Class 43 HST

43002 Baulking 5 December 1981

The first production HST power car, 43002 is pictured at Baulking on 5 December 1981 working the 11:10 Cardiff Central to Paddington service. It has just passed the site of Uffington station, which was situated near the bridge in the background. This was the junction for the Faringdon branch, which curved away to the right by the trees. It closed to passenger traffic in 1951 and freight in 1962. In 1981 the view was completely unobstructed from Baulking to Uffington, with even the former Junction Hotel clearly visible.

43002 Gloucester 21 August 1985

The first production HST power car, 43002 received the name Top of the Pops on 30 August 1984, and the nameplate can clearly be seen in this view as it arrives at Gloucester with the 10:39 Manchester Piccadilly to Plymouth service on 21 August 1985. The train is just crossing over the Horton Road level crossing, a notorious traffic bottleneck, which this train will again traverse after reversing at Gloucester station, as all north to south services have to do. It will depart on the lines in the foreground.

43002 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 29 May 1986

43002 Top of the Pops leads the 18:05 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads service towards the site of Ashbury Crossing at Shrivenham on 29 May 1986. The remains of the former unit number (253001) can just be seen under the driver's windscreen. The practice of referring to HSTs by a unit number was discontinued shortly after this revised livery was applied in the mid 1980s. Superb evening lighting here, in a picture which is taken from the north side of the line, an angle which is only possible on mid summer evenings or on a cloudy day.

43002 Aller 7 December 1988

43002 passes Aller on 7 December 1988 with the 1V42 07:45 Leeds to Paignton 'Devonian'. Unfortunately this view is no longer possible, as the farm occupation bridge that crossed the line here was demolished on Christmas Day 2013 in connection with the A380 road improvement scheme. This is the short four tack section of line between Newton Abbot and the Aller divergence, with the Paignton lines on the right, and the Penzance lines on the left.

43002 South Moreton (Didcot East) 24 October 1989

The remnants of 43002's former livery, which included yellow paint instead of grey around the windscreen, can be seen as it leads the 1A38 10:20 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington service past South Moreton (Didcot East) on 24 October 1989. As always it is the horse chestnut tree that starts off the autumn colour spectacle.

43002 Wantage Road 17 May 1992

43002 catches the evening sun as it passes the remains of Wantage Road station on 17 May 1992 with the 18:35 Paddington to Swindon service. Normally this train would have continued on via the Golden Valley route to Cheltenham, but that line was closed for engineering works. 43002's peeling paint shows traces of its former all yellow front end, an experimental livery carried by a handful of power cars during 1988. Didcot Power Station can just be glimpsed underneath the roadbridge in the background.

43002 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 25 November 1993

A few minutes of brilliant lighting conditions during an otherwise cloudy day luckily corresponded with 43002 Top of the Pops leading the 1A44 10:15 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington service past Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 25 November 1993. This was running approximately 15 minutes late, which was very fortunate, as at the booked time the scene looked nothing like this! The dark clouds in the background certainly make the picture, but note that the hedges and trees in the distance are in the shade, emphasising how brief this superb lighting was.

43002 Bourton 25 July 1993

A picture containing two white horses. In addition to the one in the field, just about visible on the hill on the horizon is the 3,000 year old Uffington White Horse, which gives its name to the Vale. 43002 passes Bourton on 25 July 1995 with the 1B62 18:30 Paddington to Swansea InterCity service.

43002 Compton Beauchamp 8 September 2006

Just over thirty years since being introduced onto the Great Western Mainline, the first production HST power car 43002 was still going strong on 8 September 2006, when it was pictured approaching Compton Beauchamp with the 07:00 Swansea to Paddington service. The clear early morning autumn light prompted the use of a long lens to emphasize the reverse curves here, proving that Brunel's GWR main line is not completely featureless. The concrete footbridge in the background is on the site of Ashbury Crossing, near Shrivenham.

43002 South Moreton (Didcot East) 12 November 2007

With the unmistakable background of Didcot Power Station, 43002 Techniquest passes South Moreton (Didcot East) on 12 November 2007 with the 1L42 08:29 Swansea to Paddington First Great Western service. Not the mix of liveries throughout the coaches.

43002 Denchworth 16 September 2010

Still giving excellent service after 34 years in traffic (over double the length of time the 'Westerns' plied this route), the first production HST power car, 43002 heads west past Denchworth on an intermittently sunny 16 September 2010 with the 1C16 13:30 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads First Great Western service. Admittedly now with a different engine, this power car must have clocked up an astronomical mileage, and surely makes the class one of BR's best value for money decisions ever.

43002 Chilson 4 May 2011

I hope the driver of 43002 isn't scratching his head because he thinks he's running 'wrong line'! Seriously, the pioneer HST power car leads the 1P21 05:34 Hereford to Paddington First Great Western service past Chilson on 4 May 2011, passing the recently re-laid, but not yet ballasted re-instated up line.

43002 Pewsey 23 August 2013

43002 races through Pewsey station on 23 August 2013 with the 1A74 05:53 Plymouth to Paddington First Great Western service. Although not obvious from this picture, there were numerous passengers waiting to board the following stopping service headed by 43023, which arrived a mere four minutes later.

43002 Shrivenham 29 November 2014

A wide angle view of the remains of Shrivenham station, taken on 29 November 2014. Note the Fat Dog pub in the background, with the former railwaymen's cottages in the background. 43002 races past with the 1A13 10:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington First Great Western service.

43002 Crofton 24 January 2015

A fatality in the Reading area caused the last minute diversion of certain First Great Western services via the Berks & Hants line on the morning of Saturday 24 January 2015. One such was the 1C10 10:27 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads, seen here running alongside the Kennet & Avon Canal near Crofton, led by 43002.

43002 Coates 16 May 2015

43002 is still accelerating away from Kemble station, as it passes the site of Coates goods station on 16 May 2015 with the 1G60 18:15 Paddington to Cheltenham Spa First Great Western service. Originally opened as Tetbury Road passenger station with the opening of the line in 1845, the station closed to passengers in 1882, being replaced by the junction station at Kemble (a short distance to the south). In 1908 it was renamed Coates. For over 80 years it operated as a purely goods station, being conveniently situated next to the Fosse Way (now the A433).

43002 Baulking 4 May 2016

Still looking pristine, just two days after it was unveiled to the public in its new 'old' livery, 43002 Sir Kenneth Grange passes Baulking on 4 May 2016 with the 1A13 10:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington GWR service. To celebrate 40 years of the iconic HST, the first production power car was chosen to be repainted into its original (and arguably the best) livery. Fittingly, it was named the train's designer, Sir Kenneth Grange, at the St Philips Marsh Open Day on 2 May. This picture makes an interesting comparison to my 1981 view of the same loco at the same spot. A lot has changed in 35 years, but now that 43002 is back in its original livery there is one constant. The steel piles either side of the track show that a monumental change is about to alter the view totally.

43002 Radley 5 May 2016

43002 Sir Kenneth Grange approaches Radley on 5 May 2016 with the 1P39 11:01 Oxford to Paddington GWR service. The immaculate blue and grey power car does look slightly odd with a rake of GWR's blue 'wavy line' coaches, but unfortunately the repainting of a matching set of stock was never really likely to happen. However, the 1970s retro liveried loco has become an instant hit, and is quite rightly photographed everywhere it goes. I've been saying for years that at least one power car should be repainted into this iconic colour scheme, and so I'm really pleased to see the first production power car honoured in this way. It's funny how few people gave it a second glance when it looked like this (minis nameplates) 40 years ago!

43002 Finstock 6 May 2016

43002 Sir Kenneth Grange leads the late running 1P65 15:14 Hereford to Paddington GWR service through the diminutive Finstock station on 6 May 2016. Finstock is served by only two trains a day, and in fact the only down train to call was delayed on this occasion, as 43002 and its train would have to clear Wolvercote Junction before the local could proceed onto the single line.

43002 Compton Beauchamp 8 May 2016

43002 Sir Kenneth Grange bursts out from underneath the road bridge at Compton Beauchamp on 8 May 2016 with the 1C28 19:27 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads GWR service. With the sun having long since disappeared into a bank of cloud, and the time being 20:23, to say the light was poor would be an understatement! In order to use the 1/2000sec shutter speed that this close up view required, I had to use ISO 6400 and the lens wide open at f2.8! 

43002 Stoulton 18 June 2016

43002 Sir Kenneth Grange passes Stoulton on 18 June 2016 with the 1P51 12:41 Great Malvern to Paddington GWR service. This was a very welcome surprise, as I hadn't checked up to see where this power car was. The bridge in the background marks the site of the derailment of the 1A75 07.05 Hereford to Paddington train on 30 November 1984, caused by a broken fishplate.

43002 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 14 September 2016

A sunny, but very misty morning at Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 14 September 2016. 43002 Sir Kenneth Grange passes underneath the half complete overhead catenary with the 1C06 08:30 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads GWR service.

43002 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 10 October 2016

43002 Sir Kenneth Grange brings up the rear of the 1B12 08:15 Paddington to Swansea GWR service at Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 10 October 2016. Coincidentally, GWR's other heritage repaint, 43185 Great Western had passed by in the other direction just ten minutes earlier.

43002 Woodborough 11 October 2016

This must be deliberate! Both of GWR's recently repainted 'heritage liveried' power cars, sandwiching one of their rakes of green coaches. 43002 Sir Kenneth Grange leads the 1A83 10:00 Penzance to Paddington service past Woodborough on 11 October 2016, with 'InterCity Swallow' liveried 43185 Great Western bringing up the rear. Typically after standing around for over two hours in unbroken sunshine, just at the critical moment a cloud partially got in the way. I suppose we were lucky to get any sun, as earlier in the day it had been very foggy, and there was still a lot of cloud around, both to the north and south of this location.

43002 Standish Junction 12 October 2016

43002 Sir Kenneth Grange passes Standish Junction on 12 October 2016 with the diverted 1L82 15:28 Swansea to Paddington GWR service. 'InterCity Swallow' liveried 43185 Great Western is bringing up the rear, with Laira's LA16 set of green coaches completing the multi-coloured picture. This was the second day in traffic for this odd combination. After a reasonably sunny afternoon, the clouds were now building up big time, and the small rainbow in the background indicates that the Cotswolds are getting some rain. I know this for certain, as I drove through it on the way home!

43002 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 2 November 2016

43002 Sir Kenneth Grange passes underneath the newly installed steel eyesores at Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 2 November 2016, as it heads towards the capital with the 1A19 13:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington GWR service.

43002 Steventon 5 January 2017

A superb end to a superb day's photography. 43002 Sir Kenneth Grange races past Steventon on 5 January 2017 with the 1C17 14:00 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads GWR service. Not having called at Didcot, this was going noticeably faster than some of the HSTs seen earlier in the day, although easily stopped with a shutter speed of 1/2000sec. Another one of the route's non-standard livered power cars, 43172 Harry Patch - The last survivor of the trenches is on the rear of the train.

43002 Steventon 1 March 2017

43002 Sir Kenneth Grange passes underneath Steventon roadbridge on 1 March 2017 with the 1C12 11:30 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads GWR service. This bridge is the subject of a bitter feud between the locals, who want to preserve it, and Network Rail who wish to demolish it. The cause of all this is the hugely delayed electfrication of the Great Western Mainline. Note the two concrete filled mast bases on the left, and also the white sighting patch on the bridge, a remnant from the days of semaphore signalling.

43002 Compton Beauchamp 13 May 2017

43002 Sir Kenneth Grange passes Compton Beauchamp on 13 May 2017 with the GWR 1Z67 15:55 Bishops Lydeard to Paddington 'Somerset Explorer' railtour. Newly repainted 43093 is on the rear of the train. Originally the train was booked to travel along the West Somerset Railway to Minehead, but gauging issues resulting in tour participants travelling to the town behind D1010 Western Campaigner insead. Normally I would I have travelled to Somerset to photograph this, but I had only just returned from the Isle of Man, so this backlit local picture will have to suffice.

43003 Demchworth (Circourt Bridge) 8 May 1987

43003 leads the 1B30 13:00 Paddington to Swansea service past Circourt Bridge, Denchworth on 8 May 1987. It seems to be loosing its former set number 253001 piecemeal, with just the 253 left on the front end. By this time they had long since been regarded as locomotives, and were no longer kept in their original sets. In fact, I had seen 253001's former partner (43002) heading in the same direction on a another train approximately an hour earlier.

43003 Shrivenham 10 December 1987

43003 passes Shrivenham on 10 December 1987 with the 1C47 13:30 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads service. Around this time it was quite common to see sets of blue and grey coaches working with the then new InterCity executive liveried power cars, and vice versa, but it was less common to see mixed liveries within the coaches. 

43003 Circourt 22 June 1988

Although it is well known that the buffer fitted surrogated DVT HSTs received a modified version of InterCity livery, with yellow around the windscreens, it is less well known that for a short period in 1988 several conventional power cars also carried this livery. Catching the last rays of the setting sun, 43003 approaches Circourt Bridge, Denchworth on 22 June 1988 with the 20:00 Paddington to Swansea service. Despite it being close to the longest day, this picture was taken so near to sunset that Kodachrome 200 was required, hence the poor technical quality.

43003 Didcot 31 July 1992

43003 takes the Oxford line at Didcot on 31 July 1992, as it pulls out of the station with the 17:10 Paddington to Hereford service. It is being closely followed by Class 117 unit L417 (just visible in the distance) with the 17:21 Reading to Oxford local service. As the HST was running late, the unit was now catching it up, although having to be held back while the HST weaved across from the fast lines in front of it has had a delaying effect. Note that apart from a couple of stone hoppers this end of the yard at Didcot is surprisingly empty.

43003 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 20 February 1994

43003 approaches Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on Sunday 20 February 1994 with the 12:30 Paddington to Swansea InterCity service. This was a time of transition at this location. The relief lines had just been installed, and while the down line was in use, the up line had yet to be commissioned. Also new at this time was the Denchworth road bridge in the background, along with the adjacent signal gantry. 43003 was not quite so new, although being just 18 years old, it was still only a short way into its very long career.

43003 Ascott-under-Wychwood 23 October 2007

The second production HST power car, 43003 Isambard Kingdom Brunel was one of the diminishing number of First Great Western HSTs to retain its Paxman Valenta engine at the end of 2007. It is pictured here leaning into the curve and catching the first rays of the early morning sun between Shipton and Ascott-under-Wychwood with the 1P26 06:09 Abergavenny to Paddington 'Cathedrals Express' First Great Western service on 23 October 2007.

43003 Cholsey 12 November 2007

43003 Isambard Kingdom Brunel approaches Cholsey on 12 November 2007 with the 1A14 11:00 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington First Great Western service. Although by this time 43003 was one of the few power cars to retain this version of FGW's livery, there were still many more coaches to be repainted. Here we have a mixed rake.

43003 Patney & Chirton 11 May 2009

43003 Isambard Kingdom Brunel speeds past the site of Patney & Chirton station with the 1A81 08:42 Penzance to Paddington First Great Western service on 11 May 2009. Presumably the lilac tree in the background is a remnant of the long closed station. Despite the cloudless conditions, it was not that warm due to a near gale force wind.

43003 Didcot 10 December 2009

43003 Isambard Kingdom Brunel rounds the curve between Didcot North Junction and Didcot Parkway station on 10 December 2009 with the 1P43 12:31 Oxford to Paddington First Great Western service. Coincidentally I had photographed this same power car at this location 17 years previously, but on that occasion traveling in the opposite direction. Note the wagons of the Brentford to Appleford binliner stabled in the sidings.

43003 Wootton Rivers 22 June 2010

43003 Isambard Kingdom Brunel gleams in the early morning sunshine on 22 June 2010 as it passes Wootton Rivers with the 1A75 05:30 Plymouth to Paddington First Great Western service. Quite what the great man would say about having a HST power car named after him is uncertain, but he would probably state that it could go faster than 125 mph if there was more than 4 ft 8˝ in between the rails!

43003 Frocester 9 June 2012

With a toot and a wave from the driver, 43003 Isambard Kingdom Brunel passes Frocester on 9 June 2012 with the 1Z33 08:10 Bristol Temple Meads to York First Great Western staff special. This was taking some of the company's employees for a day out at the Railfest 2012 celebrations at the National Railway Museum. As an ambassador for FGW's highly successful HST fleet, the two original production power cars were chosen, 43002 being on the rear of the train. This section of line between Westerleigh and Standish Junctions is not the normal stamping ground for FGW HSTs, as the company's normal stock on this route is Class 150 or 158 DMUs.

43003 Patchway 21 July 2012

43003 Isambard Kingdom Brunel has just passed through Patchway station (just visible in the background), and is picking up speed after coming round the curve between Stoke Gifford and Patchway Junctions. The date is 21 July 2012, and the train is the 1B10 07:45 Paddington to Swansea First Great Western service. Note how the track is starting to split here, with the down line maintaining a higher level towards Patchway Tunnels. Also note the industrial units squeezed between the road and the railway, and the chimney on the Rolls Royce Aerospace site.

43003 Aynho 7 April 2013

43003 Isambard Kingdom Brunel passes Aynho on Sunday 7 April 2013 with the diverted 1Z15 06:50 Paddington to Swansea First Great Western service. Due to engineering works at Reading, trains were travelling to the west via a reversal at Banbury. This train was running 32 minutes late, which was unfortunate, as at the booked time it was a fine sunny morning, with the remnants of the overnight frost in the field. However, high cloud soon appeared leading to very flat lighting, which persisted for most of the rest of the day.

43003 Challow 30 July 2014

A pair of classic 1970s designs at Challow on 30 July 2014. 43003 Isambard Kingdom Brunel speeds westwards with the 1C17 14:00 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads First Great Western service, while 56113 waits on the relief line with the 6V62 11:22 Tilbury Riverside to Llanwern steel empties. For some reason the driver of 56113 had stopped his train well back from the signal, rather than in the usual spot in the foreground of this picture. This did however enable this passing shot, which would have been impossible otherwise.

43003 Farleaze 10 September 2014

43003 Isambard Kingdom Brunel passes Farleaze (near Hullavington) on 10 September 2014 with the 1L51 10:55 Cardiff Central to Paddington First Great Western service. The temporary fencing is to protect the vegetation clearance workforce, who are just out of the picture to the right. This work was in preparation for the forthcoming electrification.

43003 Uffington 28 October 2014

43003 Isambard Kingdom Brunel runs along the great man's 'Billiard Table' Great Western Mainline at Uffington on 28 October 2014 with the 1A11 09:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington First Great Western service. With nearly four decades of loyal service on the route, the HSTs have without doubt been the most successful design of passenger train ever to run in this country.

43003 Bourton 20 April 2015

The horse in the field at Bourton has been startled by the blast from 43003 Isambard Kingdom Brunel's horn, as it warns track workers of its approach with the 1B48 15:15 Paddington to Cardiff Central First Great Western service on 20 April 2015. Over the previous weekend the track on the up line was renewed and lowered, in preparation for the forthcoming electrification. Isambard Kingdom Brunel is an appropriate name for a loco passing this location, but I wonder what the great man would have made of his line's transformation into an electric railway.

43003 Steventon 29 September 2015

43003 Isambard Kingdom Brunel passes signs of impending (probably!) electrification at Steventon 29 September 2015. Not quite the run of the mill GWR HST passenger service, as this is in fact the 5L50 12:37 Cheltenham to Paddington ECS, working to a VSTP (Very Short Term Planning) schedule. Isambard Kingdom Brunel is obviously an apt choice of name for the location, but I wonder what the great man would make of what Network Rail are dong to his superbly engineered line. Presumably he would be impressed by the efficiency and technology of electrification, but like everyone else would be amazed at how badly organised and slow the whole process is!

43003 Compton Beauchamp 18 July 2016

Lengthening shadows at Compton Beauchamp on 18 July 2016, as 43003 Isambard Kingdom Brunel speeds westwards with the 1B79 18:45 Paddington to Swansea GWR service. Note the damaged and taped up window near the rear of the first coach. Just in front of the power car a couple of temporary safety handrails mark the site of one of the electrification mast piles, which once complete will render this viewpoint useless for photography.

43003 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 2 November 2016

43003 Isambard Kingdom Brunel approaches Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 10 October 2016 with the 1A11 09:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington GWR service. It is of course entirely fitting that one of the HST fleet should be named after the Great Western Railway's original engineer, but what the great man would have made of the desecration of his superbly engineered route by the hideous electrification scheme, is open to question!

43003 Steventon 1 March 2017

43003 Isambard Kingdom Brunel passes the present limit of electrification wiring at Steventon on 1 March 2017, as it heads towards the capital with the 1L38 07:58 Swansea to Paddington GWR service. What would Brunel say about the desecration of his railway with all this ugly ironmongery, when he paid such attention to the aesthetics of his line?

43003 Adlestrop 15 March 2017

43003 Isambard Kingdom Brunel approaches the site of Adlestrop station on 15 March 2017 with the 1W25 12:21 Paddington to Worcester Shrub Hill GWR service. The church and houses of Daylesford can just be glimpsed through the trees in the background.

43003 Chilson 7 April 2017

43003 Isambard Kingdom Brunel passes Chilson on 7 April 2017 with the 1P26 06:42 Hereford to Paddington GWR service. A clean power car, and early morning spring sunshine make a perfect picture, but I would have preferred the '90 Glorious Years' vinyl covered 43027, which was on the rear, to have been on the front! It seems that the view across the Evenlode Valley will be obscured in years to come, judging by the newly planted trees in the field on the right.

43004 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 10 December 1986

43004 leads the 1B26 11:0 Paddington to Swansea InterCity service past the site of Ashbury Crossing, near Shrivenham, on 10 December 1986. By this date the Class 253 set numbers were being disbanded, so it presumably doesn't matter that the 253002 number on the front is incomplete.

43004 Aller 7 December 1988

43004 rounds the sharp curve at Aller on 7 December 1988 with the 1C16 08:10 Paddington to Penzance InterCity service. Just visible on the extreme right is the 10:50 Paignton to Cardiff Central Class 155 DMU approaching the junction from the south.

43004 Little Bedwyn 24 August 1996

43004 runs alongside the Kennet & Avon Canal at Little Bedwyn on 24 August 1996 with the 1C15 08:35 Paddington to Paignton service. Unfortunately this view is no longer possible, as that scrappy little beech hedge next to the line is now a fully grown photographic obstruction!

43004 Wolvercote Junction 14 August 1997

43004 Borough of Swindon slowly approaches Wolvercote Junction on 14 August 1997 with the 1B48 17:10 Paddington to Hereford Great Western Trains service. 43304 had been named a few months earlier to celebrate the creation of the Borough of Swindon, splitting it administratively from the rest of Wiltshire. It seems that a 'Merlin' liveried power car with a complete rake of InterCity stock was quite common on this train at the time. I saw exactly the same combination exactly one month earlier!

43004 South Stoke 27 May 1989

With their sleek streamlined front end, HST power cars are the ideal candidate for a spot of panning photography. 43004 speeds past South Stoke on 27 May 1989 with the 1B42 16:43 Paddington to Cheltenham InterCity service. Photo taken from the footpath between the villages of South Stoke and North Stoke, in the Thames Valley.

43004 Shrivenham 31 July 1999

43004 Borough of Swindon passes the site of Shrivenham station with the 09:32 Swansea to Paddington First Great Western service on 31 July 1999. This is one of the very few picture I have of a Great Western liveried power car with a complete rake of stock in the later First Great Western 'fag packet' livery.  At around this time I was chasing all over the country seeking out freight workings hauled by heritage traction (especially Class 37s) prior to the decimation of services and the replacement of proper locos by Class 66s. Unfortunately this resulted in me neglecting my home patch and not getting as many pictures of the Great Western HSTs as I would have liked. Note that this power car has a modified livery, the whole front area under the lights being painted dark green.

43004 Crofton 21 July 2006

Before the general adoption of the rather bland blue livery to the refurbished First Great Western fleet, 43004 First for the future / First ar gyfer y dyfodol received the 'Neon' wavy line livery that later became the standard coach livery. It is seen here emerging from the fog at Crofton on 21 July 2006 with the 05:35 Plymouth to Paddington First Great Western service. The sun was already burning off the dense fog, as can be seen by the sunny patch crossing the wheat field in the background.

43004 Fairwood 11 September 2007

43004 passes Fairwood on 11 September 2007 with the 1A86 06:43 Penzance to Paddington First Great Western service. Although 43004 is in the later plain version of FGW's purple livery, all except the rear coach are in still in the first version of this colour scheme.

43004 Oxford (Walton Well Road) 23 May 2009

43004 First for the future / First ar gyfer y dyfodol approaches Oxford on 23 May 2009 with the 1P31 07:10 Hereford to Paddington First Great Western service. Note the green signal and feathers on the up relief line on the right. 165128 is signaled for the 09:27 Oxford to Bicester train.

43004 Kingston Lisle 17 April 2010

A wide view for a change. 43004 First for the future / First ar gyfer y dyfodol heads through the Vale of White Horse near Kingston Lisle on 17 April 2010 with the 1C21 16:00 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads First Great Western service. The completely clear sky is not just the result of the sunny conditions, but also the total ban on aircraft movements due to the cloud of ash drifting across from the volcanic eruption of Eyjafjallajökull (I've no idea how you pronounce it!) in Iceland.

43004 Denchworth 8 September 2014

43004 First for the future / First ar gyfer y dyfodol speeds past Denchworth on 8 September 2014 with the 1C12 11:30 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads First Great Western service. A shutter speed of 1/2000sec is essential for this type of picture, and quick reactions!

43004 Steventon 5 January 2017

In superb winter afternoon light, and with the steam from the gas fired Didcot B Power Station almost emulating the output from the now demolished coal fired Didcot A, 43004 passes Steventon on 5 January 2017 with the 1B37 13:15 Paddington to Cardiff Central GWR service. This was one of the last mast free areas of the Great Western Mainline, but the much delayed electfrication finally caught up with even this location a few weeks later.

43004 Challow 6 April 2017

43004 speeds past Challow on 6 April 2017 with the 1A10 09:00 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington GWR service. The view has already been ruined, but I thought it prudent to record the transitional scene, before the wires are attached, purely for the historic record.

43004 Uffington 11 April 2017

The view from the newly opened footbridge at Uffington on 11 April 2017. 43004 heads towards London with the 1L36 08:31 Cheltenham Spa to Paddington GWR service. In all the years that I have been photographing trains at the former footpath crossing, and from the field on the left, I cannot remember anyone else using the footpath. It was slightly ironic then that on my first visit to this new footbridge, a woman walking her dog used it. It seems that the bridge wasn't built just for me after all!

43005 Denchworth 23 June 1979

43005 passes underneath Denchworth road bridge on 23 June 1979 with the 1A49 11:45 Swansea to Paddington InterCity service. This brick bridge was replaced in the 1990s by a single span structure, with blue engineers brick parapet, and is almost as aesthetically pleasing as this Victorian original. Note how the lineside in the foreground appears to resemble a lush meadow, with plenty of long grass. This is in marked contrast to the overgrown mass of brambles, weeds and assorted bushes that prevails now, since Network Rail stopped maintaining the trackside.

43005 Oxford North Junction 2 May 1990

A reflected HST at Oxford North Junction on 2 May 1990. 43005 leads the 1M61 17:50 Paddington to Liverpool Lime Street InterCity service underneath the the Aristotle Lane footbridge, and alongside the recently dredged ditch that separated the main line from the route of the former down goods loop.

43005 Kemble 30 January 2008

43005 brings up the rear of the 11:48 Paddington to Cheltenham 'Cheltenham Spa Express' at Kemble on 30 January 2008. Although a going away shot, the perfect winter light, GWR water tower, and clean First Great Western power car make an excellent picture.

43005 Shipton 9 June 2008

This view shows how close the station at Shipton, on the Cotswold Line is to the premises of FWP Matthews, flower millers. On 9 June 2008, 43005 leads the 1W03 17:21 Paddington to Hereford First Great Western service past the company's delivery lorries in the car park. The entrance to the flower mill can be seen on the extreme right, this also being the entrance to Shipton' s down platform, making the narrow path on which I am stood effectively the path to the station.

43005 Wantage Road 17 November 2009

In superb lighting, with the dark menacing clouds contrasting with the autumnal foliage, 43005 approaches the site of Wantage Road station with the 1G38 13:48 Paddington to Cheltenham First Great Western service on 17 November 2009. I was surprised at how much foliage was still left on the trees considering the gale force winds of the previous week and the very exposed position of this bank of trees. Needless to say this ideal combination of low sunshine and dark clouds did not last very long.

43005 Shrivenham (Ashbury Crossing) 7 January 2010

43005 speeds through the snowy landscape at Ashbury Crossing, Shrivenham on 7 January 2010 with what is presumably the 1C13 12:00 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads First Great Western service. It is not that easy to positively identify HST services during periods of bad weather, when late running is the norm. First Great Western were actually canceling some services due to the weather. principally those going to Cardiff. Note how the caked on snow on the front end has mostly fallen off at some point in the journey.

43005 Chilson 8 March 2010

With the village of Chadlington just visible in the background, 43005 speeds past Chilson with the 1W02 10:22 Paddington to Hereford First Great Western service on 8 March 2010. This is one location that hasn't succumbed to palisade fencing! In fact the vintage wooden post fence is definitely in need of repair. Note how the top wire has become completely detached from the posts as they drop down into the dip, and is now stretched tight well above the top of the posts.

43005 Shrivenham 9 April 2014

Two different forms of transport at Shrivenham on 9 April 2014. An agricultural fertilizer tanker crosses the roadbridge, while 43005 speeds underneath with the 1A10 09:00 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington First Great Western service. This bridge is due to be reconstructed as part of the Great Western Mainline electrification programme.

43005 Uffington 10 March 2015

Carefully framed by the roadside tree and hedge at Uffington, 43005 heads eastwards on 10 March 2015 with the 1A11 09:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington First Great Western service. As is quite common, this was being held up by the 4L31 09:03 Bristol to Felixstowe North freightliner running in front of it.

43005 Avoncliff 18 April 2015

43005 passes Avoncliff on 18 April 2015 with the diverted 1C18 14:30 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads First Great Western service. The River Avon is in the foreground, and the aqueduct carrying the Kennet & Avon Canal over the railway can just be seen in the background.

43005 Uffington 24 February 2016

A slightly different perspective on a familiar location. 43005 passes Uffington on 24 February 2016 with the 1B48 15:15 Paddington to Cardiff Central GWR service. Not only does the tree provide foreground interest, but it also hides the prominent radio mast!

43005 Bourton 1 September 2016

My first picture of GWR's second green liveried HST set. 43005 leads the 1A10 09:00 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington service past Bourton on 1 September 2016. 43041 is the rear power car. At least by late summer the landscape is a contrasting colour to the train's dark green livery, but it still doesn't look right, especially as when clean, as here, it picks up the reflection of everything it is passing!

43005 Uffington 23 September 2016

GWR green 43005 leads the 5Z70 09:10 Landore to Old Oak Common ECS past Uffington on 23 September 2016, with 'Building a Greater West' liveried 43146 bringing up the rear. So much for keeping the green power cars with their matching coaches!

43005 Bourton 3 November 2016

43005 passes Bourton on 3 November 2016 with the 1L38 07:58 Swansea to Paddington GWR service. Note the pairs of mast bases on either side of the line near the front of the train. These have been in place for a year, but there is still no other sign here of the stalled electfrication project.

43005 Chilson 1 December 2016

43005 brings up the rear of the 1P47 12:06 Worcester Foregate Street to Paddington GWR service at Chilson on 1 December 2016. Theoretically the green power cars are supposed to be kept with their matching coaches, but despite what was mentioned at the time of repainting, that wasn't always going to happen!

43005 Steventon 5 January 2017

43005 passes Steventon on 5 January 2017 with the 1G29 11:36 Paddington to Cheltenham Spa GWR service. A bizarre coincidence resulted in this single green power car on an otherwise blue train being followed just three minutes later by the exact opposite, a blue power car on an otherwise green train!

43005 Uffington 11 April 2017

43005 passes the electfrication work site at Uffington on 11 April 2017 with the 1B20 09:45 Paddington to Swansea GWR service. This is the view from the newly erected footbridge, which replaces the former footpath crossing. Uffington station, which closed in 1964, was situated near the road bridge in the background.

43005 Compton Beauchamp 13 May 2017

A final look at the classic view from the bridge at Compton Beauchamp, before the wires go up and ruin the location forever. The hawthorn is in full blossom, as 43005 speeds westwards on 13 May 2017 with the 1C24 17:30 Paddington to Weston-super-Mare GWR service. Note the two concrete filled steel piles in the foreground, and the masts surely only days away from spoiling the view.

43005 Bicester South Junction 17 September 2017

43005 brings up the rear of the diverted 1L53 10:24 Swansea to Paddington GWR service, as it climbs the steep curve between Gavray Junction and Bicester South Junction on 17 September 2017. As can be seen from the clouds in the background, sunshine was at a premium (at least until later in the day), and I was lucky that this corresponded with a short sunny period.

43005 Charlton-on-Otmoor 17 September 2017

Superb evening light at Charlton-on-Otmoor on 17 September 2017, as 43005 heads south with the diverted 1B59 15:58 Paddington to Swansea GWR service. The green power car with blue coaches almost recalls the days in the 1980s when the HSTs were often to be seen with mismatched formations. The difference is the original blue and grey, as well as the later Executive and Swallow liveries were photogenic, whereas the modern versions (especially GWR's uninspired drab green) certainly aren't!

43006 South Moreton 18 August 1991

The red flag across the up main line gives the game away as to what is happening here. With the main line closed for Sunday engineering work, 43006 has to weave across onto the relief line at South Moreton on 18 August 1991, as it works the 1A46 12:10 Swansea to Paddington InterCity service. 43006 is one of only a handful of the original Western Region allocated power cars that has not spent its entire life on the region. It later moved to the GNER fleet, finally being re-engined and renumbered 43206.

43006 Aldclune 12 April 2004

43006 Kingdom of Fife speeds past Aldclune (between Blair Atholl and Pitlochry) with the 1E12 07:55 Inverness to Kings Cross GNER 'Highland Chieftain' service on 12 April 2004. The bridge in the background carries the modern A9 road over the line, while I am stood next to the old A9, which used to pass through the villages of Killiecrankie, Aldclune, and Bridge of Tilt. 43006 has subsequently been fitted with a MTU engine and renumbered to 43206

43007 Bathampton 1 September 1985

43007 leads the 1B22 09:00 Paddington to Weston-super-Mare service past Bathampton on 1 September 1985. This Sunday train was booked to run via the Berks & Hants line, and travel via Hawkeridge Junction and Bradford-on Avon. The rear power car can just be seen leaving the Bradford-on-Avon line at Bathampton Junction.

43007 Claydon (Gloucestershire) 5 April 2007

On 5 April 2007 a Midland Mainline HST set substituted for a Virgin Voyager on the 1V05 06:05 Derby to Plymouth and 1E47 11:50 Plymouth to Newcastle Virgin services. The latter is pictured passing Claydon with 43007 leading (43072 was on the rear). I would not normally bother taking a picture with such severe backlighting, unless of course it was an evening glint shot, but as I was already waiting on the bridge anyway, why not!

43008 Llandenny 21 October 1985

Of the original batch of HST power cars that were introduced onto the Western Region in 1976, the majority have not strayed from the area. However, one that did move on to pastures new was 43008. It is seen here passing Llandevenny on 21 October 1985 with the late running 1A32 07:52 Milford Haven to Paddington service. After a spell working with Virgin CrossCountry in the 1990s, 43008 was fitted with a MTU engine in pace of the original Paxman unit, and in this guise works on the other side of the country, on the East Coast Mainline, between London and Scotland.

43008 Fenny Compton 22 July 1999

Fenny Compton was a fascinating location with its bizarre mixture of upper and lower quadrant signals. The main line was converted to upper quadrant when it was transferred to the London Midland Region after nationalisation. However the sidings and branch to Kineton retained lower quadrant, old and new signals being right next to each other, as seen here. With low evening sun providing perfect lighting, although soon to be extinguished by the dark clouds rolling up from the south. 43008 approaches Fenny Compton with the 1M41 17:20 Bournemouth to Manchester Virgin Cross Country service on 22 July 1999.

43009 Fairwood Junction 18 April 1991

A solitary track worker heads off down the track with his shovel as 43009 takes the Westbury line at Fairwood Junction on 18 April 1991 with the 07:35 Plymouth to Paddington service. Compare this view with a very similar picture of 43036 on the equivalent train taken almost exactly three years earlier. Fairwood Farm can be seen in the background with Round Wood just behind.

43009 Ebbw Junction 15 February 2003

43009 leads the 1B26 13:00 Paddington to Swansea service past Ebbw Junction on 15 February 2003. Unfortunately I only have a limited number of pictures of HSTs in First Great Western's 'fag packet' livery, as I didn't realise at the time how short lived the colour scheme would be!

43009 Baulking 14 January 2010

43009 First Transforming Travel speeds past the pair of signal gantries at Baulking on 14 January 2010 whilst working the 1B35 12:45 Paddington to Swansea First Great Western service. I expect that when the First Transforming Travel nameplates were first unveiled the name had a bit of a hollow ring with the traveling public, as although FGW had certainly managed to transform travel, late running and chronic overcrowding were probably not exactly the transformation that they had in mind!

43009 Oxford 1 April 2015

43009 pulls out of Oxford station on 1 April 2015 with the 1P21 05:28 Hereford to Paddington First Great Western service. Although still free of the forthcoming overhead electrification wires, there are numerous other non photogenic additions to this viewpoint, since I first started taking photographs in the late 1970s.

43009 Denchworth (Circourt Bridge) 1 December 2016

43009 speeds past Circourt Bridge, Denchworth, on 1 December 2016 with the 1A10 09:00 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington GWR service. Note the location of the missing electfrication mast in the foreground, the installation of which will completely ruin this well known photographic vantage point.

43009 Finstock 6 March 2017

43009 speeds underneath the roadbridge at Finstock on 6 March 2017 with the late running 1W01 10:22 Paddington to Hereford GWR service. The bridge seems to be quite leaky, with water dripping down onto the ballast and forming a large pool. Just as the train came into view, a couple of pheasants were walking across the line a short distance down the track. Judging by the cloud of feathers swirling around in the train's wake, at least one of them didn't make it!

43009 Lyneham 22 May 2017

43009 passes Lyneham on 22 May 2017 with the 1W32 15:49 Paddington to Moreton-in-Marsh GWR service. Coincidentally, just 15 minutes earlier, consecutively numbered 43010 passed by in the opposite direction with the 1P65 15:14 Hereford to Paddington service.