The British Rail Class 35 'Hymek' was a mixed traffic locomotive which was built from 1961 and 1964. They were part of the British Rail modernization plan. One hundred and one examples of the class were built by Beyer Peakcock in a joint venture with Bristol Siddeley Engines. At the time they were built, the Hymeks were the most powerful diesel-hydraulic locomotives operating with a single Maybach MD870 engine. Because of their Mekydro designed hydraulic transmission units, the locomotives quickly gained the nickname of 'Hymeks'. The locomotives were based at Cardiff Canton, Bristol Bath Road and Old Oak Common depots, and were mainly employed on secondary passenger services and mixed freights. They were also capable of working in multiple but only with each other. They were common in all parts of the region from Paddington to Bristol/South Wales/Worcester/Hereford. They also worked to Birmingham and the West of England, but were rare west of Plymouth.

Sourcing images from the operational period of the Hymeks has been quite a challenge, but we now have a good selection of images to display on Taunton Trains showing the class members working in and around the Taunton area.

If you can help out with any further images from the Taunton area please do not hesitate to Contact Us

On an unknown date BR Green Class 53 No.D7000 is seen stabled at Taunton between duties. This example shows the loco painted BR Two Tone Green with no yellow ends.

(Photo: Gary Harris)

On an unknown date a BR Blue Class 35 No.D7001 is seen at Taunton working the 5A06 parcels service through Platform 4 at Taunton.

(Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)

During April 1966 BR Two Tone Green Class 53 No.D7006 passes through Taunton with a BR inspection saloon (80976) in tow. Although the locomotive is no more, the Inspection Saloon has survived. It was purchased by the West Somerset Railway Association as a genuine piece of Western Region history and will hopefully soon operate on the West Somerset Railway. The original photographer of this image is unknown, although we have made enquiries.

(Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)

On the 11th June 1970 BR Blue Class 35 No.D7007 approaches Taunton at Norton Fitzwarren with a lengthy mixed freight. The loco is wearing the freight headcode 7M60.

(Photo: Paul Clarke)

In 1968 Class 35 Hymek No.D7007 is pictured stabled on Taunton Shed painted in blue with small yellow warning panels. The photographer notes that 0J00 was often used as the Wellington Banker headcode, so perhaps this loco had recently returned from banking duties on the Whiteball Bank.

(Photo: Kevin Auger)

On an unknown date, BR Blue Class 35 Hymek No.D7012 is seen stabled on Taunton Shed between duties, presumably it's previous working may have been a freight (7B61).

(Photo: Norman Hawkes)

D7012 is pictured in the Minehead Bay platforms at Taunton shunting mail vans during the Summer of 1968.

(Photo: Michael Atkinson)

During May 1968 BR Green Hymek No.D7014 stands at Taunton having arrived from Bristol with a North of England to Plymouth train. The loco was then removed from the service and replaced with Class 52 Western No.D1044 'Western Duchess'. The Western took the service train forward to Plymouth.

(Photo: Kevin Auger)

On an unknown date BR Blue Class 53 No.D7017 is seen employed on shunting duties at Taunton. D7017 was one of four Hymeks which made it into preservation.

(Photo: Chris Perkins)

As mentioned about D7017 was saved for preservation locally and soon became part of the DEPG (Diesel and Electric Preservation Group). The loco is seen at Taunton on the 9th August 1975 pending transfer to the West Somerset Railway.

(Photo: Chris Perkins)

On the 23rd June 1975 BR Blue liveried Class 35 No.D7028 is seen at Taunton with a northbound passenger service.

(Photo: Paul Clarke)

29th April 1970 shows BR Blue Class 35 No.D7033 departing from Fairwater Yard using the 'Taunton Avoider' which swung behind Taunton Station, over Station Road and linked with Taunton East Yard. This rare photo is also dated by the vehicles in the foreground as well as the locomotive!

(Photo: Bernard Mills)

On an unknown date BR Blue Class 35 No.D7040 is seen stabled on Taunton Shed between duties.

(Photo: Kevin Auger)

Taken in late 1969 a Hymek and Western pairing are seen at Taunton. Hymek No.D7049 leads Western No.D1051 'Western Ambassador'. The service was the up 'Devonian' operating between Paignton and Bradford. This service was often double headed for a period of time. One reason floated about at the time was that it was to allow a loco to returned to Bristol saving a pathway and the need for a second man as would be required for a light engine movement.

(Photo: Kevin Auger)

On an unknown date BR Blue Class 35 No.D7092 is seen paused at Taunton West Box with a southbound mixed freight.

(Photo: Kevin Auger)

In 1974 BR Blue Class 35 No.D7093 is seen stabled on Taunton Shed between duties, the loco is buffered up to one of the two industrial steam locomotives which was destined for the West Somerset Railway.

(Photo: Paul Clarke)




Four Class 35 Hymeks were saved for preservation, and two of them now reside in Somerset at the West Somerset Railway. D7017 and D7018 are both located at Williton Shed under the care of the DEPG (Diesel and Electric Preservation Group). D7076 resides on the East Lancashire Railway, and has visited the West Somerset Railway several times, and D7029 remains a long term restoration project for the Diesel Traction Group and is currently based at the Severn Valley Railway.

This rare and ironic and undated shot shows D1023 'Western Fusilier' passing Norton Fitzwarren while D7017 (now preserved) is located on the Norton spur leading to Bishops Lydeard.

It's not known why D7017 was located down at Norton at this time, it was perhaps engaged in a stock transfer to the West Somerset Railway.

(Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)

By September 1979 D7017 had been repainted into its original BR Green livery, and is seen here stabled at Minehead in preservation.

(Photo: Reg Jones)

D7018 is seen at Minehead in 1993 at the head of the Quantock Belle dining train. The loco suffered a major engine failure in the late 90's and has been out of service for a major overhaul since this date. The loco is yet to return to revenue earning service on the WSR.

(Photo: Darren Harris)

D7017 was repainted into a modern day livery in the 90's in a 'what might of been' had the hymeks of survived in revenue earning traffic on the mainline. The loco carried Civil Engineers 'Dutch' livery for a period. The loco is pictured at Williton Yard.

(Photo: Brian Garrett)

The sight of a civil engineers liveried Hymek on the West Somserset Railway may have ruffled a few feathers amoung the purists, but with the Hymeks having carried so few 'traditional liveries' this experiment at least showed what could of been. On the 31st October 1992, D7017 arrives int Williton hauling the 11:10 from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead.

(Photo: Huigh Dady)

Each summer the DEPG fleet is used on peak summer services on Fridays and Saturdays. On the 12th September 2009, D7017 is seen passing Castle Hill near Williton with a service train to Bishops Lydeard

(Photo: Cameron Walker)

On the 15th June 2012, D7018 is seen at Williton Shed on display during a Mixed Traffic weekend. The loco is currently undergoing a major overhaul and will hopefully return to service in 2015.

(Photo: Brian Garrett)

Sunday 2nd January 2011, saw the West Somerset Railway celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the lines closure, when the last scheduled passenger and freight trains operated over the line on the 2nd January 1971. To coincide with with the achievements made since this date, the WSR operated a number of special workings during the day. D7017 ran as D7047 for the day on a freight train, and later took part in an orangised 'night shoot' at Williton to replicate scenes from the final night before closure.

(Photo: Brian Garrett)

On the 16th June 2007, East Lancashire Railway based Hymek No.D7076 makes a stunning departure from Crowcombe with a Minehead bound service.

(Photo: Brian Garrett)