Please keep sending in your photos and infomation to, we are currently building news pages on the new site so that they will be up to date at the new launch. Our Database and Photo Database projects are going well and we will soon be able to share our new developments with the world!



It's that time again where we feel there is need for some change on the Taunton Trains website, and to allow that change happens it's becoming evident that we can't keep the 'old site' running and develop a 'better site' at the same time. So we are taking a short break in proceedings.

Why is TauntonTrains changing? A few reasons. for many years TauntonTrains has been hosted on a server which has allowed me to host free of charge. This server however was limited in its capabilities. The time has come to move the website to new paid sever location which will cost £80 a year to host. The new server location comes with many more functions including the ability to host a database. We have collated over ten years of static excel data. In recent years we have not been happy with the way Archive Data and News is being stored or presented on the current website. It's currently 'dumb data', sat on pages and spreadsheets which is hard to access, view, search and use!  

What will be changing? Firstly the front home page will have an update to refresh the look. The logos will be refreshed, we have paid to have a new set produced. The news page will be overhauled to have a completely new look and will run using PHP coding instead of HTML. This will pull data and information from a central database onto the page to view. The Archive will be replaced with a searchable database. 

What will the database allow me to do? Search for any locomotive number or headcode, search for all locomotives which have ever passed Taunton, search for all workings on any given day, month of year. search by locomotive Class.

How is data added to the database? At the moment there is a conversion taking place. The existing excel sheets which are hosted on Taunton Trains can't just be imported into a database. They have to be converted so their fields and columns match those in the new database. The only way this can be done is manually. In the future the is a plan to have an online log in page so others can help add data into the database. Currently we have close to 1000 rows of data entered ranging from 1975 through to today.

Why a database? There are litterally millions of notes exisiting from railway enthusiasts around the UK, some exist on notepads, some in word, some on excel, some on phones, some on websites. The purpose of a database is to pull all that information into on central location where everyone can view and use that information. Wheather its causal observations such as HST's passing Taunton, or someones haulage logs from 1981, it can all be entered, searched and importantly displayed.

Will the whole site be changing? Maybe, at the moment the plan is to get the first three phases up and running before a gradual introduction of further pages in due course.

Why can't the whole site change at the same time? Put simply..time. Because of the way the site has grown over the past 15 years it's been designing using a older HTML code and is out of date to modern methods. HTML limits what can be displayed to the user. To change one page to the new design means starting from scratch and building that new page in a new language. The time taken to do this and run the old site alongside would far outweigh the practicle time we have!



West Coast Railways Class 33 No.33207 made a second appearance at Taunton in a week, by operating the same charter diagram it performed last week. The plucky little 'Crompton' hauled the 1Z37 08:52 Bristol Temple Meads - Taunton leg of the 'Royal Duchy' charter. At Taunton the Class 33 was removed from the train and replaced by LMS Steam Locomotive No.46100 'Royal Scot' for the run to Par and back. The Class 33 is pictured storming through Creech St Michael. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
The newly opened Taunton NIDR road can afford views into the stabling sidings behind Taunton Station. Sadly the un kept vegetation growth which has infested the site has already started to remove any chance of this angle being used in the future. Having been removed from the Royal Duchy charter Class 33 No.33207 'Jim Martin' is pictured stabled for the day at Taunton. (Photo: Brian Garrett)


Thursday 3rd August provided the second heritage Class 37 of the week, passing through the Taunton area. Direct Rail Services Class 37/4 No.37403 made a very rare appearance hauling inspection saloon ‘Caroline' working as the 2Z02 06:45 Willesden Brent to Willesden Brent via Newton Abbot. The locomotive currently carries full BR Large Logo livery and is named 'Isle of Mull' along with the famous 'Scottie Dog' embellishment to the loco side. Many of the Class 37/4 operated by DRS now carry the same former British Rail livery. The locomotive is pictured entering Devon having just exited from Whiteball Tunnel. (Photo: Shaun Mockridge)
Europheonix Class 37/8 No.37800 made a very rare appearance in Taunton on the 2 nd August 2017. The locomotive was used by Rail Operations Group (ROG) for Lorum Route Learning to Plymouth. The locomotive worked from Derby to Taunton but continued to Plymouth without taking recess as timings suggested. Having visited Plymouth the locomotive returned light engine to stable at Taunton overnight before returning to Derby on the 3 rd August. 37800 is probably one of the most well traveled Class 37's currently operating on the UK rail network, it has spent time both in France and Spain on contract hire helping to construct various TGV routes in either country. The locomotive was repatriated in 2015 where it was restored and return to traffic for Europhoenix. 37800 is pictured here passing 40 Steps, Taunton. (Photo: Jeff Treece)


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:

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”



2017 NEWS
Want to look at what happened in NEWS from 2009 - 2016 ? Have a look in our Archive Page

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