MAY 2016 NEWS : 


Owing to a mix up with crewing arrangements Cola Rail Freight's return 'Railvac' move from Aish to Westbury on the 29th May. The 6X54 was originally booked to depart Aish at 08:40 but ended up departing at 10:29. This delay blocked the mainline causing the late departure of the 1A78 Plymouth - Paddington which was full of passengers wishing to travel to Radio 1's 'Big Weekend' being staged at Powderham Castle. The late running 6X54 is finally seen on the move at Bradford On Tone with Class 70 No.70809 at the helm. (Photo: Sclub)
Coming only weeks after the first Class 68 visited Bridgwater, Direct Rail Services provided Class 67 No.67017 'Hornet' for a visit to Exeter and Plymouth. The loco was used as part of route learning for the forthcoming visit of the Belmond Northern Belle, which is due to visit Par on the 4th June from Swndon. Class 68 No.67017 'Hornet' is pictured passing Norton Fizwarren operating the 0Z68 10:00 Exeter St Davids - Crewe Gresty Bridge. (Photo: Sclub)
The long awaited removal of the former Taunton 'avoider' bridge occurred on the 25th May 2016. After lengthy delays to the Taunton NIDR project, Station Road has been closed during this week to facilitate the eviction of the local pigeon population and removal of the bridge itself. On the 25th May the final side section of the bridge was removed to be taken away for refurbishment, while the deck will be completely replaced. The road will need to be closed again in the future to allow the refurbished sides to be replaced. Having last carried heavy freight trains in the 1980's the bridge has remained a local landmark in Taunton for many years! (Photo: Phil Izzard)
A Colas Rail Freight Class 47 made a rare foray into the South West on the 21st/22nd May, No.47739 'Robin of Templecombe' is see returning a RailVac from Aish Emergency Cross Over to Westbury as the 6X54 on the 22nd May passing 40 Steps. (Photo: Chay Farzaneh)
Colas Rail Freight Class 66/8's top and tailed a rake of Network Rail Autoballasters from an overnight engineering blockade on the 19th May. No.66847 & No.66848 are seen passing 40 Steps, Taunton with the 6C38 05:45 Penwithers Junction - Westbury. (Photo: Chay Farzaneh)
Colas Rail Freight operated a Network Rail test train through Taunton on the 19th May. Former preserved Class 37 (which was returned to the mainline by Colas) No.37219 is seen passing Cogload Junction with the 3Z10 returning from Plymouth to Bristol. (Photo: Paul Wilkins)
Rail Operations Group transferred another rake of First Great Western stock from Kilmarnock to Laira on the 15th May. Problems with the original locomotive (No.47830) resulted in a Direct Rail Services Class 66/4 appearing on the stock move through Taunton. No.66425 passes Huntworth between Bridgwater and Taunton with the 5V47 09:55 Derby - Laira. (Photo: Wayne Potter)
Having spent the day on the West Somerset Railway and with their wallets considerably lighter, passengers on board the Bellmond Pullman returned to London from Minehead on the 14th May. Class 59/2 No.59201 is pictured taking the Berks and Hants route at Cogload Junction with the 1Z60 17:15 Minehead to London Victoria (Photo: Brian Garrett)
With good evening sunlight and confirmation the GWR's Heritage HST powercar would be leading a HST set from London, there was only one place to record the nostalgia of the HST in the Taunton area. Intercity 125 liveried powercar No.43002 leads the 1C89 17:00 Paddington - Penzance under the famous flyover at Cogload Junction. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Also captured on the same evening as the above image, No.43002 passes Norton Fitzwarren with the southbound 1C89 17:00 Paddington - Penzance service for GWR. (Photo: Thomas Courtney)

 

DB Schenker Class 59/2 No.59201 departs from Crowcombe Heathfield with the 1Z59 London Victoria to Minehead 'The Quantock Pullman' (Video: Brian Garrett)

 

A DB Schenker Red Class 59 made a rare high class appearance on the West Somerset Railway on May 14th. UK Railtours used the Bellmond British Pullman for a luxury excursion from London Victoria to Minehead. 'The Quantock Pullman' cost passengers £395 each for the experience. DB Schenker provided a Class 59/2 for the excursion, and No.59201 hauled the 1Z59 into Taunton and onto the West Somerset Railway, seen here passing the latest phase of building work at Norton Fitzwarren. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
With the Taunton NIDR Road looking more like a well presented builders merchants rather than a main road, passengers depart from Taunton Station onto the relief lines before heading onto the West Somerset Railway. Class 59/2 No.59201 is seen at 40 Steps. (Photo: Nathan Williamson)
DB Schenker Class 59/2 No.59201 is seen during a brief pause at Crowcombe Heathfield waiting for the late running 12:30 from Minehead to arrive. The train was formed of the following stock: 99545 Baggage Car 11, 284 Vera, 310 Perseus, 245 Ibis, 280 Audrey, 213 Minerva, 302 Phoenix, 308 Cygnus, 281 Gwen, 255 Ione, 243 Lucille, 6313 Generator Car. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
A rare combination at Crowcombe Heathfield on the 14th May was DB Schenker Class 59/2 No.59201 held to wait for BR 2-6-0 Manor No.7828 'Odney Manor'. The steam locomotive is seen arriving into Crowcombe with the late running 12:30 from Minehead to Bishops Lydeard. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
GWR powercar No.43002 which was recently outshopped in its original 1980's BR livery to celebrate 40 years of the HST, the powercar will now be seen regually across the GWR operating network. On the 13th May No.42002 'Sir Kenneth Grange' is pictured departing from Taunton with the 1C91 Paddington to Paignton. (Photo: Chay Farzaneh)
DB Schenker Red made a colourful addition to May on the 9th with the appearance of Class 60 No.60007 'The Spirit of Ton Kendell' in the South West. The locomotive operated the 6W32 Blatchbridge Junction - Westbury via Taunton Fairwater Yard conveying spent spoil from the engineering blockade. The loco is pictured passing Creech St Michael on route to Fairwater Yard where it ran around its train and returned to Westbury. (Photo: Sclub)
D1015 'Western Champion' returned to the South West on the 7th May, hauling Pathfinder Railtours 'The Western Challenger'. The charter was a non stop run recreating the Ian Allen sponsored charter from 1966, by operating a non stop from Paddington - Plymouth. After a break in Plymouth D1015 then operated to Okehampton before picking up the route of the 1966 tour returning to London via the Southern route from Exeter. Having been heard for several minutes before hand D1015 (operating today as D1010 'Western Campaigner') storms through Creech St Michael on route to Plymouth with the 1Z52 07:30 from London Paddington. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Defiantly worth a mention on Taunton Trains, was the first ever visit of a Class 68 to Brigwater on the 5th May. Chiltern Trains liveried Class 67 No.68011 operated in top and tail formation with DRS Class 57 No.57003. The 160-kilometre-per-hour (100 mph) Vossloh Eurolight locomotives from Vossloh operate with a 16-cylinder 2.8 MW (3,800 hp) C175-16 Caterpillar Engine, and have become a popular locomotive class since their introduction. No.67011 is seen leading away from Bridgwater with the 6M53 flask to Crewe. (Photo: Adam Snow)
Colas Rail Freight collected a Railvac from Exmouth Junction on the 3rd May. Class 70 No.70804 is seen passing Taunton with the 6X54 to Westbury, passing 40 Steps, Taunton. (Photo: Chay Farzaneh)
Network Rails Track Assessment DMU 950001 passed Taunton on the 3rd May while working the 2Q08 Bristol High Level to Lara recording run. The Unit has recently been overhauled and upgraded with new track recording equipment, the unit now carries several new external features. Its seen here passing 40 Steps, Taunton on route to Laira. (Photo: S A Ginn)

 

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