This section of my website is mostly used for recently taken digital images although occasional single location scans involving different classes of locomotives and trains may appear from time to time. I do not not subscribe to the magazine-led dogma that says that photographers must take pictures only in full sun with the light on the front of the locomotive and using only a standard lens (whatever that means bearing in the mind the differences between full-frame and crop-frame digital cameras). This approach was understandable for colour photography when using transparency film but a very decent image can be obtained with digital cameras in virtually all lighting conditions with careful exposure of the RAW image and correct use of whatever software package the photographer chooses. My approach is that is a train is unusual enough to warrant a trip out then it is worth a shot in any light. Admittedly, it is not always a quick and easy process to obtain a good and above all natural looking image, without bleached out shadows and overdone highlights, saturation and excessive sharpening, for the web in poor light as it is with a correctly exposed sunny shot but to me that is part of the enjoyment. I would rather have a record in dull light of something possibly unrepeatable than nothing at all. Each to his own but I do find sites full of nothing other than full sun on the front shots with the same lens persepctive less than riveting.

I hold the copyright to all photographs shown on this site. It is a breach of this copyright to copy them for whatever reason without my permission, and legal action will be taken against any party found to be doing so. Additionally, a reproduction fee of 250 per image will be charged. Active monitoring is in place to ensure compliance.

I do not supply images for publication in the railway press.

 20225 + 20007 at Stratford-upon-Avon During a quick trawl of RTT on the morning of 18 May 2022 I noticed that an 0Z21 was running to Stratford-upon-Avon to Stratford-upon-Avon via Kidderminster. It was operated by LSL and at a guess would involve a pair of class 20s from Butterley. I watched Railcams as 0Z21 reversed at Kidderminster and saw that the locomotives were blue 20205 and green 20007 and although running about 30 minutes late it seemed likely that most of the time would be made up between Birmingham Snow Hill and Stratford. Even though it was just a light engine move I went to the station and had to decide whether 0Z21 would run into platform 1 as booked or use P2 because of trains from both Birmingham and Leamington Spa being on their way. I hedged my bets and stood in the middle of the footbridge until the 20s appeared leaving time for both alternatives. The schedule was followed and here are the pair with 20225 leading slowing down for a reversal and return to Tyseley LMD.
 20007 + 20205 at Stratford-upon-Avon Almost as soon as 0Z21 had stopped at Stratford-upon-Avon on 18 May 2022 the signal for its exit from platform 1 was cleared. The crew changed ends and prepared to leave with the man from a security company, here to control youngsters from the local school and college, watching as the train now running as 0Z22 moved away. Here is a short video from my smartphone. I imagine that the purpose of the outing was as a route or traction refresher for the LSL crew members.
 HST PC TT at SAV The first chance to photograph the monthly test train in daylight at Stratford-upon-Avon occurred on Tuesday 18 May 2022. The HST PCs 43274 and 43272 provided the power for 1Q48 and the train was due to arrive into platform 1 at 20.46. It ran very early and I went to the station where I suspected that it might use P2 because of a following passenger service from Kidderminster so placed myself on the footbridge where it was easy to switch sides if necessary. My hunch was correct and here is 1Q48 with former EMR 43274 drawing to a halt some 53 minutes early.
 HST PC TT at SAV It took the driver of 1Q48 only a few minutes to get into the cab of 43272 and switch the lights from red to white ready for the journey towards Leamington Spa. There was no chance of it moving for some as both Chiltern and WMR services were on their way to Stratford so pausing to take a quick a shot of the coach containing the track recording equipment as the crew took their break and another of a banner marking The Queen's Platinum Jubilee placed here by the SLPG, I left for home. I later saw that the train was held to to its booked departure time, 20.51.
33012 at Moreton-in-Marsh The convoy of locomotives that visited Swanage for a gala returned north on 10 May 2020 on their way to make an appearance at The Severn Valley Railway. This time there were the added attractions of 33012 on the front and the fact that 0Z33 was routed via the North Cotswold Line with a short layover in the Down Refuge Siding at Moreton-in-Marsh. I have never seen anything in the siding and although it is used to park a class 166 Turbo on weekday evenings it must be fairly unusual to see locomotives in there. The second locomotive in the consist, also under power, was 31128 giving a rare chance to photograph a double-header with the 2 classes. I have only one other picture of this combination taken at Leamington Spa in May 1988 so was keen for a few of today's working. The light for northbound trains in the late morning isn't favourable but a bit of light cloud helped as 37067, D4 and D182 were moved slowly past the inner home signal prior to stopping in platform 1 at the station.
0Z33 at Moreton-in-Marsh The light cloud mentioned above began to clear away as the 5 locomotives went into the station at Moreton-in-Marsh on 10 May 2022 allowing a well-lit picture with class 46 D182 bringing up the rear.
0Z33 at Moreton-in-Marsh There were clearly any number of locations available on the North Cotswold Line to photograph 0Z33 on 10 May 2022 but the most unusual part was when it was recessed in the Down Refuge at Moreton-in-Marsh. The light was well past its best for a morning shot but the sheer rarity of locomotives on this bit of line made the unrepeatable view of 33012, 31128, 37067, D4 and D182 well worthwhile.
0Z33 at Moreton-in-Marsh Although my primary aim was to take an image of 0Z33 in the Down Refuge Siding at Moreton-in-Marsh, when a GWR IET working 1W01 came past the sight of very different generations of power on adjacent lines was an irresistible one for a photograph even with the light being truly horrible!
0Z33 at Moreton-in-Marsh I have a fondness for semaphore signals and particularly those of the lower-quadrant variety so was looking forward to having a shot of the one allowing egress from the siding at Moreton-in-Marsh lowered as 0Z33 led by 33012 pulled out onto the down main line. Sadly though, there was clearly some problem with the mechanism as despite much clattering from the point rodding controlling the catch points it seemed that the signal could not be pulled into the "off" position. Some sort of solution was found and the train exited the siding without a clear signal which was a bit disappointing, for me at least. This was the first time that I had seen 33012 in its green colour scheme; on previous occasions it had been in BR Blue as in this view from Salisbury taken on 4 April 1988.
Signal MM5 at Moreton-in-Marsh Before leaving Moreton-in-Marsh on 10 May 2020 I went onto the station and took this picture of signal MM5, the down starter.
GWR Class 800 near Evesham I wouldn't go out especially to photograph a GWR IET but if by the lineside for something else and one turns up in sunshine then I might have a shot. On 7 May 2020 I was near Evesham to photograph Hastings unit 1001 and this one, named Queen Elizabeth II, came south working 1P21 to London Paddington. The hawthorn blossom here is just beginning to bloom in the shallow cutting on the up side of the line.
Hastings unit 1001 near Evesham The preserved Hastings Line DEMU 1001 (230001) ran from its base at Hastings to Worcester on Saturday 7 May 2022. As far as I know this is only the second of the class to have travelled over the Noth Cotswold LIne so it was worthwhile taking an image even though on a sunny day the light was backlit for most of the route. I went to a road bridge just to the south of Evesham and found on checking RTT that 1Z65 ws running late because the preceding GWR service, 1W14, was delayed.. As soon as this had reached Evesham, 1001 (mostly!) was released from Moreton-in-Marsh and came slowly into view. This location was the site of some farm sidings on the down (left) side of the line and a signal box on the up. The box was switched out for most of the time being operated only at busy times for the local growers producing vast quantities of fruit and vegetables. On these occasions a travelling shunter and signalman travelled with the train to do the necesssary jobs. I wasn't able to photograph the return of 1001 to Hastings because of a long-booked organ recital so had to miss the chance of another shot, probably passing the signals at Moreton-in-Marsh.
31128 with other blue locomotives at Hatton A convoy of preserved locomotives led by 31128, the only class member registered for main line use, ran from Butterly MRC to Swanage on Tuesday 3 May 2022 presumably to take part in a special event. I opted to take a shot or two of this rather than of 37800 (again!) on a class 196 drag from Tyseley to Long Marston and went to a footbridge at the southern end of Hatton Cutting where the image is taken on the inside of a gentle curve to better show the locomotives being towed along. Although the light was poor the blue quartet showed up well amongst the light green background with 31128 conveying 37067, class 44 D4, and class 46 D182.
37800 with 196110 at Honeybourne Despite having decided earlier in the day on 3 May 2022 that I wasn't going to bother with 37800 taking a class 196 DMU from Long Marston, when I saw that the inward working of barriers was about 60 minutes late arriving at the Warwickshire site and that the sky was brightening nicely things changed. On driving past Long Marston it was clear that the requisite shunting had taken place and that 37800 was about to couple up to the front of the consist. I drove straight off towards Honeybourne only to find that the road through Pebworth was closed making a lengthy diversion necessary complete with several slow tractors on narrow lanes. There was still plenty of time and I had to wait only about 10 minutes before I heard 56Q66 with 196110 rumbling along the branch towards the hut in which the single line staff is kept. It soon moved away and approached the road bridge and the signal protecting Honeybourne North Junction where it would have had to have waited for the up IET due in about 5 minutes.
A nuclear flask at Leamington Spa During the afternoon of 22 April 2022 the very rare movement of a nuclear flask through Leamington Spa occurred when 66424 + 66431 took one from Carlisle KIngmoor to Kineton MOD. I missed this altogether because 1) I didn't notice in on RTT and 2) nobody who saw it further north bothered to post a message. The return working, the 1752 from Kineton, ran on Friday 29 April and I made sure not to miss this one. Because of the rarity I definitely wanted my pictures to be in a location that identified itself so decided on Leamington Spa station. A cloudy afternoon would have ideal and was forecast but the sky cleared and the sunny conditions made this choice of location a little tricky but after taking 54 minutes to drive from Stratford-upon-Avon (about 9 miles) because of a closed road in Warwick caused by the replacement of a rail overbridge in Princes Drive, there was no time for anything else. The train left Kineton on time and was a few minutes early when it appeared topped and tailed with 66424 and 66431 on the Down Main Line. This was lucky because a southbound Voyager was just around the corner on the Coventry line.
A nuclear flask at Leamington Spa Kineton MOD is the UK's largest munitions depot and there have always been unsubstantiated rumours in Warwickshire that nuclear material of some sort was stored there. My father, ex-Raf, always joked that it nuclear war ever broke out we should paint ourselves black and stand of the roof of our house facing Kineton to ensure a quick end! Here is the flask itself with one of the 2 DRS escort coaches just in the frame.
50008 + 50007 near Evesham On Friday 22 April 2022 the Branch Line Society ran a one-way trip between Burton-on-Trent with 50008 + 50007 rather than than simply have a long ECS trip. The train, named The Honeybourne Hoover, ran along the North Cotswold Line and was unusual in that any locomotives are rare south of Honeybourne where traffic for Long Marston leaves the main line. The light was dreadful with thick dark cloud but the thought of class 50s, once an everyday sight, made the trip worthwhile. I went to a footbridge on the outskirts of Evesham where the line climbs out the Avon Valley and took my Canon G10 set to video mode and filmed this short clip. The camera's age shows as mobile phone footage would almost certainly certainly of better quality.
37610 + 37521 at Long Marston The schedules for Wednesday 20 April 2022 showed an empty stock move from Long Marston to Wolverton which was running on an unusual route. For a change, instead of being routed via Worcester 5Q70 was to reverse at Honeybourne and then go south through Moreton in Marsh to Oxford before reversing again and heading for Birmingham, Whitacre Junction and Nuneaton to gain the WCML and so on to Wolverton. This clearly necessitated toppped and tailed locomotives and ROG provided 37601 and 37510 with a couple of barrier wagons which arrived at Long Marston at around 09.30. I arrived about 75 minutes after this and found the train with 769927 between the locomotives and barriers already assembled and receiving some final checks.
A GWR 800 at Thistley Hill My original plan was to head for a bridge near Chipping Campden for another shot of 5Q70 but with the sky clearing and the early mist burning off the sun would have been completely wrong. I therefore went to Thistley Hill between Middle Norton and Mickleton where the sun would be more favourable. While waiting, the driver of a car stopped and said that there had been some sort of incident near the station at Honeybourne with the roads closed and the place swarming with police. I wondered if trains were affected but both a down and up GWR service appeared, the latter of which, 1P26, formed of an unidentifiable unit is pictured here.
37610 + 37521 at Thistley Hill The train shown above had to reach Moreton in Marsh before 5Q70 was released from Honeybourne to reversal and it was 16 later when I heard 37601 with 7699927, the barriers and 37521 dead on the back climbing the 1/100 of Campden Bank. The gradient was enough to allow the locomotive to produce some decent noise after the standing start at the foot of the bank. Although the lineside here was cleared a couple fo years ago it won't be long before this view is obscured once again. I had intended to go to Hatton North Junction for another shot at about 15.00 but inertia took over...
08461 at Worcester Shrub Hill A few pictures from the the past which do not fit together into any particular section but which I have also copied into my Miscellaneous page.

In the 1980s a class 08 shunter was based at Worcester Shrub Hill for various shunting jobs including traffic to and from The Metal Box Company and for the parcels traffic to Curzon Street. On Saturday 10 November 1984 08461 was on duty and this picture shows it working into the yard. The image isn't framed too well but I wanted to include the class 116 DMU and the class 37 on the shed.

08781 at Worcester Shrub Hill Two years after the picture shown above was taken 08781 was the Worcester shunter which I pictured leaving the station and going towards the roofless engine shed.
09015 at Newport At one time class 09 locomotives with their maximum speed of 27mph were mostly based on the Southern Region but by 1993 were to be found elsewhere. In this shot 09015 was photographed running along the up relief between newport and Llanwern with a long rake of steel wagond including at least 3 types no longer extant.
09104 at Stud Farm A class 09 was also based at Stud Farm quarry in Leicestershire which I was lucky enough to happen upon on 11 March 1993. This picture shows it crossing the road with a train of empty ballast wagons going back to the loading point from the exchange siding on the main Coalville line. The driver called out as he was passing to say that he'd be back in about 30 minutes with a loaded train if I wanted to hang about for another shot.
09104 at Stud Farm Sure enough it wasn't long before 09104 appeared again and the klaxons sounded to warn road traffic that the road wa about to blocked. It was good to get pictures of both ends of the locomotive while actually working trains.
37691 + 47408 at Liverpool Lime Street Liverpool Lime Street on 20 October 1990 with the unusual sight of 37691 + 37408 forming the 09.40 to Cardiff Central. The occasion was a Network North-West day during which many service trains were formed of rare traction including members of classes 20, 26 and 37. I didn't note the number of the class 47 that brought had the ECS into the station but I did see that the clock didn't show the correct time!
26025 + 31434 at Manchester Victoria After Liverpool Lime Street it was across to Manchester Victoria on Network North-West Day, 20 October 1990 where a much more unusual had to be photographed. This was 26025 + 31434 ready to form the 10.48 to Barrown in Furness. The day's events were sponsored by the Ian Allen magazine "Motive Power Monthly" which was a truly excellent publication and one of the only railway magazines I ever bought. It ceased publication in December 1991.
26025 + 31434 at Barrow Locomotive haulage has never been one of my interests but I was keen to get pictures at Barrow in Furness so caught this train from Manchester to Barrow - sitting towards the back which meant a less crowded carriage! The weather all day was dreadful with mist and drizzle and I took only bladk & white pictures as 26025 + 31434 stood in the platform after all the shunting necessary to get the train-heating 31434 onto the stock with the class 26 leading.
20057, 20140 and 31461 at Barrow I've always been a fan of semaphore signalling and in 1990 there were plenty at Barrow in Furness to keep me amused. On Ntework North-West Day, 20 October 1990, were pictured approaching the platforms with a trainload of enthusiasts waiting to score some more miles behind 20057 + 200140 with 31461 provided to keep them warm during the journey to Manchester.
47810 at Hatton The Statesman dining train ran from Crewe to Portsmouth Harbour on Wednesdsay 30 March 2022 and unusually was routed on the GWR line between Birmingham and Leamington Spa with pick ups at Solihull, Dorridge, Warwick Parkway and Leamington Spa. Even though the weather was dull in the extreme I thought the rarity value enough for a trip to photograph it and so went to Hatton. The train, 1Z50, was topped and tailed with 47810 and 47593 altough given the conditions the large logo locomotive would have been a better bet for my picture.
66721 at Hatton Apart from The Statesman dining train which went through Hatton on 30 March 2022 another unusual working turned up on the GWR line from Birmingham to Leamington Spa. This was a 3Q98 RHTT set from Kings Norton OTP Depot which I originally assumed would be some MPVs but local information established that it was operated by GBRf class 66s 66721 and 66799 due to leave Kings Norton at 08.48. The original schedule showed it running to Worcester via Birmingham New Street and Kidderminster and then to Leamington Spa for a reversal but after leaving 224 minutes late I had a feeling that the first part of the trip might be missed and that it would go straight onto the Leamington Spa leg of the journey. It did just this so I went to Hatton again arriving with about 5 minutes to spare and took this image as it sprayed along the up line. I initially thought that the train was a weedkilling run but it appears to have jets in operation directing the water onto the railhead rather than to the sides.
66116 at Hatton The train shown above was due to reverse at Leamington Spa so in the hope of another shot of it I moved to the roadbridge in Dark Lane at Hatton and heard a train approaching up Hatton Bank as I got out of my car. This was 4M71, the 09.49 Southampton to Birch Coppice intermodal which was moving slowly enough to allow me to grab my camera and take this picture with 66116 working quite hard on the 1/110 gradient.
66799 The RHTT running as 3Q98 reversed in platform 4 at Leamington Spa and was soon on its way back towards Birmingham with 66799 leading. I don't keep up with wagon matters but it looks to me as if at least the staff accomodation of this train may be new vehicles. The train went into the Stratford branch platform to allow a passenger service to pass and I hoped for a shot from the roadbridge by the station as it used the spur to the down main line but it moved off just as I reached the car park.
37601 at Evesham Three 2 car class 196 DMUs were taken for storage from Tyseley LMD to Long Marston on Tuesday 29 March 2022. The weather was dull and drizzly but despite this I wanted a shot of the 196s on the North Cotswold Line itself having already taken some on the Long Marston branch and inside the site itself. I chose the bridge near Evesham signalbox for my picture and here is 5Q94 with 37601 leading 196004, 196008 and 196009 past the signalbox along with 5 translator/barrier wagons. So many wagons were necessary because the units' brakes were isolated and the consist needed a through air pipe to be passed through them to link to the rear wagons. I took a separate image of 196009 and the four barriers as 5Q94 accelerated through Evesham station.
50008 at Hatton Class 50 50008 took some vehicles from Brush at Loughborough to Princes Risborough ACE Sidings on Monday 28 March 2022 to be used at an event at the Chinnor preserved line, formerly used to supply coal to the cement works closed in 1989. The vehicles behind 50008 were DATS power cars 43054 + 43066 along with what appeared to be DATS liveried Mk3 buffet. The morning started of with quite thick mist but as I left Stratford-upon-Avon for Hatton the sun began to burn through and by the time I arrived on the roadbridge the sky was clear. The train, 5Z43, was at Dorridge and came around the curve from Hatton North Junction some 7 minutes early with a surprising amount of noise and smoke and a lot of horn blowing for the 2 of us waiting.
172101 + 172103 at Wilmcote During a morning walk between Stratford-upon-Avon and Wilmcote on 24 March 2022 I happened to see a pair of the Chiltern Railways class 172/1s just beyond Stratford Parkway on 2K31, the 10.26 to Kidderminster. This type of unit is relatively unusual on the trains via the North Warwickshire Line, 172/2 or 172/3 being more usual, so I made a mental note to go out for a photograph of the return 2D34. Wilmcote station was the obvious location and here is 172101 leading 172103 as it runs non-stop towards Stratford. A plaque has recently been placed on the station marking the huge contribution made by the late Douglas King of Wilmcote who, along with Michael Brockington, was instrumental in the keeping the North Warwickshire Line open for traffic at a time that BR wanted to close it. This date marks the 100th anniversary in 1922 of a tragic accident just beyond the station when 4 members of the local track gang were killed by a locomotive running light engine.
172007 at Stratford-upon-Avon Just as I arrived at Wilmcote to photograph 172101 + 172103 another class 172, 172007, was in the station forming the 13.26 from Stratford-upon-Avon to Kidderminster. Again, this is quite unusual on the diagram so went to Stratford for a shot as it arrived from Kidderminster into platform 1 at the terminus with 2D52. On my walk home via the canal towpath I paused to take a couple of shots of the buildings adjacent to the line, at one time Stratford Canners, being demolished to make way for an entirely innappropriate housing development of 5 floor apartments which is being built despite an almost complete lack of road infrastructure. Just as I lined up a shot 172007 came by on its way back to Kidderminster.
769959 + 760038 at Honeybourne I was told that a pair of GWR class 769 tri-mode units was due to leave Long Marston for Eastleigh on 25 March 2022. The booked departure was 09.33 and as I drove towards the roadbridge at 09.20 saw the train, 5Q11, formed of 769938 + 769959 as they ran through the exchange sidings and towards the gate. This meant a run straight to Honeybourne for me to wait for them as the went away from the camera and onto the North Cotswold Line before reversing and going south towards Oxford. As soon as an up GWR express was in the platform the calling-on lights on the signal were lit and 5Q11 moved away passing the rapidly growing buddleia which will obscure this view within a few weeks.
769959 + 760038 at Honeybourne There was a plenty of time for a walk to the far end of the down platform at Honeybourne on 25 March 2022 while it reversed at North Junction and waited for the preceding GWR train to arrive at Moreton in Marsh. The 8 car formation fitted nicely into the gap between the platform and signal as 769959 + 7699938 accelerated away towards Oxford.
66707 at Hatton A Hindlow to Banbury Reservoir Sidings loaded stone train has been running for some time but I have been waiting for the sun to be high enough at Hatton to avoid too much shadow on the line. The booked passing time of 6G34 is 09.40 so it had to be photographed before the clocks change on the morning of Sunday 27 March 2022. The weather forecast for most of the preceding week was good so I planned to go over on Tuesday 22 March but found that 6G34 was running nearly 90 minutes late because of an emergency possession which meant that it was detained at Peak Forest which later made it necessary to divert via Guide Bridge, Stockport and Wilmslow before regaining its booked route at Sandbach. This late running was a distinct advantage for me as the sun had cleared some early light cloud and cleared any remaining shadows from the track before 66707, complete with a smiley face on the dusty front end, with the heavy train of stone came around the curve from Hatton North Junction 66 minutes late.
165007 at Hatton Just after 66707 had passed Hatton on 22 March 2022 the signal for the up main line from the Stratford-upon-Avon branch platform was cleared. This was despite 2L33, the 10.40 from Stratford to Leamington Spa, still being at Bearley Junction and showing just how quiet the GWR main line is at some times of the day. Running spot on time here is 165007 about to pass under the roadbridge and make its stop in platform 3. The view here is just about clear enough for a two-car train at the moment but the foliage will soon appear and cover some of the train.
DRS 37218 + 37425 Direct Rail Services are no longer to provide locomotives for charter trains and the final use of their class 37s was on Saturday 12 March 2022 with a Bristol Temple Meads to Bolton train, 1Z12. I don't often go out for railtours these days but as it was a clear and sunny morning it seemed like a good idea to go to Stoke Prior for a shot of 37218 leading 37425 on the 12 coach Mk1 set. Needless to day the weather clouded up rapidly as I approached the village and by the time the gallery could hear 1Z12 approaching the cloud cover was complete. It was a shame that 37425 was the train locomotive rather than pilot but as 38218 doesn't have ETH capability there was no option.
802020 at Honeybourne A shot from a couple of weeks ago which somehow wasn't downloaded at the time. It shows GWR 802020 with the Thank You Key Workers vinyls approachiong Honeybourne on 28 February 2022 with a London Paddington to Great Malvern service. This is the only example of the special livery IETs I have photographed hence its inclusiom even though I usually photograph these units only in sunshine because of their generally drab colour scheme.
68014 at Hatton The morning cloud on the morning of Monday 7 March 2022 cleared nicely and with a couple of decent workings on the GWR line from Leamington Spa to Birmingham I made a trip to Hatton North JUnction. First along was 68014 propelling 1H53, the 14.55 from Birmingham Moor Street to London Marylebone. There is some talk that these locomotive-hauled trains will soon cease so it was worth taking a going-away shot as this one went around the curve towards Hatton station.
172214 at Hatton Next along at Hatton North Junction on 7 March 2022 was 172214 running as the 2W82, the 14.03 from Stratford-upon-Avon to Kidderminster. I had hoped for one of the Chiltern 172/1 units coupled to a 172/0 but had seen these on the previous train as I drove towards the road bridge at Bearley so knew that there was no chance on this diagram.
168113 at Hatton The first of my targeted workings on 7 March 2022 wasn't far away by the time 168113 with the 14.10 London Marylebone to Birmingham Moor Street, 1R37, so it was photographed largely to check exposure settings and the camera's histogram.
37418 at Hatton This train was the principal reason for being at Hatton North Junction on 8 March 2022. Two oil tanks were taken from Eastleigh to Sinfin Sidings at Derby following some refurbishment work. They had gone south on in very different weather conditions behind 56049 on 16 February so it was a nice bonus that 37418 brought them back in perfect light. The train had been stopped just south of Hatton station before being routed via the Stratford Branch platform and across the spur to the down main line. This, along with an enthusiastic driver, pleased the videographers waiting for it as even with a light load there was a decent amount of exhaust noise and some smoke, not to mention a lot of horn blowing. This locomotive is one of the few of its class to have visited Stratford-upon-Avon on two occasions. The first was on 11 March 1992 when it was temporarily named Gordon Grigg to mark the retirement of an oil company executive for whom the train was charted. The next visit was a charter from Cardiff on 19 March 1994 which I photographed as it stood in platform 3.
66743 at Hatton While 37418 was approaching Hatton on 7 March 2022 66743 in its Royal Scotsman colour scheme was in charge of 4M19, the 11.50 from Southampton Western Docks to East Midlands Gateway which was sitting in Hatton DGL to allow a few other trains to pass. It was good to see this colourful ensemble in good light and especially pleasing that it was fully loaded.
172101 at Stratford upon Avon An early morning text message on 1 March 2022 told me that 172101, one of the class on hire from Chiltern Railways to West Midlands, was on one of the diagrams to Stratford-upon-Avon. I planned to photograph the 16.21 arrival but was walking into town with my wife just after 2pm and saw it coupled to 172007 in platform 1 so took this picture with my 'phone as it waited for the 14.03 departure time. Within a few seconds a Chiltern class 165 arrived and allowed 2W80 to leave the station. It turned out later that the working I had planned to photograph was cancelled due to engine problems on 172101 and had to reverse at Whitlocks End. Thanks to Steve Widdowson for the information.
769922 at Honeybourne Another GWR class 769 looked as if it would move from Oxford Carriage Sidings to Long Marston on Monday 28 February 2022. Working on the assumption that it was actually a class 769 moving, once 5Q19 had left Oxford I went to Honeybourne and arrived just as it was passing Moreton-in-Marsh. The light had collapsed altogether since leaving home but as I was there I went onto the up platform for a shot as 769922 slowed ready for its reversal at Honeybourne North Junction.
769922 on the Long Marston branch at Honeybourne The turnaround time for 769922 running as 5Q19 on 28 February 2022 allowed the light to deteriorate further and for a light rain to start falling. The GWR plain dark green paintwork isn't great for low-light photography and with several of these tri-mode units having gone to Long Marston in the dark it's for a sunnier shot to present itself...
56049 at Hatton Some oil tanks were shown to be taken from Sinfin (Derby) to Eastleigh on Wednesday 16 February 2022 with Colas' 56049 said to be providing the power. The train running as 6Z73 left on time and was just a few minutes late when it arrived at Landor Street Junctiion for a crew change. There it stayed and stayed and... There was initially no information on the cause of the delay largely because it wasn't blocking any lines and thus creating a Network Rail report. It eventually left some 2 hours late together with the news that a lack of train crew was the cause. I watched the Railcams map until 6Z73 had passed St Andrews Junction before having a drive to Hatton, arriving as the train was running through Solihull. The light had gone from clear skies and sun at the original passing time to semi-darkness needing ISO 800 to get a 1/1000 sec at f3.2. Worse than the light was the presence of 66012 crawling up Hatton Bank and through the station with 6E11, the 12.00 Appleford to Milford West Sidings train which seemed very likely to completely block the view of the up line. It was fortunate that it cleared just in time and only the back few wagons were visible.
50008 with 196108 6Z50 at Lower Moor After the slight frustration with 50008 and its barrier wagons from Long Marston not getting any further than Honeybourne Sidings on 10 February 2022 because of late running it was welcome news to see that 6Z50 was down to run the following day. The weather and timings were good so despite having taken far too many images at Lower Moor I went there because there is a decent angle for a very short train. The 12.44 from Honeybourne Sidings to Kings Norton OTP Depot ran just a couple of minutes early passing the 3 photographers on the roadside. As this is rightly a popular location I was a bit surprised not to find a long line of cars on the verge as is usually the case for this sort of working.
50008 with 196108 at Honeybourne On Thursday 10 February 2022 the first of 4 class 196 DMUs was taken to Long Marston for storage from Tyseley where there is no space for them until such time as they can be used. Because of issues surrounding traction and route knowledge it had to be dragged by H & H 50008 with barrier wagons for coupling and brake force. The original departure time, 1136, came and went and it was just after 13.00 when 5Q96 appeared on the Railcams map. This compromised the choice of locations and with both of the bridges at Honeybourne being heavily shadowed the platform end was the best bet as the undergrowth hasn't quite taken over completely although come the Spring... Here is 50008 climbing the short incline from the North Cotswold Line up main line onto the Long Marston branch with 196108 in tow.
196108 at Long Marston I didn't feel like hanging around Honeybourne until 50008 and its barriers wagons returned so headed towards home but with clear blue skies went via Long Marston to see if any pictures of 196108 were to be had in a location I would never have thought to see one. The crews had just uncoupled the barriers from the unit and were in the process of taking them into the headshunt so that 50008 could be released from road 2 of the exchange sidings.
50008 at Long Marston As 50008 ran past 196108 on 10 February 2022 the connecting doors of the unit were open and the brake pipe used to supply air to the rear barrier was being removed. It looks as if the shed used by Vivarail for the class 230 project is being dismantled or heavily modified and what seems to 230001's cab-end can just be glimpsed to the right of some other coaching stock.
196008 at Long Marston Having taken this batch of sunny pictures involving 50008 and 196108 inside Long Marston I probably won't bother with any of the 3 runs here so include this closer-up view of the unit for the record. The crew member is still wrestling with the air pipe used for the through brake to the rear barrier wagon.
50008 at Long Marston Once the barriers were clear of the points 50008 ran onto the Honeybourne branch before the wagons were propelled alongside 196008 so that they could be coupled up ready for 6Z50's departure to Kings Norton. As the skies were perfectly clear I went back to Honeybourne in the hope of another shot but gave up after nearly an hour. As I drove over the bridge 6Z50 was just leaving the staff hut but there wouldn't have been time to park and get back to try for a shot amongst the heavy shadows. It turned out later that 50008 spent the night at Honeybourne, presumably because the crew was out of hours, and was scheduled to make the trip on Friday 11 February.
172101 at Stratford-upon-Avon While walking along the Stratford-upon-Avon canal towpath on Monday 7 February 2022 I saw the 10.26 from Stratford to Kidderminster, luckily running late, with a hired-in Chiltern class 172 along with a West Midlands Trains unit shortly after it had left the station. After checking the diagram I walked down for a shot of the pair as they returned as 2D34 still managing to be a few minutes late and took this image as the train slowed down at the terminus. The light was very poor and the grubby units didn't exactly help to lift the scene but this was only the second time I had photographed one of these since they arrived at Tyseley for work with WMR and the first time while coupled to a class 172/0.
172008 at Stratford-upon-Avon I thought it worth taking a picture of 172008 + 172001 at Stratford-upon-Avon on 7 February 2022 as they stood in platform 1 ready to form 2W80, the 14.03 departure to Kidderminster.
172101 at Stratford-upon-Avon It isn't always possible to take a shot from the Alcester Road bridge of a train in platform 1 at Stratford-upon-Avon as the train is sometimes drawn too far forward but on 7 February 2022 172101 with 172008 were in just the right spot. A fairly head-on view is all that possible these days as there is a lot of undergrowth around including masses of ivy on the bridge itself.
66956 at Hatton There was a major possession between Warwick and Leamington Spa on Sunday 30 January 2021 with several Freightliner operated engineering trains associated with it. Two workings were due to pass Hatton in the morning and with some good sun forecast I had a trip over for the first, 6Y63 from Bescot to Warwick Parkway, with the option to stay around for the second if it stayed sunny. The train left Bescot about 25 minutes early and this continued as it approached a red signal at Hatton North Junction. This was potentially a nuisance as a lot of cloud was drifting over from the North and too long a delay wasn't required. Fortunately for the 2 of us waiting 6Y63 was allowed to proceed as far as the signal at the end of platform 1 at Hatton and passed us a few minutes before the light died. While waiting it was pleasant to been entertained by a Robin in an adjacent ash tree.
769938 at Honeybourne The third GWR class 769 to travel from Oxford Up Carriage Sidings to Long Marston made its run on Friday 28 January 2022. This time it was 769938 working as 5Q09, the 13.13 from Oxford, and it gained 5 or 6 minutes as soon as it reached the North Cotswold Line at Wolvercote Junction. The weather was sunny when I left home and for a short while after my arrival at Honeybourne which was the bet bet for a shot in good light but the sky clouded up within minutes. It was still bright with a bit of shadow as 769938 dropped down Campden Bank towards Honeybourne North Junction so all in all it wasn't too bad.
769938 at Honeybourne It takes about 6 minutes for a unit to reverse at Honeybourne North Junction and join the Long Marston branch. It's simply a matter of crossing the roadbridge and waiting for the train to reappear passing around back of Honeybourne station for this shot taken amidst the rapidly encroaching buddleia bushes. I didn't want to go to Long Marston for another picture on this occasion, 28 January 2022, and here is my final image for the day with 769938 approaching the Staff Hut to pick up the single line token.
Stratford-upon-Avon's monthly visit from 1Q48, the test train from Derby RTC, took place on the evening of 25 January 2022. After a late start the train made up all the lost time and then some and looked to be about 10 minutes early arriving at the terminus. I knew that the power cars were 43251 + 43274 and hoped that the latter would be on the back as it came into the station but the picture as it slowed in platform 1 was better than expected and showed off the purple colour scheme of EMR, it's former operator.
A young enthusiast and his father were on Stratford station for 1Q48's visit on 25 January 2022 and the boy kneeling to take his photograph adds some interest to the scene as the driver of 43251 prepares to leave for Leamington Spa and a later return here. This PC has been here on another occasion and it was a lot cleaner on 2 November 2021.
A photography lesson from dad as 1Q48 left Stratford-upon-Avon on 25 January 2022.
The usual diagram for the test train pictured above at Stratford-upon-Avon is for the same set to go from Derby RTC, or sometimes Tyseley LMD, to Bristol HLS on the following morning. Wednesday 26 January 2022 became clear and sunny and as I had yet to take a shot of theformer EMR power car in good light during the daytime I had a quick trip to Evesham for 1Z22. I chose this location in order to get this unique colour scheme in a spot that couldn't be anywhere but the North Cotswold Line and within 10 minutes of my arrival 43274 came into view leading the train with 43251 bringing up the rear.
Hanson and Hall's 50008 made light engine runs from Kings Norton OTP Depot both ways along the North Cotswold Line on Monday 24 Janusry 2022 prior to working a railtour later in the year. I hadn't seen the locomotive in its new party frock and wanted a shot in a nice tight location rather than open countryside so, as 0Z50 was booked to spend some time on the Long Marston branch at Honeybourne, thought that the best spot would be from the end of the up platform where there is just about a clear enough gap in Winter between all the undergrowth. This locomotives's appearance has changed at least twice in recent years as this picture from 2017 and this from 2018. show.
The three man crew of 50008 stopped just before the roadbridge at Honeybourne on 24 January 2022 leaving just about enough room for a wide-angle view. It had arrived at 12.14 some 5 minutes early and was due to stand there until 12.57. As it was another dark and cold day I didn't hang about for 0Z50 to continue on its journey. On my way to the car park a down GWR service arrived so I took this slightly dodgy view as 50008 stood alongside.
37510 with 458507 at Honeybourne Another South Western Railway EMU, this time Juniper 458507, was taken from Wimbledon CS to Long Marston for storage on 21 January 2021. Given that the weather was again dire I wasn't going to bother but then suspected that because 5Q94 was topped and tailed with 37611 and 37510 there was a strong possibility that it would reverse at Honeybourne than have to run all the way to and from Worcester to access the branch. On arrival on the bridge I could see that the signal for the down main line was red and as the train was just past Moreton-in-Marsh this confirmed my suspicion. The shot of it arriving approaching the roadbridge at Honeybourne was so similar to others I have taken recently that there was little point in uploading it. This picture shows 57510 drawing to a halt to allow the second crew member to leave the train and wait for his train north to Worcester. Note that both red and white lights were lit at this point; this was rectified before the formation moved off towards the Staff Hut.
37510 with 458507 at Honeybourne As 5Q94 was a reasonably heavy train it was a fair assumption that there would be some exhaust smoke from 37510 as it moved away from Honeybourne on 21 January 2021. There was a bit of smoke so I took this shot even though the light level was very low . It was shame in a way that the 5Q94 included translator vehicles as the EMU was my primary interest given the type's rarity in Warwickshire. With this in mind I took another shot as 37510 took its train away towards Long Marston via a single line staff exchange. By this time it was dark I didn't bother to go to Long Marston for another shot especially as the angle for the picture there is so tight that the unit would be barely visible.
37800 with 3 class 455 sets at Honeybourne Three South Western Railway suburban EMUs, 455736 + 455704 + 456003, were taken at the second time of asking from Wimbledon CS to Long Marston on Tuesday 18 January 2022. The units, not the first of their type to enter Long Marston although the others travelled by road, were going for storage although it is hard to see that they have any future use. The locomotive used was 37800 and 5Q94 is seen here approaching Honeybourne on its way to Worcester for reversal. The return to Honeybourne was after sunset and it was dark enough for me at shortly after 3pm so there ws no chance of any more shots. The units were considerably cleaner and brighter than 37800 and here is a view of 2 coach 456003 bringing up the rear of the formation.
A pair of class 66s with 16 coaches at Shrewley. Riviera Trains has vacated their previous occupied site at Eastleigh and their 16 Mk1 coaches were transferred from there to Burton-on-Trent on Friday 7 January 2022. The train, 5Z45, was originally diagrammed for 67013 but this was deemed too weedy before departure and 66084 + 66020 were allocated instead. Quite why 2 locomotives were needed for a train of some 600 tones is unclear and I suspect that 66020 was dead-in-train but it was good from a photographic point of view. The problem was to find a location close to home on the freezing cold and dark day where the whole train would be in view and the best I came up with was the tall roadbridge at Shrewley, just north of Hatton North Junction.
GWR 769930 at Honeybourne. Great Western's tri-mode (diesel-electric, 25kv overhead and 750 third rail DC) class 769930 was transferred on 7 January 2022 from Oxford Carriage Sidings to Long Marston for storage until such time as it is required for main line testing. This was, as far as I know, the first of its class to travel both over the North Cotswold Line and Long Marston branch so despite the virtually dark afternoon I went to Honeybourne for a picture or two. Here is 5Q09 approaching the station from where it will run to Honeybourne North Junction a short distance to the south before reversing onto the branch. The light was dreadful but the train was barely moving as it slowed for a red signal at the end of the down platfrom before being allowed forward to the junction.
GWR 769930 at Honeybourne. It generally takes 5 or 6 minutes for a unit to reverse at Honeybourne North Junction and so it was on 8 January 2022 when 769930 went to Long Marston. A driver change was also carried out judging by the position of the hi-vis clothing in the cab. Although this is the first class 769 to visit the Long Marston branch another class 319 conversion in the form of Hydroflex 799001 worked along here in September 2020 as shown here as it left Honeybourne Sidings. I took another shot of 769930 as it ran towards the hut in which the single token for the branch is kept.
GWR 769930 at Long Marston. There is a choice of routes to go home from Honeybourne and I unsurprisingly chose the one via the roadbridge at Long Marston on 7 January 2020 in the hope that I would be able to score another shot of 769930 as it arrived for storage. I made it with a couple of minutes in hand and even though the light had gone into the "go home" category a shot was taken as 5Q09 slowed to stop prior to entering the site. Here also is the view as it goes into number 1 road to work around to the storage area. Nothing has happened to the area of ground cleared during 2021...
153363 leading 3 others at Aldington. Four Northern Rail class 153s travelled from Newton Heath depot in Manchester to Long Marston where they are to be stored by Porterbrook probably prior to be being scrapped. There was a similar move with 3 units on the previous day but Thursday's run was more convenient for me so even with the weather being dull in the extreme I went to a bridge a little way south of Evesham. The train, 5Q94, was running close to time when the signal protecting the Blackminster Road level crossing was cleared and it soon appeared under the Evesham bypass bridge. The units pictured are 153363, 153358, 153332 and 153330 although not necessarily in that order.
66792 arriving at Ashchurch with an MOD train. A rare MOD train to Ashchurch ran on Monday 20 December 2021 with a 6V34 from Marchwood scheduled to go into the Gloucestershire terminal. The arrival was due before sunrise not that any sun was likely on a cold, damp and misty morning but as I've always quite liked photographing these trains over the years a trip across was made. The station seemed to be the obvious spot for an initial image as the bright LED lights would have helped with the exposure so it was irritating when they switched off just as 66792 appeared in the distance. This really left the small gathering of photographers with some quite flat and not very contrasty light as 6V34 slowed down ready to be propelled in the exchange sidings while making a fair impression of a diverted Birch Coppice to Southampton liner.
66792 going into Ashchurch with an MOD train. This was the first train into Ashchurch since 26 March 2019 when 66776 took some armoured vehicles into the site. Once 6V34 had passed the station there was plenty of time to walk to the nearby roadbridge for a second image as the long train was propelled along the former Evesham branch. There were a few Network Rail men on duty keeping an eye on the proceedings in case of any issues during the lengthy propelling move. Because there are 2 foot crossings over the branch another man walked in front of the train to ensure the safety of any pedestrians.
66510 arriving at Stratford-upon-Avon. More after-dark photography on Wednesday 8 December 2021. The daily RHTT from Aylesbury to Banbury via Stratford-upon-Avon should be finishing its runs on 10 December and the chance for some better shots than my previous efforts came along with 3J04 being routed in platform 2 rather than the usual platform 3. The train still spraying and headed by 66510 is shown here arriving at the station about 15 minutes early having been given the road at Bearley Junction because of a late running passenger train on the North Warwickshire Line.
66522 with the RHTT at Stratford-upon-Avon. Having arrived 15 minutes early at Stratford-upon-Avon on 9 December 2021 I had quite a wait before the crew moved to 66522 to change ends. In the meantime the locomotive's diesel engine had shut down so after the usual procedures it was restarted. There was a strong wind blowing which whipped the initial exhaust away. There didn't seem any point in waiting for 3J04 to leave Stratford on 8 December 2021 as there was still some 20 minutes to wait and with a Chiltern service to Leamington Spa going on the same route it wouldn't have been able to go early. I just took this image of the cab before heading off.
66510 at the rear of the RHTT at Stratford-upon-Avon. It's sometimes hard to resist just one more shot and I can't imagine that 3J04 will be sent into platform 2 on either of the two remaining days on which it is due to run. So this view of 66510 tailing the RHTT tanks and spraying equipment was worth a frame with the station canopy and bridge being so well lit. This locomotive missed part of the jetting season through having wheel flats which meant a class 8 trip from Banbury to Tyseley very early one morning. Despite having been cleaned while in Birmingham its position at the spraying end of the formation meant that it soon regained the usual RHTT colour scheme.
67027 + 67023 RHTT at Evesham. The 2021 RHTT season on the North Cotswold Line was coming to an end by 4 December and being aware that I hadn't taken any photographs of the North Cotswold Line train thought that I should have at least one go at it. There are plenty of sunny daylight shots around of 3S32, the 22.01 Swindon Transfer to Cheltenham Lansdown Loop, but I like after-dark photography so knowing the the train has to stop at Evesham for a crew change and with it having to wait for an up passenger everything is likely to run close to right time went there. Here is the train on 3 December 2021 with the usual and exceptionally reliable pair of 67027 + 67023 just after arrival into the down platform with the crews preparing for the changeover.
67027 + 67023 RHTT at Evesham. Having had to leave home at around 05.30 for the drive to Evesham on 3 December 2021 I had already set up my camera with the settings I use at Stratford-upon-Avon for similar shots; these being ISO 4000, 1/125 second at around f3.5 on a Nikon D800 with 50mm or 85mm prime lens. Network Rail LED lamps clearly produce a similar number of lumens wherever they are installed and in whatever style of light as the settings were spot-on. Driver Clive Smart had just switched on the cab lights enhancing the picture nicely as he waits for 1P02, the 05.23 Hereford to London Paddington for which a a solitary passenger is waiting to clear the single line from Norton Junction. Unlike many, I don't mind seeing the filthy state of locomotives used on RHTTs and think that it gives a sense of the purpose behind the trains. This train is due to finish after 7 December 2021 and it may be the last chance for a shot of class 67s on either RHTTs or test trains as the Colas examples have been acquired by GBRf.
37116 tnt 37254 at Lower Moor. The usual diagram for the monthly test train visiting Stratford-upon-Avon on a Tuesday is for the same formation to run to Bristol on the Wednesday and back to either Tyseley or Derby RTC on Thursday. On 30 November 2021 the Stratford train was in the hands of HST power cars but these were swapped for 37116 + 37254 for the Bristol runs. I didn't pick up on the Wednesday run until too late but was prepared for the return to Derby. There was nearly another working with a 37 from Bicester COD via Hatton with 37800 dragging some class 365s to Crewe but this changed to no more than a light engine run so the way was clear for a shot of 1Z23. At this time of year locations on the northern end of the Cotswold Line are limited and by far the best is the roadbridge at Lower Moor on the single line from Evesham West Junction to Norton Junction. The train was about 10 minutes late which nearly caused panic amongst the small gathering of photographers but the sun stayed out long enough, by about 40 seconds, for a sunny shot. There are rumours circulating that this may have been one of the final runs of class 37s on the PLPR, in this area at least, with HST power cars poised to take over. Just for the record here is a close-up view of the train.
66519 RHTT at Stratford-upon-Avon. I noticed from a mapping app that a different locomotive in the form of 66507 to accompany 66519 was operating on 3J04, the Chiltern Line RHTT, on Tuesday 23 November 2021. I assumed that this one might be a bit cleaner than 66522 which had been working for about 3 weeks so walked to Stratford station for a couple of shots. Photographic opportunities at Stratford's platform 3 are limited to say the least and this view of a filthy 66519 arriving with the water jets still operating is the best available.
66507 RHTT at Stratford-upon-Avon. It takes a few minutes for the train crew to change ends and prepare the train for reversal so there was plenty of time for some trial exposures before it left. On this occasion the rear locomotive coming to Stratford had been left running so there wasn't the chance for a shot similar to that I took of 66522 on 4 November but at least 66507's Freightliner green paint was still recognisable. The difference in colour between the two shots is noticeable and is the result of the later shot being taken on a cloudy evening with more ambient light diffusing from orange lamps in the area.
66507 RHTT at Stratford-upon-Avon. When 3J04 started running in October I took this shot of it standing at Stratford-upon-Avon on a sunny evening. Comparison of the 2 pictures taken from the footbridge is striking...
6233 Duchess of Sutherland at Hatton. The steam locomotive 6233 Duchess of Sutherland and its support coach ran from Tyseley to Southall on MOnday 22 November 2021. I wouldn't usually have bothered with this but there was another working due to pass Hatton which I did wish to photograph so went a bit earlier to take advantage of the sun and Autumnal colours. The train running as 5Z34 left Tyseley late but was slightly early at Hatton through not running via a reversal at Small Heath South Junction as it left Tyseley pointing in the right direction. One of the usual hazards of taking pictures of steam arose as the exhaust did clear the locomotive body as it didn't need to do much work running downhill with a light load.
70008 at Hatton. As I was photographing Duchess of Sutherland at Hatton on 22 November 2021 it was clear from a mapping app that Freightliner 4M55, the 08.44 Southampton to Lawley Street service, wasn't far away behind the camera and approaching quite rapidly. It passed Hatton station less than a minute after 6233 had gone south. It's a poor shot from the roadbridge lookign onto the station at Hatton especially when the sun is low in the sky but I took this one of 70008 because I hadn't seen a class 70 for quite a while.
153385 at Hatton. My real reason for being at Hatton on 22 November 2021 was to take an image of Network Rail's 153385, their most recent Video Inspection Unit. Part of the attraction is that the EM colour scheme has been retained for the time being although I imagine that the overall yellow livery will be applied at some future date. The unit running as 2Q11 should have passed this location at 09.56 but it was 163 minutes later when it finally appeared after leaving Eastleigh 130 minutes late. There are very few locations for anything coming north in the middle of the day and a going-away shot here was just about the only option although it would have better about 40 minutes earlier to have shown a clearer view of the video cameras.
196002 at Stratford-upon-Avon. I've had it in mind to go to Stratford-upon-Avon station for a picture or two of 3J04, the Freightliner operated RHTT, now that it is dark by the time it arrives. On Thursday 4 November 2021 I noticed that in addition to 3J04 one of the class 196 test runs, 5Q27, was running about 70 early because most of the WMR passenger services were cancelled. This meant that it would be in the station at around the same time as the RHTT. I miscalculated how quickly it would run down from Bearley Junction and get ready to reverse, so much so that it was pulling out of platform 2 as I arrived. My camera was already set up for after-dark photography so a grab shot was taken as 196002 receded from the lens.
66519 with RHTT 3J04 at Stratford-upon-Avon. As soon as 196002 running as 5Q27 to Tyseley LMD had cleared the section out of Stratford-upon-Avon station on 4 November 2021, 66519 leading 3J04, the RHTT from Aylesbury, was allowed to cross over from the down main line and run into platform 3. This isn't the most photogenic platform at the station but it does have the best lighting which helped to show off the dirty state of the locomotive. I like the way that the light in Morrisons' car park illuminates the autumnal colours of the tree alongside the lineside fence, one of the bonuses of taking pictures in the darker evenings. Here is another vew of 66519 taken as I walked to the other end of the train.
66522 with RHTT 3J04 at Stratford-upon-Avon. I wasn't sure if the RHTT at Stratford-upon-Avon on 4 November 2021 was far enough along the platform to allow a shot of 66522, a recent replacement for 66510, but it was positioned perfectly. The engine was shut down so I waited for the driver to turn the V12 over before taking a shot in the hope of getting a plume of smoke as it started. It worked well and the remaining touch of light in the western sky adds a lot to the scene. A view of the other end of of 66522 is here to show the flower containers plated by FOSS and which add greatly to the attractiveness of the station. This locomotive once carried a slightly different colour scheme as can be seen here while it was working a 6Z22 Eastleigh to Stud Farm on 7 July 2011. The repainted bodyside patch can just be made out in this image taken from the car park.
165003 with 1U71 at Stratford-upon-Avon. Even the most mundane scene is transformed into something more interesting by after-dark photography. This picture shows 165003 just about to leave Stratford-upon-Avon on 4 November 2021 working 1U71, the 17.38 to Banbury. There were some very frustrated customers on the station waiting for trains running to Birmingham Snow Hill and beyond. All the peak hours West Midlands Railway services between 16.23 and 18.58 were cancelled.
Colas/LNER HST test train at Stratford-upon-Avon. The regular test train, 1Q48, ran to Stratford-upon-Avon on Tuesday 2 November 2021. The previous month's run had been cancelled because the stock was under maintainance and for the November train the usual locomotives, 67023 + 67027, were unavailable through being on RHTT duties and were substituted by Colas HST power cars still in LNER livery 43251 + 43272. This was the first visit of HST PCs in this colour scheme to the terminus so I went to the station for a shot or two. Here is 1Q48 arriving in platform 1 with 43251 leading in a pool of light from the station's LED lamps. For anyone interested the techincal details for the picture are Nikon D800, ISO 6400, 1/200 sec @ f2.8 on a Nikon 50mm prime lens.
Colas/LNER HST power cars at Stratford-upon-Avon. On 2 November 2021 test train 1Q48 from Tyseley LMD was about 8 minutes late arriving at Stratford-upon-Avon with Colas/LNER power cars 43251 + 43272. The latter was to lead from Stratford and here it is after the crew had swapped ends ready for reversal. They were keen to get going after the late arrival but were kind enough to give me the chance for a set of bracketed exposures and can be seen watching for my thumbs-up before they moved. In reality, this took only about 20 seconds and this image was taken on ISO 4000, 1/125 @ f2.8.
66102 at Hatton. A "Z" working on the line through Hatton showed up for Thursday 28 October 2021 I went for a look without really knowing what was being moved. It originated at Milford Sidings and was heading for Didcot TC under thge headcode 6Z36. It was about 15 minutes early leaving the Birmingham area and with just a Chiltern local behind it was given a clear run without being looped at Dorridge. The light was very poor when 66102 with a huge train of JRA box wagons came around the curve from Hatton North Junction but this type of wagon is unusual on the line so the short drives were worth the effort.
57312 + 2 EMR PCs at Long Marston. Two of the former EMR power cars, 43061 + 43075, were taken for scrapping at Newport from storage at Long Marston on Wednesday 27 October 2021. The light locomotive which ran from Derby was 57312 which, as it was able to couple directly to the power cars, did not need any barrier vehicles. The arrival of the 57 was at about 8.30 but the departure of 5Q76 wasn't due until around 11.30. There was a lot of activity around the rear wheelsets of the second PC and it soon became clear that there was a problem and that it would be late leaving. Here is the train just after things appeared to have sorted out and 57312 was about to be coupled onto its load.
57312 + 2 EMR PCs leaving Long Marston. Even after 57312 had been coupled to 43061 + 43075 there was more attention given to the rear power car and when 5Q76 eventually moved onto the branch towards Honeybourne it was 46 minutes late.
57312 + 2 EMR PCs at Honeybourne. A clear shot at Honeybourne of the Long Marston branch is disappearing quite rapidly while unchecked growth of lineside bushes continues. This is apparent in this image taken on 27 October 2021 of 57312 with 5Q76 to Newport Sims approaching the back of the station. The train was still about 45 minutes late and it would have to wait a few more minutes for both up and down GWR to clear their respective sections. The nose of the down train can just about be made out in the right background. It was clear from a quick look at the power cars cabs that much of the equipment in them had been stripped out, presumably for re-use at some point in the past, so there was no chance of them being put back into service.
57312 + 2 EMR PCs at Honeybourne station. A small gathering of photographers was ready on the bridge at Honeybourne station as 58612 with two ex-EMR power cars drew to a halt at the signal protecting Honeybourne North Junction. It would be able to proceed once a down train, just about to enter the station, had arrived at Evesham and an up train, about 10 minutes away, was in the station here. These are, I think, the first HST power cars to be scrapped other than those severely damaged in collisions.
NR 950001 at Evesham. Network Rail's class 150 test train 950001 ran from Derby RTC to Bristol Temple Meads Motorail Platform on Wednesday 20 October 2021. The itinerary included a run along the North Cotswold Line and the Long Marston branch and given the time of day and the chance of a sunny shot I chose Evesham station as the best location. The train, 2Q08, was running a few minutes late but this was a good thing as a large patch of cloud cleared away just as 950001 passed under the road bridge at the other end of the station. The garden alongside the up platform is a real treat and a tribute to the volunteers who have worked hard to make it a valuable habitiat for many insect species.
BEMU prototype 230001 at Long Marston. Vivarail is taking a Battery Electric Multiple Unit (BEMU) to Glasgow to demonstrate the technology at the COP 26 climate summit in November 2021 and testing of the unit commenced on the North Cotswold Line on 12 October. I was annoyed with myself that after a non-show in the morning the afternoon run went unnoticed until it was too late. The following day I was hopeful of the scheduled run starting at 09.29 taking place so went to Long Marston in time for this first departure. Despite a lot of orange suits both in and around the repurposed original ex-D Stock prototype 230001, nothing happened until 10.17 when the light on the top of the front end came on. By then it was raining and misty with poor visibilty but I still took this shot as it ran into road 1 before the gates were opened to allow it out onto the branch to Honeybourne. I had been across to Long Marston during the previous morning but 5Q01 was cancelled and all that moved was D Stock car 7601. It looks as if it were under battery power but there was a fork-lift truck alongside out of view providing the power.
BEMU prototype 230001 leaving Long Marston. Within a few moments on 13 October 2021 230001, running as 5Q01 despite being shown as cancelled, was on the branch and thus being the first BEMU on the national network for quite some time, possibly since the unit used on the Aberdeen to Ballater branch from 1957 to 1965. The final livery will understandably not be unveiled until the train is demonstrated at the COP 26 climate summit in Glasgow in 2021 but I guess that the colour green may make an apprearance!
BEMU prototype 230001 at Honeybourne. There was plenty of time for a drive to Honeybourne for another shot once the crew of 230001 had deposited the single line token in the hut. The signal to join the North Cotswold Line was given straight away and 5Q01 passed non-stop around the back of the station before going across Honeybourne North Junction and onto the down main line.
BEMU prototype 230001 at Evesham. Several runs between Honeybourne and Evesham West Junction were planned for 13 October 2021 so I went to Evesham for the next movement, due about 40 minutes later. The sky had cleared considerably by the time that 230001 returned, so much so that this picture was taken against the light as it passed through the station on the way to Evesham West for reversal.
BEMU prototype 230001 at Evesham after reversal. While 230001, now running as 5Q06, was reversing at Evesham West Junction on 13 October 2021 before returning to Honeybourne Sidings the sun very nearly managed to come out. It wasn't fully out as the train accelerated towards the station but it was enough to cast a shadow and show off the changing colours in the lineside vegetation.
RHTT with MPV DR98925 3J04 at Edstone. A different sort of RHTT on Saturday 9 October 2021. I think this was the first run this year of the North Warwickshire Line's daylight rail spraying train 3S53 and as with the locomotive-hauled version on the Hatton line to Stratford-upon-Avon it seems a bit premature as the leaf-fall season hasn't started around here at least. I did think that some Autumnal colours might be in the background at Edstone Aqueduct near Bearley hence a trip out for a picture but with the exception of some hawthorn berries everything was still green. The train was running about 15 minutes early because of the cancellation of a Kidderminster to Stratford passenger service. It is usual for at least one diagram not to run each day at the moment through a shortage of train crews.
66510 passing Wilmcote. Another day and another crack at the RHTT from Aylesbury to Banbury via Stratford-upon-Avon. There aren't many worthwhile locations between Hatton and Stratford; the only bit I'm really interested in taking pictures of this because of the general lack of locomotive-hauled workings on the line. On Wednesday 6 October 2021 I chose Wilmcote station where a new older style running-in board has been installed and a lot of lineside trees have been removed. The latter wasn't of much significance for this shot because the sun, had it been out, would have been too low in the sky to reach the tracks but there was a bit more ambient light on the scene. The train was again using 66510 tnt 66519 and with the spray heads adjacent to 66510 it is already getting a little grubby.
66519 at Wilmcote. This view of 3J04 about to go down Wilmcote Bank towards Stratford-upon-Avon on 7 October 2021 is to show the difference in cleanliness between 66519 and the leading locomotive, 66510, as they work the Aylesbury to Banbury RHTT.
66510 arriving at Stratford-upon-Avon. The second run of 3J04, the Aylesbury to Banbury RHTT took place on Monday 4 October 2021. Ar just after 5pm the sky was cloudy but reasonably bright so I walked down to the station to take a shot mof 66510 arriving into platform 3. On arrival onto platform 1 the sun came out into a clear sky just as my mapping app showed that the train was clearing Bearley Junction and out it stayed. The shot wasn't quite as bad as I had feared and at least some of the RHTT tanks are visible as 3J04 slowed down for its stop and reversal. The gull on the lamp post didn't seem at all bothered by the train and didn't fly off for several minutes.