Sunday 22nd September 2013 saw the Diesel & Electric Preservation Group celebrate their 40th Anniversary. The group organised a special charter service from Bishops Lydeard to Williton (for a meal and presentation) before the train continued to Minehead. Many original founders, members, and those who have been involved with diesel locomotive preservation over the years joined the special train. A group shot was held at Crowcombe Heathfield station to mark the event. We would like to thank Cameron Walker and Steve Lewis for the photos, video and information from the day. A comparison image from Chris Perkins showing D7017 at Taunton in 1975 is included to show the superb work which has been carried out since the DEPG was formed.


Looking more like it needs a trip working to the train wash than to a virtual quarry, Bardon Aggregates Class 66/6 No.66623 'Bill Bolsover' arrives into Taunton hauling the daily 6C73 Westbury - Fairwater Yard loaded HOBC portion. The filthy Class 66/6 is one of many freightliner examples which see little 'TLC' with regards to their company image and appearance. We recommend photographers make the most 40 Steps in its current guise as it's due to close at the end of this month! (Photo: Wayne Potter)
Another irregular flow which crops up from time to time in the Taunton area is ballast from Stud Farm in Wales. On the 25th September Class 66/5 No.66512 passes Cogload Junction with the 6M40 Exeter Riverside - Stud Farm empties formed of Network Rail IOA box wagons. (Photo: Wayne Potter)
Having resided in Platform 1 for the weekend, Class 56 No.56312 operated to Westbury and back on Tuesday 24th September. The loco departed at 07:20 to Westbury where it then worked the 0Z56 Westbury - Westbury via Merehead and Swindon, then returned to Taunton light engine as the 12:30 from Westbury. 56312 then became the first locomotive to use the newly constructed stabling sidings behind Platform 1 at Taunton, where it's pictured. (Photo: Jason Prole) *Photo taken with permission by trained & qualified personnel with permission.


The 19th, 20th, 21st September saw 'Jeremiah Dixon' visit Taunton. I'm sure many will of never heard of the person, but the locomotive to which these nameplates are attached also holds an interesting history! The former BR Type 5 No.56312 has recently been repainted into the new DC Rail livery of all over grey, and named by British American Railways (BARS) with the name 'Jeremiah Dixon, Son of County Durham, Surveyor of the Mason - Dixon Line USA' . The Class 56 arrived to stabled in Platform 1 at Taunton for the weekend late on the 21st September having hauled several wagons from Long Marston to Totton (Southampton). It's thought this is the first Class 56 to have ever stabled in Platform 1 at Taunton (Photos: Brian Garrett & Nathan Williamson)
56312 has had an interesting life in recent years, the locomotive ended its mainline career with EWS in 2004/2005, is was one of 135 locomotives built for British Rail in the 1980's. 003 starting life being built by Electroputere, Romania. 56003 left revenue earning service wearing faded load haul colours, and was based at the Glocuestershire and Warwickshire railway while it was cared for by volunteers. By 2006 the loco was wearing a fresh coat of the popular Load Haul 'black and orange' livery. However 003's time in preservation didn't last long. As is the case with many preservation entries with locomotives in the last 10 years, many locomotives have been kept operational by willing volunteers, until a mainline operating company bids to return them to mainline use. In 2006 56003 was owned by Hanson Traction and relocated to Wansford on the Neane Valley Railway where the locomotive was overhauled, and repainted into the striking purple, green and yellow livery with large body side name 'ARTEMIS'. The loco was also renumbered to 56312. Since this reintroduction 56312 has traveled all over the UK network (including visiting Taunton many times previously), working all manner of services for Hanson Traction/ British American Railway Services (BARS)/ DCR. 56312 also became a mobile billboard to advertise the York Railfest event. The application of the new livery to 56312 with 'DC Rail' branding will hopefully see more of the fleet carrying a corporate livery. (Photos: Brian Garrett, Paul Finnimore, Jeff Treece)




Friday 20th September saw a rare incident at occur at Taunton, Cross Country Class 220 No.220016 was working the 1M49 09:40 Penzance to Manchester Piccadilly when between Tiverton Parkway and Taunton the service ran into a tree near Wellington. The impact with the tree cracked the windscreen of the driving car. Luckily no one was injured by the impact. After ensuring the train was safe the train was given permission to proceeded to Taunton at reduced speed where the serve was cancelled. All passengers on board were transferred to the following Cross Country HST service. Platform 5 was rather crowded with passengers whilst parts of the the tree were removed from the line at Wellington to enable following services to pass without incident. The Class 220 Voyager later returned to Exeter empty using its undamaged cab end to drive from. (Photos: Nathan Williamson)


The Network Rail NMT always provides a bright photo no matter what the weather, the HST has been traversing the UK rail network for well over 10 years and continues to provide Network Rail with invaluable track data and analysis to help reduce delays, and pinpoint maintenance issues. On the 20th September 43062 'John Armitt' passes through Taunton with 43014 at the rear of the set, working the 1Q19 10:01 Plymouth - Paddington test train. (Photo: Nathan Williamson)
The A1 Steam Trust's A1 Pacific Steam Locomotive No.60163 'Tornado' paid a quick visit to the South West on Tuesday 17th September, hauling Steam Dreams 'Cathedrals Express' the locomotive visited Kingswear from Staines during the day, and is seen here at Taunton on the return leg to London during a booked stop. The locomotive is also seen departing from Taunton to Staines on the youtube video clip below. (Photo & Video: Nathan Williamson)


The final Torbay Express of the year featured a revised route to Taunton, the steam hauled charter was re timed to depart Bristol Temple Meads at 07:55 and routed via Bath, Westbury and Castle Cary to Taunton over the B&H route, rather than the traditional direct route from Bristol. No.34046 'Braunton' is seen at Stoke St Gregory on the Somerset Levels on route to Taunton to pick up its normal arrival slot at 10:15. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Freightliner Heavy Haul continue to operate heavy stone trains for the Network Rail HOBC set, based at Taunton. On Saturday 14th September Class 66/6 No.66621 was used to operate the 6A84 11:20 Fairwater Yard - Westbury HOBC empties. The wagons will be filled with ballast at Westbury before being returned to Taunton and marshaled into the HOBC ready for the evening departure. 66621 passes Cogload Junction running 20 late having been held for two previous late running passenger services. (Photo: Brian Garrett)


Taunton was visited by two steam charter services on Sunday 8th September, first charter was The Railway Touring Companies' 'The Royal Duchy' headed by BR Standard 7P No.70013 'Oliver Cromwell'. The charter operated from Bristol Temple Meads (departing at 08:38) calling at Yatton and Taunton on route to Par in Cornwall. The second charter of the morning was 'The Torbay Express' hauled by Southern Region West country No.34046 'Braunton'. The Torbay Express operated from Bristol Temple Meads to Kingswear in Devon. Both steam locomotives are pictured passing Banklands (Near Cogload Junction) on route to their designations in Devon and Cornwall. (Photos: Brian Garrett)


At Taunton Trains we are always looking to continue to build our online archive of images from the past in relation to railway related topics. Our own 'Taunton Trains Collection' is growing nicley, but it's always nice to recive images from individuals to help contrinbute to the ongoing historical importance. We would like to thank Kevin Auger for his contribution which has allowed us to update our Class 47 and Class 52 Pictorial pages, and create a brand new page featuring the Class 35 'Hymeks'.

Our Taunton Trains Collection page has also been updated with a couple of additional images which have been recently sourced, and our Archive page has also been updated with all the latest recorded workings from the Taunton area.

If you have any images, stories, or information relating to Taunton we are always keen to hear from anyone who may be able to provide information for the website via our EMAIL:

(Photo: Kevin Auger)


2013 NEWS
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