Aeromoe's U.K. Train Photos - Mid 1980s


These are a few of the train photos I took while stationed in England during 1985-1988. While there, I didn't take all that many train photos beyond what I've documented here. My primary interest at the time was photographing aircraft and the interest in trains was simply an extension of that. The railroad bug didn't really bite me until the very late 1990s while I was stationed in Northern California.



Skip the history and go to the photos



I used British Rail mainly on weekends to travel to/from London from Huntingdon, located about an hour's journey to the north of London. These trips were mainly associated with photo trips to Heathrow Airport. The typical Saturday trip would involve walking from my dormitory on base to just outside the front gate where I would catch a local bus to Huntingdon...about 10 or 15 minutes away. From there it was a relatively short walk to the Huntingdon railway station where I would catch a southbound train to London Kings Cross. At Kings Cross I would catch a Piccadilly Line tube train (subway) out to Heathrow airport. After spending the day at Heathrow I would reverse the process. Nearly all the trips I made between Huntingdon and Kings Cross were aboard Inter-City 125 high-speed trainsets. I do remember travelling on a slower "stopping service" train to London with some friends from base. I have no idea what class of locomotive pulled that train but it most certainly was not one of the Diesel Multiple Units (DMU) that plied the lower end of the line on the "stopping services."

After a number of months I discovered the very convenient motor coach (highway bus) service from the base direct to Heathrow Airport. This coach would depart the billeting office at 0700hrs daily and arrive Heathrow Airport about 70 minutes later. I would spend the morning watching planes and if I so desired I could catch the bus back to the base, which would usually depart at 1100hrs. This bus was timed to meet any arriving passengers from trans-atlantic flights. Seats on the bus for non-flying passengers were "space-available" so I always carried enough cash to make the return journey via train if necessary. Alternately, I would often just spend the whole day at Heathrow and take the train(s) back to Huntingdon.

There were several benefits to being in England in 1985. For one, the dollar/pound sterling exchange rate was quite good for us Americans, especially early on. When I arrived in January 1985 the rate was just above even exchange. Over the next three years it steadily increased up towards $1.80 / $1.90 to the pound but it was still quite affordable. Second, because of my age (I arrived when I was 20 years old) I could take advantage of the British Rail "Young Persons Rail Card" which afforded me 50% off British Rail fares on services a certain radius from London. Fortunately, Huntingdon was just inside the radius perimeter. As such, I could travel for less than $5.00 to London and back. The "tube" trip to/from Heathrow was just another couple of pounds so the round trip from the base to Heathrow, including the bus service to Huntingdon cost well under $10...but of course it all had to be paid for in UK Pounds.

During my three years in England I did make a number of trips "abroad" outside my usual travelling corridor.

These trips included:
- A weekend return trip from Huntingdon to Southend.
- A weekend return trip from Huntingdon to Edinburgh, Scotland. This also included side trips to Aberdeen, Glasgow, and Prestwick Scotland.
- A weekend return trip from Huntingdon to Shrewsbury.
- A weekend return trip from Huntingdon to Dudley (possibly Sandwell & Dudley station).
- A trip from Liverpool Street Station to Brandon (trip to Lakenheath).
- Several trips from Victoria Station to London Gatwick Airport on the "Gatwick Express".
- A return trip from Victoria Station to East Grinstead.
- A one-way trip from Swindon to London following an airshow at RAF Fairford.
- A one-way trip from East Midlands Airport to Huntingdon following an in-flight diversion from Gatwick Airport.


Below are pretty much all the train photos I could find that I took in England during 1985-1987.
As of October 2010, I'm scouring old negatives looking for more and I've found some to be scanned and uploaded.

DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) at Hitchin
Northbound at platform

313 049, an EMU (Electric Multiple Unit) at Hitchin
Southbound at platform

Inter-City 125 at Huntingdon
Southbound at platform

Inter-City 125 at Huntingdon
Northbound on through track

Inter-City 125 at Huntingdon
Northbound at station

313 061 EMU
Unknown location

Inter-City 125
Huntingdon

Inter-City 125
Huntingdon

Northbound DMU
Hitchin / February 1985

Northbound IC 125
Huntingdon / March 1985

Hitchin
August 31, 1985

Hitchin
August 31, 1985

Two trains at Kings Cross / November 29, 1985
Class 47; Inter-City 125

Departing Kings Cross
Northbound Inter-City 125

Inter City 125
Kings Cross / November 30, 1985

IC 125s under the pedestrian bridge
Huntingdon / November 30, 1985

85016, a Class 85 electric loco
Wolverhampton, England / August 2, 1986

86257, a Class 86 electric loco
Wolverhampton, England / August 2, 1986

Canal boats and a train
Wolverhampton / August 2, 1986

Google overview of same scene to the left
Wolverhampton, England
Intentionally Blank

Inter-City 125
Aberdeen, Scotland / August 1986

47406, a Class 47 Loco
Aberdeen, Scotland / August 1986

08680, a Class 08 Shunting (Switching) Loco
Aberdeen, Scotland / August 1986

303 008, a Class 303 EMU set
Near Glasgow, Scotland / August 1986

104 451, a Class 104 DMU set
Near Glasgow, Scotland / August 1986

SC59560 coach in DMU set
Near Glasgow, Scotland / August 1986

26043, a Class 26 Loco
Prestwick, Scotland / August 1986

Class 101 DMU
Prestwick Airport, Scotland / August 1986

Class 47 Loco
Edinburgh, Scotland / August 1986

Vehicle carrier
Edinburgh, Scotland / August 1986

Class 47 Loco
Edinburgh, Scotland / August 1986

Onboard Brit Rail to Oxfordshire / RAF Brize Norton
January 20, 1987

Network Southeast
Possibly at Oxford / January 20, 1987

Acton Town Tube Station
Looking West / April 1987

Acton Town Tube Station
Looking West / April 1987

Network Southeast
Huntingdon / April 18, 1987
Intentionally Blank

Inter-City 125 at Huntingdon
Southbound at speed / May 1987

Inter-City 125 at Huntingdon
Southbound at speed / May 1987

Inter-City 125 at Huntingdon

EMU at Huntingdon
Southbound departing station / May 1987

Inter-City 125 at Huntingdon
Southbound at platform / May 1987

Inter-City 125 at Huntingdon
Southbound departing station / May 1987

Class 312 DMU at Huntingdon
Northbound at platform / May 1987

Class 73 Loco (Dual Diesel / Electric)
Gatwick Airport Station

Onboard Brit Rail

Onboard Brit Rail

Gatwick Express

Gatwick Express

Battersea Power Station viewed from Gatwick Express
Building appeared on front cover of Pink Floyd "Animals" album

Google view of Battersea Power Station

Edinburgh Castle and Edinburgh Train Station / Sep 86

Google view of Edinburgh Station

Didn't always take a bus home from Huntingdon
August 10, 1985

My dormitory (on left) September 1987

Outside the main gate at RAF Alconbury

In my dorm room at RAF Alconbury...nice map


Below are some extracts from my train logs.

Spottings

Spottings

Spottings

Spottings

Spottings

Spottings

Spottings
.


Below are some images of the route I had to take to get from my dormitory to the Huntingdon Train Station.

Dorm to Bus Station (on foot)

Bus to Bus Station (on bus)

Bus Station to Train Station (on foot)