56301 at Clay Cross   56301 passes through Clay Cross with the 4Z56 Marshgate - Derby on 5th April 2006. The 'Grid' had been pegged at Tapton to allow the Network Rail NMT to pass. The photo below shows 301 at the signal a mile or so north of Clay Cross. Once the NMT had passed the 56 followed at slow speed having just joined the mainline to Derby. The next train that followed was top 'n' tailed Class 31's allowing for three full sun shots of three different types of relatively rare classic traction within the space of fifteen minutes. The 31 shot can be found here and the NMT shot here.
 
 

56103 heads through Norton, Worcestershire with 6Z34 11:45 Darlington - Cardiff Tidal scrap on 31st May 15.

 
56301 at Slitting Mill Farm   56301 passes Slitting Mill Farm near Renishaw on 4th April 2006 with the 6Z56 Doncaster - Derby test run. This was 56301's first outing on the mainline carrying a train since overhaul at Brush for Fastline.
 
56303 heads 4O90 Birch Coppice - Grain through Tame Bridge Parkway on 18 July. The service was running a little later than usual and the sun was coming round and off the nose pretty quick by the time 4O90 came into sight at 15:30. The grid had coasted into shot as it was approaching an adverse signal which cleared to green as it entered the station, the driver opened her up and with a full load in tow 303 screamed past… the first time I’d heard some proper 'grid' thrash in around a decade.
         
         
        56303 - Aston   56303 - 13:36 Birch Coppice - Grain (4O90) - Aston - 24/08/07
         
        56301 - Elford   Running an hour late 56301 passes Elford with 4O90 Doncaster - Grain 27/03.08.
         
        56303 - Water Orton   56303 passes Water Orton with 4O90 Birch Coppice - Grain on 07 May 2008.
         
        56111 & 56112 at Elford   On hire to Colas Rail 56311 & 56312 head through Elford with 6Z57 Immingham - Washwood Heath steel running a little late on 18/11/08.
         
        56112 - WWH   56312 & 56311 accelerate away from a signal check at Washwood Heath with 6Z57 Immingham - Washwood Heath steel on 26/11/08.
         
          56312 & 56311 are photographed a little later than the above shot reversing the train into the terminal at Washwood Heath.
         
        56303_Portway   In the last week that 4O90 ran 56303 hauls a load of fresh air through Portway. 4O90 Donny - Grain. 05/03/09.
         
          56312 passes Wetmoor Farm with 6Z57 Boston - Washwood Heath Steel. 19/03/09.
         
        56312_Catholm  

56312 passes Catholm with 6Z57 Boston - Washwood Heath Steel. 19/03/09.

         
          56312 Colas route learner, Mill Lane, Ryecroft. 6Z56 10:10 WWH - Ditton. 09/06/09.
         
          56312 thrashes through Church Brampton with 4Z91 12:00 Dollands Moor - Hams Hall. First Colas intermodal working. 15/06/09
         
          Ex Works, if you can call it that, 56303 6Z57 07:00 Boston Docks - Washwood Heath at Catholme. 10/09/09.
         
        56311 & 56312 - Aldington   56311 & 56312 head through Aldington Nr Evesham on 16/04/10 with 6Z56 13:10 Long Marston - Bescot formed of TEA bogie tanks. 16/04/10.
         
          A near two year gap between this and my last class 56 shot is explained by their lack of use on the mainline, since Colas stopped hiring the type from Hanson Traction in favour of hired in Class 66's. Developments with Hanson Tractions fleet and its integration into the DCR/BARS operation has seen the type in use again on BARS' own services, the new entrant into the railfreight market started by moving scrap using their own fleet of 56's. Here on one of the first few runs of the service 56312 is seen in its new 'Railfest' advertising livery at Gloucester running an hour late with 6Z56 10:30 Cardiff Tidal - Shipley empty scrap on 29/03/12.
         
         

After a long gap with no mainline class 56 services working on the mainline in the UK the 25th May 2012 saw two Class 56 workings with BARS' 56311 out on a Shipley - Cardiff scrap train and Colas Railfreight's 56094 working its second revenue earning freight train since release from works at Waswhood Heath.

The loco is seen at Challeston, Derbyshire where the loco tops 47739 which was inlcuded for insurance working 6E07 11:51 Washwood Heath - Boston Docks empty steel.

         
          On the same day as above DCR/BARS' 56311 was also in action working 13:45 6Z56 Shipley - Cardiff scrap, seen at Catholme.
         
          The timings of the working allowed for a second shot of the same train at Stoke Works, Bromsgrove where 56311 is seen again with 13:45 6Z56 Shipley - Cardiff scrap 25/05/12.
         
          56312 heads two barrier coaches through Dunston running as 5Z56 Crewe - Washwood Heath on 12/07/12.
         
          56094 heads through Barrow on Trent with 6E07 11:51 Washwood Heath - Boston Docks empty steel on 5th September 2012.
         
          On its first run since reinstatement with Colas Rail 56087 tops 56094 on 6E07 11:51 Washwood Heath - Boston Docks empty steel seen at Arleston on 11th September 2012.
         
          56312 heads trough Hinksey with 6Z91 10.55 Calvert - Didcot PS empty flyash, a working sub contracted to DCR from DBS , this was the first of three trains that I photographed in just under two hours at Hinksey, a scene which is soon to change with the bridges due to be replaced imminently in preparation for the forthcoming electrification of the route. 23/11/12
         
          56312 heads through Portway with 6Z35 Chaddesden - Cardiff Tidal on 7th December 2012.
         
          56302 screams through Evesham with 09:07 6Z36 Llanwern Exchange Sidings - Long Marston on 18th Feb 2013. The consist was a long rake of off lease JSA steel hood wagons - my second attempt at this, the first shot was backlit due to the trains late running.
         
          The return load from Long Marston was another rake of steel hood wagons - here with the sun behind a bit of high cloud 56302 slowly eases to a stop at Honeybourne with 14:55 6Z37Long Marston - Llanwern Exchange Sidings
         
          Last shot of the day sees 56302 waiting time at Honeybourne.
         
          56105 powers a short rake of log wagons through Aldington, to the east of Evesham. This was first opportunity to photograph Colas' newest reinstated 'grid'. The working was running as 06:00 6Z56 Cardiff Canton - Long Marston. 23/04/13.
         
          A quick chase from Aldington where I had already photographed this working sees 56105 heading up the ex MoD branch to Long Marston at Broad Marston with 06:00 6Z56 Cardiff Canton - Long Marston. 23/04/13.
         
          DCR's 56091 passes Hinksey Yard, Oxford with 6Z92 Didcot Power Station - Calvert - transporting fly ash from the now closed coal fired power station at Didcot. 31/05/13.
         
          56091 heads 6Z91 10.55 Calvert - Didcot PS empty flyash through Islip, Oxfordshire on 4th June 2013. The tree clearance in the foreground is in preparation for the lines redoubling as part of Chiltern Railways' Evergreen 3 line upgrade more info on which is here.
         
          56105 & 56087 power through Rossett with 6J37 Carlisle - Chirk loaded timber on 06/07/13.
         
          56113 tops 6M54 Baglan Bay - Chirk logs at Hereford on 22/07/14.
         
          56087 & 56113 double head 6Z16 09:24 Llanwern to Washwood Heath steel through Compton Beauchamp on 4th August 2014.
         
          56113 tops 6M54 Teigngrace - Chirk logs at Leominster on 24/07/14.
         
56103 heads through East Usk with 6Z35 11:34 Cardiff Tidal - Stockton Thompson empty scrap on 17/02/15.
   
    With trains exiting Washwood Heath unable to run round at Duddeston Jnc due to a Freightliner derailment, 56087 passes through Small Heath to run around at Tyseley with 6E07 13:47 Washwood Heath - Boston steel on 21/04/15.
   
    Two days later and late running has allowed the sun to come around for the shot from the other side of Small Heath bridge, again 56087 has charge having ran around its train at Tyseley with 6E07 13:47 Washwood Heath - Boston steel on 23/04/15.
   
    56081 heads through Spetchley with 6Z35 Derby Chaddesden Sdgs - Cardiff Tidal scrap on 31/07/15.
   
    56301 heads through Badgeworth, Cheltenham with 6Z35 09:38 Cardiff Tidal - Stockton empty scrap on 15/04/15.
   
    56312 heads through Norton with 6Z36 11:08 Stockton - Cardiff scrap on 30/04/15.
   
    56312 Stoke Prior (Bromsgrove) 10:22 Hrs - 6Z35 07:30 Cardiff Tidal - Stockton Thomsons empty scrap. 04/05/15.
   
    56105 & 56 078 head through Moreton Cutting with 6V62 12:01 Tilbury Riverside - Llanwern Exchange Sidings. 13/05/15.
   
    56105 heads through Barrow-on-Trent on 30th September 2015 working 6Z47 York Thrall Europa - King's Norton RHTT wagon move with 56087 on the rear.
   
    56081 passes through Severn Tunnel Junction with 6Z34 09:45 Cardiff Tidal - Chaddesden empty scrap on 31/03/16.
   
    56098 passes through Barrow on Trent with 6Z34 14:29 Leicester - Shipley conneying two 2 JNA box wagons. Running over 30 mins early the sun would have been cock on if it was on time. 20th April 2016.
   
    56098 heads through Hatherley, Cheltenham with 6Z34 09:15 Cardiff Tidal T.C. to Leicester L.I.P. empty scrap on 26th April 2016.
   
   

56302 & 56087 coast down the Lickey with 6X56 11:25 Scunthorpe - Long Marston at Vigo. This stretch of line to Bromsgrove is in the process of being electrified with most of the groundwork and mast bases already in place.

This special was to take stock to Long Marston for a Network Rail industry event and the train was running in the order of 220 minutes late when it passed me at 20:16, making it one of the latest full sun shots I've taken, helped by the fact that 20th June 2016 marked summer solstice, 2016 being a leap year.

   
    56302 heads 6Z47 09:56 York Thrall - Gloucester Horton Rd with 56087 on the rear through Portway with this years RHTT in tow. 30th Sept 2016.
   
    56105 passes through Lower Moor in sole charge of the Worcester to Oxford leg of 3S34 - Gloucester Horton Rd - Gloucester Horton Rd RHTT on 7th November 2016. 56078 had suffered wheel flats and been removed from the train at Worcester Shrub Hill providing the rare sight of a RHTT that isnt top and tailed.
 
   

Consecutively numbered grids 56104 and 56105 head through Croome on 7th November 2016 with 3S34 - Gloucester Horton Rd - Gloucester Horton Rd RHTT which had been routed to Oxford.

56105 headed the train solo to Oxford and back before 56104 which had ran light engine to Worcester Shrub Hill joined the consist and headed the train back to Gloucester from Worcester. All was not well with the loco though as it was doing about 10MPH here allowing for a chase to Eckington where another full bun shot was had.

   
    56104 was in trouble here - having already photographed the train at Croome, had a bit of chat with the gallery before realising the train was still in sight a chase was made for this shot - there aren't any loops between Croome and Eckington southbound so it wasn't moving fast as the drive should take 10 minutes longer than a train.
   
    56302 tnt 56078 head through Croome with 3S33 05.56 Swindon to Gloucester RHTT on 18th October 2016.
   
    56078 tnt 56302 head through Ledbury with 3S33 05.56 Swindon to Gloucester RHTT on 21st October 2016.
   
    56302 tnt 56078 head through Malvern Wells with 3S33 05.56 Swindon to Gloucester RHTT on 21st October 2016.