|Regular Saturday freights have all but ceased in the South West, however on the 27th February 66188 hauled the 6Z43 06:38 St Blazey - Newport Alexander Dock Jn, China Clay service. In inclement weather conditions we made the most of no sun to bring you this shot of 66188 passing through Platform 4, while 57307 'Lady Penelope' can be seen stabled in Platform 1. The Class 57's would later work ECS to Cardiff Canton for weekend servicing. (Photo: Brian Garrett)|
|Freightliner Heavy Haul continue to have a good presence in the Taunton area, although their HOBC and TRT duties are certainly not running at full capacity. Therefore movements between Fairwater Yard and the West Somerset Railway have become somewhat sporadic. On the 22nd February 66951 delivered a train of used sleepers to the Norton Triangle Project, the locomotive then returned to Fairwater Yard. Later in the week the DEPG's D1661 (47840) 'North Star' was captured shunting the wagons on the triangle as they were off loaded. It's hoped that the HOBC and TRT operations will pick up again soon as the Spring fast approaches. (Photo: Malcom Anderon)|
|DB Schenker provided the opportunity to photograph its 6C99 China Clay and Scrap service during daylight hours on the 24th February. 66100 hauled the lengthy re timed 6C99 05:40 Newport ADJ - St Blazey service, passing Taunton at 07:30. The daylight hours are slowly pulling out as each day passes, and for those dedicated photographers early morning shots are just about possible now. (Photo: Steve Yarde)|
|Taunton has seen a good variety of movements again this week. Two new freight flows operated by DB Schenker have also boosted the usual number of locomotives passing through Taunton's platforms. Wednesday 24th February saw 31233 venture from Bristol to Penzance with the Network Rail 'Structure Gauging Train'. The grubby veteran locomotive solider's up the grade at Beambridge towards Whiteball shortly after passing Taunton. (Photo: Steve Yarde)|
The week commencing 22nd February saw 57307 'Lady Penelope' make her first outing on the Taunton - Cardiff stopping diagram. The only female named Class 57/3 (complete with pink nameplate) was switched over the previous weekend with 57305. Although the Taunton - Cardiff Class 57 diagram has seen two weeks of good reliability, the 23rd resulted in the 2U14 11:03 from Taunton being cancelled due to brake problems. (Photo: Grumpy)
|With Exeter St Davids on the destination blind, it's been many years since a scheduled passenger service departed Platform 1. Sadly the 15th February did not turn out to be a new service from Taunton. 143617 broke new ground for its Class when it ended up stabled in Platform 1 between duties at Taunton. The unexpected move occurred on 15th February. This was the first time a Class 143 had ever been stabled in the bay Platform at Taunton. (Photo: Steve Yarde)|
|Another 'first' for Taunton occurred on the 15th February when Network Rail used on of their recently rebuilt Class 37's to work a light engine driver training run from Barrow Hill to Exeter. The reclassified 97301 (Former 37100) was used to operate the 0Z97 light engine move, and is pictured passing through Taunton from 40 Steps on route South. The loco stabled in Platform 6 at Exeter and is booked to return North on the 16th. (Photo: Rob Sherwood)|
|UK Railtours operated a charter from London Paddington to Par on the 13th February. The tour gave two off train options, a private visit to Plymouth Naval Base or a visit to the Eden Project in Cornwall. 67002 'Special Delivery' was supplied as traction for the tour and it seen passing Victory Crossing with an almost matching rake of blood and custard coaching stock. A rare sight indeed with the mish mash sets which exist today! (Photo: Brian Garrett)|
|Taunton was probably the only place in the UK to have seen Class 57/0's, /3's and /6's work through the same station in one day on the 10th and 11th Feb! 57008 is seen at 40 Steps heading a DRS route learning from Devonport to Crewe. The 5Z01 conveyed two locos (which were double headed down on the 10th). The return working through Taunton was in top and tail formation either side of two DRS barrier vehicles. (Photo: Steve Yarde)|
|Taunton saw some real Royalty on the 10th February when The Duke of Gloucester visited Taunton to carry out a string of engagements in Somerset. The Duke arrived on First Great Westerns 1C74 08:18 Paddington - Exeter formed of 43087 and 43143 'Stroud 700'. It's quite apt that Taunton currently has the two Royal locomotives operating into Taunton as well. The Duke first visited the newly opened Beacon Centre at Musgove Park Hospital before moving on to open a Care Village built on the site of the former Cheddar Valley line at Sandford and Banwell. (Photo: Jeff Treece)|
|By Royal Appointment, Taunton's other loco hauled diagram finally gained two new Class 67's on the 8th February in the shape of Royal Duo 67005 'Queens Messenger' and 67006 'Royal Sovereign'. 67005 was on Royal duties just days earlier on the 4th Feb. On the 9th Feb 67005 is seen at Taunton having arrived with the 2C85 17:00 Cardiff - Taunton service. At 19:18 sister locomotive 67006 would haul the 2M68 19:18 Taunton - Bristol TM before the set stables at Bristol Barton Hill for the night. (Photo: Brian Garrett)|
|On the 6th February 57316 is seen shunting out of Taunton's Platform 1 in preparation to work the 5U89 14:06 Taunton - Cardiff stock move. Virgin Liveried 57309 lead the train North through Taunton. Several theories have surfaced this week regarding the poor failure rates of the Class 57's suggesting that on Monday we could see Class 67's working this diagram. It remains to be seen what will happen with next weeks diagram. (Photo: Jeff Treece)|
The DEPG (Based at Williton on the West Somerset Railway) have released details of the locomotives which they have requested to attend their 'GWR 175 Diesels in the West' Gala. The event is due to be held between 11th to 13th June this year, and will build on the success of last years inclusion of Hydraulic Traction (an area in which the DEPG have particular expertise). All but one of the visiting locomotives will be the same as the 2009 visitors, but it's hoped the added attraction of having added attraction of two operational Westerns and two operational Warships will make for some impressive sights along the length of the line.
The Gala Lineup is expected to include the following locomotives:
D1062 'Western Courier' & D821 'Greyhound' from the Severn Valley
Class 14, D9520 from the Nene Valley Railway
D1010 'Western Campaigner'
D1661 'North Star'
D7017 (Repainted into Two Tone Green)
Class 14, D9526
D6566 and D7523 will be used as Thunderbirds should anything go wrong during the event.
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