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The changing face of...Taunton


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  • RMweb Gold

Work has finally started on the redevelopment of the Old Loco area of Taunton, located on the downside, west-end of the station. This is where the old steam sheds used to be, characterised in recent years by a jungle of vegetation, a disused (1970s) tamper shed on the site of the old shed buildings, a fan of (mostly) disused sidings and the remains of the old coaling incline.

 

More recently, a long shunting spur from Fairwater Yard was laid along the line of the old Goods Avoiding Lines, to enable the High Output trains to shunt without having to occupy the main lines.

 

Now, major changes are taking place, because the course of the old goods lines is now required for a relief road, from Station Road down to Staplegrove Road bridge.

 

This means the the following changes are taking place:

 

- site is being cleared and levelled, and all old sidings removed

- High Output spur will be slewed across away from the goods lines formation and closer to the main lines

- three new sidings will be installed for on track machine stabling and general operational use

 

Much of the vegetation was removed a few months ago, but of course it had started to grow back. Now, the old, disused tamper shed has finally come down, and judging from the photos I took in haste from the train the other day, it looks as if the walls were somehow pulled away and the roof allowed to fall to the ground:

 

post-57-0-41944700-1347101339.jpg

 

The digger is removing the old coaling incline behind the tamper shed:

 

post-57-0-81469700-1347101372.jpg

 

post-57-0-64995300-1347101357.jpg

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I very nearly hit the 'like' button CK but can't quite bring myself to do it... sacrilege sir! I was hoping the shed might still be there to photograph but I'm glad I got a few shots of it on the way home from the WSR Hydraulic fest a couple of years back.

 

Another bit of the Western Region gone for good...

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I was there last saturday changing trains, (en-route to the real St James Park), I noticed clearance work had started.

At that stage the roof was still being held up by the skeleton of the structure, but the walls/brickwork/cladding had already been removed.

 

Sad to see it go in a way, but the land can be put to much better use I suppose.

What with the development happening at the Firepool end parts of Taunton will soon be unrecognisable from a few years ago.

 

I worked, on loan, at the Taunton Civil Engineers Office for one week in 1978, I remember seeing the damaged sleeper coaches

from the Taunton Sleeper Fire stabled beside the shed, covered in tarpaulins,

 

 

edit, - I think the shed was built earlier than the 1970s,

here it is in 1980, it looks well worn by then:-

post-7081-0-32641500-1347103903_thumb.jpg

The Taunton twins 31170 and 31118 stabled beside the shed,

this pair had been coupled together and employed on the Taunton Civil Engineers trips

for several weeks when I photographed them, 22/9/80

 

cheers

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I was there last saturday changing trains, (en-route to the real St James Park), I noticed clearance work had started.

At that stage the roof was still being held up by the skeleton of the structure, but the walls/brickwork/cladding had already been removed.

 

Sad to see it go in a way, but the land can be put to much better use I suppose.

What with the development happening at the Firepool end parts of Taunton will soon be unrecognisable from a few years ago.

 

I worked, on loan, at the Taunton Civil Engineers Office for one week in 1978, I remember seeing the damaged sleeper coaches

from the Taunton Sleeper Fire stabled beside the shed, covered in tarpaulins,

 

cheers

 

Ah - Taunton's famous 'terrible twins' on standby as per usual... various pairs of Old Oak and Bath Road 31s were stabled there ready for the call back in the good old days of loco hauled expresses.

 

Couple of shots of the shed in June '09... I took about two dozen in all but these are the only two which will upload due t ithe file size...

 

post-7638-0-56224100-1347104530_thumb.jpg

 

post-7638-0-02078900-1347104595_thumb.jpg

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Ah - Taunton's famous 'terrible twins' on standby as per usual... various pairs of Old Oak and Bath Road 31s were stabled there ready for the call back in the good old days of loco hauled expresses.

 

Couple of shots of the shed in June '09... I took about two dozen in all but these are the only two which will upload due t ithe file size...

 

post-7638-0-56224100-1347104530_thumb.jpg

 

post-7638-0-02078900-1347104595_thumb.jpg

 

The Twins were booked as one of the standby duties for summer saturdays, on weekdays they worked trips mostly out of Fairwater.

 

The Civil Engineers at Taunton used the ground floor of the white building in the background of your first photo,

I think the Forestry Commision used the first floor. I think its first use was as the Railway Hotel?

 

cheers

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  • 2 months later...
  • RMweb Gold

:nono: :rtfm: Sorry Captain Kernow bottom of the class again, that was the last standing part of the GWR engine shed set up, and was built in 1932 with the help of the Government money as the standard repair shop.

Whadjamean, again??!!

 

Well, I really didn't realise that, should have checked my OPC book, didn't even realise when working there in the 1980s. Anyway, thank you for correcting me on that one.

 

Either way, it's not there any more, the site has now been completely leveled by a contractor, and is now waiting for our local PW Renewals team to come in and install/slew the new sidings and the High Output spur:

post-57-0-81505500-1352474729.jpg

 

post-57-0-98236100-1352474743.jpg

 

post-57-0-43490300-1352474755.jpg

 

post-57-0-79976000-1352474765.jpg

 

Whilst I might often 'bang the drum' for old railway buildings, I couldn't have worked up any enthusiasm for that shed, as it had had it's day. It was never going to be listed and there was no longer any function for it. In it's latter days it attracted all the wrong sort of people and what's going to be replacing it on the site is going to be much, much better than what was latterly there (three new sidings, a slewed-over High Output spur and some decent road access to that part of the site. It beats previous proposals for yet another car park on that site, certainly...

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  • RMweb Gold

The Civil Engineers at Taunton used the ground floor of the white building in the background of your first photo,

I think the Forestry Commision used the first floor. I think its first use was as the Railway Hotel?

Dunno why I've missed this thread :O

 

The 'white building' was indeed originally a hotel but at some time was taken over by other depts. In my time there the Civils were on the ground floor (possibly not all of it as the Post Office were also in part of the building at one time) and I was on the top floor - my office being the one nearest the end of the building seen in that pic and on the station side (i.e the side visible in Nidge's pic) although we shared the large meeting room on the further, east end, with the Civils. It's main claim to fame was being used for press conferences after the sleeper fire.

 

The loco shed workshop was still in use in the late '70s for tamper maintenance but in 1978 it was used to house the most seriously damaged sleeping cars for teh police to carry our what they nowadays call a 'finger tip search' - it didn't smell particularly nice due to the lingering smell of burnt wood and paint etc and the three coppers who did the searching placed everything on a few wagon sheets as they came to, not a nice job and they were at it for several weeks.

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The shed shown in the above pictures, isnt actually a shed, its a lifting shop, I had a look inside it many years ago, and it was virually the same as the lifting shop at Didcot.

 

The roof light half way down on the roof is where the crane structure stood, again the same as Didcots.

 

So whilst is still sad to see another old railway building demolished, at least it wasnt unique, as we still have one in Oxforsdshire.

 

Regards

 

R

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  • RMweb Premium

I was only on that land just Saturday! Went there to pick up cable drums out of the temporary compound left over from the recent re-cabling / re-routing work thats been going on there. To access the site you follow the old alignment of the avoiding lines and drive over the remaining rail bridges on the downside.

Every time I go to the place i find myself imagining what it was like 50 years ago as a busy, major freight centre. Cant help but feel some feeling of dissapointment sadness when a tarmac road is built in place of a railway either. I hadn't been there for about 4 weeks and was shocked to see it all gone and levelled!

On a side note, the thieving scum in area have already stolen 80 metres of new signalling cable from a troughing route near to the road over bridge at the east end on Friday.

Scrap value maybe 40 quid if their lucky!! :angry:

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On a side note, the thieving scum in area have already stolen 80 metres of new signalling cable from a troughing route near to the road over bridge at the east end on Friday.

Scrap value maybe 40 quid if their lucky!! :angry:

 

I passed by at about 13.05 on Saturday and noticed a gang at work, presumably putting it back?

 

cheers

 

edit for spelling

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  • RMweb Premium

I passed by at about 13.05 on Saturday and noticed a gang at work, presumably putting at back?

 

cheers

Yeah, would have been them, I spoke to the guy taking more cable out the compound at about 9 that morning to repair the damage. Like he said, we'l never stop this unless the value of scrap takes a nose dive which is unlikely in the short term. I think NR need to be looking at installing CCTV in these 'types' of area's, it has to be cheaper than the damage and compensation to TOC's in delays, letalone the danger that can be caused to trains with wrong side failures and the like. Like my collegue said, only way you'l stop it is to put it in the air or underground, both are hugely expensive.

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  • 8 months later...

To bring this thread up to date, I was in Taunton on Friday (2/8/13)

and had a chance to snatch a couple of quick photos

 

Seen from platform 2, the new stabling sidings

post-7081-0-84093800-1375639642_thumb.jpg

post-7081-0-61467500-1375639772_thumb.jpg

 

And one of the three new stop blocks

post-7081-0-09361300-1375639990_thumb.jpg

 

cheers

 

 

 

 

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  • 3 years later...

When passing through Taunton the other day I noticed that the former goods line bridge which will form part of the new link road

has now been reinstated, is it the original span which has been refurbished?

 

post-7081-0-94353600-1478444507_thumb.jpg

Station Road Taunton, 2/11/2016

 

cheers

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  • RMweb Gold

When passing through Taunton the other day I noticed that the former goods line bridge which will form part of the new link road

has now been reinstated, is it the original span which has been refurbished?

 

attachicon.gifIMG_4369 a.jpg

Station Road Taunton, 2/11/2016

 

cheers

 

Not exactly.  When work was well underway someone official turned up and asked the site engineers if the bridge had been stress tested - they reputedly answered the question by giving the man a dumb look.  Anyway as a result the bridge was removed and what has been replaced is the two original side girders but mounted higher than they used to be while the new deck is made of concrete beams.

 

Overall this job is a marvellous case against converting redundant railways into roads - they have now been at it for at least 18 months and as yet have actually so far only converted less than half a mile into a road (which of course can't be finished or used until the bridge is made usable).  I reckon their final conversion rate will turn out to equal about half a mile a year.

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  • RMweb Gold

Not exactly.  When work was well underway someone official turned up and asked the site engineers if the bridge had been stress tested - they reputedly answered the question by giving the man a dumb look.  Anyway as a result the bridge was removed and what has been replaced is the two original side girders but mounted higher than they used to be while the new deck is made of concrete beams.

 

Overall this job is a marvellous case against converting redundant railways into roads - they have now been at it for at least 18 months and as yet have actually so far only converted less than half a mile into a road (which of course can't be finished or used until the bridge is made usable).  I reckon their final conversion rate will turn out to equal about half a mile a year.

Agreed. This is a classic example of how expertise has been drained away from organisations such as local authorities over the years, (assuming it was ever there in the first place), due to paying off older, experienced people and paying younger folk, with a lot less experience and knowledge, a fraction of that.

 

The construction of this short length of ordinary road has been going on for an age now, local authority incompetence is probably a kind way of describing it.

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Agreed. This is a classic example of how expertise has been drained away from organisations such as local authorities over the years, (assuming it was ever there in the first place), due to paying off older, experienced people and paying younger folk, with a lot less experience and knowledge, a fraction of that.

 

The construction of this short length of ordinary road has been going on for an age now, local authority incompetence is probably a kind way of describing it.

Outrageous, all the older people who know what they're doing being replaced by those barely out of nappies, what is the world coming to....

 

They should not let the oldies retire early, they should stay on and retire at the proper age....

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  • 11 months later...

Here is the bridge at Taunton fairly soon after opening 

 post-7081-0-15075800-1509383157_thumb.jpg

Taunton 16/7/2017

 

 

I had some time to spare yesterday at Taunton while waiting for the bus to Bishops Lydeard so took a couple of photos of the 'new' bridge.

post-7081-0-39726900-1509382614_thumb.jpg

Taunton 29/10/2017

 

And the view from the bridge

post-7081-0-98344000-1509382658_thumb.jpg

Taunton 29/10/2017

 

cheers

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Following my visit to the Taunton Show I caught my first glimpse of the new 800 Class units and decided to get a snap from the roadside.

 

It was only after taking a hurried photograph it struck me how untidy the platform appeared ( at that end ) for such a well used "mainline" station.

Whilst I sort of accept budgets etc. have to be cut in certain areas, my overriding thought here is what impression it gives to the visitor coming to Taunton and the South West in general.

 

post-20303-0-39954000-1509384068_thumb.jpg

 

 

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