Cotswold lines bid HSTs good-bye

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Bidding farewell to the GWR HSTs on Saturday, 18 May, I decided to avoid the crowds at Paddington for the four evening departures. Instead, I opted to witness last day operations on the two routes that I know best, the Cotswold Line from Oxford to Worcester and the Golden Valley route from Swindon to Cheltenham Spa.

First up was a trip to Moreton-in-Marsh, a place I featured last month with its current IET Class 80x series-operated services. My aim was to get there early enough to photograph the 11.22 ex-Paddington from a good vantage point I had discovered south of the station then photograph its 15.29 return departure, as the last-ever up HST service from Moreton. Continue reading “Cotswold lines bid HSTs good-bye”

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Wherry Lines’ working distant signals

IMG_4082While the wait goes on for its newly-installed colour light signalling to be commissioned (see my previous post “A Wherry big delay”), one feature to savour on the Wherry Lines in Norfolk is the remarkable number of working semaphore distant signals.

These distinctive yellow and black arms, with their fishtail ends, have all but disappeared in many other places – there is only one left in Scotland and two in Wales – yet the 46 miles of route from Norwich to Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft features almost a dozen working distant signals. Continue reading “Wherry Lines’ working distant signals”

GWR HST Farewell

IMG_6345Hard to believe after 40 years, but in less than three weeks’ time long-distance High Speed Trains (HSTs) will make their final journeys on the GWR network, going out in style with a planned four departures from Paddington between 18.03 and 18.30 on Saturday, 18 May 2019.

These Inter-City 125 trains transformed perceptions of rail travel following their introduction across the network in the 1970s, arresting the decline in passenger numbers and paving the way for the seemingly constant growth in travel by rail that is now somehow taken for granted. Continue reading “GWR HST Farewell”