MAY 2010 NEWS :

During the early evening of the 31st May, Taunton was also visited by a Network Rail test train. 31106 had slowly been making its way South to Laira from Derby during the day. Having worked South to Birmingham and operated via Oxford the 4Z08 from Derby finally passed through the Taunton area just before 20:00. The set it booked to visit Cornwall on Tuesday before returning through Taunton (with 31106 leading) on Wednesday. BR Blue liveried 31106 is seen propelling DBSO 9702 South through Charlton. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
First Great Western 'Loco Hauled' diagrams become an enthusiasts paradise on Bank Holiday weekends. With both loco hauled sets in operation, a multitude haulage and photographic options were available. 57305 'John Tracy' is seen passing Creech St Michael with the 2C79 14:00 Cardiff - Taunton (57308 located on the opposite end) diagram, having already passed 67018+67003 in the Yatton area. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Bank Holiday Monday 31st May saw a last minute overnight change of traction for the Class 67 Loco Hauled set. Out was 67016 and on (via a light engine move from Wembley Yard) was 67003. This was 67003's first appearance on the train, and completed an absence of nearly two years from the Taunton area. DB Schenker have also removed Maroon BSO No.9494 in favour of Cargo D owned BR Blue BSO No.9508. 67003 is seen on the rear of the 2U20 12:47 from Paignton at Taunton before departing for Cardiff with DB Schenker liveried 67018 on the Cardiff end. (Photo: Brian Garrett)


We reported back in February about plans for this years West Somerset Railway Diesel Gala weekend, it's hard to believe that the event has come around so quickly. The DEPG at Williton have been working hard to return D1010 to operational condition for the event, recent test runs have hopefully confirmed that all the hard work as paid off.

The 'GWR 175 Diesels in the West' Gala event is due to be held between 11th to 13th June,, and will build on the success of last years inclusion of Hydraulic Traction (an area in which the DEPG have particular expertise). All but one of the visiting locomotives will be the same as the 2009 visitors, but it's hoped the added attraction of having added attraction of two operational Westerns and two operational Warships will make for some impressive sights along the length of the line. The weekend will feature double heading of Westerns and Warships on all three days for the event.

The Gala Lineup is expected to include the following locomotives:


D1062 'Western Courier' & D821 'Greyhound' from the Severn Valley

Class 14, D9520 from the Nene Valley Railway

Home Fleet:

D1010 'Western Campaigner'

D832 'Onslaught'

D1661 'North Star'

D7017 (Repainted into Two Tone Green)

Class 14, D9526

D6566 and D7523 will be used as Thunderbirds should anything go wrong during the event.

Further Details can be found on the West Somerset Railway Website & WSR.ORG


Freightliner Heavy Haul operated just the TRT set over the weekend period at a blockade near Abbotswood Junction. Monday 31st May will see parts of the HOBC tripped to West Ealing for maintenance. On the 30th May 66618 'Railways Illustrated' passes Creech St Michael with the late running 6Y33 to Fairwater Yard with 66599 on the rear of the train. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
The Torbay Express seasons kicked off on Sunday 30th May with 6024 'King Edward I' hauling the first train from Bristol Temple Meads to Kingswear. It remains to be seen how popular and well loaded the 2010 season is, as at £75 a ticket and around £280 for a family, the Torbay Express is not cheap! Details of the Torbay Express excursions can be found on our own 'Tours Page' and the Torbay Express Website. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
6024 'King Edward I' has worked 'The Torbay Express' excursions for many years, and has become so common that not many lineside photographers will go out to photograph the locomotives. Countryside photos provide the best opportunity of capture the locomotive at work, on the 30th May 6024 is seen rounding the curve at Longforth Farm (Wellington) with the 1Z27 to Kingswear before the climb up to Whiteball. (Photo: John White)
We have also included a second view of 66705 passing Stoke St Gregory on the B&H heading towards Westbury. 66705 is the only locomotive in the UK to carry the United Kingdom flag on the side of the locomotive. Many Union Pacific locomotives are decorated in this way with the American Flag in the USA.We would advise getting your photos of this operation over the coming weeks, as in around 6 weeks time it will be operated by Freightline from Washwood Heath Yard, and the GBRF operation will stop. (Photo: Cameron Walker)
66705 'Golden Jubilee' was a surprise visitor to Taunton on Friday 28th May. The loco had worked the overnight 4V11 from Peterborough to Fairwater Yard but failed to return in its booked path. The loco was stabled on the Fairwater Yard headshunt for the morning (adjacent to Platform 1). A relief driver arrived around mid day and the loco returned a rake of used concrete sleepers to Peterborough for recycling. (Photo: Jeff Treece)
The evening light continues to provide ideal conditions to capture the heavy Network Rail engineering trains which operate from Fairwater Yard each night. On the 27th May, 66612 'Forth Raider' is seen hauling the 6Y11 19:14 Fairwater Yard - Cholsey north through Cogload Junction. This lengthy 2300ft long train means the rear loco (66618) can rarely be seen from this long sighted location (Photo: Brian Garrett)
67018 'Keith Heller' is easily picked out passing Cogload Jn with the 2C85 17:00 Cardiff - Taunton service, passing over the famous Cogload Junction flyover. 2011 will see the landmark structure celebrate its 80th birthday, since being constructed in 1931. It would certainly be nice to see Network Rail recognize this structure by removing the line side vegetation and perhaps installing a plaque alongside the Taunton & Bridgwater canal to commemorate the building of the structure! (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Perhaps one of the most odd ball moves of the week occurred on the West Somerset Railway. While Network Rail use modern MPV's to help win the war of the weeds, preserved lines have adapted all sorts of their own stock to create the same effect! On the 26th May, Class 03 D2133 propelled a converted turbot wagon (from the former WSR stone contract) from Williton to Bishops Lydeard. At a slow and steady pace the week busting ensemble is seen passing Castle Hill on route to Bishops Lydeard. (Photo: Adam Hiscock)
The loco hauled Class 57 diagram has seen little problems of late, and has been operating without incident. On the 27th May 57306 'Jeff Tracy' is seen approaching Broomhay Crossing (Bathpool) with the 2U14 11:02 Taunton - Cardiff stopping service. 57305 'John Tracy' is currently located on the 'Taunton end' of the set. (Photo: Paul Finnimore)
Taunton's Class 67 loco hauled diagram gained a change of traction during the previous weekend. 67022 has now completed its stint on the FGW diagrams and has been replaced by 67016. Although it appeared that 67018 has also been removed from the set, the loco made a miraculous return on Sunday evening to work a third week of loco hauled diagrams. 67016 is seen at Charlton with the 2M68 19:18 Taunton - Bristol Temple Meads. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Freightliner Heavy Haul operated a rare Sunday evening freight on the 23rd of May through to Burngullow (Cornwall). 66605 hauled an empty rake of Freightliner Box Wagons as the 6C58 1801 Stoke Gifford Burngullow. The train is see passing Cogload Jn in stunning evening light, on one of the hottest weekends of the year so far. (Photo: Steve Yarde)
Freightliner Heavy Haul operated their 'as required' cement from Westbury Cement Works to Moorswater on the 18th May. Having spent all day in Cornwall, 66620 is seen at Charlton with the 6C66 16:35 Moorswater - Westbury empty cement PCA wagons. This train was booked through Taunton at 20:40 but had a superb run up from Cornwall resulting in the train passing Taunton in reasonable light. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
'The East Lancashire Champion' returned North to Crewe on Sunday 16th May through Taunton. Having spent Saturday and Sunday traversing Cornish Branchlines, the groundbreaking charter saw D1015 and 40145 paired up for the return trip to Crewe, as far as Oxford. D1015 was carrying number D1012 and name 'Western Firebrand' for the weekend excursion. The charter is seen passing 40 Steps before the pair engulfed Taunton Station in their own thick cloud of exhaust. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Following their high class weekend outing to Cornwall, Devon and Somerset 67005 and 67006 returned passengers to London Victoria on Sunday 16th May. The immaculate Pullman set was again let down by two unwashed locomotives. The 1Z79 from Truro is seen passing 40 Steps approaching Taunton Station for a booked stop. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Booked Saturday freight through Taunton with DB Schenker is not that common these days. However on the 15th May the company ran the 6Z60 from St Blazey (Cornwall) to Bescot Yard with loaded China Clay. 66175 provided the additional interest for this trip. The loco and China Clay wagons are seen passing 40 Steps, Taunton. (Photo: Steve Yarde)
Having run around the VSOE coaching stock, 67006 and 67005 were set for a 13:50 departure back to Plymouth. As the Royal Locomotives depart from Platform 2, D1015 'Western Champion' and 40145 race South through Platform 3 with the 1Z40 Crewe - Penzance weekend charter. This amazing scene was captured in all it's glory at 40 Steps. With effectively 6 locomotives in shot D1015, 40145, 67006, 67005, 57308 and 57306 are all seen at Taunton! (Photo: Steve Yarde)
Also booked to visit Taunton on the 15th May was the annual visit of the VSOE (Orient Express). Having worked South on Friday 14th from London Victoria to Truro, the set was booked for a lunchtime trip from Plymouth to Taunton and return. DB Schenker provided both Royal Locomotives 67005 and 67006 (Both of which has not been washed) for the weekend excursion. At lunch time on the 15th May 67005 is seen arriving into Taunton with 67006 and the 1Z87 Luncheon Special from Plymouth. (Photo: Steve Yarde)
Having passed Taunton on time, 4965 'Rood Ashton Hall' and 5043 'The Earl of Mount Edgcumbe' made good time heading into Devon. The complete rake of chocolate and cream coaches suited the Great Western locomotives, and provided a superb sight of double headed steam back in the South West. The pair are seen at Beambridge on the climb to Whiteball Tunnel. (Photo: Steve Yarde)

Great Western Steam returned to Taunton on Saturday 15th May. 4965 'Rood Ashton Hall' and 5043 'The Earl of Mount Edgcumbe' doubled up to haul a charter from Bristol Temple Meads to Plymouth. The tour originated at Birmingham Snow Hill and was hauled to Bristol by 47773. It has been some time since a Great Western Hall and Castle have double headed on the mainline in the South West, and the pair are seen here passing Taunton on route South. (Photo: Brian Garrett)

DB Schenkers only fully livered Class 67 certainly makes a bold statement with its red colour scheme. On the 12th April the locomotive is seen at Taunton having arrived with the 2C85 17:00 Cardiff - Taunton. A large rainstorm had just passed through the area, resulting in this stunning black sky and sun shot, moments after the locomotive arrived into Taunton. From Taunton 67022 will lead the final diagram of the day back to Bristol Temple Meads before the set works into Barton Hill Depot for overnight servicing. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Early morning light is slowly creeping back into Taunton, meaning the 4E31 used sleeper train can now be photographed at 06:30. On Wednesday 12th April a rare double loco movement had taken place overnight, with both 66727 and 66712 conveyed on the overnight 4V11 from Peterborough. 66712 is see powering away from Fairwater Yard with the 4E31 to Peterborough with 66727 marshaled at the other end of the train. (Photo: Phil Izzard)
First Great Western resorted to another Class 57 'hire in' to cover for the non availability of their own Class 57/6 locomotives on the 10th/ 11th May. Instead of the normal Virgin liveried locomotive the passengers on board the 1C99 Paddington - Penzance 'Night Riviera' service were treated to Class 57/3 No.57315 in Arriva Trains Wales colors. The locomotive is no stranger to Taunton, having worked the FGW loco hauled diagrams during December 2009/ January 2010. The loco is seen at Taunton during its booked stop at 02:38 on Tuesday 11th May. (Photo: 50006 Neptune)
Monday 10th May provided another 'celebrity' locomotive for the loco hauled Class 67 diagram. Having been in Scotland on Friday 9th the move south for DB Schenker liveried 67018 'Keith Heller' was certainly random. The loco caused mass panic amongst enthusiasts, with clear skies throughout the day, the locomotive was photographed in many locations. The filthy dirty locomotive is seen arriving into Taunton with the 2C85 from Cardiff on the penultimate loco hauled diagram of the day. It's hoped Barton Hill will see fit to wash the locomotive in the coming week. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Taunton enjoyed the surprise visit of DB Schenker liveried 67018 'Keith Heller' on Monday 10th May. Having already sampled the delights of EWS executive Class 67 No.67029 for the past week, 67018 was sent as a replacement for 67029 over the weekend. 67018 is see passing Creech St Michael with the 2C85 from Cardiff. 67022 remains on the opposite end of the train as it has been for the past few weeks. (Photo: Steve Yarde)
Friday 7th May saw brilliant evening sunlight in the Taunton area. This lucky image was captured at Taunton shortly after the arrival of 67029's last arrival into Taunton hauling 2C85 from Cardiff. 66528 is seen passing through Platform 2 with the 6Z32 1402 West Ealing Plasser to Fairwater Yard, while 67029 stands in Platform 3. Friday night would be the last arrival of 67029 into Taunton on the loco hauled set as 67029 was removed from the set over the weekend and sent back to Toton for use on the DB Schenker business train. (Photo: Alexander Martin-Brown)
As the country is gripped by election fever, enthusiasts were still debating the important vote of the night....Ronnies or Skips? 57308 'Tin Tin' made its first appearance on the Class 57 loco hauled diagram mid way through the week, although its appearance on the popular diagram is likely to be short lived. Reports suggest the loco will be removed this weekend, possibly being replaced for 57301. On the 6th May 57308 stands at Taunton having arrived with the 2C79 19:00 from Cardiff. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
67029 has its evening diagram cut short on the 4th May when the loco suffered with over heating on departure from Weston Super Mare. As a result the 2M68 return was cancelled. May the 5th was back to normal for the loco. On the 5th 67029 is seen passing Charlton at speed with the 2C85 17:00 Cardiff - Taunton service. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
With light levels changing by the second, 67029 'Royal Diamond' passes Creech St Michael with the penultimate Class 67 loco hauled diagram of the day. The 2C85 17:00 from Cardiff arrived into Taunton 10 late, but in time to form the 2M68 19:18 return to Bristol Temple Meads. Currently the loco hauled set has also regained EWS liveried BSO 9494 rather than the usual Blue & Grey example. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
May starts with a very rare visitor to the area. 67029 'Royal Diamond' operated into the region on May 1st when the loco hauled the diesel leg of 'The Royal Duchy' from Basingstoke to Exeter. The loco returned to Bristol Barton Hill where it was subsequently swapped for 67017 on the FGW Loco Hauled service. Bank Holiday Monday 3rd May saw enthusiasts out in force to ride and photograph this rare South West passenger locomotive. 67029 is seen at Taunton on the rear of the 2U20 12:45 Paignton - Cardiff service with 67022 leading. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
May 3rd also provided a second rare visitor to Taunton. A South West Trains Class 158. South West Trains units have operated to Taunton on occasions in the past, however 'we believe' 158883 now holds the accolade of the first ever South West Trains Class 158 to enter Platform 6. The unit (along with 158888) is currently on hire to First Great Western, and rarely strays from it's Bristol and Swindon based diagrams. The rare liveried unit is seen in Platform 6 waiting to depart with the 15:15 to Cardiff. (Photo: Brian Garrett)

2010 NEWS

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