The mainstay of Inter City services in Somerset before the Virgin voyagers were the Inter City 125s, this view of Taunton shows a Virgin Cross Country example on a service to the north and a First Great Western one which was reversing before going up to London.
Seen passing through Taunton light engine was 58030, just before the arrival of a Steam Special, hence the crowds on the platforms.
Other services in the area are worked by Class 158 dmus, such as this one heading out of Taunton towards Exeter on a Penzance working.
Another Class 158 seen from 40 Steps Bridge arriving at Taunton on an up working.
Another view from 40 Steps Bridge, Taunton - a Virgin Cross Country service headed by a Class 47 in police colours for anti vandal workings
Three generations of Inter City motive power at Taunton, a pair of Castles leave on a special as a preserved Class 50 diesel stands waiting to follow down to Penzance and an up Virgin Inter City 125 arrives in the station.
47840 North Star at Taunton in 2002, Virgin have repainted her in BR Blue livery for her last few months of service with them. Photo by The Creech Crusader
47851 had also been repainted by Virgin, this time in original two tone green. She is seen at Taunton on 4 August 2002. Photo by the Creech Crusader
Virgin's loco hauleds and HST's have now been replaced by Voyagers. Tiny little trains, meant to run frequently but the service falls apart all to easily leading to one very late and very crowded unit leading a procession of near empty less late ones.
Seen on an October 2002 evening Wales and Borders 158745 stands at Platform 4 in Taunton.
Earlier the same evening an up First Great Western 125 seen passing 40 Steps Bridge, just west of Taunton station. FGW are refurbishing their HST's, which are far better trains for long journeys than Virgin's Voyagers.
Another view of it looking towards the station. There's a lot of disused railway land around here where the loco sheds were (right) and carriage sidings (left) used to be.
The former Minehead arrival bay at the western end of Taunton's upside, maybe one day the West Somerset Railway might once again reach here with steam trains from Minehead.
Two views from 40 Steps Bridge showing the area beyond the bay in the above photo which might offer more space for a new station and associated siding space etc.
Wales and Borders unit 158823 stands at platform 2 with a S. Wales - Penzance working in March 2003. Might be a "boring unit" but the ride on the short run from Bridgwater was very comfortable.
Wessex Trains unit 143617 waiting at platform 3 with a Taunton - Gloucester service. Not as comfortable ride as the 158, the seats are so close my legs wouldn't fit :o(
A First Great Western Inter City 125 leaving Platform 5 en route to London Paddington. Both power cars were in the old livery, the carriages in the new "Barbie" colours.
An up Virgin Voyager arriving at Taunton in September 2003. A 4 coach Inter City service...
While the Voyager was still in Platform 5 a down First Great Western HST arrived at Platform 3.
There remains one loco hauled passenger service operated by First Great Western, the sleepers. To work these FGW have some Class 57's, re-engined Class 47's, one of which is 57604 seen here on a test train along with a Class 47 in Fairwater Yard west of Taunton. Photo by Jon Tooke
A Wessex Trains Class 158 unit with a Bristol bound service in January 2006, only a few months to go for this franchise before First take it over and merge it into their Great Western one.
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This site was last updated 16-01-2012
Photos not otherwise credited are ©2001 - 2004 S G J Huddy. Other photos are included with permission of the copyright holders.