GDS Railway Photography

by Gary Smith

Welcome to GDS Railway Photography … predominately a personal collection of my favourite mostly Southern UK shots from the last 55 years but also a place to record earlier Historical images of our railways now long gone. Please use the arrows above to scroll through a small selection or select Favourites to see more.

This image shows a sudden snow storm at Medstead & Four Marks in February 2018 on the Mid Hants Railway ... 5 mins later it was brilliant sunshine!

Driver Clive Groome awaits the right away

Driver Clive Groome

Bluebell Railway

Driver Clive Groome awaits right away before departing Sheffield Park on the Bluebell Railway with visiting LNER B12 No 8572 in 2016

S&DJR 7F 53809 at Sheffield Park station on a very wet 2008 evening


Bluebell Railway

S&DJR 7F 53809 lurks in the darkness at Sheffield Park station on a very wet 2008 evening

Merchant Navy class 35005 Canadian Pacific

Merchant Navy "Canadian Pacific"

Mid Hants Railway

Merchant Navy Class 35005 "Canadian Pacific" briefly pauses at Medstead & Four Marks in 2007

Safety Valves

Safety Valves

Mid Hants Railway

Unrebuilt Bulleid Pacific safety valves

No 24 Calbourne awaits departure from Horstead Keynes

IOW O2 Calbourne

Bluebell Railway

IOW no 24 Calbourne hides behind the running in board at Horstead Keynes in 2019

Driver of LMS 2-8-0 48624

LMS 2-8-0 48624

Great Central Railway

The driver of a southbound freight awaits the right of way at Loughborough in 2018


T9 at Harmans Cross

Swanage Railway

LSWR T9 "Greyhound" 30120 pauses next to Harmons Cross Signal Box in 2018


Being passionate about UK railways and in particular the ex LSWR division of the Southern Railway,later to become British Railways Southern Region, my photographs cover the closing years of Southern steam right up to modern day heritage railways. In particular many earlier shots of stations, signal boxes, and general railway architecture were taken not only to record the fast changing scene but with future modelling projects in mind.

Sadly not many of my pre 1968 photos are worthy of a second glance but better equipment and holidays circa 1969/70 enabled the recording of quite a bit of the fast disappearing ex LSWR West Country lines by then affectionally known as the Withered Arm. Exeter to Plymouth via Okehampton, Tavistock and Bere Alston although closed between Meldon Quarry and Bere Alston was still intact with the opened sections fully signalled and run much as they had been back in steam days. Ditto Ilfracombe via Barnstaple along with the freight only Torrington branch and even a small part around Wadebridge and up to Wenford Bridge was still open for freight.

Throughout the seventies and eighties whenever the opportunity arouse I continued to seek out and record the remaining pockets of the old ways in particular Signal Boxes and signals whilst enjoying the wonderful experiences increasingly being provided by the preservationists. I take my hat off to each and everyone of them.

With the amazing equipment now readily available, but little left to record and the return of mainline steam, the last 30 years have seen much emphasis on obtaining the best shot or video possible. Being a perfectionist 99% don’t even get on the first rung of the ladder, but just occasionally I think that’s not too bad and these are the ones displayed here.

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