Freightliner Heavy Haul also operated another ballast train from Stud Farm to top up the supplies at Exeter Riverside Yard. On the 30th January 2013, Freightliner Class 66/6 No.66621 passes Taunton with the return empty IOA wagons as the 6M40 10:34 Exeter Riverside - Stud Farm. (Photo: Tony Christie)
Colas Rail Freight are now stepping up their log operations in the South West and for the first time operated two trains in one week. On the 30th January 2013, Colas Rail Freight Class 56 No.56094 passes Creech St Michael with the 6Z52 Chirk - Teigngrace log empties heading for loading. (Photo: Tony Christie)
DB Schenker provided a splash of colour through Taunton on the 30th January, but only after their appearance on the Moorswater Cement went wrong when EWS liveried Class 66 No.66030 gained severe wheel flats and the train was terminated at Exeter Riverside.s. DB Schenker liveried Class 59 No.59204 was sent to collect cement PCA's from Exeter Riverside Yard and return them to Westbury Cement Works. The rare daylight northbound cement tanks are seen passing 40 Steps, Taunton. (Photo: Tony Christie)


Great British Railway Journeys

This coming week will feature the South West (including Taunton and the West Somerset Railway) in the current series of Michael Portillo's Great British Railway Journeys. Mr Portillo was spotted at Taunton last summer filming at Taunton Station. This week's episodes follow him (and his Bradshaw's Guide) from London Paddington to Newton Abbot.

The series can be viewed on BBC 2 at 18:30 each weeknight, or on the BBC's online iPlayer service.


After visiting Somerset and Devon in full snow on Wednesday 23rd January, Colas Rail Freight Class 56 No.56094 returns North to Chirk on Thursday 24th January with the loaded 6Z53 logs from Teigngrace. As the low winter sun sets, 56094 passes Norton Fitzwarren through the melting snow. Note the addition of two newly imported timber wagons at the front of the train. Soon these will become a common sight on this service. (Photo: Quentin Hawkes)
Having just passed through Taunton Station, Colas Rail Freight Class 56 No.56094 hauls the 6Z53 from Teigngrace to Chirk. (Photo: Wayne Potter)



The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) Insurance Cap Regulation Change Proposal

The regulation of insurance payout for charter trains in the UK is set to change. Currently the rail operators pay a max fine of £5000 if a train is delayed to the point that it badly delays other services, and if the fine amount is more than £5k, Network Rail pick up the excess. The ORR is looking to lift that cap, meaning charter trains would be a potential money grave for operators, and the heritage image of our railways would be left severely damaged. An online petition has been set up for people to sign in opposition to this change.

The petition is to go to the DfT, to forward to the ORR in support of the cap on insurance payout's, and the continued operation of our many thousand mainline rail excursions per year.

Objections can also be forwarded in writing to Robert Mills at the ORR before January 28th: Robert.mills@orr.gov.uk

To sign the online petition and support Charter Train (Steam, Diesel and Special Excursions) operators in the UK please visit the following link. PETITION



In less pleasing news we are sad to report that West Coast Railways Class 47 No.47500 has been involved in a major derailment and ensuing fire in the Salford area of Manchester. The incident happened around 14:45 on the 23rd January at Windsor Bridge, close to Salford Crescent. The loco was working an empty coaching stock move at the time, and only the driver was on board the train. 47500 was first built in 1966 and became a Western Region Class 47 from 1979 when it was also named 'Great Western', the loco later found fame when it was painted into BR Brunswick Green for the GWR 150 Celebrations. After a period out of use the loco found a new lease of live with West Coast Railways.
When we said Winter had truly arrived last weekend, we were obviously unprepared for the week ahead. After another day of unprecedented snowfall in Somerset, the railways continued to operate in better fashion than the roads, schools and business's of Taunton.In a true 'Winter Wonderland' Colas Rail Freight Class 56 No.59094 passes Ash Overbridge near Wellington with the 6Z52 07:13 Chirk to Teigngrace empty log wagons. (Photo: Mike Rowland)
Seen passing the snowy scene at 40 Steps, Taunton this second view of the grubby Colas Rail Freight Class 56 No.56094 powers onwards through the snow with the 6Z52 07:13 Chirk to Teigngrace empty log wagons (Photo: Phil Izzard)
Also captured in the snow at 40 Steps was Freightliner Heavy Haul's Class 66 No.66606 which was shunting part of the Network Rail HOBC set on the Fairwater Yard Headshunt. This view will be set to change over the coming months with the financial approve now given by the Government for Taunton's Northern Inner Distributor Road (NIDR) project. Get your photos of this piece of history while you can! (Photo: Phil Izzard)
Winter truly arrived in Taunton on the 18th January with between around two - four inches of snow falling over Somerset during the day. While much of the snow melted fairly quickly some outlying areas held on to their whiteness for a while longer. On the 19th January 2013, First Great Western HST's pass at Creech St Michael. 43032 and 43182 approach the camera with the late running 1C76 09:06 Paddington - Plymouth, while 43142 and 43139 1A15 09:18 Paignton - Paddington via Bristol TM. (Photo: Brian Garrett)


Rail campaigners have responded to recent flooding of the mainline railway near Exeter. Railfuture's Devon and Cornwall branch have written a report "The November 2012 Railway Flooding In Devon", offering some solutions and observations. "We produced this report because there was a major hole in the mainline railway"  said Gerard Duddridge, one of the authors.  "It's a major trunk route which is vulnerable to disruption, and as I live near Cowley Bridge junction it's on my doorstep. It's clear to me that the problems lie in the culverts, which don't have enough capacity and need enlarging." The report also deals with the December flooding, which was largely a repeat of the November incident. "This report pulls together local rail and river knowledge.  We've been able to identify river conditions that give advance warning of flooding, meaning that the railway doesn't have to be taken by surprise". The report can be downloaded here.


We end our week of archive images with this superb negative scan of BR Blue Class 47 No.47510 arriving into Taunton Station in 1978. Note Taunton East Yard bustling with wagons and freight and some very authentic GWR items in the shot as well. (Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)
On the 13th June 1964 a collection of steam locomotives is seen stabled on Taunton Depot. 2-8-0 No.3802 is seen stabled next to GWR Hall No.6900 'Abney Hall'. (Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)
On the 8th December 1963 2-8-0 No.2822 is seen stabled in the Taunton Roundhouse Shed which was situated to the rear of the Southbound platforms at Taunton. (Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)
We move forward to 1965 with this shot of BR Class 42 Warship D831 'Monarch' is seen at Taunton on the 14th April 1962 working the 1C30 10:30 Paddington - Penzance.At the time the loco carried full BR Green livery with no yellow nose ends. (Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)
We begin our look back into the archives with a set of images recently purchased as part of the Taunton Trains Collection, the original photographer is unknown and the images arrived with no previous history known. If anyone recognises who may have taken these images we would like to hear from you. We feature BR 2-6-2 Prairie Tank No.5185 at Taunton, on the 24th June 1958 with a mixture of coaching stock in tow. Note the centre platform had a canopy at this time, (Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)



We have recently been updating various parts of the website with new material. During the next week we will also be featuring a new image each weeknight featuring previously unseen archive photos from the Taunton Trains collection. These will be hosted on our front page and added to the Taunton Trains Collection page as the week progresses.

A list of the current 2013 Steam and Diesel charters booked to visit Taunton has been added. The list will be kept up to date as the charter season progresses. The list can be found on our TOURS page.

WSR 'The Early Years' has also been updated with two new images added to the current collection of images.

Our Archive Page contains all the latest information on workings through Taunton, with 2012 now completed.



Taunton Station was visited by DRS Class 37's during the early hours of the 12th January. DRS Class 37's No's.37603 & 37607 worked Network Rail's UTU1 (Ultrasonic Test Train) from Bristol to Exeter pausing at Taunton at 00:50 before returning north to Newport Hereford Crewe & Derby. The train started off the week with DRS Class 37/4 No.37423 working with a DBSO but both failed. UTU1 was then over by 603 & 607 from Thursday night. 37603 is pictured having arrived at Taunton at 00:50! (Photo: Darren Harris)
Colas Rail Freight continue to provide Class 56's for their South West log trains, on the 9th January 2013, Class 56 No.56094 brightened up the Winter gloom hauling the 6Z52 Chirk to Teigngrace empty log wagons. The loco is seen passing the Taunton based depot of International Road Haulier Norbert Dentressangle at Silk Mills. (Photo: Brian Pibworth)
Direct Rail Services operated a Nuclear Flask from Crewe to Keyham on the 8th January. A grubby Class 66/4 was supplied in the shape of No.66421. The locomotive is seen passing 40 Steps, Taunton hauling the 6Z40 04:33 Crewe to Keyham, with KUA MODA Flask Wagon No.95771 in tow. (Photo: Brian Pibworth)
January kicks off with a round of Sunday engineers trains returning to Westbury.DB Schenker were the first to provide two EWS liveried Class 66's. No's 66100 & 66150 top and tailed a rake of Autoballasters back to Westbury as the 6W40 08:05 Penwithers Junction to Westbury. Three of the five Autoballasters were still loaded with ballast. The train is seen passing Cogload Junction. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Freightliner Intermodal Class 66's are now often used on South West weekend engineering trains. While they look the same as Heavy Haul locomotives, this is believed to be the first ever time Freightliner Class 66 No.66533 has ever visited Taunton. Intermodal Class 66's arrive at Bristol FLT on a Friday evening, and are not required until Monday morning by Freightliner Intermodal, so their use on weekend engineering trains seems sensible! 66533 'Senator Express' passes a misty Cogload Junction with the 6Y97 08:30 Liskeard to Westbury. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Also visiting from Freightliner Intermodal was Class 66 No.66543. The locomotive was employed to haul the 6Y27 08:15 Ufton Down Goods Loop - Hackney Yard long welded rail train. This paused in a foggy Taunton Station between 08:35 and 09:35 before continuing to Hackney Yard (Newton Abbot). After dropping the train at Hackney Yard the loco returned light engine as 0Y27 11:28 Hackney Yard to Stoke Gifford. Here the loco will be serviced in time for it to return to Bristol FLT on Monday morning. The locomotive is seen passing Cogload Junction returning to Bristol. (Photo: Brian Garrett)


We would like to wish all our readers a Happy New Year for 2013. We have turned the clock back 10 years to show this image at Cogload Junction taken on a cold and wet 5th January 2003. First liveried Class 43 No.43133 leads 43144 south with the 08:30 Paddington - Penzance service. Note the transition of the third generation 'Barbie' livery which had begun to creep into HST sets during this time. We hope 2013 will provide even more variety for Taunton Trains, as usual we have lots of ideas in the pipe line to expand the website and we would like to thank all those who submit material/ information to the website for us to feature. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
The West Somerset Railway held it's annual 'Winter Steam Festival' on the weekend of the 29th and 30th December, using most of the steam locomotives on the line. Many visitors ventured out to enjoy the sights and sounds of steam operating through the Somerset Countryside in the blustery (and somewhat damp) conditions. GWR Hall NO.6960 'Ravingham Hall' arrives into Blue Anchor with the 11:35 from Minehead to Bishops Lydeard. (Photo: Alex Martin-Brown)
GWR Manor No.7828 'Odney Manor' is seen on the turntable at Minehead being turned in preparation for it's next service train to Bishops Lydeard. The impressive line up of people around the turntable shows just how many enthusiasts and families attended the event. (Photo: Alex Martin-Brown)


6V62 Fawley - Tavistock Jn:

We start our review of 2012 with a detailed look at one particular working. The 6V62 Fawley - Tavistock Jn fuel tanks has its own dedicated LOG which is constantly being worked upon. At the end of 2012 it now records a staggering 2289 separate workings of this train, all recorded since 1988. The log has been complied by Brian Garrett over the past 16 years with a large input from enthusiasts all over the South West and remote parts of the UK! The increase in locos and workings for 2012 is slightly misleading as this accounts for a couple of failures with trains being towed, and operating on consecutive days. (See notable workings)

2001 = 144
2001 = 91
2002 = 147
2002 = 153
2003 = 155
2003 = 96

2004 = 139

2004 = 106
2005 = 109
2005 = 83
2006 = 104
2006 = 72
2007 = 102
2007 = 72
2008 = 76
2008 = 57
2009 = 52
2009 = 44
2010 = 52
2010 = 45
2011 = 50
2011 = 42
2012 = 54
2012 = 50
Locomotive Appearances for 2012:
59204 1
66002 2
66005 1
66007 1
66008 1
66009 1
66013 1
66017 1
66019 1
66020 1
66039 1
66041 1
66050 1
66063 2
66065 1
66066 1
66067 1
66078 1
66081 2
66085 1
66086 1
66089 2
66094 1
66095 1
66096 1
66097 1
66099 1
66101 2
66103 1
66115 1
66124 1
66132 1
66134 1
66141 1
66142 1
66144 1
66148 1
66151 1
66154 1
66165 1
66169 1
66170 1
66176 1
66181 1
66184 1
66188 1
66192 1
66204 1
66207 1
66213 1

Notable workings:

1st May 2012 - 66101 failed near Dunball with a brake problem on a TTA tank. The working finally departed Taunton at 19:12

22nd May 2012 - 66039 failed at Salisbury and was towed to Westbury by 59204. The train was cancelled at Westbury but continued on the 23rd May with 66086.

23rd October 2012 - 66089 was halted at Bristol Temple Meads. (No reason given) 6V62 was cancelled and ran the next day at the 6C62 Bristol TM - St Blazey.

27th November 2012- 66013 operated 6V62 to Bristol SPM only due to flooding at Cowley Bridge Junction.

Locos still to work 6V62:

At the end of 2002 there were 49 Class 66's which hadn't worked 6V62
At the end of 2003 there were 31 Class 66's which hadn't worked 6V62
At the end of 2004 there were ?? Class 66's which hadn't worked 6V62
At the end of 2005 there were 14 Class 66's which hadn't worked 6V62
At the end of 2006 there were 11 Class 66's which hadn't worked 6V62
At the end of 2007 there were 7 Class 66's which hadn't worked 6V62
At the end of 2008 there were 6 Class 66's which hadn't worked 6V62
At the end of 2009 there were 5 Class 66's which hadn't worked 6V62
At the end of 2010 there were 5 Class 66's which hadn't worked 6V62
At the end of 2011 there were 5 Class 66's which hadn't worked 6V62
At the end of 2012 there were 5 Class 66's which hadn't worked 6V62

How Many DB Class 66's haven't worked 6V62?
At the end of 2010 there are just 5 Class 66's left to work the service:
66022, 66120, 66157, 66193, 66236
66022 & 66236 are currently in the French ECR Pool.
Which Locos are the most common on 6V62? :
37's: 37890 68 Recorded Appearances
47's: 47277 46 Recorded Appearances
58's: 58011 13 Recorded Appearances
60's: 60024, 027, 031, 081 with 2 Appearances Each! (29% of the Class have now worked 6V62)
66's: 66162 15 Recorded Appearances
Further Reading on 6V62:
The Full 6V62 Log Can be found at: http://www.tauntontrains.co.uk/6V62_FAWLEY.htm



Our Archive pages have been updated with the latest 'Weekly Taunton Logs' completed up to the middle of December. Further end of year updates will take place over the coming weeks.
Our 'Along the Barnstaple Branch' Memories Page has been updated with additional images from the line, recording the final DMU service to work along the line October 1966.

2013 NEWS
Want to look at what happened in NEWS from 2009 - 2012 ? Have a look in our Archive Page