JANUARY 2016 NEWS : 


Rail Operations Group Class 56's No.56301 and No.56098 returned to Kilmarnock on Sunday 21st January with another rake of First Great Western coaching stock in tow going for refurbishment, The pair are seen passing Norton Fitzwarren hauling the 5S56 11:37 from Laira, very much at the start of their 500 mile journey to Scotland. (Photo: Thomas Gulliford)

 

Saturday 30th January provided another traction quartet of trains passing through the Taunton area, first to arrived were Rail Operation Groups Class 56's, which were being used to transfer a rake of HST Mk3 coaching stock from refurbishment at Kilmarnock (Scotland) to Laira (Plymouth). Recently named and re liveried Class 56 No.56098 'Lost Boys 68-88' leads classmate No.56301 through Creech St Michael hauling the 5Z56 02:29 Kilmarnock to Laira. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
The 'Lost Boys' name takes its origins back to 1968, when BR employed the first group of Fireman after the demise of steam, the new grade of Secondman, later Drivers Assistant were introduced, this grade continued until 1988 when the Traincrew concept was introduced. 'Boys' taken on in this era included a number of 'well-known' names of today, with many moving on from the footplate line of promotion to management, over the years this group has become known as the 'Lost Boys'. Class 56 No.56098 and No.56301 power through Taunton Station heading south to Laira on the 30th January. (Photo: SA Ginn)
Colas Rail Freight provided a triplet of trains to record in daylight hours through Taunton, with extensive engineering work taking place between St Austell and Truro. First to pass was Colas Class 66 No.66847 loaded with used track panels returning to Westbury as the 6C23 10:00 Par to Westbury, seen here passing Creech St Michael (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Colas Class 70 provided the second locomotive type on the Colas engineers trains, No.70804 had rather slow 45mph amble back from Cornwall owing to the inclusion of a Balfour Beatty rail crane. The 7C21 08:23 Par - Westbury is pictured passing Norton Fitzwarren on the approach to Taunton. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
The third locomotive type of the day was Colas Class 60 No.60047, the Type 5 locomotive broke new ground on Friday 29th when was the first train to work south reaching the buffer stops at Penzance Station, an incredibly rare sight indeed for this Class of locomotive. Taken as the low winter sun prepares to set on Saturday 30th January No.60047 grumbles its way back to Westbury 6C22 13:22 from Par to Westbury. (Photo: Brian Garrett)

 

Thursday 28th January saw a bright and breeze winters morning dawn on the Taunton area. The conditions provided an excellent opportunity to capture the pair of Direct Rail Services Class 37's return from Keyham minus their flask wagon. Ex Works Class 37/0 No.37069 with No.37609 double head back through Norton Fitzwarren with the 5Z40 08:20 Keyham - Crewe move conveying the two DRS barrier/ crew vehicles Mk2a BSO 9419 andMk2a BSO 9428. (Photo: Sclub)
Despite being 2016, Bristol Green Capital 2015 livery continues to appear on new First Great Western powercars. During Mid April powercar No.43192 was out-shopped in the colourful green and white vinyl. Here on the 28th January No.43192 is seen passing Norton Fitzwarren leading the 1A78 06:45 Penzance - Paddington service.. (Photo: Sclub)
Wednesday 27th January saw English Electric power back in the South West with Direct Rail Services making a colourful sight passing through Taunton. DRS Class 37's No.37609 & freshly painted No.37069 were paired up to operate the 6Z40 08:00 Crewe Coal Sidings to Keyham. The formation was: Mk2a BSO 9419, KUA MODA 95770 & Mk2a BSO 9428. The ensemble is pictured passing Taunton on route to Keyham. (Photo: Nathan Williamson)
 
The above video features the journey of the DRS Flask from Bristol Temple Meads through to Totnes, Class 37 No.37609 and No.37609 are seen ariving into Bristol Temple Meads before being overtaken in Highbridge Loop, then passing through Taunton before being overtaken again in Tiverton Loop and finally being filmed passing through Totnes. (Video: Nathan Williamson)
Colas Rail Freight returned a Swedish Railvac from Truro Yard to Westbury on the 24th January, super power in the form of Class 60 No.60047 was provided for the move. The colourful locomotive is pictured passing 40 Steps, Taunton with the 6X54 11:55 Truro - Westbury diagram. (Photo: Jeff Treece)
After a heavy overnight freeze in the South West, Taunton awoke to a winter wonderland with temperatures still below 0 at first light. By mid morning the cloudless skies allowed the sun to start the thaw. Arriving into a frosty Taunton on the 20th January, filthy Cross Country powercar No.43378 arrives into Taunton operating the 1V44 Leeds - Plymouth service in the morning winter sunlight. (Photo: Chay Farzaneh)
Freightliner Heavy Haul Class 66/5 No.66563 is seen waiting for the road at 40 Steps hauling the 4M18 09:47 Fairwater Yard to Washwood Heath RMC, with old sleepers from the previous nights relay in the Winchester area. The old ones would be replaced with new to replenish the TRS (Track Renewal System) currently working out of Fairwater Yard. (Photo: Chay Farzaneh)
Class 70 No.70810 was taking part in route learning duties on the 14th January when the locomotive was also used to transport a single KFA loaded log wagon from Exeter Riverside Yard to Cardiff Canton for attention. The wagon had been removed from a previous log train due to a fault, and was being transported to Cardiff for attention. The 6Z51 from Exeter Riverside passes Class 150/1 No.150127 at Taunton (Photo: Paul Clarke)

 

Our 'Tours' page has now been updated with the current planed railway charters to pass through Taunton during 2016. More information will be added in due course. A couple of highlights this year include the first ever visit of the Bellmond Pullman to the West Somerset Railway on the 14th May with UK Railtours, this is after the normal annual visit to Cornwall, Devon and Somerset which takes place on the 22nd, 23rd, 24th of April. The Bellmond Pullman has already sold out for the April weekend trip at a cost of over £1000 per ticket for this three day tour of the South West. On May 28th enthusiasts will be treated to the visit of LNER celebrity 'Flying Scotsman' which is provisionally booked to work 'The Cathedrals Express' from London Paddington to Bishops Lydeard, where the loco will then turn on the Norton Fitzwarren triangle.

 

Monday 11th January 2016 saw Freightliner Heavy Haul move part of the MOBC equipment from Fairwater Yard. Class 66/5 No.66562 (which has recently had attention to its cabs along with a front end repaint) is seen passing Cogload Junction hauling MOBC Power Wagon DR76323 north as the 6Z19 11:04 Fairwater to Parkeston. (Photo: Jamie Walters)
Saturday 9th January provided a wealth of engineering trains operating through Taunton. Sadly the 9th also coincided with the first torrential rain and heavy downpours of the year (some of which included hail, thunder and lightening!). Colas Rail Freight operated a selection of services from Hinksey Yard and Westbury Yard to Taunton where trains would then change direction to return to Castle Cary, and enter the engineering blockade. Class 70/8 No.70807 arrives into Taunton with the 6C20 07:47 Hinksey Yard - Castle Cary running 70 minutes early. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
The next service to pass through the Taunton area was 6C21 08:20 Hinksey Yard - Castle Cray. This train conveyed a rake of empty Network Rail JNA 'Falcon' wagons for loading with spent ballast at the work site. Class 70 No.70810 operated by Colas Rain Freight rounds the curve at Creech St Michael running 70 minutes ahead of schedule. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
In a rare maneuver for a Saturday, First Great Western repositioned two of its powercars between Laira and St Philips Marsh depots. No.43030 & No.43159 are seen passing Cogload Junction with the 0Z74 10:30 from Laira to St Philips Marsh. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Having run around its train in Fairwater Yard, 6C20 was recessed to depart at it's correct departure time of 12:17 in order to follow the final passenger service up the Berks and Hants route before it was closed. Class 70 No.70807 is seen powering through Cogload Junction on route to Castle Cary. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Hot on the heals of 6C20 was 6C21 with Class 70 No.70810 following close behind. The Colas Rail Freight loco is also seen passing Cogload Junction prior to a powerful storm arriving just minutes after the train passed through the area. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Having operated the first two engineers trains from Hinksey Yard, the remaining trains were to operate from Westbury Yard taking the northern route to Taunton via Bristol before changing direction and heading back to Westbury. Class 70 No.70804 passes Banklands with the 6C22 14:10 Westbury - Castle Cary (via Taunton) engineers formed of empty Network Rail JNA 'Falcons' ready for loading at the work site. (Photo: Brian Garrett)

 

Happy New Year to all our readers, after the Christmas Break we thought we'd start the year with a splash of colour on the Somerset Levels. We would like to thank all those who have helped and contribute photos to TauntonTrains over the past year, it's been fantastic to see such good quality images being sent in on a regular basis. While we may not be able to feature every image, please keep emailing our TauntonTrains Email with your sightings and railway memories! While at times it may not seem like the website has been updated, we are always working on projects in the background, our current project to digitize former video footage from the Taunton area has now reached 2005 and will take some time to complete, as there's another 4 years worth of video tapes to process. These will be uploaded to our Youtube page (see below) once they have been edited. Once again many thanks for all those who help keep the website up to date!!
Sunday 3rd January 2016 was the special remembrance day liveried Great Western HST powercar lead at train to London in stunning lighting. The striking powercar was No.43172 was originally out shopped in time for remembrance day 2015 and named 'Harry Patch'. Since then we had yet to feature this powercar as its workings in the South West have been somewhat illusive. The black full body vinyl with a stunning poppy field setting on the site is undoubtedly the best powercar re-livery which First Great Western have produced. No.43172 'Harry Patch' is pictured passing the sodden Somerset Levels leading the 1A83 09:45 Penzance - Paddington service. (Photo: Adam Snow)
A close up view of the stunning artwork applied to the side of First Great Western HST powercar No.43172 and 'Harry Patch' nameplate seen at Taunton Station. (Photo: Paul Clarke)

 

Over recent weeks we have begun our latest project to digitize hours of video footage taken from 2004 onwards. The footage dates from VHS Compact Video Cassettes, through to Mini DV, and further digital material. We already have a large amount of clips now uploaded to our Taunton Trains Youtube Channel, providing some great viewing material for these dark winter nights. Why not subscribe to the channel and get automatic alerts as new videos are uploaded.

A timely reminder please, that images featured on www.tauntontrains.co.uk are covered by copyright, All supplied images are reproduced with kind permission of the credited photographers who retain the copyright for the published images. Could we please ask viewers to refrain from coping images from and then posting them on other groups without first seeking permission from the image owner. As copyright law stands is that sole ownership (including copyright) of any image(s) belongs to the author of the said image(s). This ownership or copyright starts at the moment the picture is taken and will continue exclusively until 50 years after the death of the photographer, which at that time the images would normally fall into the public domain. We do not wish to start watermarking images but it continues then we will start to do so.

 

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2016 NEWS
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“This website is covered by copyright, All supplied images are reproduced with kind permission of the credited photographers who retain the copyright for the published images”.