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Class 43 Gallery

Images of Class 43 Powercars taken in the Taunton Area. The High Speed Train (HST) has certainly had some interesting times since introduced by British Rail in the 1980's. Taunton and the South West have always had an association with the class. When originally introduced it was intended that the HST's would remain as a complete operational set, as such they were given a unit style numbering sequence starting in 253xxx. It soon became apparent working the sets in this way was impractical, as a fault on a single coach or power car rendered the whole set unusable until the fault was rectified. Later the power cars were given Class 43 status and became interchangeable between coaching stock rakes. Throughout their life the HST has moved with the times, with hundreds of modifications having been carried out in order to keep the fleet modern and efficient. With the onset of privatization many modifications became specific to one operator fleet, to the extent that in some cases there were quite some wide ranging differences between HST's used by different operators. The HST has always been a part of normal rail travel in the South West, but not many of the general public realize that the HST's which they travel on today, are exactly the same as those which they may have boarded or seen some 30 years previously! This collection details some of the cosmetic and technical changes which have taken place over the last 30 years.

1st January 2018
The first day of a new year can always throw up an interesting working, the 1st January 2018 was no exception. GWR provided a full length HST to cover for an absent Class 166 Turbo on the Taunton - Cardiff Central stopping diagram. Heritage liveried powercar No. 43185 'Great Western' leads No.43176 past Broomhay Crossing near Bathpool, having departed Taunton with the 9U16 12:04 Taunton - Cardiff Central. The set had previously arrived with the 10:00 from Cardiff Central.
(Photo: Thomas Courtney)


29th December 2017
GWR HST No.43004 leads No.43035 up Whiteball Bank working the 1Z19 11:32 Paignton to Bristol Temple Meads service on 29th December 2017.
(Photo: Brian Garrett)


27th December 2017
Planned engineering blockades in connection with overhead electrification work,and crossrail construction between Reading and Paddington saw a revised timetable in operation over the Christmas and New Year Period. On the 27th December no trains operated into or out of London Paddington. Some HST services were diverted to arrive at London Marylebone, while others terminated short at Reading for onward road transport. One such altered service was the 1A78 06:45 Penzance - Reading (which would normally run through to London Paddington). Heritage liveried powercar No. 43185 'Great Western' leads No.43176 across the Somerset Levels near Oath in glorious sunlight, having called at Taunton ten minutes beforehand. The set returned west later that day working the 1C82 12:20 Reading to Penzance service.
(Photo: Adam Snow)


13th December 2017
Shortened Great Western HST Set No.43135 and No.43163 pass through Taunton on th 13th December while working the 5Z26 12:37 Bristol Temple Meads - Laira test run.
(Photo: Paul Clarke)


2nd December 2017
Great Western HST set No.43136 and No.43086 pass through the village of Creech St Michael on the 2nd December 2017 while working the 1A81 08:44 Penzance - London Paddington service.
(Photo: Brian Garrett)


1st December 2017
The latest Great Western HST to go off lease operated on the 1st December 2017. Debranded powercars No.43037 and No.43126 operated the 5Z43 11:42 Laira - St Philips Marsh with set LA01 (42076, 40210, 42033, 42034, 42007, 44011, 41024, 42559, 42035). The set catches the low Winter sunlight passing Cogload Junction.
(Photo: Brian Garrett)


1st December 2017
Great Western HST No.43163 leads No.43153 south through Cogload Junction on the 1st December 2017 working the 1C81 11:34 London Paddington - Exeter service, while on the flyover embankment behind the future IEP waits at the signal working the 5Z19 09:34 North Pole IEP - Taunton test run.
(Photo: Brian Garrett)


1st December 2017
Great Western HST No.43122 and No.43164 catches the low winter sunlight at Cogload Junction on the 1st December 2017 while working the 1A83 10:00 Penzance - London Paddington service.
(Photo: Brian Garrett)


1st December 2017
Great Western HST No.43151 andf No.43025 pass Cogload Junction on 1st December 2017 while working the 1C82 12:06 London Paddington - Penzance service.
(Photo: Brian Garrett)


1st December 2017
Cross Country HST set No.43378 and No.43304 pass Cogload Junction on the 1st December 2017 while working the 1S51 12:25 Plymouth - Glasgow service in the low winter sunlight.
(Photo: Brian Garrett)


11th November 2017
Great Western HST No.43024 leads partner No.43126 north through Norton Fitzwarren on Saturday 11th November 2017. The pair were working 1A81 08:44 Penzance - London Paddington service. 43126 on the rear of the set was on its second last day of operation with Grest Western before going 'off lease' and transfered to Scotrail.
(Photo: Brian Garrett)


11th November 2017
Great Western HST No.43026 & No.43020 pass Norton Fitzwarren on the 11th November 2017 working the 1A82 11:54 Exeter St Davids - London Paddington service.
(Photo: Brian Garrett)


11th November 2017
On its second last day in service with Great Western No.43126 rides on the rear of the 1A81 08:44 Penzance - London Paddington service through Norton Fitzwarren. After coming out of service on the 12th November 2017 the powercar was then transfered to Scotrail.
(Photo: Brian Garrett)


4th November 2017
Heritage liveried GWR powercar No. 43185 'Great Western' 'Great Western' leads No.43125 on the 1C79 11:06 London Paddington - Plymouth service through Creech St Michael on the 4th November 2017.
(Photo: Brian Garrett)


4th November 2017
Great Western HST No.43136 leads No.43079 through Creech St Michael on while working the 1A82 11:54 Exeter St Davids - London Paddington service.
(Photo: Brian Garrett)


2nd November 2017
With thick fog enveloping Taunton on the 2nd November 2017 Great Western HST powercar No.43150 leads No.43034 arriving into Taunton working the 1A74 05:53 Plymouth to Paddington service.
(Photo: Nathan Williamson)


21st October 2017
With the new GWR IEP trains now slowly coming into service the second and third GWR HST sets departed the South West on the 20th and 21st October going off lease. On the 21st October 2017 No.43036 leads No.43134 north through Norton Fizwarren as the 5Z43 12:10 Laira to St Philips Marsh with an assorment of coaching stock (41052 40205 42077 42078 40221 42056 44018 42564). The stock would continue to Ely for secure storage on the 22nd October before both powercars working forward to Brush Loughborough.
(Photo: Phil Izzard)


19th August 2017
GWR Powercar No.43188 carries additional Welsh Dragon branding on the bodyside. It is pictured in Platform 5 at Taunton on Saturday 19th August 2017 working the 1A92 17:00 Paignton to London Paddington service. The very next day this powercar was involved in a derailment at London Paddington station which left the powercar listing to one side in public view. It was quickly re-railed and an investigation opened into how the incident occurred.
(Photo: Robert Latham)


13th August 2017
Having hired an East Midlands Trains powercar on the 11th August, Cross Country were forced to hire a Virgin Trains powercar for the 12th August 2017 after No.43043 failed in Glasgow. In an ironic combination (Virgin being the former operator of Cross Country) No.43305 teamed up with No.43207 to operate the 1V58 09:00 Glasgow - Penzance diagram. Sunday 13th August saw the set return with the 1D51 12:25 Plymouth - Glasgow, pictured here passing Norton Fitzwarren on the approach to Taunton.
(Photo: Philip Izzard)


11th August 2017
Cross Country hired in a powercar from East Midlands Trains on Friday 11th August 2017 due to the non availability of one of their own powercars. No.43043 joined Cross Country powercar No.43207 to operate the 1V44 06:00 Leeds - Plymouth and 1S51 return to Glasgow. Due to late running the set only made it to Totnes before being terminated and reformed to return to Glasgow. With the colourful powercar leading No.43043 is pictured in Platform 5 at Taunton with the 1S51 to Glasgow.
(Photo: Paul Clarke)


28th July 2017
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 'John Armitt' and No. 43014 'The Railway Observer' visited Penzance, Paignton, and Bristol from Old Oak Common. No. 43062 'John Armitt' 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)


17th June 2017
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 2017 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)


13th May 2017
While D1010 whisked passengers to Minehead and back on the 13th May 2017, the GWR set returned to Taunton station and was stabled in Platform 2 at Taunton for two hours before returning to Bishops Lydeard. This operational move blocked the down relief at Taunton for two hours while all other passenger trains were rerouted to use Platform 3. No.43002 'Sir Kenneth Grange' is pictured at Norton Fitzwarren trailing the 1Z26 14:30 Taunton - Bishops Lydeard to collect passengers in time for the return service to London Paddington.
(Photo: Brian Garrett)


13th May 2017
The third charter to visit Taunton on the 13th May 2017 was the GWR/125 Group's 'Somerset Explorer' this used Green GWR set LA15 with powercars No.43093 and No.43002 'Sir Kenneth Grange'. It had been hoped INTERCITY liveried No. 43185 'Great Western' would lead the set however a failure in traffic resulted in 43093 deputizing. The HST set operated the 1Z66 08:36 Paddington - Bishops Lydeard where passengers were transferred to the waiting DEPG Western No. D1010 'Western Campaigner' 'Western Campaigner' for the trip to Minehead and back. Originally the HST was booked to have traveled through to Minehead however operational issues resulted in the traction change at Bishops Lydeard, D1010 'Western Campaigner' being a fine replacement service. The two iconic designs are seen next to one another at Bishops Lydeard.
(Photo: Brian Garrett)


13th May 2017
GWR operated two powercar transfers on May 13th 2017, during the morning No.43087 & No.43187 had moved either end of TGS Mk3 No.44000 between Laira and St Philips Marsh. In the afternoon powercars No.43098 and No.43087 returned between TGS Mk3 No.44000, the afternoon working (5Z77 St Philips Marsh - Laira) is seen passing Banklands near Durston.
(Photo: Brian Garrett)


10th May 2017
It's not often you get the chance to photograph such a selection of colourful trains in such a short period of time, but with the First Great Western livery in a state of flux now being revised to GWR, and numerous 'celebrity' liveried powercars operating. GWR services are becoming even more colourful. In just 22 minutes on Wednesday 10th May the following services were recorded at Cogload Junction. 43185 'Great Western' (Intercity) + 43002 (Intercity 125) 1C92 18:03 London Paddington - Penzance 'The Golden Hind' formed between a new rake of GWR Mk3 coaching stock passing Cogload Junction 19:46
(Photo: Brian Garrett)


10th May 2017
It's not often you get the chance to photograph such a selection of colourful trains in such a short period of time, but with the First Great Western livery in a state of flux now being revised to GWR, and numerous 'celebrity' liveried powercars operating. GWR services are becoming even more colourful. In just 22 minutes on Wednesday 10th May the following services were recorded at Cogload Junction. 43126 (Bristol 2015) + 43169 (FGW Blue) 1C91 17:33 London - Paddington - Paignton passing Cogload Junction 19:39
(Photo: Brian Garrett)


10th May 2017
It's not often you get the chance to photograph such a selection of colourful trains in such a short period of time, but with the First Great Western livery in a state of flux now being revised to GWR, and numerous 'celebrity' liveried powercars operating. GWR services are becoming even more colourful. In just 22 minutes on Wednesday 10th May the following services were recorded at Cogload Junction. 43185 'Great Western' (Intercity) + 43002 (Intercity 125) 1C92 18:03 London Paddington - Penzance 'The Golden Hind' formed between a new rake of GWR Mk3 coaching stock passing Cogload Junction 19:46
(Photo: Brian Garrett)


10th May 2017
It's not often you get the chance to photograph such a selection of colourful trains in such a short period of time, but with the First Great Western livery in a state of flux now being revised to GWR, and numerous 'celebrity' liveried powercars operating. GWR services are becoming even more colourful. In just 22 minutes on Wednesday 10th May 2017 the following services were recorded at Cogload Junction. 43198 (GWR Green) + 43142 (FGW Blue) - 1C22 16:35 London Paddington - Taunton passing Cogload Junction 19:24
(Photo: Brian Garrett)


29th April 2017
GWR have been transferring powercars between Plymouth and South Wales with some regularity of late. During Saturday 29th April No.43036 returned 'Building a Greater West' liveried powercar No.43146 back to Laira. 43146 being the powercar featured earlier this month on this page with some serious exhaust issues. The 0Z77 09:35 Landore - Laira movement is pictured passing Creech St Michael on the approach to Taunton.
(Photo: Brian Garrett)


22nd April 2017
GWR moved a pair of their green powercars from Laira Depot to Landore Depot in a rare Saturday morning diagram on the 22nd April 2017. No.43041 and No.43188 are seen passing Norton Fitzwarren while working the 0Z86 from from Plymouth to Swansea
(Photo: Sclub )


14th May 2016
With good evening sunlight on the 14th May 2016 we had confirmation that GWR's Heritage HST powercar would be leading a HST set from London, there was only one place to record the nostalgia of the HST in the Taunton area. Intercity 125 liveried powercar No.43002 leads the 1C89 17:00 Paddington - Penzance under the famous flyover at Cogload Junction.
(Photo: Brian Garrett)


17th December 2009
Part in sun and part in shadow, the 07:30 London Part in sun and part in shadow, the 1C04 07:30 London Paddington - Penzance via Bristol Templ Meads 'Merchant Venturer' HST makes its booked stop at Taunton on the 17th December 2009, with Class 43 powercar No 43079 on the rear of the set.
(Photo: Brian Morrison)


22nd March 1999
Great Western 'Merlin' liveried HST powercar No.43149 pulls out of Taunton Station on the 22nd March 1999 working the 11:35 London Paddington - Plymouth service.
(Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)


3rd May 1996
Buffered HST powercar No.43067 leads an unidentified cross country service north at Cogload Junction on the 3rd May 1996.
(Photo: Graham Roose)


28th August 1986
Intercity 125 liveried HST No.43006 and No.43007 (Set 253003) departs from Taunton on the 28th August 1986 working the 12:45 London Paddington - Plymouth service.
(Photo: Clan72007)


6th April 1985
Birtish Rail Intercity 125 No.43183 and No.43167 pass through Taunton East Junction on the 6th April 1985 with a cross country service. Note the additional TGS trailer in the consist at the rear of the set.
(Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)


22nd December 1984
An unidentifed Intercity 125 powers through Norton Fitzwarren passing the Taunton Sider plant on the 22nd December 1984 with a service from London Paddington.
(Photo: Paul Clarke)


22nd December 1984
An Unidentified Intercity 125 liveried HST set passes through the former Norton Fitzwarren station on the 22nd December 1984 with a London Paddington bound service.
(Photo: Paul Clarke)


27th July 1984
On the 27th July 1984 HST powercar No.43027 departs from Taunton under the famous semaphore signals at Taunton East Junction with a Paddington bound Intercity 125 service from Plymouth. Some 14 years later 43027 still travels the same route into and out of London each day operated by First Great Western. This view shows the second version of the Intercity livery which was eventually dropped in favour of the 'Intercity Swallow' version.
(Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)


16th February 1984
An Unidentified Intercity 125 liveried HST set passes the site of the Norton Fitzwarren station and Barnstaple/ Minehead diverstion on the 16th February 1984 with a cross country service.
(Photo: Paul Clarke)


21st March 1982
n pouring rain at Taunton on 21st March 1982, HST set No.253011 (43022+43023) awaits the 'off' with the 10:00 service to Plymouth from London Paddington, via Bath Spa.
(Photo: Brian Morrison)


24th April 1981
This image shows Intercity an unidentified HST set arriving into Taunton on the 24th April 1981 working the 10:00 Plymouth - London Paddington service.
(Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)



Take on a very wet day in 1988, a BR Blue HST set No.253001 (formed of No.43002 & No.43003) makes a rare stop on the centre platform at Taunton (at that time the platform was out of use to the public). It is pictured in the pouring rain at Taunton adjacent to a postal service in the opposite platform.
(Photo: I T Langhorn)



Taken in 1988 Intercity 125 livered HST set No.253053 (43187 + 43188) pass over Athelney Crossing passing the Athelney Signal Box with a Paddington bound express.
(Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)



Mixed HST set 253008 (No.43016 & No.43017) pass pass Fordgate between Durston and Bridgwater in August 1988.
(Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)



This image shows a typical scene from Taunton in the 1980's. A full branded Intercity HST pulls away from Taunton (possibly on a Cross Country service). The date and any other details for this image are unknown.
(Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)



This image shows a typical scene from Taunton in the 1980's. A mixed branded Intercity/BR Blue HST pulls away from Taunton (possibly on a service to Plymouth from London Paddington). The date and any other details for this image are unknown.
(Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)



Virgin Trains powercar leads an Intercity Mk3 rake north at Cogload Junction on an unknown date working a Virgin Cross Country service. This image would of been taken at the start of the privatization process with Virgin having won the Cross Country franchise.
(Photo: John Day)



An unidentified Intercity HST set passes Cogload Junction on an unknown date in the 1990's
(Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)



This wonderful summer scene at Cogload Junction of enthusiasts turning up for an afternoons 'spotting' with their tshirts off it must have been a hot day. The Virgin HST shows the post privatization of the railways with Virgin Cross Country
(Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)



An unidentified Intercity 125 - HST arrives into Taunton Station passing the former Avimo building (right) as it heads north.
(Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)



In 1989 the transition change from BR Blue and Grey to the first version of Intercity livery was still in full flow, here a cross country service (probably from Plymouth) is seen heading north at Cogload Junction. 253009 was formed of powercars 43019 and 43018.
(Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)


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