A train from on high

Today’s train is really quite a venerable piece. It isn’t a steamer nor even what used to get called a ‘heritage diesel’ or ‘classic traction’. No, it is what currently runs most services between London and the West of England via Taunton. It is an example of the once ubiquitous High Speed Train or HST for short. And they have been running the service on this line for well over thirty years now. Indeed the prototypes of this train were built in 1972 – more than forty years ago. They certainly aren’t new!

But on this occasion it is the viewpoint that I like – almost looking down on the train from high above it.


There’s the train, heading off to the west and shortly it will be in the town of Westbury in Wiltshire.

My vantage point for the photo was on Bratton Camp, an ancient hill-top fort with a very steep slope on the hill. This slope is decorated by the Westbury White Horse, so this view might almost be seen as the opposite of the Eric Ravilious picture featured in March on my Ravilious calendar (click here).

That photo was zoomed in when taken, but I took a second zoomed out to show more of the scene.


The train is little more than a purple line on this photo with the front end about to pass the Westbury Cement Works which is now disused. The train provides some scale (for me) when pondering on the height of the chimney. It is about five and a half carriage lengths high which means 400 feet in English units or 120 metres or so in metric.

The hill above the white horse is just a few metres higher.

Since the cement works closed there has been some debate over the future of the chimney – is in an eyesore or an iconic landmark. Personally, I go for the iconic status and do you know what? I think Eric Ravilious would have done as well.


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2 Responses to “A train from on high”

  1. smalltowngirlsmidnighttrains Says:

    I love trains. (Probably because we don’t have any where I live heh.) Thanks for sharing.

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