The Archive Steam Collection

Images of Archive Steam in the Taunton Area. It's a very sad fact that as people pass away that their life long collections get split up and sold, especially if they have no next of kin. The act of house clearance for future tenants provides a quick method to move new tenants into a property and a quick clearance then provides an efficient way to remove possessions. These possessions are then put of for sale for opportune bidders to sort and sell on the goods at their own pace.This does at least mean that items of historical significance can be saved for future generations to view. At Taunton Trains we are always on the look out for railway images from the past to host on this website in order to educate and record the past history of the railway scenes around the Taunton area. A recent discovery of black and white negatives featuring Taunton, being sold on Ebay has gifted viewers of this website some incredibly rare images. It's thought they many have never been seen online, or previously published. While we have made every effort to trace the original photographer the lines of tractability are erased at the point of house clearance, therefore it's impossible to know who took these stunning images and how they lay undiscovered from many years. Clearly the photographer was using excellent equipment from the day and knew how to best frame and pose images. Sadly along with the lack of a traceable name the same applies to any information about dates, workings and stories attached to these images, our captions for each of the images below are merely based upon our own research. While the original photographer retains the copyright to these images for 50 years after passing away, the lack of a traceable owner has lead us to enter these images as part of the 'Taunton Trains Collection'. Some of the images below date back to the 1930's and were taken on glass plates, others exist on 6"x3" cut film. The job of scanning and repairing images has taken many hours of work to bring them up to an acceptable viewing standard, removing scratches, damage, and decomposition. Several images have taken in excess of 10 hours to bring back to a view-able standard.

31st October 1963
On the 31st October 1963 Small Prairie Tank 2-6-2 No.4591 departs Taunton with the 09:45 Taunton - Yeovil service formed of 4 coaches.
(Photo: Russell Leitch)

24th August 1963
2-6-2T Large Prairie No.4143 departs from Crowcombe Heathfield Station on the 24th August 1963 while working teh 14:20 Minehead - London Paddington service.
(Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)

8th September 1962
0-6-0 Pannier Tank No.4663 complete with 83B shed plate number stands at Taunton on the 8th September 1962 waiting to deaprt with a local stopping service.
(Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)

5th September 1962
Taken at Minehead on the 5th September 1962 2-6-2 No.5563 prepares to depart for Taunton. We have tried to find the details of the original photographer but so far there has been no trace. If you can help please contact us.
(Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)

19th May 1957
4-4-0 No.3440 stands at Taunton on the 19th May 1957 working a Enthusiast Railtour from Swindon to Kingswear. The locomotive is seen taking water in the centre platforms. This was the commencing period when No.3440 was employed running Railway Enthusiast Specials and light local work from Paddington and Reading. Of note the engine is fitted with top feed and original number not it's later number of No.3717.
(Photo: Maurice Dean)

20th May 1892
20th May 1892 'Rover' Class 4-2-2 'Dragon' stands at Taunton hauling the last down 'Cornishman' the 10:15 Paddington - Penzance, with the crew posed for the a photograph.
(Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)

Two unknown crew members posing infront of GWR Hawskworth 4-6-0 No. 1002 'Western Explorer' 'County of Berks' at Taunton.
(Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)

An unknown crew member posing on the footplate of GWR No.3440 'Cormerant'.
(Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)

This wonderful image was taken in February 1960 and shows 2-6-2T No.5543 arriving into Bishops Lydeard from Minehead heading for Taunton.
(Photo: Colour Rail)

At the end of steam, Taunton's ample yards were used to store steam locomotives which had been taken out of traffic, In March 1964 there were 18 locos in store at 83B, including 8 moguls, 3 Halls, and 3 LMS 2-6-2s. On the 7th December 1963 the 40 Steps store line was 6421, 7333,7305, 6327, 5548, 4902, 4934, 7326. On Tuesday 7th April 1964 is was recorded that 4934, 4902, 7333, 2871 and 7326 were all out of service in the store line. We can also add that 4902, with 5 other locos, was towed to Bristol en route to scrapping, by 2822 on the 7th May 1964. The other four locos from the photo were moved to the sidings beside 83B works on or before 3th June 1964. Then 3810 was used to tow 7326 and 7333 (also 6327) to Bristol on the 5th June 1964. When 4934 and 2871 departed is not known, but were not noted on the 19th June 1964 so it was any time before then. Also Pip Davey recalls that a Hall, possibly 4930, was backed into the lifting shop crane hook, wrecking the cab (roof) which was replaced by one from a stored loco!!!! IF it was 4930, it could be that the cab roof of the front loco in the picture (4934) is the only bit that still exists.
(Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)

Taken by an unknown photogrpaher with no details, a 2-6-0 Mogal arrives into Taunton (possibly from Barnstaple) with a three coach local service.
(Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)

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