British Rail 'Hymek' Gallery
The British Rail 'Hymek' was a mixed traffic locomotive which was built from 1961 and 1964. They were part of the British Rail modernization plan. One hundred and one examples of the class were built by Beyer Peakcock in a joint venture with Bristol Siddeley Engines. At the time they were built, the Hymeks were the most powerful diesel-hydraulic locomotives operating with a single Maybach MD870 engine. Because of their Mekydro designed hydraulic transmission units, the locomotives quickly gained the nickname of 'Hymeks'. The locomotives were based at Cardiff Canton, Bristol Bath Road and Old Oak Common depots, and were mainly employed on secondary passenger services and mixed freights. They were also capable of working in multiple but only with each other. They were common in all parts of the region from Paddington to Bristol/South Wales/Worcester/Hereford. They also worked to Birmingham and the West of England, but were rare west of Plymouth. Sourcing images from the operational period of the Hymeks has been quite a challenge, but we now have a good selection of images to display on Taunton Trains showing the class members working in and around the Taunton area.
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British Rail 'Western' Gallery
Images of Western Class Locomotives taken in the Taunton Area. The Westerns were a very popular locomotive with many of the early enthusiasts. Their twin Maybach MD655 engines giving them a top speed of 90mph. The class were ideal for their varied mixed traffic work in the Great Western Region. They were a regular sight at Taunton working between Paddington and Penzance on passenger and freight diagrams. The locomotives were short lived and were scrapped before their time, mainly due to BR deciding to standardize it's fleets of locomotives.
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Class 08 Gallery
The British Rail Class 08 was a diesel-electric shunting locomotive built for general purpose shunting. They were one of British Rail's most numerous Class's with a total of 996 built for use in the UK. The class were nicknamed 'Gronks' due to their small but powerful design and being a general purpose workhorse for BR. Class 08's could be viewed pottering about their general business at most mainline stations which had a purposeful requirement for the class to be there. The class were built in 1953 and at the time were seen as a cost effective way of marshalling trains. Since their introduction the way rail freight is moved around the UK has changed considerably with most trains now formed in bulk, and fixed formations. Postal services are now all in the hands of multiple units. The only locations which retain Class 08 operation are dedicated engineering yards which have a requirement to shunt wagon rakes. It seems that locomotive owners seem to favour heavy Type 5 locomotives to do the shunting at some yards, preventing the need for a Class 08 being required. As of 2011, around 100 locomotives remain working on industrial sidings and on the main British network. On heritage railways, they have become common, appearing on many of the preserved standard-gauge lines in Britain, with over 60 of the class preserved. The Class 08 has a maximum speed of 15mph and 350hp with huge tractive effort which made them a very powerful locomotive and able to cope with any duties. Class 08's were once numerous at Taunton, because of the large collections of sidings and yards based in the town. They were an ideal local shunting locomotive used to shunt wagons, coaches and were often utilized on local trip workings in the area. Taunton last had a Class 08 based at the station in the mid 90's. Since then there has been no requirement for a shunting locomotive to be based in the town.
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Class 20 Gallery
Images of Class 20 Locomotives taken in the Taunton Area
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Class 22 Gallery
Images of Class 22 Locomotives taken in the Taunton Area
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Class 25 Gallery
Images of Class 25 Locomotives taken in the Taunton Area
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Class 31 Gallery
Images of Class 31 Locomotives taken in the Taunton Area
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Class 33 Gallery
Images of Class 33 Locomotives taken in the Taunton Area. The Class 33's were built at the Birmingham Railway and Carriage & Wagon works as a Type 3 (mid power range) locomotive. They have become one of the most popular modern traction classes. The class was originally built as a direct replacement for steam on the Southern Region. They were confined to the Southern Region for most of their working life until the 1980's when the Class was given a new lease of life working further afield on the Western Region. The Class was unique in many ways, they were one of the first classes to be built with electric train heating (ETH), they had dual driving controls so the locomotive could be driven from the second man side of the cab. The last 12 of the fleet were also built with a narrower body for use on the Hastings route. Some of the class were also modified to allow 'push pull' mode to be used, modifications included the relocation of multiple working pipes under the cab windows. The Class 33's gained several nicknames which have become common terms when referring to the locomotive type. The Class were built with Crompton & Parkinson electrical equipment so the nickname 'Cromptons' soon stuck. 'Shredders' was also another popular term, so called because of the classic shredding noise made when under power. 'Bagpipes' was applied to the Class 33/1 which was fitted for push pull working, with air pipes located under the cab windows, resembling a set of bagpipes hanging from the locomotive front. 'Slim Jims' was a term given to the 33/2's which were built with the narrower bodies for use on the Hastings route. Taunton saw the majority of the class members pass through its platforms during their operation on the Western Region, their use in pairs on the Meldon stone traffic is perhaps their most memorable accolade. 2010 marks the 50th Birthday of the introduction of the Class 33 having been built in 1960. We have assembled a selection of images which we hope illustrates how versatile the locomotive has been.
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Class 37 Gallery
Images of Class 37 Locomotives taken in the Taunton Area
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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.
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Class 45 Gallery
Images of Class 43 Locomotives taken in the Taunton Area. The British Rail Class 45 'Peaks' were a regular sight at Taunton, they were built at Crewe in 1961 - 1962 and had an up rated Sulzer engine compared with their earlier class members, the Class 44's. They were out shopped with Steam Heat boilers, but were later converted to have electric train supply. Originally they were assigned to work services on the Midland Mainline from London St Pancras to Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield. Later they found work on the Cross Country Network. This bought the Class through Taunton's platforms to and from the holiday destinations of the South West. All of the locomotives were withdrawn from service by 1989.
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Class 46 Gallery
Images of Class 46 Locomotives taken in the Taunton Area
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Class 47 Gallery
Images of Class 47 Locomotives taken in the Taunton Area. The Class 47 has to be one of British Rail's most sensible investments. The British Built machines have certainly proved their worth since the initial locos rolled off the construction lines in 1964. No one could have predicted then, that a substantial number of the locomotives would still be working (albeit on lighter duties these days) in modern times. The Brush Type 4 was fitted with a Sulzer 12LDA28 double straight six unit producing 2,750 bhp, but de-rated in the late 1960's to 2,550 BHP due to cracks appearing within the crank case seem welds. The Class 47 has taken to just about any task asked of it, over the years it's been the subject of hundreds of improvements and modifications to allow the loco to evolve and adapt to the work that they have been asked to do. It's large plain body sides have made it a faculties locomotive to display just about any railway company livery with ease. Although in 2008 a significant amount of the Class are now dead and buried, a small fleet still solider on working weekend charters, and out of course movements. Some even engage in regular freight flows. There is no reason why the locomotives can't survive another 20 years, with the right care, regular and good quality maintenance the humble 'Duff' (as they were nicknamed) can easily perform to the highest standards required. The Brush Type 4 has been a regular visitor to Taunton since their birth nearly 45 years ago. This section aims to cover the sheer variety of workings, locomotives and most importantly .....liveries which have passed through the concrete platforms at Taunton.
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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.
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Class 56 Gallery
The British Rail Class 56 was built between 1976 and 1984 to become one of British Rail's heavy haul Type 5 Locomotives. The Class was built for the purpose of moving heavy coal loads on the 'Merry Go Round' coal circuits in the east midlands. The first thirty locomotives were built at Electroputre in Romania, but suffered from multiple problems which resulted in the being rebuilt at Doncaster Works. All remaining Class 56's were subsequently constructed in the UK split between Doncaster and Crewe works. The Class 56's were nicknamed 'Grids' by enthusiasts, a name which has stuck with the class throughout their mainline career. The name was taken from the grid like horn covers fitted to the locomotive nose. While the Class 56's were a powerful and capable locomotive, they suffered from expensive maintenance compared to their Class 58 counterparts. Many issues with the Class 56 would result in roof sections needing to be removed and sometimes power units to be lifted, because the space inside the locomotive body would not allow proper access. As such if time was not invested in regular engine care, then this would often lead to in service failures. As such the class fell out of favour in the privatisation years with EWS/ DB Schenker when many were sidelined at just 15 years old. Some were however exported for use in France under contract hire to assist with the building of TGV lines. Upon their return to the UK after a period out of service many have been purchased by smaller companies and are now back in regular traffic. Taunton has seen a resurgence of Class 56's in recent years. In the 80's and 90's the Class would only make fleeting appearances. Sectorization saw a batch of Metals Class 56's allocated to Cardiff Canton in the 90's, when a class member would often appear on a Saturday hauling the Exeter Basin scrap. Other than this an appearance of a Class 56 at Taunton can be considered 'rare' up until 2013 when Colas Rail Freight returned a large batch of Class 56's to mainline traffic.
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Class 57 Gallery
Images of Class 57 Locomotives taken in the Taunton Area
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Class 59 Gallery
Images of Class 59 Locomotives taken in the Taunton Area
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Class 66 Gallery
Images of Class 66 Locomotives taken in the Taunton Area
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Class 67 Gallery
Images of Class 67 Locomotives taken in the Taunton Area
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Class 68 Gallery
Images of Class 68 Locomotives taken in the Taunton Area
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Class 70 Gallery
Images of Class 70 Locomotives taken in the Taunton Area
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The Heritage Powercar Gallery
Images of GWR's two Heritage Powercars which have been photographed in the Taunton Area.
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The Light Engine Gallery
Images of Light Engine movements which have been photographed in the Taunton Area.
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