News Archive for July 2017

Thames Turbos Arrive

(Photo: 50009 Neptune)

Published on 31st July 2017

Monday 31st July 2017 saw the arrival of cascaded Class 166 Turbo's from the Thames Valley Route on test.

The three car sets are due to be deployed on Cardiff -Taunton stopping diagrams. The Class 166 Turbo's were built at ABB York between 1992 and 1993 and are 25 years old. They are also fitted with high density 3+2 seating on account of their work on the Thames Valley commuter belt into London. These units will soon start to replace the current fleet of Class 150's and 158's (themselves 30 years old). Four return test runs were carried out between Bristol and Taunton during the day. Class 166 No.166205 is seen paused at Taunton after the arrival of the 5Z60 09:11 from St Philips Marsh Depot.


Heritage Traction on Royal Duchy

West Coast Railways operated ‘The Royal Duchy' charter from Bristol Temple Meads to Par on Sunday 30th July. In an incredible turn of events the Bristol to Taunton leg was diesel hauled by a single Class 33 locomotive. No. 33207 'Jim Martin' is pictured here passing Cogload Junction before handing over to steam locomotive ‘Royal Scot' at Taunton. The Class 33 spent the day stabled behind Taunton Station before taking over the tour back to Bristol in the evening.

(Photo: Brian Garrett)


Ex-LMS Class 7P 4-6-0 No. 46100 'Royal Scot' 'Royal Scot' passes over Whiteball Summit on Sunday 30th July 2017 with 'The Royal Duchy', 1Z37 08:52 Bristol Temple Meads to Par. The first leg of the tour from Bristol was worked by West Coast Class 33 No. 33207 'Jim Martin', the Scot taking control of the train from Taunton onwards after night stopping at the nearby West Somerset Railway.

(Photo: S A Ginn)



Published on 30th July 2017

West Coast Railways operated ‘The Royal Duchy' charter from Bristol Temple Meads to Par on Sunday 30th July 2017.

In an incredible turn of events the Bristol to Taunton leg was diesel hauled by a single Class 33 locomotive. The veteran locomotive is one of only three mainline certified Class 33's in the country, and while they were once common place in the South West working various trains under British Rail, their numbers have dwindled on the main line. No. 33207 'Jim Martin' is pictured below passing Cogload Junction before handing over to steam locomotive No. 46100 'Royal Scot' at Taunton Station. The Class 33 spent the day stabled in the sidings behind Taunton Station before taking over the tour back to Bristol in the evening. The last visit of a Class 33 to Taunton (which also happened to be 33207 'Jim Martin') was 9th November 2012.


Ex-LMS Class 7P 4-6-0 No. 46100 'Royal Scot' then hauled the charter south and is pictured passing over Whiteball Summit entering Devon with 'The Royal Duchy', operating as the 1Z37 08:52 Bristol Temple Meads to Par. The Scot had spent spent the previous night stabled at Bishops Lydeard in preparation for the charter.


Published on 30th July 2017

Colas Rail Freight operated an overnight engineers train into Devon during Saturday 29th July 2017 to perform a rail drop on the Dawlish Sea Wall section.

Class 70 No.70812 is pictured passing Cogload Junction on Sunday 30th July 2017 returning long welded rail train back to Westbury as the 6C98 08:35 Dawlish Warren to Westbury.

(Photo: Brian Garrett)




Published on 30th July 2017

This video taken on the 30th July 2017 was captured at Cogload Junction and features heritage Class 33 No. 33207 'Jim Martin' passing on 'The Royal Duchy' and Colas Class 70 No.70812 returning to Westbury with an Engineers train from Dawlish Warren.


(Photo: Richard Tuplin)

Published on 28th July 2017

Friday 28th July 2017 provided the sight of the Network Rail New Measurement Train (NMT) through Taunton three times during one 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.


 The Quantock Belle

Published on 25th July 2017

The DEPG Class 52 Western No. D1010 'Western Campaigner' based at Williton on the West Somerset Railway was called upon to work the Quantock Belle on the 25th July 2017.

The locomotive has been extensively used during the 2017 operating season. It has been the locos most successful period of availability in many years. It's pictured here on the approach to Doniford Halt having just departed from Williton with a Bishops Lydeard - Minehead evening dinner service.

(Photo: Adam Snow)


 Tornado brews up a storm

(Photo: S A Ginn)


Published on 23rd July 2017

Sunday 23rd July 2017 saw the 'Torbay Express' operate under very inclement summer weather conditions.

LNER A1 No. 60163 'Tornado' operated 'The Torbay Express' amid heavy localized downpours. The locomotive departs from Taunton under blackened skites on completion of the booked water stop whilst en route with 1Z27 09:10 Bristol Temple Meads to Kingswear charter.


Hitachi IET testing heads for Devon

(Photo: S A Ginn)

Published on 17th July 2017

A full week of Hitachi IEP testing began on Monday 17th July 2017 with the first of three booked visits to Plymouth during daylight hours.

Taunton will also see an IEP visit each weekday. Pioneer HITACHI IEP set No.800001 is captured passing over Whiteball Summit whilst working 5X90 08:22 North Pole IEP Depot to Plymouth & return.

To view the gallery, please click here.


Freightliner Network Rail Trains


Published on 16th July 2017

Freightliner continue to provide locomotives to haul the heavy engineering trains to and from the Network Rail HOBC/TRT base at Fairwater Yard.

Having spent the night out on the Great Western Mainline between Ruscombe and Reading relaying track, Network Rail's TRT returned to Taunton on Sunday 16th July. Freightliner Class 66/9 No.66952 hauls the 08:20 Reading West Junction - Fairwater Yard through Creech St Michael nearing Taunton.


Freightliner 'Powerhaul' liveried Class 66 No. 66528 'Madge Elliot MBE Borders Railway Opening 2015' 'Madge Elliot' operated the 16:10 Fairwater Yard to Ruscombe on the 15th July 2017. The track relaying train had been formed in Fairwater Yard during the early afternoon ready for its overnight work to relay track. The colourful set is seen passing Charlton (near Cogload Junction) on route north.

(Photo: Simon Harling)

(Photo: Simon Harling)



God Bless 'HMS Argyll'


Published on 11th July 2017

GB Railfreight (GBRf) named one of their Class 66/7 locomotives at HMS Drake in Plymouth's Royal Naval Dockyard on the 11th July 2017.

The locomotive No. 66775 'HMS Argyll F231' worked south through Taunton on Monday 10th July 2017 having been specially prepared for the event. In pouring rain on Tuesday 11th July the locomotive was named 'HMS Argyll' after the same Frigate which was in dock at the time. The locomotive side number was also changed to read F231 carry the same number as HMS Argyll. The locomotive also carries a White Ensign on both cab sides and a cast ships crest on both sides of cab. Class 66/7 No. 66775 'HMS Argyll F231' is seen passing Cogload Junction on Monday 10th July heading for south towards Plymouth.


After its rather damp naming ceremony the Royal Naval Dockyard in Plymouth GBRf Class 66/7 No. 66775 'HMS Argyll F231' returned through Taunton on the 12th July 2017 with it's newly decorated body side.The pigeons dive for cover the locomotive works light engine through Taunton operating as the 0Z32 15:52 Saltash to Westbury.

(Photo: Robert Latham)

(Photo: Nathan Williamson)



Thunderer Returns after 25 years

(Photo: Darren Harris)

Published on 6th 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.


 Taunton Station - 175th Anniversary

Published on 5th July 2017

We were very pleased to work with the Somerset County Gazette over the past few weeks to supply images and information relating to the 175th Anniversary of the first steam train arriving into Taunton Station.


Operating as the Bristol and Exeter Railway Saturday 1st July 2017 marked the 175th Anniversary of the first steam passenger train arriving into Taunton Station.

The four page supplement is available in this weeks County Gazette. It's clear the railways have seen some incredible changes since their introduction, from the first passenger carrying trains, through to the fasted express trains which race up and down the country. The UK rail network is currently on the cusp of another huge change with over 700 new trains/ coaching stock being introduced onto the UK rails over the next two years. Some such as then HST replacement (the new IEP) are already on test in the South West and will soon be a regular sight at Taunton Station. Please keep an eye on out Pictorial Galleries as we will soon be adding more Steam Archive images from a recent house clearance collection. Each image has taken between two to ten hours to scan and repair to bring them up to an acceptable standard for viewing. At Taunton Trains we pride ourselves in recording the past for future generations to enjoy through good quality photography and careful selection of archive material to display.

175th Anniversary

(Photo: Somerset County Gazette)


Seeing Double!

British Rail Green Western No. D1010 'Western Campaigner' (Running as D1035 'Western Yeoman') is pictured at Bishops Lydeard on the 28th March 1992 during a Diesel Gala Weekend on the West Somerset Railway.

(Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)


DEPG Western No. D1010 'Western Campaigner' stands at Bishops Lydeard on the 25th June 2017 ready to deaprt with the Maybach Memories service to Minehead.

(Photo: Brian Garrett)



Published on 4th July 2017

We are always on the look out of comparison photos to add to our 'Then and Now' gallery, during June a complete coincidence occurred.

We had purchased a 35mm slide from Ebay a couple of years ago which got added into a folder but not scanned, recently while looking for some other images we came across this image of BR Green Western No. D1010 'Western Campaigner' at Bishops Lydeard (at the time it was operating as D1035 'Western Yeoman'). The image was taken in 1992 by an unknown photographer. Keeping in mind this image was purchased from a random photographer, on the internet and then stored in a folder for nearly two years, imagine our shock upon scanning this image in to find well known Taunton Trains contributor and Rail Enthusiast Phil Izzard was captured at Bishops Lydeard looking over his shoulder. It was too much of a coincidence not to try and recreate. It just so happened that No. D1010 'Western Campaigner' would be operating the Maybach Memories services the following weekend. So on the 25th June 2017 some 25 years after the first image was taken, we were able to recreate the same image at Bishops Lydeard Station, posed in the same position for the comparison shot.


To view news stories from June 2017, click here, or for news from August 2017, click here.