened up this viewpoint, which shows four of Moreton's semaphore signals.

43041 Purton 17 September 2018

43041 Meningitis Trust Support for Life passes Purton on 17 September 2018 with the 1G47 15:36 Paddington to Cheltenham Spa GWR service, most unusually running exactly to time! The fenced off part of the field in the foreground is a public footpath between Collins Lane level crossing (just visible in the background) and Widham (now part of Purton village).

66591 Purton 17 September 2018

66591 passes Purton on 17 September 2018 with the 6X04 12:56 Fairwater Yard to Yate track renewal train. Although I had selected this location for its perfect sun angle, with no intrusive late afternoon shadows, I had forgotten just how long the train was. Nearly half of it is hidden by the bushes in the background, complete with 66552, which is bringing up the rear.

166211 Purton 17 September 2018

166211 passes Purton in superb late afternoon light on 17 September 2018 with the 2G89 17:54 Swindon to Cheltenham Spa GWR service. Collins Lane level crossing can just be seen in the background. I might not have waited for this if it had been one of GWR's much more common drab green liveried units, but as I had seen it heading for Swindon just as I arrived, it was definitely worth waiting for another picture of a unit in this much more attractive colour scheme.

Lydney Junction Sinal Box 15 September 2018

Lydney Junction Signal Box, pictured on 15 September 2018. The box, which stands on the opposite of Harbour Road to the Dean Forest Railway's Lydney Junction station, was originally the Heysham Harbour box, and was moved to the railway after spending over a decade out of use at its original location. 73001 can just be seen on the extreme left.

73001 Lydney Junction 15 September 2018

There aren't many locations where you can take pictures of a Class 73 just by standing on the pavement, next to a public road! 73001 is parked in the siding next to Harbour Road, near the Dean Forest Railway's Lydney Junction station. Photo taken on 15 September 2018.

08238 Lydney Junction 15 September 2018

08238 Charlie parked at the head of a motley collection of stock, including a very sorry looking Class 25 D7633, at Lydney Junction, on the Dean Forest Railway, on 15 September 2018. After 08238 was withdrawn by BR in 1984, it was initially sold to Forest Free Mining Ltd, with the intention of working in the Forest of Dean. However, that venture came to nothing, but it did eventually end up in the forest, when it finally entered preservation.

D832 Lydney Junction 15 September 2018

With the spire of St Mary's church dominating the view, D832 Onslaught detaches from Class 14 D9521 and the 09:05 Norchard to Lydney Junction train (hidden by the bushes), at Lydney Junction on 15 September 2018, during the Dean Forest Railway's Diesel Gala. The hydraulic pair had doubled headed the train, but now D832 would be used on a northbound freight.

D9521 Lydney Junction 15 September 2018

D9521 approaches Lydney Junction on 15 September 2018 with the 09:05 service from Norchard, during the Dean Forest Railway's Diesel Gala. Class 42 D832 Onslaught had just detached from the front of the train. Note the mass of cloud in the background. After a completely sunny start, this now meant that very soon any sunshine would be at a premium.

D832 Lydney Junction 15 September 2018

D832 Onslaught crosses over the Lydney bypass, as it leaves Lydney Junction on 15 September 2018 with the late running 09:45 freight to Norchard, during the Dean Forest Railway's Diesel Gala. This bypass seems to have done little for the traffic congestion in the town, which on my limited number of visits has always been terrible!

D9521 Upper Forge 15 September 2018

The loco and ballast wagons certainly evoke a Forest of Dean scene from the late 1960s, but not in this livery! Perhaps if they had been built earlier than 1964, the Class 14s would have needed a repaint by the mid 1960s, and might very well have looked like this. D9521 passes Upper Forge on 15 September 2018 with the 10:30 Norchard to Lydney Junction freight, during the Dean Forest Railway's Diesel Gala.

D832 Upper Forge 15 September 2018

The first visit of a Warship to the Forest of Dean. D832 Onslaught passes the footpath crossing at Upper Forge on 15 September 2018 with the 10:43 Parkend to Lydney Junction service, during the Dean Forest Railway's Diesel Gala.

D9521 Upper Forge 15 September 2018

Making a fantastic racket, as it climbs the gradient near Upper Forge, D9521 runs alongside the Cannop Brook on 15 September 2018 with the 11:14 Lydney Junction to Parkend freight, during the Dean Forest Railway's Diesel Gala. The loco had only just been repainted into this 'might have been' BR blue livery.

D832 Upper Forge 15 September 2018

D832 Onslaught passes Upper Forge on 15 September 2018 with the 11:25 Lydney Junction to Parkend service, during the Dean Forest Railway's Diesel Gala. Norchard's distant signal can be seen in the background.

D9521 Upper Forge 15 September 2018

There is plenty of evidence of recent tree felling at Upper Forge, on the Dean Forest Railway, seen here in this 15 September 2018 view. D9521 weaves around the reverse curves with the 12:05 Parkend to Lydney Junction service, during the line's Diesel Gala. The woods in the background contain several old mine shafts, part of the formerly extensive Forest of Dean coal mining industry.

D832 Upper Forge 15 September 2018

D832 Onslaught passes Upper Forge on 15 September 2018 with the 12:19 Parkend to Lydney Junction freight, during the Dean Forest Railway's Diesel Gala. Several of these trains were run, with passengers able to travel in the guards vans at both ends of the train.

D832 Lydney Town 15 September 2018

D832 Onslaught approaches Lydney Town station on 15 September 2018 with the 12:19 Parkend to Lydney Junction freight, during the Dean Forest Railway's Diesel Gala. Lydney Space Station, advertised on the right, is not part of the Forest of Dean's space programme (presumably coal powered!), but is in fact a prosaic container storage facility.

37040 Shakespeare Tunnel 28 August 1999

37040 emerges from Shakespeare Tunnel on 28 August 1999 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z90 07:57 Finsbury Park to Sheerness-on-Sea 'Sandwich Dealer' railtour. The unusual ghostly white addition to the EWS livery is caused by the loco's recent use on the weedkilling train.

50033 Moreton-in-Marsh (Dunstall Bridge) 27 March 1988

50033 Glorious approaches Dunstall Bridge, near Moreton-in-Marsh, on 27 March 1988 with the 1B33 14:00 Paddington to Hereford service. This was the last full year of Class 50 operations on the Cotswold Line, and I was taking every opportunity to photograph the locos, often regardless of the weather. I didn't imagine that three decades later I would be doing the same with the HSTs, only in this case, with many more workings, I didn't have to venture out on indifferent days, such as this!

158758 Narroways Hill Junction 16 April 1991

158758 approaches Narroways Hill Junction on 16 April 1991 with the 2O20 17:15 Cardiff Central to Portsmouth Harbour Regional Railways service. A small oasis of green on the edge of Bristol. The earth banks in the foreground mark the site of a bridge that formerly carried the Clifton to Kingswood Junction line over the main line.

165110 Didcot 24 January 1998

Glimpsed through the trees, and between the parked track machines and the largely empty sidings, 165110 rounds the curve on the approach to Didcot Parkway station on 24 January 1998 with the 2A57 14:36 Oxford to Paddington Thames Trains service.

165111 Bletchingdon 11 May 1994

165111 passes the site of Bletchingdon station on 11 May 1994 with the 2C65 18:38 Banbury to Oxford Network SouthEast service. Before the vegetation grew up near the bridge, this used to be an excellent viewpoint for southbound trains in the evening, although the main road traffic directly behind you wasn't particularly pleasant!

20113 & 20106 Cilfrew 28 July 1991

20113 & 20106 pass Cilfrew, as they head up the Dulais Valley towards Onllwyn on 28 July 1991 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z81 06:28 Liverpool Lime Street to Onllwyn 'Vulcan Valley Venturer' railtour. 37138 can just be seen bringing up the rear.

37138 Cilfrew 28 July 1991

37138 brings up the rear of the Pathfinder Tours 1Z81 06:28 Liverpool Lime Street to Onllwyn 'Vulcan Valley Venturer' railtour at Cilfrew on 28 July 1991. 20113 & 20106 are hidden by the bushes at the front of the train. Photo taken from a public footpath crossing.

C317 Gloucester 12 November 1983

The British Rail uniform dates this picture just as much as the DMU! C317 (53911, 59446 & 53858) has just arrived at Gloucester station on 12 November 1983 with the 2B27 09:32 Worcester Foregate Street to Swindon service. As this required a reversal at Gloucester, the driver had to change ends, and is pictured here just opening the door to the rear (soon to be leading) cab.

37107 Wolvercote Tunnel 27 November 1991

Viewed from above the entrance to Wolvercote Tunnel, 37107 emerges from the mist on 27 November 1991 with the 6A49 12:23 Didcot to Bicester MoD stores. Whilst most wagonload traffic had ceased four months earlier with the demise of the Speedlink network, military traffic carried on much as before. Apologies for the exceedingly poor quality of this image, but it is one of the very few pictures I took of this working in the Wolvercote area.

43004 Shipton 13 September 2018

43004 passes FWP Mathews flour mill at Shipton on 13 September 2018 with the 1P18 06:42 Hereford to Paddington GWR service. Although recent vegetation clearance ha opened up this view, it is still (and always has been) a very unbalanced composition for a eastbound train. A train heading in the other direction makes a much more balanced picture.

800012 Shipton 13 September 2018

800012 passes FWP Mathews flour mill at Shipton on 13 September 2018 with the 1W14 06:52 Paddington to Great Malvern GWR service. Just in front of the train, the diminutive platform of Shipton station can just be seen, amid the trees.

165105 Moreton-in-Marsh 13 September 2018

165105 leaves Moreton-in-Marsh station on 13 September 2018 with the 1P23 09:50 GWR service to Paddington. The unit had arrived a little earlier as one half of the 1W16 07:50 Paddington to Great Malvern. The front unit then detached, and carried on to Great Malvern. This explains why the train is leaving from the 'wrong' platform. This telephoto view clearly shows the newly installed semaphore signal that allows this move. The crossover just in front of the unit will allow the train to gain the correct line.

800012 Moreton-in-Marsh 13 September 2018

800012 pulls out of Moreton-in-Marsh station on 13 September 2018 with the 1P25 09:54 Great Malvern to Paddington GWR service. The brambles and buddleia are now taking over the area in the foreground that was formerly occupied by a couple of sidings.

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!

50004 West Drayton 6 November 1986

50004 St Vincent passes West Drayton on 6 November 1986 with the 1F23 08:16 Newbury to Paddington Network SouthEast service. I only ever visited this location twice, and the second time was after the Class 50s had finished. Therefore this is yet another Class 50 picture taken here on this superb autumn morning. However, you can never have enough Class 50s!

43172 Shrivenham 24 December 1994

Christmas Eve on the Great Western Mainline. 43172 passes Shrivenham on 24 December 1994 with the 1B30 13:50 Paddington to Swansea service. The sun has melted virtually all of the frost in the field, and has bunt away the early morning fog, although judging by the background, further to the east the fog is still hanging around.

150102 Droitwich 4 August 1996

150102 passes Droitwich signal box on 4 August 1996 with the 17:09 Stratford-upon-Avon to Worcester Shrub Hill Regional Railways service. As can be seen from the destination blind, this had travelled via Birmingham New Street.

L416 Hinksey 22 October 1985

L416 (51353, 59505 & 51395) passes Hinksey Yard on 22 October 1985 with the 2A53 14:06 Oxford to Paddington service. The dark green colour of the containers parked in the foreground immediately gives away the fact that this is an MoD train, although the 'Royal Corps of Transport' lettering on the sides leaves no doubt! The containers are part of the 6A50 13:56 Bicester to Morris Cowley Speedlink working, which would later be split, with non military traffic going to Cowley, and these vehicles heading for Bicester army depot.

L410 Culham 12 May 1987

The oilseed rape field makes a dazzling foreground to this view of L410 (51345, 59497 & 51387) approaching Culham on 12 May 1987 with the 2C16 07:30 Reading to Oxford Network SouthEast service. This was unusually running 20 minutes late, something that would become a lot more common three decades later, under franchise operator's GWR tenure!

31273 Oddington 27 April 2018

31273 passes Oddington on 27 April 1984 with what is presumably the very late running 9M44 05:45 Old Oak Common to Wolverton ECS. These empty stock workings were somewhat erratic, and this is one of the very few pictures that I managed to get of it on the Oxford to Wolverton line.

31105 Hinksey 31 July 1986

Running exactly to time, 31105 is just a few minutes into its journey, as it is pictured passing Hinksey Yard on 31 July 1986 with the 6M93 16:20 Morris Cowley to Bescot Speedlink. Two footbridges cross the yard. The more popular southern bridge can be seen in the background.

37201 Claydon (Gloucestershire) 1 July 1986

It may be near the longest day, but at 20:55 the sun was just on the point of setting on 1 July 1986, as 37201 passed Claydon (Gloucestershire) with the 6V69 19:40 Wednesbury to Cardiff Tidal steel empties. As usual, the train is made up of a rake of SPA wagons, heading back to the Allied Steel & Wire works.

55029 & L425 Langley 6 November 1986

55029 (L129) & two thirds of Class 117 set L425 (59515 & 51405) accelerate away from Langley station on 6 November 1986 with the 2F43 14:34 Paddington to Reading Network SouthEast service. The practice of replacing a Class 117 DMBS vehicle with a bubble car was standard practice when required, and demonstrates the versatility of the blue square multiple working system.

43140 & 43035 Fiddington 10 September 2018

A ScotRail HST in Gloucestershire! 43140 is paired up with plain blue 43035, pictured here passing Fiddington on 10 September 2018, running as the 0L46 05:53 Laira to Ely Papworth Sidings. Ideally I would have liked a picture of the leading power car as well, but that would have been backlit, and getting a decent picture of the 'Seven Cities' liveried 43138 on the rear was much more important, especially as this happened to pass during a brief period of full sun. Although the farm occupation bridge from which this was taken is completely traffic free, it is still not easy to rush from one side to the other to get both pictures, as the best viewpoint requires the use of a precariously balanced ladder amongst the brambles!

170108 Fiddington 10 September 2018

170108 passes Fiddington on 10 September 2018 with the 1V05 08:09 Nottingham to Cardiff Central CrossCountry service. The brick buildings of Yewtree Farm are in the background, with the white buildings of the Ashchurch Industrial Estate just visible on the horizon.

43175 Standish Junction 8 September 2018

43175 passes Standish Junction in the rain on 8 September 2018 with the 1L40 08:37 Worcester Shrub Hill to Paddington GWR service. Extensive stabilisation work has taken place on the cutting side in the background, which has also resulted in the removal of several trees.

50049 & 50007 Standish Junction 8 September 2018

50049 Defiance & 50007 Hercules pass Standish Junction in the rain on 8 September 2018 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z50 05:44 East Midlands Parkway to Weymouth 'Wessex Wanderer' railtour. Despite the awful weather, I was really surprised to be the only photographer present here, at what is a very well know photographic location.

800307 Standish Junction 8 September 2018

800307 approaches Standish Junction on 8 September 2018 with the 1G11 08:15 Paddington to Cheltenham Spa GWR service. Despite the inevitable increase in lineside vegetation, this is still an excellent location to photograph trains approaching from the Swindon line. Not so the Bristol line, on the right!

5007 & 50049 Moreton-in-Marsh 8 September 2018

A welcome return of Class 50s to the Cotswold Line. 50007 Hercules & 50049 Defiance (masquerading on this side only as 50006 Neptune & 50011 Centurion respectively) arrive at Moreton-in-Marsh on 8 September 2018 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z54 15:35 Weymouth to East Midlands Parkway 'Wessex Wanderer' railtour. The train was not booked to stop here, but the late running 1W07 17:22 Paddington to Worcester Foregate Street HST had not yet cleared the section, so the 50s came to a stand in the station. This was very fortunate, as it was getting dark, and although it would have been possible to take a picture of the train moving at speed, this slow moving train 'only' required the use of ISO1600! The last time Class 50s passed this way was in 1999, with another Pathfinder Tour, the 1Z90 08:14 Reading to York 'Hunslet Hoover'. Regular Class 50 passengers working over the route ceased in 1989.

165133 Shorthampton 7 September 2018

165133 passes Shorthampton on 7 September 2018 with the 2E92 06:53 Worcester Foregate Street to Didcot Parkway GWR service. This picture should really have been taken the previous year, when the Class 165 would have been in First Great Western blue, and would therefore have stood out much better against the browns and greens of the Cotswold landscape.

43186 Shorthampton 6 September 2018

43186 passes Shorthampton on 7 September 2018 with the 1P18 06:42 Hereford to Paddington GWR service. This was running exactly on time, something which is nothing like as common as it should be on the Cotswold Line under GWR's stewardship!

165101 Chilson 7 September 2018

165101 passes Chilson on 7 September 2018 with the 1P23 09:50 Moreton-in-Marsh to Paddington GWR service. I almost got a Turbo passing shot here, as just 23 seconds later, 165130 passed by in the other direction with the early running 5Q66 08:20 Reading Traincare Depot to Long Marston ECS.

165130 Chilson 7 September 2018

Running 50 minutes early, 165130 passes Chilson on 7 September 2018 with the 5Q66 08:20 Reading Traincare Depot to Long Marston ECS. Just 23 seconds earlier, 165101 had passed by in the other direction with the 1P23 09:50 Moreton-in-Marsh to Paddington GWR service.

165123 Ascott-under-Wychwood 6 September 2018

165123 calls at Ascott-under-Wychwood station on 6 September 2018 with the only up train of the day to call there - the 2E92 06:53 Worcester Foregate Street to Didcot Parkway GWR service. Despite this infrequent service, my short wait on the station was punctuated by pointless repeated announcements inviting passengers to report suspicious activity to the non-existent staff!

43030 Ascott-under-Wychwood 6 September 2018

In crisp early morning light, 43030 Christian Lewis Trust races through Ascott-under-Wychwood station on 6 September 2018 with the 1P18 06:42 Hereford to Paddington GWR service. This seems to be my most photographed HST power car on the Cotswold Line during 2018. Will this be my last picture of it before it migrates to Scotland? After years of photographing it in Oxfordshire, picturing it amid the Highlands or East Coast of Scotland will be a little different!

67027 Shipton 5 September 2018

67027 Charlotte passes Shipton on 5 September 2018 with the 1Z22 08:14 Tyseley to Bristol High Level Siding Network Rail test train. Unfortunately the recent tree clearance here did not extend to the tree right next to the bridge on the left!

43189 Shipton 5 September 2018

43189 passes through Shipton station on 5 September 2018 with the 1W01 10:22 Paddington to Hereford GWR service. Although this isn't one of them, Shipton station has a much improved service compared with its near neighbour Ascott-under-Wychwood. Five trains a day call, compared with Ascott's two!

170432 & 158723 Stonehaven (Limpet Mill) 2 September 2018

170432 & 158723 pass Limpet Mill (near Stonehaven) on 2 September 2018 with the 1T76 09:24 Aberdeen to Glasgow Queen Street ScotRail service. If you ignore the previous day's 1A95 21:42 Glasgow Queen Street to Aberdeen, which passes here just after midnight, this is the first train of the day on this line on a Sunday.

43296 Stonehaven (Limpet Mill) 2 September 2018

With the North Sea in the background, and a large patch of Rosebay Willowherb going to seed in the foreground, 43296 passes Limpet Mill (near Stonehaven) on 2 September 2018 with the 1E15 09:47 Aberdeen to Kings Cross LNER service.

170414 Findon 1 September 2018

170414 passes Findon on 1 September 2018 with the 1A45 07:30 Edinburgh to Inverurie ScotRail service. Just visible in the background is the footbridge at Portlethen station. Portlethen church can be seen on the horizon, well away from the rest of the village, which now sprawls between the railway and the A90.

43305 Findon 1 September 2018

Just nine minutes into its long journey from Scotland to London, 43305 rounds the curve at Findon on 1 September 2018 with the 1E15 09:52 Aberdeen to Kings Cross LNER service. The livery is from the failed Virgin East Coast franchise, with merely the substitution of LNER logos.

D2094 Milton of Crathes 1 September 2018

On 1 September 2018, D2094 stands at Milton of Crathes station, on the Royal Deeside Railway, prior to propelling the 11:00 service along the one mile section of reopened line to Birkenbaud Crossing, near Banchory. D2094 (as 03094) was withdrawn from BR service in 1988, and after a few years industrial use, entered preservation, eventually arriving in Scotland in 2010.

2139 Milton of Crathes 1 September 2018

The Royal Deeside Railway's Andrew Barclay 0-6-0ST 2139 Salmon, pictured outside the diminutive loco shed at Milton of Crathes on 1 September 2018. As can be seen by the passing car on the right, the line closely parallels the A93 Banchory to Aberdeen road, which must lead to some welcome additional causal visitors.

D5314 Brech 1 September 2018

D5314 arrives at Brechin station, on the Caledonian Railway, on 1 September 2018 with the 12:55 service from Bridge of Dun. Note the 'Celebrating 60 Years 1958 - 2018' headband. Brechin was formerly the terminus for three routes: from Montrose, Edzell and Forfar.

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.

25081 Arbroath 1 September 2018

The real 25081 may have been scrapped in 1982, but it lives on in a smaller scale at the Kerr's Miniature Railway at Arbroath. The little petrol engined loco actually looks more like a Class 27, rather than a 25, which would certainly be more appropriate for Scotland. The 10 in gauge loco carries the name Elliot, after the small village to the west of the town. It is pictured here at the West Links Park station on 1 September 2018, during a rather quiet period. The line often gets overlooked, because it some way from the centre of Arbroath.

43143 Arbroath 1 September 2018

43143 passes the 10 in gauge Kerr's Miniature Railway at Arbroath on 1 September 2018 with the 2W93 15:08 Dundee to Aberdeen ScotRail driver training special. 43036 brings up the rear. This just happened to pass in a few minutes worth of sunshine, virtually the only time the sun appeared from behind the clouds all day! After over four decades of hard work on the Western Region, the locos will now have an easier time of it in Scotland, with no 125mph running, and only four or five coaches per train. When the trains enter passenger service, they will feature refurbished coaches with power operating sliding doors, and in the same livery as the power cars. This set features unrefurbished coaches, still in the First Great Western blue colour scheme.

43036 Arbroath 1 September 2018

43036 brings up the rear of the 2W93 15:08 Dundee to Aberdeen ScotRail driver training special at Arbroath on 1 September 2018. 43143 is a the head of the train. This photo is taken from the little footbridge at the West Links Parks station of the 10 in gauge Kerr's Miniature Railway, which explains the rather unusual foreground!

66077 Elliot 1 September 2018

Running a staggering 268 minutes early, 66077 passes Elliot on 1 September 2018 with the 6D84 18:01 (14:31 actual) Aberdeen Waterloo to Mossend calcium carbonate tanks. While I suppose getting this was a bonus, it is an exceedingly poor substitute for the 1S11 10:00 Kings Cross to Aberdeen LNER HST, which is what I went here for, and which I missed. As the HST appeared to have come to a stand near Dundee, and as the weather was so grim, I decided to walk back to the car in Arbroath. I checked Realtime Trains whilst walking across the field in the background, only to find it was now on the move again and had passed Carnoustie. Despite running back to the bridge, I didn't make it in time!

170408 Elliot 1 September 2018

170408 passes Elliot on 1 September 2018 with the 1T34 15:33 Aberdeen to Glasgow Queen Street ScotRail service. The diverging tracks here mark the site of the island platform of Elliot Junction station, which closed in 1967. This was the junction for the Carmyllie branch, a freight only line since 1929.

140001 Dufftown 31 August 2018

Based on the Leyland single car experimental 1970s railbuses, the unique Class 140 unit was constructed at Derby in 1979, and during 1980 and 1981 it conduced trials in various parts of the country. The design led to the production of the Class 141 units, which then evolved into the Class 142-144 Pacer fleet. 140001 was withdrawn in 1990, and has been preserved at the Keith & Dufftown Railway. The nearly 40 year old unit is definitely in non-running condition, when pictured here at Dufftown on 31 August 2018.

53628 & 56224 Keith Town 31 August 2018

One of the Keith & Dufftown Railway's two Class 108 units, 53628 & 56224 Spirit of Seaside, stands at Keith Town station on 31 August 2018, prior to working the 12:10 service to Dufftown. Despite appearances, the split level station building is a modern building, although exactly replicating the original demolished structure.

158720 Inchberry 31 August 2018

It seems that uncontrolled lineside vegetation is not just a feature of southern England. 158720 brushes aside the bushes, as it passes Inchberry (between Elgin and Keith) on 31 August 2018 with the 1A52 12:46 Inverness to Aberdeen ScotRail service.

158725 Gartly 31 August 2018

158725 runs alongside the unfortunately named Water of Bogie near Gartly on 31 August 2018 with the 1A56 15:29 Inverness to Stonehaven ScotRail service. Note the vintage telegraph poles, once a feature of virtually every railway line in the country.

Alford Valley Railway 31 August 2018

The 2ft gauge Alford Valley Railway closed in 2017, due to the condition of the track. It is hoped to reopen the line, but as can be seen from this 31 August 2018 picture, the line is currently disused. This is the extremely sharp curve taking the line from running parallel to the delightfully named Lang Stracht road, to run alongside Alford Golf Course. Note the check rail.

Alford Valley Railway 31 August 2018

The currently disused Alford Valley Railway, pictured on 31 August 2018. This is the view looking north, next to Alford Golf Course. The rather heavy looking rails were salvaged from the New Pitsligo peat moss railway, which closed in 1978.

66743 Aviemore 30 August 2018

66743 stands under the immaculately painted canopy at Aviemore station on 30 August 2018, prior to working the 1H90 12:08 Belmond Royal Scotsman charter to Dundee. This was part of a five day tour from Edinburgh to Kyle of Lochalsh. 720 miles of luxury travel for 4,605.

170453 Aviemore 30 August 2018

170453 arrives at Aviemore station on 30 August 2018 with the 1B22 10:45 Inverness to Edinburgh ScotRail service. 66743 waits in the bay platform with the 1H90 12:08 Aviemore to Dundee Belmond Royal Scotsman luxury charter.

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.