The Moorswater Cement conveys powered cement from the Lafarge owned factory at Hope in Derbyshire, to Moorswater in Cornwall. The flow has run between the locations for many years but only became a 'dedicated bulk flow' in July 2002, when Freightliner Heavy Haul won the contract to operate the train. Previously the service was operated by EWS (English Welsh and Scottish Railway) and wagons were tripped locally as required and integrated into their own wagon load network.
66527 was used on a series of driver training runs during July 2002, with 66523 working the first service train on the 29th July 2002. Sadly this first trip didn't go to plan after the train derailed within the cement works. Since the first train to Moorswater, Freightliner have clocked up a whopping 460 trains to Mooswater over 7 years of operation.
The Moorswater Cement was a major contract for Freightliner during 2002, this gave the company a foothold into Cornwall, (A previous stronghold of EWS), At last Green engines would be seen West of the Tamar, it's fair to say the Moorswater probably bought Freightliner a large amount of other contracts in the South West. When the flow first started it ran every Tuesday and Thursday however over the years it's been subject to many changes in its timings. The one stable flow became 6M37 which would always work North through Taunton from Moorswater to Hope Sidings at around 20:40. There was even a period when Westbury Cement works was used to supply cement to the Cornish outpost, but this was soon changed back to Hope Cement Works.
Currently the train runs as required, but generally passes Taunton at 07:20 in the morning with the loaded train heading to Moorswater (6Z21) and returns North at 20:40 (6C66) from Moorswater.
The haulage has always predominantly been in the hands of the infamous General Motors Class 66's, at the time the contract was let Freightliner were in the process of receiving locomotives from General Motors. Although the odd Class 47 did have to rescue the Class 66's from time to time.
The mission is to record every working of the Moorswater Cement that has come through Taunton since the bulk flow started running. We currently have thousands of entries entered into a spreadsheet which have been filled in each night the train operates. We also have a Moorswater tally chart where we record how many times each loco has worked the train and any special comments which need to be added.
Please feel free to email: Taunton Trains if you have any information you think could be relevant to the quest!