Latest news

The WSR Wagon Restoration Group is formed

Following a successful first meeting on 15 June 2017, Dave Horton, WSR's Head of Mechanical Engineering has confirmed Peter Chilcott has kindly volunteered to act as Project Leader.

Group activity will initially focus on the SR/WD brake van no 49017, work on which has already started, followed by a repaint of the two WD opens already marshalled in the Heritage Goods train. The ex-SR/WD generator van is also intended to return to the consist.

It was agreed at the first meeting that the long-term aim is to create two distinct trainsets - (1) a GWR heritage train, using predominantly 813 Fund vehicles, and (2) a 'military train' using the many ex-WD wagons on or about the Railway.

Peter Chilcott will develop a longer-term restoration plan, in conjunction with Nick Baxter of the 813 Fund.

New volunteers are always welcome - please contact Peter Chilcott at peter.chilcott@hotmail.com.

25 June 2017
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

A new website for the Friends of Stogumber Station

The Friends of Stogumber Station have a new website at stogumberstation.com which has all the important information about this delightful country station. Find out about the facilities at the station along with information about local events, nearby accommodation, news, how to get involved and contact details.

24 June 2017
Details kindly provided by Friends of Stogumber Station

Autumn Gala debut for BR 4-6-0 no 73082 Camelot

British Railways Class 5MT 4-6-0 no 73082 Camelot will be making its West Somerset Railway debut at the Autumn Steam Gala (5 to 8 October 2017). Normally based at the Bluebell Railway and owned by the Camelot Locomotive Society, Camelot will be the third member of the class to operate between Bishops Lydeard and Minehead, its predecessors being nos 73096 and 73129.

Three other guests, hopefully Swindon-designed locos, are being sourced and the visitors will operate alongside current residents of Minehead loco shed nos 6960, 44422, 53808 and 53809. Industrial saddle tanks, Peckett Kilmersdon and Andrew Barclay no 1219 will also be in action.

23 June 2017
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

WSR Journal no 157 is published

Members of the West Somerset Railway Association are right now receiving the latest edition of the WSR Journal, produced by the Association's editorial team, led by Editor Richard Jones. The 86 page Number 157 'Summer 2017' contains, as usual, a great number of fine colour photographs along with lots of WSR news and updates. Once again, Alan Turner has the centrepiece picture - this time a very pleasing photograph taken from above Withycombe of a train leaving Blue Anchor.

21 June 2017
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Association

Going the 'Long Way Round'

A feathered friend was evicted from Williton Station's Up Waiting Room on 19 June 2017. The owner's number was on one of its rings and after advice from the owner, the pigeon was caged and rehoused in the Booking Office for the next couple of days with ample food and water. He'd been released in Penzance on Sunday last and clearly showing Brunellian tendencies by going the 'long way round' to home in County Down. Williton Station's Person-in-Charge, Bill Holmes, thoroughly enjoyed a chat with the bird.

20 June 2017
Details kindly provided by local correspondent

Another chance to visit Stogumber's village gardens

And now fourteen gardens in the village of Stogumber will be open to the public on Saturday 24 June and Sunday 25 June 2017. The weekend-long event follows the recent National Gardens Scheme opening of seven local gardens. Each of the fourteen gardens - including Station House adjacent to the Station itself - will be open between 10.30am and 5.30pm on those days and costs just £6 per adult for both days. The weekend event is held in aid of St Mary's Church, Stogumber, St Margaret's Somerset Hospice and Children's Hospice South West. More information

Stogumber Station - also noted for its splendid gardens - is about one mile from the village and the West Somerset Railway's trains call throughout the day (slightly different times each day so be sure to check the times). Light refreshments are available at Stogumber Station.

20 June 2017
Details kindly provided by local correspondent

Take the train to visit Stogumber's village gardens

Seven gardens will be open in the village of Stogumber on Sunday 18 June 2017 for the National Gardens Scheme.

The opening times are 2pm to 6pm and admission is £5; free for children under 14. All gardens have disability access.

Stogumber Station - also noted for its splendid gardens - is about one mile from the village and the West Somerset Railway's trains call throughout the day with the last trains leave Stogumber at 4.55pm (towards Minehead) and 5.25pm (towards Bishops Lydeard). Light refreshments are available at Stogumber Station.

Read more on the West Somerset Free Press page.

16 June 2017
Details gleaned from the West Somerset Free Press

All set for a great weekend at the Steam Rally in August

The website of the WSRA's Steam Fayre and Vintage Rally carries an update from Geoff Garfield, Chairman of the Rally Committee:

Welcome to the 2017 WSRA Steam Fayre and Vintage Rally, which will take place on 5th and 6th August 2017.

All of our many exhibitors and traders are booked, and looking forward to another great weekend. We hope you will join us there, to enjoy all the exhibits, and the great atmosphere.

Advance tickets are available on the Rally Tickets page. This is a great way to buy your ticket, because you can get two days entry for the price of one; and there is plenty to see and do over the two days.

A reminder that car parking at the Rally site is free. There is also free travel on the special rail shuttle from Bishops Lydeard Station to the Rally site. The WSR itself is kindly providing an extra early morning train from Minehead (depart 9.15am) to Bishops Lydeard - tickets for this train and other WSR services can be purchased online on the main West Somerset Railway website.

See the full statement on the Steam Fayre and Vintage Rally website.

16 June 2017
Details kindly provided by Steam Fayre and Vintage Rally

Station staff are reminded to check first aid equipment

Staff at the ten stations along the West Somerset Railway are reminded to check the contents of their First Aid boxes regularly and advise their Station Master or Steve Jervis stephen.jervis@wsrail.net 01643 700403 of any depletions.

16 June 2017
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

The Steam Trust visits Swanage Railway Museums

The West Somerset Steam Railway Trust (WSSRT) have posted an article describing a visit to the Museums at Swanage Railway. Following the visit to the Gauge Museum by volunteers from the Swanage Railway Museum last November, WSSRT Trustees Chris Austin, Geoff Evens and Chris Bolt made a return visit on 30 May, hosted by Gavin Johns (Chairman of the Swanage Railway Trust) and several of the museum volunteers. Full story and pictures.

12 June 2017
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Steam Railway Trust

Update on GWR buses on Taunton-Bishops Lydeard this weekend

Update:

GWR buses substituting for the advertised rail shuttles will operate as per the published timetable and there will be a GWR representative on board the bus to answer any queries if required. As mentioned below, due to operational reasons the Taunton to Bishops Lydeard shuttles will be replaced by a bus service between Taunton and Bishops Lydeard Stations. The WSR and GWR would like to apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

10 June 2017
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

A tale of two offices at Bishops Lydeard

The West Somerset Steam Railway Trust (WSSRT) write:

On 9 June 2017, on completion of the move from the temporary office in the Gauge Museum to the West Somerset Railway Association's new office at Station Farm, Jacquie Green, WSRA Manager, handed back the Gauge Museum office keys to Chris Austin, the Chairman of the Steam Trust. The WSSRT and West Somerset Railway Assocation (WSRA) had agreed that the WSRA could use the office in the Gauge Museum until the new Association office was ready. Chris Austin indicated that he was very pleased that the WSSRT could now settle into their office and was looking forward to the future including developing the Gauge Museum to its full potential.

10 June 2017
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Steam Railway Trust

Weekend Taunton-Bishops Lydeard shuttles cancelled

The WSR Plc have just announced:

Due to operational reasons the Taunton to Bishops Lydeard shuttles will be replaced by a bus service between Taunton and Bishops Lydeard Stations. The WSR and GWR would like to apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Update:

GWR buses substituting for the advertised rail shuttles will operate as per the published timetable and there will be a GWR representative on board the bus to answer any queries if required.

9 June 2017
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

An update from the Special Events Planning Team

Don Bishop of the Special Events Planning Team has kindly provided an update about the 2017 Diesel Gala:

The WSR Special Events Planning Team would like to advise visitors to our diesel gala this weekend that despite the presence of two class 50 diesels, nos 50007 Hercules and 50049 Defiance, at Bishops Lydeard these locos are unable to be used on WSR services over the weekend. The visit of these two locomotives was not planned by the planning team and thus no allowance was made in the loco allocations and crewing arrangements that are planned. However our friends at GBRF used the locos as traction for the move of the two class 20s from the Severn Valley Railway at Kidderminster to the WSR as part of their own crew training regime. As the loco diagrams and crews were all arranged and completed before we were aware of this we have been unable to make provision for these locos to be used during the gala, to do so would only mean less work for the hired in class 20s and class 26 or the home based diesel hydraulics. This would not be good use of our budgeted expense to put the event on. We also have no trained drivers available to work the 50s on the WSR at this time. However we do hope to be able to position the 50s in the bay platform siding at Bishops Lydeard to allow viewing and photography.

Don continues:

Despite this why not come along to the WSR this weekend to enjoy the sight and sound of our own diesel hydraulics, in the 40th anniversary year since the end of hydraulic locos on the Western Region, the distinctive whistling class 20s and the throaty thrash of the class 26 as they climb through the hills of West Somerset. We also of course have our Real Ale Trail on all weekend in conjunction with the Small Independent Brewers Association (SIBA) at Minehead, Stogumber and Bishops Lydeard. Hopefully we'll be able to hire in a class 50 for a future diesel gala on a formal basis.

8 June 2017
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

Two full time vacancies with WSR Plc at Minehead

Two full time vacancies have been announced by WSR Plc. The first is the Head of Commercial post:

We are seeking a senior manager to manage, develop and promote the business of West Somerset Railway plc. Reporting to the General Manager, you will provide inspiration and leadership to raise the public profile of the Railway and manage and develop the Commercial Department, covering marketing, events and retail and catering activities.

and the second is for the post of Financial Assistant:

We are seeking a Finance Assistant to assist the Head of Finance in the control of the Railway's assets and be responsible for the maintenance of accurate and timely accounting records from receipt and prime entry to the production of regular reports and accounts.

More details

8 June 2017
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

GWR's Taunton to WSR shuttle train on 10-11 June 2017

Update: GWR have cancelled these trains. WSR and GWR apologise for any inconvenience.
The mainline operator GWR say:

Come to the West Somerset Railway's Diesel Gala on our special shuttle train direct from Taunton. As part of our money-saving WSR 'Away Day' ticket, we will be providing a shuttle train service to Bishops Lydeard on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 June 2017. WSR Away Day tickets include return GWR rail travel to Taunton, the connection to Bishops Lydeard and unlimited travel on the West Somerset Railway. Visit gwr.com/wsr for more on this fantastic deal.

Download the GWR poster

7 June 2017
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

Bargain fares for Taunton-Bishops Lydeard shuttles on 10-11 June 2017

Update: GWR have cancelled these trains. WSR and GWR apologise for any inconvenience.
The mainline operator GWR will operate a shuttle service on 10 and 11 June 2017 between Taunton Railway Station and the WSR's terminus at Bishops Lydeard. These trains connect with the WSR's own trains to and from Minehead. The return fare on the shuttle train between Bishops Lydeard and Taunton on these dates will be £6 per adult and £3 per child. We understand normal discounts apply and that through tickets from GWR stations are valid. Download the poster

5 June 2017
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

News from the Bishops Lydeard Station Shop

Kate Beard, Retail Manager at WSRA Promotions writes:

During our three-day Diesel Gala from 9th to 11th June, the Bishops Lydeard Station Shop will be offering a further 10% discount on all Model Railway items, including the latest models. Our Book Department will also have a number of offers on new and nearly new books, as well as a range of second hand Modern Traction titles. Don't forget that we also stock all the latest Diecast releases from Oxford and Corgi.

The shop's opening hours will be extended for the Gala and we shall be open before the first train departure each day and will be closing at 6.00pm.

4 June 2017
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Association

Chance to travel along the Barnstaple line

During the afternoon of 9 June 2017 as part of the 2017 Diesel Gala the West Somerset Railway will run a special service from Bishops Lydeard. Using the Railway's three-car heritage diesel unit, the train will run from Bishops Lydeard to Norton Fitzwarren then along the former Barnstaple line (which now forms part of the WSR's Norton Triangles) for about three-quarters of a mile to the buffer stops just short of the former Allerford Bridge. The train then retraces its steps back to Bishops Lydeard. The full journey takes approximately 45 mins. It is only possible to join or leave this service at Bishops Lydeard.

Friday 9 June 2017 - Bishops Lydeard to Allerford Bridge and back

Depart Bishops Lydeard 13.05 14.00 15.00 16.00 17.00

3 June 2017
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

Buses of Somerset once again call at Bishops Lydeard Station

Buses of Somerset have announced:

The wait is finally over the Bishop Lydeard roundabout on the A358 28 service route to Taunton and Minehead will return to normal this Friday morning 2nd june this means the 28 service will now serve the normal route serving Bishop Lydeard railway station and return to running through to Hithermead normal route serving both directions to Taunton and Minehead the temporary stop that was put in place for the diversion located at the Bishop Lydeard post-office will now no longer be used as from Friday morning. Thank you all for your patience while the diversion was in place

2 June 2017
Details kindly provided by local correspondent and Buses of Somerset

Times now available for Taunton shuttles on 10-11 June 2017

Update: GWR have cancelled these trains. WSR and GWR apologise for any inconvenience.
As mentioned a few days ago, the WSR Plc has confirmed the mainline operator GWR will operate a shuttle service between Taunton Railway Station and the WSR's terminus at Bishops Lydeard on the Saturday and Sunday of the Diesel Gala. Here are the times of the shuttle trains:

Saturday 10 June 2017 - Bishops Lydeard to Taunton

Bishops Lydearddep10.5811.5812.4914.4315.3116.3117.29
Tauntonarr11.1112.1113.0214.5715.4416.4417.43

Saturday 10 June 2017 - Taunton to Bishops Lydeard

Tauntondep10.3211.2512.2814.1015.0616.0516.55
Bishops Lydeardarr10.4511.3812.4114.2315.1916.1817.08

Sunday 11 June 2017 - Bishops Lydeard to Taunton

Bishops Lydearddep10.0811.0012.0213.1414.47 15.3116.35
Tauntonarr10.2411.1312.1513.2715.0315.4416.49

Sunday 11 June 2017 - Taunton to Bishops Lydeard

Tauntondep09.3610.2811.2312.3714.2215.0816.07
Bishops Lydeardarr09.4910.4111.3612.5014.3515.2616.20

1 June 2017
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

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