JUNE 2012 NEWS : 


2012 WSR Diesel Haulage:

The DEPG have revised their 2012 Diesel Haulage allocations, shown in red are the revised alloactions, correct as of the 28th June 2012.

The 2012 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 11:40& 15:10 on each operational day, and Minehead at 13:20& 17:35. This year has provided the best selection of diesels for enthusiasts to sample, with most of the DEPG fleet available for traffic 2012 has provided a great line up. A one Day Rover ticket on the WSR costs £17.00 (which has risen by £1.40 from 2011!) but if you book in advance you can get this ticket for £15.60 and provides 79 miles of haulage from two return trips between Bishops Lydeard and Minehead. Those with WSRA membership or local residents cards can also use their membership for half price travel.

Locomotive
Date
Class 35 'Hymek' D7017 (Thomas Weekend)
Saturday 7th July 2012
Class 35 'Hymek' D7017 (Thomas Weekend)
Sunday 8th July 2012
Class 35 'Hymek' D7017
Friday 13th July 2012
Class 42 'Warship' D832 "Onslaught"
Saturday 14th July 2012
Class 42 'Warship' D832 "Onslaught"
Friday 20th July 2012
Class 42 'Warship' D832 "Onslaught"
Saturday 21st July 2012
Class 47 D1661 "North Star"
Friday 27th July 2012
Class 42 'Warship' D832 "Onslaught"
Saturday 28th July 2012
Class 35 'Hymek' D7017
Friday 3rd August 2012
WSR Steam Rally - Class 35 'Hymek' D7017
Saturday 4th July 2012
Class 42 'Warship' D832 "Onslaught" & Sentinal DH16
WSR Steam Rally - Class 35 'Hymek' D7017
Sunday 5th July 2012
Class 42 'Warship' D832 "Onslaught"& Sentinal DH16
Class 47 D1661 "North Star"
Friday 10th August 2012
Class 52 'Western' D1010 "Western Campaigner"
Saturday 11th August 2012
Class 33 D6566(33048)
Friday 17th August 2012
Class 33 D6566(33048)
Saturday 18th August 2012
Class 35 'Hymek' D7017
Friday 24th August 2012
Class 35 'Hymek' D7017
Saturday 25th August 2012
Class 47 D1661 "North Star"
Friday 31st August 2012
Class 52 'Western' D1010 "Western Campaigner"
Saturday 8th September 2012
Class 52 'Western' D1010 "Western Campaigner"
Sunday 9th September 2012

In addition to the booked 'Diesel Diagram' a new venture this year will be the use of newly restored Class 33 (D6575) on a rare weekday 'Quantock Belle' service. The Class 33 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 33 D6566(33048)
Wednesday 18th July 2012
Class 33 D6566(33048)
Wednesday 1st August 2012
Class 33 D6566(33048)
Wednesday 15th August 2012
Class 33 D6566(33048)
Wednesday 5th September 2012
Class 33 D6566(33048)
Wednesday 19th September 2012

 

 

Saturday June 23rd saw the annual visit of charters to Penzance for the Cornish Mazeyday Celebrations. Spitfire Railtours operated their 'Kernow Explorer' charter from Birmingham International departing at 05:00 and made excellent progress into the South West. 37516 & 37676 are seen passing Cogload Junction running nearly 20 minutes early. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Just one week after pootling up and down the West Somerset Railway at 25mph using only one engine, D9000 (55022) 'Royal Scots Grey' was allowed to show it's true pedigree in the South West. The loco worked Pathfinder Tours 'The Mazeyday Cornishman' charter from Birmingham International to Penzance, following 20 minutes behind Spitfire Railtours 'Kernow Explorer'. 55022 is seen approaching Banklands near Durston running slightly early on route to Penzance. (Photo: Bob Tucker)
Following not far behind Spitfire Railtours were Pathfinder Railtours which also operated from Birmingham International at 05:18. Also running slightly ahead of schedule Class 55 Deltic No.55022 'Royal Scots Grey' storms through Cogload Junction having just bounced its way over the point work at the Cogload flyover. (Photo: Brian Garrett)

 

Thursday 21st June was perhaps one of the most dismal and wet days we've seen in 2012 so far, but that didn't dampen the spirits of those who went out to see LNER A4 Pacific No.60019 'Bittern' pass though Taunton. The loco worked 'The Cathedrals Express' from London Victoria to Bishops Lydeard on the West Somerset Railway. At Bishops Lydeard WSR Diesels 33048 & 47840 took over for the trip to Minehead and back, while the A4 serviced at Bishops Lydeard and later turned on the Norton Triangle. The charter then returned to London in the evening with Bittern facing the correct way round. This was the first use of the Norton Triangle from a visiting mainline charter. (Photo & Video: Nathan Williamson)
 

 

From time to time an image arrives in the Taunton Trains inbox which we simply do not have any words for. We are sure that the Health and Safety managers at Network Rail would never allow this sort of movement on the mainline network today! Taken in the 1980's this image at Taunton shows a gang of 8 track workers pushing a guards van into Taunton Station!! This amazing sight was probably overcome not having a locomotive available to shunt during an engineering blockade, and the simple use of 'man power' provided the safe solution to the problem. Something which today would result in a 4 hour delay while a locomotive was located from the other end of the country to assist! Why not look at some of the other 'Stange but True' events seen in Taunton over the years. (Photo: David Keogh)

 

 

The 15th, 16th & 17th of June saw the Somerset countryside reverberating to the sounds of Sulzer, Napier and Hydraulic engines operating at the annual WSR Mixed Traffic Gala. The 2012 event was again blighted by poor weather, with only the Sunday producing any reasonable periods of sunlight to help enhance the event, however this didn't put enthusiasts off attending the railway gala or traveling on the line. The event featured three days of heritage and modern diesel haulage over the twenty mile branch to Minehead. Brake Van rides were also available at Bishops Lydeard to Norton Fitzwarren along with a special pre booked option to travel over the entire length of the line in a brake van. 'Driver for a Fiver' was also in operation at Minehead using one of the former Bridgwater ROF shunters and the rare Williton Depot Sentinel No.DH16. First Great Western also provided a Class 150 shuttle line to Taunton mainline station on Saturday and Sunday giving travel connections to mainline services.

Friday 15th was the only day of the event not to see a steam train in service on the line, Saturday and Sunday saw home fleet and visiting diesels sharing the tracks with differing steam locomotives. Williton Depot flung open its doors to the public to show the ongoing work on Class 35 Hymek No.D7018 which will hopefully return to WSR metals in 2013, after nearly twenty years out of service. Sadly there were two locomotive failures during the event, D1010 ‘Western Campaigner' had recurring issues with its transmission, after only one day in service it was sidelined at Williton Depot. D7017 was removed from its booked diagrams on Sunday with an unknown fault. There was also a brake fault at Bishops Lydeard on Sunday afternoon which resulted in the 15:45 departure to Minehead leaving 20 minutes late. Minimal delays occurred because of the failures, but this was probably due to the masses of time allowed between stations using the WSR clockface timetable, which for a gala using faster and more powerful locomotives is exceptionally slow and ponderous. GBRf were unable to supply a Class 66 for the Mixed Traffic Weekend due to their mainline work commitments, however they did manage to produce two Class 73's. 73119 ‘Borough of Eastleigh' had recently been returned to mainline with GBRf, and retains its BR Blue livery with subtle GBRf Europorte branding, while 73207 in BR Large Logo was former Gatwick Express loco, and more recently the Whitemoor Yard shunter. These 600 horsepower locos only featured on the Saturday evening and Sunday of the event, with only 73119 working brake van specials to and from Norton Fitzwarren, while 73207 was on static display at Bishops Lydeard. The DEPG's latest overhaul project Class 33 No.D6575 (33057) also looked superb and now outshines sister locomotive No.D6566 (33048).

 

It was pleasing to see that catering, on the service trains has been much improved than previous years and this is a positive sign that the railway has clearly taken into consideration,including the addition of external catering at Bishops Lydeard and Minehead to help boost the variety of what can be consumed. The marketing of local produce and Real Ale/ Cider was another addition which was pleasing to see had been included. As we have reported in previous news items on Taunton Trains we hope that one day the WSR will have the confidence to host a full blown diesel event, avoiding the need to use steam trains for just one weekend in the year. There is plenty more to build on for to make the event better than the last, diesel shunting demos at Washford or Dunster, or evening 'Fish & Chip' & 'Ale Trains', over the length of the line. There will come a day when a generation will exist who no longer remember steam operating on the mainline but will remember early heritage diesels. At Taunton Trains we are very much advocates for the promotion of Heritage Diesels on all preserved lines. Due to their limited use on passenger trains joe public rarely get to witness a working diesel locomotive, 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, it would be fantastic to see information leaflets about the locomotives positioned on tables for the general public and enthusiasts to help, and to provide more information about the history behind each locomotive and how it came to be in the care and dedication of the DEPG.

The three day event has been a superb example of what can be achieved and leaves plenty more scope for development over future events. We would like to thank all those who've submitted images to Taunton Trains, there are simply too many to include on this site in one go, however in due course we will be adding a selection of our own images to our 83B Weebly website so please do have check this out in due course.

 

 

 

 

The 9th June 2012 saw two Direct Rail Services Class 37's employed on Pathfinder Tours charter from Crewe to Parkandillack & Heathfield. 'The 3-2-C' charter was originally planned to visit the Moorswater branch but due to issues surrounding the connecting chord at Liskeard the line had to be omitted. With the sun shining after days of poor weather 37609 leads 37606 through Creech St Michael on route south to Cornwall. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Making an absolute racket Direct Rail Services Class 37's No's.37606 & 37609 storm up Whiteball Bank with the return Pathfinder Railtours 'The 3-2-C' charter which visited the Parkandillack branch in Cornwall and later the Heathfield branch in Devon. The return charter is seen returning to Crewe climbing to Whiteball Tunnel running slightly behind schedule. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
 

 

With Jubilee weekend fast approaching Taunton Trains has been developing an idea over recent weeks to coincide with the 60th year of the Queens reign in the UK. As everyone else will be looking back over the past 60 years we felt that we could do the same (with a little help from Ebay) to provide a look back at trains in the Taunton area over the past 60 years. So starting on Sunday 3rd June we will be providing 6 different images (one each evening) on our front/ news page covering each decade to the present day. Each of the images will NEVER have been shown on Taunton Trains before, and will be new to the website. Be sure to keep an eye on the website over the Jubilee week!!
We begin Jubilee week with this image from Strathwood Publishers who have very kindly allowed us to feature several of their slides which have recently been released for sale. At the start of the Queens reign Steam was still common place on the UK rail network. BR Mogul 2-6-0 43xx No.6343 is pictured between duties at Taunton in 1959, the loco was alloacted to Taunton Shed (83B) and was a regular locomotive to the area. Another image of the locomotive can also be found here: 6343 (Photo: Strathwood Publishing)
Photo two for Jubilee week is another image from Strathwood Publishers who have very kindly allowed us to feature several of their slides purchased via Ebay. BR Mogul 2-6-0 43xx No.6327 is pictured near South Molton on the Barnstaple Branch in 1963. More images from the Barnstaple Branch can be found on our Memories Pages.(Photo: Strathwood Publishing)
On the 29th April 1972 BR two tone green Class 47 No.D1933 passes through the centre road at Taunton with a lengthy rake of clay slurry tanks in tow. The Class 47 went on to lead a long life, becomeing 47255, 47596 & 47740 in its lifetime. The loco now enjoys retirment at 47596 based on the Mid Norfolk Railway and is currently plainted in one of the Stratford Blue scemes.This image was sourced via Ebay and is part of the Modern Image Slides collections. (Photo: Modern Image Slides)
On the 27th July 1984 HST powercar No.43027 departs from Taunton under the famous semaphore signals at Taunton East Junction with a Paddington bound Intercity 125 service from Plymouth. Some 14 years later 43027 still travels the same route into and out of London each day operated by First Great Western. This view shows the second version of the Intercity livery which was eventually dropped in favour of the 'Intercity Swallow' version. (Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)
We jump to the 1990's with todays image. On the 18th September 1993 Civil Engineers Class 37 No.185 passes through Norton Fitzwarren with 'The Silver Jubilee' charter. The tour was operated by Black 8 Charters, which used LMS Black 5 No.48773 between Bishops Lydeard and Minehead. Note how dated the photo looks with Vauxhall Cavaliers, Peugeot 405's and even a Triumph Dolomite located alongside the track at the Norton Fitzwarren Cider Factory. (Photo: Dave Jones)
The final photo of the week brings us bang up to date with First Great Westerns 'Jubilee Powercar' 43186. The powercar is seen at Taunton on the 3rd May 2012 on its first day out in the newly applied livery working the 1C87 15:55 Paddington - Penzance. (Photo: Paul Clarke)

 

Even more good news, with an additional 48 hours of time provided by HRH Queen Elizabeth we have been able to forge ahead and reactivate another missing part of the Taunton Trains galleries. We can now confirm that the Platform 1 Gallery has been entirely rebuilt, re captioned and redesigned and is now live after nearly two years offline it's been bought back up to date for your viewing pleasure. Why not visit the new Platform 1 Gallery and see what you think!
Good News! After nearly 2 years of being offline, following the collapse of Fotopic, we are able to confirm that the Fawley Tanks (6V62) gallery is BACK!!. The site went live at 22:00 on Sunday 3rd June. It's been a huge undertaking to get this site back online again but 2 months work, over 600 captions, 15043 words, and 76707 characters later we've done it! So enjoy the site, and if you have any photos you can add then please do not hesitate to contact Taunton Trains!!

2012 NEWS
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