The Taunton Colas Class 60 invasion continued into Sunday morning, with Class 60 No.60076 retuning from the engineering blockade at Lostwitheil. Having worked south under the cover of darkness during Saturday evening the locomotive returned (roughly an hour behind schedule) with the 7C21 09:00 Largin - Westbury engineers. The colourful locomotive brightens up the scene at 40 Steps as it heads north to Westbury. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
We have included this view to show the scene we feared would happen in connection with the Taunton NIDR project. As expected street lighting has now been installed which further restricts the view for photographers. The Classic 40 Steps shot has all but been eliminated, however it is still possible to obtain images on zoom lens up to 200mm and beyond. There is still no date set for the opening of the road, with continued problems surrounding the former railway bridge in station road, with the lack of any bedrock in order to construct piles for the new bridge. Two huge piling machines have now been bought in to try and solve the protracted build which has now been ongoing since 2013 and having become the laughing stock of the town!!! (Photo: Brian Garrett)
An alternative view at 40 Steps can be taken on the lower steps from the Chip Lane side of the bridge. Here 43384 & 43304 power away from Taunton with the Cross Country 1V48 08:10 Leeds - Plymouth service. (Photo: Brian Garrett)


Colas Railfrieght Class 60 No.60047 has only been back operating on the mainline network since June, and the locomotive made its second visit to Taunton on the 28th November. No.60047 is seen hauling 899 tonnes of ballast through Cogload Junction with the 6C26 10:25 Westbury to St Blazey. The loco also carries the revised 'Colas Helmet' on the cabside. It's believed the last time this loco has visited Taunton prior to its overhaul with Colas was the 23rd June 2006 when it worked a similar engineers train to Totnes. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
One of the filthiest jobs on the rail network is the annual leaf mulch busting trains known as the Rail Head Treatment Trains (RHTT). Locomotives and wagons often spend the entire season with only a bare amount of washing carried out. As we approach the last few weeks of the leaf fall season, DB Schenker Class 66's No.66061 & No.66067 pass through Cogload Junction with the Westbury - St Blazey (via Salisbury) RHTT set. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Mendip Rail Class 59s are always a colourful sight through Taunton, on the 27th November Class 59/0 No.59005 'Kenneth J Painter' passes through Platform 5 at Taunton with the returning 7C28 Exeter Riverside - Westbury with a rake of empty MBA box wagons in tow. (Photo: Paul Clarke)
Taken on November 26th Freightliner Class 66 No.66523 passes under the classic Cogload Junction Flyover hauling the loaded 6C73 12:06 Westbury to Fairwater Yard with part of the MOBC consist. (Photo: S A Ginn)
November 26th 2015 saw the Steam Dreams charter from London Victoria run into problems at Reading with dragging brakes on Mk2 Coach No.3048. The charter finally arrived in the Taunton area some two hours late, having removed several coaches at Reading. As a result of the delay the charter was revised to return with accompanying West Coast Class 47 No.47746 to London, while the B1 would then make an overnight stay on the West Somerset Railway before returning to Southall the next day. No.61306 is pictured slowly approaching the signal at 40 Steps on the 27th November with the 5Z31 11:20 Bishops Lydeard - Hayes & Harlington Loop. (Photo: Jeff Treece)
LNER B1 No.61306 stands adjacent to the Royal Mail sorting office at Chip Lane waiting for the signal to depart to Southall. As an interesting twist to the misbehaving coach No.3058 the previous day, No.3058 used to be the Taunton Cider buffet, which is now operated by West Coast Railways and was converted back to an operational coach. (Photo: Jeff Treece)
Another shot of the LNER B1 was captured as it proceeded through Platform 2 returning to its base at Southall. The loco still carried its 'Cathedrals Express' headboard despite the main tour having been returned to London some ten hours beforehand. (Photo: Paul Clarke)


While the 'classic' shots at 40 Steps have been changed in all recognition by the installation of the new footbridge, it's worth taking note that some 'new' locations have now sprung up alongside Staplegrove road. On the 25th November 2015 this view was obtained of Colas Rail Freight Class 60 No.60047 passing Taunton's under the new 'Forty Steps Bridge' whilst working the 6V54 Chirk Krorspan to Exeter Riverside Yard log empties. (Photo: S A Ginn)
The second such view is obtainable from the joint between the concrete walling and timber fencing closer to the track line. In pouring rain on November 25th 2015 at Forty Steps Bridge, Taunton. EWS-liveried Class 66 No.66061 leads No.66067 pass 40 Steps with the RHTT operating as the 3J13 08:36 Westbury to St.Blazey via Salisbury. (Photo: S A Ginn)


Over recent weeks we have begun our latest project to digitize hours of video footage taken from 2004 onwards. The footage dates from VHS Compact Video Cassettes, through to Mini DV, and further digital material. We already have a large amount of clips now uploaded to our Taunton Trains Youtube Channel, providing some great viewing material for these dark winter nights. Why not subscribe to the channel and get automatic alerts as new videos are uploaded.
Taken on Friday 20th November DB Schenker Class 59/2 No.59201 is seen recessed in the up relief road at Fairwater Yard having departed from Exeter Riverside yard some 157 minutes early. The as required aggregate service from Whatley Quarry operates to Exeter Riverside Yard where the mendip stone is unloaded and later graded for use with various construction projects in the South West. (S A Ginn)
The daily visit of the Rail Head Treatment Train through Taunton in the Autumnal months is a welcome addition to the normal traffic flows in the ahead, on the 20th November the filthy grime covered set is seen threading it's way through Freightliner Heavy Haul (shunting in Fairwater Yard) and DB Schenker's 59201 waiting on the up relief line. No.66061 & No.66067 head away from the camera with the 3J13 returning to St Blazey. (Photo: S A Ginn)
Friday 13th November saw the visit of the Royal Train to the South West, having worked down to Newton Abbot's Heathfield branch on the previous night, the train then delivered HRH Prince Philip to Plymouth his Royal Highness Prince Philip visited Devonport Naval Base and met 1 Assault Group Royal Marines to formally open the new £1.8million Mercury building, which will serve as a canteen and communications storage. Having carried out its duties the Royal Train returns through Norton Fitzwarren with DB Schenkers unwashed Class 67 No.67006 'Royal Sovereign' leading the train. (Photo: Quentin Hawkes)

The filthy locomotive No.67006 was also seen passing Creech St Michael on its return from Plymouth, with Class 67 No.67005 riding on the rear of the 6 coach formation formed of: 2920 - Royal Household Couchette, 2915 - Royal Household Sleeping Car, 2917 Royal Kitchen/ Dining Car, 2923 Royal Saloon, 2904 HRH Duke of Edinburgh's Saloon, 2921 Royal Household Couchette. (Photo: S A Ginn)

Rail Operations Group returned their two Class 56's from Laira to Kilmarnock on Sunday 8th November. Class 56 No.56104 leads No.56098 north through Taunton with another rake of First Great Western stock heading to Scotland for maintenance. The pair are seen passing 40 Steps, Taunton on route north. (Photo: S A Ginn)
Sunday 8th November saw Freightliner Heavy Haul's Class 66's return to Taunton from their overnight foray to Reading and Basingstoke. The Network Rail MOBC is see arriving back into Fairwater Yard with 66/5 No.66599 leading and No.66523 bringing up the rear of the train, taken at 40 Steps, Taunton (Photo: S A Ginn)
Freightliner Heavy Haul continue to operate the Medium Output Ballast Cleaner (MOBC) from Fairwater Yard on a nightly basis. On the 7th November Class 66/5 No.66523 leads the 6Y19 18:35 Fairwater Yard to Reading Green Park through Platform 2 at Taunton Station. The train would then spend the night operating between Reading and Basingstoke before returning to Taunton on the 8th November. (Photo: Nathan Williamson)
Riding on the rear and providing additional power to the 6Y19 was Freightliner Heavy Haul Class 66/5 No.66599. The set operates in top and rail formation in order to provide the best operational options when having to traverse lines and avoid lengthy detours. (Photo: Nathan Williamson)
The 7th November saw an incredible double headed Class 56 diagram operate into the South West. Rail Operations Group hauled the 5W56 05:27 Kilmarnock to Laira conveying Mk3 HST stock for First Great Western returning from maintenance. Both locomotives are painted in a reincarnation of former British Rail Grey. No.56098 and 56104 are seen passing Creech St Michael running 234 minutes ahead of schedule on route to Plymouth. Stock being transfered back to Plymouth was as follows: 41140, 40718, 42196, 42294, 42099, 42287, 42289, 44037 with barriers 6330 and 6338. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
The last time Class 56 No.56104 operated through Taunton was on the 25th November 2003, the locomotvie (still in it's Trainload Coal livery at the time) was first allocated to work the 8Z15 20:14 Alexander Dock Jn - Exeter Riverside with 10 wagons in tow, booked to pass Taunton at 22:36. It was then unallocated and worked light engine from Newport to Exeter, passing Taunton at 21:02 later returning back with the 6Z15 00:30 Exeter Riverside - Newport ADJ. However it did run earlier than scheduled, and departed Exeter at 22:40.



2015 NEWS
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