NOVEMBER 2016 NEWS : 


As Autumn draws to a close and the final leaves are blown from the trees the Network Rail RHTT sets will return to their base at York shortly for their annual wash, and maintenance before being stored ready for the 2017 leaf fall season. On the 30th November DB Cargo Class 66's No.66238 top and tailed with No.66160 with FEA's No.642020 and No.642035 head south from Cogload Junction towards Taunton. (Photo: Wayne Potter)
Colas Rail Freight Class 70/8's are very much at home in the South West and are now used on the majority of Colas hauled trains. On the 30th November No.70807 climbs to Whiteball Tunnel hauling the 7C28 Exeter Riverside - Westbury stone empties back to Wilthshire. (Photo: Wayne Potter)

 

The Great Western Railway electrification hits Taunton. Well, not quite as on the 25th November a collection Windhoff GWML Electrification Multi-Purpose Vehicles visited Taunton on a driver training run from Swindon. The motley collection of MPV's operated the 6H09 10:02 Swindon Transfer Yard to Fairwater and 6H10 13:00 Fairwater to Swindon Transfer Yard return. Included in the train were DR76923 (7093130232) 'Gavin Roberts', DR76921 (7093130216), DR76920 (7093130208), DR76919 (7093130190), and DR76922 (7093130224). DR76923 is named "Gavin Roberts"after a Network Rail employee who was killed in a road accident on the A34 in July 2016.Some interesting facts about this train, DR76919 is in fact unpowered, and was rebuilt from a KFA container flat. DR76920 has an engine but no cabs! (Photo: Nathan Williamson)

 

Christmas came early on 24th November 2016 when Colas sent it's 'Turkey' No.70801 to Exeter on the Riverside stone. The return empties were captured returning to Westbury with No.70801 at the helm while working 6C28 12:53 Riverside to Whatley. 70801 was the only Colas Class 70 to be built in Turkey arriving in the UK at Newport Docks wearing a base green livery and Turkish Flags on the cabside, whilst the rest of the fleet were built in Erie in North America., Meanwhile DB Cargo will be hoping Father Christmas brings them some new drivers for Christmas so they might be able to operate their own stone contract in the South West. (Photo: Nathan Williamson)
Having delivered the former Virgin West Coast Mk3 'Pretendalino' coaching stock to Laira Depot on the 24th November, Direct Rail Services Class 68 No.68024 'Centaur' returned light engine from Laira Depot to Crewe Gresty Bridge on the 25th November. No.68024 is pictured passing 40 Steps, Taunton on route back to the north. (Photo: Nathan Williamson)
Running six days a week, the St Blazey based Rail Head Treatment Train (RHTT) can be seen passing Taunton at 12:20 most weekdays. On the return working.
DB Cargo Class 66's No.66238 top & tailed with No.66160 with FEA's No.642020 & No.642035 head west through Taunton Platform 3 working the 3J13 08:45 Westbury to St Blazey on the 24th November 2016. (Photo: Nathan Williamson)
Thursday 24th November provided both GWR 'Heritage Repaint' HST powercars passing through Taunton. Having been missing from the area recently, it was nice to see an additional splash of retro colour fronting GWR services. No.43002 wearing BR Intercity 125 heritage livery arrives into Taunton at 11:25 leading the 1A16 07:41 Penzance to Paddington. (Photo: Nathan Williamson)

Heading south on the same day was Intercity liveried powercar No.43185 wearing its Intercity Swallow livery. The colourful powercar is pictured heading west through Taunton at 11:48 on the rear of: 1C77 10:06 Paddington to Penzance. Its front end yellow is already wearing thin on the front nose end, suggesting the yellow paint application may not have taken to the surface underneath correctly. (Photo: Nathan Williamson)

GWR Green Set LA15 found itself without its normal GWR Green powercars on the 24th November. Instead FGW Blue powercars provided yet another colourful combination. No.43098 & No.43122 are seen arriving into Taunton while working the 1A82 11:32 Paignton to Paddington. (Photo: Nathan Williamson)

 

Direct Rail Services moved the former Virgin West Coast 'Pretendolino' Mk3 coaching stock from Norwich Crown Point to Laira on the 24th November. The set was originally refurbished by Virgin Trains too provide a loco hauled set which looked similar to their Pendolino sets. More recently the set has been used by Abeillo Greater Anglia for their loco hauled services between Norwich and London. DRS Class 68 No.68024 "Centaur" is captured on this video first at Camden Road (North London Line) and then later at Taunton as it heads west with the 5Z59 10:03 Norwich Crown Point to Laira. The stock will be split into smaller sets at Laira (and possibly re liveried) for use with another operator. Stock Numbers: 10229 12078 12133 12011 12122 12138 10212 11018 11048 11007 (Video: Nathan Williamson)

 

Taunton became a hive of activity on the 18th November, with three significant trains arriving in a short space of time. The Network Rail New Measurement Train (NMT) arrived on its regular testing diagram, and terminated. Powercar No.43062 'John Armitt' is seen ready to depart with the 1Q19 18:57 Taunton - London Paddington leg of the testing schedule, powercar No.43014 was on the opposite end of the site. (Photo: Nathan Williamson)
Heritage Diesels also passed through Taunton on the 18th November, with DCR providing Class 31 No.31452 to haul a Class 45 'Peak' No.46060 and Class 33 No.33035 from Barrow Hill to Okehampton. The two BR blue livered locomotives will be used on this years Polar Express trains on the Dartmoor Railway. While the Class 45 was used last year, this is the first time 33035 will have visited the line. The veteran locomotives are pictured passing Taunton while working the 0Z33 10:40 from Barrow Hill. (Photo: Nathan Williamson)
The Royal Train passed through the Taunton platforms on the 18th November transporting HRH Prince Philip from London to Plymouth in order to attend a evening Dinner in connection with the Royal Navy. The Royal Train was provided for this trip with revised liveries on both the royal locomotives. No.67005 'Queens Messenger' and No.67006 'Royal Sovereign' now carry German DB branding stickers on the nose and cab sides, and a red lower body side band to each of the locomotives. In an odd move the HRH Prince Philip used the train in both directions with the train held under guard at Plymouth Station while the Duke enjoyed his evening dinner in Plymouth.

DCR Class 31 No.31452 leads Class 45 No.45060 'Sherwood Forester' and No.33035 through Taunton with the 0Z33 to Okehampton via Exeter. (Video: Nathan Williamson)

 

With Autumn colours finally arriving into the cutting at Creech St Michael this location has become evermore colourful. On the 15th November Colas Class 70 No.70809 powers through the village hauling the 7C28 13:45 Exeter Riverside - Westbury empty stone box wagons. The train had left Exeter at 11:58 107 minutes early but was then held in Tiverton Loop for two hours waiting for a right time departure following the 14:24 GWR service from Taunton. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
As the Autumn months bring more leaves from the trees onto the track, Network Rail continue their annual battle with leaf mulch accumulating on the rail heads. On Saturday 12th November DB Cargo Class 66 No.66238 leads the grubby rail head treatment train through Creech St Michael while working the 3J13 08:45 Westbury to St Blazey via Salisbury. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Colas Rail Freight continue to operate the DB Cargo contact for morning stone to Exeter Riverside Yard from the Mendip Quarries. On November 3rd Class 70 No. 70806 passes West Lyng just east of Cogload Junction enroute to Westbury with the returning 6C28 'stone empties' from Exeter Riverside. (Photo: S A Ginn)

 

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