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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.

6th May 2018
GWR Celebrity powercar No.43172 speeds down the ramp from Cogload Junction flyover on Sunday 6th May while operating the 1Z83 13:43 London Marylebone - Penzance service with partner No.43150. HST's had been diverted into Marrylebone due to weekend engineering work being carried out by Network Rail preventing access into London Paddington.
(Photo: Ross Mayl)


6th May 2018
A mixed formation of First Great Western Blue and GWR Green rounds the curve at Cogload Junction on the 6th May 2018. No.43124 leads No.43070 while working the 1C87 16:26 Reading - Plymouth service passing a gathering of local canal barge owners on the Taunton and Bridgwater Canal.
(Photo: Brian Garrett)


6th May 2018
First Great Western liveried HST No.43133 and No.43070 pass Cogload Junction in glorious weather on Sunday 6th May 2018 working the 1Z36 16:10 Plymouth - London Marylebone. Train services were diverted into London Marylebone instead of London Paddington due to weekend engineering work. The unprecedented scene of 10 canal barges at this location was an incredible sight to compliment the shot.
(Photo: Brian Garrett)


28th April 2018
A mixed rake of First Great Western Blue and GWR Green HST stock climbs Whiteball Bank on Saturday 28th April. With No.43026 leading No.43005 the pair are pictured working the 1A82 12:01 Exeter St Davids - London Paddington service.
(Photo: Brian Garrett)


28th April 2018
Great Western blue liveried HST No.43028 leads No.43069 down from Whiteball Tunnel on Saturday 28th April 2018 while working the 1C77 10:03 London Paddington - Penzance service.
(Photo: Brian Garrett)


28th April 2018
A full GWR Green liveried HST set climbs to Whiteball Tunnel on Saturday 28th April 2018. No.43188 and No.43093 are pictured working the 1A81 09:00 Penzance - London Paddington service.
(Photo: Brian Garrett)


28th April 2018
GWR HST No.43034 leads No.43177 north to Whiteball Tunnel on Saturday 28th April 2018 while working the 1A80 07:59 Penzance - London Paddington service. The transition between GWR Green and First Great Western blue evident with the GWR green buffet car within the set.
(Photo: Brian Garrett)


28th April 2018
Having been slightly delayed by the Belmond British Pullman taking up space in the Taunton platforms, GWR HST No.43198 and No.43056 gather speed through Norton Fitzwarren while working the 1C79 11:03 London Paddington - Plymouth service on the 28th April 2018.
(Photo: Brian Garrett)


22nd April 2018
Cross Country HST No.43285 speeds south with partner No.43357 south through Cogload Junction while working the 1V48 08:10 Leeds - Plymouth service on Sunday 22nd April 2018.
(Photo: Brian Garrett)


21st April 2018
Looking like pretty much any other HST service passing through the Taunton area, a full GWR Green HST passes through Norton Fitzwarren on Saturday 21st April 2018 operating an Oke Rail Charter. The HST was provided by GWR to operate 'The Royal Oke' charter from Okehampton to Oxford and Stratford Upon Avon. No.43188 leads No.43093 north through Norton Fitzwarren operating the 1Z44 07:10 Okehampton - Stratford Upon Avon charter. The charter was the second to operate from the Dartmoor town to further demonstrate that regular year round passenger services should be reinstated to Exeter . With Government backing the Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling has already announced that the reintroduction of services between Okehampton and Exeter should be pursued as soon as reasonably possible.
(Photo: Phil Izzard)


12th April 2018
It was always possible that two of GWR's 'celebrity' powercars may meet or pass during the daily duties but on the 12th April both No.43002 and No. 43185 'Great Western' met on the centre platforms at Taunton. This superb image captured Intercity 125 liveried HST powercar No.43002 working the 1A88 12:04 Penzance - London Paddington paused in Platfrom 4 at Taunton and Intercity Swallow liveried powercar No. 43185 'Great Western' ready to depart with the 1A89 15:33 Taunton - London Paddington service.
(Photo: Martin Duff)


8th April 2018
With a dead pigeon having taking a direct hit on route from London, and lodged inside the horn grill No.43023 leads No.43025 west through Creech St Michael on Sunday 8th April 2018. The 1C77 09:57 London Paddington - Plymouth service was slowly building up speed having just been regulated at Cogload Junction for a passing freight on the approaches to Taunton.
(Photo: Brian Garrett)


8th April 2018
First Great Western HST No.43009 leads No.43197 speeds through Creech St Michael passing the Spring daffodils on Sunday 8th April 2018 while working the 1A81 11:00 Plymouth - London Paddington service.
(Photo: Brian Garrett)


6th April 2018
The Network Rail New Measurement Train arrives into Taunton on the Friday 6th April 2018 with powercar No. 43014 'The Railway Observer' leading No.43013 working the 1Z18 15:46 Paignton - Taunton track testing run. The diagram means the HST also passed through Taunton at 16:56 heading to Bristol before returning to Taunton, and then forming its last diagram of the day to London Paddington.
(Photo: Brian Garrett)


6th April 2018
Cross Country Voyager No.221120 departs Taunton on Friday 6th April 2018 working the 1E73 17:25 Plymouth - Leeds service while in Platform 3 the Network Rail NMT waits to follow while working on its testing diagram to London Paddington from Taunton.
(Photo: Brian Garrett)


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