(All pics copyright Steve Sainsbury/Rail Thing 1.6.2014)
I've managed a few trips out taking pictures recently. Now I know it's a bit old hat to say things were better in the past, and the past is gone and there's not a thing we can do about, but I do remember that it used to be EASIER to take good pics in the past. There was more rail infrastructure about in which to set the pics, and certainly in the 70s and 80s there was a lot more variety of motive power, even if the liveries were less varied.
For example here at Bedminster in the 70s there would have been Westerns and Peaks and first generation DMUs. All of the expresses would have been loco hauled. There would probably been a few more freight trains.
But we have to work with what we've got. In the 70s I had a string of cheap cameras and film cost a fortune to buy and develop and print. Now I can sit and take hundreds of photos at practically no cost. I can waste shots! And to make shots interesting you just need a cleverer approach. I use telephoto a lot and like the punchiness of a lot of the telephoto shots. I try to include people more now, to set the trains in context. They are not there just for our benefit!
I'm hoping to go out again later today, see what I can get at Yatton. Same trains, but perhaps better framing as the station is still there in all its glory. And who knows, I may even capture a loco hauled freight ...
More info (from Wikipedia)
Bedminster railway station is on the Bristol to Exeter Line and serves the districts of Bedminster and Windmill Hill in Bristol, England. It is 0.9 miles (1.4 km) to the west of Bristol Temple Meads, and 119 miles (192 km) from London Paddington. Its three letter station code is BMT. It was opened in 1871 by the Bristol and Exeter Railway, was resited slightly further to the west in 1884 and was rebuilt in 1932. The station, which has three through-lines and two island platforms, but minimal facilities, was managed by First Great Western in 2012, the seventh company to be responsible for the station, and the third franchise since privatisation in 1997. They provide all train services at the station, mainly an hourly service between Bristol Parkway and Weston-super-Mare.
There is local support for the line to be electrified, as an extension of the planned electrification of the London to Bristol route, and the level of service would be improved if proposals for the reinstatement of a passenger service on the nearby Portishead Branch Line, which was reopened for freight in 2001, are successful.
The station is built on the lower northern slopes of Windmill Hill, on the Bristol to Exeter Line 119 miles 22 chains (191.95 km) from London Paddington and 71 chains (1.43 km) from Bristol Temple Meads. It the first station along the line from Bristol. To the south of the station is a primarily residential area, with terraced houses and several tower blocks; while to the north is an industrial estate and shopping area. The railway line serves as the boundary between the Southville and Windmill Hill council wards, although the area is generally considered part of Bedminster, it is not part of the Bedminster council ward. The area is also served by Parson Street railway station, 74 chains (1.49 km) further along the line.
The station has two island platforms, each 240 yards (220 m) long, but only the first 100–110 yards (90–100 m) are in use, the rest fenced off. Platform 1 is on the north side of the southern island, on the "Down Main" line serving westbound trains, the other side of the island is not in use, having been converted to a carriage siding. Platforms 2 and 3 are on the northern island. Platform 3, on the north side "Up Relief" line, is used exclusively for eastbound trains. Platform 2, on the south side "Up Main" line, is used mostly for eastbound trains, but can be used for westbound services, as the line is signalled for bidirectional running. The speed limit through the station is 90 miles per hour (140 km/h) on the Down Main and eastbound on the Up Main. The Up Relief and westbound Up Main have a speed limit of 40 miles per hour (64 km/h), the siding has a speed limit of 25 miles per hour (40 km/h). The line is not electrified.
Access between the platforms is via a subway with ramps at the west end of the platforms, although the station is not considered completely accessible as the ramps are steeper than 1 in 12. The subway exits onto Fraser Street, which is the sole entrance to the station.The subway is decorated with murals painted by local schoolchildren, reflecting the history and culture of Bristol.
Facilities at the station are minimal - there is a metal and glass shelter on each of the two islands, and a bench on the eastbound island. The station is completely unstaffed, and there are no facilities for buying tickets. There are customer help points, giving next train information for both platforms. There is no car park or taxi rank, and the nearest bus stop is 200 yards (180 m) away on Malago Road. There is some cycle storage available.