APRIL 2011 NEWS : 

'The Royal Duchy' returned North through Taunton on Saturday 30th April with Black 5 No.45305 and Britannia No.70013 in charge of the Northbound leg of the tour. The down movement in the morning was handled by West Coast Railways 47500 (Former GWR 150 Brunswick Green 'Great Western').The two steam locomotives are seen passing slowly through Taunton following a local stopping service. (Photo: Nathan Williamson)
Getting on the move again, 45305 and 70013 'Oliver Cromwell' are seen getting back up to speed passing Banklands (near Durston) heading North towards Bristol. (Photo: Bob Tucker)


With thanks to Mike Rowland, our Loco Hauled pages have now been updated to show the complete loco hauled logs for all of the Class 57 and 67 diagrams from 2008 through to the end in 2010. We have also provided a gallery of images charting the various workings over the two year period which are hosted on our 83B Photographic site.
We are pleased to announce a new website which will run as a temporary measure in conjunction with Taunton Trains. 83B Photographic has been set up to host additional images for Taunton Trains, and will also provide a look at other railway interests around the UK. While fotopic may return to allow users to retrieve their images it's not known about the long term future of this service.


Easter Saturday 23rd April, proved to exceptionally busy with rail traffic in the Taunton area, not to mention the hottest day of the year so far. It's hard to believe that just four months ago we were experiencing some of the worst Winter weather for many years!! Annual holiday breaks are a popular time with Network Rail to carry out larger engineering works as it means they can program bigger blockades to get work done while creating a small amount of inconvenience for the traveling public. This Easter the Berks and Hants route from Cogload Junction to Castle Cary has been closed for track renewals to take place. Engineering works bring with them large amounts of equipment and trains. We have been able to provide a selection of images covering the renewal operations from the Taunton perspective. Also operating on Easter Saturday was the final leg of 'The Great Britain IV' charter which has traveled the length and breadth of the country over the past week, using all manner of steam locomotives. The annual railtour made its final departure from Bristol Temple Meads to Penzance using LMS Black 5 No.45305 and Britannia No.70013 'Oliver Cromwell'.
59205 is seen passing Cogload Jn at 08:40 hauling the 6W40 from Westbury to Cogload Jn. The rake of 37 coalfish wagons had been hauled via the roundabout route from Westbury to Bristol and Taunton where 59205 would run round the rake in Fairwater Yard before returning to Cogload Jn in order to take the B&H route to the work site at Athelney and Oath. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
This image may be an odd one to include but it had been reported that a vandalized HST set was in service heading North. Clearly a large amount of paint had been poured over the set (presumably when heading in the other direction!) leaving the coaching stock covered in an unsightly mess. This set did not get taken out of use once it reached Paddington, and was witnessed on other parts of the FGW network during the day (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Following close behind the EWS liveried Class 59 was 'The Great Britain IV', The LMS Black 5 and Britannia made excellent time between Bristol and Taunton, passing Cogload Jn some 15 minutes ahead of schedule. Needless to say some enthusiasts did not 'get the shot'!! The pair performed brilliantly throughout their journey. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
The Great Britain IV was also captured at 40 Steps, where the sun was at its worst angle for photography. However the pair made a fine sight as they accelerated through the station heading for Devon and Cornwall. (Photo: Nathan Williamson)
West Coast Railways provided Class 47 No.47760 to shadow the tour from Bristol to Penzance. The loco also provided the haulage home from Penzance to Bristol on the return charter. The two steam locomotives taking their booked week long stay in Cornwall. The Class 47 also stabled in Taunton's Platform 1 for a short period during the morning while the steam locomotives were taking water at Tiverton Loop. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Having spent a short period of time in Fairwater Yard 59205 was kind on hindering operations, and was soon cleared from the relief lines at Taunton running ahead of schedule. The DB Schenker owned locomotive approaches Cogload with 6W40 at caution before being allowed to enter the engineering blockade. The train would later be loaded with spoil before progressing on to Westbury for unloading (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Meanwhile further South, the two steam locomotives had marched their way to Wellington before the climb to Whiteball. The superb shot shows the pair at work at they prepare for the climb ahead while passing Westford Crossing. (Photo: John White)
Following closely behind 59205 was the delayed 6Y34 from Fairwater Yard to Gloucester. This service was booked to depart before 6W40. However 6W40 ended up blocking the Freightliner service in Fairwater Yard. 66617 is seen passing Banklands near Durston with a train of loaded YXA sleeper wagons, these will be used over the weekend to feed the TRT set with new sleepers to lay between Gloucester and Cheltenham. (Photo: Bob Tucker)
The work site a Oath was a hive of activity with plenty of railway engineering which could be observed from a safe location. 59204 is seen across the Somerset Levels with the 6W39 from Westbury. This set was also loaded with used spoil before working through to Westbury. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
This isn't a shot which many will witness, showing the down mainline completely removed alongside a loaded spoil train waiting to head forward to Westbury. Casual observers were rather perplexed that the activities and had to be advised as to why the railway track had been removed and assured it would be replaced. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
The view looking East from Oath was dominated by DB Schenker's only company liveried Class 59/2 No.59206, this was stabled on a rake of loaded spoil, while in front was Class 66 No.66173 waiting to depart with lifted track panels for processing at Westbury. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
  This video shows The Great Britain IV passing Taunton, and the departure of 59205 working 6W40 to Cogload Jn. (Video: Nathan Williamson)


The Cheshire Model Railway Club chartered an entire train for an excursion from Hooton to Kingswear on Saturday 16th April. DB Schenker provided a rake of former Virgin and Anglia Mk2 coaching stock from Riviera Trains, with 67008 hauling the charter into the South West. The locomotive is a very rare visitor to the area, and hasn't been seen or photographed in Taunton since 2008!. The 1Z39 from Hooton is seen passing 40 Steps, Taunton (Photo: Brian Garrett)

Friday 15th April saw another of the popular Mendip Rail Class 59's venture to Exeter Riverside with the as required stone flow. The Class 59's are nearly 25 years old, and it's hard to believe this superb locomotive type first arrived in the UK during 1986! Several members of the Class will be appearing at the WSR Mixed Traffic Gala later in the year. 59104 is seen here exiting Whiteball Tunnel for the downhill run to Taunton hauling the 7C28 empties from Exeter. (Photo: Phil Lindsey)

Yellow and Blue were the coloured dominating the Taunton scene on Wednesday 13th April following the DB Red of 60011 the previous day. A Network Rail test train arrived into Taunton's Platform 1 during the early hours of Wednesday 13th April. Following a daytime refueling visit to Exeter, BR Blue Class 31 No.31106 propelled the NR test train to Minehead via DBSO 9714 in the evening. The set is seen passing Longlands Farm shortly after joining the WSR. (Photo: Paul Finnimore)

Having traversed the length of the WSR in poor light, BR Blue 31106 prepares to depart Minehead bound for Taunton with the three coach test train. The veteran locomotive is now looking very nice in it slightly weathered condition! (Photo: Paul Finnimore)


Tuesday 12th April provided a large amount of excitement on several counts. DB Schenker provided a Class 60 to work the 7C27 Merehead - Exeter Riverside stone and 7C28 return empties. Given the scarcity of the locomotive class in the South West, any Class 60 needs to be recorded for future historical records. The locomotive provided was DB's only repainted Class 60 to carry the corporate colours of DB Schenker. This provided a unique opportunity capture the bright 'cherry red' Deutsche Bahn colours during the locos first appearance in Taunton since being repainted from its former Mainline Freight blue livery. News quickly spread of the loco allocation to the Mendip Rail stone flow, and mother nature provided some pleasing light to photograph the locomotive. We have provided a selection of images below taken by various photographers. The return 7C28 Exeter Riverside - Merehead empties were also held at Taunton for 45 minutes waiting for a path along the B&H to Westbury. Many thanks to all those who have provided photos, and we look forward to adding more as they arrive with us!


  We are also able to bring you video footage of the 60011 during it's 45 minute stop at Taunton and the departure to Westbury. (Video: Nathan Williamson)


Taunton's second rare visitor of the day was nearly forgotten with all the hype about the appearance of 60011. DB Schenker also provided 66111 (a Scottish RETB fitted loco) which is the only Class 66 to carry additional 'Highland Stag' decals on the bodyside. 66111 makes only is 3rd appearance working the 6C62 St Phillips Marsh - Tavistock Jn, passing 40 Steps. (Photo: Jeff Treece)
Direct Rail Services continued to dominate the news in the Taunton area during the first weeks of April. Having already worked two Class 57's from Devonport to Crewe on Tuesday 5th April, 37611 and 37607 visited Taunton on the 7th April with the Network Rail Radio Test Train. 37611 can be seen arriving in Taunton with the 1Q13 from Bristol Temple Meads before returning North with 37607 leading. (Photo: John White)
No.70000 'Britannia' departed from the West Somerset Railway with GWR King No.6024 on the 5th April working from Bishops Lydeard to Didcot ahead of loaded mainline trials for Britannia. The rare Brit/ King combo is seen approaching 40 Steps from Bishops Lydeard on what proved to be the only gloomy day of the week. The 5Z27 movement was formed of the two locos and support coaches. (Photo: Jeff Treece)
April begins with April showers, and shortly after several downpours had passed through the Taunton area, some reasonably stable weather arrived in time for the passing of Direct Rail Services Class 57's. 57008 and 57009 worked a rare Sunday movement conveying two DRS Barrier vehicles from Crewe Gresty Bridge to the MOD base at Plymouth Dockyard. The pair are seen racing through Taunton with the 5Z51 from Crewe. It's likely they will return later this week with an additional item of rolling stock added to their consist. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
This shot shows the back end of a passing downpour which cleared just in time for the appearance of the rare Direct Rail Services movement. The two Mk2 barrier vehicles are numbered 9419 & 9428. 57008 lead the service with 57009 dead on the rear of the consist. The unique train is seen passing Creech St Michael running under caution after crushed ballast had been reported on the rail head near Cogload Jn. (Photo: Steve Yarde)

2011 NEWS
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