MARCH 2011 NEWS : 


Thursday 31st March finally bought the news that most had been expecting, the final nail in the coffin for the popular 'fotopic.net'. The company was officially put into administration ending weeks of speculation regarding the popular image hosting website. The move brings to an end one of the oldest and original internet photo hosting sites which had grown to epic proportions since its launch. Despite being in need of a modern makeover the site was well used and hosted thousands of images from all over the world. Some individuals have lost entire photographic archives. Fotopic is

now in the hands of liquidators, should they be able to sell the company there's a remote chance that images could be accessed again. Further reading on the subject can be found here.

Taunton Trains had over 5000 images hosted on fotopic, along with a further 6000 hosted on a personal site. The loss of fotopic (which was thought to have stored over 2 million images) also removes one of the most searchable railway photographic archives ever created from the internet. By comparison Railway Herald (which offers an online photographic hosting service) which is dedicated to railway photography contains 60,000 railway images which puts into proportion the enormity of fotopic's usage.

We have provided some alternative image hosting options below which may be of interest to those who've already lost images. Sadly the demise of Fotopic may mean that such a transport archive of trains, busses and aircraft may never exist again given the current choice of other websites now exist it's likely that many will make an informed choice based on how they wish to display their photos online. With Fotopic such a popular choice for many it's hoped a new buyer can be found for the company and a software makeover could tempt customers back:

Taunton Trains has several image hosting ideas in the pipe line, but it may be some time before we can display 5000 more images which had been built up over the past 10 years!

 

Freightliner Heavy Haul have begun a series of light engine driver route learning/ refreshing turns from Fairwater Yard to Meldon Quarry. The diagram which was operated on Tuesday 29th March was as follows: 0Z01 0812 Fairwater Yard - Meldon Quarry, 0Z03 1048 Crediton - Meldon Quarry
0Z04 1230 Meldon Quarry - Crediton, 0Z05 1320 Crediton - Meldon Quarry, 0Z06 1409 Meldon Quarry - Fairwater Yard via Riverside. This was operated by 66551. (Edited Photo: Brian Garrett)

 

 

7P No.70000 'Britannia' looked superb in her new BR Black livery, and certainly turned a few heads while traveling over the length of the WSR. The loco is seen here on the 25th March departing from Blue Anchor with a superb head of steam heading for Minehead (Photo: Rob Sherwood)
GWR King Class Locomotive No.6024 'King Edward 1st' was used as a substitute for the missing Southern Region No.34046 'Braunton' which had not been made ready for the Spring Steam Gala. 6024 is captured here at Kentsford on route to Minehead with a mixed coaching stock rake during Sunday 27th March. (Photo: Alexander Martin-Brown)
The elevated view at Castle Hill has long made an interesting photographic location. On Sunday 27th March visiting 28xx No. 2807 is seen powering away from Williton heading for Bishops Lydeard. (Photo: Alexander Martin-Brown)
Visiting Pannier Tank No.6430 and Autocoach made a welcome and colorful addition to the WSR, The crimson and cream livery certainly made a change from the WSR's normal Chocolate and Cream coaching stock rakes. (Photo: Alexander Martin-Brown)
During Sunday 27th March, No.70000 'Britannia' makes short work of the final departure to Minehead from Dunster. The BR Black loco made a fine sight powering away from each station stop along the length of the WSR. (Photo: Alexander Martin-Brown)
Spring has finally sprung in Somerset, with the West Somerset Railway in full bloom during their two weekend Steam Gala. The daffodils are seen waving in the wind as 7P No.70000 'Britannia' arrives into Washford after the climb from Blue Anchor heading for Bishops Lydeard on Sunday 27th March. (Photo: Alexander Martin-Brown)

 

It's always nice to feature trains in unusual locations. The M5 isn't normally one of them. Having failed on the West Somerset Railway GWR Manor No.7812 'Erlstoke Manor' is seen getting a lift back to the Sever Valley Railway behind a DAF 95XF courtesy of Allelys Heavy Haulage. The front half of the steam locomotive is seen here on the M5 on route home. (Photo: Paul Finnimore)
The 19th March bought more Spring sunshine for the start of the two weekend West Somerset Railway 'Spring Steam Gala'. Several visiting locomotives were hired in for the event including a Pannier Tank and Auto Trailer to operate between Bishops Lydeard and Norton Fitzwarren. Pannier Tank No.6430 is seen passing Longlands Farm with the 11:00 from Norton Fitzwarren. (Photo: Steve Yarde)
Peter Waterman's Small Prairie Tank No.5553 was used on a short freight train between Minehead and Dunster and then posed for various photographs during the day. The loco is seen arriving into Dunster after the short canter from Minehead. (Photo: Steve Yarde)
GWR Manor no.7812 'Erlestoke Manor' has been on the WSR for some time, and has already been working some of the early Spring steam services. It's nice to see this class back on the line, and paints a picture of how 7828 'Odney Manor' could look once she finishes overhaul at Minehead. 7812 nears Washford with the 11:00 from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead (Photo: Steve Yarde)
A novel Southern Region addition to the Steam lineup was 30777 (SR 777) 'Sir Lamiel'. The loco arrived by lorry during the previous week, and looked superb in BR Green. The loco is seen nearing Blue Anchor with the 13:00 from Minehead. (Photo: Steve Yarde)
One of the larger exhibits was a steam locomotive which had spent the majority of its preserved life in BR Green, but 7P No.70000 'Britannia' has recently been returned to service in unlined BR Black. The huge locomotive made an impressive sight departing from Blue Anchor on route to Minehead. (Photo: Steve Yarde)
We end with a final shot of GWR Manor No.7812 'Erlestoke Manor' coasting through Watersmeet with the 14:00 from Minehead to Bishops Lydeard setting a true Great Western scene as it nears journeys end. (Photo: Steve Yarde)

 

The more observant amongst you will have noticed the ongoing issues surrounding www.fotopic.net on which our own gallery/ archive is hosted as www.tauntontrains.fotopic.net after many years of reliable service, there have been several long periods where websites have not been able to be used. We apologize for the lack of photos appearing on our photographic website. Currently there has been no announcement on the status of Snappy Designs (who own fotopic). Until then we will endeavor to host as many images via this site as possible.
DB Schenker have recently hired in a pair of Class 66/4's from railfreight competitor Direct Rail Services (presumably to cover for a shortfall in it's own 250 Class 66's!) 66420 and 66425 were paired up on a rake of Autoballasters during Monday 14th March to work an overnight ballast drop on the Newquay branch. Despite running South under the cover of darkness the pair returned North on Tuesday morning and are seen passing Hyde Lane crossing on route back to Westbury with the 6W32 06:00 from Newquay. (Photo: Steve Yarde)
Spring has most defiantly arrived in the South West, with several days of very nice weather. To compliment this two Class 37/0's from DRS visited the area during Tuesday hauling a Network Rail test train. 37059 and 37069 teamed up to work the 1Q12 11:00 Bristol TM - Bristol TM. 37059 can be seen passing Hyde Lane crossing near Bathpool having just departed Taunton on route back to Bristol and Severnside Branchlines. (Photo: Steve Yarde)
Sunday mornings provide an opportunity to see the lengthy HOBC and TRT sets returning to Taunton from overnight engineering blockades. Sunday 13th provided the most Spring like conditions of the year so far, complimented by Freightliner Heavy Haul, 66617 leads 66603 (out of sight) through Creech St Michael, returning the 6Y11 Gloucester Yard Jn - Fairwater Yard HOBC set to Taunton. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
66561 is seen arriving to Taunton on the 13th March hauling the 6Y33 Alstone - Fairwater Yard TRT set. The imposing Mi-Space development for Knighstone Housing has become a major feature of the 40 Steps photo, overlooking Taunton Station. With the line closed South of Taunton for weekend engineering work, a Cross Country Voyager, FGW Stopping Service and FGW HST are all seen waiting to depart North. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Sunday mornings have often provided some unique photographic opportunities in the Taunton area when both the HOBC and TRT return to Fairwater Yard in close proximity to one another. On Sunday 13th March, 66603 can be seen shunting the 6Y11 HOBC set away while 66616 brings up the rear of the incoming 6Y33 TRT set to Fairwater Yard providing another formation Freightliner image for us to feature on Taunton Trains. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
'The Black Brit' 7P No.70000 'Britannia' will be arriving on the West Somerset Railway during the night of Wednesday 16th March. The locomotive has recently been returned to traffic and is painted in BR Black complete with an Ex Works Crimson & Cream support coach. The locomotive is due pass through Taunton at 22:11 having worked South from Crewe the previous day. It's due to stay and take part in the WSR Spirng Steam Gala on the 19th, 20th, 24th-27th March. 70000 is seen at Crewe Heritage Centre on Saturday 12th March during an open weekend. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Lighter evenings are meaning the first afternoon freight trains are again passing Taunton in reasonable light. 66116 is captured on the 8th March, hauling the popular once a week Fawley Tanks through Cogload. The train now uses the 6C62 headcode from St Phillips Marsh instead of the previous 6V62 headcode. The lengthy train looks impressive but is a far cry from the 5 times a week Class 47 and 37 hauled services of the mid nineties! (Photo: Steve Yarde)
East Coast goes South West. On the 4th March 2011, Cross Country Trains hired East Coast powercar 43300 'Craigentinny' to haul their 1V50 06:08 Edinburgh - Plymouth service and return 1E63 15:23 Plymouth Leeds. The surprisingly colourful combination is see departing Taunton on route to Plymouth. 43300 was partnered by normal XC power with 43301 providing a rare consecutively numbered set. (Photo: Jeff Treece)

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