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Class 50 Gallery

Images of Class 50 Locomotives taken in the Taunton Area. The Class 50 was probably one of the best liked locomotives for Enthusiasts in the South West. During their mainline operation, they had a large following of enthusiasts willing to ride them and photograph them. The class were built at the Vulcan Foundry at Newton le Willows between January 1967 and December 1968 and were out shopped with the numbers D400-D449, during the introduction of the TOPS system in the 1970's they of course became 50001 - 50050. They were originally built to haul trains on the non electrified sections of the West Coast Mainline to the North of Crewe. Once electrification was complete the class were transferred onto the Western Region and slowly took over diagrams previously covered by the Class 52 'Westerns'. The Western Region had a tradition of naming it's locomotives, so with the Class 50's took the names of naval warships. During the late 1970's the Class 50's were given a full overhaul / refurbishment program which was carried out at Doncaster Works, many years of being thrashed up and down the West Coast Mainline had taken it's toll and the Class reliability was suffering as a result. While in works they class were modernized and completely repainted into BR Large Logo livery. After refurbishment the locos returned to the Western Region where their efforts were concentrated on the Exeter - Waterloo route, but many others still worked on varied diagrams, including a dedicated pool of locomotives for infrastructure work. The Class lasted until 1994, when 50007 'Sir Edward Elgar' and 50050 'Fearless' worked the final farewell railtour from London Waterloo - Exeter - London Paddington.

13th January 2018
Taunton was again treated to some fifty year old English Electric traction on the 13th January 2018, with former British Rail Class 50 No. 50008 'Thunderer' making a return visit to the South West to collect the Network Rail Rail Grinder it dropped off a Okehampton on January 5th. Having worked down to Devon on Friday 12th January with Class 56 No.56104 the Class 50 lead proceedings for the return trip with the Class 56 formed on the opposite end of the train ready for a reversal at Gloucester. In a stunning show of English Electric power Laira Blue 'Thunderer' powers past Norton Fitzwarren hauling the 4Z03 08:00 Okehampton - Chaddesden Sidings with Rail Grinder (DR79501 - DR79507) and a dead Class 56 in tow.
(Photo: Brian Garrett)


12th January 2018
Former British Rail Class 50 No. 50008 'Thunderer' hauled Class 56 No.56104 to Exeter before continuing to Okehampton alone on the 12th January 2017. The locomotives came down to collect a Lorum Rail Grinder from the Dartmoor Railway and return it to Derby on the 13th. No. 50008 'Thunderer' is picutred passing Staplegrove Road as the 0Z03 09:46 Leicester Depot - Crediton light engine move.
(Photo: Jeff Treece)


5th January 2018
Former British Rail 'Laira Blue' Class 50 No. 50008 'Thunderer' passes the western end of Fairwater Yard while operating the 4Z03 08:00 Derby RTC - Okeheampton hauling Network Rail Lorum Rail Grinder DR79501, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06 & 07 for staff training. The Grinder will remain on site at Okehampton for staff training and the Class 50 is booked to return north during Saturday 6th January 2018.
(Photo: Adam Snow)


5th January 2018
An English Electric Class 50 made a rousing and welcome appearance at Taunton Friday 5th January. 'Laira Blue Class 50 No. 50008 'Thunderer' scatters the pidgeons as it passes through Taunton station working 4Z03 08:00 Derby RTC - Okeheampton with Network Rail Lorum Railgrinder DR79501, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06 & 07 in tow. The ensemble is pictured passing 40 Steps, Taunton heading for Exeter where the locomotive then ran round its consist before heading for Okehampton. The Lorum Grinder will be used for training Netowkr Rail staff on the Okehampton branch. After an overnight stay in Exeter the former British Rail Class 50 is booked to return light engine to Derby on Saturday 6th January.
(Photo: Stephen A.Ginn)


16th September 2017
Saturday 16th September 2017 provided the return of two former British Rail Class 50’s to Somerset and Devon working Pathfinder Tours ‘The Torbay and Dart Explorer’ railtour from Worcester Shrub Hill through to Kingswear. The first leg of the charter from Burton on Trent to Wocester having been hauled by DB Cargo Class 66 No.66129. The Class 50’s returned to their former 1980’s stomping ground bringing the sound of two English Electric 16 CSVT engines working hard as they passed through the area. The pair were clocked running at over 100mph in several locations during their journey. The Fifty Fund which now cares for six of the Class at their Kidderminster base, provided No. 50007 'Hercules' ‘Hercules’ and No. 50049 'Defiance' ‘Defiance’ for day trip to the English Riviera. Exiting from Somerset into Devon the pair of English Electric locomotives haul the Torbay and Dart Explorer out of Whiteball Tunnel with their almost complete rake of British Rail Blue/Grey coaching stock.
(Photo: S A Ginn)


16th September 2017
BR Large Logo Class 50 No. 50049 'Defiance' & No. 50007 'Hercules' head back across the Somerset levels at Oath hauling the returning Pathfinder Tours 'Torbay and Dart Exploerer' charter to Burton on Trent operating as the 1Z52 16:15 Kingswear to Burton-on-Trent on the 16th September 2016.
(Photo: S A Ginn)


7th July 2017
Recreating scenes of over 25 years ago the sight of a British Rail 'Laira' Blue Class 50 in the village of Creech St Michael in 2017 on a revenue earning freight train twice in one month is unprecedented. Having already operated light engine to Exeter on Thursday 6th July 2017, BR Class 50 No. 50008 'Thunderer' 'Thunderer' proceeded to Okehampton where it collected the Network Rail Lorum Rail Grinder. The locomotive formed the 4Z01 08:30 Okehemapton to Cheddesden Sidings and is seen here passing the village of Creech St Michael on route north to Derby.
(Photo: Darren Harris)


14th June 2017
BR Blue Class 50 No. 50007 'Hercules' 'Hurcules' and Large Logo No. 50049 'Defiance' '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 2017.
(Photo: Tony Christie)


14th June 2017
Having had their short break in Somerset all be it doing a spot of sunbathing at Bishops Lydeard, Class 50's No. 50007 'Hercules' & No. 50049 'Defiance' burst back into life on Wednesday 14th June 2017. 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)


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)


7th June 2017
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' 'Defiance' and No. 50007 'Hercules' '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.
(Photo: Paul Clarke)


16th October 1993
On the 16th October 1993, BR Bunswick Green Class 50 No. 50007 'Hercules' and Network Southeast Liveried Class 50 No. 50033 'Glorious' pass through Creech St Michael at speed with an Intercity organised charter heading to the Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway. The pair then joined classmates No.D400 No. 50042 'Triumph' and No. 50002 'Superb' for a running day on the PDSR before returning to London Paddington that evening with No. 50033 'Glorious' leading.
(Photo: Alan Randle)


12th October 1990
Finding a Network Southeast liveried Class 50 working departmental and infrastructure workings wasn't that uncommon on the 90's. Class 50 No. 50023 'Howe' passes Bathpool on 12th October 1990 with the 6C55 Bristol East - Exeter Riverside engineers in tow.
(Photo: Alan Randle)


21st February 1990
Laira Blue Class 50 No. 50019 'Ramillies' passes Cogload Jn on the 21st February 1990 with a Southbound empty engineers train. It's likely this service was probably heading to Meldon Quarry to load with stone. A small pool of Class 50's were transferred to the BR Infrastructure Pool (DCWA) to work non passenger and freight movments in the South West.
(Photo: Alan Randle)


14th June 1989
On the 14th June 1989 BR Large Logo Class 50 No. 50003 'Temeraire' is seen at 40 Steps on a local engineering ballast duty formed of Dogfish and Seacows.The loco carried BR Large Logo, with a Black Roof and Red Buffer Beam.
(Photo: Alan Randle)


12th July 1988
On the 12th July 1988, BR Large Logo Class 50 No. 50016 'Barham' approaches Bathpool adjacent to Toneway with a loaded ballast train heading for Westbury. The train is likely to of originated from Meldon Quarry which at the time was providing several ballast trains a day from the Dartmoor out base.
(Photo: Alan Randle)


30th March 1986
British Rail Large Logo Class 50 No. 50006 'Neptune' was an early casualty, many of it's working parts were used to keep other locomotives running when it was finally switched off at Laira. It's seen here in 'Ex Works' condition at Cogload Jn on the 30th March 1986 working a rake of ballast wagons helping to repair the track caused by the recent cement derailment. Click here to view photos of the Cement Derailment
(Photo: Andy Hunt)


13th November 1985
BR Large Logo Class 50 No. 50018 'Resolution' storms through Taunton on the 13th November 1985 catching the crisp morning sunlight as it heads south. The loco was working the 06:35 Bristol Temple Meads - Plymouth stopping service. A train which would operate as a two car DMU service with Great Western today.
(Photo: Alan Randle)


6th July 1985
On the 6th July 1985 BR Large Logo Class 50 No. 50030 'Repulse' passes under Obridge at Taunton East Junction after departing from Taunton. 50030 'Repulse' was withdrawn from service in 1992, but survived to make it into preservation and is currently part of the 'Renown/ Repulse Group' project on the Peak Rail near Matlock.
(Photo: I T Langhorn)


18th May 1985
On the 18th May 1985 BR Large Logo Class 50 No. 50011 'Centurion' gives a rare wrong line working image at Taunton West.The Class 50 had been diverted onto the down main because of a broken rail on one of the up lines at Taunton. No. 50011 'Centurion' is seen passing Taunton West Signal Box on route to London Paddington.
(Photo: Alan Randle)


24th June 1984
On the 24th of June 1984, BR Large Logo Class 50 No. 50021 'Rodney' rolls into Taunton passing Obridge with a south bound service train from London Paddington. No. 50021 'Rodney' at the time of this image was wearing the infamous BR 'Large Logo' livery. This loco survived into preservation.
(Photo: Alan Randle)


15th April 1982
On the 15th April 1982 BR Blue Class 50 No. 50002 'Superb' heads south away from Taunton with a working from London Paddington. The train is seen passing Silk Mills. This image depicts the area prior to the development of the Bindon Road trading estate.
(Photo: Alan Randle)


2nd April 1981
Work stained BR Blue Class 50 No. 50017 'Royal Oak' passes Norton Fitzwarren on the 2nd April 1981 with a mixed rake of Railfreight wagons heading North. No. 50017 'Royal Oak' made it into preservation and spent some time at the West Somerset Railway. Eventually it had a short period back on the mainline before being stored at Tyseley for a number of years. It then had an extensive overhaul and repaint at the Plym Valley Railway where later it was purchased by Neil Boden and made availible for mainline traffic, often finding work with Colas Rail Freight.
(Photo: Alan Randle)


25th February 1979
On the 25th February 1979 BR Blue Class 50 No. 50010 'Monarch' approaches Taunton with 08:30 Paddington - Plymouth passenger service.
(Photo: Steve Awford)


21st December 1978
BR Blue Class 50 No. 50015 'Valiant' departs from Taunton on the 21st December 1978 with the 1M22 11:10 Plymouth - Manchester Piccadilly. The view shows No. 50015 'Valiant' in it's un refurbished state prior to the modernization program which the Class were given in the 1980's.
(Photo: Steve Awford)


6th May 1978
On the 6th May 1978 workstained BR Blue Class 50 No. 50013 'Agincourt' is seen dumped behind Taunton Station. Clearly the locomotive had suffered a major mechanical failure and was probably waiting for a tow to either Bristol or Plymouth for repair. No.31158 and No.31154 are also pictured in the background.
(Photo: Alan Randle)



On an unknown date during the 1980's BR Large Logo Class 50 No. 50036 'Victorious' rounds the curve into Taunton Station passing the semaphore signals as its service heads south.
(Photo: Malcom S Trigg)



On an unknown date during the 1980's BR Large Logo Class 50 No. 50040 'Leviathan' arrives into Taunton passing a rake of 16T mineral wagons stored on an adjacent siding. After withdrawal 50040 'Leviathan' was moved to Booths scrapyard in Rotherham and was initially earmarked to be part of the ill fated 'Operation Collingwood' scheme. The loco was later purchased privately and moved to the Coventry Railway Centre. No work was carried out on the loco and it changed ownership more than once during its time here. The deteriorating hulk was stripped for remaining parts in 2008 and sent for scrap.
(Photo: Malcom S Trigg)



Network Southeast Liveried Class 50 No. 50032 'Courageous' passes Taunton with a rake of BR Blue Grey parcels vans in tow. Taken on an unknown date of an unknown working.
(Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)



BR Class 50 No. 50009 'Conqueror' pulls away from Taunton Statio passing Taunton School at Staplegrove Road on route south with the 1B73 14:30 London Paddington - Paignton service.
(Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)



BR Class 50 No. 50007 'Hercules' is seen at Taunton shortly after transfer to the Western Reigon in the 1970's. 50007 'Hercules' at this stage was unnamed and unrefurbished. The 1B53 arrives into Taunton.
(Photo: Taunton Trains)



An unknown British Rail Class 50 calls at Taunton in 1976 while working 1A59 to London Paddington.
(Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)



BR Blue Class 50 No. 50003 'Temeraire' is pictured stabled at Taunton. The image predates 1978 as it was in May of that year the locomotive gained the name 'Temeraire'.
(Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)



BR Class 50 No. 50018 'Resolution' departs from Taunton Station on an unknown date and service. 50018 'Resolution' survived in traffic until 1991 in service and was finally cut up at MC Metals in Glasgow in 1992.
(Photo: Taunton Trains collection)



British Rail Large Loco Class 50 No. 50049 'Defiance' takes the relief line on departing Taunton. The track rationalizationof the late 1980's dates the image to around this period. The loco at this time also had its high intensity headlight plated over.
(Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)



Work stained BR Blue Class 50 No. 50042 'Triumph' is pictured stabled on Taunton Shed on an unknown date.
(Photo: I T Langhorn)



Taken at some point in 1990 BR Large Logo Class 50 No. 50001 'Dreadnought' catches the last rays of sun as it arrives into Taunton with a northbound passenger service. The loco passes under Staplegrove Road taken from the adjacent local allotments.
(Photo: Dave Jones)



BR Laira Blue Class 50 No. 50008 'Thunderer' and Civil Engineers liveried No. 50015 'Valiant' approach Taunton with a Northbound railtour in 1990.Many farewell railtours operated around this time for various class members, most of them being painted in celebrity paint schemes. This tour is thought to possibly be The Cornish Centurion Charter from 4th May 1991, but unconfirmed.
(Photo: Dave Jones)



BR Class 50 No. 50021 'Rodney' passes over the classic flyover at Cogload Junction in 1988 heading South from Bristol. Note the mixed rake of coaching stock including also charting the transition through to Intercity from BR Blue and Grey.
(Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)



BR Class 50 No. 50021 'Rodney' passes over the classic flyover at Cogload Junction in 1988 heading South from Bristol. Note the mixed rake of coaching stock including also charting the transition through to Intercity from BR Blue and Grey.
(Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)


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