Class 108

828 Gunstone Mill 7 November 1990

828 (52051, 59386 & 51936) passes Gunstone Mill (near Crediton) on 7 November 1990 with the 09:00 Barnstaple to Exeter Central service. This unit's front end has been livened up with three non-standard features: a red buffer beam, black window surrounds and white numbers on a black rectangle. All the vehicles of this set have since been scrapped, with the 52051 being the first to go. Just three months after this picture was taken it was withdrawn and subsequently cut up by Gwent Demolition at Totnes in August 1991. The other two vehicles lasted until 1992, both being disposed of at Gwent Demolition, Margam.

870 Newton St Cyres 1 August 1990

A deliberately wide view of Newton St Cyres station to show its rural location and diminished facilities. Hybrid Class 108/101 unit 870 (53638 & 53200) passes through non-stop on 1 August 1990 with the 15:08 Exeter Central to Barnstaple service. Typical Southern Railway concrete huts abound on the disused down platform.

P872 Gunstone Mill 22 April 1988

P872 (53646 & 53247) passes Gunstone Mill (near Crediton) on 22 April 1988 with the 14:55 Exeter Central to Barnstaple service. As can be seen by the different window layout, this is a hybrid unit, the back half of which is a Class 101 vehicle. I also photographed this unit from the other end at Aller later the same year. Despite appearances this unit is not running wrong line, as the apparent double track here is in fact two single lines. The line in the foreground being the freight only route to Meldon Quarry.

C903 Duffryn 15 August 1987

C903 (51416, 59385 & 51565) passes Duffryn on 15 August 1987 with the late running 2B16 09:20 Hereford to Cardiff Central service. The recently applied Red Dragon logo and Valley Trains brandings wasn't going to prolong this unit's life, as it was disbanded soon afterwards, with the leading vehicle (51426) being reformed into set B398. Only the rear vehicle of this set (51565) has survived into preservation.

B398 East Grimstead 27 July 1991

B398 (51416 & 53941) passes East Grimstead on 27 July 1991 with the 09:35 Bristol Temple Meads to Southampton service. 51416 had previously been part of various Cardiff sets, and the remnants of the 'C' prefix can be seen in front of the present set number. 51416 was withdrawn the year after this picture was taken and cut up at MC Metals, Glasgow, whereas 53941 founds its way into departmental service, becoming 977836.

C941 Hallen Marsh Junction 15 August 1987

C941 (51922, 59694 & 51562) passes Hallen Marsh Junction on 15 August 1987 with the 16:34 Severn Beach to Bristol Temple Meads service. There was certainly plenty of variety in use on this line at the time, with a Class 121 single unit turning up on the next train, and a Class 117 on the one after that. Note the cloud of pollution drifting off to the right from the various industrial plants.

944 Knucklas 17 July 1988

944 (52055 & 51931) approach Knucklas on 17 July 1988 with the 13:00 Chester to Llandrindod Wells service. This together with the return working formed the only train service over the Central Wales Line on a Sunday at this time, the southern section of the line therefore having no trains at all. This unit was withdrawn in 1992 and scrapped shortly afterwards.

B960 Rangeworthy 10 August 1989

B960 (54197 & 53602) heads away from the camera art Rangeworthy on 10 August 1989 whilst working the 16:12 Taunton to Gloucester service. This unit was withdrawn in May 1992 and cut up almost immediately at MC Metal Processing at Glasgow. Note the gulls in the field in the background following the plough.

B960 Narroways Hill Junction 16 April 1991

B960 (53602 & 54197) takes the Severn Beach line at Narroways Hill Junction on 16 April 1991 with the 15:04 Bristol Temple Meads to Severn Beach service. This was very near the end of the reign of heritage DMUs on this route, with the replacement Pacer units hardly being an improvement!

B962 Blanchworth 28 September 1989

B962 (54492 & 53612) passes Blanchworth (between Bristol and Gloucester) on 28 September 1989 with the 14:15 Bristol Temple Meads to Gloucester service. A number of units acquired this modified livery of black window surrounds and red buffer beams late on in their life, and just before they were replaced by Sprinters.

B964 Stonehouse (Bristol Road) 25 April 1990

B964 (54204 & 53614) rattles past Stonehouse on 25 April 1990 with the 10:05 Gloucester to Bristol Temple Meads service. Amazingly, two decades later the rusting sidings were still in place, although covered in a jungle of brambles and bushes. Stonehouse (Bristol Road) station closed in 1965, the town now being served by the former GWR station on the line to Swindon.

966 Bathampton 5 April 1990

966 (54494 & 53618) takes the Westbury line at Bathampton on 5 April 1990 as it works the 09:35 Bristol Temple Meads to Yeovil Pen Mill service. This unit had recently been transferred from Chester, where it ran as set CH252. On the Western Region the formation of 966 was fairly fluid, as although the rear vehicle here (53618) was constant, 54494 was replaced at various times with 54202, 54208 and 54191!

B967 Claverham 10 August 1989

B967 (54230 & 53619) passes Claverham (between Bristol and Bridgwater) with the 12:17 Bristol Temple Meads to Weston-super-Mare service on 10 August 1989. This unit was to see mixed fortunes in the following years. The lead vehicle (54230) was withdrawn in November 1992 and cut up almost immediately at Booths at Rotherham, while 53619 has happily been preserved.

B969 Swindon 15 July 1989

B969 (54201 & 53621) rounds the sharp curve into Swindon station on 15 July 1989 with the 09:35 Gloucester to Swindon service. By this date most of the local trains on this route had gone over to Sprinter operation, with just a couple of services still diagrammed for heritage units. This view gives a good view of the former Great Western Railway Swindon Works.

B971 Narroways Hill Junction 10 August 1989

B971 (53941 & 54205) passes the abutments of the former Midland Railway overbridge near Narroways Hill Junction, Bristol on 10 August 1989. It is working the 14:05 Gloucester to Bristol Temple Meads service. The large building on the left is Müller House, originally an orphanage, and latterly a college. Since this picture was taken it has been converted into luxury flats.

51571 & 50971 Tenterden Town 2 June 2013

Having just arrived at the platform from the sidings, Twin set 51571 & 50971 (built in 1960 & 1959 respectively) waits for passengers at Tenterden Town station, on the Kent & East Sussex Railway, before forming the 11:45 service to Bodiam on 2 June 2013.

51571 & 50971 Northiam 2 June 2013

An impressive pair of lattice post upper quadrant semaphore signals frame 51571 & 50971, as the vintage unit departs Northiam on 2 June 2013 with the 12:45 Bodiam to Tenterden Town service on the Kent & East Sussex Railway. 51571 was withdrawn from BR service in 1992, and 50971 the following year. Both vehicles then moved directly to the K&ESR.

51912 Husborne Crawley 28 April 1990

51912 leads the 13:50 Bletchley to Bedford Network SouthEast service past Husborne Crowley on 28 April 1990. The class number has been painted on the front, but without any set number being designated. 51912 was withdrawn in May 1993 and cut up at Gwent Demolition, Margam the following year. The M1 motorway can be seen crossing the line in the background, just beyond which is Ridgmont station.

51916 & 54194 Corby 2 June 1990

Corby station has had a checkered history. Opened in 1879 and then closed during the mass cull of minor stations in 1966. It was reopened in 1987, only to close again in 1990, before finally reopening in February 2009. With a tiny 'RIP' headboard, 51916 & 54194 wait to depart with the 09:00 train to Kettering on the (second) final day of services, 2 June 1990. This view has now been completely transformed, with a much grander station occupying the area on the left. The slightly backwards leaning Corby signal box has also been demolished.

51948 & 52039 Albrighton 4 September 1991

Tyseley set T062 (51948 & 52039) slows down on the approach to the staggered platform at Albrighton on 4 September 1991, as it works the 14:50 Wolverhampton to Chester service. The guard already has his door open, looking for passengers. 51948 sports a couple of non-standard adornments: a red Welsh Dragon logo and a white cab roof. It also has some odd front end damage, that looks suspiciously like shotgun damage!

51950 & 52062 Hailes 3 October 1992

The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's Class 108 DMU (51950 & 52062) entered service during the Diesel Gala on 3 October 1992, although the unit was still in undercoat. It is pictured here passing Hailes in the rain with the 13:25 Toddington to Gretton service. Without any vehicle numbers and still carrying the centrally mounted headlight from its last days with BR it does look a little strange. However, it would soon emerge in resplendent green livery and become an indispensable part of the GWR's fleet for the next decade.

51950 & 52062 Hailes 20 March 1993

The highlight of the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's 1993 Spring Diesel Gala was the return to traffic of their Class 108 unit, 51950 & 52062. In immaculate condition fresh from a repaint into original 1960s green livery complete with speed whiskers and white cab roof, it passes Hailes with the 11:45 Toddington to Gretton service on 20 March 1993. Note the traditional techniques employed here for lineside vegetation clearance, with the cutting side showing evidence of recent controlled burning.

51950 & 52062 Hailes 20 March 1993

51950 & 52062 are pictured on the long straight section of track between Hailes and Winchcombe on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway with the 14:00 Toddington to Gretton service, during the line's Diesel Gala on 20 March 1993. The unit, which had arrived on the railway the previous year, had just been returned to traffic after a complete repaint.

51950 & 52062 Hailes 20 March 1993

The sun is setting at Hailes on 20 March 1993 as 51950 & 52062 rattle past with the 16:15 Toddington to Gretton service, during the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's Spring Diesel Gala. The shadows in the foreground suggest that the bridge isn't exactly overloaded with photographers. This doesn't really surprise me, as the blinkered attitude of many photographers would result in them ignoring this and not taking pictures of anything that isn't loco hauled. To me this picture of an immaculately restored heritage unit photographed in perfect light is infinitely preferable to yet another shot of a Class 66 hauled freight on the mainline.

51950 & 52062 Didbrook 19 March 1995

The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's resident Class 108 DMU (51950 & 52062) saw extensive use before the number of ex mainline diesel locomotives on the line enabled it to be retired from service. On 19 March 1995 it is pictured passing Didbrook under a dramatic sky with the 11:30 Toddington to Far Stanley service. Although it often ran with wildly optimistic destinations displayed (e.g. Cardiff Central), this one is a little conservative, presumably because it wasn't considered worthwhile making a Far Stanley destination blind for the temporary terminus of the line!

51950 & 52062 Prescott 1 February 1998

During the late 1990s, the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway used its Class 108 DMU (51950 & 52062) on the less well patronised services. The Sunday trains in January and February 1998 would obviously easily be class as less well used services, and here the unit is pictured crossing over the Gretton to Gotherington road at Prescott with the 14:00 Toddington to Gotherington service on 1 February 1998. Although at the time the GWR were planning the extension to Cheltenham, the Cardiff Central destination displayed here is still a little optimistic!

51950 & 52062 Didbrook 1 February 1998

On 1 February 1998, during the period when the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway was making extensive use of its Class 108 DMU, 51950 & 52062 is pictured passing Didbrook with the 15:15 Toddington to Gotherington service. Never believe what it says on a DMU destination blind!

51950 & 52062 Dixton 12 March 2000

During March 2000, the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway were using steam traction between Toddington and Winchcombe, with diesel onwards to Gotherington. On 12 March, the line's resident Class 108 DMU (51950 & 52062) is pictured passing Dixton with the 14:35 service from Winchcombe. The recently cleared cutting sides allowed this excellent viewpoint, with the tree on the right providing an excellent frame.

51950 & 52062 Prescott 2000

The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's resident Class 108 DMU (51950 & 52062) rattles past Prescott on 12 March 2000 with the 15:45 Toddington to Gotherington service. This train had been steam hauled as far as Winchcombe, from where the 108 took over. The destination blind is a little optimistic, as it would still be a few years before Cheltenham was reached, and then only the Racecourse on the edge of town.

52064_56208 Falling Sands Viaduct 16 October 1999

The Severn Valley Railway's resident Class 108 DMU (52064 & 56208) crosses Falling Sands Viaduct on 16 October 1999 with the 11:50 Kidderminster to Arley service. The viaduct carries the line over both the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal seen here, and the River Stour behind the trees on the right.

52064, 59250 & 51941 Bewdley 6 October 2002

The Severn Valley Railway's resident Class 108 DMU (52064, 59250 & 51941) dodges the autumnal shadows as it approaches Bewdley on 6 October 2002 with the 17:05 Kidderminster to Bewdley shuttle service. While the main line diesels worked the full length of the line the DMU was restricted to this fill in turn.

51941, 59250 & 52064 Foley Park Tunnel 4 October 2012

The majority of Class 108 sets consisted of only two vehicles, which makes the Severn Valley Railway's three car set (51941, 59250 & 52064) particularly important. It is seen here emerging from Foley Park Tunnel and passing some golden autumnal bracken on 4 October 2012, as it works the 11:44 Kidderminster to Bewdley shuttle service, during the line's Diesel Gala.

52064, 59250 & 51941 Foley Park Tunnel 4 October 2012

The Severn Valley Railway's three car Class 108 set (52064, 59250 & 51941) was in use during the 2012 Autumn Diesel Gala. It is seen here approaching Foley Park Tunnel on 4 October with the 12:43 Bewdley to Kidderminster local service. After a sunny start, the clouds were rapidly building up from the west.

53635 Patchway 14 May 1988

53635 leads the 14:58 Weymouth to Cardiff Central service into Patchway station on 14 May 1988. This was one of only four trains to call here on a Saturday at this time. Of the others, two were ridiculously early in the morning and the other was late at night. As trains in the opposite direction called at virtually identical times, needless to say they were little used.

54224 Blackbird Leys 6 August 1988

Morris Cowley's fixed distance signal has certainly seen better days! Barely a trace of yellow paint is left and a missing spectacle glass and oil lamp show up years of neglect as 54224 leads the Hertfordshire Railtours 1Z22 'Chinnor Tonic' past Blackbird Leys on 6 August 1988. This tour which had started from Marylebone at 09:26 had earlier visited Chinnor, Thame and Quainton Road, before traversing the freight only Morris Cowley branch from Kennington Junction. It is pictured here heading back to Kennington Junction. A very unusual stock formation consisting of 54224 (Class 108), 51893 (Class 115), 54213 (Class 108), & 51895 (Class 115)!

54261 & 53978 Plumley 12 March 1990

Chester set 274 (54261 & 53978) arrives at Plumley with the 08:24 Chester to Warrington Central service on 12 March 1990. Someone has obviously forgotten to change the destination blind, as it still shows Chester! I would not normally take a picture like this with the horizon approximately half way up the frame, as this generally looks badly composed. The well known photographic 'rule of thirds' means the horizon should generally be near the top of the frame, or if there is a particularly interesting sky, near the bottom,. However, in this case the tall silver birch tree on the right meant that for once the rule had to be broken!

54490 Glyndyfrdwy 26 June 2010

A Class 108 & 109 DMU combination at Glyndyfrdwy on 26 June 2010, during the Llangollen Railway's Diesel Gala. 54490 & 51907 lead 56171 & 50416 through the valley of the River Dee with the 13:00 Carrog to Llangollen service.

54493 Havenhouse 14 June 1986

Now this is what you call a DMU! 54493 leads a lengthy rake made up of four two car sets, as it rattles through Havenhouse station on 14 June 1986 with the 08:10 Leicester to Skegness service. Virtually everything in this picture is now no more. Although the station house and platforms survive, the signal box, Great Northern Railway somersault signal and the DMU vehicles (certainly 54493 and probably most of the others) have all gone.

54504 & 53971 Dent 8 August1992

Dent station is the highest mainline station in England, and situated several miles from the village of Dent (although the small hamlet of Cowgill is nearer). The 09:46 Leeds to Carlisle service calls in typical Settle & Carlisle weather on 8 August 1992. Longsight's Class 108 set 280 (54505 & 53971) is paired with the same depot's Class 101 set 242.