OCTOBER 2009 NEWS : 


Monday 27th saw DB Schenker remove several parts of the HOBC from Fairwater Yard, taking them to London. The Network Rail HOBC and TRT based in Fairwater Yard have been inactive recently owing to a change of operational contractor. Network Rail have taken this chance to move parts of the sets to London in order to conduct speed trials on the West Coast Mainline using the more powerful Class 92 Electrics instead of the GM Class 66's.

DB Schenker were employed to move the sets in two workings on Monday 27th, although these workings caught us out so have not been recorded photographically.

66025 & 66094 worked the following movements this morning:

0Z02 09:09 Wembley - Fairwater Yard, 0Z02 05:15 Didcot Yard - Fairwater Yard

6Z02 08:15 Fairwater Yard - Willesden Euro Terminal, 6Z03 09:27 Fairwater Yard - Willesden Euro Terminal.

It's thought test will be carried out on the WCML this week, and the sets will be returned to Fairwater Yard on Friday.

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In other news, DB Schenker have recently signed a new contract to supply haulage and operations for Lafarge trains for the next 10 years. This is likely to affect the Moorswater Cement flow which operates from the Lafage terminal at Earles Sidings. The flow has been operated by Freightliner Heavy Haul since 2002. It is currently unknown if this working will remain as a bulk flow from Earles to Moorswater, or if DB will choose to integrate the cement traffic back into it's enterprise/ wagonload traffic to and from the South West.

 

October 24th and 25th were the dates for the West Somerset Railway's 'Mixed Traffic Weekend' which would feature both Steam and Diesel traction over the entire length of the line. Locomotives from the current WSR Steam Fleet and from the DEPG (Based at Williton) were supplied to provide a period gala. With Autumnal sunlight at a premium we have provided a selection of Steam and Diesel from photographs from Saturday 24th. Further photos will be able to be viewed on our Taunton Trains Fotopic website in due course. Passenger numbers seemed good, with all trains well loaded (including Diesel Hauled services). Additional catering vehicles were again a welcome sight at Bishops Lydeard, Watchet and Minehead. The WSR also ran a goods train throughout the length of the line which saw D7017 double heading with D9526 on the morning run to Bishops Lydeard. For those willing to stay a little bit longer into the twighlight hours of Autumn, there was the additional chance to try some rare night WSR photography!

 

Taunton has seen a wide and varied amount of traction in 2009. 2010 is now fast approaching, and there are no signs of a let up in the constant procession of workings we cover on this website. 31106 has recently been repainted into it's former BR Blue livery. The loco works test trains for Network Rail, and on the night of the 21st October is seen paused at Taunton with the 4Z08 Exeter Riverside - Kingsland Road UTU3 test train. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
DB Schenker made changes to the Fawley Tanks this week. Tuesday 20th October saw 66158 work the 6V62 to a different destination. The block fuel train has always worked to Tavistock Jn but on the 20th October was revised permanently to the 08:48 Fawley - Plymouth Friary. DBS have now closed Tavistock Jn yard with the exception of stabling engineering trains there as required. The Fawley Tanks will now work direct to Plymouth Friary sidings where the train will be shunted as required. On what should be the last daylight photo featuring the Fawley Tanks, 66158 passes Victory Crossing on route to Plymouth Friary on the 20th October. (Photo: Steve Yarde)
Taunton experienced double headed English Electric Traction on the 17th October. For those awake (or who should have been awake) the sight of 37516 and 37676 was possible on Spitfire Railtorus 'Jorvic Growler' charter from Taunton to York. The tour departed Taunton at 05:22 only for 37516 to fail at Bristol Parkway. The charter returned to Taunton from York with 47851 leading and 37676 on the rear of the train. (Photo Left: Rob Sherwood, Photo Right: John White)
Taunton witnessed one of the biggest workings of the year on the 14th October 2009. Colas Rail were contracted to move a rake of redundant wagons from Quidhampton to Burngullow via an overnight stop at Tavistock Jn. Colas hired Class 52 Western D1015 'Western Champion' to haul the consist into Devon and Cornwall. With veteran Colas Driver Robin Gould at the window, D1015 (Currently displayed D1064 'Western Governor') departs Taunton in fine style! (Photo: Brian Garrett)
With thanks to Steve Yarde we have been able to include a video of the stunning departure from Taunton. D1015 paused briefly to drop of a crew member at Taunton before proceeding South to Tavistock Jn. (Video: Steve Yarde)
DB Schenker's only company liveried Class 66 was used to haul the 6V62 Fawley - Tavistock Jn fuel into the South West on Tuesday 13th October. The loco is looking remarkably clean for the time of year and is see here passing Westford Crossing (Wellington) with a lengthy rake of fuel tanks in tow, on route to Tavistock Jn (Photo: John White)
It's time to get your Choppers out. Yes Taunton Trains wants your images and notes on rare Class 20's which have passed through Taunton over the years! We have now updated and provided a pictorial selection of the workings which we have recorded, but we know there have been more! So dig into your collections and let us know what you have.
As the 2009 leaf fall season gathers pace Network Rail are continuing their assault on rail head leaf mulch with the RHTT sets across the UK. 66116 and 66153 are the current South West based pair, both of which are beginning to show signs of their dirty work. On the 10th October the pair are in superb Autumn light seen departing Taunton at 40 Steps with the 3S13 from Westbury before jetting Whiteball on route into Devon. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
As part of 31106's trip from Exeter Riverside to Didcot via Minehead, the locomotive was required to use Taunton Station to reverse before heading onto the WSR. Platform 1 at Taunton provided the ideal place to recess the train without disrupting mainline movements. On the 7th October 31106 became the first BR Blue liveried Class 31 to enter platform 1 since the 1980's and the first recorded visit of this loco to the famous Taunton Platform. (Photo: 50006 Neptune)
We are now able to provide the full video of 31106's visit to Minehead. The train was followed by a band of dedicated rail enthusiasts in appalling weather conditions throughout it's route to and Minehead. We have provided a Youtube link opposite.(Video: Nathan Williamson)
Minehad was visited by Network Rail Test Train UTU3 on the 7th October. The 4 coach train was driven to Minehead with Ex Anglia DBSO leading with BR Blue 31106 on the rear of the train. Having arrived at Minehead 31106 is seen ready to depart and continue back to Taunton before heading to Didcot. Note the addition of the former 'Butlins Express' headboard! The train was formed of stock DBSO 9702, 999605, 6262, 999508 + 31106. (Photo: Nathan Williamson)
Further enhancements to the Memories Pages have taken place today with the completion of additiona images and more informative text to 'The Big Change' page. We would like to thank everyone who takes their time to submit images and information to this website. Without your help we would not be able to bring you some of the stunning events which have occoured.
We have spent some considerable time updating the Exeter Railfair section on the Memories Page today. Although the railfair is outside the scope of Taunton Trains, the workings it produced to get stock to and from the event is. With thanks to several photographers we have managed to piece together the movements and charters surrounding the event. It was held some 15 years ago on 1st and 2nd May 1994.
First Great Western continued it's run of bad lock with their Night Riviera service on the 3rd October. The Northbound 1A40 Penzance - Paddington service had to be operated by a HST set (43029+LA02+43040) due to the failure of 57604 at Penzance. Due to an imbalance of stock, hire in loco 57308 from Virgin Trains was used to haul the failed Class 57 and empty sleeper stock from Penzance to Old Oak Common. The embarrassing ensemble is seen passing 40 Steps, Taunton before pausing in the station for a crew change. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Is there a steam train coming? It's a question we all get asked while stood waiting at the lineside. Today the answer should have been yes! 34067 'Tangmere' was booked to work between Bristol and Kingswear hauling 'The Dartmouth Express'. However the diesel leg of the tour from Poole to Bristol ran into trouble at Salisbury when West Coast Railways 47760 expired. With no further way of being able to continue the tour to Bristol the charter was unfortunately cancelled. We have therefore included a shot from 2007 showing Tangmere passing Norton Fitzwarren with the Cathedrals Express having just departed Taunton heading South. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
The West Somerset Railway continued their Autumn Steam Gala on Saturday 4rd October, today we feature Great Western Manor No.7802 'Bradley Manor' and Castle No.5029 'Nunny Castle'. The pair are seen passing Castle Hill with a mixed rake of coaching stock shortly after departing from Williton on route to Bishops Lydeard. (Photo: Cameron Walker)
The West Somerset Railway started their 'Autumn Steam Gala' on the 1st October with a feast of classic Great Western traction on offer. From Tank engines, to GWR Manor's, Hall's, Castle's and a King. The weather was kind for the first of four days of Great Western heritage on the 19mile line. 4953 'Pitchford Hall' is seen passing Yard Farm in good light on route to Bishops Lydeard with the 14:05 from Minehead during the Gala Weekend (Photo: Nathan Williamson)
Amey Colas has strengthened it's current position in the South West with news from Network Rail that the company is the preferred bidder to continue the Network Rail High Output South West Track Renewals for the next 5 years. The current contract has been operated by First (Babcock) Sweitelsky expired on September 30th. The transition period between the two contractor will start immediately with full Colas operation expected to start in January 2010. Colas has a long standing relationship with Network Rail and has been working in the South West since 1988. The company also has a growing rail operations division, which could see some very interesting workings appearing in the Taunton area very shortly, should Colas wish to also use Fairwater Yard as an operations base for it's own operations.
The first day of October kicked off with Network Rail operating an inspection saloon from Derby to Taunton and return.The inspection move used West Coast Railways maroon livered 47787 for the outing to Taunton with various Network Rail employees on board. The Ex Rail Express Systems postal locomotive was once a common sight in the Taunton area, working parcels trains over the length and breadth of the country. It's seen passing Creech St Michael. (Photo: Steve Yarde)
Also passing Taunton on the 1st October was the first appearance of the 2009 RHTT (Rail Head Treatment Train. 66116 and 66153 will be making regularly appearances through Taunton during the 2009 leaf fall season jetting rails and applying sandite where required. (See September News for their diagrams). The DB Schenker Pair are seen passing Creech St Michael on route to St Blazey in Cornwall. (Photo: Steve Yarde)