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WSR News from August 2006
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• The Magnificent Dozen...
No 88
 
No fewer than twelve steam locomotives will be working trains over the four day Autumn Steam Gala. The Gala runs from 5-8 October 2006 and promises to be yet another excellent event laid on by the West Somerset Railway's Special Events Planning Team. The long list of engines includes Nos 6024, 4247, 5164, 1450, 850, 45231, 3850, 88, 9351, 80136, 5553 and 6412. Add to that list, "Kilmersdon" will be shunting at Washford. All the details are on the Autumn Steam Gala pages...

24 August 2006 
Details from local correspondent
• Bargain Rover Tickets for Gala...
No 850
 
Book your discounted Autumn Steam Gala Rover Tickets in advance for real value. A Rover Ticket is by far the best option for visitors to the Autumn Steam Gala allowing unlimited travel on valid days. Rover Tickets bought on the day represent excellent value but even more can be saved for Rovers purchased in advance for the event. The full range of prices are on the Autumn Steam Gala page...

23 August 2006 
Details from WSR Plc
• DVD describes the Community...
Evacuees
 
The West Somerset Railway Association have produced a DVD about the railway and its part in the community. Apart from the usual railway shots there are interviews with railway volunteers and what sustains their enthusiasm. Further afield, there are interviews with supporting local suppliers, including Torre Cider Farm. The Back family at Bishops Lydeard Mill are also featured along with pupils from Bishops Lydeard Primary School. A feature with David Bailey ensures flora and fauna, so abundant along the lineside, are not forgotten. As the DVD title suggests the line is "More than just a Railway"...

22 August 2006 
Details from WSRA
• More exhibits for the Gauge Museum...
IKB
 
More Brasso is required to polish and restore the bloom to a recent collection of brasses donated to the Gauge Museum at Bishops Lydeard. These include signal box brasses from Curry Rivel Junction, Castle Cary, Yeovil Pen Mill plus other examples in this area. Also coming soon in a dual gauging rod with both narrow and broad gauge clearly defined and endorsed "Bristol and Exeter Railway". Meantime, Mr and Mrs Isambard Kingdom Brunel (aka David and Rachel Hartland) visited the station to see if it passes muster for the special "Brunel Quantock Belle" diner next week...

19 August 2006 
Details from WSRA
• Taunton to Bishops Lydeard shuttles...
FGW
 
Change at Taunton for the Minehead Branch. Yes - the dream is becoming a reality. The WSR Special Events Planning Team have announced that agreement has been reached with First Great Western to operate the first regular shuttle trains on and off the Minehead Branch via Norton Fitzwarren Junction during the forthcoming Autumn Steam Gala. Following great efforts by WSR Chairman, Chris Austin, the mainline train operator First Great Western will operate a number of shuttle trains between Taunton and Bishops Lydeard - seven trains on Saturday 7 October and six on Sunday 8 October. These will be timed to connect with mainline services at Taunton giving those travelling from longer distances the chance to simply change trains at Taunton for a train onto the Minehead branch for the first time in over 35 years!

15 August 2006 
Details from SEPT
• Norton DMU Shuttle...
DMU
 
Engineering work in the Norton Fitzwarren section will be suspended over the Bank Holiday weekend. This will allow the 1.35pm Bishops Lydeard to Norton Fitzwarren and the return working 1.53pm Norton Fitzwarren to Bishops Lydeard service to operate each day from Friday 25 August 2006 to Tuesday 29 August 2006 inclusive. THis servie is operated by Diesel Multiple Unit and gives passengers a chance to view the new works at Allerford Junction. There will be no Bishops Lydeard to Norton Fitzwarren service on either Wednesday 30 August or Thursday 31 August 2006.

24 August 2006 
Details from WSR Plc
• Medium Format Medley for Taunton Group Meeting...
WSRA
 
The Taunton Group of the WSR Association will soon enjoy a Medium Format Medley. This is the title of a presentation by well-known railway photographer, Malcolm Ranieri. The meeting will be held at the usual time and usual place - 7.45 pm at the GWRSA 'snug' bar, near Taunton Station, on Monday 4 September.

23 August 2006 
Details from WSRA
• Going for the Dogs...
Greyhounds
 
On August Bank Holiday, the West Somerset Railway is hosting the Greyhound Rescue Charity Bone Relay. The event celebrates the 10th anniversary of Greyhound Rescue West of England. A symbolic bone made and donated by the Bristol Blue Glass Company will be taken on the 12.25 Bishops Lydeard to Minehead train. Lots of dogs are expected at the termini with more dogs joining at Williton, with yet more at Watchet, where the Town Crier will welcome the train...

22 August 2006 
Details from WSRA
• Craning heavy objects at Williton...
Crane © JA
 
Heavy objects on the move at the Swindon Shed. The old boring machine was being lifted out by the 5 ton crane recently making way for the replacement machine which will be installed soon. Before the crane was installed a while back, removing a large heavy item of machinery required a clear pathway and other items in the Shed had to be moved first. Now the whole operation is quick and safe. The crane is in almost daily use and may, one day, be extended the full length of the Shed.

15 August 2006 
Details from local correspondent
• Update from Williton Diesel Depot...
MD870 © Jon Tooke
 
A major step towards once again hearing Maybach music raising the echoes across the West Somerset hills. The Mayback MD870 power unit was returned from the contract repairers and now sits in the Diesel and Electric Preservation Group shed at Williton. And the other MD870 engine was taken away for more contract repair. Resident engineer Andy began the task of taking off all the blanking plates so that the engine - originally fitted to sister loco D7018 - can be rebuilt and refitted to Class 35 Hymek no D7017. The Class 33 Crompton D6566 was back out on traffic duties for the WSR on Friday and Saturday and loaded to eight coaches for these diagrams.

14 August 2006 
Details from local correspondent
• Looks good for Lord Nelson...
No 850 © Ian Saunders
 
The paperwork necessary for approval to move "Lord Nelson" from Eastleigh to Minehead seems to have been sorted. It seems everything is now lined up for the transfer to take place on Wednesday 16 August, leaving Eastleigh at noon hauled by a diesel locomotive, running via Salisbury and Westbury, arriving at Bishops Lydeard at around 3.45pm. The diesel will then run back to Eastleigh light engine, leaving SR 4-6-0 no 850 "Lord Nelson" to complete the journey to Minehead behind a WSR locomotive later in the evening.

13 August 2006 
Details from local correspondents
• Put that ruddy light out...
Bill Pertwee ©WSRA
 
Actor and author Bill Pertwee is to make a return visit to the Railway next weekend. Bill - best known for playing Air Raid Warden Hodges in Dad's Army - will be at the Station Shop at Bishops Lydeard Station from 4 o'clock on Sunday 20 August and the whole of the following Monday for book signing sessions to celebrate Bill's new book, an autobiography called "A funny way to make a living".

13 August 2006 
Details from WSRA
• More storage revenue for WSR...
FM Rail © Martin Southwood
 
The Railway seems to be in the coach storage business again. On 11 August, FM Rail Class 31 no 31128 brought the ten coach "Green Train" down from Clapham to West Somerset. The home-based Class 33 no D6566 provided rear end assistance over the WSR banks en route to Minehead, arriving in the fading light of the day, where the coaching stock will remain until early next week.

11 August 2006 
Details from local correspondents and WSR Plc
• EKT commissioning...
EKT© Pat Langan
 
Over the weekend of 5-6 August, WSR signal engineers completed and commissioned Electric Key Token working on the main 20 mile stretch of the West Somerset Railway. The completion of the Williton to Crowcombe Heathfield and Crowcombe Heathfield to Bishops Lydeard sections to full EKT working has banished the older staff and ticket working to history on the Minehead Branch. EKT allows for a very flexible mode of working trains along the four single line sections, removing the need for rigid timetabling or costly and time-consuming road transfers of the staff. The successful project - an example of considerable financial investment in the Railway by the Railway - is the culimination of several years of hard work by the signal engineers and others. Pictures...

11 August 2006 
Details from local correspondents and WSR Plc
• Autumn Steam Gala...
No 45231 © Chris Nevard
 
Another two steam locomotives look certain to grace the WSR metals during the Autumn Steam Gala in early October. It looks certain that SR 4-6-0 no 850 "Lord Nelson" will arrive on the line this week, possibly 10 August, and will stay until late October when it will head a steam special from Minehead to Eastleigh. A Gala appearance by this unique engine is almost certain. Heading an incoming railtour from London Victoria on 1 October, is ex-LMS Black Five 4-6-0 no 45231, which will then appear at the Autumn Steam Gala before leaving on 11 October with a Minehead-Alresford excursion.

7 August 2006 Updated 11 August 
Details from local correspondents and WSR Plc
• Lord Nelson...
No 850 © Ian Saunders
 
The long-awaited arrival on the Minehead Branch of a celebrated Southern Railway express locomotive is getting closer. As things stand it looks as if Southern Railway 4-6-0 no 850 "Lord Nelson" will be arriving on the WSR sometime in September (not in August as expected), being hauled to Somerset from Eastleigh by an EWS diesel locomotive. "Lord Nelson" still has some work required before able to run under its own power and is not, as yet, had the OTMR equipment, necessary for mainline running, installed. With all the uncertainty, it is not possible for anyone to predict when the loco will haul trains on the WSR. Watch this space...

3 August 2006 Updated 8 August 2006 
Details from local correspondent
• Marketing the WSR at Taunton Flower Show...
Taunton Flower Show © Lumber Jack
 
It was busy at the WSR stand at Taunton Flower Show on 2 August. Aimed squarely at raising the profile of the WSR among local people, no fewer than 120 Local Resident Pass Application Forms were given out to visitors to the stand. Countless other enquiries were dealt with, often from people who had already travelled on the WSR. In terms of possible repeat trips on the line, the Santa Specials and the Quantock Belle emerged as the products best known whilst amongst the least known products, Fish & Chip Specials, Murder Mystery Specials and Dunster by Candlelight were generating a lot of interest...

2 August 2006 
Details from WSR Plc
• Farewell to Staff and Ticket...
Token
 
Farewell to Staff and Ticket signalling on the Minehead Branch. Over the weekend of Saturday and Sunday 5-6 August, the Signal Engineer will be removing the Train Staff & Ticket equipment and commissioning Electric Token Block Signalling Apparatus between Williton, Crowcombe Heathfield and Bishops Lydeard. All but the Bishops Lydeard-Norton section, will be operated under Electric Token working and will provide a very flexible system for moving trains between the termini and the passing loops along the 23 mile single line.

2 August 2006 
Details from various WSR folks
WSR

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