|Two Diesel Locomotives from the DEPG base at Williton on the West Somerset Railway have been enjoying their holidays on other preserved railways over the past two weeks. Class 14 No.D9526 attended the 50th Anniversary Gala for the Class 14 at the East Lancs Railway, where 10 members of the class were gathered to celebrate. This stunning video was captured on the Saturday night 'BeerEx' providing 9 operational Class 14's at the head on one train, giving a combined output of over 5500HP! (Video Link: Phil 1629)|
|Class 35 'Hymek' No. D7017 attended the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway's annual Diesel Gala, substituting for previous planned NRM locomotives. The loco took top billing alongside recent returnee Class 45 No. 45149. It was fantastic to see the Hymek hauling something other than Chocolate & Cream coaching stock, D7017 is pictured departing from Toddington on Sunday 27th July heading for Cheltenham Racecourse. (Photo: Brian Garrett)|
|Direct Rail Services operated the irregular service from Crewe to Keyham during Monday 28th July, Class 57/0's No.57008 & No.57009 were used to operate the train, which was formed of two Mk2 barrier/ support coaches. The train is pictured passing 40 Steps, Taunton. (Photo: Jeff Treece)|
|The same train featured above is pictured passing Creech St Michael. Note also the extensive tree growth which is now prohibiting the south bound photographic location in the village. (Photo: Thomas Coutrney)|
|The Network Rail NMT is currently operating in a revised formation while it's own Mk3 test cars are out of traffic for heavy overhaul. On the 25th July No.43014 and No.43062 pass 40 Steps, Taunton with the 1Q25 10:25 Plymouth - Paddington, formed of various Mk2, and Mk1 coaching stock. (Photo: Ian Silvester)|
|Saturday 19th July 2014 saw Statesman Rail operate a high end dining charter from Sheffield to Minehead on the West Somerset Railway. The charter was hauled by two of West Coast Railways Class 57 Locomotives, No.57314 is pictured passing Silk Mills with the 06:15 Sheffield - Minehead service. Additional coaches were provided on the train for those who wish to travel but not consume food. (Photo: Phil Izzard)|
|The special charter service operated in top and tail formation, with Class 57/3 No.57315 located on the rear of the train, pictured here at Silk Mills before crossing the mainlines onto the West Somerset Railway. (Photo: Phil Izzard)|
|On Wednesday, 16 th July the opening of the new bridge to replace the famous '40 Steps' took place with no ceremony. However, access to the new bridge is by steps only at present as work on the construction of the ramps on both sides of the railway has fallen behind schedule. This important crossing for pedestrians and cyclists has been missing for 261 days as 40 Steps was closed on 28th October 2013. Unlike 40 Steps, the new bridge itself is an enclosed structure but there are some new railway photographic opportunities to explore. It also provides a vantage point to observe the construction of the new road running along the former Headshunt. (Photos: Jeff Treece)|
|DR Rail (DCR) sent one of their latest acquisitions to Plymouth on a test run from Washwood Heath during Thursday 17th July. With one of the first photo's taken from 'the new' 40 Steps Bridge, Class 56 No.56103 and classmate No.56312 pass Taunton light engine operating as the 0Z56 09:56 Washwood Heath - Plymouth. The test run was also acting as a route refresh for the company drivers. (Photo: Jeff Treece)|
|A new view created from the steps of Chip Lane is this lower shot. EWS liveried Class 66 No.66122 returns north through Taunton hauling the 6C28 Exeter Riverside - Westbury formed of MBA box wagons. The foreground of this shot will eventually become the Taunton NIDR which will convey traffic through the town. (Photo: Jeff Treece)|
Our 83B Website is currently undergoing a few changes, but we have already been able to host two additional expanded galleries on the website. Taunton Concrete Works and Whiteball Engineering are now both online and avilible for readers to view either via Taunton Trains or directly on www.83b.weebly.com. The Taunton Concrete works gallery has been vastly expanded thanks to the recent addition of images from a former supervisor at the plant, we would like to thanks all those who help record Taunton's former railway history, and should you have any material to share we would like to hear from you via our normal Email.
|Having loaded its train in Devon overnight Colas Rail Freight returned their loaded log train from Teigngrace to Chirk on Thursday 10th July. Class 56 No.56105 is pictured passing under the new '40 Steps' footbridge (which is hoped to be open to the public shortly). with the 6M56 14:15 Teigngrace - Chirk service. (Photo: Wayne Potter)|
|Colas Rail Freight Class 56 No.56105 made possibly it's first visit to the South West on the 9th July 2014. The locomotive operated the 6V54 05:55 Chirk - Teigngrace empty log wagons to the Devon loading facility. The lengthy train is pictured passing the changing scenes at Staplegrove Road, where work continues on the Northern Inner Distributor Road (NIDR). (Photo: Jeff Treece)|
|The second charter during Sunday 6th July was 'The Torbay Express', this charter utilised Southern Region Pacific No.34046 'Braunton' for the steam excursion from Bristol Temple Meads - Kingswear in Devon. The charter is also pictured passing Staplegrove Road in Taunton after taking its booked servicing stop at Taunton (Photo: Jeff Treece)|
|Sunday 6th July provided two steam charters through Taunton Station in quick sucsession, first to arrive was The Railway Touring Companies' 'Royal Duchy' charter from Bristol Temple Meads to Par. The charter used LMS Black 5 No.45407 for the excursion into Cornwall. The LMS locomotive is pictured passing Staplegrove Road in Taunton. (Photo: Jeff Treece)|
|A proposed £4.6M pound re-development of Taunton Station has been approved today by the Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin. Mr McLoughlin recently visited the town to see the benefits of further regeneration in the Firepool area of Taunton along with other schemes in the area. The redevelopment of the station and Firepool will improve Taunton's image. The redevelopment has been fully supported by Network Rail, First Great Western, Taunton Deane Council and Somerset County Council.Talks are currently underway between Network Rail and Somerset County Council to improve Taunton Station and bring it into the 21st century by enhancing it's former 'Great Western' heritage mixed with modern materials such as glass, street furniture, planting and modern buildings.|
The North side has long been neglected and is in bad need of redevelopment to improve the facilities for passengers using the station. More ticket desks, better parking, transport links, lighting and disabled access are required to bring the station into the 21st century. Inside the station the station roof, glazing and guttering are in bad need of repair. Passengers may not be aware, but although the station is operated by First Great Western, they only care for the station facilities, which is why when you look above the station columns, the paint stops and the roof / glazing is untreated....as the station roof is Network Rail's responsibility! (Another odd 'quirk' of privatisation!)
|The former extension to the north side entrance (erected in the 1970's) has hidden the stations former entrance from clear view, it's hoped this will be exposed and used as the main feature of the redevelopment. Taunton Station has the rare accolade of having two entrances thanks to how the station was constructed by the Bristol and Exeter Railway in the 1800's. In 1842 the Bristol & Exeter Railway opened an extension of their mainline from Bridgwater to Taunton the line was later extended to Beambridge and on to Exeter in 1843. The station was built 'double sided' with separate stations (and entrances) for up and down passenger services.|
|Overnight on the 4th July contractors lifted the main bridge span section into place of the Bristol - Exeter mainline to the south of Taunton Station, two cranes were involved in the overnight lift to locate the main bridge span into position. This image was taken in the early hours of the morning as the lift began. (Photo: Paul Carter)|
|Taunton's new 40 Steps Bridge is now nearing completion and will soon allow people to return to their former walking and cycling routes through town. The ramped sections to the Chip Lane side of the bridge were being delivered on the 4th July for fitting onto new foundations. It's hoped the bridge will be open soon, although the council have given no indication of when the opening might occur. (Photo: Jeff Treece)|
|The was the view from Chip Lane on the 4th July. Steel ramp sections were being delivered by Nusteel, and lifted into position via a crane. The position of the bridge in relation to the sorting office, does suggest that limited views of the railway line (for photography purposes) would still be possible, but a limited amount of space would exist for those wishing to do so. The enclosed nature of the central span still raises questions about the personal safety using the bridge late at night, and vandalism. (Photo: Jeff Treece)|
|For those regular readers of Taunton Trains you will be aware of our 83B Weebly website, which is used to host additional images from the Taunton area. For some time now it's become full up with images not related to the Taunton. So in order to provide a clear divide the 83B Website image hosing site is currently being revamped. Various galleries have already disapeared from the site. But don't worry they are not lost. Instead all non Taunton related images will now be hosted on www.bgphotographic.weebly.com (a new site which has been lauched this week). 83B on the other hand will be revamped (as time permits) over the coming weeks and will start to grow with more interesting images and articles.|
2014 WSR Diesel Haulage:
The 2014 season will again see the DEPG Diesel Fleet working Friday and Saturday passenger services during the peak holiday season in July and August. A one Day Rover ticket on the WSR costs £17.00 (which has been frozen at the 2012/2013 price) but if you book in advance you can get this ticket for £15.30.
The 2014 Diesel Diagram has been altered by the WSR, which means you must now check the 'Yellow' or 'Green' timetable for your day of travel, and there is no longer two return trips provided 'back to back'. Lengthy breaks in the Diesel service at Minehead means the Diesel's see a vastly reduced daily diagram compared to previous years!!
In addition to the booked 'Diesel Diagram' a new venture this year will be the use D832 'Onslaught' on two rare weekend 'Quantock Belle' services. Advance booking is recommended, it is possible to book on the Quantock Belle dining service by calling the following number: 01823 433856
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