JULY 2015 NEWS : 

LNER A1 Pacific No.60163 'Tornado' featured on 'The Torbay Express' on Sunday 2nd August. The popular steam locomotive hauled the regular summer diagram between Bristol Temple Meads and Kingswear. The second charter on the same day 'The Royal Duchy' was less than successful when SR Bullied No.34067 'Tangmere' failed to make it up Hemerdon Bank on the return trip from Cornwall. As a result it's train was towed back to Plymouth by a Class 08 (Rare haulage indeed!) from Laira Depot, before the train was cancelled and passengers returned home on a First Great Western HST. The loco and stock were later collected by West Coast Railways Class 47/7 No.47746 and towed back to Bristol under the cover of darkness. (Photo: Bob Tucker)
DB Schenker Class 67's stepped in to cover for the Network Rail NMT (HST) set on the 31st July. In stunning sunlight Class 67 No.67023 and No.67008 pass through Oath on the Somerset Levels with the 1Q19 track recording run from Plymouth back to Old Oak Common. (Photo: Adam Snow)
A relatively new shot to have been opened up (thanks to recent cutting back of vegetation by Network Rail) is Athelney. This location does require a step leader to raise the photographer above a hedge line, but this shot illustrates the passing of a First Great Western HST heading towards Castle Cary from Taunton. (Photo: Adam Snow)
Colas Rail Freight provided a rare Class 66 for use on the log train from Chirk to Exeter Riverside on the 29th July. No.66846 is pictured passing through Taunton with the empty wagons heading to Exeter Riverside. The loaded train returned north to Chirk the next day. (Photo: Paul Clarke)
DB branded Class 66 No.66155 passes through Taunton on the 29th July returning to Mk2 coaches to Crewe from Laira. The previous day the loco had transfered a rake of refurbished HST coaching stock from Kilmarnock to Laira. (Photo: Paul Clarke)


First Great Western unveiled their latest 'vinyl wrap' on the 28th July when powercar No.43126 was turned out in 'Bristol 2015 - European Green Capital' livery. The powercar features a bright green body side with a white front valence wrap around the front for the cab. While the livery is striking its the use of white on the lead end is as odd choice as it's already been widely proven that 'white' is not an ideal colour to add to the front of a 125mph train. Only time will tell how the white colour copes with being covered in flies, bird strikes and general staining from daily railway grime buildup. No.43126 passes Cogload Junction with No.43088 with the 0Z29 Bristol Temple Meads - Laira. (Photo: Adam Snow)
Newly re-liveried powercar No.43126 passes through Taunton Station with sister powercar No.43088 returning from Bristol Temple Meads. Look out for this bright powercar over the coming weeks traveling throughout the First Great Western network. (Photo: Paul Clarke)
Mendip Rail Class 59's have been replenishing stockpiles of aggregate at Exeter Riverside Yard over the past few days. On the 28th July Class 59/1 No.59101 'Village of Whatley' passes Taunton hauling the 7C28 Exeter Riverside - Westbury stone empties having been unloaded at Exeter Riverside Yard. (Photo: Paul Clarke)
LNER A1 Pacific No.60163 'Torando' was back in action on the 26th July. In typical summer weather the locomotive makes a rare Platform 3 departure with the 1Z27 to Kingswear having taken its booked stop at Taunton. (Photo: Jeff Treece)
BR Standard No.70000 'Britannia' visited the West Somerset Railway on the 25th July working as far as Bishops Lydeard from London Paddington. The West Somerset Steam Express then used WSR resident No.3850 to haul the train through to Minehead while No.70000 was turned at Norton Fitzwarren and serviced at Bishops Lydeard ready for the return trip to London. No.70000 is seen returning to Paddington as the 1Z71 17:15 from Minehead passing under Staplegrove Road at 40 Steps. (Photo: Jeff Treece)


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First Great Western's Sleeper service was back up to its old tricks on the night of the 21st/22nd July when the service failed between Bodmin and Largin after departure from Penznace. The set had to be rescued by a pair of FGW's own powercars from Laira, where the train was eventually towed to Plymouth and passengers removed from their beds and onto a HST set. Class 57/6 No.57604 was the failed locomotive. In the mean time Class 57 No.57603 was dispatched light engine from Old Oak Common (London) to Plymouth in order to tow the disgraced loco and stock to London during daylight hours. No.57602 is seen passing Taunton with the 5Z70 11:30 Laira - Old Oak Common. (Photo: Paul Clarke)
Riding on the rear of the sleeper set was the failed locomotive Class 57/6 No.57604 'Pendennis Castle' which was also being returned to Old Oak Common for repair, and is seen here passing through Platform 4 on route to London. (Photo: Paul Clarke)
West Coast Railways continued their gradual return to normal operations on the 18th July when two of their Class 57/3's teamed up to work The Statatesman Charter from Ely through to Paignton. Class 57/3 No.57313 is seen slowly approaching Creech St Michael with the 1Z44 05:31 from Ely, with classmate No.57316 on the rear of the set. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Heritage Class 47's were back in action on the 14th July hauling 'The Cathedrals Express' charter from Gravesend (Kent) to Bishops Lydeard. The tour was then taken forward to Minehead by resident Steam Locomotive No.3850. Class 47/7 No.47746 is seen arriving into Taunton with the charter from Kent. (Photo: Paul Clarke)
Monday 13th July saw Colas Rail Freight operate a driver training run between Westbury and exeter using Class 66/8 No.66848. The 0V71 13:25 Westbury - Exeter Riverside passes through Taunton (complete with 3 coffee cups from a well known Coffee chain outlet) on route to Exeter light engine. (Photo: Paul Clarke)


LNER A1 Pacific No.60163 exits from Whiteball Tunnel with the return 1Z28 Kingswear - Bristol Temple Meads 'Torbay Express' on the 12th July. Many people lined the route to see the steam locomotive back in action on the UK network. (Photo: Stephen Ginn)
The Torbay Express returned to Taunton on Sunday 12th July with LNER A1 Pacific No.60163 'Tornado' leading the train back to Kingswear in Devon. Tornado is now back in its original outshopped LNER Apple Green livery after recent maintenance. The loco is seen at Taunton with the 1Z27 Bristol Temple Meads to Kingswear. (Photo: Matthew Barr)


Saturday 4th July saw two charters pass through the Taunton area. The first was Pathfinder Railtours 'Torbay and Dart Explorer' hauled by heritage Class 55 'Deltic' No.D9009 'Alycidon'. The charter started at Derby and worked through to the Devon Riviera heading onto the preserved Paignton and Dartmouth Railway at Paignton through to Kingswear. The popular (and noisy) class of locomotive always draws attention to the locomotive, and it was in fine voice when passing through Creech St Michael at just after 12pm. (Photo: Brian Garrett)


The second charter of the weekend was operated by UK Railtours, which operated just 30 minutes behind Pathfinder Tours between Bristol and Taunton. UK Railtours operated their charter from Cambridge offering several 'off train' options at Bristol, Weston-super-Mare, and Taunton. Taunton was the ultimate destination where passengers could either spend the afternoon in the town, or take part in an organised coach transfer to Herstercombe House/ Gardens. DB Schenker provided Arriva Trains Wales liveried Class 67 No.67003 for the duration of the trip, and the set is seen passing through Creech St Michael (Left) on route to its final stop. (Right) Having spent the afternoon in Devon, Class 55 'Deltic' No.9009 made light work of Whiteball Bank on the return trip to Derby. The locomotive is seen powering towards the tunnel from the Burlescombe direction heading back to Derby. (Photo: Brian Garrett)


Colas Rail Freight continues to use Class 60's on the Chirk Timber Log train, on the 1st july Class 60 No.60002, cilmbs over Cogload Junction flyover with the empties from Chirk heading to Exeter Riverside for loading on the 1st July (Photo: Paul Wilkins)
Back to Back powercar movements for First Great Western through Taunton are not all that common these days, especially on longer distance transfers. On the 1st July HST powercars No.43152 & No.43022 teamed up to operate the 0Z70 Laira - Old Oak Common movement between the two First Great Western depots. The pair are seen passing Cogload Junction on route to London. (Photo: Paul Wilkins)
The Virtual Quarry located at Exeter Riverside yard is having its as required top up of Mendip stone. Class 59's have been used on the flow during the last week of June/ first week of July. On the 1st July Hanson liveried Class 59 No.59103 passes Taunton with the 7C28 Exeter Riverside - Westbury empty MBA box wagons.(Photo: Paul Clarke)

2015 NEWS
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