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The Engines that started the GM Revolution in the UK. 5 built but 59003 was exported to Germany.In 2015 it was repatriated and has started working in the UK for GBRf leaving 4 working out of Merehead for Aggregate-Industries who took over Foster-Yeomans.
If its Friday it must be '7O40' day the 13:35 from Merehead to Eastleigh.The GM that started it all 59001 (bell-end leading) creeps slowly up the rather stiff climb from Dilton Marsh to Upton Scudamore in a lucky patch of sunshine.The autumnal colours are now beginning to manifest themselves as the end of September approaches.
..22 september 2017..
Now the local 'cutting-crew' has thoroughly removed the lineside vegetation here at Berkley Marsh I though I would make an attempt at some kind of shot of a morning working coming from the Westbury direction past the Radio Mast and Cabin that was installed here a few years ago.I suppose it kinda works --just! So here is 59005 with '6C31' the empties from Theale (08:40 off) going to Whatley Quarry.The length of the trains wagons just fitting in the gap in the distance.Click HERE to see what it used to be like 20 years ago!
..22 september 2017..
With the Summer nearly over (What Summer) photography here a Berkley Marsh in the early evening requires a pretty decent telephoto to get over the rapidly lengthening shadows as sunset approaches.With about 35 minutes to go before that piece of inevitability 59005 is seen at Berkley through a 35mm equivilent telephoto of about 240mm running round the curve with '7C64' the 15:24 from Acton-TC to Merehead.If you havn't got a decent long-lens you might as well forget about visiting here after 17:30 at this time of the year.
..14 september 2017..
With the cloudbase now about 80% somehow I continued to manage to picture the passing freights in some sort of sunlight.Here is 59004 with '7C77' the 12:40 from Acton-TC going down to Torre Workj/Merehead Quarry.This is yet another working using the Avoider instead of calling in at the station.Seen at Masters Crossing looking east.
..14 september 2017..
59001 'Yeoman Endeavour' proudly shows off its presentation-bell and the plaque to mark 30 years of superb service as it powers past Masters Crossing on the approach to Fairwood-Junction nr Westbury.The train is '6L21' the 13:30 from Whatley going up to Dagenham Dock-ARC with another multi -1000 ton load.Of note is this working used the Avoiding line around Westbury omitting the stop there for a crew change as crews now appear to sign on at the Quarries!
..14 september 2017..
'AI' Ice Cream Vam 59005 'Kenneth J Painter' runs past the open fields at Berkley Marsh nr Frome with '7V12' the 15:38 from Woking-D.C.T heading for Merehead.By now (albeit only 18:30) the lengthening shadows here require a fair length telephoto to exclude the very darkened foreground,something I try to avoid if possible!
..13 september 2017..
30 year old+National-GM Doyen 59001 Bell-end leading catches the setting sun at Berkley Marsh as it works '7A15' the 17:05 off Merehead going up to Acton-TC.
..8 september 2017..
'7V07' the tue/thurs-only from Chichester-Reception (12:41 off) to Merehead powers through Clink with its set of discharge aggregate-boxes at a fair speed given that does not have to negotiate the Junction at Clink Road.'AI' Ice Cream Van 59004 'Paul A Hammond' was doing the honours (Note the golden buffers for some reason?). Today for a change I gave my 10 year old 10m pixel EOS400D/28-105 non-IS USM lens a spot of exercise and considering the need to downsize the file sizes for website use the difference in image quality is negligible.It makes me wonder why some people are continually spending £1000's on new equipment when in reality most of the time there is absolutely no need!
..31 august 2017..
'Alan J Day' 59002 approaches Fairwood Junction with '7C77' the 12:40 from Acton-TC to Merehead Quarry.Although it was routed via the station it didn't actually stop there as crews are now expected to start and end their turn of duty at the quarries.The days of a regular relief driver for the final leg down to either quarry appear to have ended as drivers now 'sign-on' at the quarries and not Westbury Station.Another rationalization from the DB-Cargo concern seemingly in terminal decline?
..17 august 2017..
59001 is the 'one' that started the GM-infestation of the UK Freight scene now over 3 decades ago.It is still going strong and looks in fine condition albeit in the 'AI'-Ice Cream Van styling.Isn't it about time it was given a coat of original FY styling to honour its status! Anyway here it is at Berkley Marsh nr Frome heading for Whatley Quarry with a rake of empties from Exeter-Riverside (13:44 off) running as '7C28'.
..15 august 2017..
Although it was only 19:40 when this shot was taken the sun was now rapidly approaching the horizon and the lengthening shadows meant I had to take to the fields to obtain a relatively shadowless shot.So here is 59002 'Alan J Day' working '7C64' the late running 15:24 from Acton-TC to Merehead.No particular reason,it just left Acton 40m behind time and never really made it up!
..10 august 2017..
59005 rolls through the now badly overgrown cutting on the approach to Clink Junction with the 11:20 from Allington going to Whatley Quarry '6V18'.A NR embankment clearing team is currently working a mile or so towards Westbury and also at Fairwood Junction.Lets hope they turn their attention to this area afterwards--For sure it certainly needs it!
..10 august 2017..
AI liveried 59005 powers the '13:41' additional from Acton to Whatley Quarry.Quite possibly being listed as '6C76' but who knows? It is viewed in nice light passing the grazing sheep here at Great Cheverell.I suppose these few animals are quite used to regular trains here,hence the lack of concern when this one passed by.
..12 july 2017..
59001 with No-2 end leading (No Bell) passes Master's Crossing at Fairwood with '6Zxx' the 11:45 from Westbury Dn-TC to Merehead Quarry.
..26 june 2017..
Peering through the hole in the hedge at Pot Lane nr Frome which incidentally make a superb lens-hood for reducing flare reveals 59004 pulling away from Clink Road Junction with '7A15' the 17:05 away from Merehead going up to Acton-TC.
..22 june 2017..
'AI' 59004 passes Arn Hill nr Warminster with '7V52' the empty boxes from Hamworthy in Dorset (12:05 off) going back down to Whatley Quarry.Business must be booming for this small aggregate outpost as this is the 3rd train load delivery this week!
..15 june 2017..
AI's Ice Cream-Van 59002 'Alan J Day' is seen at Clink about to take the route down to Whatley Quarry with '6V18' the 11:20 from Allington-ARC returning a long string of empty hoppers for refilling.
..1 june 2017..
With the sun finally deciding to come out at last in the early evening after yet another dull day so did I! Albeit just a quick 5 minute trip down to Berkley Marsh to grab a couple of Quarry workings.So here is 59004 returning the empties from Hamworthy (12:05 away) back down to Whatley Quarry as '7V52'.This loco now named 'Paul A Hammond' was originally called 'Yeoman Challenger' for the first 11 years of its life until renamed in 1996, 21 years ago.
..31 may 2017..
So there I was waiting for this working '7O40' the 13:35 from Merehead to Eastleigh (FO) to slowly climb the Upton Scudamore Bank wondering what the chances of one of the minor blue patches of sky in a sea of cloud doing me a favour for a change.Well as can be seen it all turned out ok but moments later the lights went out.So sometimes you do win! Aggregate-Industries liveried 59002 'Alan J Day' did the honours today with its superb backdrop of 'Simpson' clouds producing a near perfect sky!
..19 may 2017..
Doyen of all the GM's 59001 continues to work day in/day out,year after year as it has done now for over 30 years---Simply amazing.Here it is passing Beanacre nr Melksham with '6C48' the 14:23 from Appleford going to Whatley Quarry with its train of empty boxes.Nice to capture to 'Bell-end' cab leading as well!
..9 may 2017..
'AI' Ice Cream Van 59005 swings through Great Cheverell on the B&H with '7C77' the stone hopper empties from Acton-TC to Merehead that departed there at 12:40.
..8 may 2017..
Less than ten minutes behind '6V41' was '6V52' the fairly recently reintroduced stone delivery and return working to Hamworthy in Dorset from Whatley Quarry.59004 'Paul A Hammond' was in charge of this set of emptied boxes as it passed Norton Bavant still in quite nice light!
..5 may 2017..
Prototype of the Class-59's and grandaddy of all the hundreds of GM's that now operate in this Country and indeed all over Europe 59001 'Yeoman Endeavour' crawls slowly up the Upton-Scudamore Incline with 2000 tons on the hook.The train is the FO 13:35 from Merehead going down to Eastleigh Aggregate Sdg's.Amazingly after a solid 31 years at work covering 10's of millions of miles this loco is performing as good as ever.Surely given its lineage and history when it is time for its retirement it deserves a spot in the NRM.A much bigger milestone than a Class-50 or a 31 ?????.................
..5 may 2017..
'7C77' the 12:40 from Acton-TC to Merehead cruises down the straightaway from Fairwood Junction nr Westbury headed by the ever reliable 'AI' liveried 59005 'Kenneth J Painter'.
..19 april 2017..
AI-59005 'Kenneth J Painter' was barely 5 minutes behind 59201 on '7V12' with '7C64' the 15:25 from Acton-TC going to Merehead as well. Quite surprising this evening with such excellent lighting available that nobody else was around for some decent low light pictures of these 'empties returning to base! 'Correction' Apparantly there was a couple of photographers swinging around in the dead trees a couple of bridges behind me doing the same workings!
..18 april 2017..
Grandaddy of them all 59001'Yeoman Endeavour' with over 10 million miles now under its wheels (Or put it another way 400 times around the world!) rolls through Clink nr Frome with '6V18' the 11:20 from Allington-ARC going to Whatley Quarry.
..12 april 2017..
59002 'Alan J Day' rumbles through Great Cheverell with the 12:40 from Acton-Yard to Merehead '7C77'.Lately this working has been quite short as seen here.Previously it often consisted of 3-portions,a total of up to 57 bogie hoppers.
..11 april 2017..
'Kenneth J Painter' 59005 eases over Masters Farm Crossing nr Fairwood with '7B12' the 11:35 from Merehead going to Royal Wootton Bassett's FY stone terminal there with yet more aggregates.Note how the wagons are now quite graffitied.Almost certainly done in or around the London area where these wagons spend much of their time.
..10 april 2017..
'Kenneth J Painter' 59005 rolls through Berkley Marsh with '7C64' the 15:24 from Acton-TC to Merehead empty boxes.It was quite nice to have a warm clear-sky evening so early in the year before the lineside bushes begin their rampant growth and make shots like this surprisingly quite difficult! Of coarse using a 9ft extendable ladder helps no end!
..7 april 2017..
'AI' Ice Cream Van 59004 makes its way past Berkley Marsh in the late yellowing evening light with '7C64' the 15:24 from Acton-TC going to Merehead.Summer evenings can be very busy sometimes between Westbury and Frome with as many as six or seven stone workings in less than 2-hours.Traffic from the Mendip Quarries remains quite steady unlike other areas of the country where workings are now quite thin on the ground!
..6 april 2017..
59001 with Number-2 end leading rolls through Clink with '7C77' the 12:40 from Acton returning empties to Merehead Quarry.As I only live about 200 yards from this location and the skies were strangely clear for about 20 minutes a brisk walk and a 5 minute wait was all it took to bag this sunny shot! Interestingly just over 90 minutes later at about 16:50 whilst working '7Z15' away from Merehead 59001's train became derailed at East Somerset Junction with seven loaded bogie-hoppers derailed.The loco was undamaged but the line 24 hours later remains blocked!
..20 march 2017..
The Grandad of them all AI's 59001 passes Hawkeridge with '6A83' the 10:25 from Avonmouth-Bennetts Sdg's to W-Drayton-ARC.This working uses ex-coal HTA's to haul the aggregates in.Interestingly instead of taking the triangle-curve and going up the B&H straightaway this booked,earlier running working goes into Westbury yard and lays-over for nearly 3-hours.Eventually leaving up the B&H towards London at about 14:45.Seen here approaching Hawkeridge-Junction nr Westbury.
..17 march 2017..
'AI' 59005 creeps slowly up the Whatley-Branch with '6L21' the 13:30 from Whatley going to Dagenham Dock-A.R.C.This is a very heavy daily working with up to 4400 tons on the drawbar.It is seen crossing the River Frome at Welshmill in Frome.
..16 february 2017..
Doyen of them all 'AI's' 59001 drifts around the curve passing Clink nr Frome bell-end leading with '7V77' the 12:40 from Acton to Merehead.Now that February is here the sun is slightly higher in the sky at 15:15 hence this shot is now available again after several months of this cutting being well shadowed up!
..13 february 2017..
'AI's' Mendip Stalwart 59004 rumbles through the middle road at Swindon with '7B12' the 11:35 from Merehead going to Royal Wootton Bassett's Stone Terminal.This train needs to reverse here in Cocklebury-Yard to go the RWB so it can back the train into the unloader there.Although it was only 13:45 in the afternoon this was effectively in the last dregs of todays daylight given the severe overcast.....800-iso being necessary by now.
..16 january 2017..
Grand-Daddy of them all 59001 with its Presentation Bell-end leading passes Arn Hill nr Warminster as the shadows lengthen and the autumnal colours are beginning to appear.It may be only 16:40 but sunset is now only about an hour or so away.The working is '7V12' the 14:34 from Woking returning empties to Merehead Quarry in the Mendips.
..17 october 2016..
Todays '6V18' the 11:20 from Allington-ARC to Whatley Quarry was a quite short affair with just sixteen bogie hoppers.AI's 59005 being in charge as it passed Fairwood heading for base at Whatley Quarry.
..5 october 2016..
The Original GM 59001 c/w Bell and 30-yr Plaque's creeps out of Westbury bound for Merehead Quarry with '7C77' the 12:39 from Acton-TC.Note the stark contrast between the work-worn older JNA's and the latest batch recently delivered from Poland.Several trains-worth of these older box wagons have departed the local scene probably for scrap as the newer ones have arrived.Aggregates is just about the only sector on todays railways with some kind of future hence the new build JNA's.
..5 october 2016..
The 'FO' aggregates working from Merehead to Eastleigh-FY '7O40' creeps slowly up the ever steepening section of the Upton Scudamore Incline.Back in steam days all freights were assisted by a banker. Class59's can manage on their own!.So here is 59005 down to walking pace climbing the bank in nice sunshine.I have lost count of the number of times this year I have struggled through this 7ft high field of Maze only to be rewarded by a dull shot! Today however it paid off.Very few freights pass here in the window giving the right sun angle so this one was very welcome!
..23 september 2016.
The grand-daddy of them all 59001-bell end leading grinds up through Berkley Marsh working '7A74' the 09:20 from Whatley Quarry going to Theale.This loco has been plodding up and down this stretch of line now for over 30 years,a fine testament to the build quality of this USA design!
..15 september 2016..
Grandaddy-Ying 59001 with its No-1 bell-end leading works '6C76' the 14:40 from Acton-TC to Whatley through a nicely sunlit Berkley Marsh.
..8 september 2016..
Here is an interesting juxtaposition.The contrast between 2-wheel pedal- power and 12 wheels delivering 3300HP! I know which one I prefer... AI's 59004 'Paul A Hammond' gets its train '7B12' the 11:25 off Merehead going to Royal Wootton Bassett away from Westbury past the stacked pushbikes here in their special racking on platform 2/3.
..01 september 2016..
This is the returning set of brand new 'HOA's recently commissioned for quarry work here in the Mendips.They are dual badges as 'MRL' and 'VTG' so are obviously on lease.Loco is MRL's own 59002 'Alan J Day' in Aggregate Industries 'Ice Cream Van' colours.Seen passing the still remarkably clear Berkley Marsh nr Frome with '7C74' the 15:35 from Theale to Merehead empties.A nice evening location that is rapidly turning into one of the Nations 'Hotspots' given the steep decline in recent years of freight traffic elsewhere in the UK.Mendip stone workings remain very steady and if anything is increasing!
..23 august 2016..
'Alan J Day' 59002 approaches Westbury at Fairwood with '7A74' the 09:25 from Whatley Quarry going to Theale.This working today was using a set for brand new 'HOA' type hoppers that were commissioned just a few days ago after coming in from the Continent via the Channel-Tunnel.Note the 3rd wagon is empty,probably due to a minor problem with the bottom doors. Obviously no time to knock it out of the rake this morning!
..23 august 2016..
59002 hurries '7C64' along going to Merehead from Acton-TC (15:24 off).Note the shiny new 'JNA' wagons on the rear of this working.These MRL logo's boxes are a recent introduction coming from the continent where they were very recently built.GBRf have taken delivery of a similar rake as these and have been using them on the Wellingborough-Whatley Flow lately.
..27 july 2016..
The Grandad and youngest Sibling pairing of 59001 and 59206 roll slowly into Westbury at Fairwood having been signal-checked there for a few minutes with '7O40' the 13:35 from Merehead going to Eastleigh.59001 plus 50% of the total load (38 bogies) were removed at Westbury to make up another working.
..22 july 2016..
This is a interesting pairing of the oldest and youngest Class-59's.59001 is now 30 years old whilst 59206 is a mere youngster at 21 years.Viewed approaching Fairwood Junction with a monster train comprising of 38 loaded bogie hoppers,about 4000 tons approx.This working worked up from Merehead to Westbury nominally as '7O40' the 13:35 off the Quarry going to Eastleigh Aggregate Sdg's.However the train split at Westbury with 19 bogies and 59001 being removed to form another working.59206 and 19 hoppers then continued on through the Wylye valley towards Eastleigh.
..22 july 2016..
59005 'Ice Cream Van No-2' wheels its set of Ex-EWS HTA hoppers through Fairwood on '7C31' the 08:40 from Theale going today to Whatley quarry instead of its usual destination on Merehead.Note this loco does not display the '30 years' plaque's as fitted to 59001/2 & 4.This is due quite simply due to 59005 not joining the FY fleet until 1989 making this loco only 27 years old so it doesn't qualify!
..22 july 2016..
'AI' 59002 trundles through Clink nr Frome with '7C31' the 09:55 from Theale returning empties to Merehead.
..18 july 2016..
B&H stalwart '7C77' rolls past Masters Farm Crossing west of Fairwood Junction with 59004 'Paul A Hammond' the final 59/0 working with Mendip-Rail to receive the 'AI' paint scheme.Thus becoming 'Ice-Cream Van' No-4! The train departs Acton-TC at 12:39 and the destination is of coarse Merehead Quarry.
..14 july 2016..
Annoyingly the HST I chose to ignore (or was even expecting) to grab the shot of 59005 working '6A97' the late running 17:10 from Merehead to Colnbrook was one of the remaining pair of 'Bristol-2015' versions.-Typically as I have only a few shots of these in decent light (See what I missed lightwise below). 43148 was working '1C92' the 18:02 from Paddington heading for Penzance. So I ended up with a passing type shot which I suppose kinda works because it does show the startling variety of various liveries around on loco's/hst-pc's/coaches and freight wagons currently. Berkley Marsh nr Frome again sets the scene.
..13 july 2016..
Another Day-Another '7C77' passes Clink Road Junction. It was AI's 59005 turn today to rumble through Frome with the 12:39 away from Acton Yard going to Merehead-Quarry. Oh-well at least the sun was out!
..05 july 2016..
This is a pairing I don't recall ever seeing before! Double-Doyen-Dippers 59001 and 59201 power through Frome working '7V77' the 12:39 from Acton-TC to Merehead.This particular train rarely produces a 'double' so perhaps 59201 is feeling a poorly?
..27 june 2016..
'7C31' the 09:55 from Theale to Merehead aggregate empties is a regular duty for these redundant former-EWS Coal Hoppers.Better this than languishing in a siding somewhere slowly decaying until the inevitable scrapping! Here is 'AI' 59002 passing Clink heading for Torre-Works (Merehead).
..27 june 2016..
A contrasting pair of GM's head '7C64' the 15:24 Acton Yard to Merehead through Berkley Marsh nr Frome is excellent low evening lighting.This working is a favourite for getting engines back to Torre Works/Merehead hence the fairly regular double-headers.Tonight it was the latest and last 'AI' liveried 59004 'Paul A Hammond' with 66050 'EWS Energy' tucked inside.
..03 june 2016..
Still looking fresh and gleaming 59004 'Paul A Hammond' the final 59/0 owned by MRL to get the 'AI' treatment thus becoming 'Ice-Cream' Van No-4 rolls through Berkley Marsh working '7C64' the 15:24 away from Acton yard heading for Merehead.
..02 june 2016..
'Paul A Hammond' 59004 is still looking quite fresh after returning to service earlier this month after a long time out of service whilst it was getting a complete overhaul and repaint.Here it is creeping into Westbury off the B&H with '6V18' the 11:20 from Allington-ARC going to Whatley Quarry.
..24 may 2016..
With its 'Bell-End' leading Grandaddy 59001 heads '7C77' the 12:39 from Acton TC-Yard to Merehead past Baynton Farm nr Bratton.Note most of the trackside brambles have now been cleared by a certain accident prone local photographer who managed (yet again) to end up in A&E due to a careless swipe with a saw hacking yet more flesh and skin out of his legs!!!!!
..24 may 2016..
Barely 10 minutes behind its classmate-59005 the grandaddy of all the GM's 59001 passes Berkley Marsh as well.This working '7C64' the 15:24 from Acton-TC is bound for the other quarry-Merehead.
..23 may 2016..
With the mayflower/hawthorn shrubs now in full bloom 59005 in 'AI' livery passes Berkley Marsh with '6C74' thr 15:35 from Theale-ARC going to Whatley-Quarry.
..23 may 2016..
59004 'Paul A Hammond' which was the final 59/0 to lose its Foster-Yeoman Livery has finally made a return to service after a considerable time out having a thorough overhaul and a full repaint into the 'AI' colours.It also now carries the bodyside plaques commemorating 30 years of service for these 59's.It is viewed here at Ruscombe off Stanlake Lane Roadbridge passing on '6V18' the 11:20 from Allington heading to Whatley Quarry.No boxes today just various types of hoppers.
..05 may 2016..
The morning 'Jumbo' from Merehead to Acton-TC '7A09' was today double-headed.Doyen of them all 59001'Yeoman Endeavour' in 'AI' colours was partnered with an early production GM-66003 still in the original EWS livery.
..05 may 2016..
'AI' liveried 59005 hauls '7C77' past the redundant Cement Works on the approach to Heywood Road Junction-Westbury.
..29 april 2016..
Final train of the evening for me was '7C64' the 15:24 from Acton-=TCgoing again to Merehead.'AI' 59005 was the loco of choice this time.Seen at Berkley Marsh nr Frome.Amazingly this working was only another 5 minutes behind the last one.All three going to the same Quarry--Merehead.The branchline going off at East Somerset Junction was certainly having an incredibly busy 10 minutes or so!
..20 april 2016..
This is another working that has somehow slipped through the Freightmaster 'Net' and is not listed.However a search of a NR-WTT came up with '6B37' the 15:36 from Theale-ARC going to Merehead. Grandaddy of them all GM 59001 in its 'AI' colours doing to job here viewed passing Berkley Marsh nr Frome running barely 5 minutes behinf '6V12' going to the same destination.
..20 april 2016..
Now that British-Summer-Time has kicked in several new photographic opportunities have opened up east of Clink Road Junc nr Frome since Network-Rail have done considerable work along here curing drainage problems on the PW.So here is '6C76' the 14:40 from Acton-TC going to Whatley-Quarry passing the freshly reworked tracks on the approach to Clink Junction.59005 leads 59204 in the superb low evening lighting.Interestingly 59005 does not wear a '30 years-Class 59' commemorative plaque as fitted to 59001 & 59002 (59003 doesn't count and 59004 is in for an major overhaul and repaint),the reason being of coarse it is only 27 years old being built in 1989!
..06 april 2016..
'Alan J Day' 59002,one of the 'AI' fleet of Ice-Cream Vans powers '6V18' through Fairwood as the EMD-GM Fest continues! This one departed Allington-ARC at 11:20 and goes to Whatley-Quarry. I saw this loco on the first ever working out of Westbury on a test-train during 59-trials over 30 years ago.. Click HERE to see that event!
..06 april 2016..
59002 climbs up to Quarry-Junction with '1Z59' from Whites-Crossing having just reversed out of the Merehead departure sidings.After travelling a short way towards East Somerset-Junction it reversed again and 59001 then led down into the Merehead arrival sidings.This would then complete the booked intinery for this Railtour.Its next move would be as the 16:50 away from there returning to Banbury.The daylight now at 15:10 was bad enough so any thoughts of a shot nearly 2 hours later were quite simply out of the question!
..20 february 2016..
In the yard at Merehead-Torre Works '1Z58' with 59002 stands in amongst the trains of wagons that are fully loaded ready for despatch early Monday morning.59001 is a distant 'tail-end Charlie'.Note the new section of track just in front of the train along with a stop-board and various heavy equipment lettered around.Apparantly yesterday evening a wagon derailment had damaged the track here and although it appears to be replaced some work seems to be necessary to complete the repair.Shortly after this shot was taken 59002/59001 reversed back out to White-Crossing to return to Quarry-Junction to travel the section of track back down to the Quarry normally used for arrivals.More rare track for the on-board 'Bashers'.
..20 february 2016..
After '1Z58' from Banbury had traversed the Whatley-Quarry branch line which is almost impossible to record a decent picture on the train returned to Frome where it reversed to continue its journey on down to the other Quarry, Merehead.Here is 'The Fifty-Niner' passing Blatchbridge Junction having departed Frome over 20 minutes early.59001 again being the lead locomotive showing off both its original as-built presentation-bell and the recently affixed celebration plates to mark 30 years service for this now venerable and pretty historic class of loco.Dire light here meant exposure was just 400th at F5 using 1600-ISO.Back in the days for Kodochrome-64 this shot would have been simply impossible!
..20 february 2016..
Today was rather nice weather for Ducks! However as this rather interesting tour 'The Fifty-Niner' was coming from Banbury (06:40 off) to traverse the pair of local freight-only branches to Whatley-Quarry and Merehead I though I would brave the wind and rain (Believe me there was plenty of that unremittingly).Anyway here is that Tour running as '1Z58' with 59001 running bell first having taken over from 59202 which was replaced at Bristol-Temple Meads.It is rolling through the loop at Bathampton giving the 'bashers' on board yet another piece of rare track albeit only 400 yards long! Before the Branch sections after Westbury 59002 was added there for T-n-T operations on those sections of line.
..20 february 2016..
The Daddy of all the GM's 59001with its commemorative bell-end leading powers through Warminster with the returning empty stone-boxes from Chichester heading for Merehead.Note the GWR style lattice footbridge here is being renovated.Will it match the station canopy's or will it be dark green?
..01 december 2015..
'Alan J Day' 59002 gets away from Westbury with '6C28' the 13:45 from Exeter having gone into Westbury first to reverse to gain access to the route to Whatley-Quarry.A bit of a tele-shot to overcome some foreground shadow from an inevitable 'floater'.I see the pair of RT-workers with a death-wish are still stood there.Presumably they survived as there was nothing on the local news that evening about rail services being disrupted in the Westbury area!
..01 october 2015..
Sods-Law dictated that the second empty stone train to pass this point in less than 45 minutes would be yet another 'AI' Ice Cream Van albeit with a different type of wagon load.This one was hauled by 59005 'Kenneth J Painter',the train being '6V18' the 11:20 from Allington-ARC heading for Whatley-Quarry.For some reason this train disappeared off of RTT after it passed Southcote-Junction nr Reading although it appeared here just 15 minutes behind schedule.It didn't report even after it had arrived at its destination. Note the bijou detached property adjacent to the line here.Mark D Few was going to live in it but realised he couldn't afford the rent!
..30 september 2015..
Amazingly after leaving a completely clouded up Shrivenham area barely 90 minutes ago upon arrival back home to my local patch it was once again a clear-clear blue sky.So it was decided to try this location here on the approach to Westbury nr Heywood Road-Junction. Old-Stager 59001 was showing off its presentation-bell as it passes me here working '6V77' the 12:40 from Acton to Merehead. Autumn has already turned the trees here a nice shade of red and gold.
..30 september 2015..
Doyen of all GM's in the Country 59001 c/w its polished bell-end leading passes Wootton Basset with '7B12' the 11:35 from Merehead going to the Stone Terminal about 400yds away to the left of the rail tracks in the distance.However to gain access to that yard this train has to go to Swindon,run-round and return here then reverse into the depot.At least the empty train gets to go straight out onto the mainline and away back to the quarry.Note the gang of workmen in the foreground.They were replacing/upgrading cable troughing.I have to say in the 2 hrs 20 minutes we were there watching them they were working almost constantly with these heavy concrete sections---Fair play they were working pretty well!
..29 september 2015..
AI's 'Alan J Day' 59002 runs past Great Cheverell on the B&H with '6V18' the 11:20 from Allington-ARC going to Whatley Quarry.
..20 august 2015..
Plain-Jane 59004 rumbles past Berkley Marsh on '6C64' the 15:22 off Acton-TC heading for Merehead.
..22 july 2015..
59001 the leader of the pack rolls through Berkley Marsh with '7V12' the 15:38 from Woking heading for Merehead.
..29 june 2015..
The third 'Ice Cream Van' 59002 now owned by 'AI' runs through Berkley Marsh nr Frome with '6C76' the 14:40 away from Acton,this working going to Whatley Quarry.
..29 june 2015..
Plain-Jane 59004 brings '6C31' through Clink nr Frome heading for Merehead with the 09:55 from Theale.This is a regular turn now for the ex-coal hoppers 'HTA-s' from EWS.With the current downturn in coal usage at Power Stations looking to get even worse it is a distinct possibilty that this particular set of hoppers will never be used for coal ever again!
..29 june 2015..
The sole remaining non-AI liveried 59/0 number-004 approaches Clink Road-Junc with '6V07' the 12:41 from Chichester to Merehead (M-Fri only).The wagons being a set of old 'JXA-s previously used on scrap steel out of Sheerness a few years ago.
..22 june 2015..
Ice Cream Van No-2 59005 'Kenneth J Painter' speeds past Blatchbridge-Junction in Frome with '7C64' the 15:22 from Acton-TC heading for Merehead with more of todays empties.
..19 june 2015..
Still looking very smart having had a repaint into 'AI' livery earlier this year,thus becoming 'Ice Cream van No-3'. 59002 'Alan J Day' approaches Clink Road-Junction with the local early evening 'tripper-6Z50' from Westbury (16:55 off) down to Whatley Quarry.
..16 june 2015..
The Grand-daddy of the entire UK fleet of GM's 59001 rolls through Berkley Marsh nr Frome with '7C64' the 15:22 from Acton going to Merehead.No bell visible here as Cab No-2 was leading today.
..15 june 2015..
'AI' Ice Cream Van 59005 passes through the now heavily bushed up Cutting on the approach to Clink Road Junction in Frome.The train is the 11:20 from Allington A.R.C. going to Whatley Quarry as '6V18.As I only have to travel 150 yards from my front door to this bridge it makes a pretty useful back-up if all else fails!
..29 may 2015..
Grandaddy-UK-GM 59001, Commemorative bell end leading passes Fairwood-Junction with what I can only presume is '7C31' from Theale (08:40 off) going to Merehead due to the timing and the known use of these former Coal-HTA-hoppers on this particular working. There was no listing or reports on RTT whatsoever for this train which is quite unusual??????
..27 may 2015..
'6C64' again produced a pair,this time matching 'AI' Ice Cream Vans.59001 and 59002 are seen running through the countryside at Berkley Marsh nr Frome. Three portions tonight,JXA-boxes,then JHA-hoppers then more boxes but JNA's.
..30 april 2015..
59004 in de-decaled ex-FY blue which incidentally is the only locomotive now in the entire country wearing it passes Clink-Junction on '6V18' the 11:16 from allington-ARC going to Whatley-Quarry.
..30 april 2015..
Here is AI's 'Ice Cream Van Number-2' or if you prefer 59005 rolling through the countryside at Berkley-Marsh nr Frome heading for Merehead with '6V12' the 15:38 from Woking. Can it really be nearly 7 years since this AI livery was first introduced ?????-----Yes it is!
..29 april 2015..
work 59004 again worked '6V18' today,the 11:16 from Allington-ARC to Whatley-Quarry.Today the scene remained fully lit so I am able to picture the old 'Bothy' that was placed there about 15 years ago as temporary accommodation and shelter for a Flagman that was there waving workings through whilst some major resignalling was taking place over a couple of days.I expect it was supposed to be collected straight away but now it is obviously totally forgotten and permanantly abandoned!
..29 april 2015..
The 10:33 from Merehead heading for Colnbrook '7A17' is seen approaching Fairwood-Junction.The sole remaining Foster-Yeoman liveried loco 59004 'Paul A Hammond' being in charge.Albeit now with no FY branding anymore.At the rear of the train can be seen yet more EWS coal-hoppers that have been drafted into use on the Mendip-Stone diagrams.As more and more coal fired Power-Stations are closed down many sets of these hoppers are becoming available for other uses.
..16 april 2015..
59001 Mendip-Rail's very own National Treasure powers away from Westbury going presumably to Merehead with '7C31' from Theale (08:40 off).This is another working that now seems to use the redeployed EWS Coal hoppers for stone workings.Note that the end-wagons have now been converted to buffer-fitted so the need for a MRL buckeye/buffer translator wagon is no longer needed.
..16 april 2015..
After arriving from Woking in Westbury this working then runs-round to continue its journey on down to Merehead-Quarry.Here is 59004 again just over 30 minutes since it was seen at Warminster.It is still classified as '6V12' which is fair--same loco---same wagons! It is recorded passing Berkley-Marsh nr Frome.The two local landmarks,the White-Horse and the Cement Works Chimney are clearly visible albeit being about 5 or 6 miles away!
..15 april 2015..
The sole remaining 59/0 not carrying the 'AI' livery is 59004.Although all branding for its former owner Foster-Yeoman has been removed it is still operating in the 2nd generation base livery.Here it is passing Arn-Hill nr Warminster with '6V12' The empty boxes (mostly!) from Woking returning to Merehead.
..15 april 2015..
The UK's pioneer GM machine 59001 passes Bourton still working as hard as ever nearly 30 years since it arrived here from La Grange-Illinois USA.It is operating '6C48' the 13:30 from Appleford going to Whatley-Quarry returning empty boxes.
..14 april 2015..
Literally 2 minutes behind 59103 here at Clink Road-Junction in Frome (My Home Town) was a second train also heading for Whatley Quarry.This one is the more regular '6V18' 12:27 from Hither-Green,this time hauling hoppers and not boxes.'AI' liveried 59005 being the loco in charge.It is a pity that GBRF has chosen to repaint one of the less powerful Class-66 wanabee-lookalikes into a similar livery.For the purists though the real thing still resides in the Mendip Hills!
..10 april 2015..
Stalwart B&H working '6V18' the 12:27 from Hither-green going to Whatley-Quarry passes Brimslade nr Wootton-Rivers giving me at last a freight in sun after having to wait in excess of ninety minutes! Todays loco on this train was 59005 in 'AI' Ice Cream Van colours.And I have to say for an MRL maintained loco was looking quite grubby.Not to worry it was good enough!
..08 april 2015..
Grand-Daddy-GM 'Alan J Day' 59002 which is still looking very smart after its recent repaint into 'AI' Ice Cream-Van colours passes Arn Hill nr Warminster with '6V12' the 15:38 from Woking returning empty MRL boxes to Merehead Quarry.
..07 april 2015..
No this isn't 66711 the GBRf 'lookalike' imposter this is the real deal! 59002 the latest MRL-recruit into 'AI' colours eases away from Westbury with '7C77' the 12:40 from Acton going to Merehead.Seen from Fairwood Foot-Xing heading west.
..31 march 2015..
Stalwart working up the B&H every weekday morning is '7A09' the 07:12 from Merehead Quarry going to Acton Yard.Here is the recently returned to service after a prolonged lay-off for a full overhaul and repaint into 'AI' colours 59002 'Alan J Day'. This still immaculate loco is viewed approaching Slough with its heavily loaded train of Mendip Stone.
..18 february 2015..
59002 'Alan J Day' has now returned to service after many months out of use having just recieved a major overhaul and repaint into to now standard 'AI' colours of the Ex-Yeoman 59/0's.This is my first encounter with it since its re-introduction and regrettably it has now lost that pristine ex-works look particularly around the bogies.It is viewed passing the Westbury Power-Box with '6C48' from Appleford heading eventually to Whatley.The wagons in use on this duty are some older type 'KEA' boxes (20 in total on this working).
..09 february 2015..
Knowing that this working '6C77' was being headed by three Class-59's it was a calculated risk that it would go via the station today here at Westbury.More often than not the signallers stick it round the avoiding-line,in which case I would have missed it.Today however all went to plan so here are 59001 leading 59205 and 59204 creeping away from Westbury at Fairwood.No worries about rogue clouds today,the sky was full blue.The complete opposite to the BBC-Weather prediction!
..09 february 2015..
Grandad-GM 59001 c/w its rather tarnished looking Presentation-Bell eases up to Clink-Junction with the 10:00 from Theale today going to Whatley instead of Merehead.This working '7C31' has been a solid turn for the ex-coal hoppers now in use on Mendip stone traffic.Interestingly the set shown here has lost the couple of FY-hoppers being used as translators being buffer fitted.This consist now has the fairly rare 'HTA' buffer fitted wagons at either end of the set.Things never stay the same for long on the railway!
..08 december 2014..
'AI' liveried 59005 powers directly down the Westbury Avoider thus missing out the station with '7A17' from Merehead (10:33 off) going to Colnbrook.
..14 november 2014..
'AI-s' Ice-Cream Van 59005 'Kenneth J Painter' rolls round the curve behind the White Horse Business Park in Trowbridge with '6A83' the 13:26 away from Avomouth Bennets-Sidings heading for West-Drayton ARC.It will take the Hawkeridge curve to gain access to the B&H thus missing out Westbury altogether.
..03 november 2014..
The now unbranded ex-FY 59004 rolls down the Frome Avoiding-Line heading for Merehead with '7C31' the 08:40 from Theale.This working being the regular diagram for the redeployed ex-coal 'HTA' hoppers currently in regular use on the Mendip Stone workings.
..31 october 2014..
The sole remaining FY liveried 59004 albeit with no decals these days passes through the now largely overgrown cutting on the approach to Clink Road Junction in Frome.This working '7C31' from Theale back to Merehead continues to make use of this seemingly redundant set of EWS 'HTA' coal hoppers.
..17 october 2014..
Another day,another '7A17'.This time with the 'AI-Ice Cream Van' 59005 doing the duty.Here passing Berkley-Marsh nr Frome in a short burst of brightness amidst the mainly gloomy morning.
..17 october 2014..
59001 draws away from Westbury with '7C31' from Theale down to Merehead.This duty makes use of this drafted in set of 'HTA' hoppers that were formally used for Coal but for now temporarily at least are finding themselves hauling Mendip-Stone instead.The working is seen approaching Fairwood-Junction.
..10 october 2014..
Due to the remoteness of Great Cheverell I was unable to access RTT on my O2 mobile to find out where this working '7A17' was,so decided to take a flyer and shot round to the next over-bridge that is closer to Westbury because knowing the local freight patterns I knew it might not be very far away.Sure enough just 6 minutes behind the Ex-NP prototype 59201 was the Daddy of them all,the FY-Doyen 59001 in its 'AI' garb but luckily with the 'bell-end' leading.This working left Merehead at 10:33 and today for a change was going to Colnbrook-FY although still classed as '7A17'
..07 october 2014..
59004, the final 59/0 to carry what's left of a 'FY' livery in service runs past Woodborough with '6V18' from Hither-Green heading for Whatley-Quarry.
..30 september 2014..
59004 now decal-less but still a good match with its Yeoman liveried train runs through Westbury Station non-stop with '7Z12' going to Royal Wootton Bassett from Merehead.
..12 september 2014..
59004 soldiers on as the last 59/0 in service still carrying the remnants of the second version of the now defunct Foster-Yeoman livery.Here it is seen between Westbury and Frome going to Merehead from Woking as '6V12'.A long long telephoto lens shot (105-cropped or 180mm in 35mm terms) being required as the lengthening evening shadows even at just 18:20 in early September make for difficulty with a shorter lens.
..10 september 2014..
59004 is the sole remaining 59/0 to be wearing FY-livery,even this is now devoid of any decals showing ownership to that now absorbed company. Here it is on '6C54' today coming from Oxford-Banbury Road going only as far as Westbury Yard. Wagons today are a pretty careworn set of former EWS 'MBA-s' or monster-boxes as they are known.Location is between Trowbridge and Westbury adjacent to a convenient foot crossing behind the White Horse Business Park.
..13 august 2014..
With the downturn in coal traffic and an upturn in stone workings a couple of sets of 'HTA' type coal hopper wagons have gravitated to Westbury and the Quarries to bolster the local wagon fleet. Here is 59001 with a solitary FY-hopper and a long set of those re-assigned 'HTA-s' coming out of Westbury at Fairwood bound for Merehead having departed Theale at 10:00 as '7C31'.This appears to be the regular duty at this time for these addition wagons. Note--The signal 'W105' in the shot has recently been replaced.It was a quad-aspect conventionally lit unit but is now just a double and is lit by the more modern LED's.
..11 august 2014..
'7V64' although nominally running from Bow Depot-Olympic according to RTT actually started at Acton.All very academic as it still passed Berkley-Marsh west of Westbury running to time.Today it was ex-FY's 59004 turn on this duty.Now the sole example of this livery style remaining it was nice to catch it one more time.You never know it might be off to Eastleigh tomorrow for an 'AI' repaint!
..29 july 2014..
59004 is the sole remaining 59/0 still working in albeit partial FY livery passes Fairwood with a Westbury to Merehead empties.Earlier it had arrived at Westbury from Fareham as '7V16'. However, it is still worth a shot as soon this loco will be sent to Eastleigh to become the 4th and final 'AI' Ice Cream Van!
..24 july 2014..
Barely 5 minutes behind '6Z50' was a very early running '6C76' from Acton (14:40 off) to Whatley. Today it was 59005's turn hauling a standard looking set of Hanson-Hoppers.
..21 july 2014..
Now that 59002 has been repainted into the 'AI' Ice Cream Van Livery (Although not yet back in service),this loco 59004 is the sole remaining 59/0 in FY colours albeit now stripped of the logo's. Its time in this style must now be running out so any chances of a sunny shot of it are very welcome. Here it is on '6C48' the 13:30 from Appleford to Whatley-Quarry approaching Clink Road Junction with its uniform set of empty KEA's.
..15 july 2014..
59002 sits in the Paint-Booth of Arlington Rail Services at Eastleigh-Works in the middle of its transformation into 'AI' colours as carried by 59001/005.It was nearly a year since the FY-decals were removed from this loco so the actual repaint was long overdue! See HERE for how it looked about a week before those Decals were removed.
..02 july 2014..
The 15:38 from Woking to Merehead '7V12' passes Arn-Hill with former Foster-Yeoman plain-jane 59004 in charge.It was a nice fine sunny day today which as usual was not predicted by BBC-Weather.I should have gone to the Swanage-Diesel Gala but the forecast put me off.A pity although some nice local shots were had today so 'Musn't Grumble!'
..09 may 2014..
Next up here at Bourton was the Appleford to Westbury stone empties '6C48' which departed there at 13:30.Today was the turn of 59005 the other 'AI' liveried 59/0.Yesterday its mate 59001 did the duty.The combination of this multi-coloured loco and the Rape in the field plus the Blackthorn bushes certain makes for a very colourful picture!
..16 april 2014..
Here is '6C48' the 13:30 from Appleford returning to Westbury with its set of empty boxes.Doyen of all GM's 59001 sporting its 'Ice-Cream Van' livery was in charge of this working today.Here it is cruising past Shrivenham where the field on the right is yet again this year given over to Oil-Seed-Rape.
..15 april 2014..
'6V18' from Hither-Green to Whatley slows for the junction at Clink in Frome.The Grandad of all the European GM-Sheds 59001 doing to working.
..11 april 2014..
'AI' 59001 unfortunately hiding its commemorative-bell powers past Steppingstone Lane at Bourton with '7C54' from Banbury Road-Oxford going to Westbury.Not the simply huge Blackthorne Bush in the background,within a week or so this will just be a big green blob!
..08 april 2014..
59004 the decal-free 'AI' owned loco passes Fairwood in the failing sunlight due to high milky clouds forming.This train has come from Appleford Sidings as '7C48' and is going to Whatley-Quarry.
..07 march 2014..
59002 the now logo-less former FY machine rolls over Fairwood -Junction in a brief flash of sunlight with '7Z12' from Merehead to Royal-Wootton-Basset.A lucky shot as a heavy storm had just passed and another one was minutes away!
..04 february 2014..
The de-liveried 59004 runs past Newton-St-Loe nr Bath with the 12:15 from Machen going to West-Drayton.'6A83' was actually running about 85minutes late.
..04 november 2013..
Due to the weekend closure of the B&H route '7C77' from Acton to Westbury was diverted via Swindon.Here it is passing Ashbury's Xing nr Shrivenham with the now plain-jayne ex-FY 59004 leading plus Schenker-Red 59202 tucked inside.A rather jumbled mix of new-build 'IIA' and older FY hoppers on this train today.
..19 october 2013..
'Alan J Day' 59002,now debranded in readiness for an 'AI' Ice-Cream Van repaint rolls into Westbury along with 59201 on a 2 hour late '7C77'.This is my first encounter with one of the pair (59002/004) now running around in this state.I understand they will gain the 'AI' colours before the year is out.You never know.I might even get a shot of one of them before then if the sun ever stays out longer than 3 minutes!
..04 october 2013..
'7V07' the 12:41 from Chichester going to the Merehead Quarry with empty boxes passes through Southampton Central Station. 59002 in the 2nd and final version of the Yeoman livery being in charge.
..22 august 2013.. Footnote----Exactly a fortnight later on September the 6th this loco along with 59004 were sent to Eastleigh Works to get have the FY decals removed. So ends the Foster-Yeoman era on these groundbreaking locomotives.Only the Hoppers sets will carry that name now,at least for the foreseeable future.
Coming from Grain in Kent and going to Merehead is 59004 with '7Z20' seen at Clink in Frome.It is worth noting that this set on MBA's were the ones used for many months on the '56' hauled flyash workings out of the now defunct Didcot-A Power Station.
..01 august 2013..
Mendip Stalwart 59002 rolls past Clink going to Whatley with '6V18' from Hither-Green.Amazing day today---Not a Hanson to be seen anywhere!
..01 august 2013..
'6A83' today originated from Bennetts at Avonmouth although the destination was West-Drayton as usual.Here is 59004 still wearing the 2nd version of the now defunct FY livery passing Hawkeridge on the approach to Westbury where this working takes the chord-line before heading on up the B&H towards London,thus bypassing the station there.
..21 june 2013..
Hard as it seems,it was 2008 when this locomotive was repainted into the 'AI' Livery.Doesn't time fly when you're enjoying yourself! The staff down at Merehead in the Mendip-Rail Depot certainly look after their engines and this one, 59005 'Kenneth J Painter' still looks pretty smart even after 5 years work in this colour scheme.Mind you the drivers window and quarter panel seem to have recently taken a direct hit from a large bird suffering from diarrhea, somewhat spoiling the front-end appearence! The working was '7C77' from Acton going back to base at Merehead.Viewed just west of Clink Road Junction in the Frome-Avoider.
..14 june 2013..
Yet another local livery (That makes three in under 30 minutes),this time the second Yeoman incarnation as worn by 59004 passes Clink at a slow pace as this was also going to Whatley, about 15 minutes behind '6V18'. This working was '7C54' from Oxford-Banbury Road.
..29 april 2013..
'AI' IceCream-Van 59001 rolls slowly up to Clink-Junction as it prepares to go down the branch to Whatley with '6V18' from Hither-Green.Its amazing really how these MRL-59's get away with such a small yellow warning panel.Total area must be about the same as an old green-47 or 37?
..29 april 2013..
The Daddy of them all, 59001 in its current 'Ice Cream Van' livery heads a very late '6V18' from Hither-Green going to Whatley past Berkley-Marsh.It was running a mere 3 hours behind schedule having departed 2 hrs down and losing the rest en-route. Significantly this was the 3rd and final class leader of all the 59 sub-classes to pass this spot in just under an hour.59001/59101 and 59201.You won't see that anywhere else but this short stretch of track between Westbury and Frome. Lucky are we not?
..18 april 2013..
With the sun promising to possibly put in an appearance at the right time a trip a short way up the B&H was in order to picture '7V77' at the well known spot at Great-Cheverell. Here is FY liveried 59004 with that working consisting today of just boxes powering steadily along in a nice patch of sunlight.Only two 59/0's in this livery and definitely better than a Hanson!
..16 april 2013..
The GM that started it all! Now over 25 years old and on its third livery style 59001 still proudly wears its presentation-bell it has carried since being built.Here it is slowing for Clink-Junction with '6V18' from Hither-Green going to Whatley.
..19 march 2013..
Local-Loco 59002 rolls through Clink nr Frome with '6W41' from Westbury going only as far as Blatchbrige-Junction but via Taunton so a mere extra 100 miles yet to go!.Today the single line from Frome-North to Blatchbridge-Junction is being relaid replacing the old bullhead track that has been there for decades.This train will wait there until the new sleepers and rail are laid.It will then roll slowly over the relaid section adding fresh ballast.A long train this of 25 HQA's in total. Is that a pair of old underpants hanging up in the tree's?
..17 february 2013..
Todays '6M50' from Westbury to Bescot had an interesting addition running DIT.59005 was being transferred to Crewe for the fitting of the now mandatory GSM-R communication equipment.Here it is getting away from Hinksey-Yard after a short layover with 66116 in charge of its lengthy load of spoil and old ballast.Note the tall expensive sound-barrier fence erected a few years ago to appease the local nimby's who complained about possible noise from the Virtual-Quarry here.
..15 january 2013..
'7C74' from Theale going to Whatley passes Great Cheverell on the B&H in a lucky burst of low evening light.59004 being in charge of a matching train of FY-Hoppers.
..04 october 2012..
Local MRL pairing of 59004 and 59005 move steadily down the Frome Avoider with '7C77' from Acton going to Torre-Works at Merehead.
..21 september 2012..
Passing the strawbales adjacent to the line at Berkley-Marsh 59004 slowly brings '6V18' from Hither-Green up to the junction at Clink before the final few miles to Whatley-Quarry.At this stage the working was over 2 hours late having been delayed in the London area.
..07 september 2012..
With its Bell-end leading Grandaddy-GM 59001 passes Yarnbrook shortly after departing Westbury with '6W36',an engineering working going to Parson Street in Bristol for an overnight engineering job around that area.Load was (making a change from 4000 tons of stone in bogie-hoppers) 44 MHA/MFA and MTA 4-wheelers probably for spoil collection.
..18 august 2012..
'Alan J Day' 59002 ambles past Berkley-Marsh with '7C20' an occasional working from Acton going to Merehead.Such a pity it didn't retain its unique MRL-green livery it wore for a few years some time ago.
59002 wearing the 2nd and final version of FY Livery powers up through Berkley-Marsh nr Frome with '7A09' from Merehead going to Acton.Note the inclusion of just two of the newer style MRL 'IIA-s' in the otherwise matching rake of Yeoman-Hoppers.
..19 june 2012..
As busy as it ever has been after 25 years in service 59001 passes under the Frome-Bypass with '6V18' from Hither-Green going down to Whatley.Interestingly this loco was offered to the NRM free of charge when it finished its career.Unbelievably it was declined.Considering the milestone it has become in UK freight haulage history I find that rather surprising!
..28 may 2012..
59002 partners 59001 on '7C77' as it sweeps through Frome going to Merehead from Acton.Two portions today,of late sometimes it only has one or even occasionally it fails to run.A good indication of the lightness of the current traffic requirements for stone products.
..25 may 2012..
The Grandad of all GM-Sheds 59001,bell-end leading rounds the DidcotWest curve going to Appleford from Westbury with a stone delivery.Do not often see this working as its a very early departure from Westbury and for me to be here at Didcot at 07:30 in practically unheard off.The working is '7A15'.
..22 may 2012..
59004 eases away from Westbury going to Merehead with '7C77' from Acton.I know times a tight but pretty soon if the famous animal on the local hillside isn't given a bit of a clean-up it could become known as the 'Westbury Brown Horse'! Footnote----Within days of this shot being taken work commenced at refurbishing the 'Horse' back to full whiteness.
..11 april 2012..
'AI' Ice-cream Van Number-1 creeps away from Westbury waiting for a signal to clear after an HST has just headed west off the Avoider.'7C77' was just hoppers today but only one portion (19 bogies),a good indication as to conditions the aggregate industries are facing in this recession.
..07 march 2012..
The Doyen-Grandad of all the GM products that now infest Europe 59001 rolls slowly up to Clink-Junction to crossover and head off down the short branch to Whatley with '7V16' from Fareham.It certainly still looks quite smart even though it is now over a 1/4 of a century old.
..05 march 2012..
With 3-sets of 'HQA-s' in tow (15 bogies in total) 59002 creeps slowly past Fairwood having been in the Wanstrow engineering occupation all night.This working '6W35' was hauled to site yesterday by 59102.This will return later with the final set of ballast wagons as '6W34'. Apparantly if 15 loaded ballast hoppers are required for work on this branch the use of single 66's is not allowed as they cannot climb away from East-Somerset-Junction to Wanstrow on the incline there if the railhead conditions are iffy! Hence the use of 59's.An altogether far superior piece of US-Iron. ..26 february 2012..
Local-Loco 59002 today was allocated the job on '6W36' taking the 'HOBC' from Westbury down the short distance to the engineering work taking place on the Merehead-Branch beyong East-Somerset-Junction.One musn't forget the engine on the other end----yet another Hanson 59103,just visible in the distance. Fairwood again.At least it wasn't on stone-hoppers!
..25 february 2012..
'Alan J Day' 59002 passes Woodborough with '6V18' at line speed.No need to use the loop here today.
..03 february 2012..
Todays '6L21' from Whatley going to Dagenham Dock was entrusted too the 'AI' liveried 59005.Here seen passing the loops at Woodborough on the B&H.Note the gathering Railtrack vans and lorries,several more turned up a few minutes later,just in time for the afternoon tea-break in their shack!
..03 february 2012..
One of the two remaining 59/0's in Yeoman livery passes the now mothballed Lefarge Cement-Works as is commences it journey up the B&H from Whatley going to Daganham Dock with '6L21'.Shot taken from the hillside just beneath the famed White Horse at Bratton nr Westbury.
..31 january 2012..
Daddy of them all,59001 heads for Merehead on a 'boxes-only' but admittedly long '7C77'.Seen at an increasingly autumnal looking Styles-Hill roadbridge over the avoiding line at Frome.
..06 october 2011..
'AI' 59005 eases away from Westbury with '6V18' from Hither-Green bound for Whatley-Q.Since the practical end to the major contracts in London connected to the Olympic Project stone traffic is now decidedly thin on the ground.Some workings no longer run and several that still do are much-much shorter than previously.This one however still loads up to 40 empties on its return. Hard times indeed ahead! ..13 september 2011..
Still wearing the final version of the Foster-Yeoman Livery despite several years now of ownership by Aggregate-Industries,59004 rolls down the straight towards Fairwood-Junction with '6A74' the Tuesday-only 09:22 from Whatley-Quarry going to Theale.Train was travelling at quite high speed as it was to take the avoiding-line not going via the station-area.
..05 september 2011..
Yeoman 'Alan J Day' 59002 passes Arn-Hill with '7V52' returning nominally empty from Hamworthy returning to Whatley.Interestingly of the train of 16 boxes,5 were still fully loaded. Possibly the unloading facilities down south were suffering a bit of difficulties!
..19 august 2011..
With just two examples repainted into AI 'Ice-Cream Van' Livery,this one 59005 and 59001.These colours are now actually rarer than the DB-Schenker livery that is now becoming more common place.Here is 'Van number'5 passing Berkley-Marsh with '7C54' from Oxford-Banbury Road going to Whatley-Q.
..01 august 2011..
'Kenneth J Painter' 59005 passes Clink with '6V18' from Hither-Green going to the Hanson-Quarry at Whatley.
..13 june 2011..
Grandad UK-GM 59001 passes down the Frome-Avoider with '7C77' from Acton going back to Merehead.This Loco now sports the 'AI' colours,the third livery it has carried.Quite distinctive but surely as a gesture to its quarter of a century of service this year would look far nicer in original FY colours. ..01 june 2011..
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Barely 10 minutes after '7V52'had passed it was the turn of '6C76' from Acton also going the Whatley to put in an appearance.This train was composed of the newish 'IIA-s' dedicated to MRL traffic.Viewed once again at Berkley Marsh and hauled by 'Ice-Cream Van' 59001 'Yeoman Endeavour' the daddy of them all luckily with its presentation-bell end leading. Amazingly this pioneer in every sense of the word is now 25 years old and still performing perfectly day in and day out.Surely a candidate for the NRM when retirement beckons. ..27 may 2011..
Still running in the second version of 'Foster-Yeoman' colours 59002 passes the Farm Crossing at Fairwood on '6V18' from Hither-Green going to Whatley. ..12 april 2011..
A few minutes after 59001 passed the other one in 'AI' colours 59005 appeared going the other way with '7A17' from Merehead to Acton.I was beginning to think it may not be running but eventually it appeared about 60 minutes down. ..12 april 2011..
The Pioneer-Daddy of them All,59001 with the Bell-End leading heads '7C31' from Theale going back to Merehead.Viewed approaching East-Somerset-Junction. ..12 april 2011..
Still wearing the '2nd' and final version of the Foster-Yeoman Branding,59002 approaches Clink-Junction with a 60-min late '6V18' from Hither-Green. Of note is the four extra hoppers behind the 59,all old orange ex-RMC's.Three different designs as well! These used to be used extensively around Peak-Forest in the Quarries there but are now found on selected workings out of Whatley. ..06 april 2011..
59005 in the colours of 'Aggregate Industries' slows for the Junction at Clink with '6V18' going to Whatley from Hither-Green.
..01 april 2011..
'AI' 59005 hums through Ladydown nr trowbridge with '7C48' from Appleford returning empties back to Whatley Quarry.Note the nice new shiny colour-coded palisade fencing,THAT wasn't there a few weeks ago!
..25 march 2011..
Yeoman 59002 passes Clink (About 150yds from my home) going to the Merehead Quarry with good old '7C31' from Theale.
..24 march 2011..
Unusual use today of 59004 on the Engineers trip working to Eastleigh and return.Here seen at Arn-Hill returning with just one wagon carrying some stores in tow on '6V41'Hardly a taxing load for such a powerful piece of kit!
..22 march 2011..
Multiple now seems quite common these days getting locomotives 'To' and 'From' where they are most needed for weekend engineering requirements.Here is one involving a couple of MRL private owners loco's.These are used sometimes at weekends in a reciprocal agreement between the the Mendip-Quarries and DBS. Running as '0F75' 59005/59001/66117/66035 plus 66066 viewed arriving at Westbury from the Didcot area after a period of occupational therapy. ..20 march 2011..
'AI' number-5 rolls away from the yards at Westbury heading towards the quarries with '7V16' from Fareham. ..17 march 2011..
59005 seen at Heywood Road Junction east of Westbury with '6Z83' from Machen in South-Wales heading towards London up the B&H.At this time the newish 'AI' colours were still something of a novelty.Now in 2011 only two members of the class are in these colours with the other two still sporting full FY colours.
..03 december 2009..
59001 heads '7C31' from Theale going to Merehead past the canal at Crofton. Ice-Cream anyone?
..10 september 2009..
'AI' liveried 59005 rumbles slowly past the Esso-Bridge in Avonmouth with the 'Tues-only' empty boxes from Westbury to Bennet's Yard within the Docks complex.Its reporting code was '7C63' but by 2012 had ceased to operate.This is a difficult place to picture workings these days.If spotted by the local 'gestapo' you are moved on immediately.The trick is to arrive almost simultaneously with the train.Something that is quite difficult to achieve!
..16 june 2009..
Heavyweight 'AI' 59005 rolls through Hallam-Marsh with '6C63' from Westbury-Yard going to Avonmouth. .. ..16 june 2009..
FY liveried 59002 leans into the bend as it slows for Crofton on the B&H.This first 'up' stone working of the morning is '7A09' off Merehead departing at 07:12 going to Acton. and having taken over 2 hours already to get this far.
..24 march 2009..
This is 59005,the other 59/0 that was quickly repainted into 'AI' colours back then in 2008.Unlike 59001 the paint shade was done correctly at the first attempt.In fact when it came back from Eastleigh in August-2008 it was accompanied by the repainted/corrected 59001 as a matching pair of light-engines! So here is 59005 on the single line from East Somerset-Junc going to Merehead at Wanstrow with its train of empty boxes on '7V07' from Chichester.This location is now heavily overgrown and today in 2016 just the loco and part of the first wagon would be visible emerging from the jungle!
..08 october 2008..
59004 passes Clink-Junction with the sadly missed '7A17' from Merehead going to Acton.This working ceased in 2011 due to the fall-off in demand for stone products in the London area due to the recession and the winding down of the Olympic contracts.Note the use of 'hired-in' Freightliner 'HIA-s',a sight now consigned to history since the Quarries started using a large batch of brand-new 'IIA-s' that have been leased in from Nacco
..14 august 2008..
This is something of a rare picture.When 59001 was originally repainted in the livery of Aggregate-Industries the colour used for the lower band was incorrect! It should have been more green than this turquoise colour you see here.59001 ran from the 28-July-2008 until early August-2008,just a few days in this scheme.The Loco then went back to Eastleigh for the correct paint to be applied and returned to the Mendips on 18-August-2008 along with the other one also repainted 59005.Here the short lived liveried 59001 passes Berkley-Marsh nr Frome with '7A17' from Merehead going to Acton.Note at this time MRL were using some 'hired-in' Freightliner Hoppers due to pressure of work.Unlike 2012 when loadings are very low and this working has actually ceased to run. ..01 august 2008..
Pioneer UK-GM 59001 is seen at Arn-Hill nr Warminster returning from Eastleigh-Works where it has just received a full repaint into the new 'AI' livery replacing the FY '2nd version' it had carried for many years.In fact the blue section of the livery was incorrect, being too light a shade and within a week or so returned the Eastleigh for it to be redone again in the correct colour.The train it was returning to Westbury on is '6V41' the 14:48 from Eastleigh Yard to Westbury.From there it ran L/E to Merehead that evening.
..28 july 2008..
Several things have changed since this shot was taken five years ago in 2008.The Cement Works whose chimney is visible behind the train has now closed,this working '7A17' from Merehead to Acton no longer runs,the hired-in 'HIA' Freightliner bogie-hoppers are not now used out of the Mendip Quarries on stone trains and the locomotive 59005 has been repainted into 'Ice-Cream Van' livery of the new owning company 'AI'.Who says nothing changes much on the railway scene?
..16 july 2008..
59002 'Alan J Day' was the only 59/0 to gain a coat of MRL-Green.This is now of coarse long gone firstly under FY-Blue and now AI-Ice Cream Van.Here the green-Machine is viewed at Wanstow on the Merehead branch with an afternoon working to Eastleigh.This occupation bridge was an excellent place to stop for lunch and catch a couple of stone trains whilst I ate my lunch and read the paper!
..30 september 2003..
'1Z31's next port of call after Whatley was Merehead.Unfortunately the lightweight 2-6-0 Mogul 76079 failed the make it up the incline away from East-Somerset Junction and stalled at Wanstrow at MP1-3/4.59002 in the unique MRL livery was scrambled to assist it the final few miles into the Torre-Works Complex.Here it is seen at the throat of the sidings 'fanout' finally arriving.
..13 september 2003..
This working was '7A17'.Not only did it have about 4000 tons of stone in tow but also a few 'lwb' open cages transporting concrete blocks as well.However with the advent of the current long-long recession this once regular working now no longer runs.Perhaps things will pick up one day? Here is the only FY loco to get a repaint into the green/orange colours of 'Mendip-Rail'.The styling was perpetuated but not the colour,blue was preferred instead. 59002 'Alan J Day' is viewed taking the bend at Great-Cheverell on the B&H with '7A17'.Despite living locally actually getting shots of this lone green engine was quite difficult particularly in the sunshine! ..17 march 2003..
Up until the family run business Fostor-Yeoman was taken over by Aggregate-Industries it ran in conjunction with MRL a regular yearly staff outing to various destinations around the country.I myself managed to go on a few including the memorable trip to North-Wales behind the 'Western'.Anyway here is one I just pictured as it passed Frome as '1Z96' the 07:52 from Bristol-TM to Paignton.Power being provided by 59001 and 59103 viewed here passing the now defunct Butler &Tanner Factory as it crosses the small viaduct over the River Frome shortly after departing Frome Station.
..3 may 1999..
Pioneer FY-GM 59001 rolls into Westbury past 37707 parked next to the Power-Box there.Another scene consigned to the dustbin of history.59001 now liveried as an 'AI' Icecream-van,the ARC hoppers now run as blue 'Hansons' and 37707,the former D6701/37001 is presently at Kingsbury Scrapyard in the Midlands(Aug-2011) waiting the inevitable-chop! 13 september 1997..
An original liveried 59005 'Kenneth J Painter' runs into Westbury with a empty stone working from Avonmouth past 60075 as it stands parked adjacent to Westbury Power Box.The Yeoman-GM is still in very active service whilst 60075 only saw 17 years service before being stored in Sept-2008.Five years later in late 2013 it lies dumped in the Toton Training Compound.
..13 september 1997..
Not a particularly good photograph but included due to the historic nature of the shot.59002 drags 59003 in the consist of the 13:00 off Merehead to Acton past Berkley-Marsh nr Frome. 59003 was being transferred to Germany to work there for a Foster-Yeoman subsiduary in conjunction with DB-Cargo.Now in 2013 this loco is still there but apparantly lying out of use.You never know? It might even return home,crazier things seem to happen all the time on todays railways!
..30 april 1997..
59005 is seen during its spell in S-Wales giving EW&S a taste of GM power while it was used for a period on the Iron-Ore Circuit between PortTalbot and Llanwern. An empty MGR ore train is viewed at Green Lane nr Coedkernew heading back west.Note how full the cab of the 59 is with enginemen all keen to have a taste of things to come.It must be remembered at this time the Class-66 was still a couple of years into the future. How that future has changed things.No more ore-trains/No Llanwern Steel-Works and no more FY 59's in this livery.However to complete the picture were 250 EW&S 66's in three years time.Things just went from bad to worse!
..22 march 1997..
As built Yeoman 59002 runs into Westbury from the Trowbridge direction with a long train og hoppers past the PowerBox there. ..25 may 1995..
This is the 'One that got away' 59003 Yeoman Highlander that was exported the Germany in 1997 and still works there to this day hauling the heaviest trains operated in that country. Anyway here it is approaching Westbury at Fairwood with a set of ARC-mustard boxes.The livery being the original. ..29 march 1995..
The One that got away! 59003 Yeoman Highlander approaches Frome bound for one of the quarries with a set of ARC liveried bogie hoppers.This loco was deemed surplus to local operating requirements in 1997 and transferred to Germany where its running number is now 259003.Whilst there has been subsequently sold to 'Heavy Haul Power International' and currently hauls the heaviest trains in Western-Europe.There is virtually no chance this engine will ever return to the UK particularly now we are in the depths of a deep deep recession. ..September 1994..
All the Management from Foster-Yeoman and Staff from EMD in America stand for a valedictory photo in front of 59002 at Westbury Station prior to an inaugural test run up the B&H for test purposes.