JUNE 2017 NEWS : 


We are very pleased to bring you additional 'Bonus Footage' from the West Somerset Railway Diesel Gala last weekend, we had some footage left over and it seemed a waste not to use it, so we've created a bouns collection of clips. (Video: Brian Garrett)

 

LMS Steam passed through the Taunton area on Saturday 17th June hauling Vintage Trains 'Whistling Ghost V' charter. Sadly the tour was held up in the Swindon area due to GWR service requiring attention from the Wiltshire Fire Brigade at Swindon. After being looped for a period of time while the incident ahead was dealt with the tour was finally able to get underway again. Running 62 minutes behind schedule LMS Pacific No.46233 'Duchess of Sutherland' steams through Creech St Michael on route to Bishops Lydeard. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
GWR heritage repaint powercar No.43002 'Sir Kenneth Grange' is now looking nicely weather worn on the front end of the powercar with the classic sweeping black marks above the cab window. On Saturday 17th June the powercar lead the 1C77 10:06 Paddington - Penzance service with powercar No.43148 on the rear of the set. The unique liveried HST powercar is seen passing Creech St Michael on the approaches to Taunton. (Photo: Brian Garrett)

 

The tides of change and rolling stock upgrades are certainly changing in Taunton. Thursday 15th June saw more daylight testing of the new IEP sets in the South West. Two services operated to Taunton arriving within minutes of one another on test. Left No.800003 'Queen Elizabeth II' is pictured in Platform 3 at Taunton having arrived working the 5X20 09:06 Swindon - Taunton while No.800004 'Sir Daniel Gooch/ Isambard Kingdom Brunel' arrives with the 5Z19 07:34 North Pole IEP Depot to Taunton. The pair then reversed and followed one another to Bristol Temple Meads. (Photo: 50006Neptune)
Just days after having been named at London Paddington by HRH Queen Elizabeth II, the new IEP No.800003 is pictured in Platform 3 at Taunton having arrived on test with the 5X20 09:06 Swindon to Taunton. The set then reversed direction and returned to Bristol Temple Meads. (Photo: 50006Neptune)

 

Freightliner Class 66 No.66514 leads the TRT and 66549 returns to Taunton at at 06:45am having been out on overnight engineering works. Catching the early morning light the 6X04 04:33 Leckwith North Junction to Fairwater Yard passes through platform 2 at Taunton. (Photo: Nathan Williamson)
Having had their short break in Somerset all be it doing a spot of sunbathing at Bishops Lydeard, Class 50's No.50007 & No.50049 burst back into life on Wednesday 14th June. The pair of locomotives coupled up to WSR Diesel Gala visitors Class 20's No.D8059 and D8188 to return them to the Midland Railway Centre at Butterely. The 0Z50 08:56 from Bishops Lydeard passes Bathpool on route north. (Photo: Shaun Mockridge)
BR Blue Class 50 No.50007 'Hurcules' and Large Logo No.50049 'Defiance' haul the pair of visiting Class 20's from the West Somerset Railway back to The Midland Railway centre. The group of colourful locomotives was captured passing Charlton Bridge near Cogload Junction on the 14th June. (Photo: Tony Christie)
Freightliner Powerhaul liveried Class 66/4 No.66528 operated the 09:47 Fairwater Yard to Doncaster Wood Yard concrete sleepers on Wednesday 14th June, the colouful set is seen passing Charlton near Cogload Junction at the start of its 200 mile journey to Doncaster. (Photo: Tony Christie)
South West Trains do not operate through Taunton however one in a while one of their fleet escapes from it's territory and passed through. Monday 12th June saw Class 158 No.158885 operate the 5M99 empty stock working from Salisbury to Loughborough where it was booked to enter Brush Works for attention. The colourful unit is seen passing Taunton on route north. (Photo: Paul Clarke)

 

Freightliner have a limited amount of their Class 66's painted in 'powerhaul' livery. The revised freightliner branding was meant to be a bit of change for the company but it has been very slow in applying it fleet wide. Many of the former Direct Rail Services Class 66/4's do carry the livery. On Monday 12th June Class 66/4 No.66420 returns light engine to Fairwater Yard from Westbury, see passing through Taunton Station. (Photo: Paul Clarke)
Recently there has been a discarded Osprey wagon located in the tamper sidings behind Platform 2 at Taunton. Freightliner Class 66 No.66545 retrieved errant wagon DB996584 from the Tamper Sidings on Saturday 10th June 2017, and moved it to Fairwater Yard. The wagon was removed from an engineers train (6W08) on April 22nd. (Photo: Leigh Wills) *taken by trained and qualified personnel*

 

GWR Remembrance powercar No.43172 'Harry Patch' which commemorates World War vetans and Henry John (Harry) Patch (17 June 1898 – 25 July 2009). He was dubbed in his later years the Last Fighting Tommy, and was a British supercentenarian, briefly the oldest man in Europe and the last surviving combat soldier of the First World War from any country. The unique powercar was captured at Taunton on June 10th, the unique power car is seen paused at Taunton while working the 1A35 Penzance - Paddington late evening service. (Photo: Robert Latham)

 

As the Quantock Hills slowly begin to return to the sound of steam and whistles, the West Somerset Railway Heritage Diesels return to their base's after three days of being let loose on the nineteen mile branch line between Bishops Lydeard and Minehead. The 2017 event marked a milestone for the WSR with the first full blown Diesel Gala event in years, the first time steam was stopped in favor of taking the brave step of letting another era of British Rail history take centre stage. Adding local breweries as part of The Ale Trail (located at Bishops Lydeard, Stogumber and Minehead) was also another great step forward in developing something unique for the future of Diesel Gala events on the line. Later running on the Saturday was also welcomed. The three visiting locomotives, two BR Green Class 20's and a BR Blue Class 26 were ideally suited to the line, and provided some great sounds for passengers to enjoy. The home fleet of locomotives from the Diesel Electric Preservation Group also performed faultlessly. Because of the amount of photographs which are inevitably taken at such events, and then shared on most social media platforms we tried to do something a little different to record this new look gala event. The above video (hosted on our TauntonTrains Youtube Channel) was recorded over two days of the 2017 event and provides an alternative view of the gala weekend which hasn't been tried before for this type of event. (Video: Brian Garrett)

 

Maybach Memories

The West Somerset Railway and the Diesel Electric Preservation Group are pleased to announce they have agreed to operate an additional eleven heritage diesel hydraulic locomotive hauled trains, during the 2017 season. These trains will run under the brand name of “MAYBACH MEMORIES” in recognition that the last British Railways Western Region Maybach powered diesel hydraulic locomotives ran in 1977.

These eleven trains are additional to those shown in the West Somerset Railway 2017 public timetable leaflet
and will run on the following dates:

Sunday 25th June
Sunday 9th July
Saturday 22nd July    
Sunday 23rd July
Saturday 23rd September     
Sunday 24th September
Saturday 30th September

The planned 80 mile service day for each of our “MAYBACH MEMORIES” services will start the day at Bishops Lydeard at 11:50.

To haul these “MAYBACH MEMORIES” trains are planned to use either Class 35 “Hymek” D7017 or Class 52 “Western” D1010 “Western Campaigner”

 

The first two days of the West Somerset Railway Diesel Gala weekend have gone without a hitch.The event attracted lots of visitors to the line and the Ale Trail (at Bishops Lydeard, Stogumber and Minehead) seemed popular and busy. On Saturday 10th June BR Green Class 20's No.D8188 (20188) and No.D8059 (20059) at pictured at Bishops Lydeard ready to depart with the 16:55 to Minehead. The pair have been experiencing problems with dual power throughout the weekend but continue to operate and keep to time on their diagrams, and seemed well recieved by gala visitors. (Photo: Brian Garrett)

 

As the West Somerset Railway Diesel Gala weekend approaches this weekend the final set of locomotives was delivered to Bishops Lydeard from Kidderminster by GBRf. GB hired a pair of Class 50's from The Fifty Fund to move the BR GReen Class 20's to the railway. No.50049 'Defiance' and No.50007 'Hercules' transported Class 20's No.D8188 & D8059 as the 0Z50 08:49 from Kidderminster. The Class 50's will remain on the WSR during the weekend but will not be used in the event, at their appearance was too late to change the WSR timetables and there were no trained crews available to drive them over the weekend. The Diesel filled fun starts on Friday 9th June, be sure to check out the details below and visit the line to enjoy a different era of British Railways travel on the great mix of locomotives on offer. (Photos: Paul Clarke)

 

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