OCTOBER 2013 NEWS : 


Devon and Cornwall Railways, DCR, DC Rail veteran Class 31's stabled at Taunton overnight on the 28th/29th October. No.31452 and No.31190 delivered the Network Rail 'Rail Vac' from Totton Yard to Crediton on the 28th before stabling at Taunton. The pair returned to Totton on the morning of the 29th and are seen passing the Firepool Lock complex heading north. (Photo: Shaun Mockridge)
The axe finally fell without ceremony on the popular 6V62/6C62 Fawley - Tavistock Junction tanks on the 29th October 2013. The final train operated with EWS liveried Class 66/0 No.66136 at the helm. This time next week is train will be operated by road tankers, delivering fuel to First Great Western's depots at St Philips Marsh, Laira and Long Rock. The final service is seen on the cusp of darkness passing Banklands on route to Tavistock Junction. (Photo: Bob Tucker)

 

We would like to appologise for the lack of updates recently, this is due to holidays and a total lack of time to be able to process the submitted information/ images. We would like to thank all those who take time to submit information to Taunton Trains.
The popular viewing platform from 40 Steps bridge in Taunton will be closed to the public from the 28th October. The 'classic' photo opportunities from 40 Steps will not be accessible until a new bridge is constructed. The work is likely to take around 6 months to complete, and will mean a lengthy diversion for local residents. A new bridge will reopen in the spring 2014 in conjunction with the new Northern Inner Distributor Road. (Photo: Jeff Treece)
The Network Rail TRS (Track Renewal System), known generally as the TRT (Track Renewal Train) by enthusiasts is slowly making a return to Taunton from it's previous base at Toton Yard. Several items have already been delivered to Fairwater Yard already. The set is being redeployed in the South West in connection with upcoming track renewal work in the area. Keep your eyes peeled for increased activity in Fairwater Yard once this set returns. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Another visitor to the Taunton Station stabling sidings on the 23rd October was DCR's Class 31 No.31190. The loco had been used to transport the Network Rail 'Swedish Rail Vac' from Totton to Crediton, to take part in an engineering blockade, before returning to Taunton light engine. The loco is seen stabled between duties on the 23rd October.(Photo: Jason Prole) *Photo taken with permission by trained & qualified personnel.
BR Standard No.70000 'Britannia' made a brief foray back into the South West on the 19th October, by hauling The Railway Touring Companies' 'The Dartmouth Express'. The charter originated from Poole but was steam hauled from Westbury to Kingswear and back. Britannia is seen passing Cogload Junction on route to Kingswear (Photo: Darren Jones)
The newly constructed stabling sidings behind Platform 1 and 2 at Taunton have seen some use of late. On the 19th October this colourful combination was captured. Colas Rail Freight hired in a Freightliner Heavy Haul Class 66 to assist with engineering work near Crediton. The pair are seen stabled at Taunton having returned to Taunton. Freightliner Class 66/6 No.66603 is seen closest to the camera with No.66846 behind. Ironically 66846 used to be operated by Freightliner Intermodal as 66573! (Photo: Darren Jones)
Colas Rail Freight Class 47 No.47727 'Rebecca' visited Taunton on the 16th October in connection with delivering more Network Rail HOBC vehicles from West Ealing to Fairwater Yard, before running light engine to Cardiff. The colourful and popular locomotive is seen stabled on the southern head shunt of Fairwater Yard between shunting duties. (Photo: Adam Snow)
Providing more colour on the 16th October was Colas Rail Freight's Class 56 No.56094. The locomotive made a surprise movement to Teigngrace to collect a final load of logs from the loading site at Teigngrace Crossing. The flow of timber from Devon is through to have stopped, but it seems enough logs had been stockpiled to run a further train. 56094 climbs through Beambridge with the 6Z52 Chirk - Teigngrace empties. (Photo: Adam Snow)

 

THE FAWLEY FAREWELL

After 25 years of operation the popular 'Fawley Tanks' which passes Taunton each Tuesday will cease to run from the 29th October when the final train will operate. The flow (which once used to operate 5 days week) has slowly declined in recent years to just one block train each week. The flow of fuel from the Fawley Refinery to Great Western depots at St Phillips Marsh, Laira and Long Rock has operated since 1998. A recent contract renewal was not signed with DB Schenker but instead went to a road haulier to provide the service. The move will require upwards of 30 additional lorry movements each week to cover the single trip carried by a Class 66 from DB Schenker. It's not known if DB Schenker intend to mark the occasion with a headboard, or perhaps the use of a Class 60??

All manner of locomotives have operated popular service over the years, and Taunton Trains has followed the Fawley Tanks throughout it's operational life and has a photographic website dedicated to the flow, along with an extensive log of workings. The log will be maintained and enhanced with more archive material as and when it becomes available to build a complete picture of a revenue earning flow many thought would never end.

On the 15th October Class 66 No.66125 passes Taunton with the lengthy rake of loaded TTA fuel wagons in tow. This shot really does show just how many lorries will be required on the roads of the South West to deliver this sort of volume to First Great Western depots. (Photo: Adam Snow)
The penultimate 6C62 from St Philips Marsh (originating from Fawley) - Tavistock Junction fuel passes through Taunton Station on the 22nd October. EWS liveried Class 66 No.66162 is ironically the move common member of the Class 66 fleet to operate the Fawley service, having appeared on 16 separate occasions. The places into insignificance compared to Class 37's from the 1990's where some locos racked up 60 appearances on their lifetime! (Photo: Jeff Treece)

 

October 3rd - 6th provided four days of the West Somerset Railway's Autumn 'Cambrian Themed' Steam Gala. The event featured three visiting Manor locomotives, a class which were synonymous with the route, stations were also renamed to those befitting the line. The event culminated with two night shoots, one on Friday night at Williton organised by David Williams and Neil Cave, and one on Saturday night at Minehead organised by Don Bishop. After a warm and sunny day during Saturday 5th, all four Manors ended their diagrams at Minehead. The Saturday evening photo shoot saw all four Manors posed for photographers on Minehead shed. No.7822 'Foxcote Manor', No.7827 'Lydham Manor', No.7812 'Erlestoke Manor', and No.7828 'Odney Manor' looked suburb in the posed scenes. The event also featured BR Prairie Tank No.4160 and the WSR's own misfit steam locomotive No.9351. (All Photos: Brian Garrett)

Further images from the WSR Autumn Steam Gala can be found on our 83B Photogrpahic wesbite.

 

Saturday 4th October saw a daylight appearance of a China Clay service in the Taunton area. Having set off from Exeter Riverside in the early hours of Saturday morning, EWS liveried Class 66 No.66041 made it as far at Highbridge Loop before the train was halted. A problem with the TTA fuel wagons within the consist forced the service to return to Exeter. Having detached the affected wagons, 66041 is seen passing Norton Fitzwarren at 12:20 with 18 JIA China Clay wagons in tow. The service was also rerouted to become the 6Z39 Exeter Riverside - Avonmouth! (Photo: Quentin Hawkes)
Colas Rail Freight provided a Class 66/8 No.66849 'Wylam Dilly' for a run info Devon on Friday 4th October. The 6Z29 Newton Abbot - Westbury service, conveying the long welded rail train, is seen passing Norton Fitzwarren at 13:15. (Photo: Quentin Hawkes)
EWS liveried Class 60 No.60049 was back in the Taunton are on the 3rd October hauling the same service it operated on the 2nd. The Class 60 is seen grumbling back through Taunton with the 7C28 Exeter Riverside - Westbury Mendip Rail stone empties, passing 40 Steps. (Photo: Jeff Treece)

 

October the 2nd continued in fine style with 3 freight trains passing through Taunton within 20 minutes of each other! First to arrive was EWS liveried Class 60 No.60049 which passes Taunton at 10:44. The loco was hauling the 7C27 Merehead - Exeter Riverside stone (originating from the Mendip Hills at Merehead Quarry). The loco is pictured passing Nynehead near Wellington (Photo: Mike Rowland)

Hot on the tail lamp of 7C27 was Colas Railfreight Class 56 No.56094. The Class 56 was operating the 6Z52 Chirk - Teigngrace empty log wagons. This is thought to 'possibly' be the final time this train will operate. So it was nice to see it working with a classic BR Diesel at the front end. The 6Z52 passed Taunton at 10:49 and is also pictured at Nynehead (Photo: Mike Rowland)
Freightliner Heavy Haul were also active in the area, with Class 66/6 No.66623 'Bill Bolsover' hauling the 6M40 Exeter Riverside - Stud Farm ballast empties. The train passed Taunton at 11:10 returning north and is also pictured passing Nynehead (Photo: Mike Rowland)

 

October starts in a colourful way with the visit of a Network Rail test train to Taunton, Two Direct Rail Services Class 37's were hired in to haul the service. Class 37/4 No.37402 is seen passing Taunton with the 1Q28 07:31 Kingsland Road - Didcot via Taunton. Class 37/6 No.37682 was coupled to the rear of the formation, and later lead the train north from Taunton to Didcot after a reversal at Taunto's 40 Steps. (Photo: Nathan Williamson)

In the formation of the 1Q28 test train was the purpose built Mk2 track recording coach No.999550. Since it's displacement from the Network Rail New Measurement Train HST set, No. 999550 has spent most of its working life testing tracks on the Southern region, so its visit to Taunton was considered quite rare and worthy of a mention. Other coaches in the formation of the 1Q28 were: No.72616 No.9516 & No.6261 (Photo: Nathan Williamson)

 

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