MAY 2011 NEWS : 


First Great Western has recently taken delivery of two Class 153 units from London Midland. The eye catching Green Units (153333 and 153325) have been operating together and singly all over the South West. On the 28th May 2011, 153333 is seen at Taunton ready to couple to another of FGW's existing units 153372 before forming a service train together. (Photo: Ken Jones)
Our pictorial pages have been updated with a look a the history and livery changes applied to the HST since new. A rather wet Bank Holiday Monday has provided the chance to add something new to the site. If anyone else can provide any additional new images then we would only be too pleased to hear from you via our normal Email address at Taunton Trains.

 

Pathfinder Railtours have confirmed via their website that the ill fated 'Pompey Pacific' charter from the West Somerset Railway has been Cancelled due to the failure of Steam Locomotive No.70000 'Britannia', the original tour loco 34046 'Braunton' was also not ready in time for this tour.
Steam was also present on the mainline when 70000 'Britannia' worked with her support coach from Southall to Bishops Lydeard in preparation for Monday's 'Pompy Pacific' charter to Portsmouth. However the loco experienced hot bearings on route from Southall, and was restricted to 30mph from the Castle Cary area. The original plan to use the Britannia on the WSR's evening Quantock Belle had to be put on hold. It remains to be seen if the loco can be fixed in time for Mondays Pathfinder Tours charter. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Saturday on the Mainline saw several freight trains operate (presumably because of the approaching Bank Holiday Monday). With a throw back to the mid ninety Taunton saw a Saturday Scrap Train passing through (a once common Saturday train). 66187 is seen at Norton Fitzwarren with the 6B59 Exeter Alphington Road - Cardiff Tidal scrap. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Also on the West Somerset Railway during Saturday 28th May, D1661 (47840) 'North Star' piloted D1010 'Western Campaigner' from Williton to Bishops Lydeard for an inspection over the pit in the Bishops Lydeard compound. Later in the day it was planned that D1010 would then venture down to the North Triangle for testing. The pair are seen here arriving into Bishops Lydeard from Williton (Photo: Brian Garrett)
The WSR used DEPG Class 33 No.D6566 (33048) to cover for their Diesel Multiple Unit on Friday 27th and Saturday 28th May. D6566 is seen at Washford shortly after arriving with the 11:40 from Bishops Lydeard on Saturday 28th May. The 7 coach train was well loaded with passengers enjoying a change in the normal traction! (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Another view of the Pathfinder charter this time heading out of the South West on the return trip to Tambe Bridge Parkway having taken in the Exeter Alphington Road Branch on the way back. This image was taken at from Rockwell Green (Wellington). The two Class 37/0's pass with the return charter to Tame Bridge Parkway. (Photo: Phil Lindsey)
This shot shows the pair of Class 37's from the opposite side of 40 Steps in the gloomy morning conditions. Here the Class 66 No.66135 is clearly visible attached to the rear of the set, in preparation for various shunting maneuvers during the day. (Photo: Jeff Treece)
Pathfinder Railtours operated their 'Kernow Irrupter' on the 28th May using two Direct Rail Services Class 37's for the journey from Tame Bridge Parkway into Cornwall. The tour also had DB Schenker Class 66 No.66135 attached to the rear of the train, to facilitate various branch line visits and reversals during the day. 37087 and 194 are seen passing 40 Steps with the 1Z57 from Tame Bridge Parkway. (Photo: Bob Tucker)
Friday 27th May provided the rare sight of the Taunton based HOBC set departing from Taunton on a Friday night. While the HOBC and TRT normally work all week long, Friday outings are very rare as the sets are usually being prepared for longer weekend work. However on the 27th May 66623 'Bill Bolsover' departed Taunton with the 6Y11 Fairwater Yard to Cowley Bridge Junction with 66622 assisting on the rear. (Photo: Phil Izzard)
66585 'The Drax Flyer' was attached to the 'Moorswater Cement Flyer' on the 27th May. The sporadic flow to Moorswater appears to be operating around two times a month from Westbury as required. On the 27th 66585 leads the return 6C66 empties through Taunton at 40 Steps heading back to Westbury. (Photo: Phil Izzard)

 

WSR Mixed Traffic Gala: June 10th, 11th, 12th (Update)

 
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June 10th 11th and 12th will have the Somerset hills reverberating to the sound of old and new diesel types with a West Country feel to the event. The West Somerset Railway have chosen to present their home fleet of Heritage Diesels for their first passenger workings of 2011, while Mendip Rail (who are also helping to sponsor the event) will be celebrating 25 years of the Class 59's by supplying four members of it's Class 59 sub classes complete with a short rake of Mendip Rail stone hoppers. Friday 10th June will provide the sight of two Mendip Rail Class 59's working a rake of modern stone hoppers from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead, while in the opposite direction, a DEPG heritage diesel will work heritage freight from Minehead to Bishops Lydeard. The contrasting freights will cross at Williton, and a short ceremony and photo call will take place at Minehead with the current Class 59's posed with D1010, which will be carrying the name and numbers of D1035 'Western Yeoman'.

In partnership with First Great Western a FGW Unit will provide a passenger shuttle service between Taunton and Bishops Lydeard on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th only. This service will be operated by a recently refurbished Class 150/1from the former North London Line (Silverlink Trains). There will be NO free bus from Taunton Station, or Silk Mills Park and ride.

Class 25 (D7523) has now been added to the party, and is planned to work T&T shuttles between Bishops Lydeard and Norton Fitzwarren. While the cosmetic restoration of D6575 (33057) has been completed, the loco is not mechanically complete to allow it to take part in the gala. It will however be positioned on view at Williton Shed for people to see.

There will also be a steam service running throughout with weekend using Prairie Tank No.4160 for this.

Main Locomotives currently booked to attend the event are as follows:

Locomotive
Name
Class
Livery
Company/ Owner
Built
D9526
-
14
BR Green
DEPG (Williton)
1964/1965
D7523
'John F Kennedy'
25
BR Green
DEPG (Williton)
1961/1967
D6566
-
33
BR Green
DEPG (Williton)
1960
D7017
-
35
BR Green
DEPG (Williton)
1961/1964
D832
'Onslaught'
42
BR Green
DEPG (Williton)
1958/1961
D1661
'North Star'
47
BR Green
DEPG (Williton)
1965
D1010
'Western Campaigner'
52
BR Maroon
DEPG (Williton)
1962
59001
'Yeoman Endeavor'
59/0
Aggregate Industries
Mendip Rail
1985
59002
'Alan J Day'
59/0
Yeoman
Mendip Rail
1985
59103
'Village of Mells'
59/1
Hanson Aggregates
Mendip Rail
1990
59206
'John F Yeoman Rail Pioneer'
59/2
DB Schenker
DB Schenker
1994/1995

Rover Tickets can be purchased from the WSR in advance, Adult fares are priced at £23 (One Day), £34 (Two Days), £42 (Three Day).

Further details of the event can be found on the WSR Website, or WSR.ORG.UK

 

 

DB Schenker's two Class 67 locomotives returned the VSOE and guests from Truro to London Victoria on Sunday 22nd May. The pair are seen passing 40 Steps while working back to London via Bristol. (Photo: Brian Garrett)

 

2011 WSR Diesel Haulage:

While the West Somerset Railway is known for it's Steam services, the publicity surrounding the Heritage Diesel fleet which operates on the line often get's overlooked by many. At Taunton Trains we are very much advocates for the promotion of Heritage Diesels on all preserved lines, due to their limited use of passenger trains, freight duties and non standard movements joe public rarely get to witness a working diesel locomotive on the WSR, neither are they educated about their importance of the part they played in creating the modern railway we have today!. Some of the DEPG Diesel fleet are the same age of as some of the steam locomotives which operate on the WSR yet receive but a passing glance from those less informed.

The 2011 season will again see the DEPG Diesel Fleet working Friday and Saturday passenger services during the peak holiday season in July and August. The Diesel Diagram will depart Bishops Lydeard at 11:45 & 15:05 on each operational day, and Minehead at 13:15 & 17:35. This year has provided the best selection of diesels for enthusiasts to sample, with most of the DEPG fleet available for traffic 2011 has provided a great line up. A one Day Rover ticket on the WSR costs £15.60 and provides 79 miles of haulage from two return trips between Bishops Lydeard and Minehead. Those with WSRA membership can also use their membership for half price travel.

Locomotive
Date
Class 35 'Hymek' D7017
Friday 15th July 2011
Class 42 'Warship' D832 "Onslaught"
Saturday 16th July 2011
Class 52 'Western' D1010 "Western Campaigner"
Friday 22nd July 2011
Class 42 'Warship' D832 "Onslaught"
Saturday 23rd July 2011
Class 47 D1661 "North Star"
Friday 29th July 2011
Class 33 D6566
Saturday 30th July 2011
Class 52 'Western' D1010 "Western Campaigner"
Friday 5th August 2011
Class 35 'Hymek' D7017
Saturday 6th August 2011
Class 47 D1661 "North Star"
Friday 12th August 2011
Class 33 D6566
Saturday 13th August 2011
Class 35 'Hymek' D7017
Friday 19th August 2011
Class 52 'Western' D1010 "Western Campaigner"
Saturday 20th August 2011
Class 52 'Western' D1010 "Western Campaigner"
Friday 26th August 2011
Class 42 'Warship' D832 "Onslaught"
Saturday 27th August 2011

In addition to the booked 'Diesel Diagram' a new venture this year will be the use of the Class 14 'Teddy Bear' on a rare weekday 'Qunatock Belle' service. The Class 14 will operate the following trains, it is possible to book on the Quantock Belle dining service by calling the following number: 01823 433856

Locomotive
Date
Class 14 'Teddy Bear' D9526
Wednesday 8th June 2011
Class 14 'Teddy Bear' D9526
Wednesday 22nd June 2011
Class 14 'Teddy Bear' D9526
Wednesday 6th July 2011

 

 

Recent Updates:

Taunton Trains is often updated in the background without many people noticing the subtle changes which take place on the site. Most nights the website is updated, we have provided a list of the updates we've recently made to the site:

1) Our New Weebly '83B Photographic' site is slowly taking shape.

2) The Archive Logs have been continually updated to keep track of all movements in the Taunton Area.

3) The Tours Pages are continually updated with current and forthcoming charters as and when they occur.

4) The Wiveliscombe Model Railway has recently had an additional rare historic photo added to the History page.

5) The Misc Memories page has had one new Taunton Cider image and some additional information added to our PWM shunter article.

6) Taunton History page has been updated with additional text and one additional image.

 

The 21st May saw the annual visit of the VSOE (Orient Express) to Somerset, Devon and Cornwall. Having worked South to Truro on Friday 20th, 67019 and 67002 teamed up for a Luncheon Special from Plymouth to Taunton and back on the 21st. It is however a shame to see two of the shabby Class 67's hauling such a prestigious train. 67019 and 002 are seen passing the flora while exiting Whiteball Tunnel at Marlands. Both locos were unwashed, 67002 has faded decals and 67019 carries green graffiti on one nose end. Hardly a good advert for prestigious train travel! (Photo: Phil Lindsey)
Arrival into Taunton at 13:16 was via the Up/Down relief line at Taunton allowing a stop and run round in Platform 2 at Taunton. Here the two work stained locomotives changed ends before departing at 13:50 from Taunton back to Plymouth. Later in the day the pair would also take an evening excursion from Exeter to Kingswear and back. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
It's the time of year where Network Rail continue their battle against weeds which infest the lineside all over the UK. While these trains specialized units treat light vegetation along the track side, and station areas, their efforts go largely unnoticed compared to the rampant and un kept nature of lineside vegetation, saplings and semi mature trees which continue to grow in the Taunton area. On the 20th May MPV Unit, DR98958 & DR98908 pass Creech St Michael with one such working weedkilling mission. (Photo: Brian Pibworth)
Sunday 1st May started the month off nicely when the Germans sent in their 'Best of British' to work an engineering train at the Oath and Athelney blockade. The 6W40 exited the blockade around 19:00 arriving into Taunton at 19:25 before performing a run round in Fairwater Yard. The train was booked into Taunton at midnight, but owing to a 'hick up' with the engineering works at Athelney the Class 60 was sent away with just two wagons of ballast used. The rest of the train remained unused. 60040 is captured arriving into Fairwater Yard from Cogload Junction. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
60040 is seen here exiting Fairwater Yard with heading for Westbury via Bristol. The loco carries the special Territorial Army Branding with 'Army Be the Best' branding. This was also the first time since 2004 which 60040 had visited Taunton, a gap of 7 years!! (Photo: Brian Garrett)

2011 NEWS
NOVEMBER 11
DECEMBER 11
Want to look at what happened in NEWS from 2009 or 2010? Have a look in our Archive Page