MAY 2013 NEWS : 


Are loco hauled passenger trains about to make a comeback in 2014, four years after the previous loco hauled passenger trains ended?

First Great Western has issued a tender to bid to operate a £7 Million contract on the Taunton - Cardiff corridor Monday - Friday from December 14th 2014 for a period of 36 months!

The service will provide additional capacity on the Taunton - Cardiff route, and will cover for FGW's own units being taken out of traffic for refurbishment. First Great Western requires additional rolling stock solutions for additional passenger capacity on the Cardiff - Taunton Route. Two trains will run every week, Monday through Friday. Each Train Set will have a minimum capacity of 275 seats. It will be the supplier's responsibility to provide maintenance and servicing of these trains. The operating company will provide staff to cover the role of Guard and to manage Revenue Protection. The supplier may be required to provide the Driver. Loco Hauled and other solutions are welcomed.

Further details can be found here

Our 83B Website has been updated with many of the latest images from the Taunton area, along with some from further afield. Why not take a look through the variety of galleries.83B Photographic
More steam action was seen in the Taunton area on the 25th May when GWR Castle No.5043 'Earl of Mount Edgcumbe' fronted 'The Whistling Ghost' charter from Tyseley to Bishops Lydeard. Once onto WSR metals GWR Hall No.4936 'Ravingham Hall' continued the tour to Minehead while 5043 was serviced and turned. The Castle is seen here on the mainline at Banklands on route to Taunton (Photo: Bob Tucker)
Freightliners Fleet of Class 66's are looking very weather worn these days, with washing considered 'an expense' often it's left until exams for a loco to be cleaned. 66623 will not be operating any trains for some time, after the loco threw a piston out of the engine while shunting in Fairwater Yard. The loco is seen dumped on the south head shunt pending removal for repair. (Photo: Jeff Treece)
Colas Rail Freight used Class 56 No.56094 to return a rake of overhauled wagons from Cardiff Canton to Fairwater Yard on the 25th May. The loco is seen approaching 40 Steps with the 6Z47 15:10 from Cardiff. Later it returned light engine to Cardiff. (Photo: Jeff Treece)
Colas Rail Freight used Class 47/7 No.47749 to haul a rake of HOBC wagons from Fairwater Yard to Cardiff Canton for repair on the 24th May. The loco is seen departing from Fairwater having collected a small rake of wagons from the HOBC set. (Photo: Jeff Treece)

 

The return leg of 'The Cathedrals Express' is pictured at Taunton during its booked stop at Taunton before continuing back to Banbury. The video above was recorded as the train departed from Taunton after it's booked stop.

(Photo & Video: Nathan Williamson)

LNER A4 No.4464 (60019) 'Bittern' visited Taunton on the 21st May. The locomotive worked 'The Cathedrals Express' from Banbury to Kingswear and return. The loco is seen departing from Taunton on the southbound run to Kingswear at 40 Steps. (Photo: Jeff Treece)
Thursday 8th May provided a GBRf working in the South West when the company ran one of the sporadic scrap slows from Exeter Alphington Road. GB liveried Class 66/7 No.66732 is seen descending Whiteball Bank at Beambridge hauling the 6C55 Exeter - Cardiff Tidal scrap train. (Photo: Quentin Hawkes)
The scene at 40 Steps on the 9th May shows more changing times in the Taunton area. Very soon the new headshunt will be fully formed and connected to allow engineers to remove the former headshunt to make way for the new Taunton NIDR road project. The scene looking east from 40 Steps is captured here, and shows alignment of the new Fairwater Yard headshunt and small stabling complex located behind Platform 1 (Photos: Jeff Treece)
The scene at 40 Steps on the 9th May shows more changing times in the Taunton area. Very soon the new headshunt will be fully formed and connected to allow engineers to remove the former headshunt to make way for the new Taunton NIDR road project. The scene looking east from 40 Steps is captured here, and shows alignment of the new Fairwater Yard headshunt and small stabling complex located behind Platform 1 (Photos: Jeff Treece)

 

A proposed multi million pound re-development of Taunton Station will improve Taunton's image claims Network Rail. Talks are currently underway between Network Rail and Somerset County Council to improve Taunton Station and bring it into the 21st century by enhancing it's former 'Great Western' heritage mixed with modern materials such as glass, street furniture, planting and modern buildings.

Taunton Station has the rare accolade of having two entrances thanks to how the station was constructed by the Bristol and Exeter Railway in the 1800's.In 1842 the Bristol & Exeter Railway opened an extension of their mainline from Bridgwater to Taunton the line was later extended to Beambridge and on to Exeter in 1843. The station was built 'double sided' with separate stations (and entrances) for up and down passenger services.

The North side has long been neglected and is in bad need of redevelopment to improve the facilities for passengers using the station. More ticket desks, better parking, transport links, lighting and disabled access are required to bring the station into the 21st century. Inside the station the station roof, glazing and guttering are in bad need of repair. Passengers may not be aware, but although the station is operated by First Great Western, they only care for the station facilities, which is why when you look above the station columns, the paint stops and the roof / glazing is untreated....as the station roof is Network Rail's responsibility! (Another odd 'quirk' of privatisation!)

The former extension to the north side entrance (erected in the 1970's) has hidden the stations former entrance from clear view, it's hoped this will be exposed and used as the main feature of the redevelopment.

This image shows the former North Side entrance of Taunton Station in 1964 (Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)

An Artists impression of now the new 'North Side' entrance will look (Photo: Network Rail)

This image shows the current South Side entrance of Taunton Station in 2012 (Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)

Improvements planned for Taunton Station include:

Taunton Station (North Side)
Taunton Station (South Side)
Removal of the current 1980's extension, to expose the original Great Western Facade
A new glazed entrance.
A new glazed entrance
Pedestrian walkway into town via Firepool avoiding Station Road
Business development at Kilkenny Car Park
Refurbishment of 'Great Western House' (the former Great Western Hotel)
Commercial deliver area
A Multi Story Car Park
New Bus Stops and Short stay parking.
New Bus, Taxi and Short Stay Parking

Network Rail continues to discuss planes with 'Project Taunton' and Somerset County Council with regards to regeneration and refurbishment of Taunton Station, although it's been confirmed that work will not start until after the current First Great Western franchise is let in 2014.

A map of the new 'Taunton Gateway' which will direct visitors arriving at Taunton Station away from Station Road and into the centre of the town. (Photo: Network Rail)

 

2013 WSR Diesel Haulage:

The 2013 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. A one Day Rover ticket on the WSR costs £17.00 (which has been frozen at the 2012 price) 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 47 D1661 "North Star"
Friday 14th June 2013
Class 35 'Hymek' D7017
Saturday 15th June 2013
Class 33 D6575(33057)
Friday 21st June 2013
Class 42 'Warship' D832 "Onslaught"
Saturday 22nd June 2013
Class 47 D1661 "North Star"
Friday 28th June 2013
Class 35 'Hymek' D7017
Saturday 29th June 2013
Class 52 'Western' D1010 "Western Campaigner"
Friday 12th July 2013
Class 47 D1661 "North Star"
Friday 19th July 2013
Class 52 'Western' D1010 "Western Campaigner"
Saturday 20th July 2013
Class 35 'Hymek' D7017
Friday 26th July 2013
Class 35 'Hymek' D7017
Saturday 27th July 2013
Class 35 'Hymek' D7017
Saturday 3rd August 2013
Class 42 'Warship' D832 "Onslaught"
Sunday 4th August 2013
Class 47 D1661 "North Star"
Saturday 10th August 2013
Class 35 'Hymek' D7017
Saturday 17th August 2012
Class 42 'Warship' D832 "Onslaught"
Saturday 24th August 2013
Class 35 'Hymek' D7017
Friday 13th September 2012
Class 35 'Hymek' D7017
Saturday 14th September 2013

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 alternate with DEPG Class 14 D9526 on 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 D6575(33057)
Tuesday 23rd April 2013
Class 14 D9526
Wednesday 19th June 2013
Class 33 D6575(33057)
Wednesday 3rd July 2013
Class 14 D9526
Wednesday 17th July 2013
Class 33 D6575(33057)
Wednesday 31st July 2013
Class 33 D6575(33057)
Sunday 11th August 2013
Class 14 D9526
Wednesday 14th August 2013
Class 42 'Warship' D832 "Onslaught"
Saturday 17th August 2013 (Evening)
Class 14 D9526
Sunday 25th August 2013
Class 33 D6575(33057)
Wednesday 4th September 2013
Class 14 D9526
Wednesday 18th September 2013

 

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2013 NEWS
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