APRIL 2016 NEWS : 

West Coast Railways top and railed 'The Cornish Explorer' through Taunton on Saturday 30th April. Class 57/3's were the order of the day with No.57313 and No.57315 used to operate the Chester to Penzance charter. No.57313 is seen on the return leg at Taunton passing 40 Steps, on route north back to Cheshire. (Photo: Chay Farzaneh)
GWR are slowly beginning to apply their dark green livery to their unit fleet, one of the recent recipients of the livery is Class 150 No.150232. The unit is pictured on the 24th April passing Fordgate while working the 2T33 Cheltenham Spa-Taunton stopping service. (Photo: Adam Snow)


The DEPG Class 35 Hymek No.D7017 departed from the West Somerset Railway on the 29th April heading to Bristol to take part in the upcoming St Philips Marsh Open Day celebrating 40 years of the HST. The loco departed from Bishops Lydeard shortly after 10am and then threaded its was through Taunton's road system before taking the M5 to Bristol. The loco is seen approaching Jn25 at Taunton. (Photo: Brian Garrett & Cameron Walker)


'The Great Britain XI' charter returned to Bristol on Wednesday 27th April, the the locomotive having been turned the charter started in Penzance. The 1Z86 10:06 Penzance - Bristol is seen passing Ash Bridge (Poole) near Wellington on route north. (Photo: Jamie Waters)
The Great Britain charter was booked to take a stop at Taunton but instead caught many people out by passing straight through converting from 17 minutes late to 15 minutes early. The charter is seen passing through Platform 5 at Taunton on route back to Bristol. (Photo: Chay Farzaneh)


Steam returned to the South West today in the shape of the annual 'Great Britain' railtour. The charter was lead by LMS Scot No.46100 'Royal Scot' which operated solo and without it's LMS Black 5 partner, which had failed the previous day. A West Coast Class 57 No.57316 was provided for assistance by located at the rear of the train. Here Royal Scot steams across the Somerset Levels at Oath while on route to Plymouth with the 1Z82 08:44 from London Victoria (Photo: Dave Elliot)
LMS Scot No.46100 'Royal Scot' made a fine sight passing non stop through Taunton. The Great Britain IX charter was originally booked to be double headed, but following the failure of LMS Black 5 No.44871 the previous night the decision was taken to le Royal Scot lead the tour with a West Coast Class 57/3 Diesel attached to the rear of the train for assistance. The tour is seen passing 40 Steps, Taunton in fine style. (Photo: Chay Farzaneh)

Rounding the curve at Ash Bridge (Poole) near Wellington, LMS Scot No.46100 powers up the grade towards the start of the main climb at Whiteball hauling the 1Z82 08:44 London Victoria - Plymouth. (Photo: Jamie Waters)


24th April 2016, DB Schenker Royal Locomotives No.67006 'Royal Sovereign' and No.67005 'Queens Messenger' lead the 1Z83 Truro - London Victoria 'Belmond British Pullman' through Banklands (Taunton) during the annual visit of the prestige train to the South West. (Video: Brian Garrett)
The weekend of the 23rd and 24th April provided the sight of the Belmond Pullman back in the South West as part of its annual visit. The train worked South to Truro from London Victoria on the 22nd April. The prestige train with tickets costing over £1000 for the weekend was hauled by both Royal Locomotives No.67005 & No.67006. In a change to the normal itinerary Saturday saw the train visit Penzance (from Plymouth) for Luncheon and Taunton (from Plymouth) for Dinner. As the sun sets over Taunton No.67006 leads the Pullman into Taunton, here the pair would run round the train while those on board enjoyed their evening dining experience. (Photo: Chay Farzaneh)
On Sunday 24th April the two royal locomotives returned weekend passengers to London Victoria, after departing from Truro 45 minutes late, the pair are seen passing Cogload Junction having reduced the late running to just 20 minutes. The 1Z83 12:20 Truro - London Victoria was formed of stock: Baggage Car No. 11, Vera, Perseus, Ibis, Audrey, Minerva, Phoenix, Cygnus, Gwen, Ione, Lucille and Car No. 6313 (Photo: Chay Farzaneh)


A surprise working on Wednesday 20th April was another of the sporadic log trains operated by Colas Rail Freight. Class 70/8 No.70808 operated the 6V54 Chirk - Exeter Riverside empties south through Taunton during the mid morning. The train was then loaded at Exeter Riverside Yard before returning North on the 21st April to Chirk. No.70808 is seen passing through Taunton taking the relief line as it passes. (Photo: Jeff Treece)
Sunday 17th April 2016 provided a long welded rail train returning from overnight engineeering work in Cornwall. The Colas Rail Freight Class 70/8 No.70807 passed Taunton around 11:45 hauling the 6C97 08:39 Keyham - Westbury (which had operated via Par). The train is seen passing Bathpool returning to Wiltshire. (Photo: Thomas Courtney)
The planned visit of LNER A1 Pacific No.60103 'Flying Scotsman' to Taunton and Bishops Lydeard on the 28th May has now been revised to operate to Sailsbury and will NOT visit Taunton. This is due to the ongoing upgrade work being carried out by Network Rail on the Great Western Mainline Electrification project which will prevent the use of the previous advertised route. (Photo: Brian Garrett)


Two Tone Green Class 47/8 No.47830 returned from Laira on the 10th April with the next rake of First Great Western stock being sent for refurbishment. After an overnight stay in Plymouth No.47830 formed the 5S56 11:37 Laira - Carlisle New Yard and continued its trend of early running passing Norton Fitzwarren some 76 minutes ahead of schedule. The formation of stock was as follows: (Barrier) 6330, 42362,  44008, 42026, 42024, 42025, 40811, 40106, 41018, (Barrier) 6338. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Class 47/8 No.47830 'Beechings Legacy' was also captured passing Bathpool to the east of Taunton, with the 5S56 stock move to Carlisle (and eventually Kilmarnock). The colourful mix of liveries span spanning some 40 years of railways operations passes Bathpool. (Photo: Thomas Courtney)
Freightliner Heavy Haul returned a long welded rail train from Devon to Wiltshire on the morning of 10th April 2016. The train has worked south during the evening of the 9th April. Class 66/5 No.66548 is pictured at Norton Fitzwarren heading back with the 6Y97 08:35 Aish to Westbury. (Photo: Thomas Courtney)
Former First Great Western Class 47 No.47830 made a welcome return to the South West on April 9th hauling a rake of Mk3 coaching stock back to its former employer. The Western Region locomotive was dropped from the First Great Western fleet when the Class 57/6's were first introduced, since then its fortunes have been mixed, but currently it's found a new lease of life on hire from Freightliner Heavy Haul to Rail Operations Group. No.47830 was named 'Beeching's Legacy' at the National Railway Museum in November 2015 and is now painted by BR two tone green. The 5V56 05:22 Kilmarnock - Laira stock move is seen passing Creech St Michael on route back to its former South West haunts. (Photo: Brian Garrett)


The Network Rail Class 150 test unit is now back on the UK rails after a period of refurbishment/ overhaul. The unit carries the number No.950901 on on April 6th was used on a 2Q08 Didcot - Derby (via Taunton) diagram for Network Rail. It was built in 1987 using the same bodyshell as the Class 150/1 "Sprinter" units that were built from 1985-1986. (Photo: Paul Wilkins)


Great Western currently have a good array of variety operating on their trains, two such examples were captured on April 2rd 2016. Powercars No.43144 & No.43146 'Building a Greater West' livery were partnered either end of the GWR Green HST set while working 1A83 09:30 Penzance - Paddington, which were captured at Cogload Junction. While No.43172 'Harry Patch' was operating the 1U15 13:03 Paddington - Plymouth via Bristol Temple Meads, seen at Banklands. (Photos: Brian Garrett)


Sunday 3rd April 2016 saw a large amount of engineering trains originating from the engineering work site at Keynsham. The engineering blockades were taking place as part of the electrification upgrades taking place on the Great Western route to Bristol. As a result six daylight operations arrived into Taunton to run round and head back to Westbury. First to arrive was EWS liveried Class 66 No.66093 running 61 minutes behind schedule operating the 6T26 11:02 Bristol East Junction - Westbury (via Fairwater Yard), seen here passing Cogload Junction on the approaches to Taunton. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Having already passed Cogload Junction and changed direction in Fairwater Yard, DB Schenker branded Class 66/0 No.66108 returns through Cogload Junction running 15 minutes behind schedule while operating the 6T25 12:02 Bristol East Junction - Westbury (via Fairwater Yard). (Photo: Brian Garrett)
EWS liveried Class 66/0 No.66165 was next to appear running 2 minutes ahead of schedule the locomotive conveyed a mixture of sand and ballast in its wagons, while working the 6T24 13:02 Bristol East Junction - Westbury (via Fairwater Yard). (Photo: Brian Garrett)
EWS liveried Class 66/0 No.66021 followed south with the 6T23 14:09 Bristol East Junction - Hinksey Sidings (via Fairwater Yard & Reading West Junction) conveying spent ballast for processing. The locomotive (now some 16 years old) is seen passing Banklands on the approach to Cogload Junction. It's believe this train although fronted by a DB Schenker locomotive was actually a Freightliner Heavy Haul operation. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Freightliner Heavy Haul provided one of their few 'powerhaul' liveried Class 66/5's for the 6T22 15:00 Bristol East Junction to Hinksey Sidings. Class 66/5 No.66528 is seen at Banklands making its first appearance at Taunton in the new livery, and we believe also the second daylight appearance of the Freightliner 'Powerhaul' livery in Taunton. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Running 35 minutes ahead of schedule (despite being looped at Highbridge), Freightliner Heavy Haul provided Class 66/5 No.66526 & 66536 in 'top and tail' formation while working the 6T21 15:59 Bristol East Junction to Westbury with used track panels loaded between the pair. The pair are also seen passing Banklands while on route to Taunton. (Photo: Brian Garrett)


LNER A1 Pacific No.60103 'Tornado' passed through Taunton on April 2nd as part of a circular trip from London Victoria to Exeter (via Yeovil) and returned to London via Taunton. The 1Z65 16:31 Exeter St Davids - London Victoria passes Oath on the Somerset levels. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
LNER A1 Pacific No.60103 was also captured about a mile further east of the above photo in the Oath area. The locomotive operated 'The Devon Belle' complete with 'M8Y' headcode as a tribute to lifetime steam enthusiast and NRM engineer / support crew member Ray Trowel who passed away during the previous week. (Photo: Stephen Ginn)
First Great Westerns 'GWR Green' HST set LA15 is currently without its green powercars and has been formed up with FGW advertising 'Building a Greater West' powercars No.43146 & No.43144. With No.43146 leading the 1C86 15:00 London Paddington - Penzance service crosses the Somerset Levels at Oath heading for its next stop at Taunton on the 2nd April. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Saturday 2nd April saw 'Visit Plymouth Powercar' No.43163 teamed up with 'Bristol 2015' powercar No.43192. with the green liveried powercar out of sight on the back of the set, No.43192 leads the 1Z15 09:18 Paignton - Bristol Temple Meads service, exiting from Whiteball Tunnel. (Photo: Tony Christie)
April started with Colas Rail Freight providing one of the first workings of the month through Taunton. Class 66/8 No.66849 'Wylam Dilly' moved a Railvac from Goodrington sidings back to Westbury. The grubby Class 66/8 is seen passing Taunton while operating the 6X54 14:50 from Goodrington through to Westbury.. (Photo: Tony Christie)



2016 NEWS
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