An unofficial website featuring the West Somerset Railway

Latest news

Autotrailer no 169 section three floor framework

WSR

The folks rebuilding - almost from scratch - GWR Autotrailer no 169 have again updated their 'news and restoration' blog:

Following on from yesterday's successful operation to remove the tempory cover from the carriage we followed up with a very productive day first fitting the framework of section 3 of the carriage. We were confident the section in isolation was 'good to go' but until today we had not had the opportunity to see how well it fitted the existing bodywork. Well, by about midday just about all our fears were a distant memory and we were very happy with the outcome. The photographs show most of the woodwork in question with one or 2 small pieces omitted that still require final finishing. Because we can only mark the final fixing holes from underneath we will need to address that before final fixing can take place. We will then be able to erect the bodywork sides before tackling further roof hoop manufacture.

To see the pictures and more reports, please visit the blog:

Autotrailer 169 News and Restoration Blog 5542 Ltd

17 September 2021
Details kindly provided by 5542 Ltd

WSR SOS appeal and Christmas trains bookings

WSR

Some very positive news to report from the West Somerset Railway this week with the line's £1 million 'SOS' appeal having now passed the £50,000 marker (actual £50,464.11), so 10% of the initial £500K target this Winter and so 5% of the full figure.

The WSR is looking to increase this figure rapidly now with the help of a new fundraising drive to push donations in different ways, plus some specific infrastructure projects that the line's two support charities can support too towards the appeal.

And just a fortnight after launching the WSR's Christmas programme on Bank Holiday Monday 30 August with the traditional Santa Express and new Winterlights trains, both seasonal products have been eagerly snapped up by people keen to travel this festive season with 2,650 tickets having been sold and bringing in over £55,500 in much needed income.

The Santa Express bookings so far are encouraging with 650 tickets sold with a value of £13,000, and Winterlights has done spectacularly well with 2,000 tickets sold with a value of £42,500, and some trains have already sold out.

Some further good financial news was shared with the WSR's volunteer and paid workforce too this week in a letter circulated to staff from WSR plc Chairman Jon Jones-Pratt which shows that the company's trading figures for July were well ahead of where they were expected to be after some very good summer trading, and August is promising too - the results for July show a profit of £49,503 compared to a budgeted loss of £29,036 for example!

The WSR held a successful 1940s event last weekend 11-12 September with wartime scenes and vehicles of the era recreated all along the line at many stations, along with people dressed in period costumes and uniforms, and the highlight was the big band dance at Minehead on Saturday evening featuring the Liberty Sisters and Deane Big band, attended by some 200 people.

This weekend see the WSR's Mixed Traction event with diesel and steam on Friday 17 and Saturday 18 September (see button link below) and then there will be the all-steam Autumn Steam Gala to follow on Friday 1 to Sunday 3 October (see button link below).

The WSR is still hopeful that the delayed opening of the new Seaward Way Level Crossing will take place in October, but news of that will follow in a further update soon.

Mixed Traction Weekend Autumn Stean Gala

14 September 2021
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

Railcam.uk will be at the Mixed Traction Weekend

WSR

Railcam.uk will be at the Mixed Traction Weekend on 17-18 September 2021. They say:

Railcam are delighted to be joining the West Somerset Railway and The Diesel and Electric Preservation Group for the upcoming Mixed Traction Weekend where we hope to bring you some behind the scenes footage throughout the two days, and beyond…

You can keep up with all the action across our extensive camera coverage from the railway, with cameras at Bishops Lydeard, the beautiful Blue Anchor, Crowcombe Heathfield, Minehead (No services currently serving Minehead) and Williton.

We are also throwing open all our West Somerset Railway cameras on our YouTube Channel for the event [click the News from Railcam button below for details].

News from Railcam Full details and online booking

14 September 2021
Details kindly provided by Railcam.uk

Model Railway Sales at Watchet Station

WSR

The folks at Watchet Railway Station write:

Watchet Station is having a sale of second-hand Model Railway equipment on Saturday 18 September from 10am to 3pm in the Pagoda Waiting Room. This is on the Mixed Traction Weekend. We have a selection of Engines, Coaches, Wagons, Track, and accessories in OO-N-HO and O gauge tinplate, plus lots of Railway Books and Magazines.

All sales items donated to our Station to help us raise funds for repairs and maintenance of our Station. Free entrance. More info from Steve on 01984 633425

13 September 2021
Details kindly provided by the Friends of Watchet Station

Change of date for 'Hymek' Diesel Running Day

WSR

The Diesel & Electric Preservation Group have alerted folks to a change of date for the 'Extended Diesel Running Day' featuring Class 35 'Hymek' no D7018:

The return to the mainline on the 25 September of the Diesel Traction Group's Class 52 no D1015 Western Champion from Gloucester to Kingswear and return, has naturally drawn the attention of many hydraulic fans and supporters, with the result that bookings on the WSR's 'Extended Diesel Running Day' featuring diesel hydraulic 'Hymek' no D7018, scheduled for that same day, are too low to make the run viable.

An alternative day has been offered to the DEPG for the 'Hymek' run, so we are now planning to run 'Hymek' no D7018 on the same itinerary but on Saturday 16 October 2021 instead. If you have already made a booking for the 25 September run, we apologise for the inconvenience and we ask for your understanding. The WSR will be in touch with you soon to change your booking, so we hope to see you on 16 October instead.

Book now

13 September 2021
Details kindly provided by Diesel & Electric Preservation Group

Buses to Bishops Lydeard Station on Sunday 12 September

WSR

News of a vintage bus service from Taunton Castle Way to the Railway's Bishops Lydeard Station. This bus service forms part of the 2021 Taunton Bus Running Day on 12 September 2021 and seems a late addition to the already announced vintage bus services between Taunton and Sheppy's Cider and Wellington. It coincides with the second day of the WSR 1940s Weekend. To support the 1940s theme it seems all buses operating are half-cab types.

Taunton Bus Running Day 2021 Bus Services

10 September 2021
Details kindly provided by local correspondent

The West Somerset Railway 1940s Weekend

WSR

The WSR's 1940s Weekend is on Saturday 11 September and Sunday 12 September 2021. The big event is the Saturday Dance at Minehead Station featuring Liberty Sisters, Johnny Victory, 'Laurel & Hardy' and 'George Formby'. Also to enjoy are the Vintage Fair at Watchet and re-enactor displays at Bishops Lydeard. Tickets for the Dance are available now - see below. The WSR say:

Dance tickets are limited and there will be a cut-off to sales on Friday. Can't wait to see you all there!

Full details and online booking

7 September 2021
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

Just two weeks to the Mixed Traction Weekend event

WSR

The WSR's Gala Planning Team say:

We are now just two weeks away from our first gala event since late 2019 - the 'Mixed Traction Weekend' on Friday 17 September and Saturday 18 September, when we will be running an intensive timetable of trains with many hauled by some of our home fleet of diesels, owned and maintained by the Diesel & Electric Preservation Group (DEPG), harking back to the late 1960s with Hymek hauled trains, just as they often were on the Minehead branch at that time, and our two Green Class 33s giving a Southern Region feel. Alongside them will be steam locos nos 7828 Odney Manor and 5199, with the latter working two coach locals between Bishops Lydeard and Williton on the Saturday. There is also an evening 'sunset' train hauled by the Hymek D7018 on the Saturday from Bishops Lydeard to Blue Anchor and return.

Normal Rover tickets are available with the ability to 'hop on/off' trains as you please along the line to enjoy haulage by the various locos as you wish.

There will be a second hand model railway sale at Williton and model railways in both the gauge museum and the Taunton Model Railway Group's clubroom, with the excellent Bath Green Park layout, at Bishops Lydeard.

Although trains won't be able to run through to Minehead, due to works to replace the level crossing, a heritage bus link will operate from Dunster.

So come along and support the WSR and its return to galas and enjoy a relaxing day riding on our heritage trains through some wonderful scenery.

Full details and online booking

7 September 2021
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

The latest WSR SOS Appeal total

WSR

The official update for the West Somerset Railway Plc's £1M 'SOS' appeal shows the current total at £46,832.77 - almost 10% of the £500K needed this Winter and nearly 5% of the total target figure of £1 million. Thanks to all who have helped so far. Please help if you can.

Donation page

6 September 2021
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

News from the folks at WSR Wagons

WSR

The folks at WSR Wagons report on their Facebook page:

A few more jobs ticked off the list this week on GWR Toad no 68765. The left hand side has received a complete final coat. This meant the signwriting could be started. We've gone for the smaller GW lettering this time, making a nice change and a preservation first for this van to carry this livery.

Seb and Jake set their sights on our next project: GWR Z3 'cone' gunpowder van 105493, also owned by the GWR 813 Preservation Fund. This wagon was restored about 10 years ago but, similar with the Toad, the sun and sea air are beginning to get to it.

Seb and Jake completed a full axlebox pad exam whilst cleaning up the underkeeps and topping all 4 axleboxes up with fresh oil. Jake also helped me with the tracing of the signwriting, ready to aid in the reapplication when the time comes.

This weekend is the West Somerset Railway 1940s weekend. Unfortunately this year the goods will not be running due to the Seaward Way level crossing being unusable and all of the wagons being on the wrong side. However we plan to put a small goods train together and position it in the platform at Minehead. We also hope to have the Toad out of the shed on display.

WSR Wagons Facebook Page GWR 813 Fund website

6 September 2021
Details kindly provided by WSR Wagons

News of Autotrailer no 169

WSR

The folks working on GWR Autotrailer no 169 report:

On 4 September 2021 the completion of the first of four doors for the luggage compartment of GWR Autotrailer no 169. Built virtually from scratch, this door has been constructed by copying the best of the remaining original and although it will require fettling and detail added the major construction is complete. Next, we will construct the second of this pair which will include a 'closing' stile. This will be the one that closes first and the first door closes against it. Also, door handles expertly created by our resident engineer from a range of spare parts. Hopefully, we will be able to show our recent progress to all those visiting the WSR gala on 1 to 3 October. Come and find us at Williton Yard.

Autotrailer no 169 blog

6 September 2021
Details kindly provided by Locomotive 5542 Ltd

WSR Plc 2021 Annual General Meeting papers issued

WSR

Shareholders have started to receive the formal papers for the West Somerset Railway Plc's forty ninth Annual General Meeting to be held on Saturday 25 September 2021 at Oake Manor Golf Club beginning at 11am.

3 September 2021
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

A handy preview of the forthcoming SOS appeal update

WSR

Ahead of the official update, early next week, for the West Somerset Railway Plc's £1M 'SOS' appeal, we understand the current running total has passed the £43,000 mark.

2 September 2021
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

Mixed Traction Weekend timetables now available

WSR

The WSR's Gala Planning Team say:

We are pleased to be able to release our 2021 Mixed Traction Weekend timetables for Friday 17 September and Saturday 18th September. We hope you are able to pay us a visit! Tickets are available to book at a discount [see link button below]. Highlights include:

  • Four locomotives in action on Friday. Five on Saturday
  • A short local service hauled by GWR 2-6-2T 5199 making three return trips Bishops Lydeard - Williton on the Saturday
  • Top and Tailed Class 33s on a full length set on the Friday. Over 110 miles available.
  • Two runs to Norton Fitzwarren on the Friday. Five runs on Saturday (dependent on occupancy of the Bishops Lydeard - Norton Fitzwarren section by the mainline ballast train operation)
  • 64 miles of 'Hymek Haulage' available on Friday with Saturday allowing 85 miles
  • Two Saturday afternoon/evening trips, one hauled by D6575 and the other by D7018
  • Bus connections to Minehead from Dunster

Full details and online booking Timetable for Friday Timetable for Saturday

1 September 2021
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

West Somerset Railway Heritage Trust's upcoming events

WSR

The West Somerset Railway Heritage Trust is pleased and excited to announce that, this Autumn, they will be hosting the Inch by IN:CH exhibition: a highly successful artist-led travelling project that is currently touring Somerset. Encouraging collaboration, imagination and playfulness, the exhibition aims to bring contemporary art out of the gallery and into the community through a series of small-scale visual stories and carefully planned community and family events throughout the week.

The exhibition culminates in an exciting family weekend of activities on 2nd – 3rd October, which coincides with the national Big Draw and invites visitors of all ages to come and try their hand at creating their own art. Taking place in our newly refurbished Gauge Museum, Bishops Lydeard, between 11 – 5 pm from the 25th September – 3rd October, the exhibition is free to enter, but bookings will be required for some of the events, and there is a small fee for materials. For further information, or to enquire, please email us at info@wsrht.co.uk

Full details on the Heritage Trust website Inch by IN:CH

31 August 2021
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Heritage Trust

Seaward Way Crossing - a brief update

WSR

WSR Plc Director Frank Courtney has kindly provided a brief update to a question posted on the unofficial WSR Forum concerning progress on the Seaward Way Level Crossing upgrade project. It is this project that has prevented trains from reaching Minehead this summer. Here is Frank's reply to the Forum:

Work is continuing. Phase 1 (which is mainly WSR delivered and concerns wiring and signalling) is nearly complete. Main contractors for Phase 2 (Amey) are on site. The work is extremely complex and there have been some equipment sourcing delays due to a combination of Covid and Brexit. Most up to date information and pictures is on wsr.org.uk and there will be a longer update in the next issue of 'The Platform' due shortly.

30 August 2021
Details kindly provided via the Unofficial WSR Forum

WSR announces news of trains for Christmas 2021

WSR

As the West Somerset Railway (WSR) nears the end of what has been a very busy, and much needed summer holiday period, planning for the WSR's Christmas plans is now well underway, including a brand new event for this year called Winterlights which runs on evenings.

In addition to the WSR's traditional Santa Express daytime services from Bishops Lydeard to Williton which will run on ten dates from early December, a new series of 14 Winterlights evening trains will be running too with the steam loco and carriages lit up, plus there will be some festive visual displays along the line to see during the journey from Bishops Lydeard to Crowcombe.

Winterlights services will run from mid-November, twice a night, and tickets go on sale today priced the same as the Santa Express trains at £20.00 a head with full details of both on the WSR website at www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk (see links below)

The Winterlights programme starts on Friday 19 November and Saturday 20 November, and next on 26 and 27 November, then Friday 3 and Saturday 4 December, and weekends on 10, 11, 17, 18, 19, plus 21, 22 and 23 December.

Santa Express trains will start on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 December, and then run on weekends of 11, 12, 18, 19 and then in Christmas week on 21, 22, 23 and 24 December.

Commenting on the WSR's 2021 Christmas trains programme, WSR Assistant General Manager Kerry Noble said:

We expect our Winterlights trains to be popular with visitors and our workers alike as something new and a different, illuminating experience on the line. Our Christmas trains are vital to us because they provide a good income boost which assists us greatly in getting through the fallow winter period.

Running successful events on the WSR always takes a lot of planning and effort, but none of this is achievable without the continuing help of our amazing team of volunteers and staff, many of whom have been working so hard to get us through the busy summer period.

Santa Express - full details and online booking Winterlights - full details and online booking

23 August 2021
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

Exmoor Coast Railway Modellers holding mini-exhibition

WSR

The Exmoor Coast Railway Modellers are holding a mini-exhibition/open day on Saturday 30 October at their Minehead club room from 10.30am to 3.00pm. There will be around seven layouts, plus sales stands, demonstrations and displays. Light refreshments will be available and free parking is available right outside the door. Admission is just £1 per adult, and a child under 16 is free. The venue is The Sainsbury Community Hall, Sainsbury Road, Minehead TA24 8JZ

22 August 2021
Details kindly provided by Exmoor Coast Railway Modellers

Latest Journal and WSRA Annual General Meeting

WSR

Members of the West Somerset Railway Association are right now receiving the latest WSR Journal (no 174) along with the papers for the 26th Association Annual General Meeting (AGM).

This year the AGM is being held at Crowcombe Village Hall at 10am on Saturday 4 September 2021. Members unable to attend will have the opportunity to view proceedings online via the Zoom virtual meeting app.

Registration - required for attendance in person and for access to the online viewing function - can be done by completing the proxy voting form. This form can be completed by hand and returned by post, or preferably, completed online via the WSRA members area of the Association's website, an extremely quick and efficient method.

The WSR Association website Crowcombe Village Hall on Google Maps

21 August 2021
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Association

News from the folks at WSR Wagons

WSR

The West Somerset Railway's newly formed 'Wagon Division' have a new Facebook page (see button below) detailing plans for overhauling some of the Railway's wonderful wagons. Here's Seb Welsh from WSR Wagons:

Our first project is the GWR 813 Preservation Fund owned diagram AA20 Toad brake van no 68765. Work started on 6 August.

A start was made on sanding one of the sides down. I also painted a small section as a test panel. Amazing to see how faded the brake van has become after six years of use.

A new door has also been made thanks to RAMS at Bishops Lydeard. This will replace the one that had gone rotten and was removed about three years ago.

WSR Wagons Facebook Page GWR 813 Fund website

19 August 2021
Details kindly provided by WSR Wagons

A second 'Jubilee' to shine the West Somerset metals

WSR

After a long wait for a 'Jub' to grace the West Somerset Railway metals, the recent visits by LMS no 45596 Bahamas fulfilled many a dream. And now comes news of a second 'Jubilee' making a visit.

LMS 'Jubilee' 6P 4-6-0 no 45690 Leander is scheduled to haul the Taunton-Plymouth-Taunton legs of the Railway Touring Company's Royal Duchy which means Leander is expected to overnight at the Westridge Ash Shelter at Bishops Lydeard on 28-29 August 2021 and 11-12 September 2021. Click the buttons below for full details.

29 August 2021 12 September 2021

16 August 2021
Details kindly provided by local correspondent and Railway Touring Company

Minutes of the latest WSR Heritage Trust board meeting

WSR

The West Somerset Railway Heritage Trust have published the minutes of the latest board meeting held on 22 July 2021.

Read the minutes

16 August 2021
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Heritage Trust

The return of the 1940s evening dance at Minehead Station

WSR

The West Somerset Railway say:

We are delighted to announce the return of our 1940s evening dance on Minehead Station platform on Saturday 11th September as part of our Forties Weekend. The dance will feature the wonderful Liberty Sisters who will also be performing at various locations throughout the weekend, as well as the maginicent Deane Big band.

Put your glad rags on and dance the night away on Minehead Station Platform 7.30pm - 10.30pm Saturday 11th September 2021.

Full details and online booking

15 August 2021
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

Model railway equipment donations wanted at Watchet

WSR

The folks at Watchet Railway Station write:

Watchet Railway Station is looking for donations of model railway equipment that we can sell to assist our fundraising for repairs and maintenance of our Station.

We are looking for model engines, coaches, wagons etc in OO, O, and N gauge and are hoping to have a sale in September and also in October on the Saturday when the Galas are on.

Watchet Station is open Saturdays, Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays between 10am to 4pm if you have anything to drop in or call Steve Sutherland 01984 633425 for further information

13 August 2021
Details kindly provided by the Friends of Watchet Station

The latest figures for the WSR SOS appeal fund

WSR

Here is an update on the WSR Plc's 'SOS' Appeal:

The total now stands at £36,021.44 representing 7.2% of the £500K initial target and 3.6% of the full £1 million appeal target.

One rather lovely £20 donation came from a nine year old girl who likes the WSR and kindly asked her Grandmother to donate some money to the 'SOS' appeal in lieu of her birthday present! Such a sweet, kind and generous act from one so young!

Donation page

11 August 2021
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

A new start in Devon for WSR's long serving Stuart

WSR

Friends at Minehead Loco enjoyed tea and cakes and a bit of fun as they said goodbye and good luck to Stuart Nelhams who has been on the WSR staff for many years since leaving school.

Stuart has now started work as the General Manager at the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway who are based at Woody Bay in North Devon.

My thanks too for many years of friendship and also a fine and regular contribution of photos and operational information to wsr.org.uk

11 August 2021
Details kindly provided by local correspondent

A new website for the WSR Heritage Trust

WSR
© WSRHT

The West Somerset Railway Heritage Trust has announced that its new official website will be ready for its inaugural launch on Monday 16 August 2021. The Trust say:

Following the successful Government's Culture Recovery Fund funding in April 2021, the Heritage Trust used this package for support in various ways. Our Education Outreach Programme, reopening our museums and renovating our website have been some of the projects the grant has financially benefited.

Since Spring 2021, Website Content Manager, Matt Sutton, has created a new design alongside a Taunton-based company, Distinctive UK, to set up the new online showcase for the Trust. Folks will notice some minor transition changes between the two websites in the coming weeks; so, please bear with us during this switch.

To recap, from Monday 16 August, please visit www.wsrht.co.uk and please remember to amend your existing bookmarks.

Full story Distinctive UK

9 August 2021
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Heritage Trust

More dates added to Cheese & Cider services

WSR

More dates have been added to the West Somerset Railway's popular 'Cheese and Cider' services in August and September due to popular demand! For more information, please click the button below for full details and to book tickets:

Full details and online booking

8 August 2021
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow pledges support

WSR

Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow has lent her support to the national 'Love Your Railway' campaign. The campaign aims to shine a spotlight on the important work heritage railways do for historic conservation, education, and research. The campaign also highlights the detrimental impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the nation's heritage railways.

The 22 mile long West Somerset Railway starts in Bishops Lydeard in MP Rebecca Pow's constituency of Taunton Deane and runs through to Minehead and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the area.

Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow said:

The 'Love Your Railway' campaign across the country is a great example of the nation's heritage railways working together to highlight what they do so well in conserving the past for current and future generations to enjoy, and it deserves support.

The West Somerset Railway is the longest heritage line in England and is one of our unique local attractions; keeping it up and running is important to all those who love it as well as the local economy.

WSR Plc Chairman Jonathan Jones-Pratt said:

I'm very grateful to Rebecca Pow as one of our local MPs for both her support of the 'Love Your Railway' summer campaign and her understanding about what the railway does so well, plus awareness of the continuing financial predicament we still face after Covid.

Sadly, the WSR is currently facing yet another financial mountain to climb without the anticipated CRFH Round 2 grant from Government to support our running costs and re-opening plans, but we will battle on as we have done in the past to succeed with our £1 million 'SOS' appeal.

Full story and quotes Love Your Railway SOS donation page

6 August 2021
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

A letter to staff and volunteers from the WSR Plc Chairman

WSR

I would like to say a massive 'thank-you' to everybody who has worked so hard to re-start the West Somerset Railway's operations this season.

It has been such a difficult time, but you have all contributed so much to our re-start and now we see the results, the whole railway looks fantastic!

During the closed period, the paid staff continued their work in often difficult conditions, but they never complained and the excellent results of their work are now plain to see. Our valued volunteers continued to support us and, every time I travel along the line, I continue to be amazed by what you have all done.

Our locomotives and coaches are in the best state they have been for years and are a credit to the line. Thanks to the efforts of the hand-weeding gangs last year, and the weedkilling train we ran earlier this year, the track-bed looks amazing. The stations are so well turned-out and, as ever, there has been great feedback from our visitors commenting on the friendliness and the helpfulness of you, the staff. Thank you all.

Our behind-the-scenes work is vital too, and the work on getting our compliance systems up-to-date and managing the financial side of things has been particularly important.

For example, our financial results look encouraging. For June, the results for the month show a small profit of £2,524 compared to a budgeted loss of £110,120. Fare income was £80,301 in June 2021 compared with a budget of £45,640. The budget was anticipating a 50% reduction due to COVID-19 restrictions and reduced capacity. However, a significant number of the trains that ran during the month were close to full capacity!

Income in June was boosted by works we completed on the Seaward Way Level Crossing of £25,955, retail income of £28,183, plus restoration income of £11,607.

Overall, this is a great result and puts us in a good position for the rest of the year.

Of course, there is still much to do. We have launched a £1M 'SOS' appeal to keep the railway operational into next year and to ensure we have the resources to improve the track. We still need regular donations to this campaign, and these can be made to the plc direct, or through the WSRA or the WSRH, and there are links to do so on all of these web pages.

The overall message is that we are looking to invest much more in our railway, in the track, the stock, the infrastructure and our heritage. The pandemic has been a big blow to us all, but we now intend to build back stronger than before. We intend firmly that the West Somerset Railway will retain its place as one of the country's premier heritage lines. We have everything going for us.

Thank you so much, yet again, for your work and support and let's keep it going!

Jonathan Jones-Pratt, WSR PLC Chairman

Donation page

5 August 2021
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

Hymek no D7018 on duty on Saturday 7 August

WSR

A timely and helpful reminder from the Diesel & Electric Preservation Group:

Beyer-Peacock 'Hymek' D7018 is the booked locomotive for this Saturday's diesel-hauled excursion from Bishops Lydeard to Dunster and back plus an extension to Norton Fitzwarren on the return journey. This gives a total running distance of 42 miles, departing from Bishops Lydeard at 11.35am and returning from Norton Fitwarren at 3.25pm.

Advance bookings on this service are looking strong so book now to ensure that you get a chance to ride and enjoy the 'Maybach Music'!

Space will be allocated for walk-up passengers on the day, but book now to make sure that you don't get left behind.

Book now

3 August 2021
Details kindly provided by Diesel & Electric Preservation Group

WSR privilege tickets and special passes available again

WSR

The West Somerset Railway Plc have announced that with effect from Tuesday 3 August 2021, all WSR privilege tickets and special passes will be available again. The availability includes the following categories:

  • Shareholder passes (Silver and Gold) and Travel Warrants
  • WSR Long Service Award passes (Silver)
  • HRA reduced fare passes
  • Staff ID cards and Travel Warrants
  • Network Rail and TOC Privilege reduced fare cards
  • Disabled and Carer discounts
  • Local Residents travel cards
  • WSRA discount fares

All privilege tickets and special passes will revert to their standard conditions, applicable to the particular ticket or special pass. The availability will also include connecting buses between Dunster and Minehead.

Please note that it will not be possible to make these tickets available unfortunately on the 10.15am train from Bishops Lydeard due to train capacity issues and the need to prioritise full fare passengers, but this will be reviewed as soon as possible.

And, if you are disappointed to discover that you do not yet hold one of these special tickets or passes, then one of the easiest ways to obtain one is to become an active volunteer or shareholder! You would be very welcome - just contact volunteers@wsrail.net

2 August 2021
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

An update from the West Somerset Railway Heritage Trust

WSR

The West Somerset Railway Heritage Trust have issued an update on recent and future events:

Further to the Acting Chairman's letter of June 2021 introducing an Extraordinary General Meeting on Friday, 23 July 2021, we are writing to let everyone know the outcome.

Members were asked to vote on a Special Resolution to adopt the revised Articles of Association produced following the Member vote at the 2020 AGM.

We are now pleased to confirm that the Special Resolution was passed at the EGM and the Articles have now been adopted and registered with the Charity Commission.

The previously announced AGM date of Saturday, 21 August 2021 is being moved to Saturday, 18th September 2021, please amend your diaries to reflect this new date.

Mike Thompson takes over as the new Chairman of the Trust this month. The Acting Chairman, Steve Williams wants to thank everyone who has provided their support to the Board and to him over the last 10 months.

To see a revised copy of the Articles of Association go to www.wsrht.co.uk

West Somerset Railway Heritage Trust website

2 August 2021
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Heritage Trust

News from the seaside end of the line

WSR

Here is a shortened version of the report to members by Martyn Snell, Chairman of the Friends of Minehead Station (FoMS):

Minehead Station is now very much alive with the Buffer Stop Shop, the Turntable Cafe and Readers Halt open most days. The Cafe opening has made a tremendous difference to the feel of the station and the regular customers are back and really enjoying the atmosphere of our station even with no trains running.

I must thank the wonderful staff who open up Readers Halt and provide a very welcome income to the coffers of FoMS. Contributions continue so there is always sorting and pricing to be undertaken before the all-important selling can take place.

The committee has been doing its best to comply with the Covid restrictions whilst arranging events on the platform. Anne Dowrick has been the driving force behind the sale in June and a sale of crafts in July. Plans are afoot for more events in August and September.

Our work party and gardeners have also been doing sterling work to keep the station looking in tip top condition. Much painting and cleaning plus the tending of our flower beds is so appreciated by those who visit our lovely station.

We at Minehead will be ready to welcome all visitors including passengers when they arrive here by whatever means.

The FoMS team will work hard but safely to ensure that our station is a place for people to come and enjoy. Please keep safe and keep supporting us as I know you will. Thank you.

FoMS members will find the full text of Martyn's report, along with reports, some illustrated, from the other FoMS departments in the latest FoMS newsletter. For more information about the Friends of Minehead Station, please visit the FoMS website.

The FoMS website

1 August 2021
Details kindly provided by Friends of Minehead Station

Recent news

Recent tweets