|After a successful diesel operating day at the Bodmin and Wenford Railway, Colas Rail Freight Class 56 No.56302 (56124) returned Class 60 No.60096 to Toton from St Blazey. The Class 60 was formerly operated by EWS/ DB Schenker, but has now been purchased by Colas Rail Freight and will enter into the current Colas Rail Refurbishment program, which is being carried out at Toton by DB Schenker on behalf of Colas. 56302 is pictured passing Cogload Junction heading for Toton depot. (Photo: Bob Tucker)|
|First Great Western often need to move their HST powercars around the network as part of maintenance, stock shortages and operational requirements. The sight of a full HST rake is an everyday occurrence in Taunton, but pairs of powercars (without their passenger carrying vehicles) are not so common. Once such working occurred on the 29th September when No.43091 and No.43141 operated between Laira Depot (Plymouth) and Old Oak Common (London) in 'back to back' formation. The pair are pictured passing Cogload Junction. (Photo: Chay Farzneh)|
|First Great Western suffered yet more problems with their 'Night Riviera' service on the 26th/27th September when Class 57/6 No.57604 refused to start at Long Rock depot. The overnight sleeper service was subsequently operated by a spare HST set. During Saturday 27th the locomotive and stock were collected by Direct Rail Services Class 57/3 No.57310. The 'thunderbird' locomotive itself also suffered problems in the Totnes and Exeter area. 57310 is pictured passing Norton Fitzwarren with the 5Z74 Long Rock to Oak Oak Common stock move. (Photo: Phil Izzard)|
|Taunton Station's redevelopment took a step closer this week after a proposed land sale by Network Rail. A thin strip of railway land is also being offered for sale to pave the way for future regeneration. Approximately 8 Acres of land between Kingston Road and Obridge Road is expected to be sold to developers. This will include the loss of Killkenny Car Park Council operated) meaning there will no longer be any free parking after 6pm at night, and no free parking on Sundays at the Station. The only car park at this end of town will be the 'downside' station car park operated by Apcoa at inflated prices. The sale is also expected to see the loss of the 'Railway Runabouts' a children's nursery, the Taunton GWRSA Railway Club, and local allotments. We have provided an 'approximate' line diagram to show the 'possible' land sale which will see housing, offices, and possible retirement apartments built alongside the railway line. (Please note the diagram shown is an estimation of the land sale, and official details should be sought from the appropriate vendors.|
|October 25th and 26th will again see Taunton School open it's doors to 'RAILEX 2014' the annual Taunton Model Railway Exhibition. The show opens on Saturday 25th (10:30-17:30) with a free bus from Taunton Station on the Saturday only. Sunday 26th opens from (10:00-16:00). With 40 Steps now open there is now a walking route from Taunton Station via Railway Street and Cyril Street. Entry is £6.50 Adults, £5.50 OAP, and £3.50 Children. Over 20 Exhibition Layouts will be on display along with trade stands and specialist suppliers. Further details can be found on the Somerset RMC website.|
|Great Western Steam returned to Taunton on the 16th September in the shape of GWR Castle No.5029 'Nunney Castle'. The Locomotive worked 'The Cathedrals Express' from Clapham Junction to Kingswear. The locomotive is pictured at Taunton taking water before taking the Berks and Hants route to Westbury. (Photo: Nathan Williamson)|
|Tuesday 9th September provided a procession of early evening freight in the Taunton area. First to appear was Colas Rail Freight with a long welded rail train. The 6C00 from Eastleigh Yard to St Erth was hauled by new Class 70 No.70808 with No.70809 on the rear of the train. The colourful combination is pictured at Cogload Junction. (Photo: Adam Snow)|
|Second to appear just ten minutes later was DB Schenker's 6W60 17:23 Westbury - Penwithers Junction conveying a rake of loaded autoballaster wagons for an overnight ballast drop in Cornwall. Class 66 No.66016 is pictured rounding the curve at Cogload Junction before joining the Bristol to Exeter mainline. (Photo: Adam Snow)|
|Freightliner Heavy Haul provided the final move of the night, former DRS Class 66/4 No.66413 lead the heavily loaded 6Y07 Fairwater Yard - Overton HOBC set. The lengthy train is pictured powering away from the Taunton area at Cogload Junction. (Photo: Adam Snow)|
|The popular Class 52 Western No.D1015 'Western Champion' returned to Somerset on the 6th September hauling a GBRf Staff Charter from Chester to Bishops Lydeard, however becuase of an operational problem, the tour had to be started late from Crewe. D1015 is seen storming through Creech St Michael having made up 59 minutes between Crewe and Taunton, and was running just three minutes late at this point. (Photo: Brian Garrett)|
|Our second image from the Westerns visit captured the locomotive at Taunton Station, while a scene from the 1960's can't fully be replicated any more, this is probably as close as you could get an image to look in 2014. D1015 'Western Champion' arrived into Taunton Station on time after it's marathon trek from Crewe. The reason for it's delay being a set of Freightliner wagons which were blocking the run round loop at Crewe meaning the train was unable to depart for Chester as booked. (Photo: Wayne Potter)|
|After its mainline run from Crewe, D1015 was afforded the luxury of a gentle meander through the Somerset Countryside to Minehead. The locomotive is pictured passing Washford before descending the bank to Blue Anchor. This image is probably one of the only times you can no photograph a Western on the West Somerset Railway hauling anything other than Chocolate and Cream coaching stock. (Photo: Phil Izzard)|
|Upon arrival at Minehead two Hydraulics pose alongside one another. The DEPG's own Class 35 'Hymek' is pictured during it's 2.5hr layover at Minehead (between diagrams) and D1015 is pictured having run round the GBRf Staff Charter. (Photo: Phil Izzard)|
2014 WSR Diesel Haulage:
The 2014 season will again see the DEPG Diesel Fleet working Friday and Saturday passenger services during the peak holiday season in July and August. A one Day Rover ticket on the WSR costs £17.00 (which has been frozen at the 2012/2013 price) but if you book in advance you can get this ticket for £15.30.
The 2014 Diesel Diagram has been altered by the WSR, which means you must now check the 'Yellow' or 'Green' timetable for your day of travel, and there is no longer two return trips provided 'back to back'. Lengthy breaks in the Diesel service at Minehead means the Diesel's see a vastly reduced daily diagram compared to previous years!!
In addition to the booked 'Diesel Diagram' a new venture this year will be the use D832 'Onslaught' on two rare weekend 'Quantock Belle' services. Advance booking is recommended, it is possible to book on the Quantock Belle dining service by calling the following number: 01823 433856
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