OCTOBER 2010 NEWS :


Arrival of 'The Jorvic Growler 2' rolled back into Taunton from Saltburn after 645 miles running 40 minutes late. Additional stops at Highbridge & Burnham & Bridgwater were added for passengers who had missed train connections. West Coast Railways 47500 is seen ready to lead the 5Z38 empty coaching stock back to Bristol. 47500 is the most recent returnee for West Coast Railways, many hoped that given the GWR175 celebrations, the loco would have been out shopped in her previous GWR150 Brunswick Green livery. Sadly the undistinguished Class 47 currently sports West Coast Railways Maroon. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
The reason for the use of 37516 working between Westbury and Exeter was to allow LNER A4 Pacific No.60019 'Bittern' to work North on the return trip from Exeter to Waterloo. The one hour delay to the Cathedrals Express charter is unknown, but it's thought to have been linked to a signalling/ operational incident in the London area. 60019 is seen on the rear of the charter at 40 Steps hitching a ride to Exeter. (Photo: Jeff Treece)
Saturday 30th October saw a third English Electric Class 37 pass through Taunton. West Coast Railways 37516 hauled the Diesel Leg of the 'Cathedrals Express' from London Waterloo to Exeter St Davids. The late running tour is seen raking the relief line at Taunton. It's a tad ironic that 37516 should appear in Taunton on the same day as The Spitfire Railtours 'Jorvic Growler 2' charter, as it was this very loco that one year previously caused the tour to be delayed at Bristol when it failed after only 40 miles. (Photo: Jeff Treece)
While passengers boarded 'The Jorvic Growler 2' on Platform 2, some enthusiasts took advantage of the spare 30 minutes to gain photos from the centre platforms where more of the train could be included in the photo. DRS's two livery variations can clearly be seen. While 37038 carries the original DRS livery, 37601 now carries the new DRS 'Compass' livery which suits all the locos which wear the livery. (Photo: Nathan Williamson)
On the eve of British Winter Time Taunton station once again resounded to the noise of English Electric traction from Spitfire Railtours. In a repeat run from 2009, Spitfire operated their 'Jorvic Growler 2' charter from Taunton, using two Class 37's from Direct Rail Services (crewed by West Coast Railways). 37038 and 37601 took charge of the 1Z37 05:45 Taunton - Saltburn waking up the residents of the town and local villages as they roared towards Bristol. 47500 was also on the rear of the set providing ECS movements and mainline power assistance where required. (Photo: Brian Garrett)

 

Having completed its stock transfer moves between Tavistock Junction and Taunton's Fairwater Yard on the 28th October 47749 retired back to Platform 1 at Taunton Station to stable. The loco is seen on Friday 29th with the First Great Western loco hauled service framed in the background. The Colas Class 47 later worked light engine from Taunton back to the Colas base at Washwood Heath. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
We've included this image of 47749 working mail trains for former operator Rail Express Systems when the loco was numbered 47625. Here she is seen double heading the 1E41 Plymouth - Newcastle mail with 47766 through Taunton on the 17th July 1995. (Photo: Jeff Treece)

 

There is certainly never a dull day on the railways in Taunton. Having already witnessed the arrival of Damsel Damelza on the 27th, who could of thought we would be treated to a daylight pairing of First Great Westerns only two green liveried Class 57/6 locomotives. On the night of the 27th 57603 failed before departure at Penzance with the Night Rivera Sleeper service. An additional loco was added to the down service to allow the previous nights London bound train to be towed to Old Oak Common. 57604 towing 57603 is seen at Longform Farm, Wellington (Photo: John White)
GWR 175 Green 57604 'Pendennis Castle' hauls 57603 'Tintagel Castle' north through Taunton with the 5Z70 Long Rock - Old Oak Common ECS. 57603 was reported to have failed with an ETS fault the night before. The 1A40 from Penzance was not cancelled. Instead it was operated by a First Great Western HST, although passengers during the day have enough trouble trying to get comfortable on FGW's HST's so we have to ask the question just how do passengers expecting to sleep endure their overnight trip? (Photo: Jeff Treece)
Thursday 27th October saw 47749 leave Taunton during the early hours traveling to Tavistock Junction year near Plymouth. The loco collected the Colas Mini HOBC set complete with control vehicle DR72400 'Olwen' and returned the colorful train back to Taunton. The loco is seen here engaged in various shunting duties with Freightliner Heavy Haul at Staplegrove Road. Once work had been carried out on the set, it was returned to Tavistock Jn where 47749 then worked light engine back to Taunton. (Photo: Cameron Walker)
Colas Rail visited Taunton on the 27th October with one of their colourful Class 47's. 47749 'Damelza' spent the night in Taunton's Premier Inn for locomotives (Platform 1). The veteran locomotive had worked light engine from Washwood Heath earlier in the day, and will work forward to Tavistock Jn early on the 28th. It's thought it will bring up the Colas Rail Mini HOBC set from Tavistock Jn yard to Fairwater. We will of course keep tabs on the rare visitor to Taunton over the next few days. The Cornished named damsel is seen stabled at Taunton on the 27th. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
As an added point of interest to the above photo, 47749 is actually sister locomotive to D1661 'North Star' which currently resides on the West Somerset Railway. 47749 was originally built as D1660 and delivered to Swansea (Landore) depot in 1965. It was numbered D1660 and named 'City of Truro'. As a genuine Western Region Class 47 for most of it's life the loco spent periods of time allocated to Landore, Cardiff Canton, Bristol Bath Road and Old Oak Common throughout its life. It later became part of the national Rail Express Systems (Res) fleet, hauling mail trains around the UK. The loco has carried the numbers, D1660, 47076, 47625, and 47749 during it's extensive life, along with four different names (City of Truro, Resplendent, Atlantic College and Damelza), and 9 differing livery/ number combinations. The loco can now also add Taunton's Platform 1 to it's list of achievements!

 

HST's operate through Taunton on a regular basis, however more recently pairs of powercars have been moving between First Great Westerns Laira Depot (Plymouth) and Old Oak Common (London). Such moves occur with much infrequency and are rarely captured. The 27th October produced such a move, when 43182 and 43017 teamed up to work the 0Z77 Old Oak Common - Laira transfer. The two powercars are seen at dusk passing through Taunton. (Photo: Nathan Williamson)

 

Friday 12th November has been confirmed as the stop date for the final Class 67 loco hauled diagram for First Great Western. Nearly two years since the original service first started the Class 67's and loco hauled stock have come popular with Enthusiasts, Commuters and Cyclists. FGW places notices on the previous loco hauled set apologising to customers that they would only be able to accept two bikes per unit when the first set was taken out of service. 67016 and 67017 are currently working the Taunton - Cardiff diagrams, so get them while you can. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
News has reached Taunton Trains of a potential new flow on the West Somerset Railway which will see up to 17 loaded stone trains working along the branch for further sea defence work near Dunster. While Class 37's and long rakes of Turbot wagons loaded with finest Mendip Stone are a thing of the past, it's hoped some interesting trains (and photographic opportunities) will be presented for us to feature on Taunton Trains. We will of course be able to expand our 'ROLLING STONE' log which has previously covered all stone workings along the line. The new flow is due to start in November, we will advise as more details are released. (Photo: Jeff Treece)
Good News or not? The 26th October saw the Government approve funding for Tauntons NIDR (Northern Inner Distribution Road). Scenes such as this may soon be appeaing at 40 Steps. Network Rail will need to slew over the exisiting headshunt for Fairwater Yard, and 40 Steps bridge will be removed and replaced with a more modern, partially caged, and wheelchair friendly structure. Drawings of the sceme were previously avilible from the Somerset County Councill website, we will advise when and if these have been updated and released. With work already underway on the former Taunton East Yard it wont be long before the NIDR is put into place.

Further details of the NIDR Project can be found on the Somerset County Council website via the following links which we have provided.

Staplegrove Road/ Chip Lane Road Layout & New Bridge Position

NIDR Station Link with Station Road

New Bridge 1 New Bridge 2

General SCC NIDR Page

 

 

Taunton's skyline is currently dominated by the new the Firepool Development being built of part of the former Taunton East Yard. On Sunday 24th October the tower crane is clearly evident in this photo and provides additional interest to the changing face of Taunton. 66607 is seen leading the 6Y33 TRT set into Taunton from another overnight blockade near Westbury. 66606 was on the rear of the set. Autumnal colours also now provide added colour to photos taken from 40 Steps, Taunton. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
With Autumn colours now very evident across the UK, Network Rail are continuing their battle against leaves using their Rail Head Treatment Trains. 2010 has seen an additional Sunday diagram added into the program, using the Barton Hill based RHTT set. On the 24th October 66077 and newly swapped 66067 are seen passing Taunton with the 3S58 0800 Barton Hill Barton Hill via Plymouth working. The service was running slightly behind schedule passing Taunton nearly an hour late. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
After entering the WSR from Norton Fitzwarren 'The Quantock Hills Express' was piloted by GWR King No.6024 'King Edward I' from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead and back. The use of The King seemed a little odd considering the line is playing host to a second Black 5 No.44767, which would have provided the unrivaled sight of two Black Five locomotives double heading on a rake of Maroon coaching stock. 6024 and 44932 pass Castle Hill with the return 1Z93 from Minehead to Eastleigh. (Photo: Glen Bowden)
Saturday 23rd October saw a Black Five enter Somerset on a charter from Eastleigh. The tour took the rather novel route from Eastleigh to Weymouth (Steam Hauled), Weymouth to Castle Cary (Hauled by 47500), and Castle Cary to Minehead (Steam Hauled). Black Five No.44932 passes Oath on the Somerset Levels with the 1Z93 'The Quantock Hills Express'. The train was also delayed in the Somerton area due to a track circuit failure. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
The St Blazey based RHTT has now spent several weeks leaf blasting around the South West, both locomotives and wagons are now plastered with mud from their filthy activities. In heavy rain, 66130 and 66167 are seen passing Oath on the Somerset Levels with the Saturdays 3S13 08:45 Westbury - Par via Salisbury RHTT working. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
One of the relatively new flows to the South West is the 'as required' Fridays Only 6C28 Exeter Riverside - West Drayton gritstone using Hanson JHA hoppers (normally used for stone from Machen). After a slight delay, 66012 is seen passing Oath on the Somerset Levels with the 6C28 to West Drayton. Usually this working often provides a Class 66 instead of the normal Class 59 we would expect from this working. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Network Rail's NMT made it's usual scheduled visit to the Taunton are on the 22nd October. 43062 and 43013 teamed up to record track between London Paddington to Plymouth and back to London Paddington. In brilliant Autumn sunshine, 43013 is seen leading the return 1Z19 from Plymouth to London Paddington through East Lyng. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Direct Rail services operated a stock move through Taunton on October 18th using ex Freightliner 57010. The loco hauled two barrier vehicles from Crewe to Keyham in preparation to return the Nuclear Flask from Devonport in due course. 57010 is seen running around two hours early passing Taunton with the 5Z71 from Crewe. Taunton Trains will be updated with all the latest news later in the week. A hectic scheule has meant a delay to updates. (Photo: Phil Izzard)
Amid much secrecy First Great Western ran a non stop special from Plymouth to London Paddington on the 13th October. The special five car set formed with powercars 43027 & 43003 attempted to break the previous 3hr record. The train arrived into London Paddington 2hrs 43 minutes after leaving Plymouth. Although FGW don't currently plan to operate non stop services between Plymouth and London, they certainly proved it can be done. (Photo: Cameron Walker)
With the Unit cascade from London in full swing, Friday 15th October saw the last diagrams for the second Class 67 loco hauled set. A party atmosphere was created on board the train during the day, with enthusiasts keen to claim those last Class 67 miles to Paignton! During the preceding week 67022 is seen passing Creech St Michael with the 2C79 Cardiff - Taunton diagram. Currently Set 1 will remain working it's normal diagram starting at Taunton with the 2D04 07:28 to Bristol each weekday morning. (Photo: Cameron Walker)

 

While there is still uncertainty as to when the First Great Western loco hauled services will end, we have to now make the most of these trains while they last in the area. On the 8th October both locomotive hauled sets were still working their booked diagrams. 67019 is pictured passing Durston with the 2U14 11:02 Taunton - Cardiff service. The stock made up from mixed BR Blue/Grey & Anglia Mk2 coaching stock. 67003 is currently partnering 019 on this diagram. (Photo: Brian Garrett)

First Great Western named another of their powercars at London Paddington on Wednesday 6th October. 43175 had been chosen to mark the Great Western 175 celebrations. The powercar was named '175th Anniversary' upon arrival at London Paddington. As an added touch 43003 'Isambard Kingdom Brunel' was paired with 43175. The set is seen working the 06:48 from Penzance to Paddington through Charlton on Friday 8th October. (Photo: Brian Garrett)

We return to the Modern Era with the current photo on the news page, with a whopper of a working, one which has not happened at Taunton since 2003. Due to a very rare points failure at Bridgwater, Direct Rail Services were forced to operate their 6V74 01:48 Crewe Coal Sidings Bridgwater nuclear flask working via Taunton! In splendid Autumnal conditions DRS locomotives 66426 and 66430 are seen at 40 Steps having run around their single nuclear flask ready to work back to Bridgwater. (Photo: Jeff Treece)

 

While the West Somerset Railway enjoys another Autumn Steam Gala we think it's worth remembering just where the line started back in the 1970's. Recently we were contacted by the Daughter of railway photographer Reg Jones from Devon. Sadly Reg has recently passed away, however he left a sizable collection of railway photographs in his wake. Hidden amongst a stunning collection were several gems featuring the West Somerset Railway. We have arranged a Memories Page for these photos to be hosted for others to enjoy. (Photo: Reg Jones)
The West Somerset Railway's Autumn Steam Gala was is being held on Friday 1st October through to Sunday 3rd October, featuring a host of genuine Great Western locomotives, in conjunction with the GWR 175 Celebrations. The Friday was marred by poor weather passing through the area, but Saturday proved to be a fair day allowing photographers to also enjoy the Steam on offer. We've included a small selection from Saturday 2nd October & Sunday 3rd Ocotober.
On Sunday 3rd October, 5029 'Nunney Castle' passes Castle Hill complete with it's own support coach in the consist, working from Minehead to Bishops Lydeard. The Castle has had a good period of reliable running on both the mainline and preserved lines and currently looks in fine shape to continue her good work. (Photo: Alexander Martin-Brown)
Back in the day it was the dream of many that passenger services and charter could run direct to London Paddington from Minehead. In 2010 it is now possible, but perhaps enthusiasts were a little optimistic that this service from Minehead would end up at Paddington especially when calling at all stations to Taunton, then Bridgwater, Highbridge & Burnham, Weston Super Mare, Worle, Yatton, Nailsea and Backwell, Bristol Temple Meads, Bath Spa, Chippenham, Swindon, and Reading!! (Photo: Alexander Martin-Brown)
Small Prairie Tank No.5542 looked back at home on the West Somerset Railway hauling a lengthy rake of coaching stock. The tank is seen at Nornvis Bridge working a Bishops Lydeard to Minehead service train. (Photo: Alexander Martin-Brown)
SDJR 88 shunts wagons at Washford, it's certainly a rare sight to see such a large locomotive shunting within the yard complex at Washford, this duty normally being reserved for resident tank engine 'Kilmerston'. (Photo: Alexander Martin-Brown)
GWR Hall No. 4953 'Pitchford Hall' was another Great Western visitor to the West Somerset Railway. The loco provided a good mid range comparison between King Edward I, and Nunney Castle. The locomotive is see arriving into Blue Anchor from Minehead. (Photo: Alexander Martin-Brown)
It would appear small prairie tank No.5542 will be staying on the West Somerset Railway to compliment the steam fleet already based on the line. It's been some time since the locomotive has been seen working on the West Somerset Railway. 5542 arrives into Dunster Station from Blue Anchor heading for Minehead. (Photo: Alexander Martin-Brown)
The West Somerset's other small prairie tank No.5553 (owned by Pete Waterman) was employed on shunting duties at Dunster Station within the yard complex. It provided additional interest while waiting for trains to pass through. (Photo: Alexander Martin-Brown)
Recently overhauled LMS Black 5 No.44767 was a strange choice for a Great Western themed gala weekend, the loco has been used on several booked passenger services over the past week. It's seen here departing for Minehead on route to Bishops Lydeard. (Photo: Alexander Martin-Brown)

 

Friday 1st October saw the start of the St Blazey based Rail Head Treatment Train (RHTT). Friday provided appauling photographic conditions, so we've been able to provide a much dryer photo on Saturday 2nd October before the locomotives become covered in grime. 66130 leads 66167 through Creech St Michael with the 3S12 Westbury - Par via Salisbury. This working will now operate on a dily basis throughout the Autumn to ensure minimum disruption occours to mainline passenger services. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Friday 1st October marked the end of the Loco Hauled diagram to Paignton but all is not what it seams. The 1st was the end of the fixed contract, the set will now operate on an 'as required' basis which could see the set still operating to Paington for an indefinite period. As no direct unit cascade had occurred from other companies FGW are yet to receive their clapped out un refurbished rolling stock to replace the Class 67's and Mk2 stock. On the 1st October 67020 prepares to depart Taunton with the 19:18 to Bristol. (Photo: Brian Garrett)

 

Rail Head Treatment season is nearly upon us again. From the beginning of October Network Rail will be embarking on their annual battle of the leaf mulch on the rails of the UK. DB Schenker will be operating the South West based RHTT sets at St Blazey and Barton Hill. The St Blazey set RHTT wagons are already in Cornwall having been tripped there on 6C99 several weeks ago. With thanks to 'The Lizard' we have provided a breakdown of the timings for the Taunton area below.
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday Friday from 27th September - 10th December:
3S12 01:21 Par - Westbury (Taunton 07:35)
 
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday Friday from 26th September - 6th December
3S13 08:45 Westbury - St Blazey (Taunton 11:41)
 
Tuesdays from 28th September - 7th December
3S12 01:21 Par - Westbury (Taunton 06:26)
 
Saturdays 2nd October - 11th December
3S12 00:24 Par - Westbury (Taunton 07:22)
 
Saturdays 2nd October - 11th December
3S13 08:45 Westbury - St Blazey (Taunton 12:22)

2010 NEWS

Want to look at what happened in NEWS 2009? Have a look in our Archive Page