Class 50

50041 Appleford 12 September 1985

When 50041 Bulwark slid on its side into Paddington on 23 November 1983 after derailing with the 21:35 Penzance to Paddington sleeper train, I thought I was going to be thwarted in my attempt to photograph every Class 50, as at that time it was one of the few I had yet to photograph. Feeling sure that it would be scrapped, I was pleasantly surprised when repairs were authorised and then on 12 September 1985 I finally managed to get a picture of it. The mist is just lifting as it approaches Appleford Crossing with the 1F12 08:10 Paddington to Oxford service.

50041 South Moreton 12 September 1985

50041 Bulwark passes South Moreton on 12 September 1985 with the 1F31 11:35 Oxford to Paddington service. Although sunny, it is so hazy that Didcot Power Station's chimney and cooling towers in the background are virtually invisible!

50041 Llandevenny 21 October 1985

50041 Bulwark passes Llandevenny on 21 October 1985 with the 1A26 08:57 Cardiff Central to Paddington service. Although the weather improved considerably later on, at this time of the morning the fog had not really cleared, which explains why the giant Llanwern steel works, which should dominate the background in this view, is all but invisible.

50041 Hinksey 22 October 1985

50041 Bulwark passes Hinksey Yard on 22 October 1985 with the 1F22 13:10 Paddington to Oxford service. Dominating the foreground is the 6A50 13:56 Bicester to Morris Cowley Speedlink, which had just arrived behind 47143. The back half of the train consists of MoD traffic in 'Olive Drab' liveried containers.

50041 Croome 24 October 1985

50041 Bulwark passes Croome on 24 October 1985 with the 1M83 10:24 Penzance to Liverpool Lime Street InterCity service. A spell of high pressure insured a sunny day, but also a very hazy background. Bredon Hill in the background is barely visible.

50041 Fairwood Junction 11 March 1986

With the early morning fog still obliterating the background, and a very week sun struggling to come out, 50041 Bulwark passes Fairwood Junction on 11 March 1986 with the 3A27 06:25 Plymouth to Paddington empty vans. It is taking the Westbury avoiding line, one of the many 'cut off' routes added by the GWR in the early nineteenth century.

50041 Shipton 18 April 1987

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

50041 Ascott-under-Wychwood 3 July 1987

50041 Bulwark passes Ascott-under-Wychwood signal box on 3 July 1987 with the Fridays only 1B64 19:09 Paddington to Worcester Shrub Hill InterCity service. All other weekday Cotswold Line trains were either HSTs or DMUs by this date, hence the reason for taking this picture in such poor light. It was one of those summer days were the sun gradually fades out into high cloud. It had actually been reasonably bright at the booked time, but this was most unusually running 20 minutes late. Even near the longest day there isn't much light at 21:00! Photo taken with permission.

50041 Oxford 4 September 1987

With the sun barely high enough for a decent picture due to the shadows from the buildings in nearby Becket Street, 50041 Bulwark pulls out of Oxford station on 4 September 1987 with the 1F11 07:26 Network SouthEast departure for Paddington. Note the white wheels rims, but only on the rear bogie.

50041 Oxford 4 September 1987

50041 Bulwark arrives at Oxford on 4 September 1987 with the 1M20 09:17 Paddington to Birmingham New Street, an InterCity service that was regularly worked by Network SouthEast stock. This location has now become very restricted, with bushes and small trees bordering the line on both sides.

50041 Whitchurch 17 June 1989

50041 Bulwark arrives at Whitchurch station on 17 June 1989 with the 1L09 16:15 Waterloo to Salisbury Network SouthEast service. This is the last time I saw Bulwark. It was withdrawn a few months later, after its main generator failed.

50042 Kingham 16 October 1983

The guard waves his green flag, giving the driver of 50042 Triumph the right of way at Kingham station on Sunday 16 October 1983. The train is the 1C48 16:10 Paddington to Hereford service. The reason for using this viewpoint of the static train, taken from the remains of the old cattle dock, is that at 17:45 on an autumn afternoon the light is fading fast. With Kodachrome 64 in the camera, this required an exposure of 1/60sec f2.8.

50042 Freefolk 17 June 1984

50042 Triumph passes Freefolk on 17 June 1984 with the late running 1O10 09:45 Exeter St Davids to Waterloo service. A very poor quality picture, but the only one I have of a loco hauled train at this location, and also one of my first pictures of a Class 50 on the West of England line.

50042 Goring 13 September 1986

With the village of South Stoke visible in the background, 50042 Triumph approaches Goring on 13 September 1986 with the 1A18 07:00 Hereford to Paddington 'Cathedrals Express'. This was one of those awkward situations when the sun decides to come out at an inappropriate moment. With no possibility of a view from the correct side, this picture will have to serve as a record.

50042 & 50023 Minety 12 July 1987

50042 Triumph & 50023 Howe pass the site of Minety station with the 3A16 15:40 Gloucester to Paddington empty vans on 12 July 1987. As this train was booked for a pair of Class 50s during 1987, it seems odd in retrospect that I wasn't out every single Sunday photographing it! Railings on the left, and the overgrown remains of the goods loading dock to the right mark the site of the station, which closed in 1964.

50042 Duffryn 15 August 1987

Class 50s were never particularly common in Wales, but during 1987 the 3A12 Milford to Paddington empty vans was booked for the class, and on 15 August 1987, 50042 Triumph is seen rounding the curve at Duffryn with this working. At the time it was just one more bit of variety in what was a varied and busy freight scene, sadly now virtually all gone.

50042 Moreton-in-Marsh 16 August 1987

50042 Triumph pulls away from Moreton-in-Marsh station on 16 August 1987 with the 1A25 16:15 Hereford to Paddington service. The background to this view has changed considerably since this picture was taken. New houses and trees have replaced the open view seen here. The cottage visible in front of the trees directly above the roof of 50042 is the former Todenham Road crossing keeper's cottage on the long closed Shipston-on-Stour branch, which started life as early as 1820 as a horse tramway to Stratford-upon-Avon.

50042 South Moreton (Didcot East) 28 August 1987

50042 Triumph passes South Moreton (Didcot East), just as the sun is setting on 28 August 1987. It is working the 1F44 18:18 Paddington to Oxford Network SouthEast service. This was an all stations service, even calling at such minor stations as Appleford and Culham. 

50042 Denchworth 30 August 1987

50042 Triumph passes Denchworth on 30 August 1987 with the 1C52 14:20 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads InterCity service. It was certainly the time and place for photographing Class 50s on short trains, as shortly before I had photographed 50017 on an equally short train of empty vans, coming from the opposite direction.

50042 South Moreton (Didcot East) 24 October 1989

50042 Triumph whilst allocated to the DCWA engineer's pool between 1988 and its withdrawal in 1990 performed numerous duties such as this. It is pictured heading east from Didcot and approaching South Moreton on 24 October 1989 with the 11:50 Bristol to Old Oak Common, comprising HST power car 43140 and a barrier vehicle. Presumably this would have been switched to the relief line at some point.

50042 Cam & Dursley 3 July 1990

50042 Triumph approaches the site of Coaley Junction (now Cam & Dursley station) with the 6C11 13:13 Gloucester to Fairwater Yard departmental service on 3 July 1990. Of course the DCWA allocated Class 50 is the most interesting thing about this train, although the inclusion of a freshly painted GUV in the then new Satlink (signal and telegraph department) red and yellow livery certainly adds to the picture.

50042 Ashton Gate 6 July 1990

The secondman onboard 50042 Triumph leans out the cab to check progress, as the loco shunts the Severn Tunnel inspection train in Ashton Gate permanent way yard on 6 July 1990. After attaching a spoil wagon to the head of the train, it left with the three yellow inspection vehicles for Bristol East Depot. Of necessity this picture was taken on a very long lens, which compresses the perspective, making the houses of Bristol a prominent feature in the background. In particular the impressive eighteenth century Cornwallis Terrace on the horizon, with Clifton church behind.

50042 Ashton Gate 6 July 1990

A totally unrepeatable sight. On 6 July 1990, DCWA allocated 50042 Triumph moves slowly out of the permanent way yard at Ashton Gate and heads for Bristol East Depot with the Severn Tunnel inspection train. All track in this yard has now been lifted, although the barely visible track through the old station on the left has been re-laid and now serves the new freight terminal at Portbury Dock. 50042 was one of the handful of departmental allocated Class 50s that spent 1989 & 1990 pottering around on workings such as this. Note the Clifton Suspension Bridge partly visible through the trees in the background.

50042 Cullompton 1 August 1990

50042 Triumph ambles past the remains of Cullompton station on 1 August 1990 with the 6C55 14:37 Bristol East to Exeter Riverside departmental working. One of my lasting regrets is how few pictures I took of the Class 50s during their period of departmental use in 1989-91. However, this has got to be one of my favourite pictures of the few that I did manage to take. It was also the last occasion on which I saw 50042 on the mainline, it being withdrawn a couple of months later. The old goods shed and derelict platforms make an excellent backdrop. There is even the post of one of the nameboards still surviving on the up platform amid the weeds. All this has now been swept away, and the background to this view is now a much less photogenic motorway service station.

50042 Bodmin General 26 September 1993 After seeing 50033 Glorious & 50007 Sir Edward Elgar at Bodmin Parkway with the BR InterCity 1Z50 16:15 Penzance to Plymouth 'Royal Duchy' railtour on 26 September 1993, I drove round to Bodmin General to see the return of 50042 Triumph, which had been specially timed to be at Parkway to meet the mainline 50s. It is seen here arriving at Bodmin General, passing a line up of the Bodmin & Wenford Railway's freight stock.
50042 Hookhills Viaduct 16 October 1993

50042 Triumph crosses Hookhills Viaduct on 16 October 1993 with the 10:15 Kingswear to Paignton service, during the Paignton & Dartmouth Railway's Class 50 Day. The viaduct is named after former Hookhills Farm, further up the valley. This has now been swallowed up by the houses of Broadsands, some of which can be seen through the arches.

50042 Churston 16 October 1993

50042 Triumph passes underneath the unmistakably Great Western Railway footbridge, as it arrives at Churston station on 16 October 1993 with the 11:00 Paignton to Kingswear service, during the Paignton & Dartmouth Railway's Class 50 Event.

50042 Hookhills Viaduct 16 October 1993

50042 Triumph crosses Hookhills Viaduct on 16 October 1993 with the 12:25 Kingswear to Paignton freight, during the Paignton & Dartmouth Railway's Class 50 Day. Class 50s did work freight trains during their BR careers, but with the possible exception of their 1989/90 DCWA duties, they wouldn't usually have been this short!

50042 Britannia Crossing 16 October 1993

50042 Triumph approaches Britannia Crossing on 16 October 1993 with the 13:45 Paignton to Kingswear service, during the Paignton & Dartmouth Railway's Class 50 Event. Photo taken from the very convenient ferry slipway.

50042 Britannia Crossing 16 October 1993

50042 Triumph approaches Britannia Crossing on 16 October 1993 with the 15:05 Kingswear to Paignton service, during the Paignton & Dartmouth Railway's Class 50 Event. The loco was visiting from the Bodmin & Wenford Railway.

50042 & 37671 Dreason (Charlie's Gate) 23 September 1995

Lots of English Electric noise, of both the 16CSVT and 12CSVT varieties. 50042 Triumph & 37671 Tre Pol and Pen pass Dreason (Charlie's Gate) on 23 September 1995 with the 17:30 Bodmin Parkway to Bodmin General service during the Bodmin & Wenford Railway's Diesel Gala.

50043 Kingham 27 October 1979

Work stained 50043 Eagle arrives at Kingham on a very murky 27 October 1979 with the 1A51 11:40 Worcester Shrub Hill to Paddington service, in the days when most trains on the Cotswold Line were loco hauled, despite the fact that passenger numbers were far lower than they are today. Just visible behind the loco are the abandoned platforms that once served trains on the Banbury to Cheltenham route.

50043 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 5 December 1981

50043 Eagle passes Circourt Bridge, Denchworth on 5 December 1981 with the 1A93 08:50 Cheltenham to Paddington service. A very dull day, which does at least allow this viewpoint from the north side of the line. The variety of traction along this stretch of line was actually less in the 1980s than now, with very little daytime freight. However, there was of course the very big bonus of a few unfreburbished Class 50s amid all the HSTs!

50043 Charlbury 27 March 1982

50043 Eagle arrives at Charlbury on 27 March 1982 with the 15:00 Paddington to Hereford service. The one unchanging part of this picture is the Brunel designed grade 2 listed station building. The last unrefurbished Class 50 was called to Doncaster for rebuilding the following year and it is only in recent years that Cotswold Line passengers have enjoyed more luxurious accommodation than the Mk 2 coaches pictured here, with the mass introduction of HSTs on the route after years of being a predominantly DMU worked line. It is also doubtful that with the possible exception of the Volvo that any of the cars in the station car park are still on the road!

50043 Oxford (Walton Well Road) 21 August 1982

Viewed from Walton Well Road bridge, 50043 Eagle approaches Oxford on 21 August 1982 with the 1V78 10:34 Manchester Piccadilly to Paddington InterCity service, which it would have taken over at Birmingham New Street. I have no idea why the framing is so poor on this picture. Admittedly I had only been taking pictures for a few years by 1982, but even then I should have known not to crop out the sky! However, a sharp 35mm Kodachrome slide, taken in full sun, of an unfreburbished Class 50 is always worth including, despite the dodgy camerawork!

50043 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 27 October 1982

50043 Eagle approaches Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 27 October 1982 with the 1A01 08:02 Worcester Shrub Hill to Paddington service. Modern day photographers may complain that this location has been virtually ruined by the installation of 25kV catenary, but prior to the mid 1980s there was not only a clump of trees on the north side of the line, but a corresponding group on the south side. This caused problems with shadows, as can be seen here. Two months to go until the shortest day, and the shadows are already just touching the up line.

50043 Hinksey 7 January 1984

50043 Eagle passes Hinksey Yard on 7 January 1984 with the 1A34 12:15 Paddington to Oxford service. Even as late as the 1980s BR were still using oil lamps as tail lamps on freight trains, which explains the one sitting on the ballast to the right of the loco.

50043 Little Langford 8 March 1986

50043 Eagle passes Little Langford on 8 March 1986 with the diverted 1O10 09:38 Exeter St Davids to Waterloo service. With the train's normal route closed for engineering works, the Wylye Valley was the place to go, as in addition to the diverted 50s, the Portsmouth to Bristol trains were still Class 33 operated. The good old days!

50043 Moreton-in-Marsh 2 July 1986

50043 Eagle pulls away from Moreton-in-Marsh station on 2 July 1986 with the 1B56 18:07 Paddington to Hereford 'Cathedrals Express'. Very unusually for the time, it was running twenty minutes late, something which Cotswold Line passengers would come to expect in the First Great Western era two decades later! Eagle is seen here in possibly the best Class 50 livery - large logo with black roof and red buffer beams. This particular machine wore this variant during 1986 and 1987, between appearing in standard large loco and revised Network SouthEast colours. This view is no longer possible as a Budgens supermarket has been constructed on the right with a car park in the immediate foreground.

50043 Charlbury 3 July 1987

50043 Eagle arrives at Charlbury on 3 July 1987 with the 1B46 17:02 Paddington to Hereford InterCity service. A fine view of two classics. Brunel's station building dates from 1853, whilst English Electric's 50043 only dates from 1968. Unfortunately however, although Brunel's building lives on, 50043 was not so lucky, and despite an abortive preservation attempt, was cut up in 2002.

50043 Charlbury 3 July 1987

50043 Eagle passes underneath the road bridge at Charlbury on 3 July 1987, as it pulls out of the station with the 1B46 17:02 Paddington to Hereford InterCity service. Only very weak sunshine, but an excellent record of summer evenings on the Cotswold Line.

50043 Aller 7 December 1988

50043 Eagle assisted 50048 Dauntless with the 1O28 09:40 Plymouth to Portsmouth Harbour service on 7 December 1988, but presumably only as far as Exeter St Davids, as here is a picture of it Aller in the late morning, heading back to Laira light engine.

50043 Potbridge 16 March 1990

50043 Eagle passes Potbridge (between Woking and Basingstoke) with the 1L13 14:15 Waterloo to Salisbury Network SouthEast service on 16 March 1990. With 50s working both the Salisbury and Exeter trains (along with a few Class 33s), a few freights and an endless procession of slam door EMUs, this used to be a an excellent location for a day's photography.

50044 Wolvercote 17 June 1983

Exeter meets Zulu Warrior! I was trying to recreate B. J. Freeman's 'First of the Day' painting with this picture, replacing his GWR 'Saint' with a Class 50. Sadly no fisherman in my picture, but the viewpoint is identical, although with artist's licence he has ignored the PW hut. 50044 Exeter heads north alongside the Oxford Canal at Wolvercote with the 1S61 06:45 Paddington to Edinburgh service on 17 June 1983. The Class 50 would be on the train as far as Birmingham New Street.

50044 Gloucester (Horton Road) 26 August 1984

I very rarely take pictures of locomotives parked at depots, but here is the exception that proves the rule. 50044 Exeter rests between duties at Gloucester Horton Road depot on 26 August 1984. Keeping it company are an unidentified 'Peak' and 37129. This photo is taken from a convenient earth bank that used to overlook the site, although a 200mm lens was used for this close up view.

50044 Abbotswood 6 July 1985

50044 Exeter passes Abbotswood on 6 July 1985 with the late running 1V92 12:45 Glasgow Central to Cardiff Central InterCity service, which it had taken over at Birmingham New Street. Already severely backlit, the shadows were now signalling the end of the day's photography at this location.

50044 Great Bedwyn 8 September 1985

50044 Exeter passes through Bedwyn station on 8 September 1985 with the 1C25 09:40 Paddington to Penzance InterCity service, running 20 minutes late. The River Dun and the Kennet & Avon Canal can be seen on the right.

50044 Bourton 28 December 1985

A hard frost and low early morning light provide perfect photographic conditions at Bourton on 28 December 1985. 50044 Exeter passes the frozen fields with the 1A22 08:30 Cheltenham to Paddington service. Even three decades later this location is still totally unobstructed by lineside vegetation - a miracle considering Network Rail's total lack of lineside maintenance in recent years.

50044 Paddington 22 November 1986

50044 Exeter rests underneath Brunel's magnificent wrought iron roof at Paddington station on 22 November 1986, after arriving with the 1A22 08:36 service from Cheltenham. It would shortly be working the 1F20 12:17 Paddington to Oxford, followed by the 1F35 14:00 Oxford to Paddington, and 1C77 20:30 Paddington to Exeter St Davids. Note the BG next to the loco being unloaded, with the interior lights on, and a Brute trolley waiting alongside on the platform.

50044 Paddington 22 November 1986

50044 Exeter prepares to leave Paddington station on 22 November 1986 with the 1F20 12:17 Paddington to Oxford service. This was on one of the 'Ian Allan Network Rail Days", and I was taking full advantage of the cheap travel, including taking this train to Oxford.

50044 Oxford 22 November 1986

50044 Exeter is the centre of attention at Oxford station on 22 November 1986, shortly after its arrival with the 1F20 12:17 Network SouthEast service from Paddington. Looking at the headcode box, the loco seems to have caused the demise of a pigeon somewhere en-route, as the feathers certainly weren't there when we left London!

50044 Chilson 19 April 1987

50044 Exeter passes Chilson on 19 April 1987 with the 1B16 09:40 Paddington to Worcester Shrub Hill Network SouthEast service. This is the last time that I saw Exeter on the mainline in BR days, which is odd considering it wasn't withdrawn for another 2 years 8 months. As I was spending every available opportunity photographing the class in the late 1980s and early 1990s, it is strange that it eluded me for all that time!

50044 Bewdley 6 August 1994

50044 Exeter leaves Bewdley on the Severn Valley Railway with the 11:40 Bridgnorth to Kidderminster service on 6 August 1994. As can be seen from the recess in the roof, the locomotive has been cosmetically restored to its unrefurbished condition. It is pictured here in the condition it was in the summer of 1981, after the plaque had been added above the nameplate, but before being called to Doncaster Works for refurbishment.

D444 Kidderminster 24 May 1997

D444 shunts a single wagon at Kidderminster on 24 May 1997, prior to working the 09:45 Severn Valley Railway service to Bridgnorth. The eager passengers wait next to the coaches in the background. The loco had been restored to unrefurbished condition, and without any multiple working cables.

D444 & 50015 Watersmeet (Bishops Lydeard) 19 September 1998

This bold close up view of D444 gives a good indication as to what a Class 50 looked like when first introduced into traffic, with blanking plates covering the holes on the front end where multiple working cables would later be fitted. It is pictured passing Watersmeet (near Bishops Lydeard) on 19 September 1998 along with 50015 Valiant on the 16:00 Minehead to Bishops Lydeard service, during the West Somerset Railway's Diesel Gala.

D444 & 50031 Crowcombe Heathfield 20 September 1998

D444 & 50031 Hood arrive at Crowcombe Heathfield with the 15:10 Minehead to Bishops Lydeard service on 20 September 1998, during the West Somerset Railway's Diesel Gala. A slight photographic compromise here. In order to get the loco passing the station nameboard, I had to put up with a whopping great shadow obscuring Hood!

D444 & 50031 Coursley 20 September 1998

D444 & 50031 Hood pass Coursley (just south of Crowcombe Heathfield) with the 15:10 Minehead to Bishops Lydeard service on 20 September 1998, during the West Somerset Railway's Diesel Gala. Full sun and a slow moving train, the ideal combination for Fujichrome 100 in a Pentax 6x7!

D444 & 50031 Dorrington 22 August 1999

D444 & 50031 Hood pass Dorrington on 22 August 1999 with a Shrewsbury to Cardiff Central special. This location is a few hundreds yard north of Dorrington signal box, which is where I had photographed the outward run, a short while earlier.

D444 North Street 23 May 2004

A symphony in green! D444 passes North Street on 23 May 2004 with the 10:55 Alresford to Alton service, during the Mid Hants Railway's Diesel Gala. The Class 50s never wore this livery in BR service, as the familiar blue livery had already been adopted as standard by the time the first of the class appeared in 1967. However, in my opinion, it certainly looks smart.

D444 Soldridge 23 May 2004

D444 matches the verdant spring green foliage for colour as it shows off its very effective (but totally inauthentic) two tone green livery on 23 May 2004 during the Mid Hants Railway's Diesel Gala. It is passing Soldridge with the late running 12:36 Alton to Alresford service. I thought I had lost this picture, because directly after taking it, I could not preview it on the back of the camera, despite the shutter definitely having fired. Luckily I didn't take any more digital pictures that day, and so was able to later recover the corrupted file off the compact flash card.

D444 Soldridge 23 May 2004

D444 passes Soldridge on 23 May 2004 with the 13:55 Alresford to Alton service, during the Mid Hants Railway's Diesel Gala. Note that it has yet to be reunited with its Exeter nameplates. Although no Class 50s ever carried this attractive livery, this was purely down to timing. If the class had been introduced a few years earlier they almost certainly would have carried this colour scheme from new, rather than BR Blue.

D444 & 50049 Magor 18 October 2008

D444 Exeter returned to the mainline on 18 October 2008 when it worked the Rail Blue Charters 1Z49 06:04 Manchester Piccadilly to Minehead  railtour in the company of 50049 Defiance. It is seen here passing the site of Magor station in appalling light. I had originally interned to see the tour at Llanvihangel on the Hereford to Newport line. However, while driving from Gloucester it seemed that the clouds were all clearing away, which meant that a sunny shot could be had in South Wales. To say the British weather is unpredictable is an understatement, as it was extremely dark and raining when it passed Magor on the relief line. Incidentally the non-authentic two tone green livery is a little ironic for a tour run by Rail Blue charters!

D444 Tackley 9 May 2009

D444 Exeter (50044) catches the early morning sun as it passes Tackley with the 1Z50 05:26 Bristol Temple Meads to Aberystwyth 'Cambrian Mountaineer' railtour on 9 May 2009. This tour was run by Spitfire Railtours and The Network Rail Bristol Operations and Swindon Integrated Control Centre Three Peaks Teams in connection with the Railway Children charity. There was no doubt whatsoever as to what type of loco was approaching as I stood at this remote location in the Cherwell Valley. In the still morning air the once familiar Class 50 throb could be heard while the train was still several miles away, and then came the distinctive hesitant two tone horn as the train approached Tackley station, which was still over a mile away! Although I have numerous Class 50 pictures in the area from the 1980s, I certainly haven't got a two tone green machine on maroon coaches!

50044 Heap Bridge 3 July 2011

One of the highlights of the East Lancashire Railway's Diesel Gala over the weekend of 1 to 3 July 2011 was the use of 50044 Exeter, recently outshopped in gleaming BR blue livery. Here it is seen passing the old quarry at Heap Bridge on Sunday 3 July with the 2J82 15:26 Rawtenstall to Heywood service. The fact that there were no other photographers standing in the usual spot here meant I was able to include the large bush as a frame for the picture.

50044 Heap Bridge 3 July 2011

Positively gleaming in the late afternoon light, ex-works 50044 Exeter passes Heap Bridge on 3 July 2011 with the 2J89 16:35 Heywood to Rawtenstall service, during the East Lancashire Railway's Diesel Gala. Superbly restored to represent a machine in unfreburbished condition, this is a fine recreation of the late 1970s, apart from the working headcode and maroon coaches, which takes it back a few more years! For some inexplicable reason I was the only photographer at this particular location, which after all is one of the better spots on the line for lighting at this time of day.

50044 & 82126 Bradnock's Marsh 4 September 2011

50044 Exeter worked the PTG Railtours Euston to Holyhead 'Snowdon Ranger' railtour over the weekend of 3 & 4 September 2011. The Saturday was dull, and I was also otherwise engaged with some other classic traction on my local line. Despite the fact that I was unable to travel as far west as I would have liked, I wasn't going to miss the opportunity of seeing a single blue 50 on the mainline, especially with the added novelty of Virgin stock complete with DVT. I had to opt for one of the poor 'under the wires' locations, in this case Bradnock's Marsh, near Berkswell, to see the tour return from Wales on Sunday 4 September. Running as the 1Z51 13:14 Llanwrwst to Euston, 50044 with DVT 82126 directly behind heads homewards in some pleasant evening sunshine. 57304 is on the rear of the train.

50044 Patchway 21 July 2012

50044 Exeter climbs up the 1 in 80 gradient towards Patchway station on 21 July 2012 with the 1Z50 09:15 Cardiff to Paignton GBRf staff special. Unfortunately this corresponded with one of the increasing number of clouds, although on the plus side that cured the problem of the shadow from the tree on the right! 66720 is on the rear of the train.

50044 Victoria Bridge 4 October 2018

50044 Exeter slowly crosses the Severn Valley Railway's Victoria Bridge on 4 October 2018 with the 12:35 Kidderminster to Bridgnorth service, during the line's Class 50 Golden Jubilee Gala. Many photographers wouldn't like this image, as the scene is party in shadow. However, I quite like the fact that the main subject is fully lit, and contrasts markedly with the trees in the background, which are under a cloud. It certainly wouldn't work the other way round of course!

50045 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 28 September 1985

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

50045 Circourt 18 December 1985

The low winter sun is casting long shadows as 50045 Achillies approaches Circourt Bridge at Denchworth with the 3A03 13:15 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington vans on 18 December 1985. Of particular note to anyone used to this location nowadays (apart from the obvious fact that in 1985 there were only two tracks!) is the fact that the background is completely open, as this is prior to the tree planting of the 1990s.

50045 Charlbury 16 May 1986

50045 Achillies pulls away from Charlbury station on 16 May 1986 with the 1A18 07:00 Hereford to Paddington 'Cathedrals Express'. A rarely photographed location, that apart from one pesky shadow affords an excellent view of southbound trains. The viewpoint was so open in the 1980s that Walcot Farm Cottages, on the Charlbury to Burford road can be seen in the distance.

50045 Charlbury 20 March 1988

50045 Achillies arrives at a slightly damp Charlbury station on 20 March 1988 with the 1B33 14:00 Paddington to Hereford service, a train that was marketing as an InterCity service, but ran with Network SouthEast stock. Note the platform extension under construction, providing a much needed addition to the extremely short platform that had existed up until then. In marked contrast to today, the car park is virtually empty (admittedly this is a Sunday), and one of those cars is mine. The white Vauxhall Cavalier provided me with seven years of railway photography transport, and reached what at the time seemed a very high mileage of 137,000 miles. In the light of the mega mileage I would later do in the Honda Accord, that seems like nothing at all!

50045 Pershore 17 July 1988

I managed to photograph every single member of the Class 50 fleet on the Cotswold Line, but mainly on the Oxford to Moreton-in-Marsh section. Pictures further north were fewer, and this is my only picture of a Class 50 at Pershore. 50045 Achillies arrives at the station on 17 July 1988 with the 1A67 16:15 Hereford to Paddington InterCity service.

50046 Knighton 25 October 1980

50046 Ajax passes Knighton on 25 October 1980 with the 1A93 08:31 Cheltenham Spa to Paddington InterCity service. Apologies for the very poor quality of this picture, but it is one of only two pictures I have of Ajax in unrefurbished condition. This photo is taken from the site of Knighton Crossing, which in those days was easily accessible, with nothing obstructing the view from the truncated remains of the old road, even when standing behind the wire fence.

50046 Honeybourne 23 January 1982

50046 Ajax arrives at Honeybourne on 23 January 1982 with the 1B58 10:50 Paddington to Worcester Shrub Hill service. Although taken on a very dull day, there is plenty of historical interest in this picture. In addition to the unfreburbished Class 50, note the signal box and semaphore signals in the background. Perhaps the most surprising thing about this view is how open it is, with only a few small bushes alongside the railway fence.

50046 Chilson 29 May 1983

50046 Ajax passes Chilson on 29 May 1983 with the 1A25 16:15 Hereford to Paddington, one of the few trains that made up the very sparse Sunday service on the Cotswold Line in the 1980s. 50046 had only just returned from refurbishment at Doncaster at this time, but already the pristine light grey painted roof has become black with soot - showing just what an impractical choice of colour it was, at least with the basic cleaning regime in place at the time.

50046 Swindon (Hay Lane) 16 June 1983

50046 Ajax passes Hay Lane, just to the west of Swindon, with the Thursdays only 1A71 09:00 Penzance to Paddington service on 16 June 1983. This seems to be a very little photographed train, which is not really surprising, as it only ran on ten days during the 1983 summer timetable. Passengers from Penzance could leave half an hour later on the 1A49 09:33 HST departure, and arrive in London an hour and half before this train got there, after its long jaunt via Bristol.

50046 Savernake 22 October 1983

50046 Ajax dodges the shadows at Savernake on 22 October 1983 whilst working the 1A01 07:25 Plymouth to Paddington HST replacement service. Note the trackbed of the former Marlborough branch curving away to the right. The Kennet & Avon Canal is in a cutting amid the trees in the background and Bruce Tunnel takes it right underneath where I am standing.

50046 Evenlode 2 June 1985

50046 Ajax passes Evenlode on 2 June 1985 with the 1A25 16:15 Hereford to Paddington service. This is probably a bit extravagant for a Sunday train on the Cotswold Line in the mid 1980s. Eight coaches for passengers and a GUV for luggage is certainly luxurious provision compared to today's service, although now of course passenger numbers have increased enormously.

50046 Wickwar Tunnel 10 August 1985

50046 Ajax approaches Wickwar Tunnel on 19 August 1985 with the 1M83 10:15 Penzance to Liverpool Lime Street InterCity service. The bridge at Rangeworthy in the background also offered excellent views in both directions in the 1980s.

50046 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 18 December 1985

50046 Ajax approaches Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 18 December 1985 with the 1A26 08:57 Cardiff Central to Paddington service. The provision of a GUV is more reminiscent of Cotswold Line trains of the period, whereas this service often ran with a pair of BG's. In either case, plenty of room for passenger's bikes, unlike today's pathetic provision.

50046 Fairwood Junction 11 March 1986

50046 Ajax has just traversed the Westbury avoiding line, and is about the rejoin the original West of England route at Fairwood Junction on 11 March 1986. It is working the 1C25 09:40 Paddington to Penzance service. The old PW hut between the two routes was gradually falling to pieces, and would be demolished completely the following year.

50046 Brockhampton 29 July 1986

50046 Ajax passes the distinctive Midland Railway crossing keeper's cottage at Brockhampton on 29 July 1986, as it speeds southwards with the 1V72 10:40 Glasgow Central to Paignton service, which it had taken over at Birmingham New Street. Brockhampton is a common village name in Gloucestershire, with another one just five miles to this west of this spot!

50046 Oxford 1 August 1986

50046 Ajax leaves Oxford station on 1 August 1986 with the 1A18 07:00 Hereford to Paddington 'Cathedrals Express'. This was a relatively easy diagram for a Class 50, as it did nothing once it reached the capital until it was time to return with the 1B56 18:07 Paddington to Hereford. The same applied to the other Cotswold Line diagram at the time, the 1A10 06:00 Hereford to Paddington, and 1B46 17:00 return. 50046 acquired this black roofed version of the large logo livery quite early on, and kept it right through to its withdrawal in 1991.

50046 Wolvercote Junction 20 August 1987

50046 Ajax approaches Wolvercote Junction on 20 August 1987 with the 1M85 14:32 Tonbridge to Preston parcels, a train that was always guaranteed to throw up some interesting traction, even if not much in the way of a profitable load! The A34 Oxford bypass is in the background, while the photo is taken from the A40 Oxford to Cheltenham road.

50046 Exminster 22 April 1988

50046 Ajax passes the redundant signal box at Exminster on 22 April 1988 with the 1F84 16:21 Plymouth to Bristol Temple Meads service. Owing to there being an abundance of Class 50 workings in the Oxford area during the 1980s, I never made the effort to travel to the West Country to photograph these locos on the numerous local workings using short rakes of coaches. The exception that proves the rule is this picture of Ajax with a ridiculously short load of five Mk1 coaches plus a GUV. Ironically, the very next day I saw it back on my own local Cotswold Line!

50046 Hanborough 23 April 1988

50046 Ajax catches the last of the evening sunshine as it approaches Hanborough at speed on 23 April 1988 with the 1B56 18:20 Paddington to Hereford service. Not a particularly inspiring location, but at that time of day the low angle of the sun makes the choice of locations on the rather overgrown Cotswold Line very difficult. It would be even more difficult today!

50046 Moreton-in-Marsh 24 April 1988

50046 Ajax pulls away from Moreton-in-Marsh on 24 April 1988 with the 1A67 16:15 Hereford to Paddington Network SouthEast service. By this time Ajax was becoming a bit a celebrity as it still  retained 'large logo' livery when most Network SouthEast locos naturally were in NSE livery. In fact it kept this livery (in a progressively more decrepit state) until the very end. 

50046 Charlbury 30 October 1988

50046 Ajax crosses over the River Evenlode, as it approaches Charlbury station on 30 October 1988 with the 1B31 13:45 Paddington to Hereford service. For some reason there was a slight misalignment with the two cameras on my homemade bracket when taking this shot (I fixed it later with a couple of locating studs). Unfortunately on the 6x7 slide, the very rear of the train has been cut off. Also, for some unexplained reason, over the years some odd marks have appeared on the Ektachrome slide, therefore this is the 35mm version, taken on good old reliable Kodachrome 64.

50046 Wickwar Tunnel 30 May 1989

50046 Ajax emerges from Wickwar Tunnel on 30 May 1989 with the lightly loaded 9C04 14:54 Gloucester to Bristol East Yard departmental working. One of those occasions when only having one Pentax 6x7 was a severe disadvantage. At the time it was loaded with B&W film and consequently this is from a 35mm slide. With just one 6x7 a decision had to be made whether to load it with colour (which would only be usable if the sun stayed out) or B&W. Normally the expected weather conditions immediately changed once the film was loaded. Two years after this picture was taken the problem was solved by buying a second 6x7 body. I shudder now to the think of the weight of equipment I used to carry around!

50046 Severn Tunnel Junction 5 June 1989

50046 Ajax passes through Severn Tunnel Junction station with a short rake of recovered track panels on 5 June 1989. This was just a few weeks after the loco had been demoted from the NWRA passenger pool, to spend a couple of years on these menial duties in the DCWA engineer's pool.

50046 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 25 July 1990

A ridiculously easy load for a Class 50, even one with very high engine hours, and supposedly limited to 60mph! 50046 Ajax passes the site of Ashbury Crossing, near Shrivenham, on 25 July 1990 with three loaded spoil wagons, heading east, presumably to Didcot. This was midway through Ajax's period as a DCWA civil engineer's loco, when in addition to booked engineer's workings, it would often be employed on odd jobs such as this.

50046 Brent Knoll 1 August 1990

Not much of a load for a Class 50! 50046 Ajax ambles past Brent Knoll on 1 August 1990 with the 9C05 08:27 Bristol East to Taunton departmental working. As this working then continued as the 11:05 Taunton to Exeter Riverside (still running as 9C05), I thought I would go for a second shot at Tiverton Junction. Unfortunately the three wagons were for Taunton and there was no traffic forward, so 50046 just sped through light engine, converting its 30 minutes early running at Brent Knoll into 90 minutes at Tiverton!

50046 Tiverton Junction 1 August 1990

Oh no, where's the train gone! DCWA allocated 50046 Ajax passes through the closed Tiverton Junction station on 1 August 1990 with what should have been the 9C05 11:05 Taunton to Exeter Riverside departmental working (presumably now running as 0C05). Unfortunately the loco had deposited the wagons from the earlier 9C05 08:27 working from Bristol East at Taunton, and was so now heading for the West Country light engine. I wasn't going to bother uploading this picture, but it has become historically more significant, as all the buildings and footbridge of the station have subsequently been demolished, and so have followed Ajax into oblivion. The station was replaced by the nearby Tiverton Parkway (on the site of Sampford Peverell station) in 1986.

50046 Gillingham 2 February 1991

50046 Ajax approaches Gillingham on 2 February 1991 with the 11:15 Waterloo to Exeter St Davids Network SouthEast service. Despite the battered appearance of this loco there was obviously nothing wrong with its haulage ability as it had managed to gain a couple of minutes on the booked time. Ajax had just been transferred to the West of England route from the DCWA engineers pool, and would spend the next few months working the route and not helping the NSE image with its disreputable condition before eventually being withdrawn in November 1991.

50046 Dinton 6 April 1991

50046 Ajax passes the long closed station at Dinton on 6 April 1991 with the 2V11 11:15 Waterloo to Exeter St Davids Network SouthEast service. The station closed in 1966, but with the singling of the line the following year, the former up line was retained as a headshunt for the nearby MoD depot. There are plenty of period features in this view, including the typical Southern Railway concrete PW hut, complete with knife sharpening stone, and just visible in the far distance is a loading gauge at the end of the up loop.

50046 Andover 6 April 1991

A rainy day at Andover on 6 April 1991. 50046 Ajax gets under way with the 1O41 16:22 Exeter St Davids to Waterloo Network SouthEast service. Its was always a pleasure to see tatty old Ajax during my visits to the West of England line during 1991. Not only did it make a change from the NSE liveried locos, but it also proved that there was still life in it, despite it having spent the previous couple of years pottering about on ridiculously easy engineers duties, supposedly because of its condition.

50046 & 50027 Crewkerne 6 July 1991

50046 Ajax to the rescue! On 6 July 1991 the 13:15 Waterloo to Exeter Network SouthEast service was double headed after problems were discovered with 50027 Lion. Surprisingly running only 25 minutes late 50046 Ajax arrives at Crewkerne with a dead 50027 Lion in tow. After a long spell in the DCWA departmental sector, 50046 was spending its last year in traffic in the NWXA West of England pool, although its reallocated to passenger duties did not entail a repaint, and its large logo livery was in a terrible state at the end! Crewkerne station still retains a fine station building and goods shed, although now only one platform is in use, as a passing loop was not provided when the line was singled in the 1960s.

50046 Monxton 27 July 1991

50046 Ajax passes Monxton on 27 July 1991 with the 2O82 06:45 Exeter St Davids to Waterloo Network SouthEast service. 50046 managed to hang on to its large logo livery right to the end, which made it stand out amongst the NSE locos. The other Class 50 in large logo livery at the time was 50031, but that was much cleaner!

50046 Worting Junction 29 July 1991

50046 Ajax passes Worting Junction on 29 July 1991 with the 5B81 09:20 Waterloo to Eastleigh Network SouthEast ECS. This, and the returning 5R03 14:00 Eastleigh to Salisbury ECS seemed to be a rather unproductive use of resources.

50046 & 50002 West Hatch 15 August 1991

50046 Ajax & 50002 Superb double head the 1O32 06:45 Exeter St Davids to Waterloo Network SouthEast service past West Hatch on 15 August 1991. Apologies for the very poor quality, but the sunny drive from Oxfordshire ended in dark clouds once I got to the location! Hence the use of grainy Kodachrome 200. However, the rarity of a pair of 50s on the route warrants its inclusion.

50046 Stoford 15 August 1991

50046 Ajax passes Stoford on 15 August 1991 with the 1V09 08:40 Waterloo to Exeter St Davids Network SouthEast service. Ajax was withdrawn exactly three months after this picture was taken. With time running out for the class, many photographic trips were made to the West of England line at this time, sometimes, as here, not always in the best weather conditions!

50046 Templecombe 21 August 1991

50046 Ajax is slightly letting down the Network SouthEast image at Templecombe on 21 August 1991. The train and station, and even the flower tubs are adorned in the NSE red, white and blue colour scheme, but Ajax still sports the black roofed version of large logo livery. It rolls into the station with the 1V16 16:15 Waterloo to Yeovil Junction service.

50046 & 50029 Exminster 15 September 1991

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

50046 Grateley 14 November 1991

50046 Ajax poses in the autumn sunshine at Grateley whilst working the 1L05 10:00 Waterloo to Salisbury service on 14 November 1991, running 30 minutes late. This was the loco's penultimate day in traffic. The following day after working the 2C59 22:15 Exeter St Davids to Newton Abbot Fridays only local it moved to Laira with the 5C59 23:00 Newton Abbot to Laira ECS - its final working. Although in full working order, it had been taken out of traffic to donate its engine and generator to GW150 green 50007 Sir Edward Elgar, which had been out of traffic at Laira since 9 July 1991 with a main generator flash over. Latterly 50046 had been a bit of a celebrity itself as it still carried large logo livery amid a sea of Network SouthEast liveried machines.

50046 Grateley 14 November 1991

50046 Ajax approaches Grateley on 14 November 1991 with the 1L10 12:13 Salisbury to Waterloo Network SouthEast service. This was the loco's penultimate day in traffic, and assuming the loco stuck to its diagram, its final workings after this picture was taken were: 1V16 16:15 Waterloo to Yeovil Junction, 5O52 19:10 Yeovil Junction to Eastleigh ECS, 5V29 03:40 Eastleigh to Yeovil Junction ECS, 1O29 05:30 Yeovil Junction to Waterloo, 5B81 09:20 Waterloo to Eastleigh ECS, 5R03 14:00 Eastleigh to Salisbury ECS, 1L18 15:13 Salisbury to Waterloo, 1V19 18:15 Waterloo to Exeter St Davids, 2C59 22:15 Exeter St Davids to Newton Abbot, and finally 5C59 23:00 Newton Abbot to Laira ECS, after which it was switched off for the final time, prior to donating its engine to 50007 Sir Edward Elgar.

50047 Hanborough 1 May 1982

50047 Swiftsure races through Hanborough station on 1 May 1982 with the 15:00 Paddington to Hereford service. This loco was one of the few to emerge from refurbishment (note the headlight) still in rail blue livery. Note the redundant down platform on the right, disused since the line was singled in 1971. Interestingly the station was at this time known as Handborough. Only recently have the railways come into line with most maps and road signs by dropping the D in the name of the village.

50047 Hinksey 28 July 1983

The rusty tracks in Hinksey Yard on 28 July 1983 signifies that nothing has used any of the lines for some considerable time. 50047 Swiftsure passes by with the 2A36 13:01 Paddington to Oxford service. This was luxury provision for a slow stopping service, and was in fact booked for the more suitable DMU on a Saturday.

50047 Hinksey 28 July 1983

50047 Swiftsure passes Hinksey Yard on 28 July 1983 with the 1A79 15:15 Oxford to Paddington service. The loco was one of the first of its class to be refurbished, and so was returned to the Western Region in Rail Blue livery. It retained this colour scheme until early 1984, when the then standard large logo livery was applied.

50047 Oxford North Junction 5 September 1984

Sunshine and shadows at Oxford North Junction on 5 September 1984. 50047 Swiftsure heads north with the 1E54 06:50 Paddington to Hull service, which it would work as far as Birmingham New Street. Imagine the enthusiast's interest if it wasn't swapped for a Class 45 or 47 at Birmingham, although in those pre-mobile phone days, not many people would have found out in time.

50047 Blanchworth 26 October 1985

50047 Swiftsure passes Blanchworth (between Bristol and Gloucester) with the 1M83 10:24 Penzance to Liverpool service on 26 October 1985. This would have arrived at Penzance earlier that morning with the 3C24 03:00 Plymouth to Penzance vans.

50047 Edington 11 March 1986

A sight that would give modern day health & safety officials a fit! 50047 Swiftsure's train is not on fire, but track workers are just starting to burn off the lineside vegetation, while trains pass by at full line speed! 50047 is working the 1A50 (very appropriate!) 09:32 Penzance to Paddington service, seen here passing Edington on 11 March 1986. Although the smoke is largely drifting across the fields in the background at this point, this is nothing compared to what happened when they lit both sides of the cutting in the foreground. The whole scene then disappeared in smoke!

50047 Compton Beauchamp 27 June 1986

50047 Swiftsure passes Compton Beauchamp in the very last of the weak evening sunshine on 27 June 1986 with the 5F46 18:58 Twyford to Cardiff Canton ECS. This was merely a continuation of the 1F46 18:16 Paddington to Twyford commuter train.

50047 Cam & Dursley 11 October 1986

50047 Swiftsure approaches the site of Coaley Junction, and what would later become Cam & Dursley station, with the 1V55 09:20 Liverpool to Penzance service on 11 October 1986. Until recently I considered this an unrecoverable image, as it was taken on the only roll of film that I deliberately uprated. Pushing transparency film one stop theoretically has a minimal effect on the image quality, but whether the lab did something wrong, or perhaps Ektachrome 100 doesn't like being pushed, I don't know. The slide has a terrible purple cast, far worse than a forty year old badly stored Agfa slide! Thankfully, Photoshop has come to the rescue and (nearly) restored the image to what it should have been. The reason for wanting ISO 200 film, was that when using a Pentax 6x7 with a 200mm lens, ISO 100 film is on the very border of what can be used reliably. I had to wait for Fujichrome 400 to be improved years later before the problem was finally resolved.

50047 West Hatch 31 August 1987

50047 Swiftsure passes West Hatch (between Gillingham and Salisbury) with the 1O18 12:18 Exeter St Davids to Waterloo Network SouthEast service on 31 August 1987. Swiftsure had less than a year left in traffic, becoming the fifth class member to be withdrawn in April the following year.

50047 Oxford 4 September 1987

50047 Swiftsure just manages to avoid the early morning shadows, as it leaves Oxford station on 4 September 1987 with the 1F13 07:13 Oxford to Paddington Network SouthEast service. This was a well known photographic spot in the last days of steam, where Southern pacifics replaced Great Western 4-6-0s on cross-country services. I used to think that was a long time ago, but now it seems the days of Class 50s are nearly as historic!

50048 Ruscombe 28 May 1983

During an interlude between showers, 50048 Dauntless passes Ruscombe on 28 May 1983 with the 1V15 08:20 Liverpool Lime Street to Paddington service. Twyford station is just beyond the bridge in the background.

50048 Kingham 6 October 1983

The marker lights in the former headcode box give an indication of how dark the scene is here, as 50048 Dauntless arrives at Kingham station on 6 October 1983 with the 1A25 16:15 Hereford to Paddington service. The head on viewpoint was chosen to minimise any movement, as the picture was taken at 1/60sec f2. Kodachrome 200 was not introduced until 1986, so this was taken on Kodachrome 64, which was not really fast enough. As this is the only time I saw 50048 on the Cotswold Line, this picture is included purely for the sake of completeness, despite the poor quality.

50048 Hinksey 4 July 1985

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

50048 Wickwar Tunnel 10 August 1985

50048 Dauntless emerges from Wickwar Tunnel on 10 August 1985 with the late running 1V86 13:44 Birmingham New Street to Paignton service. Class 50s could easily be heard as they approached the tunnel. It then all went quiet for a while, until they neared the southern exit.

50048 Hinksey 27 September 1986

With just a trace of hazy autumn sunshine accentuating the rust on the parked wagons, 50048 Dauntless passes Hinksey Yard on 27 September 1986 with the 1F24 14:17 Paddington to Oxford Network SouthEast service. Just a few month's into NSE's takeover of the Thames Valley trains, the only visible difference is a little discreet branding on the coaches.

50048 Baulking 10 December 1986

One of my favourite Thames Valley Class 50 pictures. 50048 Dauntless is pictured near Baulking (between Swindon and Didcot) with the 1A22 08:36 Cheltenham to Paddington service on 10 December 1986. With the tree making a perfect frame, the sun out, a touch of frost still visible in the field, and of course top traction on the train, what more could you ask for?

50048 South Moreton 6 August 1988

Unfortunately I never did get a picture of a Class 50 towing a failed HST, but this is the best thing, a Class 50 running in place of a HST. 50048 Dauntless passes South Moreton on 6 August 1988 with the 1A43 12:40 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington service. This was running half an hour late, which probably has more to do with leaving Bristol late, rather than being unable to keep up with the HST's 125mph timings.

50048 Whitchurch 17 June 1989

50048 Dauntless races under the roadbridge at Whitchurch on 17 June 1989 with the 1V17 17:15 Waterloo to Exeter St Davids Network SouthEast service. Pictured here in the revised version of the NSE livery, this loco spent its last few years in traffic working such West of England expresses, before being withdrawn with collision damage in July 1991.

50048 Andover 20 April 1991

50048 Dauntless just catches a brief patch of sun as it arrives at Andover on 20 April 1991 with the 1O35 10:20 Exeter St Davids to Waterloo Network SouthEast service. Less than two months after this picture was taken Dauntless was withdrawn with collision damage.

50048 Buckhorn Weston Tunnel 25 May 1991

50048 Dauntless approaches Buckhorn Weston Tunnel on 25 May 1991 with the 1V10 11:14 Southampton to Plymouth Network SouthEast service. This was formerly the Southern Railway's premier route to the West Country, but was considerably rationalised in the 1960s, with long sections reduced to single track.

50049 & 50001 Oxford 24 March 1984

Very nearly a picture of the first and last built Class 50s! 50049 Defiance (the final loco to be built) stands next to 50001 Dreadnought (the second loco to be built) at Oxford in the pouring rain on 24 March 1984. As D401, 50001 entered service on 9 December 1967, while D449 (50049) completed the class just over a year later on 11 December 1968. In this view Defiance has just arrived with the 1S61 06:45 Paddington to Glasgow Central, which it worked as far as Birmingham New Street, while Dreadnought waits on the centre road to head north light engine.

50049 Challow 14 April 1984

The last rays of the setting sun highlight 50049 Defiance as it passes the site of Challow station with the 17:27 Paddington to Cheltenham service on 14 April 1984. This is long before the reinstatement of the relief lines, and consequently the disused platforms are still intact. This station, along with all the others between Didcot and Swindon closed on 7 December 1964.

50049 Woodborough 20 June 1984

50049 Defiance passes the loops at Woodborough on 20 June 1984 with the 1A48 11:05 Paignton to Paddington 'Torbay Express'. I was using a 200mm lens here to show the train passing the pointwork. This was extremely fortunate, as the sun was going behind a cloud, and as the train got nearer it went into shadow.

50049 Wickwar Tunnel 10 August 1985

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

50049 Chilson 26 October 1986

50049 Defiance passes Chilson on 26 October 1986 with the 1B16 09:40 Paddington to Worcester Shrub Hill Network SouthEast service. Defiance was still a year away from being converted into the unique Railfreight 50149 when this picture was taken. After that unsuccessful interlude it reverted to passenger work, before finally joining the ranks of preserved Class 50s, and having a second career on the mainline. When I took this picture it was just another member of the fleet! The loco may still be around, but this location is unfortunately no longer available, due to the enormous increase in lineside vegetation.

50049 West Drayton 6 November 1986

50049 Defiance passes West Drayton on 6 November 1986 with the 1F07 07:07 Newbury to Paddington Network SouthEast service. Eleven comfortable Mk 1 coaches seems an appropriate train for the early morning London bound commuters. It's just a pity that the nearest comparable train today, when there are vastly increased passenger numbers, is a three car DMU!

50049 Potbridge 28 April 1991

50049 Defiance passes Potbridge on 28 April 1991 with the 1V11 10:55 Waterloo to Yeovil Junction SouthEast service. With only a few months left in traffic, Defiance is pictured here during its reprieve as a passenger locomotive, after its abortive attempt at finding new work for the class with its earlier conversion to a freight locomotive as 50149.

50049 Grateley 11 May 1991

50049 Defiance pulls away from Grateley station on 11 May 1991 with the 1L15 07:52 Waterloo to Salisbury Network SouthEast service. Surely a rule is being broken here, with a red light being visible, in addition to the headlight.

50149 Blue Anchor 28 October 1994

Despite many attempts during 1988 and 1989, I never did manage to see 50049 in its guise as the dedicated freight locomotive 50149. Therefore I wasn't going to miss getting a picture of it when it was cosmetically backdated in preservation. So here is 50149 Defiance rolling into Blue Anchor station on 28 October 1994 with the 11:05 Minehead to Williton freight. This was the loco's first working during the West Somerset Railway's Diesel Gala.

50149 Doniford Beach Halt 28 October 1994

In gleaming ex-works Railfreight General livery, and with the Bristol Channel in the background, 50149 Defiance rounds the curve on the approach to Doniford Beach Halt with the 11:05 Minehead to Williton freight on 28 October 1994. This was the loco's first working during the West Somerset Railway's Diesel Gala.

50149 & 40145 Roebuck Farm 30 September 1995

One of the highlights of the West Somerset Railway's 1995 Autumn Diesel Gala was the pairing of 50149 Defiance & 40145 on the Saturday 30 September 13:50 Norton Fitzwarren to Minehead service. This pair of classic English Electric machines are pictured passing Roebuck Farm in the rain. Prior to its return to mainline duties, 50049 was cosmetically restored to its former guise as Railfreight experiment 50149. Both these locos feature basically the same engine, although a decade of development has seen the Class 40's 2000hp increase by 700hp in the Class 50. The later design is also approximately 18 tons lighter and dispenses with the leading pony wheel on each bogie.

50149 Williton 30 September 1995

50149 Defiance pulls out of Williton station on 30 September 1995 with the 16:40 Minehead to Bishops Lydeard service. This was part of the West Somerset Railway's Diesel Gala. Note the former Trowbridge station footbridge in the car park, just behind the signal box. This was finally put into position in 2011.

50149 Norton Fitzwarren (Longlands Bridge) 1 October 1995

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

50149 Washford 1 October 1995

50149 Defiance pulls away from Washford station with the 15:25 Norton Fitzwarren to Minehead service on 1 October 1995, during the West Somerset Railway Autumn Diesel Gala. Very head on lighting, but at least that means the steep sides of the cutting are not causing any shadows!

50149 Doniford Beach Halt 1 October 1995

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

50149 & 50117 Bishops Lydeard 6 October 1996

50149 Defiance & 50117 Royal Oak stand at Bishops Lydeard station on 6 October 1996, during the West Somerset Railway's 'Not The 1996 Diesel Gala'. Whilst 50149's livery is an authentic recreation of its days as a Railfreight loco, the repainting of 50017 as 50117 is just wishful thinking of what might have happened, had the experiment been more successful.

50149 & 50117 Norton Fitzwarren (Longlands Bridge) 6 October 1996

50149 Defiance & 50117 (50017) Royal Oak approach Longlands Bridge (between Norton Fitzwarren and Bishops Lydeard) on 6 October 1996 with the 12:30 Norton Fitzwarren to Minehead service, during the West Somerset Railway's 'Not The 1996 Diesel Gala'. 50149 is doing all the work here, as although 50117 had been cosmetically restored, work on the engine was not yet complete. Class 25 D7523 is on the rear of the train.

50149 & 50117 Washford 6 October 1996

50149 Defiance & 50117 (50017) Royal Oak pull away from Washford station on 6 October 1996 with the 12:30 Norton Fitzwarren to Minehead service, during the West Somerset Railway's 'Not The 1996 Diesel Gala'. 50117 was dead in tow, as restoration was still not complete at this stage.

50149 Kidderminster 16 October 1999

Unfortunately I never did get a picture of 50049 Defiance whilst it was operating as a re-geared freight locomotive, and numbered 50149. However, as it was cosmetically restored into Class 50/1 guise in the early days of its preservation, I was at last able to get some pictures of it in Railfreight General livery. Here is a good side view of the locomotive at Kidderminster on 16 October 1999, while it was taking part in the Severn Valley Railway' Diesel Gala. Note the unusual yellow backed nameplate.

449 & 431 Llandevenny 30 June 2001

449 (50049) & 431 (50031) race ahead of the gathering storm, as they pass Llandevenny on 30 June 2001 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z38 06:18 Worcester Foregate Street to Penzance 'Cornwall Excursion' railtour. The huge Llanwern steel works dominates the background, already mostly in shadow from the advancing mass of cloud.

50049 & 50031 Manningford Bruce 13 April 2002

50049 Defiance & 50031 Hood pass Manningford Bruce on 13 April 2002 with the Vintage Trains 1Z91 13:45 Paddington to Westbury 'London Express' railtour. Earlier in the day the train had worked down from Birmingham Snow Hill, hauled by an earlier form of Western Region premium motive power - GWR King Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward I.

449 & 431 Coates 21 April 2002

449 (50049) & 431 (50031) pass the site of Coates station on 21 April 2002 with the 5Z50 18:08 Swindon to Crewe ECS. The previous day the pair had worked a Swindon to Carlisle charter, and this is the empty stock working back north. Locations free of vegetation on the 'Golden Valley' route are at a premium, especially with low evening light. However, the large flat area on the right which was the site of the former GWR goods station (the nearby Kemble station having no freight facilities) means that not much shades the line here.

50049 & 50031 Micklefield 13 July 2002

50049 Defiance & 50031 Hood approach Micklefield on 13 July 2002 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z51 15:42 York to York (via Leeds, Harrogate and Knaresborough) 'Harrogate Hoovers' mini-railtour, run in connection with the main Reading to York 'Yorkshire Excursion' tour. The lines in the foreground lead to Selby and Hill.

50049 & 50031 Milford Junction 13 July 2002

50049 Defiance & 50031 Hood approach Milford Junction on 13 July 2002 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z52 York to Reading 'Yorkshire Excursion' railtour. A long telephoto lens was required here in order to clear foreground shadows.

50049 & 50031 Loughborough 21 September 2002

50049 Defiance & 50031 Hood pass through Loughborough on 21 September 2002 with the 5Z55 13:33 Old Oak Common to York ECS. This was in preparation for the following day's 1Z55 Countryside Alliance York to Kings Cross special, one of a series of trains taking protesters to the 'Countryside March' in London.

50049 & 50035 Bewdley 6 October 2002

50049 Defiance & 50035 Ark Royal cross over the A456 Bewdley by-pass with the 13:20 Bridgnorth to Kidderminster service on Sunday 6 October 2002, during the Severn Valley Railway's Autumn Diesel Gala. The headboard reads: 'The Best Type 4 By Far'!

50049 & 50031 Pulford 16 August 2003

50049 Defiance & 50031 Hood pass Pulford, on the single track Chester to Wrexham line with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z70 16:47 Chester to Reading railtour on 16 August 2003. The tour had worked to Chester earlier in the day as the 1Z35 07:15 from Reading. The bridge in the background is the relatively new A483 road which now bypasses the villages of Rossett and Pulford.

50049 & 50031 Hafod-y-Bwch 16 August 2003

50049 Defiance & 50031 Hood pass Hafod-y-Bwch (near Wrexham) on 16 August 2003 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z70 16:47 Chester to Reading railtour. Unusually, this was not advertised with thee usual catchy tour name, but was just billed as the 'Chester Excursion'. Note the headboard celebrating 30 years of Pathfinder Tours (originally F&W Railtours).

50049 & 50031 Upton Scudamore 27 July 2004

50049 Defiance & 50031 Hood pass Upton Scudamore on 24 July 2004 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z91 05:36 Guildford to Par 'Eden Belle' special. Not strictly a railtour, more of a day out excursion to the Eden Project. This might explain the exemplary running. Left on time, on time here, and arrived in Cornwall half an hour early!

50049 Amen Corner 25 September 2004

50049 Defiance passes between the Dell Computers building and the A329 dual carriageway at Amen Corner on 25 September 2004. It is working the Steamy Affairs 1Z90 05:35 Kings Lynn to Bath 'Royal Sovereign' railtour. Out of sight behind the bushes on the rear of the train is 50031 Hood.

50049 & 50031 Glenfinnan Viaduct 5 March 2005

Extremely unfamiliar traction on Glenfinnan Viaduct! 50049 Defiance on the front & 50031 Hood on the rear slowly traverse Robert MacAlpine's concrete masterpiece with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z23 10:20 Forth William to Mallaig 'Monarch of the Glen' railtour on 5 March 2005. This was the second day of the tour, but I hadn't bothered with the trip up the WCML the previous day, as the West Highlands were what the tour was all about.

50049 Polnish 5 March 2005

50049 Defiance rounds the curve past the little isolated church at Polnish en-route from Fort William to Mallaig with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z23 'Monarch of the Glen' railtour on 5 March 2005, unfortunately in typically West Highland dull weather. 50031 Hood is hidden by the cutting on the rear of the train.

50049 Arisaig 5 March 2005

50049 Defiance stands at Arisaig station on 5 March 2005 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z23 Fort William to Mallaig 'Monarch of the Glen' railtour. The brief RETB stop had enabled some passengers (and crew!) to grab some pictures of this historic event.

50049 Arisaig 5 March 2005

A handy bank at the end of the platform at Arisaig allows this view looking down on the station as 50049 Defiance departs for Mallaig with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z23 'Monarch of the Glen' railtour on 5 March 2005. The short stop for the RETB token exchange had given several members of the crew the chance of obtaining pictures of the train in a surprising patch of sunshine.

50049 Beoraidbeg 5 March 2005

50049 Defiance rounds the curve at Beoraidbeg, just a couple of miles from journey's end at Mallaig, with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z23 'Monarch of the Glen' railtour on 5 March 2005. 50031 Hood can just be seen on the rear of the train. Note the 'Scotty Dog' emblem applied to the side of the loco especially for this tour.

50049 Mallaig 5 March 2005

50049 Defiance arrives at Mallaig on 5 March 2005 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z23 'Monarch of the Glen' railtour from Fort William. There certainly isn't much room for error when parking your car next to the house in the background!

50049 Glenfinnan 5 March 2005

A Class 50 amid the unfamiliar bleak Scottish landscape. 50049 Defiance brings up the rear of the Pathfinder Tours 1Z23 'Monarch of the Glen' railtour near Glenfinnan on 5 March 2005. Classmate 50031 Hood was working the tour back from Mallaig.

50049 Locjyside 5 March 2005

50049 Defiance brings up the rear of the Pathfinder Tours 1Z23 'Monarch of the Glen' railtour, as it crosses the River Lochy at Lochyside on 5 March 2005. 50031 Hood is at the head of the train, rounding the curve past Fort William diesel depot.

50049 County March Summit 6 March 2005

During all my years photographing Class 50s when they were in regular mainline service, I never thought I would see one here! However, in preservation all things are possible, and here we see the quite extraordinary sight of the first ever Class 50s to traverse the West Highland Line. The snow covered peak of Beinn Dorain (3530 ft) dominates the view as 50049 Defiance crests County March Summit with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z24 10:30 Fort William to Dalmuir 'Monarch of the Glen' railtour on 6 March 2005. Judging by the smoke, it would seem that 50031 Hood is giving a hefty shove at the rear as well.

50049 Ardlui 6 March 2005

Yet again the sun dipped at the critical moment as 50049 Defiance passes Pulpit Rock, near Ardlui with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z24 10:30 Fort William to Dalmuir 'Monarch of the Glen' railtour on 6 March 2005. However, I certainly wasn't going to miss another picture of the first ever Class 50s on the West Highland Line, whatever the weather!

50049 Murie 6 March 2005

Class 50 sunset. 50049 Defiance brings up the rear of the Pathfinder Tours 1Z24 10:30 Fort William to Dalmuir 'Monarch of the Glen' railtour at Murie (between Dundee and Perth) on 6 March 2005, as 50031 Hood leads the train into the setting sun. Less than a minute after this picture was taken the sun disappeared into a bank of cloud on the horizon.

50049 & 50031 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 7 August 2005

50049 Defiance & 50031 Hood approach the site of Ashbury Crossing, near Shrivenham on the Great Western mainline with a football special taking Chelsea fans to the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff for FA Community Shield match against Arsenal on 7 August 2005. The locos still carry their Scottie Dog logos from their unbelievable Scottish railtour earlier in the year.

50049 Pontlottyn 4 December 2005

A brief burst of winter sunshine illuminates 50049 Defiance, as it approaches Pontlottyn on 4 December 2005 with the 1Z32 10:56 Cardiff Central to Rhymney. This was one of a number of special trains run to mark the end of loco haulage on the line. The houses of the former colliery village of Abertysswg can be seen in the background.

50049 & 50031 Milford Junction 25 March 2006

50049 Defiance & 50031 Hood pass Milford Junction, heading north with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z27 05:58 Cardiff Central to Redmire 'Redmire Rambler' railtour on 25 March 2006. The sidings here are used as a staging point for Aire Valley power station coal trains. Ironically this was the sunniest it was all day, just where I didn't want the sun out due to the strong backlighting!

50049 Morton-on-Swale 25 March 2006

50049 Defiance crosses the River Swale at Morton-on-Swale with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z27 05:58 Cardiff Central to Redmire 'Redmire Rambler' railtour on 25 March 2006. This section of the Wensleydale Railway sees little use, as no passenger services currently operate between Northallerton and Leeming Bar.

50049 Harmby 25 March 2006

50049 Defiance passes Harmby on the Wensleydale Railway with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z27 05:58 Cardiff Central to Redmire 'Redmire Rambler' railtour on 25 March 2006. For such a long line through such a scenic area, the line has surprisingly few good photographic locations. The bridge in the background is obviously a popular spot, but the view is very restricted, and if the sun had come out (some hope!) would have been completely in the shade.

50049 South Otterington 25 March 2006

I wasn't going to bother to photograph 50049 Defiance on the ECML with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z28 14:20 Redmire to Cardiff Central 'Redmire Rambler' railtour on 25 March 2006, as by that time it was getting dark. However, as my route home crossed the line anyway, I thought I might as well watch it pass through. Liking a technical challenge, I decided to photograph it anyway even though there was no light and it was starting to rain. Here it is passing South Otterington photographed at ISO 1600. The dark sky and the loco's bright lights show up the conditions.

50049 Muir of Ord 17 June 2006

Only the lineside gorse is bright in this very early morning view of 50049 Defiance approaching Muir of Ord with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z18 06:51 Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh 'Orcadian' railtour on 17 June 2006. I suppose the plus point was that at least the rain hadn't yet started!

50049 Garve 17 June 2006

In the pouring rain, 50049 Defiance crosses the A835 at Garve with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z18 06:51 Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh 'Orcadian' railtour on 17 June 2006. One of the few occasions when a moderate wide angle lens comes in useful for railway photography, to include not only the un-gated crossing in the foreground, but the station and distant hills as well.

50049 Achnasheen 17 June 2006

Achnasheen - a location I only ever seem to visit in the pouring rain! 50049 Defiance (masquerading as 50012 Benbow) arrives with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z18 06:51 Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh 'Orcadian' railtour on 17 June 2006. 50031 Hood can be seen on the rear of the train.

50049 Balnacra 17 June 2006

The mountain scenery would look even more impressive at Balnacra on 17 June 2006 if it wasn't virtually obliterated by the driving rain and low clouds! 50049 Defiance (masquerading as 50012 Benbow) heads towards Kyle of Lochalsh with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z18 06:51 'Orcadian' railtour from Inverness. 50031 Hood is nearly invisible on the rear of the train.

50049 Badicaul 17 June 2006

Both the railway and the road hug the coastline at Badicaul, on the approach to Kyle of Lochalsh. 50049 Defiance (masquerading as 50012 Benbow) rounds the curve with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z18 06:51 Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh 'Orcadian' railtour on 17 June 2006. Note the sea defence work being carried on the railway embankment. In fact, during the short time I was waiting for the train to arrive, a large barge was offloading granite blocks onto the shoreline for use in the reinforcing work.

50049 Kyle of Lochalsh 17 June 2006

50049 Defiance (masquerading as 50012 Benbow) does a spot of shunting in the rain at Kyle of Lochalsh, after arriving with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z18 06:51 'Orcadian' railtour from Inverness. This view gives a good view of the Highland Stag motif applied to the cab sides of both 50049 and 50031 for their Scottish jaunts.

50049 Attadale 17 June 2006

50049 Defiance brings up the rear of the Pathfinder Tours 1Z19 18:00 Kyle of Lochalsh to Inverness 'Orcadian' railtour on 17 June 2006. The train is passing through the avalanche shelter near Attadale. This odd looking concrete structure is hiding 50031 Hood, which is leading the train.

50049 Kinbrace 18 June 2006

50049 (masquerading as 50012 Benbow) approaches the reverse curves at Kinbrace on 18 June 2006 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z20 06:00 Inverness to Wick 'Orcadian' railtour. I probably should have ventured further south for this first shot of the day, as there was some sun around Brora, but I didn't want to miss this location, through having to chase the tour on the narrow roads.

50049 Kinbrace 18 June 2006

50049 (masquerading as long scrapped 50012 Benbow) goes where no Class 50 has been before. Winding round the reverse curves at Kinbrace in the wilds of the North of Scotland, it heads the Pathfinder Tours 1Z20 06:00 Inverness to Wick 'Orcadian' railtour on 18 June 2006.

50049 Forsinard 18 June 2006

The only sunny shot of the entire four day Scottish Class 50 railtour. 50049 (masquerading as long scrapped 50012 Benbow) stands at Forsinard waiting for the RETB token to proceed to Georgemas Junction with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z20 06:00 Inverness to Wick 'Orcadian' railtour on 18 June 2006. I hadn't planned on getting this picture, as I thought by the time I drove from the previous location at Kinbrace the tour would be gone, so was surprised to see it stopped across the crossing at Forsinard as I drove up, and even more surprised that I had time to get to the front of the train for this picture.

50049 Wick 18 June 2006

Awful lighting, but you don't get a Class 50 at a rarer location than this! 50049 (masquerading as 50012 Benbow) arrives at Wick on 18 June 2006 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z20 06:00 Inverness to Wick 'Orcadian' railtour. Some of the wooden sleepers on the foreground sidings were exceedingly weathered, with large chunks of wood completely missing!

50049 Thurso 18 June 2006

You can't get further north than this! While classmate 50031 has the honour of being the most northerly traveled Class 50, as it sits at the other end of the train under the roof at Thurso, 50049 waits to head the Pathfinder Tours 1Z22 17:00 Thurso to Wick and Inverness 'Orcadian' railtour on 18 June 2006. With a few minutes to go before departure, the last of the passengers has just rejoined the train, and are probably glad to get out of the rain!

50049 Georgemas Junction 18 June 2006

50049 (masquerading on this side as 50012 Benbow) passes underneath the Highland Railway footbridge, as it enters Georgmas Junction station on 18 June 2006 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z22 17:00 Thurso to Wick and Inverness 'Orcadian' railtour.

50049 Scatscalder 18 June 2006

50049 (masquerading as long scrapped 50012 Benbow) brings up the rear of the Pathfinder Tours 1Z22 17:00 Thurso to Wick and Inverness 'Orcadian' railtour at Scotscalder on 18 June 2006. Terrible weather, and a going away shot, but I am unlikely ever to see a Class 50 pass this remote Scottish station again!

50049 Brora 18 June 2006

50049 Defiance brings up the rear of the Pathfinder Tours 1Z22 17:00 Thurso to Inverness 'Orcadian' railtour at Brora on 18 June 2006. It seems like the locals use the railway tracks as a convenient rubbish dump!

50049 Pembrey & Burry Port 15 July 2006

2006 saw the use of Class 50s on an Arriva Trains Wales working to Fishguard. On 15 July 2006, 50049 Defiance passes the buddleia bushes on the approach to Pembrey & Burry Port station, whilst working the 1B96 10:55 Cardiff Central to Fishguard Harbour service. There are still plenty of semaphore signals at this West Wales outpost!

50049 St Ishmael 15 July 2006

Photographed from on top of a very conveniently placed Second World War concrete bunker, 50049 Defiance runs alongside the River Towy estuary at St Ishmael on 15 July 2006 with the 1B97 13:35 Fishguard Harbour to Cardiff Central Arriva Trains Wales service. Initially this started out as a Saturdays only train, but was later run during the week as well. Obviously it brought quite a few Class 50 bashers to West Wales and it also introduced the odd combination of a large loco 50 hauling turquoise liveried Arriva coaches.

50049 Lydney 19 August 2006

50049 Defiance (masquerading as 50012 Benbow) approaches Lydney on 19 August 2006 with the Goodwick County Council 1Z50 07:27 Tyseley to Fishguard Harbour 'Fishguard Centenary Special' charter. The Great Western Railway opened Fishguard Harbour station on 30 August 1906, with transatlantic, as well as Irish traffic in mind.

50049 Lodway 3 June 2007

An aerial view of 50049 Defiance, taken from the Avonmouth Bridge near Lodway on 3 June 2007. It is bringing up the rear of the 1Z20 10:00 Bristol Temple Meads to Portbury Dock 'Bristol Coal-Stone Haul' railtour, which was being led by 31105 & 31285.

50049 Engine Common 3 June 2007

50049 Defiance passes Engine Common on 3 June 2007 with the Network Rail (Bristol) organised Railway Children 'Bristol Coal-Stone Haul' railtour, at this point running as the 1Z24 12:10 St Andrews Road to Tytherington (via Gloucester).

50049 Iron Acton 3 June 2007

The Tytherington Branch must be one of the least photogenic stretches of railway in the country. Every single vantage point is completely obstructed by trees. It is difficult to spot the rails at all from one of the bridges! After having stopped to operate the barriers, 50049 Defiance slowly crosses the B4058 at Iron Acton with the Railway Children 1Z25 15:15 Tytherington to Bristol Temple Meads (via Gloucester and Chepstow) 'Bristol Coal-Stone Haul' railtour on 3 June 2007.

50049 Tomatin 8 October 2007

50049 Defiance passes Tomatin on 8 October 2007 with the Railway Touring Company 1Z55 08:20 Inverness to Kings Cross 'Autumn Highlander' railtour. The sun was just starting to come out, which was not ideal, as the trees were still casting a shadow at this time of the morning. 40145 East Lancashire Railway is on the rear of the train.

50049 Crubenmore 8 October 2007

50049 Defiance passes Crubenmore on the Highland mainline with the Railway Touring Company 1Z55 08:20 Inverness to Kings Cross 'Autumn Highlander' railtour on 8 October 2007. Unfortunately, although it was fairly bright, I just missed the sun here, which was a pity, as I noticed the train was in sun as I passed it at Kingussie. This was not a location I had tried before, being slightly south of the more normal location at Crubenmore, but on seeing the black clouds to the south and a convenient layby on the A9, it had to be done. To get a slightly more elevated viewpoint I was standing on the lower rung of an electricity pylon!

50049 Stanley 8 October 2007

50049 Defiance passes Stanley in miserable light on 8 October 2007 with the Railway Touring Company 1Z55 08:20 Inverness to Kings Cross 'Autumn Highlander' railtour. 40145 can just be seen on the rear of the train. This was very much a bonus shot, after seeing the train a little earlier at Crubenmore.

50049, 37308, 50135 & 50044 Broken Cross 29 March 2012

And now for something completely different! 50049 Defiance works the 6F50 09:08 Cardiff Canton to Kidderminster past Broken Cross (near Gloucester) on 29 March 2012. The train comprises partially restored 37308, 50135 Ark Royal & 50044 Exeter. The inclusion of a van and a couple of wagons makes it seem a bit more like a real train, rather than a loco convoy. This highly colourful combination could easily be seen approaching across the open countryside. Not only is 37308's light blue 'livery' startling, but it was made more obvious by tatty plastic sheeting around the roof fan, that was flapping around in the slipstream! 50135 and the wagons were dropped of at the Severn Valley Railway, leaving the thee locos to continue on to Derby RTC as 0M50. 37308 was then detached, and the two remaining 50s worked back to Kidderminster as 0V50.

50049 Eardington 19 May 2016

50049 Defiance returned to service in April 2016 after a major overhaul. It is pictured here on a very gloomy 19 May 2016, working the 12:11 Kidderminster to Bridgnorth service, during the Severn Valley Railway's Diesel Gala. This is the view from the private road overbridge near Eardington.

50049 Bewdley 19 May 2016

50049 Defiance leaves Bewdley on 19 May 2016 with the 15:18 Bridgnorth to Kidderminster service, during the Severn Valley Railway's Diesel Gala. Despite the gloomy weather, the loco looks fantastic in its black roofed large logo livery, with red buffer beam and snow ploughs.

50049, 50007, 20188 & 20059 Little Haresfield 7 June 2017

50049 Defiance, 50007 Hercules, 20188 & 20059 pass Little Haresfield on 7 June 2017, running as the 0Z50 09:24 Kidderminster to Bishops Lydeard. This was a stock move from the Severn Valley Railway to the West Somerset Railway, in preparation for the West Somerset's Diesel Gala the following weekend.

50049, 50007, 50044, 50035 & D1015 Kemble Wick 30 August 2017

How's this for a loco convoy? 50049 Defiance hauls 50007 Hercules, 50044 Exeter, 50035 Ark Royal & D1015 Western Champion past Kemble Wick on 30 August 2017, running as the 0Z50 09:20 Kidderminster to Old Oak Common. The locos were being moved from the Severn Valley Railway for display at the final Old Oak Common open day. I wouldn't normally go out specifically for a light engine move, especially not in the rain, but this was too good to miss! At least the rain had almost stopped when they passed. Given the still and quiet conditions, I was surprised that I did not hear this approaching. Kemble Tunnel, which can be seen in the background, was built purely so that Squire Gordon of Kemble House couldn't see the railway from his house!

50049 & 50007 Arten Gill Viaduct 14 April 2018

50049 Defiance & 50007 Hercules cross Arten Gill Viaduct on 14 April 2018 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z50 06:01 Birmingham International to Carlisle 'Cumbrian Hoovers' railtour. This was well worth the ridiculously early start, long drive, and then strenuous climb to get to this location. Given the rarity of Class 50s on the Settle to Carlisle line, I was surprised that there were just five photographers at this spot, which is one of the best viewpoints on the route. Admittedly there are many other scenic locations on the line, and some are easier to get to!

50049, 50031 & 45041 Chalford 8 May 2018

50049 Defiance, 50031 Hood & 45041 pass Chalford on 8 May 2018, en-route from the Severn Valley Railway to the Swanage Railway, in preparation for their diesel gala. The convoy was running as the 0Z45 10:21 Kidderminster to Swanage.

50049 & 50007 Ashchurch 23 June 2018

50049 Defiance & 50007 Hercules (masquerading on this side only as long scrapped 50011 Centurion & 50006 Neptune respectively) approach Ashchurch on 23 June 2018 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z50 05:40 Tame Bridge Parkway to Penzance 'Mazey Day Cornishman' railtour. The 'Slim 1964-2014' headboard is a tribute to Fifty Fund volunteer Neil Morgan.

500049 & 50007 Ledbury Viaduct 5 August 2018

50049 Defiance & 50007 Hercules (masquerading on this side only as 50011 Centurion & 50006 Neptune respectively) cross Ledbury Viaduct on 5 August 2018 with the GBRf Charity Railtours 1Z50 12:14 Birmingham International to Birmingham International (via Hereford and Cheltenham) 'Dub & Grub' railtour. The sun was on the very edge of a cloud here, and although this is fully lit, by the time the rear of the train was crossing the viaduct, the whole of the maze field in the foreground was in shadow. A very close call!

50049 & 50007 Defford 5 August 2018

50049 Defiance & 50007 Hercules (masquerading on this side only as the first two Class 50s to be withdrawn: 50011 Centurion & 50006 Neptune) pass Defford on 5 August 2018 with the GBRf Charity Railtours 1Z50 12:14 Birmingham International to Birmingham International (via Hereford and Cheltenham) 'Dub & Grub' railtour.

50049 & 50007 Banbury 5 August 2018

50049 Defiance & 50007 Hercules approach Banbury on 5 August 2018 with the GBRf Charity Railtours 1Z52 18:35 Birmingham International to Basingstoke 'Dub & Grub' railtour. This was definitely a proud day for Class 50 followers, but much less so for 47 enthusiasts, as originally this section of the tour was supposed to be hauled by 47749 & 47727. Unfortunately 47749 failed the previous day, and then 47727 failed whilst working the ECS, and the train had to be pushed into Birmingham by the 50s! Consequently the 50s had to unexpectedly work the train to Basingstoke. Disgraced 47727 Caisteal Dhun Eideann / Edinburgh Castle can be seen hanging on the rear.

50049 & 50007 Standish Junction 8 September 2018

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

50049 Foley Park 4 October 2018

50049 Defiance (masquerading on this side only as 50011 Centurion) passes Foley Park on 4 October 2018 with the 09:45 Kidderminster to Bridgnorth service, during the Severn Valley Railway's Class 50 Golden Jubilee Gala.

50049 Foley Park Tunnel 4 October 2018

Bathed in superb autumnal light, which the Met Office had totally failed to predict, 50049 Defiance emerges from Foley Park Tunnel on 4 October 2018 with the 15:00 Kidderminster to Bridgnorth service,

50049 & 50007 Manningford Bruce 23 March 2019

Smell the paint! Freshly turned out in GBRf livery, 50049 Defiance & 50007 Hercules pass Manningford Bruce on 23 March 2019 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z50 07:08 Paddington to Penzance 'The Class 50 Terminator - Phoenixed!' railtour. The duo had only been painted in this livery a few days earlier, and had worked straight up to London from Eastleigh earlier in the morning. As the weather was dull, I took the opportunity to photograph this from the north side of the line, giving a different viewpoint, which includes Fyfield Down and Milton Hill in the background. As well as giving a view that would not be possible had the sun been out, there are many more lineside daffodils on this side of the line!

50049 & 50007 St Mary's Crossing 16 April 2019

50049 Defiance & 50007 Hercules pass St Mary's Crossing on 16 April 2019, running as the 0Z52 08:23 Eastleigh East Yard to Kidderminster Severn Valley Railway light engines, taking the locos back to their home depot for the first time since they were painted into GBRf colours a month earlier. As it was a dull day, it seemed the ideal opportunity to photograph the pair passing the diminutive St Mary's Crossing signal box, a shot that would be extremely difficult with the sun out. However, I was cautious about visiting this location, as the 1L50 10:36 Cheltenham Spa to Paddington GWR Class 802 DMU was due at exactly the same time, which would have completely ruined the picture. Luckily the 50s were seven minutes early!

50049, 50033 & 50007 Bredon 10 July 2019

On 10 July 2019, 50033 Glorious was moved from the Severn Valley Railway to Eastleigh Works for repainting. For the move the loco was sandwiched between GBRf liveried 50049 Defiance & 50007 Hercules (masquerading on this side as 50014 Warspite). The ensemble is pictured passing Bredon, running as the 0Z50 08:09 Kidderminster to Eastleigh Works. The partially rubbed down and primer coated Glorious certainly stands out! Although not in full sun (it was just seconds before!), it's still an awful lot brighter than what it must be like just to the north.

50049 & 50007 Moreton-in-Marsh (Dunstall Bridge) 26 August 2019

Having photographed Class 50s on the Cotswold Line in the 1980s, I certainly wasn't going to miss the Pathfinder Tours 1Z50 05:20 Didcot Parkway to Appleby 'Cotswold - Eden' railtour on Bank Holiday Monday 26 August 2019. Dunstall Bridge, near Moreton-in-Marsh seemed the obvious choice, as there would be nothing to obstruct the very low sun. Fog was predicted, but on arrival only a couple of small patches of fog in the background merely added to the early morning atmosphere. However, just before the train arrived, the fog unfortunately increased considerably. 50049 Defiance & 50007 Hercules are seen here emerging from the mist, several minutes after they could first be heard powering up the Evenlode Valley.

50049 Badgeworth 22 October 2019

Returning to the Severn Valley Railway, after a few days of route learning duties in the south west, 50049 Defiance passes Badgeworth on 22 October 2019, running as the 0Z50 10:00 Exeter St Davids to Kidderminster. I chose a slighter wider view here, as this is just a light engine working.

50049 & 50007 Sherburn-in-Elmet 30 November 2019

50049 Defiance & 50007 Hercules pass Sherburn-in-Elmet on 30 November 2019 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z30 05:55 Bristol Temple Meads to Newcastle 'Festive York & Durham Explorer' railtour. Unfortunately this was running 14 minutes late, which made the extreme backlighting even worse. I had thought about photographing this in the Birmingham area, but as I made my way up from Oxfordshire in fog, I thought this might be a better option. Having seen the admittedly dull, but frosty pictures taken further south, this was obviously a mistake!

50049 & 50007 Abbotswood 23 January 2020

50049 Defiance & 50007 Hercules with former ScotRail Caledonian Sleeper Mk3 coach 10706, approach Abbotswood on 23 January 2020, running as the 5Z50 09:00 Laira to Long Marston. As this was such a short train, I decided to go for this broadside picture, which includes Abbotswood Farm in the background. The problem with taking this kind of picture is that you have to be stood the correct distance from the line in order to get the train the right size in the picture, which is difficult to judge beforehand. Luckily a Class 170 passed by just before this, and I realised that I was standing much too close, so had to trudge further back through the muddy field in order to be in the right place!

50049 Elmbridge 23 March 2020

50049 Defiance brings up the rear of the 5Z44 09:16 Long Marston to Laira stock move at Elmbridge on 23 March 2020. 50007 Hercules is leading the train, which comprises HST power car 43091 and Mk3 coach 12161. The newly planted apple trees in the foreground will soon obscure this view.

50049, 43075, 43061 & 50007 Lower Moor 27 March 2020

50049 Defiance races past Lower Moor at high speed on 27 March 2020 with the 0Z86 09:46 Chaddesden to Long Marston stock move, conveying former East Midlands Trains HST power cars 43075 & 43061 for storage. 50007 Hercules is bringing up the rear. This was the pair of power cars that had been on long term hire to LNER, and had been worked down to Chaddesden from Tyne Yard the previous day.

50049 & 50007 Honeybourne 6 October 2020

A few seconds worth of sunshine amid the clouds nicely illuminates 50049 Defiance & 50007 Hercules, as they pass Honeybourne station on 6 October 2020 with the 5Z98 07:26 Leicester to Long Marston ECS, conveying a couple of barrier vehicles. This was in connection with the movement of a rake of HST Mk3 coaches to Newport for scrapping.

50049 Upper Moor 6 October 2020

The magnificent sight of a Class 50 at speed on the Cotswold Line, but not quite as I remember it from 35 years ago! 50049 Defiance passes Upper Moor on 6 October 2020 with the 5Z51 12:23 Long Marston to Newport Docks (Sims Group), conveying a rake of HST Mk3 coaches for scrapping. 50007 Hercules is bringing up the rear.

50049 Bretforton 4 November 2020

50049 Defiance passes Bretforton on 4 November 2020 with the 5Z51 11:35 Long Marston to Newport (Sims Group) ECS, conveying former LNER HST coaches 44050, 42322, 42130, 42228, 40708, 41083 & 41159 for scrapping. This was running in VST path, one hour earlier than the original schedule, which was a pity, as the lighting angle would have been better at the original time.

50049 & 50007 Charlbury 3 July 2021

50049 Defiance & 50007 Hercules pass through Charlbury station on 3 July 2021 with the Belmond British Pullman 1Z95 09:04 Victoria to Worcester Shrub Hill 'Historic Worcester' VSOE railtour. This was running 12 minutes early, as the 1P19 09:58 Great Malvern to Paddington GWR service had been partially cancelled, and was instead starting from Oxford. This meant that the 50s did not have to wait for it to clear the single track section of the Cotswold Line at Wolvercote Junction. The BBC's usually hopeless weather forecast had surpassed itself this morning. It had predicted continuous rain. Instead, it was completely dry, and just before the train appeared, some unexpected sunshine almost caused this picture to be hopelessly backlit.

50050 Chilson 23 March 1982

Unrefurbished 50050 Fearless passes under the bridge at Chilson 23 March 1982 with the 06:00 Hereford to Paddington service. Note the vintage bullhead track which was retained after the line was singled in 1971. It was replaced on this single track section between Ascott-under-Wychwood to Wolvercote Junction section in stages between 1984 and 1986.

50050 Oxford 29 October 1982

A filthy 50050 Fearless accelerates away from Oxford station on 29 October 1982 with the 1V58 08:35 Birmingham New Street to Paddington service. Obviously not helped by the gloomy weather, but in the early 1980s the surviving unrefurbished 50s always seemed to be in this 'BR corporate grime' livery, with just a hint of blue underneath! Presumably 50050 got even tattier until it was called to Doncaster for rebuilding during the following year. The scrapyard on the right is now the car park for Oxford station.

50050 Goring 5 November 1983

With the HST getting out of the way just in time, 50050 Fearless speeds towards Goring on 5 November 1983 with the 1A45 13:15 Oxford to Paddington. A dark foggy autumnal afternoon does not make for ideal photographic conditions, especially when using Kodachrome 64!

50050 Oxford (Walton Well Road) 24 April 1984

50050 Fearless leaves Oxford on 24 April 1984 with the 1M42 17:27 Paddington to Banbury service. I'm not quite sure why I went for such a close up view, but probably just because in those days you could, simply by leaning over the fence near the Castle Mill Stream bridge.

50050 Daylesford 8 May 1986

With the village of Kingham visible in the background, 50050 Fearless passes Daylesford on 8 May 1986 with the 1B46 17:00 Paddington to Hereford service. Although an attractive livery when freshly applied, this view clearly shows why a light grey roof was not a good idea on a Class 50! Four exhaust ports and a smoky English Electric engine soon altered the colour scheme!

50050 Lyneham 18 October 1986

50050 Fearless catches the weak early morning autumnal sun as it passes Lyneham on 18 October 1986 with the 1A18 07:00 Hereford to Paddington 'Cathedrals Express'. Not a particularly good angle, unless you like low level bold loco close ups, but at least it is clear of shadows! The photo is taken from the little used level crossing next to the extremely limited headroom underbridge on the Lyneham to Milton-under-Wychwood road. 

50050 Hinksey 14 March 1987

50050 Fearless accelerates away from Oxford and passes Hinksey Yard on 14 March 1987 with the 1F35 14:00 Oxford to Paddington Network SouthEast service. Network SouthEast's coach repainting programme was well ahead of the loco repainting, so it was quite common at the time to see complete rakes of NSE Mk 1s hauled by large logo Class 50s. Two decades later the replacement for this comfortable eight coach train is a three coach Turbo unit, such is progress!

50050 Llandevenny 23 May 1987

50050 Fearless passes Llandevenny on 23 May 1987 with what is presumably the 2V66 15:03 Weymouth to Cardiff Central service. Although running bang on time for this train, I have not photographed it on any other occasion, so any confirmation would be much appreciated.

50050 & 50024 Ashchurch 23 April 1988

50050 Fearless & 50024 Vanguard speed past the MoD loops at Ashchurch with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z41 Taunton to Carlisle 'Fellsman II' railtour on 23 April 1988. This is one of only two pictures that I have of the erstwhile D400 in Network SouthEast livery, and as the other is in black & white it doesn't really count! Having managed to get a pair of locos in matching revised NSE livery, the effect is slightly spoiled by the otherwise matching rake of coaches being interrupted by a single blue & grey coach, and then a single InterCity liveried vehicle!

D400 Dinton 6 April 1991

D400 (50050) passes Dinton on 6 April 1991 with the 1O86 09:45 Plymouth to Waterloo service. This was its first passenger duty after being reinstated to service in a virtually 'as built' condition, with nameplates removed and carrying its original number. The readers of Rail magazine sponsored its repainting into BR blue livery, and despite the fact that it was a very dull day, it still makes a fine picture passing the long closed Dinton station. Although it appears to be running wrong line, the track on the right is actually a headshunt for the MoD depot on the left.

D400 Newnham 6 April 1991

D400 passes Newnham (near Hook) with the 1O86 09:45 Plymouth to Waterloo service on 6 April 1991. This was the loco's first working after returning to service after its repaint into original BR blue livery. After already photographing the train at Dinton, it was quite easy to chase it to this spot for a second picture.

D400 Worting Junction 29 July 1991

Classic traction compensates for the nasty backlighting here! D400 passes Worting Junction on 29 July 1991 with the 1V09 08:40 Waterloo to Exeter St Davids Network SouthEast service. At this time it seemed that D400 was avoiding me, as every time I went out to West of England line hoping to see it, either 50030, 50031, or 50033 would show up instead. Looking back it is hard to see that there was a problem with that!

D400 & 50030 Tisbury 5 October 1991

D400 returned to service on 5 October 1991, after suffering a power unit failure a couple of months previously. It's first run was the 10:00 Waterloo to Exeter St David's relief service, pictured here passing Tisbury in the pouring rain in the company of 50030 Repulse, which was no doubt included for insurance purposes, given D400 record over the previous year!

D400 Oborne 5 October 1991

D400 catches the evening sun as it passes Oborne on 5 October 1991 with the 15:07 Exeter St David's to Waterloo relief service. This was its first day in traffic after being fitted with the power unit from withdrawn classmate 50048. After it was repainted into BR blue and renumbered as D400 earlier in the year I had made frequent trips to the West of England line to try to photograph it, but it managed to elude me for most of the time. This was not helped by the frequency with which it went bang during the year!

D400 Honiton 30 October 1991

D400 calls at Honiton station on 30 October 1991 with the 1O34 08:10 Exeter St Davids to Waterloo Network SouthEast service. After D400 was returned to service in April 1991, after being repainted back into original BR blue, it mostly seemed to elude me on my many visits to the West of England line. I saw it occasionally, but nothing like as frequently as either 50031 Hood or 50007 Sir Edward Elgar, both of which seemed to turn up whenever I ventured west!

D400 Sherborne 5 January 1992

On a dull and bitterly cold 5 January 1992, D400 (50050) accelerates away from Sherborne along the bi-directional section of double track to Yeovil Junction with the 08:15 Basingstoke to Yeovil Junction Network SouthEast service. This was the first Sunday that this service terminated at Yeovil, previously having worked through to Exeter St Davids.

D400 Yeovil Junction 5 January 1992

Dark grey clouds hang over Yeovil Junction station on 5 January 1992, as D400 (50050) departs with the 10:40 Yeovil Junction to Waterloo Network SouthEast service. The loco had just run round the stock after arriving with the 08:15 train from Basingstoke. After very little success photographing D400 during 1991, the new year started well, but unfortunately the same could not be said about the weather!

D400 Barford St. Martin 12 January 1992

The temperature is well below freezing, and frost still covers the field in the foreground, as D400 passes Barford St. Martin on 12 January 1992 with the 1V09 08:55 Waterloo to Yeovil Junction Network SouthEast service. Surprisingly on this occasion the train is composed entirely of InterCity Mk2 vehicles instead of the usual rake of more appropriately liveried NSE stock.

D400 Salisbury 12 January 1992

With at least three haulage bashers on board, enjoying the last few months of Class 50 workings on the West of England line, D400 pulls out of Salisbury station on 12 January 1992 with the 1O37 13:30 Yeovil Junction to Waterloo Network SouthEast service. The loco is just crossing over the Fisherton Road bridge. The earlier sunshine had by this time been replaced by thick cloud.

D400 & 50007 Dillicar 11 April 1992

D400 & 50007 Sir Edward Elgar head south through the Lune Gorge at Dillicar with the returning Rail / Network SouthEast Carlisle to Waterloo 'Carlisle Fifty Farewell' railtour on 11 April 1992. Despite the gathering gloom I wasn't going to give up on this picture even though the only colour film I had with me was ISO 100. I had after all walked over a mile to get to this spot, which ironically is right next to the M6 motorway! Luckily the train came just at the point when I was considering a B&W only rollfilm shot.

D400 & 50007 Princes Risborough 16 May 1992

D400 & 50007 Sir Edward Elgar accelerate away from Princes Risborough station on 16 May 1992 with the Panshanger Rail Group 1Z10 08:00 Aylesbury to Plymouth 'Chiltern Atmospheric 50' railtour. The train's route from London to the West Country was certainly very familiar to the Class 50s, but the starting point of Aylesbury certainly wasn't!

d400 & 50007 Crofton 16 May 1992

During the early 1990s it seemed that every man and his dog was trying to organize a Class 50 railtour. On 16 May 1992 it was the turn of the Panshanger Rail Group. Their 1Z10 08:00 Aylesbury to Plymouth 'Chiltern Atmospheric 50' is pictured running alongside the Kennet & Avon Canal at Crofton, in the capable hands of D400 & 50007 Sir Edward Elgar. A superb cloudless day, but a stiff breeze causing ripples on the water prevented the hoped for reflection picture.

D400 & 50033 Narroways Hill Junction 16 May 1992

D400 & 50033 Glorious pass Narroways Hill Junction in superb evening light on 16 May 1992 with the Panshanger Rail Group 1Z10 16:45 Plymouth to Aylesbury 'Chiltern Atmospheric 50' railtour. The houses in the background are the Lower Easton area of Bristol, with the 1848 built St. Mark's church visible on the right. Stapleton Road station is situated next to the church.

D400 & 50007 Exeter Central 24 May 1992

On the final day of Class 50 working on the Waterloo to Exeter line, 24 May 1992, D400 & 50007 Sir Edward Elgar pull away from Exeter Central station with the 09:28 Exeter St Davids to Waterloo service, which as can be clearly seen, was packed to capacity. The graffiti covered signal box had been disused since 1985, and has subsequently been demolished.

D400 & 50007 Milborne Wick 24 May 1992

D400 & 50007 Sir Edward Elgar passes Milborne Wick on 24 May 1992 with the 15:43 Exeter St Davids to Waterloo Network SouthEast service. This was the final eastbound Class 50 hauled train on the West of England line. The very last working was the return 16:55 Waterloo to Exeter.

D400 & 50007 Wellingborough 13 June 1992

Running virtually bang on time, D400 & 50007 Sir Edward Elgar pass through Wellingborough station on 13 June 1992 with the SRR/TV50G 1Z36 08:09 Waterloo to Chester 'Court Chester' railtour. At least one video photographer has captured the scene for posterity, albeit presumably on dodgy old VHS!

D400 & 50007 Whitwell 13 June 1992

D400 & 50007 Sir Edward Elgar emerge from Whitwell Tunnel on 13 June 1992 with the with the SRR/TV50G 1Z36 08:09 Waterloo to Chester 'Court Chester' railtour. The rusty line curving off to the left leads to Whitwell Quarry, and clearly hasn't seen a train for some time.

D400 & 50033 Rossett 5 December 1992

D400 & 50033 Glorious glint in the severe backlighting, as they pass Rossett on 5 December 1992 with the Class 40 Appeal Euston to Holyhead 'Festive Fifties' railtour, or 'Ffestive Fifties' as a nod to the Welsh spelling. The remains of Rossett station (closed to passengers in 1964, and freight in 1968) can just be seen in the background.

D400 & 50007 Hereford 23 January 1993

D400 & 50007 Sir Edward Elgar pause at Hereford on 23 January 1993, whilst working the Pathfinder Tours 1Z36 15:20 Knighton to Manchester Piccadilly 'Knighton Horse' railtour. The tour was running 35 minutes late at this point, but would be delayed even further shortly afterwards, when it encountered sheep on the line near Abergavenny!

D400 & 50033 Langstone Rock 31 May 1993

D400 & 50033 Glorious round the curve at Langstone Rock on 31 May 1993 with the Class 40 Appeal 1Z43 06:50 Crewe to Penzance 'Cornishman' railtour. These two locomotives, along with 50007 Sir Edward Elgar were at this time the only Class 50s in use on the mainline, retained specifically for railtours, such as this.

D400 & 50033 Branston 5 June 1993

With the Bass brewery at Burton upon Trent visible in the background, D400 & 50033 Glorious pass Branston on 5 June 1993 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z41 16:50 York to Minehead 'Bishops Triple' railtour. The name refers to the fact that three Class 50s worked the outward trip, with 50007 Sir Edward Elgar being left at York. Unfortunately the tour featured the thankfully short lived Pilkington coaching stock, with its bizarre livery.

D400 & 50033 Salisbury 18 July 1993

With the spire of the cathedral visible in the background, D400 & 50033 Glorious leave Salisbury on 18 July 1993 with the Hertfordshire Railtours Waterloo to Barnstaple 'Atlantic Coast Express' railtour. In addition to the meandering Barnstaple branch, the train also visited the Exmouth line.

D400 & 50033 Dainton 25 September 1993

D400 & 50033 Glorious make light work of the notorious Dainton Bank, as they approach the summit with the BR sponsored Plymouth to Meldon Quarry 'Atlantic Coast Express' railtour on 25 September 1993. 1 in 37 may be an exceedingly steep gradient, but with 5400 hp available, an eight coach load was never going to be much of a problem!

D400 & 50007 Grovesend Colliery Junction 8 January 1994

D400 & 50007 Sir Edward Elgar have just passed underneath the M4 motorway, and are passing Grovesend Colliery Loop (near Pontarddulais) on 8 January 1994 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z16 06:25 Crewe to Robeston 'Dyfed Dub-Dub' railtour. The day was notable not only for the incursion of a pair of 50s so far into the west of Wales, but also for the terrible weather, which later in the day degenerated into persistent heavy rain. Here however, there is almost a glimmer of sunshine as the pair head west.

D400 & 50007 Sarnau 8 January 1994

D400 & 50007 Sir Edward Elgar pass Sarnau (between Carmarthen and Whitland) with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z16 06:25 Crewe to Robeston 'Dyfed Dub-Dub' railtour on a rainy 8 January 1994. Unfortunately the good weather early on had deteriorated, and as I followed the tour further into deepest Wales, it just got worse and worse!

D400 & 50007 Steynton 8 January 1994

In the pouring rain, D400 & 50007 Sir Edward Elgar traverse the Waterston Oil Refinery branch on 8 January 1994 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z16 'Dyfed Dub-Dub' railtour. It is passing the village of Steynton, approximately half way down the branch. The tour had already visited the nearby Robeston Oil Refinery, and would later travel to the western extremity of the former Great Western mainline in Wales, at Fishguard. Whilst the Robeston refinery is still open, Waterston closed in 1997, and this section of line is therefore now disused.

D400 & 50007 Robeston 8 January 1994

Apologies for the very poor quality of this picture, but you don't get many Class 50s here! D400 & 50007 Sir Edward Elgar approach Robeston in the rain on 8 January 1994 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z16 06:25 Crewe to Robeston 'Dyfed Dub-Dub' railtour. A loco that would be much more familiar with the line, 60065 Kinder Low, was bringing up the rear.

50050 & 50007 Scorrier 19 March 1994

50050 Fearless & 50007 Sir Edward Elgar run alongside the A30 at Scorrier, as they head for Penzance with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z50 21:15 York to Penzance 'Cornish Caper' railtour on a very damp 19 March 1994. 50033 Glorious can be seen on the rear of the train.

50050 & 50007 Carbis Bay 19 March 1994

Not many people are braving the beach at Carbis Bay on a very cold 19 March 1994, as 50050 Fearless & 50007 Sir Edward Elgar return from St Ives with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z50 21:15 York to Penzance 'Cornish Caper' railtour. 50033 Glorious can just be seen on the rear of the train.

50050 & 50033 Penzance 19 March 1994

The end of the line in more ways than one. With just a week to go before the final Class 50 railtour, 50050 Fearless & 50033 Glorious stand at a rather damp Penzance station on 19 March 1994, whilst working the Pathfinder Tours 1Z50 'Cornish Caper' railtour.

50050 & 50007 Oborne 26 March 1994

26 March 1994 was a sad day for Class 50 enthusiasts, as it was the date of the final run of the class on British Rail, although little did we know then that less than four years later a preserved Class 50 would return the mainline! The Pathfinder Tours '50 Terminator' railtour ran from Waterloo to Exeter via the old Southern Railway route, and then after reversal at Exeter St. Davids carried on to Penzance via the former Great Western mainline, thus covering both routes that were home to the class in their latter years. The tour then returned via the Great Western to Paddington. Luckily the day turned out to be perfectly sunny, and here 50050 Fearless & 50007 Sir Edward Elgar are pictured rounding the curve at Oborne (near Sherborne), at this point running as 1Z40 08:52 Waterloo to Exeter St. Davids.

50050 & 50007 Stoford 26 March 1994

50050 Fearless & 50007 Sir Edward Elgar pass Stoford with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z40 08:52 Waterloo to Exeter St. Davids '50 Terminator' railtour on 26 March 1994. A 25 minute stop at Yeovil Junction enabled me to easily get to this location after seeing the tour at Oborne. As this was the final Class 50 hauled train on the national network (at least until the first run of the preserved 50031 a mere four years later) the event was being videoed from the cab for Locomaster Profiles. Note the cameraman in the secondman's seat!

50050 & 50007 Hayle 26 March 1994

Class 50 twilight. Catching the last rays of the setting sun, 50050 Fearless & 50007 Sir Edward Elgar are a little way into their history making run as they cross the River Hayle between St Erth and Hayle with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z35 17:35 Penzance to Padding '50 Terminator' railtour on 26 March 1994. Seven hours later the pair would make a triumphant entrance into the London terminus with virtually continuous blaring of their horns. Did any local residents complain about the noise?

50050 Great Wishford 2 September 1998

50050 Fearless snakes through the Wylye Valley at Great Wishford with the 09:45 Victoria to Bristol VSOE special train on 2 September 1998. 50050's return to the mainline was fairly short-lived, being sidelined after a little over a year's use. It worked a number of Orient Express charters during this time, often as here coinciding with gloomy weather!

50050 Bathampton 2 September 1998

50050 Fearless runs along the Avon Valley at Bathampton on 2 September 1998 with the 15:53 Bristol Temple Meads to Victoria VSOE. Unfortunately, by this time of day the already poor light had deteriorated even further, leading to this very gloomy picture. However you don't see a 50 on the Orient Express every day!

50050 Hatton 9 September 1998

50050 Fearless is pictured at Hatton on 9 September 1998 working a Victoria to Stratford-upon-Avon Venice Simplon Orient Express British Pullman special and passing 150209 & 150202 on the 09:36 Great Malvern to Leamington Spa Central Trains service. For a short period at the end of the 1990s the preserved 50050 was used on a number of VSOE trains such as this.

50050 Bristol Temple Meads 17 July 1999

A small balloon hangs above Bristol Temple Meads station as 50050 Fearless departs with the Nenta Traintours Felixstowe to Minehead 'Star Coast to Coast Explorer' railtour on 17 July 1999. A preserved Class 50 on a train of Anglia Railways Mk2 coaching stock is not something you see everyday in the west! Unfortunately Fearless failed with a defective gasket on the return run.

D400 & D407 Kimberley Park 2 April 2016

D400 (50050) Fearless & D407 (50007) Hercules approach Kimberley Park on 2 April 2016 with the 13:10 Dereham to Wymondham service, during the Mid Norfolk Railway's Diesel Gala. I have seen this combination of locos many times before, although admittedly 50007 was then painted green and named Sir Edward Elgar.

50050 Danemoor Green 2 April 2016

50050 Fearless passes through the cutting at Danemoor Green on 2 April 2016 with the 16:30 Wymondham to Dereham service, during the Mid Norfolk Railway's Diesel Gala. By this time the forecast bank of cloud had arrived from the south, putting and end to a largely sunny day, and heralding a three hour drive home in the rain!

D400 & D407 Radley 11 June 2016

With the light fading rapidly, and a few spots of rain starting to fall, D400 Fearless & D407 Hercules pass through Radley station on 11 June 2016 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z52 16:05 Swanage to Derby 'Purbeck & Bomo Explorer' railtour. Despite the dismal conditions the rarity of the event was enough to being out the locals with their cameras. After a 15 minute late departure, the 50s had made a full recovery, passing Radley one minute early.

50050 Foley Park 4 October 2018

50050 (D400) Fearless passes Foley Park on 4 October 2018 with the 10:50 Kidderminster to Bridgnorth service, during the Severn Valley Railway's Class 50 Golden Jubilee Gala. The Met Office had forecast a completely cloudy day, so I was a little surprised when the sun unexpectedly briefly appeared just as the train passed. I was even more surprised later on, when the clouds totally disappeared, to be followed by a virtually completely sunny afternoon!

D400 Northwood Lane 4 October 2018

D400 (50050) Fearless passes Northwood Lane on 4 October 2018 with the 13:05 Bridgnorth to Kidderminster service, during the Severn Valley Railway's Class 50 Golden Jubilee Gala. Although there were naturally swarms of photographers recording this not to be missed Class 50 event, I was surprised to be the only person present at this location.

D400 Foley Park Tunnel 4 October 2018

Viewed through a long lens from the nearby hillside, D400 (50050) Fearless approaches Foley Park Tunnel on 4 October 2018 with the 13:05 Bridgnorth to Kidderminster service, during the Severn Valley Railway's Class 50 Golden Jubilee Gala. The houses of Bewdley dominate the background.