The 27th August bought two more Class 47's into the South West. Although this pair were far from the pristine condition of Fridays visitors. 47804 and 47760 teamed up to work Statesman Rail's charter from Birmingham International to Kingswear and return. 47804 is seen at Norton Fitzwarren returning at 19:30 with the late running return leg of the charter to Birmingham. (Photo: Phil Izzard)
With Direct Rail Services now providing traction for the 'Northern Belle' the company has recently out shopped two locomotives from Eastleigh Works painted in matching Northern Belle colours. 47790 'Galloway Princess' and 47832 'Solway Princess' are seen hauling the Northern VSOE from Birmingham International to Paignton, where passengers were able to travel onwards to Kingswear for the Dartmouth Regatta. (Photo: Bob Tucker)
Also heading to Paignton on the 26th August was Pathfinder Railtours 'Torbay Flyer' which bought a second visit of Class 20's in 2011 to the South West, and the first visit of Class 20's to the Paignton Branch since May 1994, an absence of some 17 years!!! 20308 & 20309 worked the 1Z20 from Crewe to Paignton passing through the Taunton area in torrential rain. (Photo: Gary Parsons)
We provide a second look at the matching Northern Belle pairing, passing Longforth Farm near Wellington. 47832 is a former loco from the South West region which has had an interesting life, in recent years it's had many owners and liveries. This latest overhaul and repaint actually brings the locomotive up to a 17 different liveries since it was built in 1964. It's certainly nice to see Direct Rail Services taking a pride in their traction and customers. It certainly makes a change from the unwashed and damaged locomotives' previously supplied by DB Schenker for this operation. Lets hope DRS continue their good work and perhaps win the full VSOE contract! (Photo: John White)


20309 and 20308 storm through Taunton on their return North to Crewe from Paignton hauling Pathfinder Tours 'Torbay Flyer' 47832 'Solway Princess' leads 47790 'Galloway Princess' through Taunton with the return Northern VSOE to Birmingham.


As previously reported on Taunton Trains, it's now been confirmed that the WSR will soon loose three Diesel Locomotives from its current fleet after they were sold by their owner. Popular Class 25 D7523 'John F Kennedy', Class 08 D3642, and Class 03 03119 will be leaving the line during early September. This move will leave the line with a shortage of capable shunting locomotives. It's likely that a larger diesel may be used for these tasks in the interim. The DEPG have always cared and maintained these locos despite their upcoming sale, they have been kept serviceable, and cleaned on a regular basis. All three locomotives first arrived on the WSR during 1994/1995 and have spent nearly 15 years operating along the 20 mile branch.


Next Friday and Saturday are the final two WSR DEPG Diesel Diagram dates for 2011. Friday 26th is currently booked for D7017, Saturday will be D832 'Onslaught'. Further details of the diagrams can be found at the bottom of this page.


Nathan Williamson kindly sent us this link showing the Deltic in action on Saturday. The interlude between the clips provides some added interest! (Video: Nathan Williamson)


55022 makes an impressive sight as it arrives into Taunton from Weston Super Mare, the imposing Diesel certainly turned heads as it hummed through the station platforms heading on to Bishops Lydeard. (Photo: John White)
Saturday 20th August provided another traction highlight for the 50th Birthday year of 55022 'Royal Scots Grey'. The locomotive was hired by GR Railfreight to work a staff charter to Weston-super-Mare. While employees enjoyed a day at the beach, Deltic 022 continued to Bishops Lydeard in order to run round and service the stock. The sight of the impressive locomotive arriving into Bishops Lydeard was the first time a Deltic had set foot on the line for 13 years since D9009 'Alycidon' in October 1998! (Photo: Darren Jones)
55022 arrived onto the West Somerset Railway on time from Weston-super-Mare. This shot shows the 5Z05 empty stock crossing from the relief line onto the veritable grassland which is the Norton Fitzwarren spur to the West Somerset Railway. (Nathan Williamson)
Shortly after passing Norton Fitzwarren 55022 rounds the right hand bend passing the ballast mountains at the WSR Triangle on the approach to Norton Junction. The loco applies a small amount of power to bring the train back up to the line speed of 25mph. (Photo: Ray Coldwell)
Shortly before arriving into Bishops Lydeard, 55022 'Royal Scots Grey' passes Longlands Farm in a lucky patch of light, hauling the empty stock from the GBRF staff charter to Weston-super-Mare. The Deltic was used by GBRF earlier in the year on several freight contracts in the North of England making the BBC News at the time. (Photo: Phil Izzard)
Having been slightly delayed in the Taunton area, 55022 is let loose on the mainline at Bathpool as it accelerates away from Taunton. The trademark exhaust from the two Napier engines is clearly evident. (Photo: Ray Coldwell)
Having had the charter stock, cleaned and watered at Bishops Lydeard, 55022 departed around 16:00 to head back to Weston. It's departure from the Taunton area was somewhat hampered by what appeared to be a track circuit failure to the North of Cogload Junction, between Durston and Banklands. 55022 is seen accelerating away from an unscheduled stop at Banklands with the empty stock for Weston-super-Mare. (Photo: Bob Tucker)
While we always endeavor to bring you good quality images of trains in the Taunton area, there is so much more to railway photography when combining images with editing software. This nicely framed shot at Bishops Lydeard uses unknowing railway enthusiasts as the frame for 55022 as it runs around stock at Bishops Lydeard. Large crowds had gathered at Bishops Lydeard to see the large East Coast locomotive arrive and this provided the opportunity to try a few 'different' photographs to include on the site (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Using some of the more recent HDR technology and several lighting effects, this framed image shows the detail of Royal Scots Grey's bodywork and roof sections in a way they can't normally be viewed. By tweaking effects and exposures within the original image it's quite amazing just how different the finished image can look. (Photo: Brian Garrett)


66552 'Maltby Raider' passed through Taunton on the 17th August 2011, hauling the 6Y28 Hackney Yard to Awre (nr Gloucester) in preparation for an overnight rail pickup. Hackney Yard (Newton Abbot) has seen quite a bit of increased activity in recent months and has now been developed into a rail handling facility. (Photo: Nathan Williamson)
Direct Rail Services operated a crew training special from Crewe to Plymouth on Monday 15th August. The consist used a Class 57/0 No.57009, two DRS barrier vehicles and 37409. The Class 37 was then used for a route refresher run to Paignton from Plymouth on the Tuesday before the whole ensemble returned North on Wednesday. It's presumed the refresher to Paignton was in connection with the forthcoming Pathfinder Charter using DRS Class 20's to Paignton. (Photo: John White)
66601 'The Hope Valley' passes Longforth Farm near Wellington on 15th August hauling the 6Z28 Eastliegh - Hackney Yard CWR train. The loco was returning the empty CWR set for loading at Hackney Yard. (Photo: John White)
Cross Country used a hired in powercar from East Coast on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th August. 43290 from East Coast teamed up with Cross Country's 43303 to work 1V54 06:32 Dundee to Newquay & 2P86 19:55 Newquay to Plymouth on Saturday before returning to Newquay on Sunday morning and then forming the 1S55 to Edinburgh. 43290 is seen on the approach to Taunton at 40 Steps leading the formation Northwards. (Photo: Brian Garrett)


For those people who missed the fleeting visit of Deltic 55022 'Royal Scots Grey' on the 9th July 2011, you will have another chance on the 20th August. The loco has been booked by GB Railfreight to work a charter for staff from London to Weston Super Mare. As the stock will not be able to stable the Weston Super Mare area, it's booked to work forward to Taunton and onto the West Somerset Railway for cleaning and stabling. Royal Scots Grey heads South through Taunton at 13:25 returning at 16:20 to Weston Super Mare.


Saturday 13th August saw DEPG Class 33 No.D6556 (33048) celebrate it's 50th Birthday by hauling the WSR Summer Diesel Diagram. The popular locomotive provided 80 miles of haulage for day trippers and enthusiasts to enjoy. The train was well loaded for most of the day. The 50th Birthday marks another milestone for the plucky locomotive class. The loco will soon be joined by sister loco D6575 (33057) which is nearing the end of an extensive overhaul at Williton. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
D6566 stands at Minehead having arrived with the 15:05 from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead, after a one hour break the loco then worked the 17:35 back from Minehead to Bishops Lydeard. The contrast in passenger types was clearly evident at Bishops Lydeard where Diesel Enthusiasts exited to meet passengers ready to board the evening Quantock Belle dining service! (Photo: Brian Garrett)


Traditional traction returned to the Torbay Express on August 7th when 6024 'King Edward 1' finally made an appearance on the popular summer diagram. The loco also passed 71000 'Duke of Gloucester' at Norton Fizwarren where the loco had been stabled on the Norton Triangle as part of the WSR Vintage Steam Rally weekend. 6024 makes a fine departure from Taunton after it's booked stop. (Photo: Stacey Thew)


Saturday 6th August provided another superb repaint by the Diesel and Electric Preservation Group based at Williton. Ever since arriving on the line D832 'Onslaught' has always carried BR Maroon with full yellow ends, over the years the paint and bodywork had become weather beaten and was in need of attention. (Although by British Rail standards and how these locos were operated on the mainline, then it was probably in quite good condition!). After a lot of attention over the winter the loco wasn't quite ready for the 2011 Mixed Traffic Weekend, it instead appeared in Battleship Grey Primer. The loco was finally out shopped in time to haul the popular summer diesel diagram on the 6th August, working two return trips to Minehead. The 11:40 departure from Bishops Lydeard was very well loaded, and the loco attracted a lot of attention in it's ex-works condition.

D832 is seen at Bishops Lydeard and Crowcombe Heathfield on Saturday 6th August at the head of the 11:40 Bishops Lydeard - Minehead service. (Photos: Brian Garrett)

The Diesel and Electric Preservation Group have also launched their own DVD covering the 2010 Mixed Traction Weekend. Two hours footage is provided from the line side and includes an exclusive cab ride in D7017, the preparation of D1010, behind the scenes at the Williton Traction Depot and archival footage dating back to 1991 from other diesel events on the WSR.

The DVD is priced at £14 and can be purchased from the DEPG via their website. All proceeds go direct to the DEPG and the D7018 engine appeal.

Following the repaint of D832 in BR Green we thought it was only right to dip into the photographic archive. It's been nearly 14 years since a BR Green Warship last appeared on the WSR. But it was sister loco D821 'Greyhound' which was in this livery in 1997 when both surviving Warships operated at the 1997 Diesel Gala weekend. D832 at the time of this image was in BR Blue with full yellow ends, and can be seen departing Crowcombe with BR Green D832. (Photo: Russell Walker)
In a scene not to dissimilar to the 6th August, D821 'Greyhound' is pictured at Bishops Lydeard in 1995 stabled waiting for it's next duty to Minehead. The faded appearance of the loco is in start contracts to the new paint now applied to D832. (Photo: Russell Walker)
May 15th 1997 was not the best of weather for a Diesel Gala Weekend but here D832 'Onslaught' is seen double heading with D821 'Greyhound' passing Castle Hill working a Minehead - Bishops Lydeard service bringing back memories (for those who can remember) of their former mainline career in the South West hauling express passenger services. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
One final shot (which I'm sure we will recreate with Onslaught during 2011). D821 'Greyhound' rolls slowly away from Crowcombe heading for Minehead on the 15th May 1997, this time working as a single loco. (Photo: Brian Garrett)


Also visiting the West Somerset Railway on the 6th August was Nenta Tours charter from Norwich to Minehead. The charter used 'top and tail' Class 47's from West Coast Railways. 47826 (complete with Scarborough Spa Express) advertising is seen arriving onto the West Somerset Railway at Norton Fitzwarren. The former Virgin Trains locomotive was once a regular performer in the South West. 47804 was attached to the rear of the train, and lead the tour back to Norwich from Minehead later in the day. (Photo: Brian Garrett)



Spitfire Railtours have announced their annual charter from Taunton which will run on October 15th 2011. 'The Jorvic Growler III' continues to build on the success of previous charters starting from Taunton, we are pleased to see that Spitfire see Taunton as a good base to start tours from. This year the current destination is York only which gives a four hour break to view the city or explore at your own leisure. Traction is booked for two Class 37's from Direct Rail Services which will depart Taunton around 05:45 on Saturday October 15th, and if booked in advance will be as little as £59.50. Further details can be found on the Spitfire Railtours Website, and a booking form can be downloaded via this link (Booking Form).

(UPDATE) 17-07-11

Spitfire Railtours have now added three additional parts to The Jorvic Growler III charter which are as follows:

Friday 14th October

The Positioning Growler

Preston - Taunton (arr 16:15)
Saturday 15th October The Jorvic Growler III Taunton (05:45)- York (11:15)
Saturday 15th October The Sand Blower (Mini Tour) York (11:30) - Monk Bretton - Bradford Forster Square - York (15:30)
Saturday 15th October The Jorvic Grolwer III York (16:15) - Taunton (22:40)
Sunday 16th October The Exe Tractor Bristol Temple Meads (07:45) - Taunton (08:30) - Exeter - Exmouth - Barnstaple - Yeovil - Brimingham - Preston (20:30)

Further details can be found on the Spitfire Railtours Website, and a booking form can be downloaded via this link (Booking Form).



2011 WSR Diesel Haulage:

The 2011 season will again see the DEPG Diesel Fleet working Friday and Saturday passenger services during the peak holiday season in July and August. The Diesel Diagram will depart Bishops Lydeard at 11:45 & 15:05 on each operational day, and Minehead at 13:15 & 17:35. This year has provided the best selection of diesels for enthusiasts to sample, with most of the DEPG fleet available for traffic 2011 has provided a great line up. A one Day Rover ticket on the WSR costs £15.60 and provides 79 miles of haulage from two return trips between Bishops Lydeard and Minehead. Those with WSRA membership can also use their membership for half price travel.

Class 35 'Hymek' D7017
Friday 15th July 2011
Class 25 D7523 "John F Kennedy"
Saturday 16th July 2011
Class 33 D6566
Friday 22nd July 2011
Class 35 'Hymek' D7017
Saturday 23rd July 2011
Class 25 D7523 "John F Kennedy"
Friday 29th July 2011
Class 33 D6566
Saturday 30th July 2011
Class 35 'Hymek' D7017
Friday 5th August 2011
Class 42 'Warship' D832 "Onslaught"
Saturday 6th August 2011
Class 35 'Hymek' D7017
Sunday 7th August 2011
Class 35 'Hymek' D7017
Friday 12th August 2011
Class 33 D6566
Saturday 13th August 2011
Class 35 'Hymek' D7017
Friday 19th August 2011
Class 33 D6566
Saturday 20th August 2011
Class 35 'Hymek' D7017
Friday 26th August 2011
Class 42 'Warship' D832 "Onslaught"
Saturday 27th August 2011

2011 NEWS
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