Apex bridge Scorrier
Regards, Clive Smith
Many years ago when initially learning the route from Bristol to Taunton I was told by the Route School Manager at Bristol that when the Taunton station area was resignalled it was done 'back to front' as trains approaching from the west can arrive at any platform (bar 6 of course) but from the east trains are only able to come in at platforms 2 or 3 with any needing to go into P6 having to run back out as described to Taunton East and reverse. Should a terminating DMU need to depart eastwards from either P4 or 5 it has to run out from 2 or 3 to Taunton West then reverse and come back into the appropriate platform. Bear in mind how often trains from the western direction need to reverse and go back (never?!) and how often they do from the eastern direction (many!) and you will understand the manager's comment!
After completing the above I remembered a visit to Taunton I made on 29th March 1988 just before class 33 hauled Mk 1 coaches on local stopping services were replaced by modern DMU stock. The 1615 BTM-TAU arrived at P2 and, once clear of passengers loco 33029 took the stock out to Taunton West and reversed it back into P5. 33029 was detached by the shunter, returned to Taunton West and came back through P4 (driven from the secondman's side!) to Taunton East where after another reversal it ran down onto the other end of the train ready to work the 1740 stopper to Bristol. Just another day on the railway, nothing out of the ordinary at all. Try doing this today....
Also note the two class 08 shunters in P1 and the Railfreight-liveried van in the adjacent sidings, most likely for use by Taunton Cider Co at Norton Fitzwarren. 33029, by the way, is still in service with WCRC and on Saturday August 13th with sister loco 33025 worked 'The West Somerset Steam Express' charter from London Paddington to Minehead and back due to the temporary ban on steam traction then in force due to lineside fire risk.