Southern Steam

30585 Ludborough 19 April 2014

Beattie Well Tank 2-4-0WT 30585 stands in the loco yard at Ludborough, on the Lincolnshire Wolds Railway on 19 April 2014, prior to working trains during the line's Easter Steam Gala. The 140 year old loco was visiting from the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, and was the star attraction at the gala. The 0298 Class were built by the London & South Western Railway for London suburban passenger services. Superceded by more powerful locos in the 1890s, all but three of the original 85 locos had been withdrawn by the end of the nineteenth century. Remarkably these three soldiered on working trains on the Wenford Bridge line in Cornwall until 1962!

777 Llandudno Junction 11 August 1991

N15 4-6-0 777 Sir Lamiel arrives at Llandudno Junction on 11 August 1991 with the BR InterCity 11:55 Crewe to Holyhead 'North Wales Coast Express'. This train on several weekends throughout the summer of 1991. The Conwy Valley line can be seen diverging to the right.

30777 Knighton 11 October 2008

N15 4-6-0 30777 Sir Lamiel passes Knighton (between Didcot and Swindon) with the Steam Dreams 1Z82 09:10 Waterloo to Gloucester 'Cathedrals Express' railtour on 11 October 2008. The train is just about to pass the site of Knighton Crossing signal box, which was intermediate between Uffington and Ashbury Crossing (Shrivenham). The former level crossing at Knighton was abolished in the late 1960s and replaced by a road underbridge, which is just to the left of the picture.

30453 Bletchingdon 23 April 2010

Definitely not very good photographic lighting, and a picture that has required a humungous amount of Photoshop manipulation to salvage an image from a 'soot and whitewash' no-hoper. However, I wanted a picture taken from this spot at Bletchingdon, before the long closed Shipton-on-Cherwell cement works in the background finally succumbs to the bulldozers. N15 4-6-0 30777 Sir Lamiel (disguised as 30453 King Arthur) heads north with the Steam Dreams 1Z97 08:45 Victoria to Stratford-upon-Avon 'Cathedrals Express' railtour on 23 April 2010.

30453 Great Bourton 23 April 2010

Putting out a serious amount of thick black smoke, N15 4-6-0 30777 Sir Lamiel (masquerading as 30453 King Arthur) passes Great Bourton on 23 April 2010 with the Steam Dreams 1Z99 18:10 Stratford-upon-Avon to Clapham Junction 'Cathedrals Express' railtour. Unfortunately the light had all but faded out just a few minutes before the train was due.

828 Andover 15 May 1994

S15 Class 4-6-0 828 is watched by an appreciative group of locals as well as the inevitable railway photographers as it leaves Andover station on 15 May 1994. It was working a Waterloo to Salisbury charter, outward via Andover and returning via Southampton. There is still plenty of trackwork at Andover, although judging from the colour of the rails on the right a lot of it sees very little use. The lines on the left are still in use, serving the Army depot at Ludgershall.

828 Crewkerne 8 October 1994

S15 4-6-0 828 passes through Crewkerne station on 8 October 1994 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z62 07:10 Wolverhampton to Exeter St Davids 'Exe-Parrett' railtour. The steam loco took over the tour at Bristol Temple Meads, working a circular route via Westbury and Yeovil and then back via Taunton. Personally I don't believe this tour is an 'Exe-Parrett', I think it just pining for the fjords!

925 Dixton 25 May 2013

Schools Class 4-4-0 925 Cheltenham pulls away from Gotherington, and passes Dixton on 25 May 2013 with the 10:25 Cheltenham Racecourse (appropriately!) to Laverton service, during the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's 'Cotswold Steam Celebration' event. This was definitely not the shot I had in mind, but a rapidly advancing cloud from behind me was about to meet up with the train, so the picture had to be taken much earlier than planned. I left it as long as possible, but note the shadow in the foreground.

925 Hailes 26 May 2013

Schools Class 4-4-0 925 Cheltenham passes underneath the road bridge at Hailes, as it works the 11:00 Cheltenham Racecourse to Laverton service on 26 May 2013, during the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's 'Cotswold Steam Celebration' event. Not much exhaust on what is probably the warmest day of the year so far!

31625 & D6593 Culham 22 November 1997

Just after dawn on 22 November 1997, U Class 2-6-0 31625 & Class 33 D6593 approach Culham with the 'Pines Express' Guildford to Crewe railtour. Normally pictures taken in these kind of conditions are not worth showing, but I think the result here is very atmospheric. With a little colour in the sky, mist rolling across the fields and the rising sun just highlighting the sides of the coaches and the steam locomotive's smoke deflectors, it makes an interesting picture, and of course with Didcot Power Station in the background, there is no mistaking the location!

31625 & D6593 Banbury 22 November 1997

U Class 2-6-0 31625 & Class 33 D6593 storm away from the Banbury water stop on 22 November 1997 with the 'Pines Express' Guildford to Crewe railtour - the first ever combination of a preserved steam and diesel locomotive working a train on the national network.

31806 North Street 18 May 2014

A different Mid Hants Railway perspective on 18 May 2014. U Class 2-6-0 31806 is glimpsed through the trees at North Street, as it works the early morning Ropley to Alton ECS, in readiness for the day's services. I wanted to show the signal, bridge and gate, with the loco as a minor part of the picture. I'm not entirely sure about the result, but know it will definitely be too arty for some!

W2 Havenstreet 29 May 2013

London, Brighton & South Coast Railway E1 Class 0-6-0T W2 Yarmouth stands in the yard at Havenstreet, on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway on 29 May 2013. Built at Brighton Works in 1877 as 110 Burgundy, the loco remained in service until 1927. It was then sold by the Southern Railway for industrial use, and was eventually acquired for preservation, gained its new number and name once it had arrived in the Isle of Wight in 2011.

32473 Horsted Keynes 20 January 2007

London Brighton & South Coast Railway 0-6-2T 32473 drifts into Horsted Keynes station on 20 January 2007 with the 13:55 Kingscote to Sheffield Park service. Unbelievably this was my first visit to the railway since 1972 when I was at school in the area! Of course in those days trains only ran to the south of here from Horsted Keynes to Sheffield Park

662 Didbrook 24 May 2009

One of the star exhibits at the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's 25th anniversary 'Cotswold Festival of Steam' was A1X 0-6-0T 662, which is seen here working the 09:00 Toddington to Cheltenham Racecourse brakevan special past Didbrook on 24 May 2009. It then spent the day at Cheltenham giving brake van rides. The diminutive locomotive is dwarfed by the Southern Railway 'Queen Mary' brake van. Although from the same railway company it does look that the little loco was deliberately paired with the biggest brake van available just for contrast!

34016 Bishopton 8 September 2001

West Country Class 4-6-2 34016 Bodmin passes Bishopton (near Stratford-upon-Avon) with the Daylight Railtours 1Z97 16:35 Stratford-upon-Avon to Alton 'Classical Connection' railtour on 8 September 2001. The tour had traveled to Stratford in the morning via High Wycombe, but would return via Oxford. Pity about the chocolate and cream Pullman coach spoiling the otherwise perfect Southern Railway train!

34027 Bremell Sidings 29 November 1991

The driver of the white van inside the oil depot a Bremell Sidings gets a surprise on 29 November 1991, as West Country Class 4-6-2 34027 Taw Valley passes by with the Flying Scotsman Services Paddington to Hereford 'West Mercian' railtour. The tour had been worked by a diesel from London to Swindon.

34027 Stoford 21 June 1992

West Country Class 4-6-2 34027 Taw Valley heads west at Stoford (near Yeovil) with the Flying Scotsman Services Waterloo to Exeter 'Atlantic Coast Express' railtour on 21 June 1992. There is no mistaking the loco is on home ground with that concrete PW hut (a product of Exmouth Junction Concrete Works) in the foreground.

34027 Chilson 29 August 1993

West Country 4-6-2 34027 Taw Valley passes Chilson with the Didcot to Worcester 'Cotswold Venturer' railtour on 29 August 1993. A warm summer day is hardly conducive to good steam photography, and although Taw Valley is working hard there is virtually no trace of exhaust.  Unfortunately this Cotswold Line location is now virtually useless for photography, as the bushes have grown considerably since this picture was taken. This is a pity as it was a very useful location for northbound trains as the line runs south west here for a few miles resulting in ideal lighting during the middle of the day.

34027 Wickwar Tunnel 29 August 1993

West Country 4-6-2 34027 Taw Valley emerges from Wickwar Tunnel on 29 August 1993 with the Worcester Shrub Hill to Bristol Temple Meads 'Cotswold Venturer' railtour. The people on the footbridge must surely have had their picture ruined by the encroaching evening shadows.

34027 St Athan 6 April 1996

On a very misty 6 April 1996, West Country Class 4-6-2 34027 Taw Valley passes St Athan with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z63 06:28 Crewe to Swansea 'Tawe Taw Tourer' (easier to type than to say!) railtour, which the steam loco had taken over at Bristol Temple Meads. Initially I was with all the other photographers on the bridge in the background, but I decided to venture down the field to a footpath crossing so as to be at a lower level and hopefully not get the exhaust covering the train. A good plan, as the picture taken by those on the bridge was nothing like as good!

34027 Burton Salmon 14 August 1998

The late afternoon shadows are creeping across the tracks, as West Country Class 4-6-2 34027 Taw Valley passes Burton Salmon on 14 August 1998 with the 16:31 York to St Albans 'Yorkshire Belle' railtour. Taw Valley would work the train as far as Toton.

34046 Ardley 13 April 2014

Rebuilt West Country Class 4-6-2 34046 Braunton runs along the Chiltern Mainline at Ardley on Sunday 13 April 2014 with the Steam Dreams 1Z44 10:50 Paddington to Stratford-upon-Avon 'Cathedrals Express' railtour. A very difficult train to photograph (at least south of Leamington Spa) due to the extreme backlighting. However, with the blackthorn out in flower, and the exhaust lifting clear of the train, it makes quite a nice picture. I'm not sure why there are so many people on the high bridge in the background, as the view there is very restricted from this side of the line.

34046 Bourton 23 April 2014

Rebuilt West Country Class 4-6-2 34046 Braunton passes Bourton on 23 April 2014 with the Steam Dreams 1Z43 07:30 Andover to Stratford-upon-Avon 'Cathedrals Express'. An obvious choice of destination for this midweek steam special, as 23 April is not only St George's Day, but also the birthday of William Shakespeare.

34046 Sapperton 17 May 2014

Rebuilt West Country Class 4-6-2 34046 Braunton makes light work of the 1 in 60 Sapperton Bank on 17 May 2014 with the Railway Touring Company 1Z37 09:34 Gloucester to Worcester Shrub Hill (via Swindon and Oxford) 'Welsh Borders' railtour. Unfortunately, although the loco is working hard, the warm morning ensures there is barely a trace of exhaust visible.

34046 Finstock 17 May 2014

Rebuilt West Country Class 4-6-2 34046 Braunton storms through the hawthorn lined cutting on the approach to Finstock station, on the Cotswold Line, on 17 May 2014. It is working the Railway Touring Company 1Z37 09:34 Gloucester to Worcester Shrub Hill (via Swindon and Oxford) 'Welsh Borders' railtour.

34046 Baulking 30 June 2014

Rebuilt West Country Class 4-6-2 34046 Braunton and its support coach pass Baulking on 30 June 2014, running as the 5Z30 10:20 Southall Loco Services Ltd to Bristol Barton Hill. Note the correct light engine headcode disc.

34046 South Marston 15 July 2016

Rebuilt West Country Class 4-6-2 34046 Braunton (running as 34052 Lord Dowding) passes South Marston on 15 July 2016 with the Steam Dreams 1Z36 17:36 Bristol Temple Meads to Victoria 'Cathedrals Express' railtour. Admittedly it was an exceedingly dull evening, but I was still surprised to be the only photographer at this location. Obviously this location is not liked by Swindon area steam photographers, as I was also the only person present the last time I was here for a steam tour!

34046 Kings Sutton 22 April 2017

With just 40 minutes to go before sunset, West Country Class 4-6-2 34046 Braunton (masquerading as 34052 Lord Dowding) approaches Kings Sutton at speed on 22 April 2017 with the Steam Dreams 1Z36 18:22 Stratford-upon-Avon to Langley 'Cathedrals Express' railtour.

34051 York National Railway Museum 10 November 1996

Battle of Britain Class 4-6-2 34051 Winston Churchill in the National Railway Museum at York on 10 November 1996. This is the only steam locomotive that I can really remember seeing on the mainline during in the 1960s. I was taken by my father to watch Sir Winson Churchill's funeral train pass through Oxford on 30 January 1965. Being only a young child at the time, I was more interested in playing in the stream by the side of the line near Walton Well Road, rather than watching the trains! I do however remember the 'Spam Can' thundering past, just a few feet from our vantage point. All the vehicles used in the funeral train survive in preservation, albeit in different locations.

34053 Bewdley 2 September 2017

The only way to successfully photograph steam locos running tender first is to go for a broadside shot, preferably framing the picture with something. So here is the Severn Valley Railway's Battle of Britain Class 4-6-2 34053 Sir Keith Park pulling away from Bewdley on 2 September 2017 with the 10:50 Bridgnorth to Kidderminster service, framed by a GPSS (Government Pipelines and Storage System) pipeline marker.

34053 Foley Park Tunnel 2 September 2017

Battle of Britain Class 4-6-2 34053 Sir Keith Park emerges from Foley Park Tunnel on 2 September 2017 with the 12:30 Kidderminster to Bridgnorth service. 34053 was withdrawn by BR in October 1965, and then languished at Barry scrapyard, and then various other sites, including next to the Great Western Mainline at Thingley Junction, before restoration of the sad looking hulk finally commenced in the new Millennium. The loco entered service on the Severn Valley Railway in August 2012.

34067 Moreton-in-Marsh 24 July 2004

Battle of Britain Class 4-6-2 34067 Tangmere pulls slowly into Moreton-in-Marsh station on 24 July 2004 with the VSOE 1Z83 18:25 Worcester Shrub Hill to Victoria luxury excursion. The Orient Express is guaranteed to bring out the local population, and that is certainly the case here.

34067 Crofton 8 October 2009

Battle of Britain Class 4-6-2 34067 Tangmere runs alongside the Kennet & Avon Canal on the approach to Crofton with the Steam Dreams 1Z84 08:45 Victoria to Bristol Temple Meads 'Cathedrals Express' railtour on 8 October 2009. Although I suppose it could have been worse, this is definitely not the result I was expecting, with the smoke blowing down over the coaches.

34067 Didcot 10 December 2009

Does the exhaust of Battle of Britain Class 4-6-2 34067 Tangmere always blow down and partly obscure the train? It certainly seems so, as this is the second time this year I have suffered this problem with this loco. It is seem here pulling out of Didcot Parkway station on 10 December 2009 with the Steam Dreams 1Z82 09:40 Victoria to Oxford 'Cathedrals Express' railtour. Just two months previously I had seen it near Crofton on another 'Cathedrals Express' (surely the most over used steam railtour name), with similar errant exhaust.

34067 Whitehill 9 March 2013

Despite the awful weather, Battle of Britain Class 4-6-2 34067 Tangmere makes a fine sight as it passes Whitehill (between Combe and Finstock) on 9 March 2013 with the Railway Touring Company 1Z71 08:30 Euston to Worcester Shrub Hill 'Cotswold Venturer' railtour. I had chosen this location specifically because it can only be used in cloudy conditions such as this, due to the angle of the line. Also, what little wind there was would not blow the exhaust down over the train, which seems to be a common problem with this locomotive.

34067 Culham 26 September 2015

Battle of Britain Class 4-6-2 34067 Tangmere approaches Culham on 26 September 2015 with the Railway Touring Company 1Z25 07:05 Paddington to Worcester Shrub Hill 'Cotswold Venturer' railtour. The disused Didcot Power Station dominates the background. The light coloured part of the main building is the former coal bunker, and when this picture was taken had less than an hour left, being blown up as part of the station's decommissioning.

34067 Chilson 26 September 2015

A Southern Railway visitor to the Cotswold Line. Battle of Britain Class 4-6-2 34067 Tangmere approaches Chilson under a cloudless sky on 26 September 2015 with the Railway Touring Company 1Z25 07:05 Paddington to Worcester Shrub Hill 'Cotswold Venturer' railtour.

34081 Castor 19 March 2000

Battle of Britain Class 4-6-2 34081 92 Squadron approaches Castor on 19 Match 2000, en-route from Peterborough to Wansford, maintaining a steam presence during the Nene Valley Railway's Diesel Gala. It's obviously been a very long time since the telegraph pole served any useful function!

34092 Kings Sutton 12 June 1988

West Country Class 4-6-2 34092 City of Wells passes Kings Sutton on 12 June 1988 with the Stratford-upon-Avon to Marylebone 'Shakespeare Limited' railtour. Possibly not the best choice of location, with the lengthening evening shadows, but it would certainly be a lot worse now, as those bushes on the left have grown considerably!

34105 Toddington 17 October 1993

West Country Class 4-6-2 34105 Swanage is being prepared for duty at Toddington on 17 October 1993, prior to taking part in the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's Gala Weekend. In 2009 the loco doesn't look quite this good, and is out of use on the Mid Hants Railway requiring some major work.

34105 Hailes 17 October 1993

West Country Class 4-6-2 34105 Swanage passes Hailes on 17 October 1993 with the 11:45 Toddington to Gretton service. The visiting Bulleid pacific was one of the visiting star locos of the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's Steam Gala.

34105 Hailes 17 October 1993

With most heritage railways not having turntables, steam photography on these lines is limited to 50% of what can be achieved during diesel galas, due to tender or bunker first running. However, occasionally photographic opportunities do arise. I spotted this disc roller in a field next to the line at Hailes, during the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's Steam Gala on 17 October 1993. It makes an ideal foreground for West Country Class 4-6-2 34105 Swanage, as it makes its way back to Toddington from Gretton.

34105 Winchcombe 17 October 1993

West Country Class 4-6-2 34105 Swanage makes a spirited departure from Winchcombe station on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway with the 14:45 Toddington to Gretton service on 17 October 1993. This was during the railway's Gala Weekend. You may have seen this photo before looking slightly different. It was published in Railway Magazine, but unfortunately they managed to print it in reverse! So here it is for the first time the correct way round.

35006 Winchcombe 31 May 2016

Viewed from the cab of Class 117 DMU DMBS 51363, Merchant Navy Class 4-6-2 35006 Peninsular & Oriental S. N. Co. pulls into Winchcombe station on 31 May 2016 with the 10:55 Cheltenham Racecourse to Toddington service. The Bulleid pacific had only just entered service on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, after a protracted restoration.

35028 Swanley 30 May 1998

Complete with 'Golden Arrow' headboard and fluttering British and French flags, Merchant Navy Class 4-6-2 35028 Clan Line approaches Swanley on 30 May 1998 with a Victoria to Broadstairs VSOE luxury excursion.

35028 Woodborough 15 March 2000

A fortunate early finish at work on Wednesday 15 March 2000 resulted in me heading down to the Berks & Hants line to see the VSOE special returning from Bath to Victoria. Merchant Navy Class 4-6-2 35028 Clan Line was working the tour from Westbury, and the assembled photographers were praying that the tour was on time and would reach us before the light went. Fortunately for once the train was on time, resulting in this superb glint shot as the train passed Woodborough loops.

35028 Hinksey 21 April 2007

Merchant Navy Class 4-6-2 35028 Clan Line passes Hinksey Yard, near Oxford with the 1Z83 17:31 Oxford to Victoria VSOE special on 21 April 2007. Luckily the tour was ten minutes late leaving Oxford, as at the correct time the 4L44 Cowley to Purfleet car train was running round in the yard, and the blue covered car transporter wagons on the second line in from the left in this picture extended all the way to the signal in the background, effectively ruining the shot. To the relief of the photographers present on the bridge, the last wagon had just passed under us as the train came into view!

35028 Hinksey 14 May 2011

Under threatening skies, Merchant Navy Class 4-6-2 35028 Clan Line passes Hinksey Yard, near Oxford with the 1Z87 17:51 Oxford to Victoria VSOE special on 14 May 2011. For the second time in two days I found myself being the only photographer taking a photo of a steam special, something that would have been unthinkable a few years ago (unless you had walked miles from the nearest road). I had thought the previous day's occurrence was a fluke, but despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that this is from the Oxford by-pass, I expected someone else to turn up. Neither is there anyone on the new road bridge in the background of this picture, although I suspect, unlike its predecessor this bridge is probably photographer unfriendly!

35028 Newnham Tunnel 20 August 2012

Running ten minutes late, and therefore holding up the following 1V07 10:11 Nottingham to Cardiff CrossCountry service, Merchant Navy Class 4-6-2 35028 Clan Line emerges from Newnham Tunnel on 20 August 2012 with the Steam Dreams 1Z74 08:45 Victoria to Cardiff Central (via Gloucester) 'Cathedrals Express' railtour.