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Class 20 Gallery

The British Rail Class 20 (or English Electric Type 1) was built between 1957 and 1968 as part of the British Rail modernisation plan. A total of 228 locomotives were built. The 73-tonne locomotives produce around 1,000 horsepower and can operate at up to 75 mph. The locomotives have proved to be incredibly versatile in their usage, they found the niche hauling heavy coal trains in pairs to power stations in the midlands. They also found work on summer passenger diagrams and became popular with enthusiasts. As the coal fields gradually closed many of the class were withdrawn and cut up in the 90’s however after privatisation the class had a revival. They helped haul construction trains for the Channel Tunnel, and High Speed 1 &2. Direct Rail Services overhauled a fleet of 15 locomotives for use on their nuclear traffic. Their light weight design and low route availability allowed them to visit most branches in the UK which made them an ideal locomotive for this type of work. The Class 20s also hold the record for the most travelled British locomotive when three Class 20/9’s (20901, 902 and 903) were used on the Kosovo Train for Life charter in 1999, taking 800 tonnes of aid to war torn Bosnia. It was an incredible journey which will probably never be repeated. Class 20’s have also found industrial work within Scunthorpe Steel Works, and Blue Circle Cement, they have been used a docks shunters, hauled Rail Head Treatment Trains, London Tube Stock transfers, Enthusiast Charters, and have even hauled the Royal Train. The Class continues to be incredibly useful to the privatised railway and preservationists. While they may be 60 years old but their simple design and ‘go anywhere’ capability allows them to re-invented for new railway uses. This gallery showcases some of the Class 20’s which have passed through Taunton’s platforms over the years.

16th June 2018
Hastings Class 202 No. 60116 'Mountfield' leads the 1Z65 06:42 Hastings - Paignton charter south with partner powercar No. 60118 'Tunbridge Wells'. 'The South Devon Coaster' is pictured passing Norton Fitzwarren on the 16th June 2018 with the Hastings Unit making a rare visit to the South West.
(Photo: Phil Izzard)


16th June 2018
Making a rare visit to the South West, Hastings DEMU No. 60118 'Tunbridge Wells' and No. 60116 'Mountfield' thumps its way along the Somerset Levels on Saturday 16th June 2018, the unit was operating the 'South Devon Coaster' charter returning to Hastings as the 1Z66 17:21 from Paignton.
(Photo: Brian Garrett)


6th June 2018
It's nearly time for the big Diesel event of the year in the South West. The arrival of a nearly BR Blue convoy from Kidderminster marks the countdown to the West Somerset Railway Diesel Gala. Wednesday 6th June 2018 saw the colourful convoy arrive onto the West Somerset Railway. The convoy of locomotives was formed of BR Blue Class 20 No.20189 leading, London Transport Class 20 No.20142, BR Blue Class 50 No. 50035 'Ark Royal', BR Blue Class 45 No. 45041 'Royal Tank Regiment' and BR Blue Deltic No. 55019 'Royal Highland Fusilier'. The 0Z20 10:55 Kidderminster - Bishops Lydeard was captured passing Banklands.
(Photo: Paul Wilkins)


6th June 2018
It's nearly time for the big Diesel event of the year in the South West. The arrival of a nearly BR Blue convoy from Kidderminster marks the countdown to the West Somerset Railway Diesel Gala. Wednesday 6th June 2018 saw the colourful convoy arrive onto the West Somerset Railway. The convoy of locomotives was formed of BR Blue Class 20 No.20189 leading, London Transport Class 20 No.20142, BR Blue Class 50 No. 50035 'Ark Royal', BR Blue Class 45 No. 45041 'Royal Tank Regiment' and BR Blue Deltic No. 55019 'Royal Highland Fusilier'. The 0Z20 10:55 Kidderminster - Bishops Lydeard was captured passing Norton Fitzwarren.
(Photo: Jamie Waters)


11th June 2017
British Rail Green Class 20s No.D8059 and No.D8188 stand at Minehead on Saturday 11th June 2018 between duties ready to haul their next service train back to Bishops Lydeard during the WSR 2017 Diesel Gala Weekend.
(Photo: Brian Garrett)


11th June 2017
British Rail Green Class 20s No.D8188 and No.8059 power The Quantock Belle along the shore line at Blue Anchor passing Kerr Moor on Sunday 11th June 2017 heading for Dunster and Minehead.
(Photo: Brian Garrett)


10th June 2017
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 2017 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 received by gala visitors.
(Photo: Brian Garrett)


10th June 2017
Having arrived from Bishops Lydeard on Saturday 10th June 2017, Class 20s No.D8188 and No.8059 prepare to run around their stock at Minehead during the 2017 Diesel Gala Weekend.
(Photo: Brian Garrett)


10th June 2017
BR Green Class 20s No.D8059 and No.D8188 stand at Bishops Lydeard having arrived with the 14:47 Minehead - Bishops Lydeard service during the 2017 Diesel Gala weekend.
(Photo: Brian Garrett)


7th June 2017
As the 2017 West Somerset Railway Diesel Gala weekend approached on the 7th June 2017 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' 'Defiance' and No. 50007 'Hercules' 'Hercules' transported Class 20's No.D8188 & D8059 as the 0Z50 08:49 from Kidderminster. The Class 50's remained on the WSR during the weekend but were not used in the event, as their appearance was too late to change the WSR timetables and there were no trained crews available to drive them over the weekend.
(Photo: Paul Clarke)


24th April 2017
Having visited the edge of Dartmoor the BR Blue Class 20 pairing returned north through Taunton hauling Class 45/0 No. 45060 'Sherwood Forester', Class 47/8 No.47828 and Class 33 No.33035. The three trailing locomotives had been on the Dartmoor Railway since before Christmas 2016 when they were operating Polar Express services on the line. Class 20 No.20169 leads the 0Z47 14:00 Okehampton to St Philips Marsh through Norton Fitzwarren on the 24th April 2017.
(Photo: Chay Farzenah)


24th April 2017
You would probably be correct in thinking anyone wanting to put money on a pair of BR Blue Class 20's passing Taunton during April 2017 could be classed as mad, but where the UK railway scene is concerned then it's probably a fair bet. Monday 24th April 2017 provided the incredible sight of BR Blue Class 20's No.20205 & No.20189 working light engine through Taunton. The 0Z20 09:20 Kidderminster - Okehamtpon operated in order to collect three locomotives from the Dartmoor Railway. The pair are seen passing 40 Steps, Taunton on route south.
(Photo: Chay Farzenah)


24th April 2017
The ensemble of former British Rail 'classics' heads north through Norton Fitzwarren on the 24th April 2017 working the 0Z47 14:00 Okehampton to Kidderminster convoy, with just 47828 slightly out of sync still wearing it's former DRS Blue. The Class 47 was booked to attend the Severn Valley Railway Diesel Gala on the 17th-20th May where it was repainted int Intercity Swallow livery in time for the event.
(Photo: Chay Farzenah)


30th August 2013
Pathfinder Tours operated 'The Torbay Flyer' charter for the Dartmouth Regatta on Friday 30th August 2013. DRS Class 20s No.20303 and No.20308 work the 1Z18 07:13 Crewe to Kingswear through Marlands on the uphill grade to Whiteball Tunnel.
(Photo: S A Ginn)


8th July 1984
BR Blue Class 20's No.20169 and No.20184 pass under the impressive signal gantry at 40 Steps, Taunton on the 8th July 1984 operating the 1Z38 05:05 Bristol Temple Meads - Bere Alston charter. The pair power The Devonshire Dart south with the majority of the passengers on board enjoying the noise. The charter was operated by F&W Railtours and visited Bere Alston, Plymouth Friary and Meldon Quarry.
(Photo: Paul Clarke)


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