News Archive for November 2018

Wet Floor at Taunton Station.....

(Photo: Nathan Williamson)

Published on 27th November 2018

At Taunton Trains, we are always looking for unique and interesting images, but this image sent in tonight captured the essence of Health and Safety overload at Taunton Station, causing more of a hazard than a help to customers.

For those readers not aware it's been raining (a lot) today in the South West, and Taunton Station leaks like a sieve. Passengers who may not have noticed the rain lashing down on the wet platforms and pavements outside were kindly reminded the floor was wet inside by this flotilla of Yellow Wet Floor Signs. This band of little workers were in place to provide a slalom course while passengers were on route to and from their trains. We estimate that at least two more signs could have been employed at the bottom of the steps to Platform 3 and 4!.


 Minor De-Railment on Fairwater Yard Headshunt


Published on 25th November 2018

A minor derailment occurred on the northern headshunt for Fairwater Yard adjacent to the Trenchard Way (Taunton NIDR) Road on Saturday 24th November.

While shunting wagons to form the 21:55 Fairwater Yard - Nailsea & Backwell overnight HOBC in preparation for overnight ballast cleaning activities. Investigations are ongoing but it's believed HOBC Powercar No.92342 jumped the rails and caused minor damage to concrete sleepers and track clips. The slow speed incident caused no disruption as the incident occurred on an isolated piece of track which is only used for shunting wagons, and the wheelset was quickly put back onto the track and returned to Fairwater Yard for inspection.


Sunday visit for the Rail Head Treatment Train

(Photo: Brian Garrett)

Published on 25th November 2018

The Network Rail Rail Head Treatment set made a very rare appearance at Taunton on Sunday 25th November 2018.

Normally Sundays are reserved for the set to visit Paignton via Newton Abbot, however because of its revised diagram this weekend a revised diagram (3J14 08:30 Tavistock Junction - Tavistock Junction via Taunton) operated. This provided the rare chance to capture DB Cargo liveried Class 66 No.66104 leading the set into Taunton, as during its normal weekday diagram passes Taunton under the cover of darkness. The grubby Class 66 is pictured passing 40 Steps on the approach to Taunton where the set terminated and returned to Tavistock Junction.

To view the gallery, please click here.


Rare Double Headed Combination

(Photo: Brian Garrett)

Published on 24th November 2018

Double Headed EWS liveried Class 66s No.66169 and No.66003 pass Cogload Junction on Saturday 24th November 2018.

The paid or locomotives had operated up to Exeter Riverside Yard the previous day from Burngullow (double heading over the Devon Banks). On Saturday 24th the pair (but with only 66169 powering) hauled the 6L12 13:35 Exeter Riverside - Acton Yard. Having recessed at Taunton to allow 1A85 to overtake the rare combination is pictured passing Cogload Junction hauling their loaded aggregate to the Captial.

To view the gallery, please click here.


 Autumn RHTT nearing an end

Published on 24th November 2018

As the Autumn RHTT season draws to a close EWS liveried Class 66/0 No.66200 leads classmate No.66104 westbound through Norton Fitzwarren on the 24th November 2018.

The pair were operating the 3J13 09:07 Westbury - Tavistock Junction service either end of the Network Rail RHTT set. The train normally runs through to St Blazey but because of engineering work between Liskeard and Penzance recessed at Tavistock Junction instead. Passing in the opposite direction are GWR Hitachi pairing No.802018 and No.802003 operating 1A82 12:01 Exeter St Davids - London Paddington.

To view the gallery, please click here.

(Photo: Brian Garrett)


Colas Engineers heads South

Colas Rail Freight Class 70 No.70817 passes Victory Crossing on Saturday 24th November 2018 while hauling a short engineers train heading to Cornwall as to lay new sleepers between Liskeard and Penzance. The 6C27 11:41 Westbury - Liskeard is pictured passing Victory Crossing on route south.

(Photo: Simon Harling)

Published on 24th November 2018

Colas Rail Freight provided several engineering trains for Network Rail on the 23rd/ 24th November 2018 in connection with track renewals between Liskeard and Penzance over the weekend.

Three trains worked south to Cornwall overnight on the 23rd November with another following in daylight hours on Saturday 24th. The 6C27 11:41 Westbury - Liskeard service conveyed new concrete railway sleepers along with wagons containing rolled membrane and fresh ballast.


Autumn Colas Colours

(Photo: Adam Snow)

Published on 11th November 2018

Having spent time visiting branches in Devon and Cornwall during last week, Colas Rail Freight Class 37 No.37219 makes a colourful sight in the Autumn scene at Creech St Michael on Sunday 11th November 2018.

The locomotive is seen pushing the 3Z08 12:55 Exeter Riverside - Derby RTC Network Rail test train through Creech St Michael. DBSO 9703 lead the train north back to Derby seen here at Creech heading towards Cogload Junction.

To view the gallery, please click here.


 Taunton Trains Database


Published on 11th November 2018

We would like to thank all those who have been contributing information to the Taunton Trains Database project.

This weekend we have hit 33,000 workings which have been entered into the database so far. This is a huge achievement as the database project was only introduced to the website around 18 months ago. Be sure to check out the What's New page each weekday to see all the new information which is being added.

We would especially like to thank Peter Russ who is currently working through his old sightings books from the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. The information being added is painting an incredible picture of operations around this time period. In addition to this, we would like to thank Nathan Williamson, Slcub, Paul Clarke, Peter Jeffree and Mike Rowland who's note taking, previous records, research and sourcing of information has been invaluable to the database project. If you would like to help the database expand further and have information on sightings which include times, workings and locomotive/ unit ID then please do make contact via Email: info@tauntontrains.co.uk


Network Rail Vegetation Removal


Published on 8th November 2018

While recent undergrowth cutting back at Taunton Station has improved the appearance and visibility at the east end of the station, work at the west end seems to have now stopped leaving some areas still to be completed.

However out on the Somerset Levels brand new vegetation clearance equipment is in use. Network Rail Contractors are currently working in the Oath area using a rare piece of equipment known as the 'LEVELIZER'. The special machine is designed for railway embankments and steep slopes. It's the only example currently in the UK and one of only six worldwide to date. The levelizer is making short work of the undergrowth on the raised embankments and has already vastly improved the visibility for drivers as they approach Oath from London.

Extensive cutting back has also been taking place four miles west of Oath at Athelney were extensive cutting back has started. Years of un-kept undergrowth are now being removed in an effort to reduce leaves on the line, falling trees.

We have provided a selection of images taken on the 8th November from various angles showing just how much a difference this unique machine has already made. We also recommend looking back at previous images from the same location using the gallery link below.

To view the gallery, please click here.

(Photo: Eddy)

(Photo: Eddy)

(Photo: S A Ginn)

(Photo: S A Ginn)


(Photo: Paul Wilkins)

(Photo: S A Ginn)

(Photo: Paul Wilkins)



 WSR to close for 12 weeks following ORR visit


Published on 7th November 2018

It's been announced that the West Somerset Railway is to close for a 12 week period starting on the 2nd January 2019 following a visit from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR).

The ORR is the government regulatory body who are responsible for all safety standards within the rail industry. The recent visit to the WSR resulted in a list of important actions which must be undertaken. The railway board has taken the sensible step to close completely from the 2nd January 2019 through to 1st April 2019. The closure will mean there are no operational services over the first half term of the year, the Spring Steam Gala and proposed Atlantic Coast Express events will also not take place. During the closure period, the railway will have time to concentrate on maintenance, qualifications, record keeping, and the commercial operation of the business for the future.

While it will be sad not to see regular steam and diesel passenger services operating during the first quarter of 2019 on the line, the ORR has obviously highlighted serious issues which require the most urgent focus of those in charge.


 Colas Cement Diversion

(Photo: S A Ginn)


Published on 7th November 2018

Engineering work in the Bristol area resulting in a lengthy diversion via Swindon for the Moorswater Cement on Wednesday 7th November 2018.

This provided a rare sight of the loaded southbound working (which normally passes in the hours of darkness) coming under Cogload Junction flyover. Colas Rail Freight Class 70 No.70807 unusually emerges from the Berks & Hants route at Cogload Junction hauling the 6C35 01:53 Aberthaw - Moorswater. In addition, the seawall section between Exeter and Newton Abbot had been closed to all traffic between midnight and 10:00 due to adverse weather conditions resulting in No.70807 running 276 minutes behind schedule upon passing Taunton.

To view the gallery, please click here.


 Rail Operations Group deliver GWR HST

Published on 5th November 2018

Rail Operations Group Class 47 No.47812 storms the grade towards Whiteball Summit on Monday 5th November 2018 working light engine as 0M59 09:00 Laira - Leicester.

The Class 47 had delivered a pair of GWR Power Cars, No.43040 and No.43153 to Laira Depot from refurbishment at Doncaster along with two new sliding door coaches (48131 and 49112), the previous Saturday evening.

To view the gallery, please click here.

(Photo: S A Ginn)


Mendip Stone - Saturday Operation

(Photo: Brian Garrett)

Published on 3rd November 2018

DB Crago has recently been operating rare Saturday services of Mendip Aggregates to the virtual quarry at Exeter Riverside Yard.

Unlike weekdays when the return empties rarely appear in Taunton much before 14:30, the Saturday return empties have been returning exceptionally early, able to gain earlier pathing with fewer passenger services operating. On Saturday 3rd November Aggregate Industries liveried Class 59/0 No. 59005 'Kenneth J Painter' passes Norton Fitzwaren hauling the 7C28 11:41 Exeter Riverside - Whatley Quarry running 124 minutes ahead of schedule.

To view the gallery, please click here.


Off least HST powercars depart

(Photo: Simon Harling)

Published on 2nd November 2018

The next pair of off least HST powercars departed the South West for pastures new on the 1st November 2018.

Debranded pair No.43131 and No.43137 exit Devon for the last time at Marlands working back to back as the 0Z83 08:37 Laira - Bristol Temple Meads. From Bristol, the pair worked forward to Ely Papworth Sidings.

To view the gallery, please click here.


 Saphos Tours to return in 2019

(Photo: Brian Garrett)


Published on 2nd November 2018

Due to the success of the 2018 'English Rivera Express' charters operated by Saphos Trains in the South West, it has been announced today that Saphos will be operating three more charters through Taunton during the 2019 season.

The new charter company has also announced that anyone booking on these tours up to 30 days advance can taken advantage of an early booking discount. Early booking prices are prices as £65 Standard Class, £99 First Class, and £199 Premier Dining. Standard tickets (booked within 30 days of the tour) will be £95 Standard Class, £145 First Class and £250 Premier Dining.

The steam locomotive pool for the 2019 operating season is expected to be No. 46100 'Royal Scot', No. 34046 'Braunton' or No. 70000 'Britannia'

Tours are booked to operate on the 16th June, and 7th July from Bristol via Bath and Westbury to Taunton, and 30th June from Bristol via Weston-super-Mare, Brigwater to Taunton for onward travel to Kingswear located in the English Riviera. Please see our Tours Page
for further details or visit the Saphos Trains website to book tickets and view future tours.


Change of Traction for The Statesman


Published on 2nd November 2018

The High-Class dining charter service The Statesman will have a change of traction supplier for future visits to Taunton.

Previous charters have been in the hands of West Coast Railways Class 47 and 57 locomotives. However, Statesman Rail will now use Locomotive Services TOC Ltd locomotives to haul the train. This will bring a welcome splash of traditional colour and a more polished look to these executive charters. Locomotives from the LSL fleet include former British Rail Two Tone Green Class 47s (No. 47501 'Craftsman', No. 47805 'Roger Hosking MA 1925-2013 ', No. 47810 'Crewe Diesel Depot') and BR Blue Class 47 (No.47853), a Class 40 (No.D213), two Deltics (No. 55022 'Royal Scots Grey' & No. D9016 'Gorden Highlander') and a Class 45 (currently under restoration).

To view the gallery, please click here.

(Photo: S A Ginn)

(Photo: Brian Garrett)



 Taunton Station Revamp


Published on 1st November 2018

Plans unveiling the planned multi-million pound revamp of Taunton Station will be on display at Great Western House (located behind Platform 2) on Friday 2nd November 2018 between 11am and 4pm.

Plans include a brand new Multi-Story Car Park, more spaces for bikes, a new ticket office, and improved bus/ taxi links from the station.

The plans are all part of changing the main entrance of Taunton Station from the north side of the station to the south side, which will provide better access into the town, and completing another link in the ongoing Firepool regeneration project.


Network Rail loose 40 Steps?

40 Steps - Greenway Footbridge

(Photo: Jeff Treece)

Published on 1st November 2018

It seems Network Rail has managed to loose one of the most famous footbridges in Taunton. 40 Steps, which has served Chip Lane and Leslie Avenue/ Cyril Street since the railways were first built seems to have been wiped from the face of the town history in favour a name which has no connection to the bridge's location.

'Greenway Footbridge' is apparently the new name for the large green graffiti covered monstrosity which now resides on the site of the former 40 Steps footbridge. Taunton has a Greenway Avenue, a Greenway Road, and even a Greenway Crescent all of which are some way from the Bridge location. Even ‘Chip Lane Bridge’ would have been much more sensible and geographically correct. Still, at least this new sign covers up some of the appalling graffiti (which we all warned would happen) on those lovely big flat panels. The walkway area has been turned into a terrible state owing to youths not being able to be seen once they are within the enclosed walkway area.


 Autumn Colas Colours

Published on 1st November 2018

Colas Rail Freight Class 70 No.70810 with 23 empty cement PCA's in tow climbs the grade through Burlescombe towards Whiteball summit running as 6C36 08:00 Moorswater to Aberthaw on Thursday 1st November 2018, these returning empty tanks unusually running via Westbury, Melksham, and Swindon and then west via Bristol Parkway for the Severn Tunnel.

To view the gallery, please click here.

(Photo: S A Ginn)


To view news stories from October 2018, click here, or for news from December 2018, click here.