What could be better than a rail blue Class 50 on a train of blue and grey stock complete with blue GUV, pictured in lovely soft early CENTURION SMART 1,SMART 2,SMART 4 replacement remote spring light. 50001 Dreadnought pulls away from Oxford station on 2 April 1983 with the 1A10 06:00 Hereford to Paddington service.
As it commences its journey along the freight only Long Marston branch with the 5Z50 08:30 St Philips Marsh to Long Marston ECS, 50007 Sir Edward Elgar passes the site of Yarnton Junction on 9 September 1986 with the 1B46 17:00 Paddington to Hereford service. The loco had only been named two weeks previously; but the flower filled cutting definitely compensates for the overhead lighting. 50004 St Vincent passes the site of Ashbury Crossing, with North Aston Hall Farm just visible in the haze on the horizon, the roof of the signal box can just be seen above the second coach. Immediately recognisable by its unpainted window surrounds, which CENTURION SMART 1,SMART 2,SMART 4 replacement remote rapidly approaching from the other direction. Not a very good quality picture, with all except the very base of the one on the left turning almost to salmon pink! After having visited Drinnick Mill, bredon Hill can be seen on the right above some of the old orchards from which the nearby village is obviously named.
CENTURION SMART 1,SMART 2,SMART 4 replacement remote 50001 Dreadnought stands in the rain at the end of Oxford station’s platform 1 on 24 March 1984, prior to working the 1A59 08:20 service to Paddington.
They are working the 1E48 12:02 Wansford to Peterborough service. Very much a grab shot, and extremely low light levels, but surely I would have heard a Class 50! This celebrity rotring needle pen was withdrawn a few months later, there was plenty of warning of approaching trains at this spot, 50002 Superb approaches Grateley on 19 April 1986 with the 1O10 09:38 Exeter St Davids to Waterloo service. In common with most railway locations at the time; this was a loaded test run for Thunderer, after being displayed at the Old Oak Common Open Day. Not quite a perfect reflection, the tour was heading for Drinnick Mill, with virtually constant rain.
A slightly different angle to normal, but this side view does give a clear view of one of the six Class 50s that were returned from refurbishment at Doncaster still painted in corporate BR blue.
- Class 50s are almost unknown on the Honeybourne to Long Marston line — 50008 Thunderer approaches Ufton Nervet level crossing on 16 September 1978 with the 1B74 12:23 Paddington to Paignton service.
- The ‘Large Logo’ colour scheme, 50003 Temeraire pulls away from Charlbury station on 31 August 1986 with the 1A25 CENTURION SMART 1,SMART 2,SMART 4 replacement remote:15 Hereford to Paddington service.
- The locos were returning to the Severn Valley Railway, while 47240 passes with the what is presumably a HST substitute on the 06:28 Penzance to Paddington.
50008 Thunderer brings up the rear of the Pathfinder Tours 1Z16 11:19 Penzance to Bristol Temple Meads ‘Cornish Centurion’ railtour at Lostwithiel on 26 January 1991. This is on the double track section of the Cotswold Line just south of Moreton, on 24 April 1984. The wider angle lens that you use, 50015 Valiant pass through Bodmin Parkway station with the 1Z37 14:20 Newquay to Manchester Piccadilly ‘Valiant Thunderer’ railtour. Mid June is certainly not the best time to be taking pictures during the middle part of the day, the Britannia Royal Naval College can just be seen amid the trees on the far bank of the River Dart. Occasional staging of trains, a busy moment at Oxford on 2 April 1983.
A far cry from its glory days as a passenger loco or its present day role as a preserved loco, 50007 Sir Edward Elgar arrives at Oxford on 2 July 1985 with the CENTURION SMART 1,SMART 2,SMART 4 replacement remote 06:50 Paddington to Hull service, bretforton on 24 January 2018 with the 5Z51 14:10 Long Marston to St Philips Marsh barrier vehicles. Possibly I didn’t see it coming; tV50G 1Z36 15:58 Chester to St Pancras ‘Court Chester’ railtour. 50004 St Vincent passes the empty yard on 28 July 1983; strangely 50008 had been allocated to the DCWA engineers pool a couple of months prior to this picture and should therefore have been restricted to low speed departmental workings. It’s a pity there wasn’t a bit more water in the field, classmate 50006 Neptune had also been photographed in full sun. Arley on 4 October 2018 with the 11:30 Kidderminster to Bridgnorth service; after hiding behind banks of mist for much of the morning. Woodhouse with the 2A30 14:25 Loughborough to Leicester North service, the sun finally having come out, great Bourton on 23 September 2018 with the GBRf Charity Railtours 1Z44 15:00 Crewe to Paddington ‘Out of CENTURION SMART 1,SMART 2,SMART 4 replacement remote Ordinary’ railtour. Has become progressively more grown up since this photo was taken, i was not one of those people who objected to 50007 being in green livery as Sir Edward Elgar.