JUNE 2011 NEWS : 

2011 WSR Diesel Haulage: (Another Update)

Owing the the failure of D1010 'Western Campaigner' during the 2011 Mixed Traffic Weekend the DEPG have advised that the locomotive will not be working any summer diesel diagrams. An allocation reshuffle has now taken place. The reshuffle also brings the popular Class 25 D7523 into the mix. Revised allocations are shown in the table below.

While the West Somerset Railway is known for it's Steam services, the publicity surrounding the Heritage Diesel fleet which operates on the line often get's overlooked by many. At Taunton Trains we are very much advocates for the promotion of Heritage Diesels on all preserved lines, due to their limited use of passenger trains, freight duties and non standard movements joe public rarely get to witness a working diesel locomotive on the WSR, neither are they educated about their importance of the part they played in creating the modern railway we have today!. Some of the DEPG Diesel fleet are the same age of as some of the steam locomotives which operate on the WSR yet receive but a passing glance from those less informed.

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 47 D1661 "North Star"
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 47 D1661 "North Star"
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

In addition to the booked 'Diesel Diagram' a new venture this year will be the use of the Class 14 'Teddy Bear' on a rare weekday 'Qunatock Belle' service. The Class 14 will operate the following trains, it is possible to book on the Quantock Belle dining service by calling the following number: 01823 433856

Class 14 'Teddy Bear' D9526
Wednesday 8th June 2011
Class 14 'Teddy Bear' D9526
Wednesday 22nd June 2011
Class 14 'Teddy Bear' D9526
Wednesday 6th July 2011



Many years ago Glastonbury Festival would mean Class 37/4's and Loco Hauled trains working regular trips to Castle Cary from Westbury and Taunton throughout the three days either side of the festival. 2011 saw just one additional rake of stock hired in to help cope with the additional passengers. 67002 is seen at East Lyng heading to Castle Cary empty stock having run round at Taunton. on the 27th June. (Photo: Cameron Walker)
Rumours surrounding the current Exeter Alphington Road - Cardiff Tidal scrap suggest that GBRf could be taking over the flow in due course, although no firm confirmation of this transfer of operator has been confirmed. It's been some time since GBRf last operated freight in the South West, and their appearance would make a welcome change to the diet of Green and Red Class 66's. On the 27th June 66050 passes Cogload with the loaded 6B59 from Exeter Alphington Road heading for Cardiff Tidal. (Photo: Cameron Walker)


Mazey Day Medley!

Saturday 25th June provided three early morning tours passing through Taunton heading for Cornwall's 'Mazey Day' celebrations in Penzance. Spitfire Railtours took the bolt step of operating two charters, one of which stopped to pick up passengers from Taunton. Spitfire chose two Class 20's from Direct Rail Services and two 37's from Direct Rail Services. Pathfinder Tours used a pair of veteran Class 31's for their outing to the South West. This rare event saw all three charters pass through Taunton at around thirty minute intervals of one another from around 07:45 onwards.

20308 and 20309 were the first pair of locos to pass through Taunton, hauling 'The Kernow Voyager' from Gloucester to Penzance. Their set also had West Coast Class 57 No.57601 attached to the rear of the train and was formed as follows: 20308+20309: 99680 99328 4905 5032 6528 3359 3360 99678 3150 3148 + 57601. The rare Class 20 outing is seen passing Creech St Michael running as the 1Z37 06:07 Gloucester- Penzance (Photo: Brian Garrett)
20308 and 20309 are seen arriving into Taunton to take their booked passenger pickup at Taunton. The Firepool development in the background is certainly adding some impact to Southbound photos in the Taunton Station area. West Coast Railways 57601 can also be seen on the rear of the set. It was not used for assistance, only to provide train supply for the catering and heat on board the set. (Photo: Eddy Napier)
After departing Taunton the pair of veteran Class 20's (formerly 20187+20075) took the slog to Whiteball Tunnel in fine style. The pair are seen here climbing the bank to enter Devon, and record another piece of Railway History. It's thought the last time a pair of Class 20's visited Penzance on a passenger charter was back in 1986!. The last time a pair visited Taunton was on a John Fishwick & Sons charter on May 6th 2000 hauling 'The Somerset Fusilier' usiting DRS pairing 20308 and 20311 (Photo: Phil Lindsey)
Spitfire Railtours second charter 'The Kernow Explorer III' passed Taunton at 08:25 formed as follows:
37409 'Lord Hinton' +37229: 99723 99121 99352 99679 3143 99347 1861 4973 5035 4940 5478. The charter operated as the 1Z31 05:03 Birmingham International- Penzance. This was the first time 37409 has visited Taunton since its reinstatement to traffic by DRS (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Pathfinder Railtours bought up the rear of the veteran procession with their pair of DCR Class 31's. 601 and 190 have seen a lot of use during 2011, and it's good to see them making a visit back to the South West. The 1Z20 05:20 Tame Bridge Parkway- Penzance passes Creech St Michael hauling 'The Mazey Day Cornishman' and was formed as follows: 31601+31190 5276 5322 4927 4959 1813 3144 3146 3141 3107 1692 3330 3348 35469. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Class 31's 601 and 190 have both had checkered histories on the UK Rail Network, but both locos now seem have found a good him with DCR Railways based at Washwood Heath in Birmingham. Its thought this was the first time a pair of Class 31's had revisited Penzance since a charter from Leamington Spa back in June 2002 using 31601 and 31452. Here 601 and 190 are seen passing Westford Crossing in Wellington before the climb to Whiteball. (Photo: Phil Lindsey)
37229 and 37409 were the first heritage locos to return North from Penzance. The late afternoon saw a dramatic weather change, with clearing skies and full sun we were able to record this early evening shot of the pair of English Electric Type 3's storming North through Cogload Jn back to Tame Bridge Parkway. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
The later arrival of the following two tours from Penzance meant the sun had set before they passed through the area. Silver Buffered 20309 leads 20308 into Taunton after a good run up from Penzance. The tour arrived early into Taunton and was later held at Obridge until it's booked departure time. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
The return Class 31 charter nearly didn't happen after a shunting incident at Penzance with the stock. The charter was then delayed getting a platform at Penzance. It was always planned that a DB Schenker loco would assist the tour on the return from Plymouth but the Class 31's had a storming run back, completing Newton Abbot to Taunton in 40 minutes. This record shot shows 67001 with 31190 and 601 doing all the work running at line speed through Taunton heading back to Birmingham International. (Photo: Brian Garrett)


The railway whirlwind returned to Somerset on Sunday 19th June by way of an empty stock move from Didcot to the West Somerset Railway. A1 Pacific No.60163 'Tornado' passed through Taunton at 16:45 with its two support coaches in tow. The loco will be based and operating on the West Somerset Railway during the rest of June. For more details on these workings please see the West Somerset Railways own website. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
The stable weather of June has well and truly been lost this Summer, with more rain showers, wind and poor light replacing the normally sunny conditions. The 18th June was no exception when 70013 'Oliver Cromwell' arrived onto the West Somerset Railway. The loco had hauled 'The West Somerset Explorer' from Paddington to Taunton. It's seen here crossing onto the West Somerset Railway at Norton Fitzwarren before attaching DEPG Class 35 'Hymek' at Bishops Lydeard for the run through to Minehead. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
We continue our look at 'Steam Train Assistance' with this amazing combination on the West Somerset Railway. Britannia Class Steam Locomotive No.70013 'Oliver Cromwell' worked the 'West Somerset Explorer' from Paddington to Bishops Lydeard where D7017 was added to the front of the train. The Hymek provided assistance to haul the 12 coach train through to Minehead. The brilliant and rare use of a Diesel on the WSR is captured at Crowcombe at the top of the first climb from Bishops Lydeard. (Photo: Brian Garrett)


From the sucsessful West Somerset Railway 'Mixed Traffic Weekend' we have been able to bring you a few additional images from the three day event. We would like to thank Cameron Walker and Mike Pollard for sending us these excellent extra images for use on Taunton Trains.


Photos and a full report on the West Somerset Railway 'Mixed Traffic Weekend' will be added to our Weebly Website in due course. We are currently in the process of editing images from all three days of the event. Many thanks to all those who have also submitted images to Taunton Trains, we will endeavor to display these in due course as well. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
We are all familiar with seeing First Great Western HST's but many forget that some times the powercars need to move without their coaching stock. These 'light engine/ powercar' moves often provide some interesting formations to capture running on the mainline. During Monday 13th June, FGW operated the 0Z77 14:00 Old Oak Common - Laira move formed of just 43192 and 43091. They were captured at Longforth Farm near Wellington heading South. (Photo John White)
The Torbay Express hasn't got off to a good start for the 2011 season. After having 47815 tucked inside because of a fire risk last week, this week the charter was declared a failure at Tiverton and required the assistance of 47815. The Class 47 was in Bristol and so had to be driven down to Tiverton in order to rescue the stricken steam charter. This exclusive image was recorded at 22:45 on Sunday 12th June, showing 47815 'Great Western' hauling 71000 'Duke of Gloucester' home to Bristol. The charter departing Taunton 212 minutes late!! (Photo: Brian Garrett)
After a successful weekend of celebrations and operations on the West Somerset Railway, 59002 finally rolled through Taunton at 21:20 running rather behind schedule. 59002 lead the Class 59 convoy for the trip back to Merehead with 59001, 59206 and 59103 in tow, complete with set of six JNA box wagons. (Photo: Mike Pollard)
Friday 10th June provided the colourful sight of 4 Class 59's of various sub classes passing through Taunton shortly before 06:45. 59001, 59103, 59206 and 59002 conveyed a rake of 6 JNA box wagons from Merehead to Bishops Lydeard. The locos (and wagons) were visiting to take part in the West Somerset Railway 'Mixed Traffic Weekend' which coincided with the 25th Birthday of the original Class 59/0's. All the locos had been specially cleaned (top to bottom) and had their lower skirts repainted gloss black for the event. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Taunton was visited by one of Network Rails three EMTRS fitted Class 97 locomotives on June 7th. 97301 (formerly 37100) operated the 2Q88 08:35 Merehead - Plymouth test train with track recording coach 999508 and DBSO 9701. The set is due stable at Bishops Lydeard over the weekend. 97301 is seen passing Longforth Farm (Wellington) on route South to Laira. (Photo: John White)
An additional view of 97301 is provided at Norton Fitzwarren in the rain shortly after 2Q88 passed through Taunton, the track recording train is seen accelerating through Norton Fitzwarren heading South. The track recording run was already running 38 minutes early upon passing through Taunton. (Photo: Paul Finnimore)


The 2011 'Torbay Express' season kicked off with a rare but not entirely unauthentic locomotive pairing. Because of the line side fires caused by 6024 'King Edward I' on Saturday 4th June, standby locomotive Class 47 No.47815 'Great Western' was marshaled inside 71000 'Duke of Gloucester' for the annual Torbay Express charter from Bristol Temple Meads to Kingswear and return. While many steam enthusiasts may not have been pleased by the appearance of a 'diesel' on the train. It has to be said the pairing looked entirely in keeping with an event with 'could of' or 'possibly' happen in the 1960's. The mainline is rather short of steam/ diesel combinations and today's Torbay Express made a nice change from the norm! 47815 'Great Western' is a genuine Western Region locomotive which was originally delivered as D1748 to Swansea Depot in 1964. It gained the name 'Great Western' on the 11th September 2005 at Crewe Works open day. It's perhaps a tad ironic that this weekend has seen two former First Great Western locomotives returning to the South West, both assisting Steam Locomotives on charters. We have featured three images from the return 1Z28 Kingswear - Bristol Temple Meads 'Torbay Express' on the 5th June, which caused a large amount of interest to those fans returning from Somerset's victory in the 20/20 cricket. Also featured is the ERF Fire Water Bowser which was used to replenish Duke of Gloucester's water supply during its booked stop at Taunton. I'm sure all concerned will be hoping for some much required rain in the coming week to secure a full steam schedule next weekend. (All Photos: Brian Garrett)
The Railway Touring Companies 'The Devonian' ran into trouble on June 4th after Steam Locomotive No.6024 set off several line side fires between Bristol and Taunton. The tour originated from Birmingham International and was hauled by former First Great Western 57601. It was perhaps a tad ironic that the former 'Purple Ronnie' was reattached to the front of the charter at Taunton in order to prevent King Edward I from burning any more of Network Rails vegetation conservation. The rare and unique pairing can be seen departing Taunton. (Photo: Jeff Treece)
The sight of steam climbing Whiteball Bank is always impressive, although this equally unique (and perhaps historic) view of 57601 leading 6024 'King Edward I' up Whiteball at Beambridge is also an impressive sight. The return tour from Plymouth also operated with the same formation and ran early due to the lack of water stops required. (Photo: Sclub)

Royalty came to the South West on Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd June, although it wasn't until Friday that HRH Queen Elizabeth traveled to Penzance from London on a Royal Engagement in the Scilly Isles. Prince Philip also attended the visit having visited Plymouth on Thursday night and meeting The Queen in Penzance next morning. 67005 is seen passing 40 Steps on the return empty trip from Penzance to Wolverton works where the Royal Train is maintained. (Photo Jeff Treece)

Having been held in Taunton Station for nearly 15 minutes to allow a local stopping service to depart the rare Royal Rail departed for Wolverton. 67005 is seen making good pace along the Somerset Levels at Oath between Taunton and Langport. (Photo: Paul Finnimore)

2011 NEWS
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