NOVEMBER 2012 NEWS : 


We end the week (and enter December) with this image from the 18th April 1988. Grubby BR Class 31 No.31459 passes 40 Steps using the Taunton avoider between Taunton East and Fairwater Yard. It's thought the loco was deputizing for the booked Class 08. 31459 still operates on the mainline network today, hauling test trains for Network Rail. (Photo: Jeff Treece)
On the 27th July 1986 there were no such problems with land slips and flooding. BR Class 45 'Peak' No.45139 departs Taunton with the 08:29 Nottingham to Paignton service with a mixed rake of Mk2 coaching stock in tow. It's amazing to see how spacious coaches trains have shunk down to cramped 4 coach Voyagers on the Cross Country Network, and Nottingham does not have a direct train to the South West any more. (Photo: Jeff Treece)
Pictured on on the 15th Mach 1986 was this trio of locomotives stabled on the former Taunton Shed. BR Class 50 No.50008 'Thunderer' and No.50021 'Rodney' were on route to Doncaster Works hauled by br Class 31 No.31298. The trio of locomotives stabled in Taunton before continuing their journey to Doncaster the next day. (Photo: Jeff Teece)
With Taunton and Exeter still severed at Cowley Bridge Junction it's likely to be another few days before we see trains arriving from the south. On the 2nd March 1988 Large Logo Class 47 No.47648 hauls the failed 'Golden Hind' into Taunton heading for London Paddington. In the modern age a failure of a First Great Western HST would result in the cancellation of the service, or replacement with a wholly inadequate two car unit. In BR days locomotives were frequently used to keep train services moving allowing passengers to at least reach their destinations on the same service. (Photo: Jeff Treece)
On the 10th May 1985 two Class 31's No's.178 and 175 prepare to depart Taunton with F&W Railtours 'Skirl of the Bagpipes 6' three day charter from Plymouth to Oban. The charter was operated on the back of previous excursions to Scotland from other locations within the UK. A whopping 24 different locomotives (including a Deltic!) were used on the charter over the course of its journey. Something which in the modern age would be 'commercially unviable' to repeat!! More details of this charter can be viewed on the popular 'Six Bells Junction' website. (Photo: Jeff Treece)
With the weather currently so poor, and wide spread flooding / disruption to the railways, Taunton has become a ghost town for interesting railway workings. We thought we would turn the clock back with this image of this Class 45 'Peak' No.45133 taken on the 15th November 1986 ready to work the 08:40 Taunton to Bristol Temple Meads formed of four/ five BR Mk1 coaches. How times have changed since this image was taken. Even now just standing in this location is considered 'unsafe' with barriers restricting the use of platforms beyond the station canopies. A similar service still runs as the 08:36 to Bristol but formed of a two car First Great Western unit. (Photo: Jeff Treece)

 

Unprecedented Rainfall fell on already saturated ground on the night of the 20th/21st November 2012 causing widespread flooding and disruption right across the South West. Taunton and the surrounding areas were badly hit, with wanted racing off the Quantocks and Blackdown Hills into the River Tone, which later burst its banks in several locations. The railway was badly affected throughout the day with flooding in Devon, Avon, Dorset and Wiltshire, more locally flooding at Whiteball Tunnel, Wellington, Taunton, Athelney and Somerton caused more pressing issues. Unusually 40 Steps at Taunton was also affected, trains were cautioned while running through the area (Photo: Stephen Jervis)
At one point during the day all mainline services through Taunton were completely cancelled and the Chirk to Teigngrace log empties were turned around and sent to Wales before even reaching Taunton. First Great Western are advising passengers to check before they travel after widespread cancellations of their services. With more rain forecast over the next few days its expected more disruption to rail services will occur. This photo shows the Fairwater Yard head shunt at 40 Steps completely under water with the adjacent mainline tracks partially flooded. (Photo: Stephen Jervis) Further photos of flooding in the Taunton area can be found here
Taunton Trains is pleased to announce that we have recently secured a licence to host images from the National Railway Museum archives in a permanent location on Taunton Trains. The images date from 1953 and were taken on the Taunton to Barnstaple line. These rare images capture steam on the line in 1953 long before the announced 'Beeching Cuts' which would see the eventual demise of the line. These images will be permanently hosted on our 'Along the Barnstaple Line' page. We would like to thank the NRM for their help in securing these images for hosting on Taunton Trains. (Photo: National Railway Museum / Science & Society Picture Library)
After dropping classmates 31452 and 47375 at Meldon Quarry, DCR liveried Class 31 No.31601 returned to Taunton light engine where it stabled in Platform 1 for the night. The loco arrived just before 19:30 on a misty and wet autumn evening. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
BARS/DCR moved a convoy of locomotives from their base at Burton on Trent to Meldon Quarry today in preparation for Christmas Specials on the Dartmoor Railway. BR Class 31 No.31601 provided the transport for classmate 31452 and repaired BR Blue Class 47 No.47375. The convoy was held at Fairwater Yard due to a broken rail at Whiteball (which caused severe delays for most of the afternoon). 31452 and 47375 will take part in Christmas 'Polar Express' services on the Dartmoor Railway during the festive season, while the current dispute over 47701 'Waverley' (also based on the line) continues. (Photo: Jeff Treece)
The 2012 Autumnal colours have been some of the best for years,after such a wet summer the trees have produced some stunning scenes. For Network Rail the battle continues to rid the railway network of leaf mulch on the rail heads. DB Schenker Class 66's No's.011 & 094 pass through Cogload on Saturday 10th November returning from Westbury and Salisbury with the 3S13 to St Blazey. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Friday 9th November saw the rare appearance of a mainline registered Class 33 at Taunton. West Coast Railways finally found a serviceable locomotive to work light engine from Southall to Bodmin to collect the GWR Railmotor for onward transport to Liskeard. The previous weeks charters on the Looe line had to be cancelled after two West Coast Locomotives failed in succession. The battered Class 33 No.33207 'Jim Martin' passes Taunton renewing the last visit from September 2011. The 33 also became the first class member to visit Cornwall since 18th March 2006! (Photo: Adam Snow)
Colas Rail Freight Class 56 No.56087 made its first appearance on the Teigngrace logs on the 7th November, 56094 has been experiencing some problems of late, so 087 appears to of replaced it for a while. The 6Z52 empties from Chirk are seen passing 40 Steps, Taunton on route to be loaded with logs at the Teigngrace loading point. (Photo: Jeff Treece)
During October we featured First Great Westerns 'Night Rivera' sleeper service from Paddington to Penzance, well we would like to thank this nocturnal photographer for providing the balancing working. On the 1st November 2012 in the early hours of the morning. FGW Class 57/6 No.57605 'Totnes Castle' stands at Taunton with the 1A40 21:45 Penzance - Paddington 'Night Riviera' sleeper service in Platform 5 at Taunton. (Photo: Alex Martin-Brown)

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