MAY 2015 NEWS : 


UK Railtours operated the first charter to the Eden Project in a very long time on the 30th May. the charter used two DB Schenker Class 66 Locomotives No.66014 and No.66156 'top and tailed' the 1C51 07:09 London Paddington - Par charter. The tour was originally booked for a pair of Class 67's but was substituted by the Class 66's. The 'Edenex' is seen passing 40 Steps, Taunton alongside the Taunton NIDR project which has eventually had some small sections of tarmac laid! (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Direct Rail Services provided a Class 37/4 for a brief foray into Devon on the 27th May. Class 37 No.37402 was coupled with Inspection Saloon 'Caroline' before operating the 2Z02 inspection train from Reading to Paington and back. The former 'Bont y Bermo' is pictured exiting from Whiteball Tunnel on route into Devon (Photo: Stephen Ginn)
DCR's Class 31 No.31601 has recently been repainted by the Devon Diesel Society at Buckfastleigh on the South Devon Railway. The locomotive previously carried DCR Green with DCR branding, but following a deal with the DDS the locomotive visited Buckfastleigh where it was transformed to be painted into DR Rails new grey scheme, the loco was also named 'Devon Diesel Society' and took part in their Bank Holiday Gala. With a fresh coat of paint only days old Class 31 No.31601 returns light engine to Tyseley. (Photo: Stephen Ginn)
Colas Rail Freights loaded log train to Chirk returned from Exeter Riverside on Thursday 21st May. Class 60 No.60076 is pictured passing the Taunton NIDR project (which still continues its slow pace of construction), while hauling the 6M51 16:08 Exeter Riverside - Chirk running nearly 40 minutes early. (Photo: Jeff Treece)
The BR Class 60 has seen a new lease of life thanks to mid life overhauls by DB Schenker and Colas Rail Freight. Although we will unlikely to see all 100 members of the class in operational condition again, we can at least enjoy the ones which have been given a second chance at life. On the 20th May Class 60 No.60076 makes easy work of its light load exiting from the south side of Whiteball Tunnel into Devon hauling the Chirk - Exeter Riverside empty log wagons for loading. (Photo: Stephen Ginn)

As previously reported on Taunton Trains in April, former London Midland Class 153 No.153333 now sports a colourful vinyl wrap advertising South Devon as a place to visit. The colourful unit is seen attached to Class 150 No.150108 ready to depart with the 11:04 stopping service to Cardiff Central. (Photo: Paul Clarke)

One of the Network Rail Windhoff MPV's operated a driver training run to Taunton on the 19th May. The Multi Purpose Vehicle is normally based at Swindon for use on the Great Western Mainline Electrification Project. DR98001 is seen approaching Fairwater Yard at 40 Steps before returning to Swindon. (Photo: Jeff Treece)

 

Monday 18th May kicked off with some rare Class 70 action at Taunton. Freightliner Heavy Haul provided the first ever Freightliner Class 70 to visit Fairwater Yard and only the second visit of a Freightliner Class 70 to Taunton. No.70002 is pictured arriving into Taunton hauling the 6C73 12:12 Westbury - Fairwater Yard loaded ballast. (Photo: Paul Clarke)
Having arrived in the yard the Class 70 deposited its wagons in the reception roads before then returning to Stoke Gifford light engine, staying in Taunton for just twenty minutes. The loco is pictured within Fairwater Yard passing No.66524 (which later shunted the train back into the correct part of the yard. (Photo: Jason Prole) *taken by trained and qualified staff.

 

Cogload Junction is looking stunning for its recent vegetation clearance by Network Rail. The 16th May provided the chance to captured two of Colas Rail Freights Class 70's passing the much improved photographic location. No.70803 is pictured rounding the curve at Cogload in 'top and tail' formation with No.70809. The pair operated the 6C21 17:47 Westbury to Truro. The consist also included a Kirow crane DRK 81624 and support vehicle KFA FS97413 which are operated by SB Rail. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Colas Rail Freight operated the first of two trains into Cornwall on Saturday evening starting with Class 66/8 No.66850 'David Maidment MBE'. The locomotive is pictured passing Silk Mills with the 7C20 15:56 Westbury - Truro. The train formed of DB Schenker Swordfish wagons owing to a national shortage of Network Rail 'Falcons'.(Photo: Phil Izzard)
DB Schenker provided a rare Saturday morning stock move on the 16th May. No.66204 operated the 5Z44 09:00 Laira to Kilmarnock for First Great Western. It's thought movement of a full HST rake could be to re brand a full set into the new 'Great Western Railway' branding in preparation for the launch of the new colour scheme. Class 66 No.66204 is pictured at Taunton having been held for several services to pass. (Photo: Paul Clarke)
Steam returned to Taunton on the 15th May with No.70000 'Britannia' taking pride of place on the front of 'The Dartmouth Express', which operated between Slough and Kingswear. No.70000 joined the train at Westbury and is seen hear at Whiteball having just made the climb up and through Whiteball Tunnel heading out of Devon. (Photo: Stephen Ginn)
Steam returned to Taunton on the 15th May with No.70000 'Britannia' taking pride of place on the front of 'The Dartmouth Express', which operated between Slough and Kingswear. No.70000 operated the train from Westbury. The return 1Z31 16:30 from Kingswear is pictured at Athelney Crossing as the train heads east towards Westbury. (Photo: Dave Elliot)
The continued flow of stone to replenish the virtual quarry at Exeter Riverside Yard continued throughout the week at Taunton with one train a day from the Mendip Quarries. On the 15th May Class 59/2 No.59205 passes Taunton with the return empty wagons from Exeter to Westbury. (Photo: Paul Clarke)
First Great Western has recently been reforming it's Class 158 3 car hybrid fleet after 158959 was involved in a fatality near Keynsham a couple of weeks ago. Newly formed No.158962 is made up from 158766 and one half of 158746. The unit is pictured at Taunton ready to depart with the 13:07 Taunton to Cardiff stopping diagram on the 13th May. (Photo: Paul Clarke)
DB Schenker provided a Class 59/2 for the Exeter Stone replenishment flow on the 12th May 2015, No.59204 is seen passing through Platform 5 at Taunton with the returning 7C28 empties from Exeter Riverside. (Photo: Paul Clarke)
More commonly refereed to as 'Ice Cream Vans' by enthusiasts because of their garish colours, Aggregate Industries Class 59/0 No.59002 'Alan J Day' passes through Taunton on the 11th May hauling the 7C28 Exeter Riverside empty stone MBA's. The train was routed through Platform 5. (Photo: Paul Clarke)
First Great Western's only genuine three car Class 158 No.158798 has received it's second livery in two months. Having previously advertised Portsmouth's Gunwharf Quay shopping centre, the unit has now received new vinyl's for The Springboard Charity "Supporting Children from North Somerset with additional needs". The colourful unit is pictured passing over Cogload Junction on the 2C83 16:00 Cardiff - Taunton stopping service. (Photo: Adam Snow)
The future is green, could this be the future for First Great Western in the South West? Having already seen a small amount of publicity from First Great Western about the new GWR branding, we are yet to see how the new livery 'brand' will look on the HST sets. We would like to thank John White for taking the time to produce this excellent rendered image showing how the GWR branding could look on the HST sets operated by Firstgroup. (Photo: John White)
The first Colas Rail Freight Class 60 appeared on the Chirk Log train on Wednesday 6th May. Class 60 No.60076 is pictured passing Taunton with the 6V74 to Exeter Riverside, where the train will be loaded with timber. It's been known for some time that Colas were keen to use Class 60's on more traffic in the South West to allow them better operability between classes of locomotives in the region. We hope more of their class members will venture south in the coming weeks and months. (Photo: Paul Clarke)
The Colas Class 60 was also captured at Whiteball Tunnel where it's seen here entering Devon from Somerset with the emtpy train heading for loading at the new teminal in Exeter Riverside Yard. (Photo: Peter Slater)
The change from Purple and Pink to Green and Silver at First Great Western is slowly taking place. Under the cover of darkness this Mk3 coach No.10594 provided a glimpse into the future of 'GWR' branding which should be commonplace by September this year. (Photo: 50006 Neptune)

 

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