News Archive for December 2016

Network Rail - Cutting Back

(Photo: Brian Garrett)

Published on 18th December 2016

Great news for photographers! Network Rail has carried out extensive vegetation clearance on the bridge parapets on the popular bridge at Charlton/ Cogload.

Trees have been reduced to sawn-off trunks and large amounts of vegetation have been cleared, some coping/ edging stones have also been repaired on the bridge itself. The shot taken on the 18th December 2016 shows the previously lost view from the 'up' side of the bridge. This view from the top of the bridge is also much improved and now provides a previously lost shot. Building Greater West liveried HST No.43144 passes Cogload while working the 1A78 08:40 Plymouth - Paddington service.

To view the gallery, please click here.


 Failed Sleeper Service

(Photo: Brian Garrett)


Published on 18th December 2016

Following the failure of the Friday night up 'Nigh Riviera' service to London GWR operated an empty stock movement.

Class 57/6 No. 57604 'Pendennis Castle' operated the 5C99 08:50 Laira to Paddington with dead classmate No. 57603 'Tintagel Castle' on the rear. Following the Friday night failure, No. 57604 'Pendennis Castle' had been attached to the rear of the down sleeper to Penzance to provide rescue and on Saturday as far as Laira, and continuing the move to London on the 18th December 2016. No. 57604 'Pendennis Castle' is seen emerging from the morning mist at Cogload.

To view the gallery, please click here.


Festive Engineers

(Photo: Simon Harling)

Published on 18th December 2016

Colas Rail Freight also operated a Sunday afternoon freight train through Taunton on the 18th December 2016.

The long welded rail train was returning from an overnight rail drop in Cornwall. Class 70/8 No.70807 rounds the curve at Cogload Farm while working the 6C97 08:20 Camborne to Westbury. At this point, the train was running around 80 minutes ahead of schedule.

To view the gallery, please click here.


 The Cathedrals Express

(Photo: S A Ginn)


Published on 17th December 2016

Saturday 17th December 2016 saw some Winter steam to end the season.

'The Cathedrals Express' was operated the 1Z34 12:15 London Victoria to Bishops Lydeard (for Minehead) by BR (Southern Region) Rebuilt Light Pacific No. 34046 'Braunton'. Running as 34052 'Lord Dowding' the impressive sight sweeps through Cogload Junction at speed en route to The West Somerset Railway. West Coast Railways Class 47/8 No.47802 was also located on the rear of the train (out of sight in this shot) At Bishops Lydeard the locomotive was removed for servicing while the WSR's own GWR Hall took the train forward to Minehead.


 Colas Cement Week 3

Published on 15th December 2016

Colas Rail Freight Class 70/8 No.70805 is seen heading north through Taunton Platform 5 at 14:14 on the Moorswater cement empties on the 15th December 2016.

The 6C36 10:09 Moorswater to Aberthaw was hauling PCA wagons: 10989 11054 11131 10671 11121 10999 10683 11063 11004 10673 10690 10698 10668 10692 10686 10689 10674 10667 11044 11128 11068 10669 11135 10696. This is now the third week of the new Moorswater cement operation. The working has settled down running to Cornwall on Wednesday and returning on Thursday, the booked paths are now: 6C35 02:50 Aberthaw to Moorswater, booked Taunton 06:47 & 6C36 10:09 Moorswater to Aberthaw, booked Taunton 15:02. It should be noted that these workings have been passing Taunton earlier than the booked times.

To view the gallery, please click here.

(Photo: Nathan Williamson)


High Output Operations - Network Rail



Published on 10th December 2016

The Network Rail base at Taunton's Fairwater Yard is often used as a base for both the Network Rail HOBC set and TRT (TRS) sets.

For many years the yard was a hive of activity while Network Rail renewed vast amounts of track and ballast in the South West. The familiar yellow wagons hauled by Freightliner Heavy Haul locomotives were a regular sight in the area. Network Rail has recently released a new Youtube video giving the most in-depth look at how their machinery and renewal systems work. With much of the work taking place at night, it's not something the general public would generally get to witness, this new video gives a great insight into the amazing amount of effort which goes into keeping the trains operating on the rails of the UK. (Video: Network Rail)


Colas Cement Week 2

(Photo: Brian Garrett)

Published on 8th December 2016

The second run of the Moorswater Cement on the 8th December 2016 was in a little bit more visible light than the first.

Class 70/8 No.70805 was the second locomotive to appear on the new Moorswater flow. The 6C36 Moorswater - Aberthaw empties are seen climbing the Devon side of Whiteball.

To view the gallery, please click here.


Colas Rail Freight restart Cement Flow

(Photo: Quentin Hawkes)

Published on 1st December 2016

Wednesday 1st December 2016 wasn't the best of days to witness the inaugural run of the Moorswater – Aberthaw cement.

The newly reinstated contract has returned to Cornwall after an absence of several years. The previous flow hauled by Freightliner Heavy Haul was terminated when Lafarge and Tarmac merged, since then cement has been delivered by road. The day of the new flow saw the local area swathed in a blanket of thick freezing fog. Class 70 No.70808 operated the first return train from Cornwall seen at Norton Fitzwarren hauling the 6C36 10:05 Moorswater - Aberthaw empties.


To view news stories from November 2016, click here, or for news from January 2017, click here.