Friday 30th September saw the Network Rail Radio Survey train out on its rounds again. The 1Q13 from Didcot to Derby ran via Taunton and Exeter. 37601 lead the train South with 37611 on the rear. Both locos provided by DRS with DB Schenker drivers. The Radio Survey train is seen rounding the curve at the foot crossing at Longlands Farm, Wellington. (Photo: John White)
Sandite Season is also upon us (although from the weather of the previous week you wouldn't think so!) 66199 and 66006 are the current locomotives provided for this messy job. The timings remain the same as last year. Monday - Saturday it passes up through Taunton about 07:30, returning about 12:30 in the afternoon. (Photo: John White)



Spitfire Railtours have announced their annual charter from Taunton which will run on November 5th. '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 November 5th, 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) 21-09-11

Spitfire Railtours have revised 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 (Mini Tour) York (11:30) - TBC - York (15:30)
Saturday 15th October The Jorvic Grolwer III York (16:15) - Taunton (22:40)

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



Overnight engineering work in Liskeard, Digby and Sowton, and Bristol saw several engineers trains visit Taunton late on Saturday 17th September. One of the rarest locos was 59004 which had been hired in by DB Schenker from Mendip Rail to work the 6W36 Westbury - Liskeard & 6W38 return. Even rarer still was it's visit to Cornwall, which may have been the first time a 59 has ventured West of the Tamar with a revenue earning freight train!. 59004 'Paul A Hammond' is seen passing Taunton shortly after the Torbay Express had departed. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Don't forget our 83B Photograpic Website has also been fully updated with all the latest Taunton photographs. The site is slowly expanding after the loss of Fotopic, with photos being added on a regular basis. Why not have a look around the site! 83B Photographic


Sunday 18th September provided the final 'Torbay Express' charter of the 2011 season, and it finished in the pouring rain at Taunton. 6024 'King Edward' 1st' provided traction for the final steam hauled Torbay. It arrived from Bristol without incident on time. After its booked servicing and pathing stop the ever reliable King departed Taunton with plenty of wheel slip on the wet rails. The King is seen here having just arrived at Taunton in torrential rain. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
The end of the 2011 Torbay Express season also brings to a close another difficult year for the train, with several failures and operational problems during the early part of the season, and initial hopes of running every Sunday from May through to September were dashed, with quite a few of the services being cancelled this year due to lack of bookings. The 2011 'Seaside Express' from Bristol to Weymouth during the high summer months also appears to of had an effect on the Torbay. Lets hope a secure package can be put together for 2012. (Photo: Brian Garrett)


Saturday 16th September saw the Railway Touring Company run their 'Mayflower' excursion from London Paddington to Plymouth. LNER A4 Pacific 'Bittern' was used for the leg between Euston and Taunton. The loco is currently painted in 1930's LNER Blue complete with skirts and carrying the number 4492 'Dominian of New Zealand'. It's nearly one year to the day since 60019 last visited the South West when she looked rather different. 4492 passes through Cogload Junction slightly ahead of schedule after a good run down the Berks and Hands. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
After a thirty minute breather at Taunton, Great Western Castle No.5029 'Nunney Castle' was attached to the front of the charter to form a rather odd ball combination for the run through to Plymouth. After a heavy rain shower had passed through the area, the skies cleared in time for the departure of the two locomotives. The Mayflower is seen passing Fairwater Yard at Silk Mills as they accelerate away from Taunton. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
On the climb to Whiteball through wellington 5029 'Nunney Castle' is captured working hard at the front of the train, while 4492 canters along with ease behind. The Castle would again lead the train back to Taunton in the evening before 4492 would then take the charter solo back to London Paddington. Stock for the tour was formed as follows: 17013 3093 99125 99316 3143 99121 99348 1860 4973 5035 (Photo: John White)
The weather for the return trip had all but collapsed for the day, our plans for a lineside shot of the tour were somewhat scuppered by the heavy showers with ever darkening skies. Here 5029 'Nunney Castle' leads 4492 'Dominion of New Zealand' into Taunton with the return leg from Plymouth. Here 5029 would be removed from the train as booked and return to Bishops Lydeard light engine. 5029 will now stay on the WSR to take part in the forthcoming Autumn Steam Gala. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
We are always on the look out for interesting images to feature which don't just feature locomotives. The arrival of 5029 'Nunney Castle' and 4492 'Dominion of New Zealand' provided ample time to look for such a shot. 4492 is pictured during the layover at Taunton with a member of the crew grabbing a quick call on the phone during the stop. Viewed through the cab is the Taunton Station sign beyond. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
A 'colour pop' image shows the Dominion of New Zealand nameplate on the front nose of the A4 at Taunton. The repaint of the loco (owned by Jeremy Hoskins) from BR Green into LNER Garter Blue (complete with skirts) has been a complete success, and the locomotive has proved to be a big hit wearing a different identity! (Photo: Brian Garrett)


4492 passes Cogload Junction on route to Taunton (Video: Brian Garrett) 37604 departs from Taunton in fine style (Video: Nathan Williamson)


The 3rd Class 37 appearance on Friday 16th September was 37409 'Lord Hinton', which had been gainfully coupled to Inspection Saloon 'Caroline' for a Network Rail 'inspection' between Reading and Reading via Taunton!. 37409 is seen having pushed 'Caroline' to Taunton via Evesham, and Henwick. 37409 is seen at Taunton before returning to Reading. (Photo: Nathan Williamson)
Friday 16th September saw Taunton treated to three Class 37's in on day. 37604 and 37059 are seen at Taunton having arrived with the 1Q13 10:54 Bristol Temple Meads - Derby, Network Rail Radio Survey Train. It operated via Taunton, Avonmouth, Highbridge ad Cheltenham before returning to Derby. The Network Rail train is operated by DB Schenker, with hired in traction from Direct Rail Services using drivers from DB Schenker (formerly employed by Serco, who in turn used to operate the trains for Network Rail!) (Photo: Nathan Williamson)
Thursday 15th September provided another chance to view GBRF's new freight flow. Unnamed, original liveried 66711 was the loco provided for the overnight trip to Exeter, and the 6F30 return to Cardiff Tidal. The loco is seen passing 40 steps on route back to Cardiff in the nice evening light at 40 Steps. (Photo: Brian Pibworth)
70000 'Britannia' operated Pathfinder Tours 'The Pompy Pacific' on Saturday 10th September. The charter was originally advertised for 34046 'Braunton' but a series of problem with this locomotive eventually saw Britannia provided as a replacement (itself causing the postponement of the tour after its failed back in May). The locomotive is seen at Taunton on the 10th September ready to depart for the South Coast. (Photo: Phil Izzard)
West Coast Railways sent a very rare visitor to Taunton on the 7th September to collect 'Tangmere' from the WSR. 33207 'Jim Martin' worked light engine from Southall to Taunton, where it stabled in Platform 1 overnight, before then working through to Bishops Lydeard on the 8th in order to return Tangmere to Carnforth for repair. The exceptionally rare sight of a Class 33 in Platform 1 at Taunton is thought to be the first time a Class 33 may have been stabled in Platform 1! (Unless anyone can provide us with a photo to prove otherwise!). (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Tuesday 6th September was the first day of GB Railfreight taking over the scrap metal flow from Alphington Road (Exeter) from DB Schenker. The timings for this flow have been revised owing to a different operational pattern the 6F31 01:49 Cardiff Tidal to Exeter Alphington Road runs via Newton Abbot, which is due Taunton 04:27. The return path is 6F30 16:10 Exeter Alphington Road to Cardiff Tidal, due Taunton 17:58, but this has a 45 minute stop in Tiverton Loop, (which may not always happen) (Photo: Phil Izzard)
The GBRF scrap is next booked to run Tue 13th Sept & Thu 15th Sept. 66718 'Gwyneth Dunwoody' painted in Metronet colours worked the first train, it's seen here crawling into Taunton preparing under caution. (Photo: AMB)
70000 'Britannia' returned to Taunton on Tuesday 6th September having completed it's steam duties in Devon and Cornwall. The loco returned to Taunton from Exeter with it's support coach before working onto the West Somerset Railway. This move was in preparation for 'The Pompy Pacific' charter which would operate the following weekend. The locomotive is seen passing Wellington on route to Taunton. (Photo: John White)
The Fawley Tanks still continue to operate on a Tuesday between Fawley, St Phillips Marsh and Tavistock Junction. The flow is seen on the 6th September running 30 minutes early as the 6C62 15:31 St Phillips Marsh to Tavistock Junction at 40 Steps. (Photo: Nathan Williamson)


Sunday mornings in the Autumn season are a good time to witness engineering trains in the Taunton area. Many turn up at Taunton (either passing through, or to run round) after exiting overnight engineering blockades. On the 4th September 66143 prepares to head back to Westbury having arrived from the North and run round its train of JNA falcons. (Photo: The Timelord)
The West Somerset Railway said farewell to it's popular Class 25 D7523 'John F Kennedy' during their late Summer Weekend gala. The event featured a mix of steam and diesel traction throughout the weekend. D7523 is pictured at Minehead complete with a farewell headboard. The loco (along with D3462 and 03119) are due to the leave the WSR imminently. (Photo: Grumpy)
Seen before troubles had been identified on 'Tangmere' the double headed pairing of 34067 and 70000 'Britannia' are seen passing Banklands at speed on route to Taunton. (Photo: Bob Tucker)
Taunton witnessed three Steam locomotives on two charters on Sunday 4th September, sadly it was only briefly as 34067 'Tangmere' developed a problem and was removed from the train at Fairwater Yard while 47500 was called back to assist 70001 'Britannia' forward to Newquay. 34067 and 70000 (out of sight) are seen here arriving into Taunton with the 'Atlantic Coast Express' which had traveled forward from London Waterloo during Sunday morning. 34067 'Tangmere' was dispatched to the West Somerset Railway where it's now 'conveniently' 'perhaps' as an addition to the WSR Autumn Steam Gala, which already has a Southern appeal! (Photo: Darren Jones)
After a brief stop at Taunton, 34067 'Tangmere' and 70000 'Britannia' take the relief line at Taunton into Fairwater Yard, where Tangmere would eventually be removed from the train, and sent to the West Somerset Railway. West Coast Railways were providing a 'shadow' locomotive in the shape of 47500, which reversed at Wellington to pilot the tour into the South West. (Photo: Jeff Treece)
71000 'Duke of Gloucester' did slightly better than Tangmere on Sunday by hauling 'The Torbay Express' between Bristol Temple Meads and Kingswear. The steam locomotive was also at the centre of several operational problems earlier in the steam season. There now remains just one more Torbay Express of the season left, which will operate on the 18th September before the annual charter ceases for another year. (Photo: John White)

2011 NEWS
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