May 2019: Last HSTs - The GWR franchise announced they were discontinuing the use of the well-regarded and comfortable HST passenger trains some 40 years after their introduction on the previous Western Region of BR. By then the brand new Japanese bi-mode (diesel or electric) IETs were available in numbers to render the HST sets redundant. The last service ran on the evening of the 18th June, headed by the Flying Welshman - Geraint Thomas – wearing his race winner’s yellow jersey, signified on the stylised Welsh Dragon. A fortnight later GWR ran a commemorative special which I pictured by the A4 passing into the sunset, both figuratively and literally, with one of the power cars of the first production set 253001 in the original livery bringing up the rear.
Last HSTs, 2019