|Cross Country Trains provided a splash of colour and welcome sound in the South West again today with the hire in of 43055 to cover for one of their own powercars. The VP185 HST powercar from East Midlands Trains operated the 1V44 & 1S51 diagrams throughout. On the 9th February 43055 is seen arriving back into Taunton with the 1S51 12:23 Plymouth - Glasgow diagram. Cross Countries own 43285 was on the rear of the set. (Photo: Jeff Treece)|
|The last day of the month provided a cold and crisp Winters day, with good spells of sunshine. Colas Rail Freight operated their 6Z50 Gloucester - Teigngrace Crossing timber empties, passing Taunton at 11:20. 66850 (former Freightliner 66577) passes Banklands with the empty wagons for loading in Devon. The train will return north through Taunton at around 16:00 on Wednesday 1st February. (Photo: Paul Finnimone)|
|Further engineering work took place in the village of Creech St Michael over the weekend of 28th / 29th January.Network Rail's HOBC set was in action overnight, which returned to Fairwater Yard ar 08:30. 66524 and 66523 are seen stabled in the cutting at Creech St Michael prior awaiting their next duties. Some limited cutting back has also been done to the vegetation through the village, but only enough to assist with the engineering work. (Photo: Brian Garrett)|
|Cross Country Trains provided some additional colour to one of their service trains on January 25th. The company hired in a powercar from East Midlands Trains to cover for the non availability of one of their own powercars. 43052 was drafted in to work with 43285 on the 06:00 Leeds - Plymouth and 1S51 12:35 Plymouth - Glasgow services. The use of 052 also provided the sounds of a VP185 power unit, instead of the normal diet of MTU! 43052 passes the Relyon factory at Wellington on the return 1S51 to Glasgow. (Photo: John White)|
|Overnight engineering works in Creech St Michael took place on Saturday 21st/ Sunday 22nd January, with Network Rail using their Track Replacement Train to replace part of the 'up main' through the village. While most of the work took place in the dark, we were able to capture the end process using two Network Rail track machines to tamp and regulate the ballast. DR73111 passes through Creech St Michael lifting the track and packing the ballast. (Photo: Brian Garrett)|
|The final machine to pass over the newly relayed section of track was DE77903 'Frank Jones'. This machine distributes the ballast back over the sleepers as it passes. Local residents were complaining about the noise and dust created overnight, but I'm sure they would prefer one night of disruption rather than a full weekend blockade. (Photo: Brian Garrett)|
|Also in action on the same night was 6Y11 with the Network Rail HOBC set, this was working at a site near Durston, once finished the set was moved forward to Cogload Junction where it was stabled waiting for the Creech blockade to finish. It later returned to Fairwater Yard in time for the track to reopen at around 11:00. (Photo: Brian Garrett)|
|Another rare visitor during the overnight track relaying was 66589. While it may not seem very different, 66589 belongs to Freightliner Intermodal, but was hired in to Freightliner Heavy Haul. The loco worked the 6Y34 from Westbury to Taunton dropping ballast in Creech St Michael over night. It then worked forward to Fairwater Yard where it stabled ready to return to Westbury later in the afternoon. This was the first visit to Taunton for this locomotive. (Photo: Brian Garrett)|
|Freightliner Heavy Haul and Network Rail continue to operate their South West Track Renewals out of Taunton's Fairwater Yard. On the 21st January 2012, a grubby 66547 arrives into Fairwater with the 4V11 10:38 from Washwood Heath conveying new concrete sleepers for use with track renewals. This service normally arrives into Taunton during the dead of night. Additional sleepers were being transferred to Taunton in preparation for this weekends overnight engineering works at both Durston and Creech St Michael. (Photo: Nathan Williamson)|
Loco Statistics for 2011 :
The 2011 Loco Statistics have been compiled by Mike Rowland from independent sightings and internet postings relating to workings in the Taunton area. With the world economics in the spotlight during 2011, it was an interesting year for the railways, which always seem to transform to make the best use of the industries it serves.
The Loco Statistic logs have been expertly compiled for 8 years now, and show some very interesting trends. 2011 was the first year we have recorded the lowest numbers of visiting locomotives since the records began. In particular classes 66, 67 and 31 reduced their visits to the Taunton area over the past year. However we are very pleased to report that Class 37's have provided a large increase in their appearances. Mainly due to the extensive fleet operated by Direct Rail Services, which work a variety of services through Taunton during the year. Another bonus was the appearance of 17 locomotives during 2011 which had not previously visited Taunton since the records started in 2004. These are as follows: 20308, 20309, 33207, 37229, 37409, 37603, 37604, 47790, 56302, 57009, 66416, 66419, 66539, 66540, 66588, 66847, 66955.
Our Local Talks page is looking rather sparse at the moment, but will soon be updated. We have been informed the next GWS meet at Stoke St Mary village hall is on the 20th January. The speaker is Peter Triggs with a slide show talk entitled 'Steam Steam and some Exhuast'.More details of local slide evenings/ talks can be found here. As and when we receive more details we will be sure to update the page.
The next GWSRA Talk at The Railway Club near Taunton Station, will be Martin Southwood 'Australian Steam'
|The Network Rail Radio Survey Train was in the area again during early January. Having run South to Exeter on Monday the 9th, 37606 and 37607 spent several nights traversing branch lines in Devon and Cornwall. Here the pair are seen returning North to Derby with the 1Z13 from Plymouth on Thursday 12th January. (Photo: Cameron Walker)|
|First Great Western have a multitude of liveries operating it's services after a large cascade of unwanted units from other operators. On the 12th January 2012 153333 is seen returning from maintenance at Bristol St Phillips Marsh to Exeter, seen passing Bathpool. The single car Class 153 currently carries the livery of former operator London Midland. (Photo: Cameron Walker)|
|Freightliner Heavy Haul currently have 66419 from Direct Rail Services operating their trains in the Taunton area. 419 is currently operating out of Fairwater Yard and has been used on many of the local trip workings. On the 12th January 2012, 66419 is seen returning from Westbury with the loaded 6C73 to Fairwater Yard, the train being formed of mixed HOBC and Autoballaster wagons. In good afternoon light 66419 passes Bathpool. (Photo: Cameron Walker)|
|Having spent the night in Devon, Colas Rail Freight returned their loaded log train from Teigngrace Crossing (on the Heathfield Branch near Newton Abbot) to Chirk. 66847 is captured in beautiful light at Cogload Junction on the 12th January. The very nice (and daring) photo location. Had the train of been held up for any reason in the Taunton area, such a nice photo may not have been possible (Photo: Cameron Walker)|
|10 Days into the New Year and we feature our first photo for 2012. Colas Rail Freight operated their 6Z50 empty log train from Gloucester to Teigngrace Crossing (Newton Abbot). Here the converted log wagons will be loaded with stockpiled timber, before being transported to Chirk for processing. With the residential development at Firepool now a dominant part of the Taunton's skyline 66847 (66574) passes through Taunton Station with the southbound empties. (Photo: Stacey Thew)|
|We are often asked about freight services which operate through the Taunton area, so with help from a Devon correspondant, we've been able to put together a WTT (Working Time Table) to allow readers to view and print their own current timetable for freight trains passing through Taunton. We have hosted a version on our 'THE GEN' page, but also provided an additional link to a printable page. We hope to keep this timetable up to date, as and when new workings start or old ones cease to operate.|
6V62 Fawley - Tavistock Jn:
We start our review of 2011 with a detailed look at one particular working. The 6V62 Fawley - Tavistock Jn fuel tanks has its own dedicated LOG which is constantly being worked upon. At the end of 2011 it now records a staggering 2234 separate workings of this train, all recorded since 1988. The log has been complied by Brian Garrett over the past 16 years with a large input from enthusiasts all over the South West and remote parts of the UK!
As you may have noticed Taunton Trains has a slightly new look! We thought it was about time to update the site and overhaul it for 2012. Over the next few weeks the site will be undergoing various updates. Some visible, some not.
We would like to thank all those who've helped contribute to the site over the past few years, the plan is to now begin another stage of development to make the site easier to use and to eradicate flash coding from the website. As a result one immediate effect means the site should become gradually more available to use from your mobile phones.
We will also be posting a 2011 review during January to record and compare workings from the last 5 years.
2011 has been another interesting year, quite how the final locomotive workings will compare with those in previous years is yet to be seen, while there's been plenty of unique and colourful trains passing through Taunton in the last year, the general trend suggests that the overall figures could follow those of previous years.
During 2012 we hope to introduce several new additions to Taunton Trains, the demise of Fotopic (over a year ago now) has removed some large photographic sections from the website, with no real "long term" solution of how to hose these images. However it looks as if there may possibly be a solution to this on the horizon.
We hope all our readers had a good Christmas and we would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year for 2012!
Want to look at what happened in NEWS from 2009, 2010, or 2011 ? Have a look in our Archive Page