Surrounded by beautiful autumn colour, INTERCITY 'Swallow' liveried HST powercar No.43185 'Great Western' leads the 1C83 13:05 London Paddington to Plymouth past Oath on Monday 31st October 2016. Rear power car was First Great Western branded No.43181. (Photo: S A Ginn)


The Taunton Model Railway Show (RAILEX) is being held at Taunton School this weekend, with a large selection of model railway exhibits captuing scenes from the past, present and worldwide in various gauges. The above video captures some of the layouts and exhibits on display. If you want to take a look at this suprub event then this Sunday 23rd would be a perfect time to visit. Why not pop along to Taunton School for a look. (Video: Keith Ewins)


Saturday 22nd October provided three interesting workings through the Taunton area, all in a blanket of cold Autumnal gloom which covered the Taunton area. First to pass through was UK Railtours who hired the Northern Belle coaching stock set to operate 'The Armada' charter. The tour operated between Stevenage and Plymouth and was hauled by 'top and tail' DRS Class 68s. No.68003 departs from Taunton having just changed crews hauling the 1Z70 06:47 from Stevenage, seen passing 40 Steps with No.68019 trailing on the rear of the train, which will lead on the return trip. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
With Autumn in full swing and the trees now beginning to drop their leaves for the 2016 season, Network Rail continue their annual water jet train in the South West (Sandite is no longed applied), DB Cargo Class 66 No.66160 & No.66138 work the 3J13 08:45 Westbury - St Blazey through Creech St Michael passing farmers hurriedly getting their winter crops seeded. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
The third working of interest on Saturday 22nd October was LMS Pacific No.6201 'Princess Elizabeth' which operated 'The West Somerset Steam Express' from London Paddington through to the West Somerset Railway. Here GWR Hall No.6960 'Raveningham Hall' took over for the run to Minehead while No.6201 was serviced. The 1Z46 07:14 London Paddington to Minehead is seen at speed passing Cogload Junction heading for Taunton. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
Another piece of history was made this week when on the 21st October the DEPG's Hymek No.D7018 left Williton Depot under its own power for the first time in 21 years. The locomotive had previously been run up and moved a short distance within the confines of the depot for testing but the 21st October proved the first real test of the locomotive with a run to Bishops Lydeard and back. Class 33 No.D6575 went along for the rise incase any issues should arise. Minus it's radiator grill (which was being expertly painted at the time of the test run) D7018 departs Williton brining the UK's operational fleet of preserved Hymek's to three. A welcome return to operational condition well done to all involved in bringing this unique piece of history back to life. (Photo: Thomas Courtney)


This week we were sent this image taken at Taunton Station, which turned out to be a real 'gem' and an incredibly rare historical find. Some work has been carried out in the old porters room on Platform 5, which was once used by Great Western Railway porters and station staff in the 1950's and 60's. For many years this room has contained a large notice board which has recently been removed from the wall, only to uncover the original black wall where staff notices were once placed. Amazingly the board has been in place for so long it preserved a hand written note from W Lee (who was the Station Master at Taunton Station at the time). The notice is even dated the 17th April 1958. W Lee is also the Uncle of Paul Clarke who still lives in Taunton and is a regular contributor to Taunton Trains. The preservation of the paper and handwriting is thanks to the paper having been hidden darkness for some 50 years and provides a small insight into the daily duties at the station in 1958. (Photo: Paul Clarke)

The note reads:

Attending Porters Returning 17/04/58

Both Sawdust boxes to be filled each Friday certain as sawdust will be used for loading of Calves Saturdays.

Please see that this is done each week by early tern staff. W Lee

The loading of cattle at Taunton Station for market in the town would of been a regular duty for staff to assist with, loading livestock into and out of wagons for sale at the local Saturday livestock market in the town.



Since their change into heritage liveries HST powercars No.43185 and No.43002 have been the centre of attention at GWR. Saturday 15th October saw No.43185 lead the 1C79 11:02 London Paddington - Plymouth service into the South West, with No.43002 on the rear of the set. The 'retro' powercar is seen passing Norton Fitzwarren having just departed Taunton. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
The 2016 RHTT (Rail Head Treatment Train) started its annual operation in the South West on the 15th October. The two DB Cargo Class 66's for the 2016 season are No.66160 & No.66238. The pair are seen here passing Norton Fitzwarren working the 3J13 08:45 Westbury - St Blazey (via Salisbury) water jets. With No.66160 leading sandwiching wagons 642020 and 642035 as they return to Devon and Cornwall. (Photo: Brian Garrett)

First Great Western liveried HST power cars No.43024 'Great Western Society 1961 - 2011 Didcot Railway Centre' & No.43198 'Oxfordshire 2007' work back to back through Taunton whilst en route to Laira T.& R.S.M.D with the 0Z77 11:03 from Bristol St.Phillips Marsh depot on the 13th October 2016. (Photo: S A Ginn)

Recently out-shopped in INTERCITY 'Swallow' livery, the appropriately named 43185 'Great Western' and Inter-City 125 liveried 43002 'Sir Kenneth Grange' are seen paired up with GWR's green LA16 coaching set. Pictured at Whiteball Summit on October 13th 2016, this most colourful set works west with the 1C76 09:06 London Paddington to Plymouth. (Photo: S A Ginn)
GWR presented their most mixed up HST formation yet, with liveries spanning nearly 20 years on the 11th October. Original British Rail liveried powercar No.43002 was formed up with Intercity classmate No.43185 at either end of GWR's green liveried Mk3 coaching stock set LA16. The colourful combination passes Bathpool while working the 1A83 10:00 Penzance - London Paddington service. (Photo: Lee Robbins)
Captured on the 8th October, Intercity liveried powercar No.43185 'Great Western' passes Norton Fitzwarren on the lead end working the 1A88 13:57 Plymouth - London Paddington service. (Photo: Chay Farzaneh)
The West Somerset Railway held their Autumn Steam Gala on the weekend of the 7th/8th October, former Taunton locomotive GWR 2-6-2 Small Prairie Tank No.5542 made a visit to the line for the event. No.5542 is pictured on the 9th October rounding the curve at Doniford while working a Minehead to Bishops Lydeard service. (Photo: Sclub)
GWR 'Hall' No.4936 'Kinlett Hall' completed its final passenger diagrams before being withdrawn for overhaul. The locomotive is seen arriving into Crowcombe Heathfield coupled to part of the Quantock Belle set operating a Minehead to Bishops Lydeard service. (Photo: Sclub)
GWR also provided a Class 150 'shuttle' service to the West Somerset Railway in conjunction with the Steam Gala Weekend. GWR green liveried Class 150/2 No.150247 was provided and is seen here passing Norton Fitzwarren heading for Bishops Lydeard on the 8th October working the 2Z41 14:59 from Taunton to Bishops Lydeard. (Photo: Chay Farzaneh)


October kicked off with a bang, with the second of GWR's new powercar repaints to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the HST. Powercar No.43185 'Great Wester' was launched wearing Intercity Swallow livery in the National Railway Museum at York on Sunday 2nd October. The 4th October saw the pair posed up on seperate trains at London Paddington before departing to their desintations. 43185 was attached to the rear of the 1C79 11:06 London Paddington - Plymouth service. The stunning liveried powercar is seen passing 40 Steps, Taunton on the rear of its set heading south. (Photo: Chay Farzaneh)


Testing of the Bimodal Hitachi Azuma's began in the South West on the 3rd October 2016 when a nine car set Virgin Trains branded Azuma set No.800101 worked the 5X30 21:10 Stoke Gifford to Plymouth test run. This was the first ever visit of the new generation of trains to the South West which are set to begin replacing the much loved HST sets in the South West. (Video: Brian Garrett)



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