JULY 2011 NEWS : 

More heritage diesel action was provided on the West Somerset Railway this weekend, with Class 25 D7523 working the Summer Diesel Diagram on Friday 29th July, and Class 33 D6566 covering the operation on Saturday 30th July. During a run round at Minehead, D7523 is seen passing resident Minehead shunter Class 03 D2133. (Photo: John Mills)
D6566 often finds a little spot to stable at Bishops Lydeard. The locomotive was seen stabled on Friday 29th July, before it was used to haul passenger trains on the 30th July. Next weekend it will be the turn of freshly repainted D832 'Onslaught' to make it's latest debut in its new BR Green colour scheme. (Photo: John Mills)



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).



Thursday 22nd July saw Direct Rail Services pass through Taunton, working a Network Rail inspection saloon back to Derby. 37423 'Spirit of the Lakes' propelled inspection saloon 'Caroline' North through Taunton while working the 5Z02 Exeter New Yard - Derby RTC. The loco only passed Taunton heading North as the previous day it had reached Exeter via the Southern route from London. It's seen here passing Longforth Farm near Wellington. (Photo: John White)
'The Duke of Gloucester' arrived on the West Somerset Railway on Wednesday 20th July with haulage provided by DB Schenker's Class 66 No.66119. Conditions for the arrival were a trifle damp and dull. This shot was obtained at 40 Steps as 66619 leads 71000 onto the relief line before passing over to the West Somerset Railway at Norton Fitzwarren. (Photo: Jeff Treece)


Saturday 16th July saw the second day of the WSR/ DEPG Diesel Diagram using locos from the heritage diesel fleet based on the West Somerset Railway. Friday 15th July saw the diagram in the hands of Hymek D7017, while on Saturday, Class 25 No.D7523 'John F Kennedy' provided a superb performance for those on traveling on board. It was nice to see the train well loaded. Further details of the raiming Diesel Operating Days can be found below. (Photo: Brian Garrett)

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 47 D1661 "North Star"
Saturday 20th August 2011
Class 35 'Hymek' D7017
Friday 26th August 2011
Class 42 'Warship' D832 "Onslaught"
Saturday 27th August 2011


With Saturday 9th July providing two tours for Diesel Enthusiasts, Sunday 10th July provided two Steam charters for people to enjoy. Both passed through Taunton within an hour of one another. First to arrive was 5029 'Nunney Castle' operated The Railway Touring Companies 'The Cornishman' working between Bristol Temple Meads through to Par. 5029 storms along the Bradford on Tone straight ready to take the climb to Whiteball shortly after 9am. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Several miles further down the line we catch up with 5029 'Nunney Castle' again with this superb image taken at Longforth Farm, positioned at a foot crossing below the track level gave a superb location to see under the smoke being produced as the loco begins the climb to Whiteball Tunnel. 5029 finally made Par without incident breaking it's curse from it's previous visit when it got no further than Newton Abbot. (Photo: John White)
Summer Sundays provide the regular 'Torbay Express' charters to Kingswear from Bristol Temple Meads. After a shaky start to the season the service seems to have settled down. A1 Pacific No.60163 'Tornado' hauled the 1Z27 charter on Sunday 10th July, and now carries BR Brunswick Green giving the loco a slightly toned down look compared to it's previous LNER Apple Green livery. The loco is seen accelerating away from Taunton at Norton Fitzwarren. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Taken at the same location (Longforth Farm) as the previous Castle shot, 60163 'Tornado' is captured on a long lense as it rounds the bend in style as it also begins the climb to Whiteball barley breaking into a sweat as it does so. (Photo: John White)


67028 returned from its trip to Minehead slightly ahead of schedule at 18:30. The Rail Blue Charter was also piloted by the DEPG Class 33 No.D6566 (33048) between Bishops Lydeard to Minehead and return. The DB Schenker Class 67 is seen here arriving back into Taunton returning the charter to Nuneaton. Curiously the inbound route was via London, and the B&H while the return route for the charter was via Bristol and Birmingham. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
After its flame throwing exploits of the morning southbound run, 55022 was declared fit to return the Spitfire Charter back to Doncaster. With 47804 tucked inside the lead loco (which was always planned to happen anyway) 55022 'Royal Scots Grey' took Taunton at speed racing the charter back to the North. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
55022 'Royal Scots Grey' burst out of Whiteball Tunnel hauling Spitfire Railtours 'The Devonian' as it hurries Northwards to its homeland in Doncaster. The rare visit of a Deltic to the South West certainly turned a few heads over the weekend, many remarking on how they had seen the loco on the BBC news. (Photo: Andy Hunt)


Saturday 9th July provided the chance to view two charters passing through the Taunton area, first to arrive was Rail Blue Charters excursion from Nuneaton to Minehead using a DB Schenker Class 67 No.67028. The loco is seen passing Creech St Michael running some 20 minutes early. The superb BR Blue coaching stock from Cargo D provides a nice matching rake (including a Mk3 sleeping car behind the loco!). (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Splitting the two charters was a visit from one of two Class 153's which are on hire to First Great Western from London Midland. 153333 had been paired up with FGW's own 153305 to work the 2C69 09:00 Cardiff to Taunton stopping service. The rare Green / Grey livery is yet another livery variation to grace the tracks of the South West. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
The second tour passing through the Taunton area provided the chance to view a Deltic at the head of Spitfire Railtours 'The Devonian'. 55022 'Royal Scots Grey' has recently celebrated it's 50th Birthday and made history by working mainline freight for GB Railfreight. The superb sight of Martin Walkers Deltic No.55022 is seen passing Creech St Michael with the 1Z40 from Doncaster to Paignton. Sadly the loco experienced an exhaust fire near Whiteball and was assisted by 47804 which was on the rear of the train. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Gaining speed in the Taunton area, 55022 passes through Taunton Station running approximately 7 minutes ahead of schedule. The visit of Royal Scots Grey to the South West was thought to be the first visit of a Deltic hauling a passenger train since 2008. The train was formed as follows: 5453, 5033,
5035, 4973, 4905, 4940, 6528, 3326, 3351, 3362, 3150, 3148, 17102 (Photo: Steve Yarde)
Here 55022 is seen at Longforth Farm near Wellington, just minutes before it's exhaust fire put pay to a full blown assault into Devon. As the locomotive entered Devon it was quickly routed into Tiverton Loop where 47804 was removed from the rear of the train and added to the front. The Class 47 then lead the Tour through to Paignton. (Photo: John White)

2011 NEWS
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