|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!!|
|It's not often we manage to capture road movements of locomotives through Taunton, but on the 27th May this Class 08 No.08782 from Fowey Docks was captured at Taunton Deane M5 (Nothbound) services. The loco had been switched at Fowey with 08907. The last few days of May saw 4 road movements of locos through Taunton on the M5, 08907 being taken to St Blazey, 08782 being returned north, 08644 being taken to Laira Depot and GWR Hall No.4936 'Kinlett Hall' being taken to the Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway. (Photo: Runtheredline)|
|As part of the 2012 York Railfest First Great Western have repainted one of their Mk3 coaches No.42353 into its original HST prototype livery and renumbered it E12002. The coach was part of the original prototype HST and will soon make its way to be reunited with one of the original prototype powercars 41001. The re-livered coach made it first passenger run on the 27th May as part of the 1A18 10:13 Plymouth - Paddington and is seen here behind 43142 at Taunton. (Photo: Paul Clarke)|
|The original prototype livery consisted of a mainly grey bodyside with a mid blue band (this of course was reversed on the British Rail prouction models). The throw back to the original paint scheme also highlights how uniform a Mk3 coach once looked withouth brightly cloured doors to aid the visually impaired. Despite being one of the original prototype coaches No.42353 has undergone many modifications in its lifetime, the interior today with FGW is very different to how the coach would of looked when it was originally built. Modern 'progress' means that only the colour scheme will remind those of the coaches former significance , although we are sure disabled toilets in Mk3 coaches were not in existance in 1972! (Photo: Paul Clarke)|
|Saturday 26th May saw a rare weekend outing for DRS Class 37/6's and a Network Rail Test Train. Having spent most of the week traversing the branches of Devon and Cornwall in the hours of darkness, DRS Class 37's No's 611 and 601 returned north to Didcot from Exeter Riverside on the morning of the 26th May. The 'top and tailed' pair are seen passing 40 Steps Taunton on route back to Didcot. (Photo: Darren Jones)|
|We often forget about Freightliner Heavy Haul and the Network Rail HOBC operation from Fairwater Yard. Taunton Fairwater Yard still commands the use of several Class 66/5's /6's for use on Network Rail's High Output Ballast operation. On the 23rd May this image records Taunton's current yard residents. 66595 is the most recent arrival and is seen sat alongside 66605 and 66615. We are grateful to be able to share this rare view inside Fairwater Yard, the image was taken by authorised personal, the yard is off limits to the general public. (Photo: Kevin Wills)|
|Also operating on the 23rd May was the 6Z40 10:10 Keyham to Crewe nuclear flask from Devonport. Readers of Taunton Trains will recall the flask was taken down to Keyham two DRS Class 20's at the beginning of May for loading. The train returned North on the 23rd hauled by DRS Class 37 No.37608 and is seen passing 40 Steps. Please note the image was taken from an authorised walking route to Fairwater Yard and is off limits to the general public. (Photo: Kevin Wills)|
|Just one day after International pop star Will.I.am carried the Olympic torch through Taunton town centre, Taunton Station played host to another well known former politician Mr Michael Portillo. Wearing his brightly coloured green blazer Mr Portillo and his 'trusty Bradshaw's Guide' arrived into Taunton on a late running Great Western stopping service from Bristol around 08:10 on Tuesday 22nd May. The forth series of Great British Railway Journeys is currently being filmed around various locations in the UK, and it would appear Taunton and the surrounding area is likely to be appearing in the next series, we look forward to seeing finished product in early 2013. (Photo: Tristan Smith)|
|Steam returned to Taunton on the 20th May 'The Cornishman was operated by The Railway Touring Company, and ran to Par from Bristol Temple Meads and back. 7P No.70013 'Oliver Cromwell' was supplied for the jaunt into Cornwall. In normal dismal weather 70013 rounds the curve at Longforth Farm near Wellington with the 1Z27 from Bristol Temple Meads. (Photo: John White)|
|The restoration of Class 33 No.D6575 (33057) is progressing well at Williton on the West Somerset Railway, the locomotive is often seen out on test during the weekends rather than being worked upon in the shed. On the 12th May D6575 exits Williton Yard with D1661 (47840) for a test run to Minehead and back. The loco is hoped to be in full working order for the 2012 Mixed Traffic Gala. (Photo: AMB)|
|We enter a Taunton Timewarp for today's photo. As Prairie Tank No.4160 steams through the Somerset countryside hauling the 16:05 Minehead to Bishops Lydeard. It could be the 1960's all over again, as a Dennis Lancet in Safeway Services (of South Petherton) colours arrives to pick up two young ladies on route to Taunton. This image was taken as part of a organised David Williams Heritage Bus Photographic charter. ASV900 is a genuine ex Taunton Bus which was bought down from Coventry to star in this superb event. (Photo: Brian Garrett)|
|First Great Westerns 'Great Western' liveried Class 57 No.57604 'Pendennis Castle' ran into problems at Taunton with the Night Riviera service from London Paddington to Penzance on the morning on the 11th May. The loco suffered a 'hot box' and was removed from the train at Taunton where the service was terminated. Passengers had the indignity of completing their journey to Penzance on a Class 150/1 from Taunton, while 57602 was summoned from London take the empty stock through to Long Rock depot at Penzance. 57602 is seen attaching to the stock at Taunton shortly after 07:00 (Photo: Jeff Treece)|
|Great Western liveried Class 57 No.57604 'Pendennis Castle' was removed from the train at Taunton and stabled on the track leading to Platform 1. Maintenance crews from DB Schenker attended to the loco during the day at Taunton and fitted it with a wheel skate (so as to isolate the offending bearing). It's likely that the loco will be moved to Laira or Old Oak Common in due course, although because of the speeds involved with such movements, it's likely this will take place at night. (Photo: Qualified Personnel)|
|In the evening sunlight at Taunton 57604 is seen stabled at the entrance to Platform 1 being attended to by DB Schenker fitters. It's likely the loco will be moved from Taunton over the weekend to ensure it's back in traffic as soon as possible. (Photo: Brian Garrett)|
For those people who visit Taunton Station on a regular basis who may not already be aware, First Great Western intend to install ticket barriers at all entrances to Taunton Station, this plan has been in place for some time now. Therefore in theory persons wishing to access the station will require a ticket to travel unless given permission to enter by gate staff. Currently the barriers are due to be installed between June and December although it's thought this may wait for the outcome of the upcoming franchise announcements. However we are now aware that trained staff will be permanently manning all entrances and exits to the station checking tickets. Today we were told that passengers were even being asked to produce tickets when changing platforms and when stood on the platforms waiting for their trains to arrive. Clearly visual impact is being made to ensure people are aware of the impending change to Taunton's previously relaxed and trustworthy 'open house' nature. Sadly in this modern age a railway system operated on trust alone is no longer sufficient.
The barrier installation continues a nationwide clamp down on fare evasion of which Taunton is not immune. The Taunton - Bristol corridor being one of the local hot spots for people not intending to pay for their travel.
We do however hope that a sensible approach will be taken with regard to those who use the station locally for Coffee, Papers, Photographs meeting and greeting friends/ family and that system can be adopted to allow people onto the platforms who turn up to view Steam and Diesel excursions passing through the Station on a regular basis.
|First Great Western have recently re banded one of their HST powercars in a Golden Jubilee livery to celebrate the Queen's celebratory year. Although we've not been able to feature 43186 on Taunton Trains yet, First Great Western have taken the rare step of releasing a time lapse video on Youtube showing how the powercar was transformed at Laira Depot in Plymouth. The days of hand brush painting locomotives and stock have long since departed, modern vinyl wrap technology is now common place throughout the rail, haulage and aircraft industry. We hope you enjoy this rare insight behind the scenes. Further videos from FGW can be found on theirYoutube Channel|
West Somerset Railway Mixed Traction Event - June 15th - 17th
The DEPG and WSR have announced attendees for their 2012 Mixed Traction Event. The WSR has also decided to drop the cost of the weekend rover ticket this year to £24 for one day, or £36 for two, although discounts are available if booked in advance from the WSR. The drop in ticket price is a welcome one as events have been getting bad press through high ticket prices.
The line up so far includes:
Hymek D7017, D832 "Onslaught”, D1010 running as "Western Yeoman”, D1661 "North Star”, Class 33 "Cromptons” D6566 and D6575 and an Andrew Barclay ROF 0-4-0DH.
1 GBRf Class 66, 2 GBRF Class 73's and possibly 55022 'Royal Scots Grey' (Subject to confirmation).
There will also be a steam service operating over the weekend.
This years event will also feature the return to service of D6575 (33057) which will operate double headed with D6566 (33048) during the weekend. Ongoing testing of the locomotive is going well and the DEPG hope to have all locomotives operational in time for the event.
2012 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 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.
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
Good News! After nearly 2 years of being offline, following the collaspe of Fotopic, we are now working to return our Fawley Tanks (6V62) gallery to the internet. The pages are all set up, but with 600 captions to write it may take a while to complete this addition to the site. We hope in turn that our Platform 1, and WSR stone galleries can be returned in the same way. We will keep you updated when this project is ready to launch.
|More Southern Steam featured in the Taunton area on Saturday 5th May with 'The Royal Duchy' charter returning from Penzance to Paddington. The Southbound leg of the tour from Paddington was worked by West Coast Railways Class 47 No.47500, passing Taunton at 08:13. 34067 'Tangmere' and 70013 'Oliver Cromwell' returned North through the Taunton area are 19:30. The pair are seen gathering speed at Cogload on route to Bristol, where the West Coast Railways Class 47 No.47500 would take over for the final run to Paddington. (Photo: Bob Tucker)|
|Thursday the 3rd May provided another rare visitor to the Taunton area in the shape of Southern Region Merchant Navy No.35028 'Clan Line'. The locomotive is normally confined to VSOE charters out of London Victoria to areas in the South of the country, so the chance to see her in the West Country was very rare indeed. Approaching Taunton on yellow signal Clan Line slowly passes under 40 Steps with the 1Z92 'Cathedrals Express' from Exeter to Victoria. The rare route back to the Capital saw a reversal at Castle Cary where 66001 (on the rear of the train) provided the power through to Yeovil Junction where the tour regained the Southern route to London. (Photo: Brian Garrett)|
|It's been known for some time that DB Schenker planned to put 4 Class 60's into 'secure storage' at St Blazey, on the 3rd May 66141 conveyed the first two locomotives (60100 and 60044) in the consist of the booked light engine move from Newport ADJ. The light engine move is booked to pause at Taunton to change crews with the loaded northbound clay (6C43) from Cornwall. 60100, 60044 and 66141 drew a large crowd at Taunton to witness their move South. It's not known why St Blazey was chosen as a storage outpost when Toton is the home of the current Class 60 overhaul program, but lets hope at least that DB could have plans for these in the future. (Photo: Brian Garrett)|
|If the A1 support crew of 60163 'Tornado' were short of a tail lamp then it appears 60100 has borrowed it for a trip to Cornwall. Clearly some tail lamps lead more exciting lives than others! (Photo: Brian Garrett)|
|An interesting storage sign from July 2009 (possibly when 60100 failed). The sign advises 'Controlled Robbing' perhaps a note to the Cornish not to get to excited when removing parts from the loco to sell at the local scrap merchants!. A further case history on 60100 can be found on the 'TUG TRACKER' website, which shows the loco failed with a major crankcase fault ending its mainline career. 60044 however is reported to have Traction Motor issues which could make a return to service slightly more likely. (Photo: Brian Garrett)|
|After a lengthy pause in Platform 3 at Taunton 66141 departs with the light engine convoy to St Blazey. 60044 (Mainline Blue) and 60100 (EWS) have no choice but to follow their GM leader to an uncertain future in Cornwall.Don't forget to have a look at our Class 60 'Pictorial' which features the Class 60's at work in the Taunton area! (Photo: Brian Garrett)|
|Direct Rail Services Class 20's returned North to Crewe Gresty Bridge light engine on the 2nd may after their foray into the South West. The twosome formed of 20312 and 20303 pass 40 Steps, Taunton working the 0Z40 from Keyham. (Photo: Bernard Mills)|
|The 6V62, 6C62 fuel tanks from Fawley to Tavistock Junction via Bristol Temple Meads operate each Tuesday afternoon passing Taunton around 16:30. However on the 1st May the train was heavily delayed in the Dunball area of Bridgwater after a fault was reported with the train. As a result the mainline between Bristol and Taunton was blocked for a couple of hours while the problem was rectified. Finally on the move again at 19:25 DB Schenker Class 66 No.66101 exits Fairwater Yard where it then waited on the relief line for a path South to Plymouth. (Photo: Phil Izzard)|
|The 1st May also provided two other locomotives from Direct Rail services in the Taunton area. 37259 and 37604 teamed up for a weeklong jaunt around the South West with a Network Rail test train. The 1Q13 06:01 from Didcot to Exeter Riverside Yard is seen passing 40 Steps Taunton in a nice patch of afternoon light. The pair were were undertaking their own Jubilee Tour of the South West visiting some of the locations the Queen may not of visited this week! (Photo: Steve Yarde)|
|We were also able to provide on final image of the Direct Rail Services Class 20's working the Crewe - Keyham flask on the 1st of May, this time seen passing Creech St Michael on route to their destination in Plymouth. (Photo: Steve Yarde)|
|Direct Rail services started May off with one of the rarest workings of the year so far. The Crewe to Keyham Nuclear Flask is rare at the best of times but to provide a pair of Class 20's for the jaunt into the South West was one of the rarest movements we've seen through Taunton in many years. Veteran locomotives 20303 and 20312 whistled their way South while working the 6Z40 05:10 Crewe - Keyham (Plymouth) before returning North later in the day. The convoy is seen passing Silk Mills on route to its destination in Devon. (Photo: Brian Pibworth)|
|The flask movment was formed of 20303, 20312 with KUA Flask 95770 and Mk2 barriers 9428 & 9419. The pair are seen thrashing up Whiteball Bank near Wellington on route South. (Photo: Dave Collett)|
Want to look at what happened in NEWS from 2009, 2010, or 2011 ? Have a look in our Archive Page