News Archive for October 2018

Harry Patch Powercar Move

(Photo: Robert Latham)

Published on 28th October 2018

Powercar movements will soon become an incredibly rare sight through Taunton with the introduction of the new Hitachi Class 800s will soon reduce the need to the need to transfer individual powercars between depots.

On Saturday 25th October 2018 GWR moved tow of their HST powercars between their Bristol and Plymouth Depots. Celebrity liveried No.43172 leads No.43097 through 40 Steps operating 0A89 St Philips Marsh to Laira.

To view the gallery, please click here.


Rare Saturday operation for Mendip Stone flow

Making a rare Saturday appearance on the 27th October 2018 operating the 6C28 11:41 Riverside to Westbury, DB Cargo Class 59 No. 59202 'Alan Meadows Taylor - MD Mendip Rail Limited' passes 40 Steps with empty box wagons returning to the Mendips.

(Photo: Nathan Williamson)

Published on 28th October 2018

DB Cargo operated a very rare rare Saturday Mendip aggregate service to the virtual quarry at Exeter Riverside Yard on 27th October 2018.

The train operated in the normal weekday path, passing Taunton around 06:30 heading south and then once unloaded returned as the 6C28 11:41 Riverside to Westbury. DB Cargo Class 59/2 No. 59202 'Alan Meadows Taylor - MD Mendip Rail Limited' passes 40 Steps with empty box wagons returning to the Mendips.

To view the gallery, please click here.


 RAILEX Taunton 2018

Published on 27th October 2018

RailEX Taunton 2018 is being held at Taunton School over the 27th and 28th October 2018, a huge array of model railway layouts, trade stands and traders from all over the UK were assembled to provide the public with a fantastic selection of quality model railway layouts.

Visitors also included several people who'd recently stared in the Channel 5 'Model Railway Challenge' program. A wide variety of 'N' Gauge, 'OO' Gauge and 'O' Gauge were on display. Taunton School also did a roaring trade with their excellent meals from the school canteen. Entry is priced at £7 for Adults with a discount for Children and OAPs.

A view of the Seven Ash as OO Gauge with 10ft viewing length Seven Ash is based on the turntable stabling point at London's infamous Old Oak Common depot and is set between 1967 and 1972. Over 40 locomotives from the Western region hydraulic classes of Westerns, Warships, Hymeks and NBL baby Warships will be on show.

(Photo: Brian Garrett)


RailEx 2018 - Video



Published on 27th October 2018

Why not sit back and enjoy the best bits of the 2018 Rail Ex event from Taunton School on the 27th October 2018. This video compiled and edited by Keith Ewins features all the main layouts and footage from the event and takes a detailed up-close view of the incredible models on display.


 Buffet Cars go for storage

Published on 25th October 2018

The reformation of GWR HST sets due to the introduction of the Hitachi Class 800 IETs has lead to a large amount of redundant Mk3 buffet cars being surplus to requirements.

Many of these coaches are now being sent for secure storage around the UK until a use can be found for them.

One such movement on the 25th October 2018 saw eight buffet cars formed up in one train and sent to Landore Depot for store.

First Great Western liveried HST No.43131 leads No.43147 out of Whiteball Tunnel on the 25th October 2018 operating the 5Z43 12:10 Laira - Landore stock move formed of Buffet Cars (40102 40119 40117 40114 40104 40109 40112 40107) going for storage.

(Photo: Robert Latham)


Double Hymeks back on the WSR!


Published on 24th October 2018

Who would have thought that when DEPG Hymek No.D7018 failed in 1995 while working the Quantock Belle, it would take some twenty-three years to get the locomotive operational again.

October has seen three key stages in the return to the locomotive becoming operational once again. October 2015 the locomotive was successfully started at Williton works after years rebuilding the engine. October 2016 saw No.D7018 make its first light engine movement between Williton and Bishops Lydeard in part restored condition. However, it was two more years of hard work by the DEPG at Williton which culminated in a loaded test run on the 24th October 2018.

The loco left Willtion works with sister locomotive No.7017 on Wednesday 24th October for a light engine run to Bishops Lydeard before collecting a rake of Mk1 coaching stock for a loaded test run to Minehead. No.D7018 was put through its paces with its sister locomotive providing some additional dead weight on the rear of the train. In what was a very proud moment for the Diesel Electric Preservation Group, the sight of two Western Region 'Hymeks' operating on West Somerset metals once again was an amazing sight for all involved. We understand that the test run was a success with just a minor oil leak having been detected. We look forward to seeing plenty more of No.D7018 operating in the WSR in the years to come.

(Photo: Shaun Mockridge)

(Photo: Sclub)

(Photo: Sclub)


(Photo: Bob Latham)

(Photo: Bob Latham)

(Photo: Bob Latham)



RHTT Locomotive Swap

(Photo: Brian Garrett)

Published on 20th October 2018

The 2018 Rail Head Treatment Train has already seen a double locomotive swap just weeks into its annual operating season.

Previous locomotives No.66120 and No.66200 have both been removed in favour of two other classmates. EWS liveried Class 66 No.66067 now located on the western end of the RHTT set, while DB Cargo Red liveried Class 66 No.66104 located on the London end.

The pair are pictured at Cogload Junction on Saturday 20th October operating 3J13 09:07 Westbury - St Blazey. The set departed Westbury 100 minutes ahead of schedule as it didn't visit Salisbury due to the line from Warminster being closed for Engineering work. The early departure saw an extra slow spraying operation along the Berks and Hants to arrive into Taunton on schedule to slot in with normal passenger services.

To view the gallery, please click here.


 Braunton steams home

Published on 10th October 2018

Southern Region West country No. 34046 'Braunton' (operating as 34052) steamed away from its visit to the West Somerset Railway on Wednesday 10th October 2018.

The locomotive had taken part in the 2018 Autumn Steam Gala weekend. After the gala the loco and support coach were booked to return to its Saphos Trains base at Crewe. Braunton is pictured here passing Silk Mills working the 5Z46 09:45 Bishops Lydeard - Crewe returning to its home base and future mainline operations.

(Photo: Paul Wilkins)


 Flying Scotsman steams North

(Photo: Simon Harling)


Published on 8th October 2018

Having engaged in a series of special charters between Exeter and Plymouth in the days previous, world-famous steam locomotive LNER A3 No. 60103 'Flying Scotsman' steamed north through Taunton with partner steam locomotive LMS Black 5 No.44871 on the 8th October 2018.

The 1Z72 15:09 Exeter St Davids - Bristol Temple Meads passed Taunton at 16:18 hauling 'The Cathedrals Express' charter. The tour is pictured here passing Marlands shortly after exiting from Whiteball Tunnel into Somerset.

To view the gallery, please click here.


Flying Scotsman visits Taunton


Published on 4th October 2018

Thursday 4th October 2018 saw the line side and station areas around the Taunton area crowded with people keen to get a glimpse of the famous steam locomotive No. 60103 'Flying Scotsman' , the locomotive visited Taunton as part of a double charter event.

The pair operated the 1Z44 06:40 Theale - Taunton charter before a West Coast Heritage Class 47 No.47760 returned passengers to Theale. During the layover, the steam locos were serviced in the sidings behind Platform 1, once part of the former 83B shed. Timings available online originally showed that servicing would take place on the West Somerset Railway, however, this never occurred, and the WSR later confirmed they were not expecting to service any visiting locomotives. Sadly many people waited at Norton Fitzwarren expectant to see the locomotives pass by but were disappointed to find they remained at Taunton Station. Later in the afternoon, No.47760 arrived back into Taunton with empty stock from Theale ready to collect new passengers ready for a second steam hauled charter of the day to Plymouth. No. 60103 'Flying Scotsman' and No.44871 were steamed and ready to provide their new passengers with a ride of a lifetime to Plymouth.

(Photo: Lee Robbins)

(Photo: S A Ginn)

(Photo: S A Ginn)



Vegetation Removal Continues


Published on 3rd October 2018

During early October further work to clear Taunton of the major vegetation clearance was well underway, Network Rail has now cleared the majority of undergrowth at the East end of the station and is now making progress with the West end between the station and 40 Steps.

Large flails and mulching equipment has been utilized to remove the stubborn undergrowth such as trees and buddleia. As the works progress to present a much tidier station are we will be sure to bring you more images of the improvements.

(Photo: Paul Clarke)

(Photo: Paul Clarke)



West Coast return Camelot to The Bluebell


Published on 2nd October 2018

West Coast Railways Class 37 No.37669 arrived onto West Somerset Railway metals on the 1st October 2018 operating light engine to collect BR 5MT No.75082 from the West Somerset Railway and return the locomotive to the Bluebell Railway.

Having collected BR 5MT No. 73082 'Camelot' from the West Somerset Railway. West Coast Railways Class 37 No.37669 returned as the 5Z84 15:06 Bishops Lydeard to East Grinstead Sidings.

To view the gallery, please click here.

(Photo: Simon Harling)

(Photo: Jeff Treece)



2018 Rail Head Treatment Trains Start

(Photo: Simon Harling)

Published on 2nd October 2018

As we highlighted on Taunton Trains several weeks ago, the time of year is here when all the leaves from trees and bushes begin to fall onto the rails of the UK, and with the huge amount of tree and lineside vegetation this year, Network Rail have started their RHTT services slightly earlier than normal.

With several trains in Devon having already experienced issues between Totnes and Plymouth in recent weeks because of poor railhead conditions. The 2018 Rail Head Treatment Train season has now begun. Operating one of the first trains of the season DB Cargo are operating the train and provided EWS liveried No.66200 and No.66120 to start this years services. It should be noted that the 'up' spraying diagram has been tweaked for the 2018 season, meaning the rails are cleaned before the first two London bound trains from Devon arrive into Taunton around 06:30. In previous years the tracks have been cleaned after these first two trains to London which had resulted in some tricky railhead conditions for these trains to cope with. Its good to see this diagram has finally been adjusted to assist the early morning commuter services to London form the South West.

To view the gallery, please click here.


West Somerset Railway - Autumn Steam Gala


Published on 1st October 2018

The West Somerset Railway 'Autumn Steam Gala' held on the 29th/30th September saw a host of visiting locomotives operating between Bishops Lydeard and Minehead.

Visiting steam locomotives included 4MT No.80072 made a last-minute appearance from the Llangollen Railway to stand in for No.80104 which was unable to attend from the Swanage Railway. Rebuilt Bulleid Light Pacific, No. 34046 'Braunton' (Operating as 34052 'Lord Dowding'). Normally based on the Bluebell Railway, British Railways 5MT No. 73082 'Camelot' made its first appearance on the WSR, smaller visitor 2MT Ivatt Tank No.41312 also made a nice addition to the lineup, which provided ten steam locomotives in traffic for passengers to enjoy.

We have provided a selection of images below showing some of the scenes captured over the weekend.

To view the gallery, please click here.

(Photo: S A Ginn)

(Photo: S A Ginn)

(Photo: Sclub)

(Photo: Sclub)


(Photo: Sclub)

(Photo: Brian Garrett)

(Photo: Sclub)



Sunday Freightliner


Published on 1st October 2018

Two Freightliner hauled trains operated on Sunday 30th September.

First to appear was No.66591 returning the 6Y97 08:15 Liskeard - Westbury long welded rail train. This set had carried out a rail drop in Cornwall overnight in preparation for track renewals and was returning the long welded rail train back to Westbury.

Second to operate was No.66514 leading the 6Y15 07:45 Aynho Junction - Fairwater Yard returning the lengthy Network Rail HOBC set back to Taunton after overnight ballast cleaning in the Oxford area.

(Photo: Simon Harling)

(Photo: Ian Draper)



To view news stories from September 2018, click here, or for news from November 2018, click here.