MARCH 2010 NEWS : 

Freightliner Heavy Haul continue to operate trains of used spoil over to the West Somerset Railway from Fairwater Yard. The flows are dependant on the amount of mainline work being carried out by Network Rail. On the 24th March 66602 is seen on the Norton Fitzwarren triangle with a loaded HOBC set from Fairwater Yard, 66610 is also visible on the rear of the train. The train was unloaded at the triangle complex before returning to Fairwater Yard. (Photo: Steve Edge, With Permission)
The First Great Western Class 57/3 loco hauled diagram is never far from a newsworthy story. The 29th March saw the set sidelined at Taunton when 57312 was summoned to Penzance light engine. 'The Hood' operated the Penzance - Paddington 'Night Riviera' service, standing in for 57602, which had failed the previous day. 57302 meanwhile, was left stranded at Taunton in Platform 1, with no driver.On the 29th March 57302 'Virgin Tracy' is seen stabled at Taunton. (Photo: Steve Yarde)


On March 25th 9F 92203 'Black Prince' climbs the final grade up into Crowcombe Station working from Bishops lydeard to Minehead. The use of two 9F's on the line over the gala period has been a big draw for enthusiasts. (Photo: Cameron Walker)
The 25th March saw an unscheduled service operate over the West Somerset Railway, owing to the failure of 78019 goods train at Bishops Lydeard, a hastily arranged train filled the path. The Swanage Railways 80104 passes Woolsten Moor with a two coach passenger branchline train on route to Minehead the 11:55 from Bishops Lydeard. (Photo: Cameron Walker)
On the 26th March 2010, Standard 78019 is seen at Crowcombe with the demonstration goods train waiting to depart to Bishops Lydeard while, 4160 leaves for Williton and Minehead on a passenger train from Bishops Lydeard. (Photo: Cameron Walker)
The West Somerset Railway held the first part of their two weekend Spring Steam Gala on the 20th and 21st March. A feast of large Standard Steam Locomotives worked through the Somerset Countryside. The 21st was a poor day for weather, but the 22nd did cheer up enough to provide some good photographic opportunities. We've assembled a small collection of images taken on the Sunday. (Photos: Steve Yarde)
During the weeks before the gala weekend, various locomotives started to arrive onto the WSR. This year all locomotives arrived by road. On the evening of the 13th March WSR stablmate 34046 'Braunton' is seen alongside visiting locomotives 71000 'Duke of Gloucester' and Standard Tank 80104 from the Swanage Railway. (Photo: Phil Izzard)
Another visitor to the line from the Great Central Railway was standard locomotive 78019, the small but powerful locomotive is also captured at Bishops Lydeard on the 13th March in the glorious evening sunlight. (Photo: Phil Izzard)
During the First Gala Weekend, all of the visiting steam locomotives had a chance to perform. Here David Shepard's 9F, No.92203 climbs past Nethercott on the climb to Crowcombe being banked from the rear by Standard Tank 80104. (Photo: Phil Izzard)


The 21st and 22nd of March saw lots of Steam action in the Taunton area. While the West Somerset Railway were holding the first weekend of their Spring Steam Gala. LNER A4 Pacific 60019 'Bittern' operated a charter between Bristol Temple Meads to Kingswear and return. The tour was diesel hauled from Poole to Bristol before the former LNER locomotive was added. Bittern is seen passing through Taunton Station on route South to the Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway at Kingswear. (Photo: Brian Pibworth)
Shortly after passing Taunton, 60019 was captured in the Victory/ Allerford area as the train gained speed for the climb to Whiteball summit. The spring like conditions of the previous week had failed to materialize as most of the South West was engulfed overnight with rain and low cloud. The run to Kingswear and back went without a hitch and operated on time in both directions. Once back at Bristol the A4 was removed to allow the Diesel Locos to return to the charter back to the South Coast at Poole. (Photo: Steve Yarde)
After a period of poor weather, the 13th March saw one of the best Spring Days of the year. In brilliant light, Cross Country Voyager 221129 passes 57305 & 57306 at 40 Steps. The Class 57's were positioned ready to follow the Northbound Glasgow service with their normal booked Saturday ECS Move. 57305 is seen ready to work the 5U89 14:06 from Taunton to Cardiff Canton for weekend servicing. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
By Royal Appointment. Just weeks after working First Great Western's passenger diagrams together, 67005+67006 were back on more prestigious duties on the 10th & 11th March.The pair transported the Queen & Duke of Edinburgh from London to Hackney Yard overnight, prior to them running up to Exeter on the morning of the 11th. The Queen undertook various engagements in Exeter and Plymouth during the day. After dropping her at Exeter, 67005 leads the empty stock back to Wolverton Works through Taunton. (Photo: Paul Finnimore)
For those who thought they were seeing things in Taunton on the 11th March, 33057 departed from the West Somerset Railway for contract bodywork repairs at the East Somerset Railway via St Phillips Marsh and Brush (Loughborough). The loco has been coaxed slowly back into life over the past couple of years. The time has now come to turn attention to the much needed bodywork repairs which need specialist attention. The Class 33 was hauled from Bishops Lydeard by road by Allelys Heavy Haulage, and is seen at Hankridge Farm, Taunton. (Photo: Paul Finnimore)
33057 first arrived onto the West Somerset Railway during September 2005 after a lengthy period in store at MOD Longtown. The loco could of been described as a wreck, and was originally purchased as a source of spares to keep 33048 running. However as time went on it became apparent there may be some lift left in the locomotive. The DEPG began a series of Sunday working parties on the loco and after 4 years of hard work, the loco was started for the first time in 2009. To have a pair of Class 33's on the WSR will be a great addition to the line, as these small and strong locos are ideal instant start work horses for the line, and have a good enthusiast following. Opposite is a comparison photo showing 33057 when it arrived onto the line, and the locomotive loaded on the 11th March 2010 ready to go for final repairs. (Photos: Jeff Treece)
First Great Westerns Class 57's are never far from the news, but their most recent escapade takes some beating! On the 9th March 2009, 57305 is seen in the very rare tamper siding adjacent to Platform 1. The service train had not made a late platform alteration, but was removing 57312 from the train after the locomotive broke down. 57312 'The Hood' had only been added at Cardiff during the day having replaced 57306, and had yet to work a Northbound service train. 57305 can be seen ready to move forward with the stock and shunt back into Platform 1. (Photo: Steve Yarde)
After talk that the Class 57's may be removed from the loco hauled services the First Great Western Loco hauled Diagram (operated by GBRF with Virgin Class 57/3's, Anglia stock leased from Riviera Trains) has seen a good period of reliable service. On the 5th March 57309 is seen leading North through Taunton with the first service train of the day. With the sun only just up the 2D04 07:28 Taunton - Bristol Parkway passes Cogload Jn on the approach to Dusrton. (Photo: Cameron Walker)
We begin March with news that the much loved 60163 'Tornado' will be spending the majority of the Summer months operating in the South West. Details of the Locomotives tours can be found on the A1 Steam Trust website. It's hoped The 25th September will see the first pairing of A1 'Tornado' and 6024 'King Edward 1st'. Pathfinder Tours are currently proposing a tour from Hampsire, Wiltshire, Severnside to Plymouth with 60163+6024 in charge of the tour from Bristol. We prepared an edited digital image of how we think the tour 'could' look upon passing Taunton! (Photo: Brian Garrett)

2010 NEWS

Want to look at what happened in NEWS 2009? Have a look in our Archive Page