JULY 2017 NEWS : 

Monday 31st July saw the arrival of cascaded Class 166 Turbo's from the Thames Valley Route on test. The three car sets are due to be deployed on Cardiff -Taunton stopping diagrams. The Class 166 Turbo's were built at ABB York between 1992 and 1993 and are 25 years old. They are also fitted with high density 3+2 seating on account of their work on the Thames Valley commuter belt into London. These units will soon start to replace the current fleet of Class 150's and 158's (themselves 30 years old). Four return test runs were carried out between Bristol and Taunton during the day. Class 166 No.166205 is seen paused at Taunton after the arrival of the 5Z60 09:11 from St Philips Marsh Depot. (Photo: 50009 Neptune)
Ex-LMS Class 7P 4-6-0 No.46100 'Royal Scot' passes over Whiteball Summit on Sunday 30th July 2017 with 'The Royal Duchy', operating as the 1Z37 08:52 Bristol Temple Meads to Par. The first leg of the tour from Bristol was worked by West Coast Class 33 No.33207 (below), with the Scot taking control of the train from Taunton onwards having spent the previous night at the nearby West Somerset Railway. (Photo: S A Ginn)

West Coast Railways operated ‘The Royal Duchy' charter from Bristol Temple Meads to Par on Sunday 30th July. In an incredible turn of events the Bristol to Taunton leg was diesel hauled by a single Class 33 locomotive. No.33207 is pictured here passing Cogload Junction before handing over to steam locomotive ‘Royal Scot' at Taunton. The Class 33 spent the day stabled behind Taunton Station before taking over the tour back to Bristol in the evening. The last visit of a Class 33 to Taunton (which also happened to be 33207) was 8th September 2011 and later on 9th November 2012. (Photo: Brian Garrett)

Colas Rail Freight operated an overnight engineers train into Devon during Saturday 29th July to perform a rail drop on the Dawlish Sea Wall section. Class 70 No.70812 is pictured passing Cogload Junction on Sunday 30th July returning the 6C98 to Westbury from Dawlish Warren (Photo: Brian Garrett)

Friday 28th July provided the sight of the Network Rail New Measurement Train (NMT) through Taunton 3 times during the day. As part of its UK wide testing diagrams, No.43062 and No.43014 visited Penzance, Paignton, and Bristol from Old Oak Common. No. 43062 is pictured paused at in Platform 4 at Taunton for a crew change while working the 1Z18 15:46 Paignton – Taunton via Bristol leg of its booked diagram. (Photo: Richard Tuplin)

The DEPG Class 52 Western No.D1010 based at Williton on the West Somerset Railway was called upon to work the Quantock Belle on the 25th July. The locomotive has been extensive use during the 2017 operating season and has been the locos most successful period of availability in many years. It's pictured here on the approach to Doniford Halt having just departed from Williton. (Photo: Adam Snow)

LNER A1 Pacific No.60163 ‘Tornado' visited the South West on Sunday23rd July with one of the popular ‘Torbay Express' charters. The steam locomotive is pictured in the evening light at Cogload Junction returning north hauling the 1Z28 17:50 Kingswear – Bristol Temple Meads. (Photo: Adam Snow)


Sunday 23rd July 2017 saw the 'Torbay Express' operate under inclement summer weather conditions. LNER A1 No.60163 'Tornado' departs from Taunton on completion of the booked water stop whilst en route with 1Z27 09:10 Bristol Temple Meads to Kingswear as the heavy showers pass through. (Photo: S A Ginn)

Having departed from Taunton LNER A1 Pacific No.60163 'Tornado' rounds the curve at the end of Silk Mills yard heading for Norton Fitzwarren as the train speeds south for a day on the rather damp Cornish Riviera. (Photo: Jamie Waters)


A full week of IEP testing began on Monday 17th July with the first of three booked visits to Plymouth during daylight hours. Taunton will also see an IEP visit each weekday. Pioneer HITACHI IEP set No.800001 is captured passing over Whiteball Summit whilst working 5X90 08:22 North Pole IEP Depot to Plymouth & return. (Photo: S A Ginn)


Having spent the night out on the Great Western Mainline between Ruscombe and Reading relaying track, Network Rail's TRT returned to Taunton on Sunday 16th July. Freightliner Class 66/9 No.66952 hauls the 08:20 Reading West Junction - Fairwater Yard through Creech St Michael nearing Taunton. (Photo: Simon Harling)
Freightliner 'Powerhaul' liveried Class 66 No.66528 'Madge Elliot' operated the 16:10 Fairwater Yard to Ruscombe on the 15th July 2017. The track relaying train had been formed in Fairwater Yard during the early afternoon ready for its overnight work to relay track. The colourful set is seen passing Charlton (near Cogload Junction) on route north. (Photo: Simon Harling)


After its rather damp naming ceremony the Royal Naval Dockyard in Plymouth GBRf Class 66/7 No.66775 returned through Taunton with it's newly decorated body side including a white ensign and cast ships crest alongside it's new name 'HMS Argyll'. The with pigeons diving for cover the locomotive works light engine through Taunton operating as the 0Z32 15:52 Saltash to Westbury. (Photo: Nathan Williamson)

GB Railfreight (GBRf) named one of their Class 66/7 locomotives at HMS Drake in Plymouth's Royal Naval Dockyard on the 11th July. The locomotive No.66775 worked south through Taunton on Monday 10th July having been specially prepared for the event. In pouring rain on Tuesday 11th July the locomotive was named 'HMS Argyll' after the same Frigate which was in dock at the time. The locomotive side number was also changed to read F231 carry the same number as HMS Argyll also carries a White Ensign on both cab sides and a cast ships crest on both sides of cab. Class 66/7 No.66775 is seen passing Cogload Junction on Monday 10th July heading for south towards Plymouth. (Photo: Robert Latham)



We are pleased to be able to expand our Archive Steam pages with five more fully restored images taken at Taunton in the 1940's. We have plenty more images to add to the gallery as and when time permits. Many images have seen extensive work to bring them back to a viewable condition, including removing mould, lighting issues, and large amounts of scratches from highlighted by the high resolution scanning. We hope you enjoy these additional images we will be sure to let you know when more have been completed for your viewing pleasure. (Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)


Recreating scenes of over 25 years ago the sight of a British Rail 'Laira' Blue Class 50 in the village of Creech St Michael in 2017 on a revenue earning freight train twice in one month is unprecedented. Having already operated light engine to Exeter on Thursday 6th July, BR Class 50 No.50008 'Thunderer' proceeded to Okehampton where it collected the Network Rail Lorum Rail Grinder. The locomotive formed the 4Z01 08:30 Okehemapton to Cheddesden Sidings and is seen here passing the village of Creech St Michael on route north to Derby. (Photo: Darren Harris)


We were very pleased to work with the Somerset County Gazette over the past few weeks to supply images and information relating to the 175th Anniversary of the first steam train arriving into Taunton Station. The four page supliment is available in this weeks County Gazette. It's clear the railways have seen some incredible changes since their introduction, from the first passenger carrying trains, through to the fasted express trains which race up and down the country. The UK rail network is currently on the cusp of another huge change with over 700 new trains/ coaching stock being introduced onto the UK rails over the next two years. Some such as then HST replacement (the new IEP) are already on test in the South West and will soon be a regular sight at Taunton Station. Please keep an eye on out Pictorial Galleries as we will soon be adding more Steam Archive images from a recent house clearance collection. Each image has taken between two to ten hours to scan and repair to bring them up to an acceptable standard for viewing. At Taunton Trains we pride ourselves in recording the past for future generations to enjoy through good quality photography and careful selection of archive material to display.


Torbay Express passengers were again left without a steam locomotive to haul their train to Kingswear on Sunday 2nd July. Booked LNER A1 Pacific No.60163 'Tornado' was not able to operate the train and was replaced by a DB Cargo Class 66 No.66177. The unique experimental white roof Class 66 is pictured passing Allerford near Victory Crossing hauling the 1Z27 08:00 Bristol Temple Meads to Kingswear service. (Photo: Adam Snow)


Saturday 1st July marks the 175th Anniversary of the first passenger train arriving into Taunton Station. Operating as the Bristol and Exeter Railway the first steam passenger service arrived 175 years ago today. We are pleased to announce that we have been working with the Somerset County Gazzette in recent weeks to supply images and information for a forthcoming events feature in the paper which will be published this Thursday. Be sure to get your copy. (Photo: Brian Garrett)


THEN - 1992
NOW - 2017
We are always on the look out of comparison photos to add to our 'Then and Now' gallery, during June a complete conincidence occoured. We had purcashed a 35mm slide from Ebay a couple of years ago which got added into a folder but not scanned, recently while looking for some other images we came across this image of BR Green Western No.D1010 'Western Campaigner' at Bishops Lydeard (at the time it was operating as D1035 'Western Yeoman'). The image was taken in 1992 by an unknown photographer. Keeping in mind this image was purchased from a random photogrpaher, on the internet and then stored in a folder for nearly two years, imagine our shock upon scanning this image in to find welll known Taunton Trains contributor and Rail Enthusiast Phil Izzard
was captured at Bishops Lydeard looking over his shoulder. It was too much of a coincidence not to try and recreate. It just so happened that D1010 'Western Campaigner' would be operating the Maybach Memories services the following weekend. So on the 25th June 2017 some 25 years after the first image was taken, we were able to recreate the same image at Bishoops Lydeard Station, posed in the same position for the comparison shot. (Photo: Taunton Trains Collection/ Brian Garrett)


An online petition as been started in Taunton to save the Miniature Railways which has been running at Vivary Park by the Taunton Model Engineers. The same group have also been running a second site at the Creech St Michael playing fields for the last 17 years. The Taunton Models Engineers have recently been served notice by the Creech St Michael Parish Council as they obtained grant money and wish to fill the playing fields with playing equipment and remove the railway from the village. The Vivary Park site is now also in danger of being withdrawn, leaving the town with no miniature railway for children to enjoy and model engineers to build and drive their locomotives. Please help the cause by making the Creech St Michael Parish Council and TDBC reconsider their decisions and build the narrow gauge lines into their plans for the parks allowing future generations to enjoy. SIGN THE PETITION


Maybach Memories

The West Somerset Railway and the Diesel Electric Preservation Group are pleased to announce they have agreed to operate an additional eleven heritage diesel hydraulic locomotive hauled trains, during the 2017 season. These trains will run under the brand name of “MAYBACH MEMORIES” in recognition that the last British Railways Western Region Maybach powered diesel hydraulic locomotives ran in 1977.

These eleven trains are additional to those shown in the West Somerset Railway 2017 public timetable leaflet
and will run on the following dates:

Saturday 23rd September     
Sunday 24th September
Saturday 30th September

The planned 80 mile service day for each of our “MAYBACH MEMORIES” services will start the day at Bishops Lydeard at 11:50.

To haul these “MAYBACH MEMORIES” trains are planned to use either Class 35 “Hymek” D7017 or Class 52 “Western” D1010 “Western Campaigner”



2017 NEWS
Want to look at what happened in NEWS from 2009 - 2016 ? Have a look in our Archive Page

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