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Railway Photography by Paul Robertson



An image of me at an EMRPS photo charter at the Foxfield railway in 2007. (R.Hay)


Welcome to this website which I created to illustrate some of my 30,000+ colour slides and digital collection, depticting images from the early 1990's to the present day. I have also added some of my print/colour negative collection of images taken prior to me moving to slides in the early 90s, as well as photos/slides to which I myself did not take, but which I hold copyright for in my "PR Collection".

I decided to create this site after running a fotopic site for some time, which was convenient and easy to use, but I just wanted more control and to put my own 'stamp' on the site (and to be able to view it whilst at work - as logging on to Fotopic was barred from work computers..). I do have a Flickr site though, as this does provide an easier way in which to upload images and I do like the ability to be able to leave comments and feedback.


My connection, or rather love of Toton !

I moved to live near Toton yards in the early 90s and have been regularly taking photographs of the changing scene in the area since that time, hence the choice of site name and the amount of images taken there!. There is a page dedicated to the Toton Yard area, which gives a flavour of the layout of the Toton complex and a variety of photographs to show the changing scene in the area in the last 30 years or so. There's certainly something special about the place, from my earliest visits up the bank watching 20s and Peaks, to visits into the depot with my dad who used to go in every once in a while to quote for scrap prices, I'd tag along on the lorry with my spotters notebook - great times! Living nearby such a well known railway location has been great, from hearing 37s thrashing away on the load bank - even at night, to the squeel of brakes & flanges, and the toot of the yard pilots - I'd live even closer if the family would allow !

Chaddesden Yard

There is a separate page detailing the workings to, from and at Chaddesden Yard in Derby which provided a wealth of traffic and variety in motive power until the spoil trains operated by EWS ceased a few years ago. These workings were a mainstay of 'heritage' power to and from the area and as such created a lot of interest with photographers. In recent times the yard has been used by DCR as a base for their wagons and locos, with Colas also operating to/from here when hiring wagons from DCR.


The rest of the website is laid out with pictorial sections grouped by classes. I hope you enjoy viewing the photographs on this site, all images published are the copyright of Paul Robertson unless stated otherwise. The pictures may not be used or published for commercial/editorial purposes without permission. Legal action may be taken in respect of any breach of copyright law.

I do not mind the images being used for personal use, but if I find any of them reproduced on another website without appropriate credit, or being purported to be someone else's photo, then I will follow this up with appropriate legal action. As a well known national company will testify, I am not just saying this as a threat, it really will happen..

My photography timeline

I have been photographing railways since the early eighties during my spotting days on print film, and changing to colour slides and making a concerted effort to improve my photography in the early nineties. My first cameras were of the 126 and 110 varieties, later being given a basic manual 35mm SLR by a friend which got me further interested in photography. A subsequent birthday gift being a Praktika MTL5B, later followed by an Olympus OM10 bought from the London Camera Exchange shop in Nottingham.

My first autofocus SLR was a Canon EOS 750 (for all of 1 day, which is all it took to realise it was usesless), I very quickly upgraded to a EOS 1000fn which I used for a number of years and it provided good service through the 1990's. I later went on to use EOS 1 & EOS 3 film cameras which were excellent, before first dabbling in the world of digital photography when I bought an EOS 20D from a friend in 2006. At first I still continued to use the film cameras, but slowly this dropped off and I was only using film during photo charters. Eventually I decided to drop using film all together (once my stocks of Fuji T64 ran out) and I'm now totally digital.

I used a Canon EOS 5D mk11 until I managed to kill it, and now I use a 6D with a Canon 50mm f1.4 standard lens, 24-70L & 70-200L zoom lenses & a canon 85mm prime. I also still own my Canon EOS 3 film camera but this gets very little use these days and hasn't been out of its box in anger since about 2008.

I was one of the first to start using a photography pole in the country - and I thank those couple of intrepid guys that predated me for their advice and support. Poles are now very common, and rightly so as they give an excellent alternative viewpoint on well used locations, and they can give whole new views that just aren't possible from the ground or steps. To those that still persist to moan about pole users, get a grip and embrace new techniques or keep quiet, jealously is such an ugly thing...

Talking of new techniques, I purchased a drone a couple of years back after seeing some excellent drone shots by Rob H on Flikr. I started with a Mavic Air2, but when drone laws were amended, I down sized to a Mavic mini2, and in 2022 I changed to a Mavic mini3. Drones, like poles, are becoming more and more popular - helped by their relatively cheap price.

I started my railway career as a YTS trainee at Leicester in the late eighties, and currently (still) work within the rail industry in the East Midlands. Family life and the loss of many of the 'classic' traction types has waned my interest in recent years but I'll still pop out for something local if the sun happens to shine.. Yes, I'm a fair weather photographer as most of the photographs published on this website suggest, but I wasn't always like that and would happily go out for a days photography on cloudy dull weather days in the 1990s. The results are obviously nowhere near as good as sunny pics in my opinion, but everyone has their own opinions and views - and of course I can't go back and do them again.

The 35mm colour slides are scanned in using an Epson 4490 flatbed scanner, and tweaked with photoshop elements3 or CS3 and Neat image. Neat Image is highly recommended for removing noise from 35mm scans:

In the last year or so I've acquired a reflecta DigitDia 7000 bulk scanner, where you can put a tray of slides into it and it'll merrily scan away until they're all done.

In creating this website I must thank the assistance of Andy Williams with my crash course in learning HTML, without his advice the journey would have been far more difficult, if not impossible. You can view Andy's excellent website here: 

Please note that I am in no way connected to or work at Toton depot and I cannot arrange for visits or provide contact details for any persons wishing to make a visit to take photographs or other activities. The location is operated by DB Cargo and any enquiries should be directed to them.




Warning - Photographs & images on this website may not be used or published for commercial/editorial purposes without permission. Legal action WILL be taken in respect of any breach of copyright law.