Class 204-207

1401 Freefolk 17 June 1984

1401 passes Freefolk (between Whitchurch and Overton) with the 10:26 Salisbury to Basingstoke service on 17 June 1984. This unit was renumbered into the standard TOPS format in July 1986, becoming 204001. The following year the motor coach (60107 at the rear in this picture) was withdrawn and was cut up at Vic Berry's at Leicester, while the remaining two vehicles replaced the non-powered vehicles in unit 204004. This was only a temporary reprieve and all three vehicles had been withdrawn and scrapped by the end of the decade.

204002 Silchester 5 July 1987

In perfect evening light, 204002 thumps past Silchester with the 18:55 Reading to Portsmouth Harbour service on 5 July 1987. I only managed to get a few pictures of Class 204s while in BR service, always seeming to find the similar Class 205s far more common. 204002 was the last of the five Class 204 units to be withdrawn, being taken out of service four months after this picture was taken. It had only carried the number 204002 since May 1986, previously being numbered 1402.

205009 & 205028 Faversham 10 October 1998

205009 & 205028 take the Margate line at Faversham on 10 October 1998, with the Hertfordshire Railtours 1Z66 08:23 Victoria to Brighton 'Wye Knot' railtour. At least Connex South Central seem to have gone to some trouble to clean the units (even the roof on 205009!).

205009 & 205028 Wye 10 October 1998

Naturally this was the obvious place to photograph the Hertfordshire Railtours 1Z66 08:23 Victoria to Brighton 'Wye Knot' railtour! 205009 & 205028 pass Wye signal box on 10 October 1998. There aren't many occasions when you can get the wording on a train's headboard and on some item of railway infrastructure to match!

205009 & 205028 Beddingham 10 October 1998

205009 & 205028 pass Beddingham on 10 October 1998 with the Hertfordshire Railtours 1Z66 08:23 Victoria to Brighton 'Wye Knot' railtour. Almost a glimmer of sunshine on this one! As can be seen by lowish viewpoint, the main A27 road (near which I'm standing to take the picture) crossed the railway via a level crossing in 1998. An overbridge has subsequently been built, improving the photographic potential greatly.

205009 & 205028 Ford 10 October 1998

After chasing the Hertfordshire Railtours 1Z66 08:23 Victoria to Brighton 'Wye Knot' railtour around all day on 10 October 1998, I finally managed to get one picture of it in the sun! 205009 leads 205028 through Ford station on the return trip, having just traversed the Littlehampton branch. At least there is no mistaking at what time this was taken!

1110 Ludgershall 22 March 1986

1110 stands at the old platform at Ludgershall on 22 March 1986, prior to working one of the 'Tiddly Dyke' shuttles along the branch to Andover. GWR Hall Class 4-6-0 4930 Hagley Hall was also involved. Even the Telecom van looks historic now!

1125 Bishop's Sutton 18 May 2014

The Mid Hants Railway ran an intensive shuttle service between Ropley and Alresford on 18 May 2014 in connection with the Alresford Watercress Festival. 1125 thumps through the cutting at Bishop's Sutton with the 10:10 Alresford to Ropley.

1125 Bishop's Sutton 18 May 2014

1125 passes Bishop's Sutton on 18 May 2014 with the 12:10 Alresford to Ropley. This was one of numerous shuttle services that the Mid Hants Railway operated in connection with the Alresford Watercress Festival. The car park for the event was a field near Ropley station, and 1125 was effectively used as the 'Park & Ride' service. The headboard reads: '10 Years at the Mid Hants Railway 2004-2014, 1125'.

1125 Bishop's Sutton 18 May 2014

Showing its all yellow front end, in contrast to the small yellow panel on the DMBS end, 1125 approaches Bishop's Sutton on 18 May 2014 with the 12:20 Ropley to Alresford service, one of numerous Mid Hants Railway trains run in connection with the Alresford Watercress Festival.

205028 & 205009 Rye 10 October 1998

205028 & 205009 accelerate away from Rye with the Hertfordshire Railtours 1Z66 08:23 Victoria to Brighton 'Wye Knot' railtour on 10 October 1998. Unfortunately, the sun was just starting to go in as the train came, resulting in a transparency that shows very little detail in the light areas. Some very careful work in Photoshop has separated the windmill from the sky, making it stand out more clearly, whilst retaining detail in all areas.

205029 Silchester 15 May 1993

205029 just manages to catch a brief patch of sunshine, as it rounds the curve near Silchester on 15 May 1993 with the 16:35 Basingstoke to Reading Network SouthEast service. This was during the last weekend of Class 205 operations on the route.

205029 Mortimer 15 May 1993

On 15 May 1993, during its last weekend of use on the Reading to Basingstoke route, 205029 arrives at Mortimer station with the 17:18 Reading to Basingstoke Network SouthEast service. 205029 had been specially repainted back into green livery to mark the demise of the class in the area. Class 165s took over from the following Monday.

205030 & 205032 Didcot North Junction 6 May 1990

Unusual visitors to the Didcot area on 6 May 1990. 205030 & 205032 head north past Didcot North Junction with the Kingfisher Railtours 06:30 Yeovil Junction to Bescot (for the Open Day) 'Bescot Pioneer' railtour. Coincidentally, it was not the only railtour to pass this spot that morning, as shortly afterwards 43081 headed in the other direction with the Hertfordshire Railtours 07:15 Derby to Paignton 'Torbay Express' tour.

205031 Basingstoke 25 September 1988

205031 leaves Basingstoke on 25 September 1988 with the 13:01 Portsmouth Harbour to Reading Network SouthEast service. In the background several locomotives that had taken part in the previous day's 'Winchfield 150' event can be seen. Directly behind the unit, 47582 County of Norfolk & Class 71 E5001 are parked in the siding, whilst just visible in the distance in the station is Nederlandse Spoorwegen liveried Class 77 1.5kV DC electric loco 1502 Electra.

205031 Basingstoke 28 April 1991

205031 leaves Basingstoke station on 28 April 1991 with the 2V34 13:35 Network SouthEast service to Reading. 205031 managed to outlive many of its classmates by becoming sandite unit 930301. When this picture was taken there was still a couple of years worth of shuttling backwards and forwards between Basingstoke and Reading, before the Class 165s took over.

205032 Grateley 14 November 1991

205032 pulls away from Grateley station on 14 November 1991 with the 09:40 Salisbury to Reading Network SouthEast service. Plenty of Southern atmosphere here, as not only is the DEMU a distinctly different Southern Region creation, but there are several products from the Southern Railway's concrete works at Exmouth Junction. The works turned out all manner of concrete structures, including the huts and footbridge seen here.

205032 Bramley 15 May 1993

205032 approaches Bramley with the 14:48 Reading to Basingstoke Network SouthEast service on 15 May 1993. This was the last scheduled weekend for the 'Thumper' units on this route, their place being taken by Class 165 'Turbo' units. 205032 was withdrawn in November 2004, after spending its last few years working on the Ashford to Hastings line. It has since been preserved.

205032 & 205025 Cowden 25 May 1997

205032 & 205025 arrive at Cowden on 25 May 1997 with the 08:04 Oxted to Uckfield service on 25 May 1997, during the Uckfield Line Gala Weekend. The Entrance to Markbeech Tunnel can just be seen in the shadows on the right. This 1,341 yard curved tunnel takes the line underneath the village of Markbeech, which is actually the nearest village to Cowden station.

205032 & 205025 Eridge 25 May 1997

205032 & 205025 pass the boarded up signal box at Eridge with the 10:04 Oxted to Uckfield service on 25 May 1997, during the Uckfield Line Gala Weekend. Thumpers survived on this route until 2004, being replaced by Class 171 'Turbostars'. The rusting lines on the right will one day form the Spa Valley Railway's connection with the national network.

205033 Silchester 1 October 1988

In perfect early morning autumnal light on 1 October 1988, with a little mist still hanging over the woods and fields in the distance, 205033 thumps past Silchester with the 08:24 Basingstoke to Reading Network SouthEast service. In the still conditions on this morning the characteristic thump of this unit could be heard a very long time before it appeared round the corner. Two years after the introduction of the multi-coloured NSE livery amid a fanfare of publicity, the only sign of it on this unit is a small logo underneath the central window on the front end.

205033 Worting Junction 29 July 1991

205033 passes Worting Junction on 29 July 1991 with the 09:40 Salisbury to Reading Network SouthEast service. The unit has just passed underneath Battledown Flyover, which is hidden in the bushes in the distance. This is where the West of England line diverges from the electrified route to Southampton.

205033 & 205001 Ashurst 25 May 1997

205033 & 205001 arrive at Ashurst station on 25 May 1997 with the 09:00 Oxted to Uckfield service, during the Connex South Central's Uckfield Line Gala. It seems that one of the maintenance tasks at this small station is to mow the platform!

205033 & 205001 Crowborough 25 May 1997

205033 & 205001 arrive at Crowborough station on 25 May 1997 with the 11:00 Oxted to Uckfield service, during the Connex South Central's Uckfield Line Gala. It looks like the owner of the Citroen BX in the industrial estate car park is having engine problems!

205205 Kingsnorth 12 July 1997

With the housing estates of Ashford spreading across the former fields in the background, 205205 passes Kingsnorth on 12 July 1997 with the 13:54 Ashford to Eastbourne Network South Central service. The then recently constructed A2070 Ashford bypass provides this elevated viewpoint.

1302 Haydon 16 March 2014

1302 passes the remains of Blunsdon's distant signal, as it runs alongside the new houses at Haydon during the Swindon & Cricklade Railway's Diesel Gala on 16 March 2014. It is working the 13:36 Hayes Knoll to Taw Valley Halt service. Originally introduced in 1962 as a three car unit, 1302 later received the TOPS number 207002. It lost its centre car in 1992, and was renumbered 207103. Three years later it acquired a replacement centre car, and was renumbered yet again to 207203! It was withdrawn from BR service in 2004.

1302 Blunsdon 16 March 2014

1302 passes through Blunsdon station on 16 March 2014 with the 14:36 Hayes Knoll to Taw Valley Halt service, during the Swindon & Cricklade Railway's Diesel Gala. The original Blunsdon station (all traces of which had disappeared by the time the society took over) opened in 1895 and closed in 1937.

1305 Burrs 7 March 2010

1305 is well away from its former Southern Region haunts as it passes Burrs, on the East Lancashire Railway with the 2F85 16:04 Bury to Ramsbotton service on 7 March 2010, during the line's Diesel Gala. Originally a three car unit, 1305 was renumbered 207005 in 1986, then 207102 in 1991 (at which point it lost its centre vehicle), and then 207202 in 1995, before finally regaining its original number upon preservation!

1305 Burrs 7 March 2010

In golden evening light on 7 March 2010, 1305 thumps past Burrs with the 2F86 16:54 Ramsbotton to Bury service, during the East Lancashire Railway's Diesel Gala. This DEMU was used on a fill in service throughout the day on the Bury to Ramsbotton shuttles.

207013 Millbrook 30 November 1989

207013 passes over frost covered tracks at Millbrook on 30 November 1989, as it works the 09:17 Salisbury to Southampton Network SouthEast service. This view clearly shows the position of the engine in the front section of the leading DMBSO vehicle.

207013 Salisbury Tunnel Junction 27 July 1991

Just enough room to fit in a three car unit! 207013 passes Salisbury Tunnel Junction on 27 July 1991 with the 13:05 Salisbury to Reading Network SouthEast service. The unit has just emerged from Fisherton Tunnel, and to get a good broadside view, I am standing on the bridge over the Romsey line.

207013 Barford St Martin 12 January 1992

A sunny, but bitterly cold and frosty Sunday morning at Barford St Martin on 12 January 1992. 207013 disturbs the stillness of the Nadder Valley with the 09:25 Yeovil Junction to Salisbury Network SouthEast service. I only ever visited this location once (so far!), my main reason being to get a picture of D400, which was due from the other direction shortly afterwards.

207013 Grateley 1 February 1992

207013 calls at Grateley station on 1 February 1992 with the 12:20 Reading to Salisbury Network SouthEast service. It is passing under one of the highly characteristic Southern Railway concrete footbridges, no doubt a product of their Exmouth Junction Works.

207017 & 207203 Hurst Green Junction 25 May 1997

207017 & 207203 approach Hurst Green Junction with the 16:30 Uckfield to Oxted Network SouthEast service on 25 May 1997, during the Uckfield Line Gala, which saw extensive use of several classes of 'thumper' DEMUs. A convenient footbridge spans the junction where the line from Uckfield joins the East Grinstead line. Both these lines were once part of through routes but are now branch lines, although still retaining double track, entirely on the East Grinstead line and in part on the Uckfield route.

207102 Kingsnorth 25 March 1995

207102 passes Kingsnorth in a brief sunny spell on 25 March 1995 with the 16:22 Ashford to Hastings service. This was during the period of the 'Shadow Franchises', when British Rail was being privatised. The unit still retains the Network SouthEast colour scheme, but that sector had ceased to exist the previous year, and the route was now being operated as Network South Central. This was taken over by Connex South Central the following year.

207202 Ham Street 11 May 1996 207202 Brighton Royal Pavilion arrives at Ham Street with the 08:24 Hastings to Ashford Network SouthEast service on 11 May 1996. Note the wider centre trailer which is from a withdrawn 4-CEP EMU. This unit later received Connex livery, before being withdrawn in 2004 to start a new life in preservation. The Marsh Link line as it is now known was synonymous with both the Class 205 & 207 DEMUs for many years. The station at Ham Street has staggered platforms with a boarded foot crossing between the two, and as can be seen here is on a very straight section of track.
207202 Ruckinge 25 July 1996

207202 Brighton Royal Pavilion races a C reg Ford Sierra estate as it passes the site of Ruckinge Level Crossing on 25 July 1996. It is working the 08:11 Hastings to Ashford service, with just a couple of miles to go before it reaches its destination. 207202 has been preserved, but I doubt very much whether anyone has considered it worthwhile saving the rep's 'classic'. Ruckinge Level Crossing was replaced by a bridge at the same time that the A2070 which parallels the railway here was constructed.

207202 Ruckinge 14 February 1998

207202 Brighton Royal Pavilion passes Ruckinge (between Ashford and Ham Street) with the 15:52 Ashford to Eastbourne Network South Central service on 14 February 1998. As you can probably guess by the newly planted trees alongside the road, this viewpoint is no longer quite as unobstructed as this, although the vintage loading gauge does still survive.