I must confess from the outset that I haven't taken as many photographs of electrically hauled trains as I perhaps should. It may be something to do with the lack of an exhaust sound, the fact that it is sometimes difficult to find locations where the catenary is not too obtrusive or just that they don't interest me quite as much as diesels. I haven't taken any pictures of slam door units in their final months, but do have quite a collection taken in the 1980s and 1990s in Hampshire and Kent. Towards the end of the classes 86 and 87 I did make some effort to get a final record, but looking at my transparancies and a few digital images, it is all too clear that that I took most of them from the station car park at Berkswell! This is only a 25 minute drive from my home and is thus the nearest electrified line. There will be quite a few shots from this location and I hope that the variety will make up for the somewhat tedious repetition. The truth is, I really couldn't be bothered to go further afield to the popular locations further south, which by all accounts, tended to become rather circus-like on sunny days. This really isn't my cup of tea, and as I'm relatively happy with the shots I took in earlier years, I didn't join the clowns... The line between Birmingham and Wolverhampton was one of my haunts in the late 1980s and I did enjoy my sessions along the stretch of line adjacent to the Birmingham Level canal around Dudley Port. The current electrical scene is one I don't see very often these days, but I must admit to finding the Virgin Pendolini quite stylish and, in the right conditions, will happily take the occasional shot of one. Once again, I have found that the quality of some early shots is not as high as one would wish but hope once more that the archival interest will outweigh the technical shortcomings.



After a dull start, the weather on Tuesday 14 April 2009 looked as if might brighten up after lunch so I had a trip across to the Birmingham to Coventry line. There is virtually no freight along here these days but there are plenty of passenger trains about and it is good to keep one's collection of these up to date. First to appear by the occupation bridge at Wootton Green, near Balsall Common, in a patch of half sun was Desiro 350121 on a local train to Coventry. These are one of the very few trains upon which I have travelled and, in my opinion, and very comfortable and fast and give a much better ride than some units, such as Voyagers, designed for long distance travel.
One of Virgin West Coast's Pendolinos is currently out of service following a shunting accident and a locomotive hauled substitute set is operating a few Birmingham New Street to Euston trains. The subject of this picture is 1B50, the 14.00 to Euston being driven from DVT 82101, still in the remnants of its Virgin colour scheme, and propelled by 90036 wearing the livery of its former owner, EWS. I don't get especially fired up by any electric traction, probably as a result of developing my interest in railways miles away from any electrified lines, but I do quite like the contrast of the various different paint jobs carried by this train, including 4 Cargo-D Mk3s, as it passed Wootton Green, near Balsall Common, on 14 April 2009.
At the beginning of 2007, the class 442 Wessex units are destined for storage. They have lived pretty much out of the limelight for most of their 19 years in front line service but now, of course, every turn of a wheel is reported. These were possibly the most comfortable trains in which I have travelled; I was a regular passenger on the 09.20 Basingstoke to Waterloo between 1987 and 1991 and almost exclusively chose a 442 over the following class 50-hauled service because of the superior acceleration, much more comfortable seats and air conditioning. Here is a pair of anonymous units passing Winchfield with a Waterloo to Weymouth train, not long after the units' introduction, on 17 May 1988.
I imagine that over the past few weeks a lot of photographs of class 442s has been taken from this bridge near Worting Junction, Basingstoke. This was the scene on 19 May 1988 as a pair of units raced off Battledown flyover and on towards Basingstoke. I consider that the original livery suited these trains much better than the later and more garish versions, and always preferred to see the panels covering the connectors in place as it gave a much sleeker and more streamlined appearance.
This was one of my favourite spots around Basingstoke for up trains in the mornings. There was usually quite a variety of traffic, with 33s and 50s on passenger trains from Exeter and Salisbury, a class 47 on a freightliner, a 56 on a stone train to Woking and of course a selection of EMUs. Here is a pair of class 442s on the 09.20 departure for Waterloo passing a triplet of 2 car units and some other EMUs in Barton Mill carriage sidings.
Moving down to Eastleigh, this picture shows a single 5 car Wessex units making its booked stop in the station as a sister unit departs into the distance. 33106 is about to pass through on the Waterloo to Bournemouth vans and representatives of class 08, class 37 and 47 can just be glimpsed in the background. Unit 5419 from the South Eastern division is also waiting to come through the station - this went round the curve to the works where it was destined for some attention.
Another picture from Eastleigh, this time from the bridge on the west side of the station, shows a pair of class 442s leaving the platform road while 33109 smokes away as it waits for the the unidentified class 47 to clear the road before it can enter the yard.
The class 442 Wessex units were introduced in 1988 and brought unprecedented levels of comfort and speed to the LSWR. The ride was exceptionally smooth on the well-maintained tracks and, with their traction motors recycled from REPs, had excellent acceleration. Here are units 2420+2417 approaching the Woking stop on 23 February 1990 while a 4VEP on the up slow is overtaken. I didn't like to see these otherwise stylish units without their coupling covers; it really spoiled the sleek lines. The lamp posts intended to illuminate the sidings had only just been painted NSE red and do not exactly help the ambience of the scene.
This photograph from Clapham Junction shows 5708 on a Waterloo to Dorking working on 24 August 1985. This was my first visit to this station since 1963 when I spent a two week holiday with an Aunt and Uncle in London. My cousin was a dedicated enthusiast and it was his influence that launched me into the world of train spotting. The main difference between 1985 and 2005 is the enormously colourful scene of the modern railway. The only splash of colour in 1985 was an Intercity-liveried class 73 on Victoria to Gatwick trains. This will appear below.
Here is another of the same class, but this time on an ECS working from Waterloo. I've included this picture largely because of the incongruity of the mock Tudor half-timbered pub in the background. Is is still there, I wonder?
Class 73s have been a feature of the scene at Clapham Junction for many years and indeed still appear on rare occasions in late 2005. Here is a plain blue 73125 on the circuit on 24 August 1985 with a mis-matching Intercity rake of coaches approaching Clapham Junction from Victoria.
Another blue 73, this time 73113, is seen here at Clapham Junction shunting a rake of stock. I recall the locomotive using it's diesel engine for this move. The signal box must have been a frantically busy place in which to work, and the structure of it is of great interest. The framework across the roof dates from World War II when armoured plating was placed across it for protection from enemy action. The weight of the plating was later found to have caused the structure to sag, and it was therefore removed.
Moving into Victoria station itself, here is 73102 newly repainted and named Airtourre Suisse. I seem to recall that this was the first of the class to carry the brighter colours and the whole train certainly stood out well compared to those in the corporate blue & grey.
Sticking with class 73s, but off their usual area, the next 2 photographs show members of the class on railtour duties. This picture shows 73002+33116 in Harbury Cutting, near Leamington Spa on 11 October 1987 with a 1Z47 0900 Waterloo to Kidderminster charter. As you can see, this was a sunny morning and a colour shot would have been rather nice given the rarity of the working. Unfortunately, the cable release supposedly operating my OM1 failed at the crucial moment.
This shot shows an even rarer combination of 73108_73109+60004 on Pathfinder's "Weaving Weasel" railtour, 1Z42 Sheffield to Eastleigh on 26 February 2000. The colourful train is seen in Moreton Cutting shortly after leaving Didcot.
This picture of 73101+73134 was taken on the evening of 2 August 1991 from the playing field at Winklebury, in the western outskirts of Basingstoke. I'm not entirely sure of the train's identity as I've mislaid the WTT from that period but I think it ran from Southampton to somewhere in the London area.
About one mile to the west of Winklebury, shown above, is the well-known location of Battledown where the Southampton and Exeter lines diverge. I was a bit surprised to have spent the afternoon of 31 December 1990 on my own here as most of the Exeter and Salisbury trains were class 33 hauled as the usual class 50s were mostly unavailable. This colourful train was an unexpected bonus. 73005 was pictured dragging a failed class 205 3H unit to Eastleigh for repair.
This picture was also taken at Basingstoke, but this time from the Reading Road bridge on the east of the station. It shows 73136+73114 on the second day of the 1988 summer timetable, 17 May, leaving the statiion with a Southampton to Waterloo train. Out of the 24 class 442s ordered, only 5 had been delivered so interim arrangements had to be made and these included the use of pairs of 73s on Bournemouth and Southampton services with a variety of stock. Note that the 4TC behind the locos has had a buffet car inserted to provide refreshment facilities. 645
Another shot from the Reading Road bridge at Basingstoke shows 73112 striking a spark with a morning Waterloo service formed of TC sets 8018+8028. I had earlier seen a couple of units spark on the same spot but was especially pleased to get a 73 doing the same. The slide from which this image is taken appears to be a Fuji duplicate, which may go some way to explain the slight colour cast. I think the original is on file with a magazine, never to be seen again.
The second station to the east of Basingstoke is Winchfield and the station area here offers the chance for decent photographs with a recognisable background. This picture, taken from the down platform on 1 May 1990 shows 73205 and 83301 (formerly 33115) with a test train formed from a TC unit. The train was testing bogies fitted to the class 33, which were proposed for channel tunnel work. This was the first day of testing and several runs were made between Basingstoke and Woking. Incidentally, doesn't the InterCity colour scheme look good on the Crompton?
Moving to West Coast Main Line, this is a picture of 86261 heading south near Weedon on 28 December 1984. I had been to visit some family in the area but clearly found the attraction of a sunny morning by the railway better than Cluedo or Monopoly!
Another trip to Weedon on 6 April 1985 found me chatting to a permanent way gang and being invited to join them in a location not exactly available to the general public. This picture shows 85007 on an up express. The identity of trains on this line has been a bit of problem since the abolition of headcodes.
Moving to Crewe, here is a picture of 85011 standing in the main up platform with a Liverpool to Euston train on 4 June 1986. I quite like photographing electric locos in stations as it is somewhat easier to get around the problem of intrusive catenary supports.
Another Liverpool to Euston express is seen here at Stafford on 14 June 1985. This train would have travelled via the Independent Lines at Crewe as the main lines through the station were not available because of the major remodelling work being carried out at that time. The locomotive is 81019 with a class 86 in the background and a class 310 unit in the platform adjacent to the 81.
This picture was taken on 15 June 1985 and shows 85030 arriving at Stafford with an up Travelling Post Office train. In retrospect, the corporate blue and grey livery was a bit on the dull side and it is strange now that locomotives and stock carrying these colours are eagerly sought out.
This is a close-up of the train shown above after another van was shunted into the consist. The shunting was a bit over-enthusiastic as the locked buffers show. It took quite a long time for this to be resolved and the train left some 40 minutes late.
A final shot at Stafford on 14 June 1985 depicts 87019 carrying its fairly new Intercity livery. There were more locomotives than matching rakes of stock at this time so it was quite usual to see scenes like this around this time.
Moving further south to Bescot station, here is 85034 running through the platforms on 23 June 1986 with a freight from the Wolverhampton direction. The type of vans forming the train and the fact that there are 2 barriers indicate that this is 7G80 1425 Basford Hall SSM-Bescot Down NY - vans from Radway Green, conveying explosive materials for the MOD. Thanks to Mike Hollick for the train ID.
Staying in the West Midlands, this picture shows another class 85, 85028 on 1G32 Euston to Wolverhampton on 30 September 1989. The location is the canal junction near Dudley Port, an area which I regularly visited at the time as it offered plenty of trains and a good variety of shots. The locomotive has clearly had a minor collision which was not considered to be worth repairing bearing in mind that the class was not long for this world. 645
Here is another photograph at Dudley Port, this time of 86407 on another Euston to Wolverhampton on 14 January 1989. The bridge on which I am standing runs over the branch of the Wolverhampton canal going to Kingswinford. I remember being surprised to see a very large common carp swimming around in the clear water, especially as it was a very cold day when I would expected the fish to have been holed-up somewhere secure. 645
The final photograph in this location shows 90005 in original condition on 30 September 1989 with the 1G34 14.40 Euston to Wolverhampton. 645
Another of my favourite shots for up trains from Wolverhampton was the platform at Tipton station. This one was taken on 23 November 1988 and shows 86414 on a Manchester to Birmingham service. I had started this day's photography at Water Orton, but it was quite foggy so I thought that a move to the other side of Birmingham might give a better chance of some sun. 645
I had a bit of soft spot for the class 304 "Dinosaur" units used around Birmingham. This picture shows 304001 approaching Tipton station on the morning of 23 November 1988 with one of the 1/2 hourly Wolverhampton to Walsall trains. These units ran on bogies designed by Sir Nigel Gresley and their riding qualities were second to none. It is sad to rlate that the modern replacements are nothing like as comfortable. 645
Heading a little further towards Birmingham was this shot near the Dudley Road. The location is just to the east of the Soho junctiions and adjacent to the EMU depot and I imagine that through a combination of undergrwoth and spikey fencing it is no longer a viable spot for photography. 85037 is seen on the up line during the late morning of 15 July 1989 with a Liverpool to Euston train.645
This is the view turning around from the shot above. The class 90 is 90006 in original colours heading the 16.44 Birmingham New Street to Liverpool Lime Street on 15 July 1989. This scene was nicely enhanced by the abundance of plant life including Rosebay Willowherb (Angustifolium Epilobium) so commonplace on railway cuttings and enbankments all over the country. 645
2005 will see the final runs of slam-door EMUs on the majority of the third rail electrified network. This predictably has seen much frantic activity by photographers keen to obtain some shots of these vintage units. As these were alien to me when I first started visiting Hampshire and Kent in 1987 I took many pictures of them. Around Basingstoke, the 4 VEPs were commonplace and formed most of the local services to Waterloo. Here is unit 7774 arriving on the up line at Winchfield station on 4 January 1988 whilst another of the same class is about to head down to Basingstoke. The Network Sout East colour scheme would soon be applied to these trains which gave a new colour to the scene around here.
Worting junction lies a couple of miles to the west of Basingstoke and the footbridge there has long been a popular spot for railway photography. This picture taken on the afternoon of 14 Septemebr 1989 shows 4TC 8006 being propelled by one of the powerful 4REP units on a Waterloo to Southampton train. This type of working was so commonplace iat the time that it barely seemed worth exposing a frame on, but as usual, the passage of time has changed all that.
One of the anomalies on the former Western Region is the electrified line from Waterloo which runs to Reading. This gives the somewhat incongruous sight of electric units in the former Great Western station. This goes back to steam days when Southern Railway locomotives worked to Reading over the line via Ascot. There is a very steep gradient up to the bay platforms at the east end of the station which can just be seen at the rear of unit 7819 arriving on 24 August 1985.
The footbridge by the tennis club at Wokingham was the location for this shot of 4VEPs 3484+3155 on 25 May 1990. I was on my home after a day photographing 33s (and EPBs) n the Sidcup Loop and as the sun hadn't shown any signs of disappearing by the evening, I dropped in here with the intention of photographing 6O60, the Theale to Northfleet cement empties. Just before the freight hauled by 33009+33029 appeared, this Reading to Waterloo service came along.
I think that my favourite EMUs were the EPBs. These ran all over the former South East division although my main contact with them was on the line from Charing Cross to Dartford via the Sidcup loop. On 28 September I had an excellent day out on the line which finished off at Lewisham with the intention of photographing 33042+33207 on the Battersea to Angerstein Wharf empty aggregate train. While waiting for this I amused myself my taking several pictures of the units including this of an 8 car NSE and blue/grey combo on a Charing Cross to Dartford service.
This pair of 4VEPs, 3187+3472, were working as empty stock when I photographed them coming down the bank from Nunhead towards Lewisham station on 28 August 1990. I was here to photograph a pair of 33s on the Battersea to Angerstein Wharf empty aggregate trains, but could not resist photographing these units in the afternoon sun.
Another location I favoured was the station at Lee, just east of the sharp curve from Hither Green. On 25 May 1990 the station had not received too much of the bright red of Network South East and still had concrete lamp posts and some attractive Southern Railway architecture. This was a good spot for photographing 33s on Channel Tunnel traffic and equally good for the ubiquitous EPB stock. Here are contrasting units 6413+6260 standing in the down platform at 12.20 with a down service from Caring Cross to Dartford. The black triangle signifies that the guard's accomodation is at this end of the train.
Earlier the same day upon which I took the photograph betweem Bexley and Crayford I spent some time on the A2 bridge between Bexley and Crayford, again with the aim of photographing 33s on some of the Channel Tunnel traffic. This was successfully accomplished as is shown in the Class 33 section, but I was also pleased to obtain some pictures of EPB stock on the Dartford runs, as seen here with a 2EPB leading two 4 car sets.
I spent quite a bit of time on the Sidcup loop in 1990 as there was a lot of freight, including regular class 33 workings with various Channel Tunnel aggregate and other trains. I couldn't resist photographing the units either, and here is 4EPB 5482 in corporate blue & grey approaching Sidcup with a Charing Cross to Dartford local. 645
Looking the other way from the above photograph, this is unit 5602 in NSE livery heading towards London. There were several good footbridges on this stretch of line and I really enjoyed the photographic sessions I had along here. 645
I spent a few hours at Gravesend on 26 October 1990 with the intention of photographing some 33s on Channel Tunnel traffic. This was achieved both in sun and some heavy rain and just before I left, EPB 5222 sat in a lovely patch of afternoon sun before returning to Charing Cross.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s I had a few outings to the line between West Byfleet and Staines with the intention of photographing the freightliner and departmental traffic, the latter of which was mostly in the hands of class 33s. As a Midlander, the third-rail units were of great interest to me and if the conditiions were suitable I made a point of getting some record shots. Here is a 2HAP leading a 4VEP near Egham on a Waterloo to Ascot train on 27 September 1990.
This picture shows 4VEP 3015 approaching the junction at Virginia Water on 24 August 1990 with what I noted at the time was a semi-fast to Reading. I'm not quite sure how I knew that - perhaps I had a SR headcode list I have since forgotten about.
I had quite a good session on the station bridge at Staines on 27 September 1990, with photographs of a 47 on a freightliner and 2 class 33s on departmental workings in the bag by late morning. There were obviously regular units to photograph too, and here is 3466 leading another of the same type past the junction to Staines West and the newly erected and rather unsightly radio masts heading east towards Waterloo.
Moving back to the LSWR main line at Woking, here is unit 2302 leaving the station with a down Portsmouth service. The period between Christmas and New Year marked a low spot for NSE class 50s, with only a couple of locomotives being available. This meant that class 33s were called upon to haul many Exeter and Salisbury trains which accounts for my presence here on 27 December 1990. I took the opportunity for a number of unit photographs, some of which appear below.
Staying on the bridge at Woking junction but looking over the Guildford road, here is a 12 car unit heading for Portsmouth and Southsea. 47326 is just visible on the LSWR with a train of empty oil tanks which are going to the Holybourne Carless terminal on the Alton line.
73119+73108 have just arrived at Woking from the east and are seen here shunting into the down yard. The loco in the plain grey livery, 73108, has just struck a spark from the live rail, hence the small puff of smoke visible by the rear bogie.
Just catching the last rays of winter afternoon light on 27 December 1990 at Woking is an up local train formed of 2 4 VEPs. One of the problems of photography at this time of year is the heavy shadow formed on the front of backlit subjects. I regarded this as a challenge and tried to produce a slightly impressionistic photograph rather than a pure record shot.
I was on my way to Kent from Basingstoke on 4 May 1990 when I saw   33008 preparing to leave the yard at Woking with a departmental trip for the London area. Naturally, I bailed out to photograph this, as it had just received the plain grey livery instead of the green it had previously carried. While waiting for this to come along, a very clean 73112 appeared on an up working to Waterloo from Weymouth and Southampton formed of 2 4TCs.
On 28 April 1989 I had a trip to the Chichester area with the intention of photographing the gravel train which made several trips between Drayton and the loading terminal at Lavant, on the former branch to Midhurst. 73004 was in charge and the first shot sees the train leaving the branch at Fishbourne Junction. The  wagons used on this run were unique and were loaded from the top via a hopper filled by conveyor belt, and discharged from the sides. The details of the wagons, as kindly supplied by John Manchester are as follows :- JGA Bogie Hopper wagons - FR17001 to FR17011 Design Code JG003A. (Previously PHA - Design code PH003A). Built by IMC Engineering at Hartlepool 1971-1972. (The FR stands for Frances Parker Limited).
The second photograph in this short section shows 73004 with its train under the loader at Lavant. It was strange that an electro-diesel was digrammed for this working as none of the lines upon which the train ran was electrified - only the main line had the third rail.
The final shot shows 73004 leaving the terminal and heading for the unloading location at Drayton.
As threatened in the preamble to this section, many of my modern photographs of electrics will be from Berkswell, near Coventry. The next few pictures illustrate the scene here, starting with a picture of 87034 piloting a dead 87031 at 14.52 on a Euston to Wolverhampton service. This shot from the up end of the car park is currently unavailable due to ongoing use of the area as a storage site for various non-rail engineering vehicles. 645
Another shot taken in the same place and on the same day as the one above was this of InterCity liveried 86228 on iG29, the 13.00 Euston to Wolverhampton. 645
If my experience is typical, then relatively few people photograph the DVT end of WCML sets but I believe in trying to get a record of all aspects and not just locomotives. Here is 82213 and its train being propelled by 89245 through Berkswell on 11 February 2003.
The Trent Valley line was closed on 11 February 2003 and several freights were diverted along the Stechford to Rugby line. One of these was 4L08 Trafford Park to Ipswich which is seen here behind 86620+86627. The shadows of a couple of other photographers can be seen in the foreground; rather unkindly, the assorted mass was later referred to as the "Berkswell Veg"!. On a day with such perfect light it is hardly surprising that a few people were out to take advantage of the extra traffic.
Another pair of 86s appeared a short time later on another freightliner. This time, it was 86609+86633 with 4L97 Trafford Park to Felixstowe.
It was not just freight that was diverted on 11 February 2003. Passenger services to and from Euston also came through Berkswell and this is 87025 with DVT 82212 hauling the 1M08 Glasgow to Euston.
One of the last shots of 11 February 2003 resulted in this image of Railfreight Distribution 90033 hauling 86205 on an afternoon Euston to Wolverhampton train. This shot was taken at about 15.15 and the shadows were beginning to encroach on the scene.
Just after 90033 had passed, 92039 came from the Birmingham direction with this up intermodal. I wasn't able to ascertain the identity of this train but think it may have been a Trafford Park to Wembley working.
Here a digital image of EWS 90031 on a Euston to Birmingham train passing the car park at Berkswell on 13 November 2004. Pendolini had taken over a lot of services by this time, so the remaining loco-haules services become much more eagerly sought by some enthusiasts. The line in the foreground is very occasionally used for stabling track machines, but in earlier times was the start of the branch to Kenilworth Junction.
Towards the end regular class 87 workings on the Euston to Birmingham/Wolverhampton corridor, 3 of the class were repainted. My favourite was 87019 which received LNWR black. I think this colour suited the locomotive really well, especially when clean. It is seen here propelling its train towards Birmingham. I'm no great fan of the going-away shot and it is sometimes difficult to position the locomotive correctly. I was lucky this time........
A previous chance for the dreaded going-away shot occured on Sunday 17 April when 87019 was allocated to 1G09 11.40 Milton Keynes to Wolverhampton. This time, I went a few miles further east to Tile Hill where the loop gives a little more angle to the shot and makes it look less as if the train is going away.
The local traffic on the Coventry line is also of interest and on 13 November 2004 Silverlink's 321418 was in use as a stopping train between Birmingham New Street and Coventry, from where it regained its semi-fast status to Euston. It is seen here leaving the Berkswell stop.
The line from Birmingham to Leamington Spa threw up a couple of relatively unusual moves on Thursday 6 March 2008. This first was this, 6V25, a Bescot to Eastleigh train of concrete sleepers. If I remember correctly, this service normally works south in the early hours of the morning but on this occasion ran through Hatton just after 12.30pm. The main reason for including this photograph is the exhaust being emitted by 66220. This was clearly a heavy train and the locomotive was working hard under clear signals as it began the descent of Hatton Bank.
There is no conventional northbound shot available at Wootton Green, near Balsall Common, so I had to content myself with a picture of 92007 going away towards Birmingham. The train is 4M05, the 02.44 Felixstowe to Trafford Park intermodal, which was nearly 5 hours at this point. Purely from the enthusiasts' viewpoint, this late running issometimes advantageous because it does enable one to obtain photographs of workings which would otherwise not be possible.
My final photograph from 8 March 2008 shows 90048 passing Wootton Green with 4M45, the 03.16 Felixstowe to Ditton freightliner. In common with everything else I photographed, this was running late, although at about 4 hours behind the booked time, not quite as badly delayed as some others I had seen. This working made a somewhat better going-away shot than that of 92007 as at least there were some colourful bits immediately behind the locomotive. Thanks go to Andy Williams and an anonymous source for much of the information received today.
This picture shows a truly local train at Berkswell, 323028 approaching the station with a Coventry to Wolverhampton service.
Virgin's Pendolini have not been well received by railway enthusiasts. I don't think they are all that bad, and photograph quite well in decent light as witnessed by this example in the main up platform at Birmingham International station on 24 October 2003. In my opinion, there is not a world of difference between a well-designed multiple unit such as this, and an electric locomotive, matching coaches and DVT all in the same colour scheme. It is just the average British enthusiasts' traditional bigotry against anything other than a loco.
Here is 92009 about to pass Berkswell station with 6A42, the 15.15 Bescot - Wembley. As usual, this was a very long train, mostly consisting of ferrywagons but with a couple of 4 wheel ballast hoppers on the back.
Here is a photograph taken at Tamworth Low Level where there were several interesting workings to record, headed by the 4L75 Ditton to Ipswich hauled by 90042. This is seen here about to pass through the station on the up fast line. I should state here that my aim was to record these workings in an identifiable location and I offer no apology for what some may may regard as tedious station shots. Less tedious, I submit, than some anonymous piece of bland countryside...
Just as 90042, shown above, was heading east on the up line, EWS liveried 92001 was charging west with with 4S62 to Mossend. I don't get onto electrified lines all that often, which probably explains why this is the first photograph I have taken of a red class 92. In retrospect, the passing shot with 4L75 wasn't too bad as there were some empty flats behind the 92, and it does have a certain attraction as it does show some real railway action.
The next train to appear from the west should have been 4L46, but this was reported as being some 30 minutes late,so the 4M41 05:35 Mossend-Daventry behind 92005 showed up first. Sporting EWS stickers, the 92 heads its train towards the destination on the up fast line.
I'm not normally one for chasing around to get final workings of celebrity or retiring locomotives, but I had been thwarted in previous attempts to secure a photograph of 87012 since its repainting into NSE livery. This being the case I tried to find a location on 3 July 2006 to picture the well-publicised run of the locomotive with recalcitrant 325005 on 5Z48 Polmadie to Wembley. I wanted to obtain my photograph in a location that would show the modern WCML. This spot, a few miles north of Lichfield, shows it well as it is the section of line currently undergoing heavy civil engineering work to convert it to 4 tracks. Note the Saltire crosses on the buffers and the sheet of paper on the 2nd man's windscreen saying, "Goodbye 87012".
When I go to a new location it's always good to get a freight as well as a special working or timetabled passenger train. This shot shows 92034 with a loadless 4M41 Mossend to Daventry. This strange situation has been the norm since EWS lost this traffic to DRS and one must question the rationale behind running empty trains simply, I assume, to retain the path for the company. The location is again an overbridge a few miles north of Lichfield.
The line between Birmingham New Street and Coventry is a happy hunting ground for anyone wishing to photograph a variety of 25KV electric units. Here is a former Silverlink unit, 321417, passing Wootton Green on a New Street to Coventry local service during the morning of 12 February 2008. I quite like a session photographing units as they are amongst the most colourful trains on the network and it's good to record the ever-changing liveries.
In contrast to the photograph above, this picture taken at Wootton Green on 12 February 2008 shows the more usual train for a local service to Coventry, a class 350 Desiro unit in the shape of 350129 . I travelled from Berkswell to New Street in one of these trains the day before this shot was taken and was quite impressed by the comfort, quietness and acceleration. Much better than the class 150s on my local line!
It is impossible to stand anywhere between Birmingham New Street and Coventry for long without seeing one of Virgin West Coast's class 390 Pendolino expresses. Here is 390051 heading east with a Euston-bound train on 12 February 2008. I find these trains quite stylish albeit somewhat monotonous after a few hours by the lineside.