Tuesday 22 March 2022

A Day Out from Warwick Parkway by Ken Jones

 A day out in March – Ken Jones

Ken Jones and Roger Burdett carried out another day trip in day light hours, having researched routes and prices. It started with an idea of travelling from Reading to Waterloo followed by Paddington and back to Reading plus additions such as class 345's, and the line to Bicester Village, and class 68 haulage. 

We drove to Warwick Parkway and did the route shown below with a senior railcard for less than £40 per person. Costs were reduced by split ticketing on Cross Country outward even though we didn’t have to change train or seats. 

We also built-in time to stop and take photographs, and this was needed as we were delayed outward between Banbury and Reading due to a broken-down train in front of us.

Class 68 push-pull haulage Warwick Parkway to Banbury

Banbury to Reading – Cross Country voyager

Reading to Waterloo – class 450 – arrived at former international station

Waterloo to Paddington - Bakerloo line

Paddington to Hayes & Harlington – class 345

Hayes & Harlington to Reading – class 345

Reading to Didcot Parkway - class 387

Didcot Parkway to Oxford – GWR class 165

Oxford to Bicester Village and back – Chiltern class 168

Oxford to Banbury – refurbished 2 Car GWR class 165 – stopping at all stations

Banbury to Leamington Spa - Cross Country voyager

Leamington Spa to Warwick Parkway - Chiltern class 168

The longest part of the day timewise was the Reading to Waterloo suburban service, but the surprise was that the train arrived at the former international station at Waterloo. 

Although we could have gone direct from Paddington to Reading on a number of services, we wanted to go on a class 345 unit. In fact, we caught one to Hayes and Harlington, changed there to get some pictures and caught the next service.

Class 345 are the new Crossrail units, which is soon to be opened as the Elizabethan line and the purple line. Currently running between Reading and Paddington they will eventually run through to Shenfield, but note that the units have no toilets.

Besides freight trains to look out for, we also saw some 769 -9 units which are yet to enter service with GWR. They are converted 319 units. We were also lucky to get a GWR stopping service between Oxford and Banbury, and again there are not many of these per day, so our advice is to plan in advance if you want to take in something different.

Pictures – all by Ken Jones

DVT 82309 is seen arriving at Warwick Parkway

68014 is seen about to depart Banbury for Marylebone

Cross Country service arriving at Banbury to take us to Reading

450 059 is seen at Reading waiting to depart for Waterloo


450 059 at platform 24 at Waterloo after arriving from Reading

The concourse and clock at Waterloo station

Bakerloo service arriving to take us to Paddington

Class 800 units at Paddington, showing one with and one without a face mask

Class 345 units at Paddington

Internal view of class 345 unit – mainly longitudinal seating but some in groups of 4

Class 345 units at Hayes and Harlington

Interior of class 387. The green head covers are actually stitched into the seat

387 149 at Didcot Parkway after arriving from Reading

65 120 is our service to Oxford

168 112 is our service to Bicester Village. It will then go on to Marylebone

769 940 is one of two such units stabled outside Oxford

The modern design to Bicester Village station

168 113 arrives to take us back to Oxford

800 008 in pride livery is seen at Oxford

165 119 waits to take us to Banbury

Some of the seats have been removed for 4 cycles and extra luggage racks

Cross Country service will take us to Leamington Spa

168 005 arriving to take us the short journey to Warwick Parkway