Class 45 was yet another of the original main line locomotives to become extinct in the 1980s. They were not as popular as some of the other classes to disappear but I liked them and was always pleased to get another photograph. The first couple of images were taken, as were the 25s and 40s shown elsewhere on this site, around Manchester Victoria and Exchange stations. Peaks were used on many passenger and freight workings in this area, particularly on the trans-Pennine services. The first image shows 45136 leaving Manchester for Newcastle on 27 October 1984. Some of the clutter around the loco is unfortunate, but is more than made up for by the architecture of the old station. Note the station pilot/banker, 25285 waiting for the next job.
The second image, taken on 27 February 1986 involved me in some quite uncharacteristic bravado. 45069 appeared from the east on a long train of oil tankers heading for Weaste - probably 6M16 04.20 from Lindsey. It was stopped at the signal to pick up a shunter and stood ticking over in the sun, which of course, was on the wrong side of the platform. The land on the right side for the light was a car park which was protected from the railway by a tall wire-mesh fence. There was however, a very narrow strip of paving on the "wrong" side of the fence and which was just about accessible from the bridge visible in the background. I looked at the long and slightly dangerous prospect for a few seconds and then decided "what the hell", and set off for the front of the train, all the time expecting either to get gripped or for the new crew to appear and take it away before I reached the appropriate spot. None of these happened, although I did appear to alarm the driver of a class 47-hauled express on the nearside line, if his gestures were anything to go by. In the event I obtained my photograph, as you can see.
New   There was a private charter to Stratford-upon-Avon on 12 January 1986 called "The Half-Century Limited", from which name I assumed it was to celebrate a 50th birthday. The inward run was behind  4472 Flying Scotsman and 45012 was sent both to perform the shunt release at the terminus and to return the charter to its starting point. This really was quite unusual, even for 1986, and I was determined to get a shot of the outward working. The sun decided to co-operate and stayed out long enough for me to obtain this view of the train topping Wilmcote bank. Note the happy punters enjoying a drink on the balcony of the observation car immediately behind the locomotive - they clearly are enjoying the rare traction!
New   This picture is from 4 May 1987 and shows 45132 passing Finedon Road yard at Wellingborough with an up ECS train as a down HST accelerates away in the opposite direction. The up main line was subject to engineering work north of this point at the time and trains had to use the up relief as far as Finedon Road, where they crossed to the main line.
New   During the summer of 1988 it was possible to see several class 45s around Birmingham. Here is 45121 approaching the footbridge at Water Orton on 1 August 1987 with what my notes say is the Scarborough to Paignton service. In the background is the long-gone Hams Hall power station which, at this time, was about to be demolished. I took this view against the sun to include as much of the station's infrastructure as was possible before it disappeared.
New   This photograph of 45004 with a short train of positively antediluvian-looking wagons was taken from a foot crossing at East Goscote, on the Leicester to Melton Mowbray line. It is hard to believe that such wagons were still in daily use only 21 years ago, especially with a cargo that appears to be a load of scrap pallets!
New   Sticking with 45/0s for the time being, the next picture shows 45036 about to pass Kidderminster (BR) statiion on 1 March 1986 with the Saturday morning Cliffe Vale to St Blazey china clay empties. This train was diverted from it's normal route via the Lickey Incline because of major engineering work in the Birmingham area. This image is not of the highest quality but I have included it here because of the unusual routing of the train and because of the loco's split black headcode panel with white marker spots.
Towards the end of class 45 on the main line 45106 was painted into green livery with the intention of being BR's flagship locomotive for railtours. Unfortunately, it caught fire after a relatively short period and was replaced with 45128. The latter locomotive was withdrawn after a few weeks marking the end of these heavyweights. 45106 is here seen running into a dreary and damp Wolverhampton station on its first run wearing the new green coat with a Pathfinder tour to Scotland. The photograph is dated 20 August 1988. 645
As I have mentioned in other sections of this site diesel locos were regularly used to haul the Sunday Luncheon Express from Banbury to Stratford-upon-Avon before a steam locomotive took the train back to London. On 8 June 1986 45103 was in use and I photographed it shortly after passing Wilmcote station. I seem to recall that the steam engine allocated to this train failed and this is borne out by the fact that the peak hauled the train out of Stratford later in the day. This weekend also saw a regular steam service between Birmingham and Stratford and several photographers can be seen in the left background waiting for the next train.
Class 45 locomotives were at one time seen quite often on the North Warwickshire Line while hauling freight trains to and from the South-West and South Wales. Once the line had closed south of Stratford-upon-Avon they became rarer and were restricted to occasional engineers trains and charters. One of the latter 45052, is here seen on 2 May 1988 with the Avon Lady tour from London St Pancras to London Marylebone via Leicester, Nuneaton flyover, Birmingham, Henley-in-Arden, Stratford-upon-Avon (reverse), Hatton, Solihull, Birmingham New Street, Stafford, Rugby, Northampton, Milton Keynes Central, Denbigh Hall South Jn, (via Bletchley flyover), Claydon L&NE Junction, Aylesbury, High Wycombe, Amersham, Harrow-on-the-Hill, and Neasden South Junction. As it was a Bank Holiday Monday, the light was very poor and I could use a shutter speed of just 1/125 second on 100asa slide film. This is the reason for taking the shot by Henley's down outer home signal so early, so as to avoid too much speed blur as 45052 hauled 1Z37 past me at the line speed, 60mph.
Stratford-upon-Avon has always seen occasional charters and railtours and on May 2 1988 45052 arrived with The Avon Lady from London St Pancras. The poor weather meant that static shots were going to be the best bet so I took this shot as the train, 1Z37, was waiting for the ground signal to be pulled off so that it could pull out of the station, go beyond the crossover and then be propelled into platform 2 ready for departure. All this was necessary because no loaded passenger trains were at the time allowed to depart from platform 1 because of the facing points into the down goods loop. The situation in 2010 is very different, with trains able to arrive at and depart from any of the three platforms without shunting.
Once 45052 had moved into platform 2 on 2 May 1988, I asked the PIC if it would be OK to go off the end of the platform to take a shot of the train. He was quite happy about this and accompanied me while it took my photograph. The use of Network South East stock was, I think, a first for the terminus and it was a shame that the light didn't improve enough to really show up the colours.
Another 45/0, 45054 is seen here passing Leamington Spa on 21 December 1984 with a short "up" ballast. I think it went only to Banbury as the loco returned light engine about 90 minutes later.
Another shot from Kidderminster shows a tarted-up 45104 leaving the station on 9 May 1987 with a footex to Wembley for the fans of the local team. The 45 worked only to Coventry from where a class 85 worked the train forward to its destination.
My next photograph shows 45131 on a northbound freightliner service, the 4D58 1440 Lawley St-Holyhead approaching Stafford station on 14 June 1985. Although this service was regularly Peak-hauled the use of a 45/1 was more unusual. This view is from the main "down" platform with a 135mm lens which compresses the perspective nicely and shows the mass of overhead catenary.
Water Orton is north-east of Birmingham and has always been a popular location for railway photography. It can be a frustrating place because trains, particularly freight, can be routed either via the main line or the relief lines via Whitacre Junction. There are not usually problems with main-line passenger workings as demonstrated by this view of 45140 with a Scarborough to Paignton service about to pass underneath the M42. on 31 July 1987.
On the other side of the M42 some decent shots were possible from the field adjacent to the line. This one shows 45150 with a Newcastle to Poole train on 19 August 1987. The Peak would almost certainly have been replaced by a class 47 at Birmingham New Street. The long-gone chimneys of Hams Hall power station are visible in the background.
Moving onto the main Birmingham to Bristol line, the next photograph shows 45104 on an unidentified down express passing Longbridge on 7 September 1985. There was quite a procession of loco-hauled trains on this line on summer Saturdays and without prior "gen", identification was not always easy.
Turning around from the previous shot we see a complete corporate blue and grey scene with 45128 running past the vast Rover car complex towards Birmingham with another unknown working. This scene has been transformed by the erection of overhead catenary used by the Birmingham Cross City services from Lichfield to Redditch. The class 116 unit would now be a class 321 electric unit and the express a Virgin Voyager or other unit. This picture was taken on Saturday 11 May 1985.

The first bridge south of Bromsgrove station is the location for the next picture which depicts 45141 with the 07.05 Derby to Paignton on 7 July 1988. I obviously had some "gen" that weekend! The oil tanks in the background added something to the scene but along with much other railway-related architecture, they are no more.

Defford is still one of favourite locations on the Brimingham to Bristol line, especially on summer evenings. This photograph shows 45109 on a northbound express just crossing the River Avon. The date was 19 July 1985 and a steam-hauled special had apparently just gone north. I arrived just as the gallery was departing to be told that I had missed it. I don't think so! Nice light, Bredon Hill and a cricket match in the background; who needs a kettle?