DCR Class 56 No.56311 is seen on the 23rd November 2013 passing Banklands with 31190 returning from Taunton to Derby light engine. (Photo: Quentin Hawkes)
Taunton's new stabling sidings resembled a heritage centre on the 22nd November 2013. Probably no one would of ever predicted that in 2013 Taunton would see a Class 56, 47, and 31 stabled 'on depot' at the same time. DCR provided the spectacle with 56311 towing 47769 from Washwood Heath Taunton. After a short shunt the 56 was removed and the Class 31 continued to Okehampton with the Class 47. The 47 was being moved to the Dartmoor Railway to provide batteries for 47375 which had failed. The Class 31 then returned to Taunton light engine and stabled with 56311 for the night. (Photo: Jeff Treece)
DCR Class 56 No.56311 is pictured stabled on Platform 1, having detached the former Virgin Trains/ Riviera Trains Class 47. The Class 56 remained at Taunton while 31190 worked forward to Okehampton. The Class 56 and 31 then departed Taunton back to Derby on Saturday 23rd. (Photo: Jeff Treece)
Virgin Trains liveried Class 47 No.47769 and DCR Class 31 No.31190 are pictured shunting in the new siding complex at Taunton. (Photo: Jeff Treece)
The annual battle with the leaves on the UK rail network is now in full swing, while the stunning 2013 Autumnal colours may look nice this year, the leaves the trees shed, cause a headache for rail head adhesion. Network Rail operate sandite and water jet trains covering the majority of the UK rail network between October and December each year. On the 16th November EWS liveried Class 66 No.66141 leads 66193 south through Cogload Junction with the 3S13 Westbury - St Blazey (via Salisbury) rail head treatment train. (Photo: Brian Garrett)

In preparation for the 2013 'Polar Express' specials on the Dartmoor Railway, DCR moved Class 31 No.31459 and Class 47 No.47375 from Washwood Heath to Okehampton on the 11th November. Class 31 No.31452 provided the traction for the move. It's not known how the former British Rail diesels in former BR Mk2 coaching stock can provide the same experience as a large American Steam locomotive with heritage stock, but the annual event seems to be catching on at the Dartmoor and Weardale Railways with families and children capturing the excitement of Christmas! (Photo: Shaun Mockridge)


Goodbye 40 Steps

The night of the 9th/10th November 2013, saw the 40 Steps Bridge located to the south of Taunton Station finally removed, the span across the railway was taken out to allow work to continue of the Taunton NIDR Road, and Network Rail to complete their new head shunt works for Fairwater Yard. Just a small section of steelwork remained in place adjacent to the Taunton Sorting Office, and the stantion on the Cyril Street side of the crossing. These will be dismantled in due course as they don't need so much interaction with Network Rail in order to do so!

The replacement structure will not be ready until Spring 2014, and unfortunately we can confirm the span from the Sorting Office over the NIDR and Railway will be fully caged in 25mm square mesh! The only opportunity for railway photos may be from the Cyril Street side of the bridge from the disabled ramps.


Colas Rail Freight provided another of their Class 56's to visit the South West on the 5th November. Recent returnee to the mainline No.56113 is pictured passing Bathpool while hauling the 6Z29 Hackney Yard - Westbury long welded rail train. (Photo: Shaun Mockridge)
Another nice Autumnal view of the colourful Class 56 was captured at Norton Fitzwarren as the 6Z29 Hackney Yard - Westbury approached Taunton. 56113 was one of many Class 56's which spent time in France helping with construction trains building TGV lines, before returning to the UK for long term storage. After a period out of use the loco was purchased by Colas who returned the loco work working order. (Photo: Quentin Hawkes)
Network Rail's Track Replacement Train returned to Fairwater Yard on the 4th November, Freightliner Heavy Haul provided traction for the movement with 'top and tailed' Class 66's. No's 66525 & 66956 are seen passing Cogload Junction with the 6X33 Whitemoor Yard - Fairwater Yard. (Photo: Quentin Hawkes)



2013 NEWS
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