Finishing Classes... and Spotting trips

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21 Nov 2018
Hi all,

I've read through @palmersears thread of his journey from nothing to everything (bar a handful!) and it has led me to create my own thread of sorts as I try and rack up sightings.

My situation is different. I travel occasionally - normally once or twice a month - for work, and with a young daughter have precious little time to spend just taking a day to go spotting. Therefore my sightings are sporadic and opportunist!

I was a former spotter with my dad until my teens, finishing in 1999. My records from then have sadly been lost although I have plenty of photos and memories.

I restarted, passively in 2016. And since September 2017, have more actively noted down everything I see. I find units more interesting than I used to, barring a few examples. And I'm keen to complete classes. Trainlogger has been a great site for me to use to keep everything up to date, without it - I'd be lost.

So. I've not completed a SINGLE CLASS yet! I expected to have the 390's done by now, but I've had ridiculously bad luck. Here's a run down of the classes I'm closest to finishing:

Class 390 - 54/56 (96%). 390045 & 390155 - aside from not seeing these two, I've seen every single other unit more than once, barring 390013. Indeed, in most cases, at least three times. And the record is 9 with 390008.

Class 91- 29/31 (94%). 91109 & 91127. Time is running out for me here, and I've not been across to the ECML much this year to find any. Aside from a brief stop off at York in June, where I luckily copped 91132, the majority of sightings go back to 2018. May have a meeting in Leeds, which I will use to good effect!

Class 350 - 80/87 (92%). 350114, 129, 231, 240, 244, 262 & 374. I've been luckier with these, plenty of single sightings. I've a weird feeling I'll complete them before the 390s despite that being against the odds!

Class 185 - 45/51 (88%). 185102, 116, 125, 138, 146, 151 required. Have a function on Thursday underneath Manchester Victoria, so hopefully one of these will cross my path.

Class 325 - 12/15 (80%). 325004, 008, 009. Done well with these, and always love seeing them. Likely just a matter of time but I'll enjoy seeing them even when they are done. Of course, shame 325010 is no longer, but I did complete them pre-2000 at least.

Class 332 - 10/14 (71%). 332001, 006, 011, 014. A small class like 325 skews the % I think, but of all the ones I've seen, only one of them (332009) have I seen more than once, so done well.

Class 88 - 7/10 (70%). 88001, 002, 005. Another small class, and present on the WCML, helps! Should get these nailed but as I'll explain, freight coming secondary currently.

Class 221 - 31/44 (70%). Plenty of XC ones to go here, 221106 & 118 left from Virgin. I don't see these as regularly as the 390's, but still by now expected to complete the Virgin ones. So lets see what happens with my upcoming trips!

Class 222 - 19/27 (70%). 222001, 010, 015, 017, 023, 101, 103 & 104. Plenty left, had a great run at these in late 2017 / early 2018. Need a trip to Derby or Luton for example to chalk more of these off.


Passenger trains are being prioritized at the moment, as my meetings are often in London, so I'm dealing with termini and I have to get home too - I don't have much chance to stand on a platform edge sadly :(

I feel once I have a good number of the common passenger classes completed, I'll be seeking out freight patterns more regularly to try and capture more of the likes of Class 66's in one go.

I also feel like a bit of cheat when i capture Class 66's in say Warrington Arpley or Wembley Yard from a passing train. Sure, i can see the number and it counts. But I get more satisfaction from seeing one trundling through in front of me.

My sightings rules are also, you have to see the number to count it - UNLESS you've seen pretty much the whole train but for some frustrating reason, couldn't quite see the number. A handful of times I've requested these and will count them. But say I go past Warrington Arpley and I can't view all the 66's - I won't count them.

I also don't use Gen. I prefer the luck of the draw :)


So, the most recent trip was on the 19th September with a solitary meeting in London, near Pudding Lane. I had a little time to kill but as I will explain, messed up a bit!

Got the train from Preston at 8.17, i was a little early, so took in what I could find. Parked in the bay 3C was 156451. I enjoy seeing the older Northern units and this one I hadn't seen since June 2018 at Manchester Piccadilly. 331112 became the first newbie, on test, sat in Platform 7.

In trundled 319446, which had been my last Northern 319, seen for the first time just a week earlier! I despise seeing the 319's, I don't really know why. They just feel bland in some way.

Also spotted 390008, 390124, 350405 (for a personal record 12th time), 319365 (yawn), 319375 (yawn), 195125 & 156421. Then, a surprise. 142078 appeared on Platform 3, working Preston to Colne. This is a Heaton unit, and was needed! Delighted with this, I headed to Platform 6 for the 8:17 and in trundled 221110.

The train was going via Birmingham so I was hoping for a few WMT cops and the like. Before that, came across 319362 at Leyland (yawn), 331001 (another cop!) and 150126 at Wigan and then 350243 at Crewe with 47830 visible and identifiable as we passed Basford Hall. That was a cop...but as I mentioned, felt cheap. Would rather have seen it in action and hope to still do so.

66742 was spied on entry to Stafford, I need a lot of the GBRf 66's, but not this one.

We then came to Wolverhampton and the start of hopefully some Midlands copping en route to London. Only TfW 158832 was a cop though, with 221138, 350255 & 350124 proving duds. 60066 though, appeared at the Steel Works alongside the main line, and was an unexpected cheap cop. I really need to see more 60's.

Sandwell & Dudley brought 350263 and 323209, which was a cop as my 323 WMT requirements are high!

Onto New Street, and frustratingly all I seemed to see was dud 390's - 390042 and 390011. But then, on departure, 323204 and 170115 were spied, and even better, 350370 was arriving - with not many 350's left required, this was a nice bonus.

International brought dud Pendolino 390009 and Milton Keynes gave me cop 377210 before taking advantage of a slow down at Bushey to cop 378221.

Onto Wembley and the land of the cheap cops ;) The pioneer 66 - 66001 - was there. Another cheap one which I hope to see again more actively. Also visible was 66095 which wasn't needed, and broken 56303. Just afterwards, nearer Willesden Junction, we went past 66766 on an intermodal, which felt a slightly better but still a little bit cheap :)

Into Euston then, and in the sidings on entry 319214 & 319441 were visible. I don't mind the non-Northern 319s! 350265 & 378256 were also cops, delighted with especially on the ongoing rundown of the 350s which I never tire of seeing.

I now had my meeting to go to, which I did via Victoria and Waterloo in a roundabout fashion, and almost everything was a cop:


I had gone to Victoria and then to my meeting on Pudding Lane. I had a couple of hours to kill, but wasn't sure on a plan. In the end I botched it, needed something to eat I went to Shepherd's Bush to hopefully catch some activity thereafter at Kensington Olympia. However, I missed the freight boat!

Shepherd's Bush took me onto 378220, not a cop. About 10/15 mins at KO brought me 377201 & 377203 as cops, and duds 378214 & 378217.

I decided to go back to London via Clapham Junction. With no bino's on me, I was unprepared with what to do, and had little lay over time! Despite only being there for about 7 minutes, I saw:


Oh, 66615 had been seen on a freight at West Brompton en route too, which was a nice bonus I wish I'd seen at KO! Grrrr.

Before arriving back at Waterloo, managed to also spy 5848, 5736, 450104, 450124 & 456017 at Vauxhall.

It was then onto the way home from Euston, aboard 390011 which I had seen earlier at New Street. D'oh!

Wembley Central found 66531 this time as well, which was another cheap cop.

I then struggled as the lady opposite me decided to close the blinds due to low sunlight, so the next sightings were at Crewe, where 47593 was sat beautifully outside the DMD (not a cop - had seen it a couple of months ago at Leyland). At the station though, TfW 150 - 150280 was a happy cop, along with 350258 which wasn't.

150280 turned out to be the final cop of the day as the light failed, Warrington brought 325006 on the Royal Mail train from Warrington to Willesden (didn't spot the other two units with it). Wigan had bore 319 - 319378 - I almost don't want to write them down but would find them even more boring if I didn't!

A quick exit from Preston was required, spying 350407 for only the 5th time on exit.

All in all - a solid day. 67 cops out of 114 seen.

Onto the next. Which will be a brief trip from Buckshaw to Manc Victoria tomorrow (03/10) and return. Next week brings another London trip, but I'm not alone when in London this time, so termini jumping won't be happening!!

All the best and hope you enjoyed reading :)
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RailUK Forums


20 Jun 2017
Interesting looking down your list there.

I can only vouch for photographing but of the 3 x 185s I need, 2 are on your list, 102 and 125. To be fair, I know I saw 125 at Leeds but didn't get a photo.

325004 is a serial avoider for me. I've seen all the others many, many times.

91105 was also a serial avoider for me but I managed to get it eventually (a few times now actually) ; 88004 remains so.

Sometimes, these things do seem to defy rational statistics (I know that statistics accounts for this).

Oh, and 221144 hasn't been in existence too long but I did see it last month being attended to at Edinburgh Waverley having been well-bloodied after it had hit something sizeable. The Bombardier technician in attendance was on the phone for a long time and then eventually used a big roll of sellotape to seal the broken headlight. :D

Good luck getting out and about ; you'll need some way of relaxing to get you through your daughter's teens. :(


Established Member
20 Sep 2011
Very kind of you, sir! Nice to see my jaunts still provide a source of interest. If you have any questions let me know.

You've reminded me also that I need to update my thread...


21 Nov 2018
Thank you @433N - it is strange how certain locos / units evade us completely.

My pleasure @palmersears :p

Small update here as well. Had a business meeting event at TeamSport underneath Manchester Victoria on Thursday last week. Won the karting ;) and en route from Buckshaw to Victoria and return managed to pick up a couple of winners.

Travelled there aboard the horrible 319368, spying 350402, 350404 and 319378 before it arrived. Bolton produced duds 150224 and 319380 before I arrived at Salford Crescent for a brief lay-over to change trains.

Nothing much here, but enjoyed the novelty of Pacers - 142045, 057 & 060 all arrived - the latter coupled together. Unlucky for those travellers! 350407 blasted through towards Glasgow, 319377 bored through going to Blackpool and 150110, 150137 and 150205 also provided something to look at. One bonus cop was of track machine DR98954 which came through on a round trip from Wigan L.I.P.

Aboard 150137 to Victoria, going through Salford Central caught a glimpse of 66725 on the Stone (?) train to the Salford terminal there. 150125 and 156424 also present at Central.

Into Victoria then, and not much to shout about. 150145, 153328, 158753, 185106, 185127 and 185139 with 319386 stabled in the siding North of the station. Always enjoy seeing 185's.

Then, the highlight of the brief day, as 68026 roared in heading to Liverpool from Scarborough. What a wonderful racket this thing made!

After smashing the karting, headed back, without chance to view anything other than being on 319369 now due to the heavy rush-hour foot traffic.

Looking at the 68's, I've been incredibly lucky so far with these, never seeing the same one twice! :


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