Recent Additions

66613 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 18 November 2019

66613 approaches the site of Ashbury Crossing, near Shrivenham, on 18 November 2019 with the 6B35 11:10 Hayes & Harlington to East Usk stone empties. Unfortunately, a sign of the times is that every single wagon has been vandalised!

57301 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 18 November 2019

57301 Goliath approaches the site of Ashbury Crossing, near Shrivenham, on 18 November 2019 with the 5Q78 10:19 Ilford EMU Depot to Newport Docks (Sims Group), conveying 315858 & 315814 to their appointment with the scrapman. Note the variation in livery, with the leading unit formerly belonging to Transport for London, and the rear one to their sister company, London Overground. At less than forty years old, these EMUs surely have many years of life left in them, but they are being replaced my new Class 345 & 710 trains.

66755 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 18 November 2019

With the shadows lengthening, 66755 Tony Berkeley OBE RFG Chairman 1997-2018 approaches the site of Ashbury Crossing, near Shrivenham, on 19 November 2019 with the 6V32 10:13 Tilbury to Trostre Works steel empties. Full sun here, but obviously considerably more cloudy not far to the east!

37099 Wolvercote 17 November 2019

37099 Merl Evans 1947-2016 passes Wolvercote on 17 November 2019, towing failed Plasser and Theurer USP 5000 RT Ballast Regulator DR 77901, running as the 6Z88 12:45 Swindon Transfer to Rugby. There was a 22 minute delay in leaving Swindon, as the crew had unsuccessfully requested to go via Kemble, eliminating the need to run round in Swindon station. I had gone to this location as I expected the whole of Port Meadow to be under water, in view of the recent heavy rain. Although there were extensive floods off to the right in the distance, I was surprised that there was only a very small flood at this Wolvercote Common end of Port Meadow.

50008 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 16 November 2019

50008 Thunderer goes for a pointless jaunt along the up relief line at Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 16 November 2019 with the 5Z40 09:06 Bristol Barton Hill to Wembley ECS, conveying six refurbished Chiltern Railways Mk 3 coaches. With no other trains around, I would have expected this to be routed along the up main, but instead it was diverted into the loop at Challow, and went straight out the other end at Wantage Road without stopping. In the still air, it could be heard accelerating away from Wantage Road for several minutes, even though that was over two miles away!

50008 Challow 16 November 2019

With six Chiltern Railways Mk 3 coaches in tow, 50008 Thunderer runs along the down relief line at Challow on 16 November 2019 with the 5Z41 12:42 Wembley to Bristol Barton Hill ECS. Unfortunately the earlier sunshine had completely disappeared, and it was now getting quite dark. The few minutes that the train was stopped in the loop allowed me just enough time to walk back down the field to where it had stopped, and get a picture of the nameplate.

50008 Thunderer Nameplate 16 November 2019

The nameplate and crest of 50008 Thunderer, photographed whilst the loco was stopped briefly at Challow on 16 November 2019, as it was working the 5Z41 12:42 Wembley to Bristol Barton Hill ECS. Off necessity this was taken with a long lens, from the field next to the line.

47317 Kings Sutton 20 July 1995

47317 passes Kings Sutton on 20 July 1995 with the 4S59 15:35 Southampton to Coatbridge freightliner. This clearly shows how tatty some Freightliner 47s had become by the mid 1990s, with the Trainload Distribution decals almost faded to the same grey as the bodyside. Note also that the loco has just had its Willesden Yard nameplates removed.

47484 Swindon 28 October 1992

Its glory days working Western Region passenger trains now behind it, 47484 Isambard Kingdom Brunel rests between departmental duties at Swindon on 28 October 1992. It had been a civil engineer's loco for over a year, but had just been further downgraded by being transferred from the DCWA pool to the DCWW restricted use fleet. Happily it would later be back on front line duties.

47482 Cowley Bridge Junction 7 November 1990

47482 glints in the setting sun on 7 November 1990, as it approaches Cowley Bridge Junction with the 1E43 14:15 Plymouth to Leeds mail. The yellow late afternoon light only accentuates the brown dirt covering the bodyside. The line on the extreme right is the exit from Exeter Riverside Yard.

60024 New Barnetby 26 July 1996

60024 passes New Barnetby on 26 July 1996 with the 6D86 13:30 Roxby to Grimsby Tioxide gypsum waste empties. A very dull day, but at least the ex-works loco brightens up the scene. Unfortunately I have got very few pictures of this train, although I did photograph the very last one!

56040 Spetchley 4 June 1996

56040 Oystermouth passes Spetchley shortly before sunset on 4 June 1996 with the Tuesdays and Thursdays only 6V67 17:30 Wakefield to Cardiff Tidal steel empties. Even at 20:20 there is nothing at all that will cast a shadow over the line at this location.

43102 Flax Bourton 11 August 2007

In 2007 GNER helped out Virgin CrossCountry with trains to the West of England on summer Saturdays, bringing the welcome sight of dark blue HSTs to the area. 43102 leads the 1E47 09:40 Newquay to Newcastle service past Flax Bourton on 11 August. 43099 is brining up the rear.

43099 Flax Bourton 11 August 2007

'WiFi Is Here' proclaims 43099, as it brings up the rear of the 1E47 09:40 Newquay to Newcastle Virgin CrossCountry service at Flax Bourton on 11 August 2007. 43102 is the lead power car. The train was hired in from GNER to cover for Virgin's stock shortage.

DR73120 & DR77909 Grove 14 November 2019

Plasser & Theurer 09-3X-D-RT Tamper / Liner DR73120 & USP5000RT ballast regulator DR77909 run along the down main line at Grove on 14 November 2019 with 6Q53 10:23 Reading Triangle Sidings to Gloucester Horton Road, which was then oddly stopped at a red signal at Challow, to allow the following passenger trains to overtake it on the relief line! Normally of course it would be the track machines that would use the relief line.

802111 Grove 14 November 2019

802111 runs slowly along the down relief line at Grove on 14 November 2019 with the 1G29 11:36 Paddington to Cheltenham Spa GWR service. For some reason a pair of track machines had been let out of the loop at Milton in front of this, only to come to a stand at a red signal at Challow, therefore a couple of passenger trains had to use the relief line to get past the obstruction. This train was terminated at Gloucester, due to severe flooding.

67012 Grove 14 November 2019

67012 passes Grove in miserable light on 14 November 2019 with the 5Q95 13:59 Swindon Transfer to Didcot Parkway overhead line test train, using ex-works electric loco 90035. Prototype HST liveried Mk 3 11074, DVT 82115 and 67028 make up the rest of the train. What a pity this didn't run the previous day, which was mostly sunny!

67028 Grove 14 November 2019

67028 brings up the rear of the 5Q95 13:59 Swindon Transfer to Didcot Parkway overhead line test train at Grove on 14 November 2019. 67012 is leading, with 90035 doing the actual testing. This was the third of the day's planned runs. I missed the first, and the second was cancelled.

67028 Grove 14 November 2019

67028 passes Grove in the gathering darkness on 14 November 2019 with the 5Q96 14:49 Didcot Parkway to Swindon Transfer overhead line test train. 90035 is doing the actual testing. The 1A21 14:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington IET can just be seen disappearing into the distance, luckily getting out of the way just in time!

90035 Grove 14 November 2019

With the sprawling housing estates of Grove visible in the background, 90035 is pictured engaged in high speed pantograph tests on 14 November 2019. The train is the 5Q96 14:49 Didcot Parkway to Swindon Transfer overhead line test train, being hauled by 67028. Apologies for the poor quality, but in order to use the very high shutter speed required for this broadside shot, an ISO of 6400 had to be used in the late afternoon gloom.

66599 Uffington 13 November 2019

66599 passes Uffington on 13 November 2019 with the 4L36 07:45 Wentloog to Felixstowe North freightliner. Note the open engine room door. Despite the sunny morning, I hadn't gone here for yet another picture of this freightliner, but for the planned first ever run of an electric loco on the Great Western Mainline. 90035 had been brought down from Crewe a few days earlier by 67012, and was booked to work three return overhead line test trips to Didcot, all of which turned out to be cancelled!

166220 Uffington 13 November 2019

Shortly before the cloud advancing from the west put an end to the sunny morning, 166220 Roger Watkins The GWR Master Train Planner passes Uffington on 13 November 2019 with the 3Z60 10:37 Bristol Temple Meads to Reading West Junction GWR ECS.

66510 Uffington 13 November 2019

66510 passes Uffington on 13 November 2019 with the 4L38 09:56 Wentloog to Felixstowe North freightliner. Although it will be better in a couple of weeks, there is the beginnings of some autumn colour in the oak trees next to the line.

33039 & 33052 Crosskeys 15 August 1987

33039 & 33052 Ashford take the Oakdale line at Crosskeys on 15 August 1987 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z27 07:27 Watford Junction to Oakdale 'Valley Basher Three' railtour. The Ebbw Vale line is in the foreground. This is the kind of picture at which the Pentax 6x7 excelled: Slow moving subject, standard lens, and full sun!

33035 Brookland 18 May 1995

33035 Spitfire passes through the disused station at Brookland on 18 May 1995 with the 7O62 06:29 Willesden to Dungeness nuclear flask. The station closed in 1967, but the station building was sold for residential use thirty years earlier, with all passenger traffic (such as there was) being concentrated on the former up platform, the remains of which can be seen as the grassy bank next to the nuclear flask.

58037 Culham 15 June 1999

58037 approaches Culham on 15 June 1999 with the 6S65 15:19 Eastleigh to Mossend Enterprise, which on this occasion was made up totally of china clay tanks from Quidhampton. This always used to be an excellent spot for photography on summer evenings, with plenty of variety of traffic, and a shadow free location.

66016 Overthorpe 16 June 1999

66016 passes Overthorpe on 16 June 1999 with the 6M14 14.29 Avonmouth to Rugby cement works imported coal. Unfortunately this train had just gone over to Class 66 operation, in place of the earlier Class 37 or 56 haulage.

166220 Grove 11 November 2019

Viewed from the public footpath crossing near Grove, 166220 Roger Watkins The GWR Master Train Planner runs along the down relief line between Wantage Road and Challow on 11 November 2019 with the 3Z36 12:26 Didcot West End to Cardiff Central GWR ECS. This travelled via a reversal at Bristol Temple Meads.

800319 Wantage Road 11 November 2019

Even one of Great Western's dreary dark green Class 800s looks acceptable in lighting this dramatic! 800319 passes Wantage Road on 11 November 2019 with the 1L54 11:56 Cardiff Central to Paddington GWR service. This was one of those typical situations where I left home in more or less full sunshine, only for it to immediately start clouding up. Then, after walking a considerable distance across the fields to get to this location, it seemed like it would be totally cloudy for the rest of the day. Luckily however, the cloud soon largely dispersed.

37884 Wantage Road 11 November 2019

37884 Cepheus approaches Wantage Road on 11 November 2019 with the 5Q78 10:52 Hornsey EMU Depot to Newport Docks (Sims Group), conveying EMUs 313061 & 313039 on their final journey. This location used to be good in the autumn, as a short telephoto view revealed the train passing some lineside trees, which were always good for autumn colour. Unfortunately the 25kV catenary means a wide angle is now required, and the autumn colour is now barely visible in the background, above the roofs of the EMUs.

66755 Wantage Road 11 November 2019

66755 Tony Berkeley OBE RFG Chairman 1997-2018 approaches Wantage Road on 11 November 2019 with the 6V32 10:13 Tilbury to Trostre Works steel empties. This was running 25 minutes late, after having sat in the loop at Milton for much longer than booked.

43378 Claydon (Gloucestershire) 10 November 2019

Clearly nobody was able to photograph this is in the sun just a little further to the north! Under an impressively dark sky, 43378 passes Claydon in full autumnal sunshine on 10 November 2019 with the 1V52 09:36 York to Bristol Temple Meads CrossCountry service. This was running 18 minutes late, after encountering a half hour delay at Leeds.

56078 Claydon (Gloucestershire) 10 November 2019

56078 approaches Claydon on 10 November 2019 with the 3S31 13:11 Gloucester Horton Road to Worcester Shrub Hill (via Shrewsbury and Oxford!) Rail Head Treatment Train. 56105 is bringing up the rear. The bridge in the background is the farm occupation bridge near Fiddington.

56105 Claydon (Gloucestershire) 10 November 2019

56105 brings up the rear of the 3S31 13:11 Gloucester Horton Road to Worcester Shrub Hill (via Shrewsbury and Oxford!) Rail Head Treatment Train at Claydon on 10 November 2019. 56078 is the lead locomotive. Just visible in the background, underneath the roadbridge, is 67012 waiting in Ashchurch loop with the 5Z24 11:11 Crewe Electric to Swindon Transfer stock move.

67012 & 90035 Claydon (Gloucestershire) 10 November 2019

An extremely unusual working took place on Sunday 10 November 2019, when 67012 transported ex-works electric loco 90035 from Crewe to Swindon, in preparation for test running between Swindon and Didcot. The colourful ensemble is pictured passing Claydon, running as the 5Z24 11:11 Crewe Electric to Swindon Transfer. The full consist is: 67012, 90035, prototype HST liveried Mk 3 11074, DVT 82115 and 67028 bringing up the rear.

155324 Moreton-in-Marsh 24 April 1988

Moreton-in-Marsh station, with the typical lack of passengers, so common on a Sunday afternoon in the 1980s. 155324 stands underneath the footbridge with the 17:35 Oxford to Hereford service on 24 April 1988. I had already photographed this unit, as it arrived at the station, but the lack of people getting in the way, and with perfect spring lighting, another picture was taken. Good job too, as both the unit and the bridge are now history. 155324 was converted into two Class 153 units in 1992, and the bridge has been replaced by a huge modern disabled friendly design.

43177 Swindon 28 October 1992

43177 leaves Swindon station on 28 October 1992 with the 1A44 10:15 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington service. The building on the left, known as Signal Point, was constructed in the 1970s, after Swindon's original station buildings were demolished. It forms the entrance to the station, but was latterly let out as offices, before becoming vacant.

43174 Stenson Junction 14 November 1988

A little weak autumn sunshine at Stenson Junction on 14 November 1988. 43174 heads south 1V42 07:45 Leeds to Paignton 'Devonian'. A wide open vista, with the lines on the right into Willington Power Station still in use.

43185 Goring 13 September 1986

43185 approaches Goring on 13 September 1986 with the 1A17 07:00 Swansea to Paddington service. Another location that I should have visited more often, but which has now disappeared under a sea of 25kV wires.

47807 Stonehouse (Bristol Road) 25 April 1990

47807 passes the site of the former LMS Stonehouse (Bristol Road) station on 25 April 1990 with the 1S85 07:07 Plymouth to Aberdeen 'Devon Scot'. The former station master's house can be seen in the background. The site of the station on the left had, until a couple of years before this picture was taken, been used as a domestic coal depot.

47829 Didcot North Junction 4 December 1999

47829 approaches Didcot North Junction on 4 December 1999 with the 1O30 07:17 Manchester Piccadilly to Brighton Virgin CrossCountry service. Even over two years after the launch of the brand, a complete train in Virgin colours like this was by no means a certainty.

59102 Narroways Hill Junction 3 March 1994

59102 Village of Chantry passes Narroways Hill Junction on 3 March 1994 with the 7C42 14:01 Merehead to Hallen Moor stone train. This short term contract in connection with the construction of the approach roads for the Second Severn Crossing, brought regular Class 59 workings to the Bristol area.

47105 Hungerford Common 29 November 1981

47105 passes Hungerford Common on 29 November 1981 with an unidentified westbound empty ARC stone train. The reason it is unidentified, is that this is a Sunday, and the working timetable makes no mention of any freight trains. Despite the poor quality, I have included this picture as it is one of the few pictures I have of Class 47s working the Mendip stone trains.

60040 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 22 October 1997

60040 approaches Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 22 October 1997 with the 6C64 11:59 Didcot Power Station to Avonmouth MGR empties. The relief lines here were laid a few years earlier specifically for the use of these trains, but more often than not, I saw the MGRs using the main, as here.

60035 Hatfield & Stainforth 30 October 1998

60035 Florence Nightingale approaches Hatfield & Stainforth station on 30 October 1998 with the 6D68 08:13 Lindsey to Leeds oil tanks. A lineside fence, and masses of bushes have now made this wide viewpoint impossible.

60028 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 28 December 2001

60028 John Flamsteed's drab unbranded grey livery has not been improved by the evidence of its recent use on iron ore workings. It is pictured here passing the site of Ashbury Crossing, near Shrivenham, on 28 December 2001 with the 4D16 13:30 Didcot Power Station to Avonmouth MGR empties.

165119 Grove 7 November 2019

165119 passes Grove on 7 November 2019 with the 3Z60 10:37 Bristol Temple Meads to Reading West Junction GWR ECS. Two car Class 165s haven't been used on revenue earning trains on this route since the ill fated Oxford to Bristol direct trains stopped running in 2003. However, since the electfrication of the Paddington to Oxford local services, and consequent widening of the Class 165's sphere of operations, empty stock workings now appear sporadically on the line. The impressive cloud effect in this picture was a mixed blessing, as while it certainly adds to the picture, the rapidly increasing cloud (there was virtually none when I left home), soon led to some challenging photographic conditions.

37612 Grove 7 November 2019

37612 runs along the up relief line at Grove on 7 November 2019 with the 1Z23 07:08 Bristol High Level Siding to Tyseley Network Rail test train. Unfortunately this corresponded with the sun disappearing into a small (but thankfully quite thin) cloud. Annoyingly the cloud was moving more slowly than the train, and consequently only 37610 on the rear of the train is fully lit!

37610 Cassington 7 November 2019

37610 passes Cassington on 7 November 2019 with the 1Z23 07:08 Bristol High Level Siding to Tyseley Network Rail test train. Although only a couple of years since this location was cleared of all lineside vegetation, bushes have already started to grow up near the track, necessitating this long lens head on viewpoint. Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital (known to everyone simply as the JR), can be seen in the background, directly above the brick sewage works access bridge.

37612 Churchill Heath 6 November 2019

37610 passes Churchill Heath on 6 November 2019 with the 1Z22 08:20 Tyseley to Bristol High Level Siding Network Rail test train. 37612 is bringing up the rear. I had expected a bit more autumn colour in the trees here, and a bit of sunshine would have been nice as well! However, despite the poor weather it was worth the long walk to this location, as the recently cleared viewpoint will not last long, as already bushes are growing right next to the line.

37612 Churchill Heath 6 November 2019

37612 brings up the rear of the 1Z22 08:20 Tyseley to Bristol High Level Siding Network Rail test train at Churchill Heath on 6 November 2019. 37610 is leading, and at this point was only coasting, but once round the corner it opened up, and could then be heard for several minutes in the still air.

D9019 Bishops Lydeard 20 September 1998

D9019 Royal Highland Fusilier was the star attraction at the West Somerset Railway's 1998 Diesel Gala. It is pictured here accelerating away from Bishops Lydeard on Sunday 20 September with the 14:00 Minehead to Norton Fitzwarren service.

91012 Peascliffe Tunnel 18 August 1992

91012 approaches Peascliffe Tunnel on 18 August 1992 with the 16:25 Kings Cross to Leeds InterCity service. This is one of those locations (along with many others on the East Coast Mainline) that I regret not visiting prior to electfrication. Oh, for a time machine!

60096 Oxford 27 June 1998

60096 Ben Macdui passes through Oxford station on 27 June 1998 with the 6V53 04:20 Lindsey to Langley aviation fuel tanks. Note the change of gradient. On the right a new station car park is under construction, on the site of the former scrapyard.

60079 Barton-under-Needwood 15 July 1996

60079 Foinaven heads north past Barton-under-Needwood on 15 July 1996 with MGR empties. In the background is the extensive gravel works near Wychnor Junction, which despite being right next to the railway, lost its rail connection many years ago.

37905 Badgeworth 17 March 1994

37905 Vulcan Enterprise heads north, light engine, past Badgeworth on 17 March 1994. The loco, one of just two Class 37s that received the Ruston RK270T 1,800 hp engine, was named at Cardiff Canton Depot on 3 February 1987 by Jim MacKinnon, managing director of Ruston Diesels.

37901 Coedkernew 14 March 1997

37901 Mirrlees Pioneer passes Coedkernew on 14 March 1997 with the 6B69 10:12 Margam to Llanwern steel coils. Behind the train are the low lying fields, intersected with ditches, that stretch from the railway to the sea, nearly a mile away.

47099 Magor 4 September 1986

Two freights in one picture, but not necessarily making a better picture. The 6S75 12:55 Severn Tunnel Junction to Mossend Speedlink slightly gets in the way in the foreground, while 47099 heads east with a lengthy rake of ZHV wagons at Magor on 4 September 1986. These are former 16 ton coal wagons converted for departmental use. Note the 'letter box' holes cut in the sides, to prevent them being overloaded with ballast and spoil, which is denser than coal.

50149 Norton Fitzwarren (Longlands Bridge) 1 October 1995

With a remnant of this section of the route's former double track status in the foreground, 50149 Defiance passes Longlands Bridge, on the approach to Norton Fitzwarren, with the 1A17 12:10 Minehead to Norton Fitzwarren service, during the West Somerset Railway's Diesel Gala on 1 October 1995.

50149 Doniford Beach Halt 1 October 1995

50149 Defiance rounds the curve on the approach to Doniford Bach Halt on 1 October 1995 with the 1B61 17:20 Minehead to Norton Fitzwarren service, during the West Somerset Railway's Diesel Gala. Directly behind the train are the cliffs of Helwell Bay.

52062 & 51950 Greet 14 January 2001

With Winchcombe signal box clearly switched out, the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's Class 108 DMU (52062 & 51950) passes Greet, as it returns from Gotherington to Toddington on 14 January 2001. Winchcombe goods shed can be seen in the background, between the DMU and the signal.

51950 & 52062 Gotherington 14 January 2001

Having just arrived at Gotherington with the 14:15 service from Toddington, the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's Class 108 DMU (51950 & 52062) will shortly be heading back from whence it came. The date is 14 January 2001, and despite the destination being displayed, it would be another couple of years before trains would reach Cheltenham, and even then only to Cheltenham Racecourse station.

37215 & 37324 Dixton 22 October 2000

A pair of Rail Blue Class 37s in the Cotswolds. 37215 & 37324 Clydebridge pass Dixton on 22 October 2000 with the 15:20 Toddington to Gotherington service, during the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's Diesel Gala.

56106 Appleby Carrs 4 May 2002

56106 rounds the curve at Appleby Carrs (near Scunthorpe) with the 6C74 11:48 Scunthorpe to Immingham MGR empties on 4 May 2002. This is the point where the line comes out of the woods, and heads across the open landscape surrounding the New River Ancholme.

47791 Eggborough 14 October 1995

47791 Venice Simplon Orient Express emerges from the mist, and slowly approaches Eggborough Power Station on 14 October 1995 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z27 05:25 Swindon to Drax 'Aire Freighter' railtour. Out if sight around the corner, 56067 is bringing up the rear.

56067 Eggborough 14 October 1995

56067 brings up the rear of the Pathfinder Tours 1Z27 05:25 Swindon to Drax 'Aire Freighter' railtour on 14 October 1995, as 47791 Venice Simplon Orient Express leads the train towards Eggborough Power Station. Awful dull misty conditions, but definitely worth recording.

43109 Spetchley 22 July 1989

In the days when Spetchley had both and up and a down loops, 43109 Yorkshire Evening Press heads northwards on 22 July 1989 with the 08:20 Tenby to York 'InterCity Holidaymaker' service. The southbound loop, which clearly looks disused here, was lifted in the mid 1990s.

43099 Kings Sutton 10 July 1997

The classic location of Kings Sutton hasn't been graced by a HST for some time. In the good old days, 43099 heads north with the 1M25 16:20 Bournemouth to Manchester Piccadilly Virgin CrossCountry service on 10 July 1997.

50030 Colhayne 20 November 1991

Another Devon location that I only visited once. 50030 Repulse passes Colhayne (between Honiton and Axminster) on 20 November 1991 with the 1O38 14:22 Exeter St Davids to Waterloo Network SouthEast service. This was taken from a farm occupation bridge, that also carries a footpath from Colhayne Lane to the village of Watchcombe. Repulse had just three months left in traffic, being withdrawn after failing with generator problems whilst working the 2V13 12:55 Waterloo to Exeter St Davids service on 23 February 1992.

60011 Bourton 17 July 1996

Not long before sunset on 17 July 1996, 60011 passes Bourton with the 6O42 Hallen Marsh to Eastleigh Yard LPG empties. I was surprised to see this, as its booked time here was after the sun had set, and in fact it passed me five minutes before its official departure time of 20:26.

142017 Middlesbrough 22 July 1996

With the unmistakable outline of the Tees Newport Bridge dominating the background, 142017 approaches Middlesbrough on 22 July 1996 with the 11:24 Darlington to Saltburn Regional Railways service. The 1934 built vertical lift bridge hasn't been raised since 1990.

60062 Denchworth 14 March 1994

60062 Samuel Johnson passes Denchworth on 14 March 1994 with the 6B23 13:12 Colnbrook to Robeston empty aviation fuel tanks. In those days I used to think the recently erected signal gantry had spoiled this location, but now of course there is no view at all from this bridge, due to the line's electfrication.

60053 Aynho Junction 7 December 1991

The midday sunshine is only just beginning to melt the frost at Aynho Junction on 7 December 1991, as 60053 John Reith heads north with the 6E50 09:45 Langley to Lindsey empty oil tanks. The loco was less than a year old at the time.

33109 Winchfield 9 February 1992

It's 11:26 on a miserable Sunday morning at Winchfield on 9 February 1992. 33109 passes through the station non-stop with the 1L08 10:26 Salisbury to Waterloo Network SouthEast service. Unlike a lot of locos in departmental grey livery, 33109 did not receive an upper bodyside yellow stripe, converting into a 'Dutch' liveried loco. Indeed, its grey livery was smartened up when it took part in various railtours. To finish its career on the national network it was repainted back into BR blue.

37324 Clydebridge Nameplate 5 October 2002

37324's Clydebridge nameplate, picture on 5 October 2002, when it was a persevered loco at the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway at Toddington. The loco has since been acquired by Colas, and has reverted to its earlier 37099 number.

D9019 Woodthorpe 2 April 1995

With a plume of typical light blue Deltic smoke, D9019 passes Woodthorpe on 2 April 1995 with the 17:30 Loughborough to Leicester service, during the Great Central Railway's Diesel Gala. Note that the loco is not carrying its Royal Highland Fusilier nameplates.

56089 & 37713 Melton Ross 18 July 1996

Smell the paint! Freshly painted 56089 makes a heavy brake application, as it tows 37713 past Melton Ross on 18 July 1996. This was at the very start of the EWS era (or EW&S as it was then), and 56089 was one of the first locos to acquire the new colour scheme.

56062 Cossington 19 August 1985

56062 passes Cossington on 19 August 1985 with the 6F31 13:15 Radlett to Mountsorrel Redland stone empties. Considering how common these workings were at the time, it is surprising that so few pictures of blue Class 56s working stone trains are to be found on the internet.

L429 Moreton-in-Marsh 20 December 1986

L429 (51367, 59519 & 51409) leaves Moreton-in-Marsh station on 20 December 1986 with the 13:22 service to Oxford. This train, which was the return working of the earlier 12:23 Oxford to Moreton-in-Marsh 'all stations' service, was not shown in the working timetable, as it was introduced experimentally in October, after requests for a Saturday shopper's service. This is why for a long time I could not identify the working, and my thanks to William Crossley for providing the information. Despite the fact that I cannot see a single passenger on the train, the service must have been successful enough for BR to introduced the slightly earlier timed 2A30 12:20 Worcester Shrub Hill to Oxford train in the May 1987 timetable!

60044 Culham 22 June 1995

60044 Ailsa Craig passes a field of poppies at Culham on 22 June 1995 with MGR empties from Didcot Power Station. At this time Didcot was receiving both imported coal from Avonmouth and the domestic product from the Midlands.

2411 Moreton 1 March 1992

Running nearly half an hour late, and in the pouring rain, Class 442 5-WES 2411 passes through the shallow cutting on the approach to Moreton station on 1 March 1992 with the 10:30 Waterloo to Weymouth Network SouthEast service. I haven't been back to this location since, but Google Earth shows the now expected massively overgrown jungle, with the then treeless cutting side behind the train now covered with Silver Birch trees.

2407 Moreton 1 March 1992

Class 442 5-WES 2407 passes Moreton in the rain on 1 March 1992 with the 13:40 Weymouth to Waterloo Network SouthEast service. In those days the Silver Birch trees were confined to the nearby Moreton Heath, which can be seen in the background. Today they block out this view, as Network Rail have allowed them to grow right next to the line.

55024 Hinksey 3 October 1990

Dramatic lighting at Hinksey on 3 October 1990, as 55024 (124) passes the yard with the late running 2C64 16:42 Didcot Parkway to Oxford Network SouthEast service. After a largely dull day, the sun had finally come out, although clearly a little further to the south there was still plenty of dark clouds.

47818 Wolvercote Junction 8 April 1997

47818 approaches Wolvercote Junction in hazy light on 8 April 1997 with the 1M79 16:48 Reading to Liverpool Lime Stret service. Just behind the loco is the start if the up goods loop, which runs from here to Oxford.

66162 Yarnton 29 October 2019

Running 37 minutes late, Maritime blue liveried 66162 Maritime Intermodal Five passes Yarnton on 29 October 2019 with the 4E94 05:07 Southampton Western Docks to Masborough intermodal. Recent lineside tree clearance has opened up this view considerably, and had the very weak early morning sunshine got a little stronger, it would have been evident that now nothing casts a shadow across the line, even in the autumn. Of course, as Network Rail only do this kind of work every couple of decades, it will soon become overgrown again!

66722 Yarnton 29 October 2019

66772 Maria passes Yarnton on 29 October 2019 with the 4E34 05:28 Southampton Western Docks to Doncaster Iport intermodal. Note the evidence of recent lineside vegetation clearance, as yet on one side of the line only.

66952 Yarnton 29 October 2019

66952 passes underneath the footbridge near Yarnton on 29 October 2019 with the 4O05 07:15 Birch Coppice to Southampton Maritime freightliner. This was running exactly on time here, but it would later encounter delays in the Reading area, finally arriving at Southampton 24 minutes late.

66018 Grove 28 October 2019

66018 passes Grove on 28 October 2019 with the 3J43 02:53 Didcot to Didcot (via the Berks & Hants Line) Rail Head Treatment Train. 66069 is bringing up the rear. Unfortunately the earlier sunshine had completely disappeared.

37800 Grove 28 October 2019

37800 Cassiopeia takes former TfL Rail EMU 315842 on its final journey on 28 October 2019. The 5Q78 10:19 Ilford EMU Depot to Newport Docks (Sims Group) is pictured running along the down relief line at Grove. As the earlier sunshine had been replaced by thick cloud, I took the opportunity to photograph this from the normally impossible north side of the line. Yet another minor variation in viewpoint at a well used location! Grove foot crossing can just be seen in the background.

168325 Oddington 27 October 2019

168325 passes Oddington on 27 October 2019 with the 1Y03 07:43 Oxford to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. The Met Office had correctly predicted that it would be a sunny day, but with the remnants of the previous day's cloud still around in the east. Unfortunately the cloud was still near enough to just be taking the edge of the early morning light, a problem which luckily soon disappeared.

165003 & 165035 Oddington 27 October 2019

165003 & 165035 pass the recently constructed lake, which on this occasion is unusually free of wildfowl, at Oddington on the early autumn morning of 27 October 2019.  They are working the 1Y04 08:09 Oxford to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service.

168110 Oddington 27 October 2019

168110 passes underneath the new roadbridge at Oddington on 27 October 2019 with the 1Y05 08:35 Oxford to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. This area was on the very edge of the clear blue sky, with the cloud that the Met Office had correctly predicted still hanging around in the east, which resulted in some variable weak sunshine for the early part of the morning.

165030 & 165022 Oddington 27 October 2019

165030 & 165022 pass Oddington on 27 October 2019 with the 5T14 08:17 Aylesbury to Oxford Chiltern Railways ECS. The farm track the foreground doubles up as a public footpath, a route that was created when the line was upgraded, as the previous footpaths were realigned when two public foot crossings were closed.

168113 Charlton-on-Otmoor 27 October 2019

168113 is neatly framed by a pair of trees at Charlton-on-Otmoor, as it heads towards Bicester on 27 October 2019 with the 1Y12 09:01 Oxford to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. The two trees are all that remains of a former hedge, presumably grubbed out, like many others, in the 1950s or 1960s.

165027 & 165036 Charlton-on-Otmoor 27 October 2019

165027 & 165036 pass Charlton-on-Otmoor on 27 October 2019 with the 1T15 08:35 Marylebone to Oxford Chiltern Railways service. Note the slight variation in liveries, with the leading two car unit in Chiltern's latest colour scheme, and the three car unit in the original version. The white base is the same on both units, but the rear one obviously hasn't seen the washer in a while!

165031 & 165014 Oddington 27 October 2019

165031 & 165014 pass Oddington in perfect autumn sunshine on 27 October 2019 with the 1T17 09:10 Marylebone to Oxford Chiltern Railways service. A special timetable was in force, in order to free up stock for additional trains to Wembley Stadium, where an American Football match between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Rams was due to take place later in the day. The result of this was the use of more Class 165s than is usual.

165035 & 165003 Oddington 27 October 2019

165035 & 165003 pass Oddington on 27 October 2019 with the 1T19 09:40 Marylebone to Oxford Chiltern Railways service. The majority of trains on this day were being worked by a pair of Class 165s (one three car, and one two car). An event at Wembley meant that an amended timetable was in operation.

165033 & 165001 Oddington 27 October 2019

165033 & 165001 pass underneath the new roadbridge at Oddington on 27 October 2019 with the 1T23 10:40 Marylebone to Oxford Chiltern Railways service. The clocks may have just gone back, but the bright sunshine ensured a respectable aperture, even with the very necessary shutter speed of 1/2000sec.

165030 & 165022 Islip 27 October 2019

165030 & 165022 pass through Islip station on 27 October 2019 with the 1T25 11:10 Marylebone to Oxford Chiltern Railways service. A rapid 10 frames per second burst was definitely required here, to make sure that the picture didn't have a lamppost shadow across the front of the unit!

165027 & 165036 Islip 27 October 2019

165027 & 165036 call at Islip station on 27 October 2019 with the 1T27 11:40 Marylebone to Oxford Chiltern Railways service. This being a Sunday, passengers were a bit sparse. Just two people got on, and one got off. I realised that this slightly avant-garde viewpoint from the footbridge would be a bit critical for train positioning, but I didn't realise quite how tight it was until the train arrived!