APRIL 2012 NEWS : 

DB Schenker Management should be hanging their heads in shame today, after providing one of their worst cared for Class 67's for one of the countries top link passenger diagrams. 67027 (which was one of the 2011 Didcot RHTT locos) has not been washed since working this filthy Winter duty. The locomotive was turned out in appalling condition coupled with Royal (and also unwashed) 67005 for the annual South West visit of the Orient Express! The loco worked South to Truro on Friday 27th before returning to Taunton with a Luncheon Special from Plymouth on Saturday 28th. The loco did at least recieve some attention overnight at St Blazey where its yellow warnin panel was cleaned and it's broken drivers windscreen wiper was put back into the upright position. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
In previous years quality of the Class 67's supplied for the annual VSOE South West visit has varied somewhat, however this year 67027 has topped the scale! It just goes to show how little care and time is spent to provide a good impression for such a high value and prestigious contact. This close up view shows the overnight repair carried out on the drivers windscreen wiper, the accumulated grime from the locos 2011 RHTT season, and the damage and glue residue from a removed name plate. Perhaps VSOE will look twice at their choice of traction supplier for the future if locos like 67027 keep appearing on the front of their high value trains, especially when Direct Rail Services provide such immaculately colour coordinated Class 47's for their Northern VSOE services. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
While 'Royal' locomotives to tend to have use on some more 'prestigious' duties, they are no longer cared for or presented in the same way that former Royal Locomotives of the past were. Even when working the Royal Train these locos are rarely turned out in amazing condition. On the 28th April 67005 'Queens Messenger' arrives into Taunton with 67027 working the 1Z71 11:30 Plymouth - Taunton 'Luncheon Special'. After a short stop at Taunton the pair returned to Plymouth. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
With two steam charters booked to pass Taunton on the 28th April there was the makings of a good day. However the British weather put pay to any reasonable photography. Purely for the comedy value we a have included this view of 34067 'Tangmere' double heading (although it's not entirely visible) with 70013 'Oliver Cromwell' at Silk Mills. The pair were working another leg of 'The Great Britain' charter from Bristol Temple Meads through to Penzance. Tangmere (described today as a 'mobile bonfire') managed to obliterate the majority of the South West as it headed South. With Fairwater Yard completely obscured the pair race South. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
The second charter of the day used Tyseley based GWR Castle No.5043 'Earl of Mount Edgcumbe' to work a Bristol - Plymouth leg of a Tyseley - Plymouth charter 'The Devonian' . Sadly the weather worsened further for the passing of the Castle Class locomotives and with swirling winds smoke again played havoc. 5043 is seen passing through Creech St Michael on route to Plymouth. (Photo: Brian Garrett)


Pathfinder Railtours operted their 'Cornwall Explorer' charter from Basingstoke to Penzance on the 21st April, which provided a Class 67 for the run into Devon and Cornwall. Grubby 67025 is seen making the climb to Whiteball before entering Devon. (Photo: Phil Lindsey)

Cross Country added a little splash of colour to their 1V50 09:00 Leeds - Plymouth service on the 15th April by hiring in another powercar from East Midlands Trains. 43076 was paired up with 43303 to work through to Plymouth and back on the 15th April. The colourful combination passes the heavily overgrown location of Creech St Michael before its booked stop at Taunton. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
BR 7P No.70000 departed the West Somerst Railway on the 11th April working the 5Z31 from Bishops Lydeard through to Southall. The loco also had it's white roof removed in favour of the all over painted version. (Photo: Brian Pibworth)
It's not often we see HST rescues like this!! On the 10th April 2012, the 0Z70 Laira to Old Oak Common powercar moved was called upon to help assist the 1A83 from Exeter after it developed an air fault. 43087 and 43144 hauled the set in passenger use to Reading before it was taken out of use and taken empty stock to Old Oak Common. 1A83 was formed of 43124 + LA06 41103 41104 40713 42208 42054 42206 42209 44066 + 43163. 43087 and 43144 are seen towing 1A83 through Creech St Michel shortly after leaving Taunton. (Photo: Cameron Walker)

2012 NEWS
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