|May 6 to 8 2005 saw the West Somerset Railway's Spring Diesel Gala with a variety of visiting locos joining those based on the line.|
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Only just counting as a diesel, Class 73 electro-diesel 73209 was spare with 2 class mates in service and was stabled at Bishops Lydeard along with BR Std 4 tank 80136 on the Saturday.
80136 looks on as 6024 King Edward I receives a polish and 5542 and 03119 await their next duties in the loco compound and the HST waits to work back to Minehead in Up Sidings.
There were shuttles to Norton Fitzwarren from Bishops Lydeard worked top and tail by Class 08 D3462 and Class 03 D2133.
A more powerful visitor, Class 50 50007 Sir Edward Elgar heading out of Bishops Lydeard station while running round its train. This loco carried this livery, GWR brunswick green, while in BR service to mark the 150th. anniversary of the Great Western Railway.
50007 then came back into the station on to its train. The name is an exception to the rest of the class which were named after Royal Navy warships.
Close ups of the name and number plates of 50007.
Two views of the pair of GB Railfreight Class 73/2's, 73204 and 73205, arriving at Crowcombe Heathfield with an up train. These electro-diesels are basically electrics with a 600bhp auxiliary diesel for shunting etc.
The 73's were such an unusual sight on the West Somerset that I've included this sequence of 5 photos of them running round their train at Bishops Lydeard.
As can be seen in the first and last of them resident Class 33 came on to their train as well, perhaps they were being taxed by our banks with their small diesel engines?
A view of 73204 and 73205 at the other end of the line on Minehead shed. Photo by Ian Monkton
Down the line to Williton where 37190 ran in with a down train.
Back up to Crowcombe where the fGW HST set which is being stored on the WSR was in service, a first for the WSR, the use of one of these as service train.
An interesting window label on the HST, wishful thinking or... ? The coach I travelled in still had a MML seat reservation label from its days on Project Rio!
The HST at Williton, it was nice to see it in use after several months in store at Minehead, it was a real contrast to ride in between trips in our Mk1s!
50007, seen here crossing the HST at Williton, is of the class that HSTs displaced from the Paddington - West of England services, astonishingly nearly 30 years ago!
50007 was double headed with Brush Type 2 31271 on this trip.
Another view of the pair, this time while they were waiting to cross at Crowcombe Heathfield.
31271 is named after Stratford depot/works in East London, it was an amazing site to visit being a cross between a diesel depot and a major works when I went there in the 70's.
A last one of mine from the Saturday, 31271 running round at Bishops Lydeard. Quite why this and the 50 had snowploughs fitted I'm not sure, made it hard work for the secondman to uncouple them that's for sure!
Now a few from fellow volunteer Jon Tooke who was secondman on the Class 31 on the Saturday. The first is Class 14 D9526 piloting Class 35 Hymek D7017 at Crowcombe Heathfield. Photo by Jon Tooke
One from the Friday, Class 33 D6566 (33048) in the bay platform at Minehead complete with the "SWRG on Tour" headboard which appears all over the South West on the big railway as well as heritage ones. Photo by Jon Tooke
Visiting Class 31, 31271, is seen here in the bay at Minehead after coming off her train. The 31s appeared on the Western region to replace the Hymeks, they aren't as powerful as the might look though! Photo by Jon Tooke
Another view of 31271, this time while waiting to cross an up train at Williton. Photo by Jon Tooke
Visiting Class 37, 37190, in the bay platform at Minehead. The 37s arrived later in the South West for china clay workings in Cornwall. Photo by Jon Tooke
Another one of 37190 which carries the West Highland Terrier symbol which was applied to locos working the West highland line to Fort William and Mallaig - a long way from Somerset! Photo by Jon Tooke
As Jon waited at Blue Anchor in 31271 "Peak" 45112 Royal Army Ordnance Corps" ran in with its secondman leaning out to phot the 31. Photo by Jon Tooke
Another view form 31271's cab while stood in Up Sidings at Bishops Lydeard. From left to right 50007 is waiting at the signal as 45112 comes out form the station towards the sidings and Class 03 03119 is in the loco sidings. Photo by Jon Tooke
"Peak" 45112, one of the sub class 45/1 which were fitted with electric train heating. The Peaks in the Class 45 and 46 varieties had a long association with the south west working most of the cross country services for many years. Photo by Jon Tooke
Another view of 45112 at Minehead, this time at the head of an Up train in the main platform. Photo by Ian Monkton
The HST was seen on its up working arriving at Blue Anchor. Photo by Ian Monkton
The Sunday of the Gala had a few problems, 50007 failed at Blue Anchor with its first train of the day, Hymek D7017 then failed en route to rescue the 50. As I was guard of the 50's train my day rather fell apart!
It was late in the day before I had a chance of a few photos, here the three 73s are arriving at Crowcombe Heathfield with 73204 and 73209 leading and 73205 on the rear.
Another view of the leading pair of 73s at Crowcombe, wish I could afford one of the houses in the background here.
Class 14 D9526 on shed at Williton on the Sunday evening, it had been running earlier but I don't think it did any work all day.
Jon Tooke had more chances of photos, this is 37190 at Bishops Lydeard. Photo by Jon Tooke
Peak 45112 is seen here waiting to cross an up train at Williton. Photo by Jon Tooke
By the time the 45 had got the road Jon had moved to the North Yard were he took this view of its departure. Photo by Jon Tooke
Late in the day 50007 was coupled to 45122 ready to return to the Midland Railway Centre at Butterly the next morning while one of the 73s can be seen on the right. Photo by Jon Tooke
Despite Sunday's problems it was a really good Gala with plenty of variety. Pity the 37 had to leave, I'd like to see one based on the West Somerset.
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Photos not otherwise credited are ©2001- 2005 S G J Huddy. Other photos are included with permission of the copyright holders.