Class 800-802

800001 Old Dalby (Asfordby Depot) 28 August 2015

800001, the prototype for the fleet of new Hitachi built bi-mode units stands at the Asfordby Depot end of the Old Dalby test track on 28 August 2015. It's pantograph is up, and some systems on board are running, but there are no signs of imminent movement. Note that the nose cone sections have been retracted to reveal the coupling. 800001 was constructed at Hitachi's Kasado works in Japan, and shipped to this country from the port of Kobe aboard the MV Tamerlane, arriving at Southampton on 11 March 2015, and was unloaded the following day. Being built in Japan this will presumably be virtually fault free, but even so an extensive programme of testing was undertaken prior to the fleet's introduction into service in 2017.

800001 Shrivenham (Ashbiry Crossing) 28 March 2017

800001 passes the site of Ashbury Crossing, near Shrivenham, on 28 March 2017 with the 1X80 10:37 Paddington to Bristol Parkway test run. This picture says it all really, with the Japanese built bi-mode DEMU delivered on time, and seemingly proving to be very reliable, while Network Rail's attempt to electrify the Great Western Mainline is years behind schedule, and massively over budget. It's a good job these units are bi-modes, as they are certainly going to need their engines, even on this stretch of line, which should have been fully wired by now!

800001 South Marston 28 March 2017

800001 passes South Marston on 28 March 2017 with the 1X81 12:19 Bristol Parkway to Paddington test run. The white colour scheme of this first production unit certainly shows up, and looks more impressive than the drab dark green that the GWR units will be outshopped in. However, practically green is probably better on the working railway, as I presume 800001 has had lots of tender loving care and cleaning, to keep it looking this pristine.

800001 Uffington 29 March 2017

800001 passes Uffington on 29 March 2017 with the 5X80 10:37 Paddington to Bristol Parkway test run. The site of Uffington station in the foreground is now a worksite for the Great Western Mainline electfrication project. The forsythia bush in the foreground is a herald of spring, even if the weather isn't!

800001 Steventon 29 March 2017

800001 passes Steventon on 29 March 2017 with the 5X81 12:19 Bristol Parkway to Paddington test run. An extremely dull day has enabled this picture to be taken from the north side of the line, which also gives a view down the long straight beyond the village's two level crossings in the background.

800001 & 800002 Challow 6 April 2017

800001 & 800002 pass Challow on 6 April 2017 with the 5X31 10:17 Swindon to Reading West Junction test run. A pity the 'Inspiration Delivered' red logo covered 800002 was not leading, but it can be seen underneath the road bridge. However, the white livery of 800001 certainly shows up well in the early morning sunshine. Sunshine was certainly not predicted by the Met Office!

800001 & 800002 Steventon 6 April 2017

Running 23 minutes early, 800001 & 800002 pass Steventon on 6 April 2017 with the 5X33 12:46 Swindon to Reading West Junction test train. I presume that once they are in service, two five car Class 800/0s will be an unusual working, with a single nine coach Class 800/3 being used for longer trains. The formation pictured here has no corridor connection between the two halves.

800001 & 800002 Uffington 5 May 2017

800001 & 800002 pass Uffington in a very lucky patch of sunshine on 5 May 2017 with the 5X32 11:04 Reading West Junction to Swindon test train. This was formerly the site of Uffington loops, which were removed after the line was quadrupled between Challow and Wantage Road. What a pity that the footbridge from which this picture was taken wasn't installed decades ago, before the electfrication masts and the radio mast disfigured the view.

800002 & 800001 Challow 6 April 2017

800002 & 800001 approach Challow at high speed on 6 April 2017 with the 5X30 08:24 North Pole IEP Depot to Swindon test run, the first of a series of test runs undertaken over the Great Western Mainline on this particular day.

800002 & 800001 Steventon 6 April 2017

After their booked sojourn in the down loop, 800002 & 800001 regain the mainline at Steventon on 6 April 2017 with the 5X32 11:04 Reading West Junction to Swindon test train. Unfortunately this corresponded with one of the clouds that were now building up. The reflection of some of these can be seen in the shiny black area above 800002's windscreen.

800002 & 800001 Uffington 5 May 2017

800002 & 800001 pass Uffington on 5 May 2017 with the 5X31 10:17 Swindon to Reading West Junction test run. This was running nine minutes late, due to the previous westbound trip from North Pole IEP Depot having left London 35 minutes late. This late running was fortunate, as I had only just arrived at Uffington's new footbridge. This immaculate pair of white liveried bi-mode units certainly stand out against the green foliage, which is something that unfortunately will not be the case with the dark green production units that will soon be commonplace on this line. Also, it seems that a pair of five car units is a perfect fit for this particular location!

800003 & 800004 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 15 June 2017

800003 Queen Victoria & 800004 Isambard Kingdom Brunel approach the site of Ashbury Crossing, near Shrivenham, on 15 June 2017 with the 5X19 07:34 North Pole IEP Depot to Taunton test run. 800004 would be detached at Swindon, leaving 800003 to go on alone, with 800004 following shortly afterwards as the 5X20 09:06 (10:20 in reality) Swindon to Taunton. It looks like 800004 is in a different livery in this picture, but that is purely a result of reflections from the bright sky. In fact GWR's green livery is so dark, that it is nothing but reflections along the entire highly polished bodyside and roof!

800003 Steventon 28 August 2017

800003 Queen Elizabeth II passes Steventon on 28 August 2017 with the 3X14 09:50 Stoke Gifford to Reading Traincare Depot test run. The short gap in the electfrication masts at this point is due to the ongoing battle between villagers and Network Rail concerning the proposed demolition of the roadbridge. At least there is still one photographic vantage point still left on the line, at least in the short term!

800003 South Marston 27 October 2017

800003 Queen Elizabeth II passes South Marston on 27 October 2017 with the 3Z24 10:10 Stoke Gifford to Reading Traincare Depot crew training run. Although it looks like a completely sunny day, there was in fact a lot of cloud to the south, and it was lucky that this was running two minutes early, as shortly afterwards the clouds starting getting in the way of the sun.

800004 Compton Beauchamp 22 August 2016

800004 Isambard Kingdom Brunel passes Compton Beauchamp in near darkness on 22 August 2016 with the 5X80 19:12 Stoke Gifford to North Pole IEP Depot ECS. This is my first picture of a Class 800 actually on the move, but unfortunately GWR's drab dark green livery and the atrocious light do make an ideal combination! Although these units will regularly work along this line in due course, I thought it would be opportune to get at least one picture of these new trains at this location while there is still no evidence of the overhead electrification catenary.

800004 Oaksey 1 September 2017

800004 Sir Daniel Gooch passes the site of Oaksey station on 1 September 2017 with the 3X17 09:02 Gloucester to Swindon crew training test run. Although there were only a few small clouds in the sky at this time, I was fortunate to get this in the sun, as it was cloudy just before it came into view, and again just after it had passed by! Photo taken from a public footpath crossing.

800005 & 800006 Steventon (Stocks Lane) 8 November 2017

800005 & (hidden by the buddleia bush) 800006 approach Stocks Lane, Steventon, on 8 November 2017 with the 1B40 13:45 Paddington to Swansea GWR service. A long lens was required here in order to clear numerous foreground shadows.

800006 & 800005 South Marston 27 October 2017

Two weeks after their eventful introduction into service, when in front of the country's media they suffered both power supply and air conditioning failures on the very first run, the offending IEP units (800006 & 800005) were behaving themselves on 27 October 2017, when seen here passing South Marston with the 1B12 08:15 Paddington to Cardiff Central GWR service.

800006 & 800005 South Marston 10 November 2017

800006 & 800005 pass South Marston in fading afternoon light on 10 November 2017 with the 1B40 13:45 Paddington to Swansea GWR service. Not much progress has been made with the overhead electfrication since I photographed these same two units passing this spot two weeks earlier.

800006 & 800012 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 24 November 2017

The wires are up at Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 24 November 2017, but not yet energized, so 800006 & 800012 are running on diesel power, as they head westwards with the 1B40 13:45 Paddington to Swansea GWR service.

800006 & 800013 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 15 December 2017

A picture that neatly sums up the desecration of the Great Western Mainline. 800006 & 800013 pass the site of Ashbury Crossing, Shrivenham, with the 1C10 10:30 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads GWR service on 15 December 2017. Because the electfrication project is so far behind schedule, these new bi-mode units will be running on diesel power past this spot for a while yet!

800006 Yarnton Junction (site of) 19 January 2018

The moles have certainly been busy in this field near the site of Yarnton Junction. 800006 slowly approaches Wolvercote Junction with the 1P29 12:00 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington GWR service on 19 January 2018. Initially I hadn't intended to take this picture, but as I was walking back to the car, I realised that it was only a few minutes away, so decided to linger. I am quite pleased with the picture, not so much for the traction, but by the way the mole hills and dramatic cloud formation add to the scene.

800008 Uffington 22 September 2017

New meets old at Uffington on 22 September 2017. 800008 heads east with the 3X15 10:25 Swindon to Reading Traincare Depot test run, while 43162 gets in the way with the 1B20 09:45 Paddington to Swansea GWR service. This is obviously not the picture I had hoped for, but luckily I managed to get an uninterrupted view of 800009, which followed half an hour later.

800008 & 800009 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 16 October 2017

Monday 16 October 2017 saw the first booked GWR passenger service using the new Class 800 bi-mode units. Unfortunately things did not get off to a very good start, with one of the two diagrams being cancelled after the first run, due to problems raising the pantograph and a faulty air conditioning unit. Ironically, a good old reliable HST had to take over the diagram later in the day! The other diagram was worked by 800008 & 800009, and they are seen here approaching the site of Ashbury Crossing, near Shrivenham, with the 1B28 11:45 London Paddington to Swansea service. This picture is taken in possibly the worst ever conditions that I have seen during the middle of the day. ISO 3200 was required for this, and yet the Met Office was still indicating that the area was in full sun! It is extremely ironic that this massive error is on the thirtieth anniversary of the 1987 hurricane, which they failed to predict!

800008 & 800009 South Marston 27 October 2017

800008 & 800009 pass South Marston on 27 October 2017 with the 1A11 09:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington GWR service. Presumably once the nine car Class 800/3s are built, there will be less need to use five car Class 800/0s in pairs like this.

800009 Uffington 22 September 2017

800009 passes Uffington on 22 September 2017 with the 3X14 10:10 Stoke Gifford to Reading Traincare Depot test run. These new units look quite presentable in white, so much better than the awfully dull GWR green livery that they will end up in. Obviously white is not a very practical livery for the railway environment, but surely Great Western could have picked something better than the almost universally disliked green. Although there wasn't much chance of the sun going in for this picture, that would soon change, as can be seen from the mass of cloud in the background.

800010 & 800012 Churchdown 22 October 2017

800010 & 800012 pass Churchdown on Sunday 22 October 2017 with the 5X01 08:55 Stoke Gifford to Tiverton Loop (via Worcester) gauging test run. I had hoped that this would be one of the 'as delivered' white ones, which look much better in these poor lighting conditions than GWR's awful drab dark green livery.

800010 Combe (Grintleyhill Bridge) 19 January 2018

New traction on the Cotswold Line. With Lower Westfield Farm prominent in the background, 800010 Michael Bond approaches Combe on 19 January 2018 with the 1P22 08:25 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington GWR service. Grintleyhill Bridge provides this lofty vantage point.

800010 Wolvercote Junction 19 January 2018

A rear view of 800010 Michael Bond, as it takes the Cotswold Line at Wolvercote Junction on 19 January 2018 with the 1W23 11:22 Paddington to Worcester Foregate Street GWR service. The pantograph on the roof will never see any use at this location!

800010 Shipton 21 February 2018

800010 Michael Bond passes Shipton on 21 February 2018 with the 1P25 09:54 Great Malvern to Paddington GWR service. It was unexpectedly sunny during the morning, so with hardly a cloud in the sky, I drove the short distance to Shipton. No sooner had I got there than the clouds appeared, and within ten minutes it was full cloud. It's enough to make you think someone is controlling the weather and playing games with you! However, the dull conditions (which in fairness is what was forecast!) allowed me to take this view from the north side of the line. Recent vegetation clearance has opened up the view of FWP Matthews flour mill.

800011 South Marston 12 June 2017

Fresh out of the box! Brand new 800011 passes South Marston on 12 June 2017 with the 5X71 10:10 North Pole IEP Depot to Stoke Gifford delivery run. The unit had left the Newton Aycliffe factory just three days earlier. It's a pity that the Great Western units are not going to retain this white livery, as it looks so much better than the awful dark green colour scheme that they will eventually be painted in. Class 800 activity in the Swindon area is now stepping up a gear, as just 18 minutes later, Virgin East Coast interloper 800101 also passed this way.

800011 Charlbury 2 January 2018

The new era on the Cotswold Line. 800011 arrives at Charlbury station on 2 January 2018 with the 1W14 06:52 Paddington to Great Malvern GWR service. This was supposed to have been the first revenue earning working of one of these units over the Cotswold Line, but in the event this same unit worked a Paddington to Hereford and return train two days earlier. Despite the fact that it was still virtually dark, and that these trains will be the staple motive power on this line for decades to come, I thought it worth recording the dawn of the new era, and decided to picture the brand new train passing Brunel's 165 year old wooden station building.

800011 Combe 19 January 2018

800011 passes Combe on 19 January 2018 with the 1P25 09:54 Great Malvern to Paddington GWR service. Apart from the awful dark green livery, I think these new units are quite stylish, especially considering some of the hideous designs that have appeared recently (Class 380, 385, etc). However, on many services they are replacing HSTs, so they are following on from the most successful train ever to run in this country, so they have a hard act to follow!

800011 Chilson 7 February 2018

During the first few weeks of their operation over the Cotswold Line, 800011 has proved to be one of the most frequent performers of the new Hitachi Class 800 DMU fleet. It is pictured here passing Chilson on 7 February 2018 with the 1P22 08:25 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington GWR service.

800011 & 800022 Steventon 16 February 2018

800011 & 800022 pass Steventon on 16 February 2018 with the 1B40 13:45 Paddington to Swansea GWR service. Due to their lower power to weight ratio when running on diesel, these new bi-mode units struggle to keep up with HST timings, although in this case the train managed to arrive at its destination a mere five minutes late.

800012 & 800010 Badgeworth 22 October 2017

800012 & 800010 pass Badgeworth on Sunday 22 October 2017 with the 5X01 08:55 Stoke Gifford to Tiverton Loop gauging test run. They had just reversed at Worcester, and would shortly be taking the Stroud line to Swindon, where they would reverse again.

800013 & 800006 Grove 30 November 2017

The wires are up, but not the pantographs! 800013 & 800006 are still running on diesel power, as they pass Grove on 30 November 2017 with the 1A11 09:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington GWR service. The sun has melted the early morning frost, except in the shade of the hedge in the foreground.

800014 Finstock 19 December 2017

My first picture of a Class 800 DMU on the Cotswold Line. 800014 arrives at Finstock station on 19 December 2017 with the 5Z26 09:11 Hereford Diesel Sidings to Stoke Gifford selective door opening test run. The train came to a stand with the leading vehicle underneath the roadbridge, and a member of staff got out of the second coach and looked down the train. After taking a picture on his phone, he reboarded the train, and test complete, the train set off towards Oxford. Class 800s had previously made several forays up the line, but they were either at night, or in the case of the one a week earlier, happened during heavy snow that prevented me getting out to photograph it! Note the unhelpful train indicator, which kept cycling through a series of messages saying it couldn't find the modem or GPS signal. Also, as you can tell from the winter sunshine, the time definitely isn't 21:18!

800015 & 800013 Steventon 25 January 2018

800015 & 800013 approach Steventon on 25 January 2018 with the late running 1A09 07:12 Taunton to Paddington GWR service. Although most of the line through the Vale of White Horse has been ruined for photography by the controversial electfrication programme, this location is still passable, and offers a variety of (albeit similar) views along the length of this farm track.

800015 Charlbury 30 January 2018

GWR ancient and modern at Charlbury. The classic Great Western Railway style running in board on the right contrasts markedly with the brand new Hitachi built bi-mode DMU arriving at the station on 30 January 2018. 800015 is working the 1P29 12:00 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington GWR service.

800016 & 800006 Steventon 25 January 2018

Where have the wires gone? This is the point near Steventon in early 2018 where the 25kV wires abruptly end. 800016 & 800006 still have to rely on their diesel engines for the moment, as they head towards London on 25 January 2018 with the 1A10 09:00 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington GWR service

800018 Chilson 25 January 2018

800018 passes Chilson on 25 January 2018 with the 1P29 12:00 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington GWR service. This is of course a going away shot, but the pulsing LED taillights have been caught during their 'off' cycle, so only the line on which it is travelling gives the game away, and of course the absence of a driver!

800018 Hinksey 7 February 2018

800018 passes Hinksey Yard on 7 February 2018 with the 1P25 09:54 Great Malvern to Paddington GWR service. The bright red of the DB Schenker MXA ballast wagons in the foreground certainly contrasts markedly with the drab dark green livery of the bi-mode unit, which looks almost black in the admittedly very head on lighting.

800021 & 800023 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 18 January 2018

Running nearly an hour late due to the down main line being closed at Didcot, 800021 & 800023 approach Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 18 January 2018 with the 1B27 11:15 Paddington to Cardiff Central GWR service. 72 cylinders at work here, until they energize the overhead wiring!

800023 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 15 December 2017

On possibly its first outing on the Great Western Mainline, brand new 800023 passes the site of Ashbury Crossing, Shrivenham, on 15 December 2017 with the late running 5Z01 10:18 North Pole IEP Depot to Bristol Parkway test run. It had worked down from the its birthplace at Newton Aycliffe just four days earlier, running as the 5X80 08:56 Doncaster to North Pole.

800026 Hinksey 7 February 2018

Just a few weeks old, 800026 still looks smart, despite its awful dark green livery, as it passes Hinksey Yard on 7 February 2018 with the 1P29 12:00 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington GWR service. It will be a long time before the pantograph on the roof of the leading vehicle gets any use at this location!

800031 Steventon 16 February 2018

Five to go! 800031 makes its maiden run along the Great Western Mainline on 16 February 2018 with the 5X30 14:17 North Pole IEP Depot to Swindon test run. The previous day it had worked down from the North east as the 5X80 08:56 Doncaster Carr to North Pole IEP. The five car Class 800/0s for GWR are numbered 800001 to 800036, so only five more of these have yet to arrive, plus of course the nine car Class 800/3s, and the Class 802s.

800101 South Marston 12 June 2017

An East Coast interloper on the Great Western Mainline! Virgin East Coast 800101 passes South Marston on 12 June 2017 with the 5X32 11:02 Reading West Junction to Swindon test run. Note the Azuma branding, which is what Virgin have decided to christen their fleet (it means East in Japanese). I'm sure enthusiasts will eventually think up different names for these high tech DMUs! Just 18 minutes earlier one of the GWR's new five car units also passed this spot, on its delivery run from the Newton Aycliffe factory.

802001 & 802002 Grove 30 November 2017

My first picture of a Class 802 - the version of the IEP bi-mode unit with more powerful engines. 802001 & 802002 pass Grove on 30 November 2017 with the 5Z19 09:34 North Pole Depot to Taunton Signal E483 test run. Note the complete lack of any GWR branding.