JUNE 2017 NEWS : 

Colas Rail Freight recently purchased two Class 67 locomotives from DB Cargo for used on test trains, the pair No.67027+67023 have been painted into Colas Rail Freight colours and named They have also received the names 'Charlotte' and 'Stella'. On the 30th June the pair stood in for the Network Rail New Measurement Train HST set which was out of service for maintenance. Class 67 No.67027 is pictured here passing Creech St Michael working the 1Z18 15:46 Paignton to Taunton via Bristol Temple Meads leg of the track recording diagram. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
During the day Class 67's No.67027 and No.67023 visited Penzance, Paignton, and Bristol Temple Meads passing through Taunton 3 times (once to change direction) before returning to London Paddington. No.67023 'Stella' leads the 1Z18 15:46 Paignton to Taunton via Bristol Temple Meads seen passing Norton Fitzwarren. Stock for the train was formed of Mk2a No.977969 Staff Coach, Mk2f No.977997 Radio Survey Coach RSC3, MK2f No.72631 Plain Line Pattern Recognition Coach PLPR1 and Mk1 No.975091 overhead line inspection coach. (Photo: Phil Izzard)


The UK Railway system can turn up some very unique and bizarre workings on the mainline. The old adage of 'never say never' couldn't of been any more true in June. Those who would of put money on three operational former British Rail Class 50's visiting Taunton in under two weeks of one another would of been in for a large payout. On the 29th June, Laira Blue Class 50 No.50008 'Thunderer' made a return to its former stomping ground in the South West by means of working the 4Z01 12:45 Chaddeston Sidings - Okehampton with a Lorum Rail Grinder in tow. The Grinder which has been purchased by Network Rail has been developed in America and will be used to train UK staff on the Okehampton branch. Thunderer is pictured at Bathpool with the remarkable working heading for Exeter and Okehampton. (Photo: Thomas Courtney)


D1010 'Western Campaigner' operated by the Diesel and Electric Preservation Group based at Williton was rostered to work the the Maybach Memories diagram on the 25th June 2017. The locomotive is pictured at Crowcombe Heathfield while working the afternoon 15:20 departure from Bishops Lydeard seen here passing BR 4F arriving from Minehead on a joint service/ memorial train. The next Maybach Memories service operates on the 9th July beginning at 11:50 from Bishops Lydeard. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
You could be forgiven for thinking your seeing double at Williton Shed on the West Somerset Railway, as the DEPG locomotive overhauls near completion there will soon be two operational Class 33's and two operations Class 35's on the line, all wearing the same locomotive liveries. On the 24th June Class 33 No.6575 (33057) is seen at Williton on a driver training experience, passing sister locomotive No.6566 (33048) which is due to have its fuel tanks refitted this coming week. Very soon the Crompton Twins will be reunited and could provide some interesting pairings in the future. (Photo: Thomas Courtney)
Also nearing the end of it's own 20 year restoration is Class 35 Hymek No.D7018, the locomotive is now well into its prep and paint stage, and shades of its original BR Blue (a livery it has never carried in preservation) are clearly visible on Williton Shed. Sister locomotive D7017 waits patiently to be reunited with her twin. After such an extensive overhaul and absence from traffic it will be a pleasure to hear a pair of Hymek's working along the length of the line once again. This image captured on the 25th June records the pair stabled at Williton. (Photo: Brian Garrett)


Pathfinder Tours 'Mazey Day Cornishman' from Worcester to Penzance didn't quite go to plan on Saturday 25th June 2017 in one of the most public failures of railtour traction in a very long time. Direct Rail Services supplied two Class 37/0 locomotives (some of the oldest operational Class 37's on the UK network) for the charter. It was planned to be potentially the last pair of DRS Class 37's to visit Penzance, as they are currently being phased out by new Class 68 and 88 locomotives. Before departure from Worcester 37069 sporadically shutdown with a CCB fault, and couldn't be reset. and was removed from the train. It was planned for sister locomotive No.37059 to go it alone and take the train forward. With load 10 in tow 37059 reached Great Malvern where it developed a DSD fault. This fault was fixed after another 20 minutes. It was decided should the tour need to reach Penzance then a second locomotive would be needed and a Class 66/5 was hired from Freightliner. So the colourful combination with Class 37 No.37059 doing all the work is seen passing Norton Fitzwarren running a mere 159 minutes behind schedule. (Photo: Sclub)


Thursday 22nd June 2017 was another ground breaking day for the new GWR IEP's which are currently on test in the South West. No.800003 and No.800004 formed the first IEP sets to reach Penzance. Having visited the tip of Cornwall the pair returned to North Pole Depot in London and recessed at Taunton for an hour. In the coming months these new IEP sets will start to replace the iconic HST's which have operated on the route since the 1980's. No.800003 leads the 5X92 12:47 Penzance - North Pole through 40 Steps, Taunton on route back to London. (Photo: Thomas Courtney)


We are very pleased to bring you additional 'Bonus Footage' from the West Somerset Railway Diesel Gala last weekend, we had some footage left over and it seemed a waste not to use it, so we've created a bouns collection of clips. (Video: Brian Garrett)


LMS Steam passed through the Taunton area on Saturday 17th June hauling Vintage Trains 'Whistling Ghost V' charter. Sadly the tour was held up in the Swindon area due to GWR service requiring attention from the Wiltshire Fire Brigade at Swindon. After being looped for a period of time while the incident ahead was dealt with the tour was finally able to get underway again. Running 62 minutes behind schedule LMS Pacific No.46233 'Duchess of Sutherland' steams through Creech St Michael on route to Bishops Lydeard. (Photo: Brian Garrett)
GWR heritage repaint powercar No.43002 'Sir Kenneth Grange' is now looking nicely weather worn on the front end of the powercar with the classic sweeping black marks above the cab window. On Saturday 17th June the powercar lead the 1C77 10:06 Paddington - Penzance service with powercar No.43148 on the rear of the set. The unique liveried HST powercar is seen passing Creech St Michael on the approaches to Taunton. (Photo: Brian Garrett)


The tides of change and rolling stock upgrades are certainly changing in Taunton. Thursday 15th June saw more daylight testing of the new IEP sets in the South West. Two services operated to Taunton arriving within minutes of one another on test. Left No.800003 'Queen Elizabeth II' is pictured in Platform 3 at Taunton having arrived working the 5X20 09:06 Swindon - Taunton while No.800004 'Sir Daniel Gooch/ Isambard Kingdom Brunel' arrives with the 5Z19 07:34 North Pole IEP Depot to Taunton. The pair then reversed and followed one another to Bristol Temple Meads. (Photo: 50006Neptune)
Just days after having been named at London Paddington by HRH Queen Elizabeth II, the new IEP No.800003 is pictured in Platform 3 at Taunton having arrived on test with the 5X20 09:06 Swindon to Taunton. The set then reversed direction and returned to Bristol Temple Meads. (Photo: 50006Neptune)


Freightliner Class 66 No.66514 leads the TRT and 66549 returns to Taunton at at 06:45am having been out on overnight engineering works. Catching the early morning light the 6X04 04:33 Leckwith North Junction to Fairwater Yard passes through platform 2 at Taunton. (Photo: Nathan Williamson)
Having had their short break in Somerset all be it doing a spot of sunbathing at Bishops Lydeard, Class 50's No.50007 & No.50049 burst back into life on Wednesday 14th June. The pair of locomotives coupled up to WSR Diesel Gala visitors Class 20's No.D8059 and D8188 to return them to the Midland Railway Centre at Butterely. The 0Z50 08:56 from Bishops Lydeard passes Bathpool on route north. (Photo: Shaun Mockridge)
BR Blue Class 50 No.50007 'Hurcules' and Large Logo No.50049 'Defiance' haul the pair of visiting Class 20's from the West Somerset Railway back to The Midland Railway centre. The group of colourful locomotives was captured passing Charlton Bridge near Cogload Junction on the 14th June. (Photo: Tony Christie)
Freightliner Powerhaul liveried Class 66/4 No.66528 operated the 09:47 Fairwater Yard to Doncaster Wood Yard concrete sleepers on Wednesday 14th June, the colouful set is seen passing Charlton near Cogload Junction at the start of its 200 mile journey to Doncaster. (Photo: Tony Christie)
South West Trains do not operate through Taunton however one in a while one of their fleet escapes from it's territory and passed through. Monday 12th June saw Class 158 No.158885 operate the 5M99 empty stock working from Salisbury to Loughborough where it was booked to enter Brush Works for attention. The colourful unit is seen passing Taunton on route north. (Photo: Paul Clarke)


Freightliner have a limited amount of their Class 66's painted in 'powerhaul' livery. The revised freightliner branding was meant to be a bit of change for the company but it has been very slow in applying it fleet wide. Many of the former Direct Rail Services Class 66/4's do carry the livery. On Monday 12th June Class 66/4 No.66420 returns light engine to Fairwater Yard from Westbury, see passing through Taunton Station. (Photo: Paul Clarke)
Recently there has been a discarded Osprey wagon located in the tamper sidings behind Platform 2 at Taunton. Freightliner Class 66 No.66545 retrieved errant wagon DB996584 from the Tamper Sidings on Saturday 10th June 2017, and moved it to Fairwater Yard. The wagon was removed from an engineers train (6W08) on April 22nd. (Photo: Leigh Wills) *taken by trained and qualified personnel*


GWR Remembrance powercar No.43172 'Harry Patch' which commemorates World War vetans and Henry John (Harry) Patch (17 June 1898 – 25 July 2009). He was dubbed in his later years the Last Fighting Tommy, and was a British supercentenarian, briefly the oldest man in Europe and the last surviving combat soldier of the First World War from any country. The unique powercar was captured at Taunton on June 10th, the unique power car is seen paused at Taunton while working the 1A35 Penzance - Paddington late evening service. (Photo: Robert Latham)


As the Quantock Hills slowly begin to return to the sound of steam and whistles, the West Somerset Railway Heritage Diesels return to their base's after three days of being let loose on the nineteen mile branch line between Bishops Lydeard and Minehead. The 2017 event marked a milestone for the WSR with the first full blown Diesel Gala event in years, the first time steam was stopped in favor of taking the brave step of letting another era of British Rail history take centre stage. Adding local breweries as part of The Ale Trail (located at Bishops Lydeard, Stogumber and Minehead) was also another great step forward in developing something unique for the future of Diesel Gala events on the line. Later running on the Saturday was also welcomed. The three visiting locomotives, two BR Green Class 20's and a BR Blue Class 26 were ideally suited to the line, and provided some great sounds for passengers to enjoy. The home fleet of locomotives from the Diesel Electric Preservation Group also performed faultlessly. Because of the amount of photographs which are inevitably taken at such events, and then shared on most social media platforms we tried to do something a little different to record this new look gala event. The above video (hosted on our TauntonTrains Youtube Channel) was recorded over two days of the 2017 event and provides an alternative view of the gala weekend which hasn't been tried before for this type of event. (Video: Brian Garrett)


The first two days of the West Somerset Railway Diesel Gala weekend have gone without a hitch.The event attracted lots of visitors to the line and the Ale Trail (at Bishops Lydeard, Stogumber and Minehead) seemed popular and busy. On Saturday 10th June BR Green Class 20's No.D8188 (20188) and No.D8059 (20059) at pictured at Bishops Lydeard ready to depart with the 16:55 to Minehead. The pair have been experiencing problems with dual power throughout the weekend but continue to operate and keep to time on their diagrams, and seemed well recieved by gala visitors. (Photo: Brian Garrett)


As the West Somerset Railway Diesel Gala weekend approaches this weekend the final set of locomotives was delivered to Bishops Lydeard from Kidderminster by GBRf. GB hired a pair of Class 50's from The Fifty Fund to move the BR GReen Class 20's to the railway. No.50049 'Defiance' and No.50007 'Hercules' transported Class 20's No.D8188 & D8059 as the 0Z50 08:49 from Kidderminster. The Class 50's will remain on the WSR during the weekend but will not be used in the event, at their appearance was too late to change the WSR timetables and there were no trained crews available to drive them over the weekend. The Diesel filled fun starts on Friday 9th June, be sure to check out the details below and visit the line to enjoy a different era of British Railways travel on the great mix of locomotives on offer. (Photos: Paul Clarke)



2017 NEWS
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