An unofficial website featuring the West Somerset Railway

News digest

News about this website

WSR

Some folks might be aware of earlier announcements concerning the trimming down of this website. This was planned for later this year but has been brought forward to the end of this month. As mentioned on the About page, it is all about making more and more time for family responsibilities and recent disappointing communications from those authorities concerned with health and care.

The website will now be 'mostly pictures', The picture pages and the video links will continue to be updated much as previously. So contributions of images and links very much still wanted. The webcams too will remain on their new single page, thanks to Railcam's continued support.

The news page will no longer be updated. All archived news pages will be available to read. In fact almost all pages will remain online, albeit not updated, and linked via the sitemap page.

One or two previously maintained pages - such as the loco roster and the list of PDG minutes - will hopefully move to one of the official WSR websites.

With luck, the switch will go smoothly. Please be patient. Do make sure you give your browser a hard refresh from time to time and do clear your browser cache too!

29 June 2022
Details from wsr.org.uk

The Volunteer Recruitment Train on 24 July 2022

WSR

On Sunday 24 July 2022, the West Somerset Railway will be running a special volunteer recruitment train. This is an opportunity for a free ride to see what volunteering on the West Somerset Railway is all about. (Travel is free of charge to those 18 and over only.)

The railway has vacancies in most departments. You can work as little as a day a month, or as much as you like! Full training is given where necessary.

Travel with us on the 10:00 service from Minehead to Bishops Lydeard or the 12:30 service from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead on the 24th July and meet some of the volunteers who keep the railway running.

Refreshments will be supplied and you will be free to travel back on any scheduled service.

Volunteering at the West Somerset Railway requires no previous railway experience. Not all jobs involve getting dirty and there are also some jobs that you can do if you are not fully mobile.

Vacancies for volunteers exist in all departments. Customer facing jobs include the booking office, platform staff, retail and catering, or our information office at Minehead. Some jobs are a little more physical, including gardening and travelling ticket inspectors. Any training needed will be provided and medicals may be required in some safety critical positions.

You will be working with other volunteers, all of whom are there because they enjoy working on the railway, freely giving up their time to support the railway. Those who volunteer do so for all sorts of reasons. Many people have no previous railway experience, and it is a chance to develop new skills or new interests. Above all we like to think that we are a friendly group of people and you will be made most welcome.

If you have some free time and would like to volunteer, come and meet the team, travel on the train, and see what we are all about.

More...

27 June 2022
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

Autotrailer no 169 - getting there

WSR

The folks rebuilding GWR Autotrailer no 169 have a new post on their blog.

We're getting towards the end of our undercover period and whilst we may not have achieved absolutely everything we had hoped for we have made good progress having also encountered a few unforeseens, what railway project doesn't? Not least discovering the top of the Luggage end entrance vestibule partition had a broken joint which required some serious dismantling that we hadn't planned for. However today we came within a 'stones throw' of refitting the Drivers side entrance vestibule partition along with many of the roof supports that fit between the hoops fitted. We are hoping to sheet the carriage down making allowance to complete the unfinished work without too many problems.

More...

22 June 2022
Details kindly provided by Autotrailer no 169

Synopsis of recent Association Trustee Board Meeting

WSR

The West Somerset Railway Association have published a handy synopsis of the main discussion points and decisions at the charity's recent Trustee Board meeting held on 14 June 2022. Please click or tap the button below for more. In the Members area of the Association website, members can also read the published minutes of the previous Board meeting.

Synopsis

18 June 2022
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Association

A new book for diesel loco and DMU Drivers

WSR

John Leach is a volunteer Driver and Diesel Traction Inspector on the WSR and has just had published a book which has taken almost three years to write. Aimed at everyone who has an interest in diesel locos, and particularly heritage diesel Drivers and Secondmen, it is 240 pages, and is in A4 hardback format. There are 39 tables of data, 89 diagrams and many photos of diesel locos and loco parts. Entitled 'A Manual for Diesel Locomotive & DMU Drivers', it has been published by 'Platform 5' of Sheffield (telephone 0114 255 8000), who say:

Many books have been written on diesel traction, but there haven’t been any since the 1960s that give an in-depth explanation of how diesel locomotives and DMUs actually function and what is involved in driving them. This Manual for Diesel Locomotive and DMU Drivers addresses these and many other pertinent topics, including the knowledge required to drive trains safely and effectively, and the attributes that make a good driver. This comprehensive and insightful manual also considers railway rules, route knowledge, preparing locomotives & DMUs, driving trains 'on the road' and the serious matters of traction failures, assisting failed trains and the many incidents that can occur along the way. It provides a fascinating insight into the life of a train driver and will appeal to those who drive trains, aspire to do so, or the general rail enthusiast.

This book focuses on the role and duties of heritage railway diesel drivers and secondmen, but contains little that should not be comprehensible to anyone with an interest in diesel traction and footplate matters.

The author is a fifth-generation railwayman who began his footplate career in 1970 and is now a diesel driver and traction inspector at the West Somerset Railway. Of the book, he writes, 'It is the standard of knowledge that was required of me by BR and that which I now seek to pass on to others'.

The cover price is £39.95 (plus postage from the publisher), also available at the WSR shops at Bishops Lydeard and Minehead, and also from the DEPG shop online.

17 June 2022
Details kindly provided by John Leach

Locomotive hosting for Saphos Trains summer season

WSR

The West Somerset Railway Plc (WSR) has announced that it will provide stabling facilities for steam locomotive BR 4-6-2 no 70000 Britannia and a support coach on behalf of Locomotive Services Ltd Crewe (LSL). The WSR explain:

This partnership which also includes a support coach will run from 8 June 2022 to 13 September 2022. The locomotive will be on shed overnight at Bishops Lydeard and will be responsible for the Taunton to Kingswear leg of the Saphos Trains charter trains. In addition to stabling facilities, the West Somerset Railway will provide conducter driver services for the section from Bishops Lydeard to Norton Fitzwarren Junction. The locomotive will be turned on the triangle at Norton Fitzwarren at the beginning of each trip.

Tony Bush Managing Director LSL said:

We are very grateful to the WSR for their hospitality during the period of our 2022 West Country operations, and we look forward to building a lasting relationship with the team there.

Jon Jones-Pratt WSR Plc Chairman said:

We are extremely pleased to see such a valuable relationship and activity come to reality and are confident that the WSR can provide this strategic operating benefit to the national network for those TOCs looking to operate both steam and diesel to the West Country. Our team looks forward to supporting this LSL programme which will no doubt be of great assistance to the Crewe based operation. This innovation is all part of our continued business recovery and development plan and for us it is another milestone to celebrate.

I am personally thankful to all who have been involved in this to make it happen as well as the Directors at LSL who have shown their confidence in the West Somerset Railway as an operation in which to to invest and secure this running contract.

9 June 2022
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

Gala visitor Class 25 no D7612 arrives

WSR

Class 25 no D7612 has safely arrived at Bishops Lydeard ready for the three day Diesel Gala starting on Thursday 9 June 2022. To be joined soon by Class 17 'Clayton' no D8568. There are some changes to the published timetable:

  • On Thursday, the 09.00 from Bishops Lydeard will now be double-headed by nos D8568 and D7018 to Minehead.
  • On Saturday, the double-headed Hymek special (17.10 from Bishops Lydeard) will continue to Minehead and return from there at 18.55.
  • Also on Saturday, the 18.15 Bishops Lydeard to Minehead and the return 22.00 Minehead to Bishops Lydeard have been removed from the timetable.

8 June 2022
Details gleaned from the Facebook page of the Gala Planning Team

Chris Austin is new President of WSR Heritage Trust

WSR

The West Somerset Railway Heritage Trust have announced that Chris Austin OBE has accepted the role of President of the Trust. This is an honorary appointment. Chris succeeds Lady Elizabeth Gass who has stepped down from the role on health grounds.

He retired in February, 2009 as Head of Public Affairs for the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC), after a railway career of 42 years. Prior to this, he was an Executive Director with the Strategic Rail Authority, responsible for producing the Government's policy on Community Rail Development. In retirement he was a Board Member of the Association of Community Rail Partnerships until March 2016. He worked for British Rail for thirty years, finishing as the Board’s Director of Policy and Parliamentary Affairs.

Tap the link below for the full story hosted on the WSR Heritage Trust website.

Full story

7 June 2022
Details gleaned from the website of the West Somerset Railway Heritage Trust

Back to the Sixties on the Minehead Branch

WSR

Folks might like to read about some rather interesting events coming very soon on the Railway. Here are some words taken from the Diesel Gala page on the official WSR website. Most people will know all about this but it is surely worth a further airing.

In 1964 the Beatles released the film 'A Hard Day's Night' and it is still considered a classic almost 60 years later.

Not everyone knows that some of the filming was done on what is now the West Somerset Railway - particularly at Crowcombe Heathfield and Minehead. This June you can relive those heady days with the 'Celebration of the 60s' at the WSR Diesel Gala.

On Saturday June 11th we will be running a special 'Beatles Train' which will recreate the original train used in the film right down to the locomotive number as part of the Diesel Gala. There will be displays of photographs and memorabilia at Crowcombe Heathfield and Minehead and live music throughout the day.

There will be an evening dance on Minehead platform featuring live music from the Liverpool Beatles, The Estrellas and Helen Pearson.

The doors will open at 7.00pm and will close at 11pm. Our Turntable cafe will be open for refreshments and there will be a pop up bar available throughout the evening.

There will be an evening diesel train stopping at stations between Bishops Lydeard and Minehead to transport passengers to the dance and home again. A combined train and dance ticket is available for £30.00 The train will not stop at Stogumber, Doniford Halt, Washford or Dunster Stations.

'Dance only' tickets are £15 per person and available now.

Sixties Diesel Gala

6 June 2022
Details gleaned from the official WSR website

Free Bus Service from Park & Ride to Steam Rally

WSR

Barrie Childs of the Rally Team writes:

The West Somerset Railway Association are delighted to have negotiated use of Taunton's Silk Mills Park & Ride facility over the two days of our Rally weekend in August. Somerset County Council and Buses of Somerset have kindly agreed to allow our classic double decker bus, hired from Crosville Vintage, to provide a 40-minute interval service between Silk Mills and the Rally Fields at Norton Fitzwarren throughout our event weekend. We understand this will be the very first time this Park & Ride facility has been opened on a Sunday. There are 500 car parking spaces at the site. We are keen to promote use of this free classic bus experience to help reduce the volume of cars arriving at the rally site. Norton Fitzwarren residents will also be able to use the bus instead of having to walk along the B3227 to reach the Rally Fields.

Bus Timetable for the Steam & Vintage Rally The Steam & Vintage Rally

6 June 2022
Details kindly provided by the Rally Team

Secondhand model railway equipment sale at Watchet

WSR

Steve Sutherland reminds us:

Watchet Station is having a sale of second-hand model railway equipment on Saturday 11 June from 10am to 3pm in the Pagoda waiting room. This is on the Diesel Gala event. We have a selection of engines, coaches, wagons, track, model cars, and accessories in OO-N-HO- and O gauge tinplate, plus lots of railway books and magazines. Free entry.

All sales items have been donated to help us raise funds for repairs and maintenance of our Station which is run entirely by Volunteers.

More info from Steve on 01984 633425

The Sixties Diesel Gala More about Watchet Station

6 June 2022
Details kindly provided by Friends of Watchet Station

The 2022 Steam and Vintage Rally is fast approaching

WSR

The Rally Team write:

The 2022 rally - the first one for three years - is fast approaching and our line-up of vintage vehicles is almost complete. As well as all the favourites, we have some new features this year, and you will have the chance to meet a very special guest.

Now June is here, there are only a few weeks to buy your earlybird tickets for the Rally at a £2 discount. You can use your ticket on either the 6th or the 7th August, and avoid the queue at the entry gate. But hurry, the discount only lasts until the end of June. So why not head to the Rally website and buy yours now!

The Steam & Vintage Rally

3 June 2022
Details kindly provided by the Rally Team

New traffolyte lever leads for Minehead Signal Box

WSR

Peter Mann of the Railway's Signal & Telegraph team writes:

On Monday 30 May 2022, Signal & Telegraph completed another element of the Minehead Seaward Way road crossing project, which was to install a set of new traffolyte lever leads for the 27 levers in Minehead Signal Box, to reflect the new operational layout. We worked with Premier Engraving, who are based near Bewdley, to identify the nearest match to the typical Western Region fonts and style of the mid 20th century, a noticeable feature of the font being the absence of serifs. The result adds to the professionalism and heritage authenticity of the signal box as can be seen from the above photo.

1 June 2022
Details kindly provided by the WSR S&T team

News of the 'Exmoor Rail 2022' exhibition

WSR

David Nelhams of Exmoor Coast Railway Modellers writes:

Exmoor Rail 2022 - organised by the Exmoor Coast Railway Modellers - 10th Anniversary exhibition

This show is being held on Saturday 6th August, 10.00am to 4.30pm, at a brand new venue - The West Somerset Community College, Bircham Road, Minehead, TA24 6AY

Admission: Adult: £6.00 Child: £2.00 Family(2+2): £14.00

This is the club's 10th anniversary show, being held at their spacious, new venue, featuring a variety of high quality layouts from all over the south of England, together with excellent trade support, demonstrations and Societies. Quality hot and cold refreshments will be available all day in the restaurant and there is free onsite parking plus additional space in surrounding roads. A free bus will be available to transfer customers between Minehead Station and the venue. This is a very friendly show and all welcome.

Contact: David Nelhams 01643-706736

1 June 2022
Details kindly provided by the Exmoor Coast Railway Modellers

The Quantock Belle Sunday Lunch Dining Train on 5 June

WSR

Come on board on 5 June 2022 for the Quantock Belle Sunday Lunch train and celebrate 70 years of Queen Elizabeth II in style. See link below for full details.

The Quantock Belle Dining Train

28 May 2022
Details gleaned from the WSR Plc Facebook page

Timetable for 1960s Diesel Gala now available

WSR

The Gala Planning Team have announced the timetable for the upcoming Sixties Diesel Gala - 9 to 11 June 2022 - is now available. See link below. Tickets can be booked at discount in advance on the Railway's website. The full locomotive lineup will be:

  • Class 35 'Hymek' no D7017
  • Class 35 'Hymek' no D7018
  • Class 33 no.D6566
  • Class 33 no.D6575
  • Visiting Class 25 no D7612
  • Visiting Class 17 no D8568

Timetable highlights include:

  • Intensive frequency of services
  • 10 trains each way on Thursday/Friday, 12 each way on Saturday
  • High mileage diagrams for all locos
  • Norton Fitzwarren runs
  • Multiple semi-fast services
  • Beatles Recreation Train on Saturday
  • Double-headed Class 33s on Friday and Class 35s on Saturday evening
  • Special evening service to connect to the 60s Dance on Saturday

The Sixties Diesel Gala

28 May 2022
Details gleaned from the Gala Planning Team's Facebook page

Butterflies at the Stogumber Station Gardens

WSR

News of an interesting event at Stogumber Station over the Jubilee Weekend. From 10.30am to 5.30pm Saturday and Sunday.

A display by Keith and Eileen Gould of Butterfly Conservation entitled 'Gardening for Butterflies and Butterflies in your Back Yard' at Stogumber Station on 4 and 5 June 2022. Come and enjoy a wealth of information of how to attact more butterflies to your garden, learn how to identify them, and which plants you need to grow to help them breed successfully. Also children's activities.

Whilst there, enjoy the peaceful delights of the Station Garden, or even enjoy a Stogumber Station Cream Tea, interrupted now and then by a passing steam train.

More about Stogumber Station

26 May 2022
Details gleaned from the Stogumber Station Facebook page

Second guest announced for 2022 Diesel Gala

WSR

The Gala Planning Team have announced the second visiting diesel locomotive at the 2022 Diesel Gala to be held on 9, 10, 11 June 2022 will be Class 25 no D7612, courtesy of the South Devon Diesel Traction Ltd.

Tickets

24 May 2022
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

Reconnecting Bishops Lydeard to Taunton Working Group

WSR
Stock graphic and image

With the increasing national interest in both station and line reopenings on the national network, a partnership working group has been established to explore the possibility of reconnecting Bishops Lydeard on the West Somerset Railway to Taunton for the purpose of reinstating scheduled trains.The partnership consists of:

  • Heart of South West Local Enterprise Partnership
  • Great Western Railway
  • Network Rail
  • Somerset County Council
  • West Somerset Railway PLC

The work will be in two phases initially. The first phase will be to develop a number of high-level options to identify the simple and most effective way in which the operational, signalling and infrastructure work can be accomplished and what is required to make that happen.

The second phase will be the development of an outline business case including the socio-economic case for change and the cost model.

Christian Irwin, Rail Investment Centre of Excellence Director, Network Rail said:

Working closely with our local partners is essential to understanding the transport needs of our local communities and ensures that we develop a rail investment strategy which delivers a railway that is fit for purpose and supports the needs of our passengers and the communities we serve, now and into the future. We are pleased to be supporting this study.

Matt Barnes, Head of Service Strategy, Great Western Railway said:

We are delighted to work with the WSR and other partners to explore the feasibility and business case for restoring daily passenger services between Taunton and Bishops Lydeard, building on our successful trial of summer Saturday shuttle services during 2019.

Ian Harrison, Transport Adviser Heart of South West Local Enterprise Partnership said:

Re-connecting communities to the national rail network gives residents better access to employment, services, education and training. It also improves connections to local businesses. Direct train services from Taunton will support inbound tourism to West Somerset, not least to the West Somerset Railway itself.

Steve Williams, Director of Development and External Relations West Somerset Railway PLC said:

This work is seen by the PLC as playing a vital part in securing the long term sustainability of the West Somerset Railway. We have excellent relationships with our partners in this venture and we hope that we can develop a robust case for reconnection to Taunton that will attract the necessary support and funding to make it a reality.

24 May 2022
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

The much delayed official re-opening of the Gauge Museum

WSR

The much delayed official re-opening of the West Somerset Railway Heritage Trust Gauge Museum and Gauge Junction took place on 21 May 2022.

After delays and interruptions to the refurbishment through Covid and lockdowns the museum was finally re-opened by Rebecca Pow, MP for Taunton Deane.

On the lower ground floor there is also an exhibition looking at the end of Broad Gauge on the GWR which happened 130 years ago.

The Trust are always pleased to hear from anyone who is interested in joining the West Somerset Railway Heritage Trust or who would be interested in volunteering or who would like to make a donation towards the Trust's work, see also the WSRHT Web site

Full report and photos The WSRHT website

22 May 2022
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Heritage Trust

The end of the Broad Gauge was 130 years ago

WSR

130 years ago saw the end of Broad Gauge on the railway network. The West Somerset Railway Heritage Trust take up the story:

Over two days 20 and 21 May 1892 an army of over 4000 railway men, changed 171 miles, (42 miles of them being double track!) of Broad Gauge track to Narrow Gauge, now known as Standard Gauge. West Somerset Railway's Taunton to Minehead branch being part of this mega engineering feat.

The Trust are holding a small exhibition of Broad Gauge and its designer Isambard Kingdom Brunel in The Gauge Museum from Saturday 21st May through to Thursday June 3rd. Come and visit our museum, lots to see, including our Victorian Sleeping Car 9038.

Hands-on experiences for the young and young at heart!

On weekends the model railway is running on the upper floor of the museum.

The Gauge Museum is open, free entry, every day that trains are running.

For more information on trains check www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk

We are always pleased to hear from anyone who is interested in joining the West Somerset Railway Heritage Trust or who would be interested in volunteering or who would like to make a donation towards the work we are doing, see also the WSRHT website (link below).

WSRHT website Trains information

21 May 2022
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Heritage Trust

Improvements outside the Turntable Cafe at Minehead

WSR

Another Friends of Minehead Station (FoMS) project came to fruition today with the erection of large umbrella/canopy outside the Turntable Cafe. This will provide a covered area for patrons of the ever-popular cafe shielding them from sun and rain. FoMS have been able to sponsor this addition for the Plc thanks to everyone who supports the group through their various fundraising activities. The most prominent of these is the support through the Readers Halt bookstall so whether you work there, donate items to sell or come and buy, a big thank you.

20 May 2022
Details kindly provided by Friends of Minehead Station

Synopsis of recent Association Trustee Board Meeting

WSR

The West Somerset Railway Association have published a handy synopsis of the main discussion points and decisions at the charity's recent Trustee Board meeting held on 10 May 2022. Please click or tap the button below for more. In the Members area of the Association website, members can also read the published minutes of the previous Board meeting.

Synopsis

15 May 2022
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Association

Visiting GWR no 2857 to stay a little longer

WSR

The West Somerset Railway say:

We're delighted that after her visit to our Spring gala, GWR 2-8-0 no 2857 will be hauling passenger trains on 17, 18, 21 and 22 May 2022.

13 May 2022
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

Class 17 to make first appearance on Minehead Branch

WSR
© Kenny Felstead

The West Somerset Railway have announced:

We are pleased to announce our first confirmed visiting locomotive for our upcoming Diesel Gala...Class 17 Clayton no D8568. The loco is last of its kind remaining and has never visited the WSR before. It will appear courtesy of the Diesel Traction Group and is usually based at the Severn Valley Railway.

Diesel Gala - full details

13 May 2022
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

2022 Taunton Vintage Bus Running Day is this Sunday

WSR

The folks organising the Taunton Vintage Bus Running Day say:

Following our successful running day based at Sheppy's Cider Farm, midway between Taunton and Wellington in September 2021, we will be back there on Sunday 15 May 2022. Again we will be running free bus services using buses from the 'half cab era'.

The timetable includes trips to and from Bishops Lydeard Station. Click the button below for times on the Taunton Vintage Bus Running Day webpage.

Bus times for 2022 Running Day

13 May 2022
Details kindly provided by local correspondent

News about GWR Sleeping Car no 9037

WSR

Since Sleeping Car no 9037's re-discovery within the bungalow in Cornwall the West Somerset Railway Heritage Trust has spent much time, energy and head scratching trying to save as much of the vehicle as safely and sensibly possible within a very tight timeframe.

The Trust has planned to recover the western end section of the coach (around 20ft) to use in the Gauge Museum complete with the amazing clerestory roof and wooden cable run installed along the roof around 1912. This could be used to show how the coach was constructed, it is for discussion whether this section might be cleaned and conserved or left in its 'as recovered' state, rather than brought up to the 'as new' condition as we already have Sleeping Car no 9038 to demonstrate that. The recovered section could form the basis of a 'three coach' display telling the story of all three and the use of railway coaches as homes during the 1930s and beyond.

The Trust has achieved a terrific haul of carriage components including some useful material for both Sleeping Car no 9038 and for the section of Sleeping Car no 9037.

13 May 2022
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Heritage Trust

News about the 2022 Steam and Vintage Rally

WSR

The Steam and Vintage Rally team say:

Planning for this year's Rally is in full swing, with many exhibitors and stallholders coming in. The 2022 Steam and Vintage Rally - held over the weekend of 6-7 August 2022 at Norton Fitzwarren - is coming back with a bang after a few years of it not being able to go ahead.

Good news the new website is up and running so why not head over to the website and book your early tickets for the rally and gain earlybird discounts.

Watch this space [on the Rally's Facebook page] for competitions coming over the new few weeks to win tickets to the Rally.

Looking forward to seeing you all again this year...

The Rally website The Rally Facebook page

11 May 2022
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Association

Heritage Trust's next project is Toplight no 3639

WSR

After languishing for a couple of years at the end of an inaccessible siding at Williton, GWR Toplight no 3639 has been brought out by Ryan Pope and his team and will be moved to a position where work can start on its restoration. The first batch of timber has already been bought. Toplight no 3639 was an ambulance coach during the first world war.

More on this story

9 May 2022
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Heritage Trust

News of the special 'Beatles' train in June

WSR

Really good to see the Railway celebrating its link with the Fab Four, The Beatles...

In 1964 the Beatles released the film 'A Hard Day's Night' and it is still considered a classic almost 60 years later.

Not everyone knows that some of the filming was done on what is now the West Somerset Railway - particularly at Crowcombe Heathfield and Minehead. This June you can relive those heady days with the 'Celebration of the 60s' at the WSR Diesel Gala.

On Saturday 11 June 2022 we will be running a special 'Beatles Train' which will recreate the original train used in the film right down to the locomotive number as part of the Diesel Gala. There will be displays of photographs and memorabilia at Crowcombe Heathfield and Minehead and live music throughout the day. There will also be an evening dance on the Minehead platform featuring the 'Liverpool Beatles' and the 'Estrellas'.

Tickets will be on sale soon and further details will follow.

4 May 2022
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

Spring Steam Gala Catering Specials

WSR
stock picture

The West Somerset Railway folks say:

During the gala we will be running our Quantock Belle dining train throughout the four days. Different catering options will be available on each journey so please check the times and options carefully before making your choice. You will need to have a valid gala ticket for the same day as you Quantock Belle choice in order to travel and you will not be able to book tickets unless you have first added the gala ticket to your basket. Please select your gala tickets first and you will then be given the option of adding the catering to your booking. If you have already purchased gala tickets and wish to add a catering experience, please call 01643 704996 and we will happily add this to your booking.

See the official webpage for full details of the dates, the train times and the catering options. Please tap the button below.

Spring Gala Catering Options

3 May 2022
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

GWR Sleeping Car no 9037

WSR

The West Somerset Railway Heritage Trust have been party to a significant discovery, the remains of GWR Sleeping Car no 9037. It is staggering to think the remains of the sleeping car have been resting for over 85 years as part of a bungalow in Cornwall. The Trust is looking at the possibility of saving some of the structure but due to its condition and the very tight time frame involved, Trust experts will be endeavouring to salvage as much they can. Lots more on this story is on the Trust's Facebook page - please click or tap the button below...

More details

2 May 2022
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Heritage Trust

Partnership Development Group - draft minutes

WSR

The draft minutes of the Partnership Development Group meeting held via Zoom on Friday 22 April 2022 are now available. Click or tap the button below to download and read.

PDG minutes

2 May 2022
Details kindly provided by the Secretariat of the Partnership Development Group

Secondhand model railway equipment sale at Watchet

WSR

Steve Sutherland reminds us:

It's Spring Steam Gala weekend! And Watchet Railway Station is having a secondhand model railway equipment sale on Saturday 7 May from 10am to 3pm to help raise funds for repairs and maintenance at the Station, which is operated entirely by volunteers.

Could you donate unwanted model railway engines, coaches, wagons and so on, of any scale, to help us raise funds?

Please contact Steve Sutherland on 01984 633425 for further info or bring your items to the Station.

Spring Steam Gala webpage More about Watchet Station

2 May 2022
Details kindly provided by Friends of Watchet Station

Autotrailer no 169 - the latest update

WSR

Although the 169 Team are patiently awaiting a visit to the shed to complete the construction of Section 3, their time in the 'waiting area' has not been wasted - click the link below to read the latest illustrated blog update.

The Autotrailer 169 Blog

1 May 2022
Details kindly provided by Locomotive 5542 Limited

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