Recent Additions

165119 Ashchurch 17 July 2018

165119 accelerates away from Ashchurch (for Tewkesbury) station on 17 July 2018 with the 2G80 07:15 Gloucester to Great Malvern GWR service. This train's sorry story highlights the appalling level of service everyone has come to expect from the completely misnamed Great Western Railway in 2018. The train left Gloucester 14 minutes late, lost more time en-route, and was then cancelled at Worcester Shrub Hill, apparently due to crew problems. Note the recently restored water tower in the background, the last surviving remnant of the original Ashchurch station.

66760 & 66750 Ashchurch 17 July 2018

66760 David Gordon Harris & 66750 Bristol Panel Signal Box pass Ashchurch in weak early morning sunshine on 17 July 2018 with the 6M78 06:00 Pengam to Washwood Heath loaded stone train, using a rake of redundant coal hoppers.

150001 Up Hatherley 17 July 2018

Could this be classed as a heritage unit now? At nearly 34 years old, this first production second generation DMU (Pacers excepted) has now had a longer life than many of the 1950s and 1960s units that it was designed to replace. 150001 passes Up Hatherley on 17 July 2018 with the 2E17 07:23 Warminster to Great Malvern GWR service.

47813 & 47812 Up Hatherley 17 July 2018

47813 & 47812 pass Up Hatherley on 17 July 2018 with the 5Q32 09:00 Portbury Automotive Terminal to Manchester International Depot (Longsight) ECS. This is the third train of newly imported coaches for the new Trans Pennine loco hauled services. This was running 37 minutes late, and the superb sunshine was certainly not guaranteed, with masses of cloud building up all around.

66705 Fiddington 16 July 2018

66705 Golden Jubilee passes Fiddington on 16 July 2018 with the 6Z70 02:45 Aldwarke to Swindon European Metal Recycling scrap empties. This location has recently been cleared of all lineside bushes, making it an excellent location if the sun is out, which of course it was until just before this train came!

170116 & 170113 Fiddington 16 July 2018

With Yewtree Farm at Fiddington visible in the background, 170116 & 170113 pass through the parched Gloucestershire countryside on 16 July 2018 with the 1V04 07:04 Nottingham to Cardiff Central CrossCountry service.

165132 Fiddington 16 July 2018

Previously restricted to suburban services out of Paddington, including Oxford and Newbury area and Cotswold Line local services, the Class 165/1 fleet started to spread further afield from late 2017, with the arrival in the London area of the Class 387 25kV EMUs. 165132 passes Fiddington on 16 July 2018 with the 2F97 08:50 Great Malvern to Westbury GWR service.

165118 Fiddington 16 July 2018

165118 passes Fiddington on 16 July 2018 with the 5Z65 09:11 Bristol St Philips Marsh to Bristol St Philips Marsh (via Long Marston) ECS. The masts in the background are next to the level crossing on the Tredington to Gotherington road.

47812 & 47813 Fiddington 16 July 2018

47812 & 47813 pass Fiddington on 16 July 2018 with the 5V81 06:30 Leicester to Portbury Automotive Terminal ECS, conveying six barrier vehicles in readiness for the following day's movement of brand new imported Trans Pennine Mk 5 coaches to Manchester. The 47s had left Leicester over an hour late, and managed to get even later, passing me 136 minutes down. Apart from the very long wait, this was good news, as they passed in some very welcome weak sun, which there definitely wouldn't have been at the booked time!

158960 Heytesbury 16 July 2018

158960 passes underneath the A36 Bath to Salisbury road at Heytesbury on 16 July 2018 with the 1F24 14:23 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central GWR service. Considering how few Class 158s retain the First Great Western blue livery, it was surprising that the 1F19 13:30 Cardiff Central to Portsmouth Harbour (passed in cloud) and the 1F26 15:23 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central were also both blue units.

47727 Heytesbury 16 July 2018

Caledonian blue liveried 47727 Caisteal Dhun Eideann / Edinburgh Castle passes Heytesbury on 16 July 2018 with the 5Z47 09:31 Doncaster Works Wagons Shops to Eastleigh ECS. As can be seen from the unusual profile of the barrier coaches, they are a former Class 508 EMU converted to translator vehicles 64707 & 64664. This was running 38 minutes late, which was very good going, considering it left Doncaster 89 minutes late, and later on came to a stand for some time in the Bristol area due to a signalling failure.

158959 Heytesbury 16 July 2018

158959 passes Heytesbury on 16 July 2018 with the 1F26 15:23 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central GWR service. The previous service, an hour earlier, had also been one of the rapidly diminishing First Great Western blue units.

66199 & 66041 Heytesbury 16 July 2018

What a pity they weren't the other way round! Scruffy EWS liveried 66199 leads immaculate DB Cargo red 66041 past Heytesbury on 16 July 2018 with the 6V41 15:54 Eastleigh to Westbury departmental working. At least the sun just managed to stay out.

47749 & 47727 Ashchurch 14 July 2018

47749 City of Truro & 47727 Caisteal Dhun Eideann / Edinburgh Castle storm through a foggy Ashchurch station on 14 July 2018 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z84 05:35 Gloucester to Sunderland 'Tees and Wear Explorer' railtour. The debranded Colas livery of 47749 contrasts markedly with the Caledonian blue of 47727, and in view of the gloomy conditions, I'm glad that 47749 was leading. Such was the poor light that ISO 3200 was required for this picture.

43093 Froxfield 14 July 2018

43093 Old Oak Common HST Depot 1976 - 2018 passes Froxfield on 14 July 2018 with the 1A76 06:57 Plymouth to Paddington GWR service. This location is getting progressively more overgrown, Ten years ago it was still just possible to glimpse the Kennet & Avon Canal on the left, and in the 1980s there was hardly any lineside vegetation.

165111 Great Bedwyn 14 July 2018

165111 is just a few yards into its journey, as it pulls away from Bedwyn station on 14 July 2018 with the 1K45 09:41 Bedwyn to Paddington GWR service. Photo taken from a public footpath crossing which leads from Great Bedwyn village to the Kennet & Avon Canal.

43159 Crofton 14 July 2018

43159 passes Crofton Pumping Station on 14 July 2018 with the 1A77 07:50 Plymouth to Paddington GWR service. The pumping station contains the oldest working beam engine in the world, an 1812 Boulton and Watt engine, capable of lifting approximately one ton of water with each stroke, which it empties into the Kennet & Avon Canal, seen in the foreground of this picture.

73961 & 73963 Crofton 14 July 2018

Sasha, Alison & Janice! Two contrasting forms of transport are pictured at Crofton on 14 July 2018, as 73961 Alison & 73963 Janice pass the narrowboat Sasha on the Kennet & Avon Canal, as they head west with the UK Railtours 1Z40 07:30 Stevenage to Weymouth 'Sunny South Express' railtour.

59206 Crofton 14 July 2018

59206 John F. Yeoman Rail Pioneer runs alongside the Kennet & Avon Canal at Crofton on 14 July 2018 with the 6C31 09:22 Theale to Whatley Quarry Mendip Rail stone empties. This had left Theale 80 minutes late, but had halved that deficit by the time it passed me, and then gained further time by missing out its booked layover in Woodborough loop.

66137 Grove 12 July 2018

Very strange goings on at Grove on 12 July 2018. After waiting at a red signal in the distance for some time with the diverted 6M20 09:23 Whatley Quarry to St Pancras (Churchyard Sidings) stone train, 66137 started to move along the up relief line at Grove on 12 July 2018, just as 43002 Sir Kenneth Grange was approaching with the 1A79 06:47 Penzance to Paddington GWR service. Thinking that the 59 was just moving along to the end of the loop at Wantage Road, I was surprised to see the HST slowing down, and then being held at a red signal while the freight was let out in front of it! As the freight was already stopped in the loop, and this manoeuvre caused the HST to come to a stand, this seems to be a very bizarre operating practice.

43002 Grove 12 July 2018

43002 Sir Kenneth Grange very slowly passes Grove on 12 July 2018 with the 1A79 06:47 Penzance to Paddington GWR service, passing the ex National Power wagons of the 6M20 09:23 Whatley Quarry to St Pancras (Churchyard Sidings) stone train, led by 66137, which inexplicably was being let out of the relief line in front of the HST! The HST came to a stand a little further on, while the slow moving freight headed off towards Didcot. At this point both trains were doing about 40mph, so there was no way that I needed the 1/2000sec shutter speed that I had set the camera to, thinking that the HST would be overtaking the freight at speed as it passed me!

43172 Grove 12 July 2018

43172 Harry Patch - The last survivor of the trenches brings up the rear of the 1B28 11:45 Paddington to Swansea GWR service at Grove on 12 July 2018. This kind of picture is more difficult to get right than an approaching shot, especially when it is travelling at 125mph. After noting that 43172 was on the rear, I just kept firing at ten frames per second as the back of the train went by!

59005 Grove 12 July 2018

Not all Mendip Rail stone trains are massive. 59005 Kenneth J Painter passes Grove with a modest load on 12 July 2018, as it works the diverted 6A17 10:24 Whatley Quarry to Acton. Luckily the cloud that can be seen in the distance, stayed in the distance until all the trains that I wanted to photograph had passed!

165106 & 165113 Grove 12 July 2018

165106 & 165113 pass Grove on 12 July 2018 with the 3Z34 12:20 Reading Traincare Depot to Worcester Shrub Hill ECS. The bridge almost hidden amongst the catenary in the background is the recently reconstructed Hanney Bridge.

57605 Grove 12 July 2018

Following the failure of the previous evening's 1A40 21:45 Penzance to Paddington GWR sleeper with loss of air, the empty stock had to be worked to London on 12 July 2018 in order to work that evening's down train. As the Berks & Hants line was closed for engineering works, the train was diverted via Swindon. 57605 Totnes Castle is pictured passing Grove with the 5C99 10:01 Laira to Reading Traincare Depot ECS. Unfortunately the dark green livery does not photograph well in the midday summer sun, but this unusual working just had to be recorded!

59201 Grove 12 July 2018

59201 passes Grove on 12 July 2018 with the diverted 7C77 12:40 Acton to Merehead Quarry Mendip Rail stone empties. Prominent in the foreground are the dried flower heads of last year's Wild Teasel plants (Dipsacus fullonum), while in the hedgerow are Hedge Bindweed (Calystegia sepium) and Common Ragwort (Jacobaea vulgaris).

59003 Grove 12 July 2018

59003 Yeoman Highlander passes Grove on 12 July 2018 with the 6M40 11:56 Westbury to Stud Farm ballast empties. Although only mid July, the landscape has the parched appearance of mid August, due to the prolonged heatwave.

67023 Challow 11 July 2018

67023 Stella passes Challow on 11 July 2018 with the 1Z22 08:14 Tyseley to Bristol High Level Siding Network Rail test train. It would be back within the hour, after reversing at Didcot, this time with 67027 Charlotte leading.

59203 & 59103 Challow 11 July 2018

The previous day's late running of the diverted 7A09 06:27 Merehead Quarry to Acton Mendip Rail 'jumbo' stone train was bad enough at 202 minutes, but on 11 July 2018 that was increased to 237 minutes! 59203 & 59103 Village of Mells are pictured passing Challow unusually routed via the main line. The normal problem with photographing this train in the Swindon area is that the light is too head on, but the problem when it is nearly four hours late is that the sun has gone off the front!

59205 Challow 11 July 2018

59205 passes Challow on 11 July 2018 with the diverted 7A17 10:20 Merehead Quarry to Acton Mendip Rail stone train. This was running 22 minutes late, and was just four minutes behind the much later running 7A09 06:27 Merehead Quarry to Acton.

165101 & 165105 Challow 11 July 2018

With the splitting of the Turbo fleet between Reading and Bristol, the type has become relatively common visitors to the Great Western Mainline once again. They had not been generally seen since the aborted Oxford to Bristol passenger service of the late 1990s. 165101 & 165105 slowly approach a red signal at Challow on 11 July 2018, as they prepare for a brief stop on the down relief line, whilst working the 3Z34 12:20 Reading Traincare Depot to Worcester Shrub Hill ECS.

67027 Challow 11 July 2018

67027 Charlotte slowly traverses the down relief line at Challow on 11 July 2018 with the 1Z22 08:14 Tyseley to Bristol High Level Siding Network Rail test train. A little earlier it had passed by in the other direction, led by 67023 Stella.

43002 Challow 11 July 2018

43002 Sir Kenneth Grange passes Challow on 11 July 2018 with the 1L55 11:29 Swansea to Paddington GWR service. Although obviously severely disfigured since the installation of the overhead electfrication, this location still offers views in both directions, with various viewpoints available, merely by walking further up the field.

59003 Challow 11 July 2018

59003 Yeoman Highlander runs along the up relief line at Challow on 11 July 2018 with the 6M40 11:56 Westbury to Stud Farm ballast empties. GBRf obviously think their most powerful locomotive is needed on this train, as it has been on it continuously for a month.

66732 Challow 11 July 2018

66732 GBRF The First Decade 1999 - 2009 John Smith MD runs slowly along the down relief line at Challow on 11 July 2018 with the 6V32 10:48 Tilbury to Trostre Works steel empties. After a completely sunny morning, the cloud was now building up big time, but this was one of those lucky days when every train came during a sunny spell.

59004 Challow 11 July 2018

59004 Paul A Hammond passes Challow on 11 July 2018, running as the 0F59 11:30 Merehead Quarry to Theale light engine. This close up view clearly show the '30 Years' and 'Class 59' plaques, which were applied in 2016.

800025 & 800028 Challow 11 July 2018

800025 & 800028 pass Challow under an impressive sky on 11 July 2018 with the late running 1C16 13:30 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads GWR service. Hopefully this will soon be a historic picture, as eventually the unit's pantographs will actually be utilising the massively over budget overhead electfrication!

59204 Challow 11 July 2018

59204 passes Challow on 11 July 2018 with the diverted 7C77 12:40 Acton to Merehead Quarry Mendip Rail stone empties. Running 46 minutes late on an afternoon that was getting increasingly cloudy, but like everything else I photographed, passing in full sun! The sighting of this meant that I had seen half of the Class 59/2 sub-class at this location, in just over two hours.

60007 Challow 11 July 2018

60007 The Spirit of Tom Kendell passes Challow on 11 July 2018 with the 6B33 13:00 Theale to Robeston oil empties. The 'Switch on to Safety' logo was in connection with DB Schenker's safety campaign for their employees.

59103 Uffington 10 July 2018

Whenever the 7A09 06:27 Merehead Quarry to Acton Mendip Rail 'jumbo' stone train is diverted via Swindon, it always seems to run late. Such was the case on 10 July 2018, when 59103 Village of Mells was pictured passing Uffington running 202 minutes behind schedule!

59004 Compton Beauchamp 10 July 2018

The once excellent evening photographic location at Compton Beauchamp has been severely compromised by the Great Western Mainline electfrication programme. However, because there are only intermittent full width spans at this point, a picture is still possible, although a long lens is required because there is a mast in the foreground. The bridge itself has also been comprehensively vandalised by Network Rail, with the usual metal extensions, removal of the end coping stones, and crudely applied concrete filler as an anti-climb measure. 59004 Paul A Hammond catches the evening sun on 10 July 2018 with the diverted 7C64 15:26 Acton to Merehead Quarry Mendip Rail stone empties.

66728 Compton Beauchamp 10 July 2018

66728 Institution of Railway Operators passes Compton Beauchamp on 10 July 2018 with the 6Z83 15:21 Warminster MoD to Pengam, conveying a selection of army vehicles from a recent exercise on Salisbury Plain, The train would work forward the following day as the 6Z84 05:44 Pengam to Donnington, where the vehicles would go back into store.

43131 Compton Beauchamp 10 July 2018

43131 passes Compton Beauchamp in superb evening light on 10 July 2018 with the 1B76 18:14 Paddington to Swansea GWR service. Note the anti-climb addition to the signal, yet another over the top safety feature that wasn't even considered a few years ago!

59005 Compton Beauchamp 10 July 2018

After having a good long rest in the loop at Challow (an hour instead of the booked 23 minutes), 59005 Kenneth J Painter approaches Compton Beauchamp on 10 July 2018 with the 6C48 17:44 Appleford to Whatley Quarry Mendip Rail stone empties. A very long lens was required in order to avoid the encroaching shadows. This does tend to highlight the ugliness of the new catenary.

43185 South Marston 9 July 2018

The colourful InterCity livery of 43185 Great Western makes the dark green coaches behind it look even more depressing, as the mismatched ensemble passes South Marston on 9 July 2018 with the 1A09 05:29 Plymouth to Paddington GWR service. Unfortunately on its next working, the 1B25 10:45 Paddington to Swansea, the train came to a stand near Uffington with the fire bells in 43185 ringing. After an 80 minute delay, the train was terminated at Swindon. I was particularly pleased to see 43185 on this train, as just a minute earlier 43002 Sir Kenneth Grange had passed by in the other direction with the 1C06 08:33 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads. I didn't notice this until it was too late, and anyway the picture would have been far too backlit.

59204 South Marston 9 July 2018

Running nearly an hour late, 59204 passes South Marston on 9 July 2018 with the diverted 7A09 06:27 Merehead Quarry to Acton Mendip Rail 'jumbo' stone train. As it could only mange about a third of the speed of the following HSTs, it managed to severely hold up three of them, as it slowly plodded along the main line towards the loop at Challow.

43040 South Marston 9 July 2018

Observant passengers travelling behind 43040 Bristol St. Philip's Marsh on the 1A75 05:05 Penzance to Paddington GWR service, were in for a surprise shortly after this picture was taken at South Marston on 9 July 2018. Because the slow moving diverted 7A09 06:27 Merehead Quarry to Acton Mendip Rail 'jumbo' stone train was in front of it, the HST used the bi-directional signalling capability of the Great Western Mainline to overtake it, by using the crossovers at Bourton and Uffington.

43027 South Marston 9 July 2018

43027 passes South Marston on 9 July 2018 with the 1A11 09:30 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington GWR service. This concluded an hour's photography when I had seen all of GWR's one off liveried power cars, although unfortunately only two were on the correct end for photography!

55024 Chinnor 8 July 2018

55024 stands in the sunshine at Chinnor on 8 July 2018. The unit has been repainted by the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway to match the condition it was in when it visited the line in 1999, but this time with more seats and less sandite equipment! In the windscreen it is displaying its former departmental number (960010), as well as the slightly optimistic Paddington destination. Behind it is 55023, which I photographed in a similar position in 2013.

37227 Bledlow 8 July 2018

The heatwave of July 2018 caused several heritage railways to substitute diesel for steam, because of the fire risk. Superbly restored Railfreight Metals liveried 37227 was called in to action on the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway on 8 July 2018, and is seen here emerging from the trees at Bledlow with the 11:00 Chinnor to Thame Junction service.

37227 Bledlow 8 July 2018

37227 approaches the footpath crossing at Bledlow on 8 July 2018, as it returns to Chinnor from Thame Junction, whilst substituting for a steam locomotive during the prolonged heatwave. The Trainload Metals liveried loco arrived at the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway in early 2018, after spending many years at the Battlefield Line.

D8059 Thame Junction 8 July 2018

Passing evidence of a recent weedkiller application, D8059 approaches Thame Junction on 8 July 2018 with the 12:15 service from Chinnor. The Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway would seem an unlikely location for a third rail EMU, but the stock is in fact Class 411/9 3-CEP 1198.

D8059 Thame Junction 8 July 2018

D8059 hauls EMU Class 411/9 3-CEP 1198 away from Thame Junction on 8 July 2018, heading back to Chinnor with a steam substitute working. It is pictured between the Horsenden Lane level crossing, and the crossing on the Pitch Green to Saunderton bridleway. Because of the prolonged heatwave, the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway had taken the decision to suspend steam services because of the fire risk. This picture was taken at exactly 13:00, the worst possible time for photography in high summer. However, despite the very overhead lighting, I wasn't going to miss a picture of a Class 20 running bonnet first hauling a vintage EMU!

165031 Charlton-on-Otmoor 7 July 2018

165031 passes Charlton-on-Otmoor on 7 July 2018 with the 1Y02 06:43 Oxford Parkway to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. This had started from Oxford Parkway, rather than Oxford station, because there was a total two week long blockade in the Oxford area for extensive engineering works. Islip church, over two miles distant, can be seen in the background.

168109 Charlton-on-Otmoor 7 July 2018

168109 passes underneath the new private road bridge that gives access to Holts Farm, near Charlton-on-Otmoor on 7 July 2018. It is working the 1Y06 07:44 Oxford Parkway to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. This would normally be the 07:36 departure from Oxford, but all trains were starting at Parkway due to a two week shutdown of the lines in the Oxford area for extensive engineering and resignalling work.

168326 & 168112 Oddington 7 July 2018

168326 & 168112 pass Oddington on 7 July 2018 with the 1Y10 08:47 Oxford Parkway to Marylebone Chiltern Railways service. A small lake has just been constructed in the former field on the right, which explains the excavator and dumper truck.

168325 & 172101 Islip 7 July 2018

A Class 168/172 combination at Islip on 7 July 2018. Clearly showing the two different versions of Chiltern Railway's livery, 168325 & 172101 slow down for the Islip station stop with the 1Y12 09:15 Oxford Parkway to Marylebone service. The footbridge in the background is a replacement for the former Mill Lane level crossing.

67024 Norton 7 July 2018

67024 brings up the rear of the Belmond Pullman 1Z96 16:35 Worcester Shrub Hill to Victoria VSOE charter at Norton on 7 July 2018. There was no possibility of a decent picture of the lead locomotive, 67021, due to a combination of severe backlighting and intrusive shadows. This had actually left five minutes early, and was consequently coming to a stop at the next signal, to allow the 1Z50 16:00 Moreton-in-Marsh to Great Malvern GWR service to come off the Cotswold Line.

165136 Norton 7 July 2018

One of the very last Class 165s to retain First Great Western's blue livery, 165136 passes Norton on 7 July 2018 with the 1Z50 16:00 Moreton-in-Marsh to Great Malvern GWR service. All of the three car 165s had been repainted into GWR's sombre green livery by early 2018, and the two cars units were quickly following them into drabness, with just a handful of blue ones left by early summer. Cotswold Line trains were only working as far south as Moreton-in-Marsh on this occasion, due to extensive engineering works taking place at Oxford. Just visible in the background is 67024, which was held at signals with the Belmond Pullman 1Z96 16:35 Worcester Shrub Hill to Victoria VSOE charter, which was running a little early.

37601 Norton 7 July 2018

37601 Perseus passes Norton on 7 July 2018 with the 5Q95 15:59 Long Marston to Northampton EMD, conveying EMU 350264, which had received body corrosion repairs. In the event this would only travel another couple of miles, as the loco failed at Worcester. 37884 collected it the following day, and the pair then completed the journey. I was exceedingly lucky to get this in the sun, as not only was it cloudy in the background, but it was much the same just behind me. A very fortunate small gap had opened up in the large black cloud that I felt sure was going to ruin the picture.

165101 Norton 7 July 2018

As a couple of large horse boxes vie for supremacy on the M5 motorway in the background, 165101 passes Norton on 7 July 2018 with the 1Z54 17:00 Moreton-in-Marsh to Great Malvern GWR service. The Cotswold Line was closed south of Moreton-in-Marsh, as extensive engineering works was taking place at Oxford. A two week shutdown would see extensive track alterations and replacement of he 1970s signalling equipment. Network Rail, who ought to know better, claim that Oxford's signalling dates from the 1960s, when it fact it dates from 7 October 1973!

43956 Edington 6 July 2018

43056 The Royal British Legion passes Edington on 6 July 2018 with the 1A72 05:53 Plymouth to Paddington GWR service. It is passing some lineside bushes that are living on borrowed time, as just past the occupation bridge in the background, track workers were getting ready to carry out some more lineside clearance. Near this location is the reputed site of the Battle of Edington, where Alfred the Great defeated Guthrum in 878.

59002 Edington 6 July 2018

Running ten minutes early, 59002 Alan J Day passes Edington on 6 July 2018 with the 7A09 07:16 Merehead Quarry to Action Mendip Rail 'jumbo' stone train. Considering this is early July, when the landscape is still normally predominately green, this picture has got a very brown appearance. This is partly due to the parched nature of the ground due to the prolonged heatwave, but principally because the lineside has been blitzed, and the cut vegetation shredded on site.

43130 Edington 6 July 2018

43130 passes Edington on 6 July 2018 with the 1A77 05:41 Penzance to Paddington GWR service. This location has recently been cleared of vegetation, opening up the view considerably. The goods shed of the former Edington & Bratton station is now in use as part of an industrial estate.

66034 Edington 6 July 2018

66034 passes the site of Edington & Bratton station on 6 July 2018 with the 6M20 10:37 Whatley Quarry to St Pancras (Churchyard Sidings) stone train. Just a few weeks earlier this view would have been totally impossible, as the tree on the left, which is now just a stump, was overhanging the line.

165129 Broughton Gifford 6 July 2018

The Melksham line has received a DMU upgrade, with Turbo units displaced from the Thames Valley taking over from Class 153s. 165129 passes Broughton Gifford on 6 July 2018 with the 2M09 12:49 Swindon to Frome GWR service.

66098 Bremell Sidings (site of) 6 July 2018

66098 passes the oil depot at the site of Bremell Sidings on 6 July 2018 with the 6B50 14:50 Swindon to Llanwern Exchange Sidings steel empties. Not only is the diverted, but it also running several hours earlier than its original booked path.

66724 Bremell Sidings (site of) 6 July 2018

66724 Drax Power Station passes Bremell Sidings oil depot (no longer rail connected) on 6 July 2018 with the 6Z44 11:03 Crawley New Yard to Cardiff Tidal stone empties. This was bring diverted via the Golden Valley route due to the closure of the Severn Tunnel for engineering works.

43009 Bremell Sidings (site of) 6 July 2018

43009 passes the site of Bremell Sidings on 6 July 2018 with the 1G47 15:36 Paddington to Cheltenham Spa GWR service, which on this occasion was terminated at Gloucester, allegedly due to a points failure. Although not too apparent due to the lineside foliage reflecting in the coach sides, this is a real mixed rake. Both power cards are blue, but the coaches are: green, blue, green, blue, blue, green and blue!

66011 Bremell Sidings (site of) 6 July 2018

Running 35 minutes late, but thankfully just before a rouge cloud blotted out the sun, 66011 passes the former rail served Bremell Sidings oil depot on 6 July 2018 with the diverted 6B35 14:21 Acton to Moreton-on-Lugg stone empties.

43197 Finstock 5 July 2018

43197 approaches Finstock on 5 July 2018 with the 1W31 15:22 Paddington to Great Malvern GWR service. Extensive lineside clearance has recently been completed here, although only near the track, leaving the bushes and trees at the top of the cutting untouched. For this reason perhaps it was fortunate that the sun disappeared just before this train was due. Although the shadows were not completely covering the line, had the sun been out there would have been a large area of blackness on the right of the picture!

43070 Fawler 3 July 2018

43070 The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers crosses the River Evenlode at Fawler on 3 July 2018 with the 1P07 04:47 Hereford to Paddington GWR service. The Cotswold Line crosses the River Evenlode fifteen times. This total would have been higher, had not the river been diverted in several places to avoid crossing and re-crossing the stream within a few yards.

66518 & 66563 Kemble 3 July 2018

66518 & 66563 pass through Kemble station on 3 July 2018 with the diverted 4O57 13:29 Wentloog to Southampton Maritime freightliner. The curved former Cirencester branch bay platform can be seen behind the lead locomotive, with the Great Western Railway station master's house in the background.

43062 Kemble 3 July 2018

43062 John Armitt speeds through Kemble station on 3 July 2018 with the 1Q15 06:39 Derby RTC to Landore Network Rail Measurement Train. This was running 20 minutes late, as it was pathed behind, instead of in front of, the diverted 4O57 13:29 Wentloog to Southampton Maritime freightliner.

800308 Oaksey 3 July 2018

Brand new 800308 passes the site of Oaksey Halt on 3 July 2018 with the 5Z30 14:17 North Pole IEP Depot to Swindon (via Gloucester) crew training run. After reversal at Gloucester, it would return an hour and a half later.

43014 Oaksey 3 July 2018

43014 The Railway Observer passes Oaksey on 3 July 2018 with the 1Q15 06:39 Derby RTC to Landore Network Rail Measurement Train. 43062 John Armitt is on the rear. The train had just reversed at Swindon. Note the slight variation in colour between the two power cars and the coaches. 

800308 Oaksey 3 July 2018

After reversing at Gloucester, 800308 passes Oaksey for the second time on 3 July 2018 with the 5Z30 14:17 North Pole IEP Depot to Swindon crew training run. Apart from the awful livery, these new trains look quite stylish. Unfortunately however, they are not as comfortable to travel in compared to a HST, mainly due to the very basic hard seats.

150249 Oaksey 3 July 2018

150249 approaches Oaksey on 3 July 2018 with the late running 2G89 17:54 Swindon to Cheltenham Spa GWR service. As this is such a short train, I decided on a wider view, an angle that obviously wouldn't really work with a longer train.

43138 Oaksey 3 July 2018

Still at work on the Western, even though it should have been on its way to Scotland! Debranded 43138 passes Oaksey on 3 July 2018 with the diverted 1L88 16:22 Swansea to Paddington GWR service. I wondered why the planned move of a couple of HST sets, with power cars 43035, 43138, 43151 & 43182 from Laira to Bristol, and then to Ely, hadn't actually happened. It seems the vintage locos are still needed in the south (at least temporarily) after all!

43150 Cassington 2 July 2018

43150 passes Cassington on 2 July 2018 with the 1P07 04:47 Hereford to Paddington GWR service. Only five minutes late here (which GWR regard as on time), but inevitably things got worse, and it arrived in London 18 minutes behind time.

800036 Stonesfield 2 July 2018

800036 heads down the Cotswold Line near Stonesfield on 2 July 2018 with the 1P14 07:10 Moreton-in-Marsh to Paddington GWR service. This train has seen three different forms of motive power within as many months. It started 2018 as a Class 165 working, was then upgraded to a HST service, and has now been downgraded again to a Class 800 DMU.

165130 Stonesfield 2 July 2018

Differing shades of green on the Cotswold Line. 165130 runs along the Evenlode Valley near Stonesfield on 2 July 2018 with the 2E92 06:53 Worcester Foregate Street to Didcot Parkway GWR service. This is the line's only up 'all stations' stopper.

59001 Great Bedwyn 2 July 2018

59001 Yeoman Endeavour passes Great Bedwyn on 2 July 2018 with the 6C76 14:39 Acton to Whatley Quarry Mendip Rail stone empties. The extremely weather beaten buffer stop in the foreground has presumably not been replaced, as the DMUs that use the reversing siding do not come anywhere near it, as indicated by the two and three car stop boards in the background.

165102 Great Bedwyn 2 July 2018

165102 sits in the reversing siding at Great Bedwyn on 2 July 2018 with the 5K65 16:31 Bedwyn to Bedwyn ECS. It had arrived a little earlier as the 1K18 15:06 Paddington to Bedwyn GWR service, and would soon be making the short trip back to the station to form the 2K65 16:45 Bedwyn to Reading.

59004 Great Bedwyn 2 July 2018

59004 Paul A Hammond passes Great Bedwyn on 2 July 2018 with the 7C64 15:26 Acton to Merehead Quarry Mendip Rail stone empties. Note the prominent '30 Years' and 'Class 59' plaques on the cabside. Will the Class 59s be around in another 30 years?

43028 Great Bedwyn 2 July 2018

43028 passes Great Bedwyn on 2 July 2018 with the 1C89 16:33 Paddington to Exeter St Davids GWR service. 165111 waits in the siding with the 5K29 17:28 Bedwyn to Bedwyn ECS. Bedwyn station is just our of sight, behind the two trains.

43196 Great Bedwyn 2 July 2018

43196 passes Great Bedwyn on 2 July 2018 with the 1C92 18:03 Paddington to Penzance GWR service. This was almost blocked out by 59005 Kenneth J Painter coming the other way with the 6L21 13:23 Whatley Quarry to Dagenham Dock Mendip Rail stone train, running over three hours late.

59005 Great Bedwyn 2 July 2018

Dust storm approaching! 59005 Kenneth J Painter is pictured near Great Bedwyn on 2 July 2018 with the 6L21 13:23 Whatley Quarry to Dagenham Dock Mendip Rail stone train, running a staggering 198 minutes late. Because of this it was terminated at Acton Yard. This was the third Class 59/0 that I had photographed on this afternoon, meaning I had seen 60% of the sub-class.

43030 Great Bedwyn 2 July 2018

43030 Christian Lewis Trust passes Great Bedwyn in crisp evening light on 2 July 2018 with the 1J93 18:07 Paddington to Frome GWR service. This was still accelerating away from Bedwyn station, being one of the few HSTs to call there.

66080 Cashes Green 30 June 2018

The Cotswold Hills were once extensively quarried for their stone, with all the towns and villages being built from the honey coloured oolitic limestone. However, unlike the Mendips, there has never been any serious rail borne stone traffic in the area. This therefore is something a little different, a stone train in the Stroud Valley, although admittedly only empties. 66080 passes Cashes Green on 30 June 2018 with the diverted 6B35 11:00 Southall to Margam stone empties.

66732 Cashes Green 30 June 2018

66732 GBRF The First Decade 1999 - 2009 John Smith MD passes Cashes Green on 30 June 2018 with the diverted 6V32 10:10 Tilbury to Trostre Works steel empties. The train's normal route via the Severn Tunnel was closed for engineering works, so the train was re-routed via Gloucester. This section of line through the Stroud Valley does not normally see a lot of freight traffic.

168324 & 168327 Wolvercote Tunnel 30 June 2018

Signalling problems between Oxford Parkway and Oxford caused lengthy delays on 30 June 2018. As the equipment is virtually brand new, Network Rail can't use their usual excuse about obsolete technology or lack of investment! 168324 & 168327 approach Wolvercote Tunnel with the 1T47 16:35 Marylebone to Oxford Chiltern Railways service. This was running 28 minutes late, after having sat at Oxford Parkway station for 28 minutes!

43136 Wolvercote 30 June 2018

43136 passes a pile of track panels next to the reinstated (for the second time in a couple of years!) down relief line at Wolvercote on 30 June 2018. It is working the 1W07 17:22 Paddington to Worcester Foregate Street GWR service. This was not really a very successful evening for northbound Cotswold Line trains, with both the previous 1W06 16:22, and later 1W08 18:22 departures from Paddington cancelled!

57313 Wolvercote 30 June 2018

57313 passes Wolvercote on 30 June 2018 with the 1Z21 17:35 Bristol Temple Meads to Manchester Victoria Northern Belle luxury charter. 57314 is bringing up the rear. At least West Coast Rail's sludge brown livery doesn't look quite so bad in the crisp evening light, and it does almost match the coaches!

800001 South Marston 29 June 2018

800001 passes South Marston on 29 June 2018 with the 5Z19 10:03 North Pole IEP Depot to Highbridge Loop crew training run. In the event it only travelled another three miles, and then returned from whence it came as the 5Z21 11:55 Swindon to North Pole IEP Depot.

800001 South Marston 29 June 2018

I certainly didn't expect to see this! Less than half an hour after it passed South Marston on 29 June 2018 with the 5Z19 10:03 North Pole IEP Depot to Highbridge Loop crew training run, 800001 was back again, clearly having gone nowhere near Highbridge! It had reversed at Swindon, and was now running as the 5Z21 11:55 Swindon to North Pole IEP Depot.

D1944 South Marston 29 June 2018

D1944 (47501) Craftsman passes South Marston on 29 June 2018 with the 5Z23 07:35 Crewe Holding Sidings to Bristol Barton Hill ECS, conveying Mk2 coach 3330. Ideally I would have liked to have photographed this in the Oxford area, but the lighting would have been very head on, compounded by the fact that it was running over an hour early. I therefore opted for this Great Western Mainline location. It was held in Hinksey Yard, and was only a few minutes early when it passed me. The five wind turbines of the Westmill Wind Farm can just be seen on the horizon.

43160 Ascott-under-Wychwood 29 June 2018

43160 Sir Moir Lockhead OBE passes Ascott-under-Wychwood on 29 June 2018 with the late running 1W02 17:22 Paddington to Hereford GWR service. I had noticed the 'tramlines' in the wheat field, and thought that the two diverging tracks, and the single tree in the distance would make an interesting composition.

800305 Ascott-under-Wychwood 29 June 2018

The new order on the Cotswold Line. 800305 passes Ascott-under-Wychwood with the 1W36 17:52 Paddington to Worcester Shrub Hill GWR service on 29 June 2018. Whether five underfloor engines is an improvement over the HST's engine at either end is open to question!

43034 Ascott-under-Wychwood 29 June 2018

43034 TravelWatch SouthWest is pictured near Ascott-under-Wychwood on the glorious evening of 29 June 2018, as it heads up the Cotswold Line with the 1W03 18:22 Paddington to Hereford GWR service. This location is between Ascott-under-Wychwood and Shipton stations, close to where the Oxfordshire Way long distance footpath crosses the line.