Tuesday, 7 November 2017

British Rail Shunter Class 08909 at Rugby 1988

Once a common sight pottering around Rugby station, Class 08909 diesel shunter, built between 1952 and 1962, in BR blue livery, similar in design to its sister Class 09, is seen parked up in one of the station's bay platforms at the eastern end in November 1988.

The condition of Rugby station roof is a sad testament to how derelict the station canopy had become before its refurbishment that was to come years later.

Class 08909 survived until 2011 when it was sent to C.F. Booth's for scrapping on the 10th August of that year.

A total of 996 examples of the Class 08 diesel were produced for British Railways.

EWS Locomotives Class 66086 and 66237 on Didcot Sidings

On my first ever trip to Didcot railway station in Oxfordshire, in 2004, I was fortunate to capture an image of these two EWS Class 66's stabled on the station's sidings - 66086 and 66237.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Monday, 18 September 2017

Class 67017 Arrow Diesel Locomotive at Leamington Spa

Photo of EWS Locomotive 'Arrow' standing in Leamington Spa railway station whilst hauling a Chiltern Railways passenger train.  These Class 67 locomotives were eventually replaced by the newer Class 68.

Class67017, seen here in EWS livery, hauling a Chiltern Railways train, was photographed at Leamington Spa station.

A number of diesel locomotives are giving nicknames by railway enthusiasts, one such example was the once popular, Class 50 locomotives known as "Hoovers", and the Class 67 is no exception; though I wasn't aware of this when I took the photo. 

It was much later that someone on a platform somewhere informed me that they were called 'skips'. I couldn't imagine why they were given that particular name until someone suggested that I imagine the locomotive upside down.

The old saying, “what's in a name”, certainly rang true in this instance.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Class 67s 'Royal Sovereign' and 'Diamond Jubilee' Locos Northampton

During the reconstruction of Northampton's railway station in 2014, I decided to take a trip there in June to see how things were progressing and if there was any traffic coming through that would be worth photographing.  

As it turned out it was well worth the time and energy consumed that afternoon.

In addition to the usual Class 350 EMU's, a number of Class 66's and Freightliner Class 70017, I was lucky to photograph a couple of Class 67 diesel locomotives; Royal Train locomotive Class 67006 'Royal Sovereign', and, Class 67026 'Diamond Jubilee', coupled together and running light.

A good 'cop' for me and a pleasant afternoon's spotting.

Royal Train Class 67006 Diesel Locomotive 'Royal Sovereign' Stands In Northampton Railway Station
Royal Train Loco Class 67006
Charles Moorhen

By Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen Plaque on the side of Class 67 locomotive 'Royal Sovereign'
'By Appointment' Plaque on 'Royal Sovereign' Side Panel
Charles Moorhen

Class 67026 Diesel Locomotive 'Diamond Jubilee' Stands in Northampton Railway Station
Class 67026 'Diamond Jubilee' Locomotive
Charles Moorhen

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Class 09018 D4106 Shunter Lives On at Bluebell Railway

Black and White Photo of Class 09018 Diesel Shunter Locomotive Stands On Sidings Close To Dover Marine Station in the 1990's
Class 09018 Shunter at Dover              Photo: Charles Moorhen

Diesel Electric Shunter Locomotive 0-6-0 Class 09018 - original number D4106 - one of a class of 26, photographed as the sun is about to set on sidings close to Dover Marine Station (now a cruise liner terminal).  

Little shunters such as this, a variant of the Class 08, were built between 1959 and 1962 at the British Railways' Darlington Works.

The locomotive above was used for general shunting duties in the Dover area during the years of Channel Tunnel Construction.

The angle of the photograph is a bit odd as I had to get between the 09 and another train which was directly behind me, thereby severely restricting how I used the camera. Nowadays, Health and Safety would have had a fit if they'd seen me getting this photograph.

Unlike many ex-British Railways locomotives, 09018 escaped the fate of the scrapyard cutting torch.  

After a number of years it was eventually purchased by the Harry Needle Railroad Company who, in 2012, sold it to the Bluebell Railway in Sussex where it now resides working on the heritage railway.

D4106 (09018) on sidings at the Bluebell Railway

Friday, 30 June 2017

Messerschmitt ME 109 Bullet Marks in Truro Station Footbridge

German Luftwaffe Messerschmitt ME 109 Bullet Marks in bridge panel of Truro railway station footbridge

                        Bullet indentations on exterior footbridge panel (Ringed in red)      Photo: Charles Moorhen

At around 7:30 on the evening of Thursday the 6th August 1942, Truro railway station, Cornwall, came under attack from a lone German Luftwaffe Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighter aircraft - better known as the Messerschmitt ME 109.

The physical results of this terrifying incident can still be seen in one of the east-facing side panels of the platform footbridge spanning the tracks where two bullets slammed against the bridge metal; one almost penetrating it.

Bullet indentations on interior of footbridge panel   Photo: Charles Moorhen

Truro Railway Station footbridge across platforms 1 and 2 containing World War Two German bullet marks

                              Bullet marks on panel just above platform roof gutter      

At the time of the attack the mail train from Penzance to London was standing in the station, and it is widely believed that it was the presence of the train which momentarily distracted the attention of the German pilot away from his main target - the city of Truro itself.

As the ME 109 flew on towards Truro, to join the raid which killed 14 people and resulted in the injury of another 100, it left behind two fatalities and a number of wounded.

Messerschmitt ME 109

Those who died were railway worker, Mr. P. Williams, 52, and postman, Mr. E. Pentecost, 41.


While on the subject of Cornish railways and WW2, it is worth noting that many children were evacuated by train to Cornwall at some point during the years of hostilities.

Here are two examples:

On Friday the 1st September 1939, 544 evacuee children and their teachers arrived at St. Austell station, Cornwall, on the 6:30 from Paddington, London, on Evacuation Train No.103.
On the 3rd September 1939 a train with the identification number 116 painted across the front of the engine boiler brought 230 children and mothers to Truro station from Acton, London, to be billetted in Truro and the surrounding area.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Class 450 108 Electric Multiple Unit At Brookwood Station

South West Trains Class 450 108 EMU stands in Brookwood railway station, Surrey, before continuing on to Waterloo station
Class 450 108 at Brookwood      Photo: Charles Moorhen

South West Trains Class 450 108 third-rail electric multiple unit, is seen at Brookwood station operating a stopping service to London Waterloo on the afternoon of Sunday the 29th June 2014.

Although it was a Sunday I saw a fair amount of EMU activity on the line - but no freight.  

It was my first trip to Brookwood station, although I passed through it many times as a boy in the 1950's behind a variety of steam locomotives on my way to Basingstoke.  

Apart from the absence of smoke-stained Southern Railway green paint, not to mention equally smoke-stained railway staff, it seemed as though it had hardly changed a bit.

Brookwood station features elsewhere on this blog under the title, Brookwood Cemetery Station and the London Necropolis Funeral Railway.  
The blog post makes for interesting reading if you are partial to a bit of unique railway history.

Variety of Trains at Basingstoke, 2013 Video - Includes Class 450 Footage

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Class 172 344 DEMU Train at Leamington Spa Station

Night Photo of London Midland Trains Class 172 344 DMU parked up for the night in a bay platform at Leamington Spa railway station in 2016
Class 172 344 Leamington Spa       Photo: Charles Moorhen

London Midland Trains Class 172 344 DEMU parked up for the night at bay platform 1, Leamington Spa station, on the 23rd August 2016.

An ideal warm summer's night for train photography.

Class 153 366 Diesel Multiple Unit Bletchley Sidings 2015

Photo of London Midland City Train Class 153 366 DMU stands on Bletchley station sidings in 2015
Class 153 366 DMU, Bletchley          Photo: Charles Moorhen

London Midland Trains one-car Class 153 366 diesel multiple unit photographed on the carriage sidings at Bletchley in 2015.

It was hit and miss as to whether I would be able to get this shot at all.  The sun had almost set when I spotted the dmu as I drove past the sidings.  Added to that I needed to weave between trees while stumbling through a mass of undergrowth strewn with brambles.

Although not my best railway photo by a long chalk, I did at least manage a half decent record of Class 153 366 which I hadn't seen before.

The rail franchise run by London Midland Trains has, from the 10th December 2017, been taken over by West Midlands Trains part-owned owned by Abellio.

Other Class 153 DMU Photos: 
 London Midland Class 153 364 DMU Night Photo at Bedford

Monday, 26 June 2017

GWR Class 153 370 DEMU Super Sprinter at Truro

Photo of Great Western Railway Class 153 370 DMU Super Sprinter enters Truro railway station, Cornwall, 2017
Class 153 370 DEMU              Photo: Charles Moorhen

Class 153 370 Super Sprinter DEMU, based on a Leyland bus chassis, in GWR green livery, enters Truro railway station, Cornwall, operating a late afternoon service in mid-June 2017.

A 'grab-shot' that very nearly didn't happen!

Other Class 153 DMU's:
Class 153 366 DMU at Bletchley 2015
London Midland Class 153 364 DMU Night Photo at Bedford

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Eurostar Trains At Ashford International 2013

Black and white photo of Eurostar Train 3001 at Ashford International Station in 2013
Eurostar Train 3001             Photo: Charles Moorhen

Close up black and white photo of Eurostar train 3230 at Ashford International Station in 2013
Eurostar Train 3230                Photo: Charles Moorhen

Two Eurostar trains, 3001 and 3230, pause at Ashford International Station before proceeding east to the Channel on the afternoon of the 9th June 2013.

For full list of 'Along These Tracks' posts, please see 'Railway Blog Previous Posts' at top of right-hand column.

Friday, 23 June 2017

HNRail Class 20311 Pauses at Banbury Station 11/4/17 - Plus Loco DMEU Video

Night Photo of HN Rail Class 20311 Diesel Locomotive standing at Banbury railway station while on a service delivering new London Underground rolling stock
Photo: Charles Moorhen

HNRail Class 20311 locomotive, at the rear of a train delivering new London Underground rolling stock, pauses a while at Banbury on the evening of the 11th April 2017.  

Other locomotives used in the train were Class 20107, 20096 and 20314.

The train to the far right of the picture is Chiltern Railways DEMU Class 165 015 about to leave with a service to Marylebone station, London.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Three Class 45 'Peak' Locomotives at Whitemoor Yard 1980's

Evening photo of three Class 45 'Peak' diesel locomotives on Whitemoor Yard sidings in the 1980's awaiting disposal
Photo: Charles Moorhen

Three unidentified 'Peak' diesel locomotives, in the twilight of their lives, stabled on sidings at Whitemoor Yard, March, Cambridgeshire, in the late 1980's.

For full list of 'Along These Tracks' posts, please see 'Railway Blog Previous Posts' at top of right-hand column.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Unidentified Class 47 at Oxford Station

An unidentified Class 47 diesel locomotive in Network South East livery enters Oxford railway station in the late 1980's
Photo: Charles Moorhen

Unidentified Class 47 diesel locomotive, in Network South East livery, passes through Oxford station in the late 1980's.

For full list of 'Along These Tracks' posts, please see Railway Blog Previous Posts in right-hand column at edge of page.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Class 33 Locomotive Cab Front at Night

Night Photo of the cab front of a Crompton Class 33 locomotive on sidings at Basingstoke station
Photo: Charles Moorhen

Cab front of an unidentified Class 33 diesel locomotive stabled for the night on a siding at Basingstoke station in the late 1980's.

The Class 33 stands close to where one of Basingstoke's signal boxes once stood.

As a young boy I was lucky enough, with a friend of mine, to be able to visit the signal box in question and watch for a while the steam-hauled trains going back and forth.  It was a treat that I will never forget.

For full list of 'Along These Tracks' posts, please see 'Railway Blog Previous Posts' at top of right-hand column.

Friday, 12 May 2017

'Cross Country Trains' Class 220 006 DEMU at Truro

Class 220 DEMU Trains

'Cross Country Trains' Class 220 006 stands in Truro railway station, Cornwall, in the dying rays of the sun.
220 006 DEMU Stands in Truro station   Photo: Charles Moorhen

Photo of a 'Cross Country Trains' Class 220 006 DMU passes old GWR signal box on entering Truro station
220 006 DEMU Approaches Truro station   Photo: Charles Moorhen

'Cross Country Trains', Class 220 006 diesel multiple unit, pauses at Truro railway station while operating the 20:18 service to Penzance, Cornwall, on Wednesday the 10th May 2017.

The signal box in the background dates back to the days of the old Great Western Railway.

For full list of 'Along These Tracks' posts, please see 'Railway Blog Previous Posts' at top of right-hand column.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

London Midland Class 153 364 DEMU at Bedford

Class 153 DEMU Trains

Night photo of London Midland City Train Class 153 364 DMU standing in a bay platform at Bedford railway station in 2015
Class 153 364       Photo: Charles Moorhen

This London Midland 'city' DEMU, Class 153 364, was lucky to make it onto my camera's memory card on one particular visit to Bedford railwaystation in 2015.

On that particular day I had been photographing a small variety of trains when, during a quiet spell just as the evening was beginning to draw in, Class 153 364 slid into the station following a run from Bletchley.

I hadn't seen an example of this class of diesel multiple unit up until then and I was eager to photograph it. However, there was a problem that immediately raised its head. I had no tripod with me, which I really could have done with for a longer than usual exposure time.

Looking around for something stable on which to place the camera, it quickly became apparent that nothing was usable within the area that would make the picture work. So, if I wanted to record the image, there was nothing for it but to hold the camera in the usual way and hope for the best.

Setting the camera to a four second exposure I planted my feet shoulder width apart, tucked my elbows into my sides, framed the shot, held my breath, pressed the shutter button...and prayed that I would not cough, sneeze or feel the need to scratch my nose.

After what felt like four minutes, rather than four seconds, the shutter clicked closed and my breath came out in one loud whoomph!

Tentatively I looked at the rear screen, dreading that the whole exercise had been a complete waste of time.

However, my anxiety turned to delight when I saw, apart from a little softness to the picture that, in the end, all things considered, things had worked out quite well in the end.

Though I would not want to repeat the same process too many times.

Other 'London Midland Trains' blog posts you may wish to see:

Class 350 250 EMU at Wolverton Station 

Other Class 153 DEMU's:
Class 153 366 DEMU at Bletchley 2015
GWR Class 153 370 Super Sprinter DEMU Entering Truro

For full list of 'Along These Tracks' posts, please see Railway Blog Previous Posts in right-hand column at edge of page.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Railway Track Machines 73919 and DR73925 at Ely

Railway Track Machines

Colas Rail Track machine 73919 and Plasser & Theurer Track machine, DR73925 'Europa' photographed on a siding at Ely railway station, Cambridgeshire, on the 22nd of June 2014.

Night photo of Colas Rail track machine 73919 on sidings at Ely railway station
Colas Rail 73919      Photo: Charles Moorhen

Photo of railway track machine DR73925 'Europa' on sidings at Ely railway station
DR73925 'Europa'     Photo: Charles Moorhen

For full list of 'Along These Tracks' posts, please see Railway Blog Previous Posts in right-hand column at edge of page.

Don't forget to subscribe to the 'Along These Tracks' railway blog.

You may also wish to visit my other blog, 'Pen To Paper', which contains interesting posts on a wide variety of subjects.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Class 66013 and 66502 Locomotives at Rugby 2016

Class 66 Locomotives at Night

Night Photo of EWS liveried Class 66013 stops at Rugby station during a rain shower in 2016
EWS Class 66013       Photo: Charles Moorhen

Photographing a Class 66 diesel locomotive, or any other class for that matter, alongside a platform at Rugby railway station at night has, since the glory days of loco-hauled passenger trains of the 1980's/90's, has always been out of reach for me.

At least that was the position prior to the 25th August 2016 when everything changed.

I was visiting Rugby station on that day photographing the station buildings on a windy, rainy night.

At one point during the evening I was sheltering beneath the platform canopy waiting while a shower of rain to pass by before venturing out into the open once more.

Glancing towards the southern end of the platform I saw Class 66013 diesel locomotive coming slowly into the station, stopping about 25 yards from where I was standing; my camera on its tripod stood close by and ready for action.

As I jotted down the number I noticed someone jump from the cab and walk towards one of the nearby station buildings.  Was it the driver?

I didn't wait to find out.  Grabbing camera and tripod I ran as fast as was safely possible towards the EWS liveried locomotive.  At the instant the tripod feet settled on the platform surface I saw a man - the driver or new driver? - leaving the same building.  Would I have time to grab a shot?

Knowing I would need around twenty seconds exposure for a photograph I framed, focused as fast as I could, prayed, and hit the shutter button.

The seconds crawled by and I willed them to move quicker towards the magic 20 seconds.  I was certain that Class 66013 would begin to move before the time was up.

Finally exposure time was up and the shutter closed with a satisfying click.  I'd done it!

But this was not the end of capturing a diesel locomotive on my camera that night.

Night photo of Freightliner diesel locomotive Class 66502 standing in Rugby railway station in 2016
Freightliner Locomotive Class 66502         Photo: Charles Moorhen

A short while later, after photographing Virgin Trains Class 390 128, I was amazed to be going through the whole nerve-shredding process again.  I could hardly believe my luck.

The second time the diesel locomotive in question was Freightliner liveried Class 66502 'Basford Hall Centenary 2001'.

As I headed home that night, damp and happy, a random thought kept running through my mind - 'photograph one, get one free!'.

Other Class 66 locomotive blog posts you may wish to see:
Class 66136 Through Northampton To Form Silk Road Train

EWS Class 66005 Locomotive at Wellingborough

Class 66761 Locomotive Named In Ceremony at Wensleydale Railway

Freightliner Diesel Locomotive 66528 Named After 86 Year-Old Veteran Railway Campaigner Madge Elliot MBE

For full list of 'Along These Tracks' posts, please see Railway Blog Previous Posts in right-hand column at edge of page.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Class 20's Delivering New London Underground Stock

Night Photo of Class 20314 diesel locomotive in HN Rail livery pauses at Banbury railway station while operating a London Underground rolling stock service
HNRail Class 20314, Banbury            Photo: Charles Moorhen
Class 20 Diesel Locomotives at Night, Banbury

Night photo of Class 20107 and 20096 diesel locomotives in British Rail livery heading a London Underground rolling stock train at Banbury 2017
Class 20107 and Class 20096 heading London Underground rolling stock, Banbury     Photo: Charles Moorhen

London Underground Train Takes The Night Air

Late evening, on the 11th April 2017, a Derby to London train of new London Underground rolling stock paused for around forty-five minutes at Banbury railway station.

Motive power for the train were four classic Class 20 diesel locomotives.  Heading the train were Class 20107, built in December 1961, and Class 20096 built in October 1961, both in BR standard livery.

At the rear of the train, in Harry Needle Railroad Company livery, were Class 20314, built in February 1962, and Class 20311, built in December 1961.

Night photograph of HNRail Class 20311 pauses at Banbury station whilst transporting new London Underground coaching stock.
Class 20311 standing next to Chiltern Railways DMU 165 015, Banbury         Photo: Charles Moorhen     

The new London Underground stock, sandwiched between the four ageing diesel locomotives, built by Bombardier in Derby, have air-conditioning, more space, improved accessibility and better customer information systems.

The trains have an increased passenger capacity of up to 25%, compared with their predecessors, while providing enhanced comfort.

For full list of 'Along These Tracks' posts, please see Railway Blog Previous Posts in right-hand column at edge of page.

You may also wish to visit my other blog, 'Pen To Paper', which contains interesting posts on a wide variety of subjects.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Class 222015 DEMU Train Approaching Wellingborough Station

Class 222 DEMU Trains

Photo of East Midland Trains Class 222 015 DMU enters Wellingborough railway station during a service to Sheffield
Class 222015 DEMU Entering Wellingborough Station           Photo: Charles Moorhen

In the summer of 2014 I visited Wellingborough railway station on the Midland Mainline to photograph the Grade II listed former Midland Railway goods shed situated at the 'London' end of platform one; something I had been meaning to do for a number of years.

Although the weather was slightly overcast I did manage to record enough images of the old building to make the trip worthwhile. (The results can be seen in a 'Along These Tracks' blog post by clicking here).

In addition to photographing this surprisingly well-preserved example of railway architecture, I also fired off a few frames of DEMU's, locomotives and Intercity 125 Class 43's that came and went throughout my time at the station.

Noting that the available light was deteriorating as the day wore on, I reluctantly made the decision to pack up and go home.
However, as quickly as I had made that decision I reversed it.

I was at the furthest point I could be at the southern end of platform one when the sound of a diesel engine attracted my attention. The noise came from an approaching East Midlands Trains Class 222 DEMU.

It was obvious from its speed that it was a stopping service, but, even so, the distance between train and station was shortening rapidly.

Would it be worthwhile going for the shot I thought as I instinctively grabbed the camera from its bag? Class 222015 - one of a fleet of 27 trains sets - was by now making an impressive attempt at completely filling the frame by this time.

Acutely aware that the dmu was bearing down on me, I hastily checked the exposure, framed the shot, hit the shutter button – all in one panicky movement - and prayed as I was aware a second later of the air turbulence as 222015 swept by me.
Had I been too late? Would this shot become yet another victim of my camera delete button?

Fortunately, this time, there was no need for the dreaded delete button. As I examined the picture on the rear screen I saw that I had captured the only decent image of a train that day!

Other Class 222 DEMU blog posts:

Class 317 327 EMU at Northampton 1980's

Class 317 327 Stands In Northampton Station Class 317 327 EMU, in Network South East livery, stands at Northampton's Platform 2 i...