Spring Steam Gala 20, 21 and 25 to 28 March 2010
No 71000 © Malc Stacey

No 92212

No 92203

No 78019 © Jason Hull (via Creative Commons licence)

No 80104 © Robert Kilpin (via Creative Commons licence)

No 34046

No 6024

No 4160

No 5553

The Standard Era...
The Overflow Car Park at Bishops Lydeard is waterlogged and likely to remain closed for the remainder of the Gala. Please drive straight to the Silk Mill Park/Ride - one of the free WSR buses will be with you within 30 mins and take you to Bishops Lydeard Station. With further heavy rain forecast, this is the best way to ensure you catch your preferred train. Those with wheelchairs are advised to go directly to Bishops Lydeard Station where there are number of reserved spaces.

Map showing location of Silk Mill Park/Ride
The West Somerset Railway Spring Steam Gala has established itself as one of the heritage railway events of the year, visited by several thousand people each year. The 2010 event promises to live up to the very high quality successful Steam Galas held over recent years, and this year will be staged over two long weekends – six days in total. If you have never sampled a WSR Spring Steam Gala you just don’t know what you’re missing!
This year’s event is themed "The Standard Era" and will celebrate the British Railway Standards along with other locomotives that worked with them in the 1950-1964 era. The Spring Steam Gala will run over two weekends – Saturday, Sunday 20-21 March and Thursday to Sunday 25-28 March 2010.
Please note that further details may be added to this page from time to time.
· BR 4-6-2 no 71000 Duke of Gloucester
· BR 2-10-0 no 92203
· BR 2-10-0 no 92212
· BR 2-6-4T no 80104
· BR 2-6-0 no 78019
· GWR 4-6-0 no 6024 King Edward I
· BR(W) 2-6-2T no 4160
· GWR 2-6-2T no 5553
· SR 4-6-2 no 34046 Braunton
· On standby - WSR 2-6-0 no 9351 and SDJR 2-8-0 no 88
 The Railway thank the following organisations for making the event possible:
· No 71000 - on loan from 71000 Duke of Gloucester Steam Locomotive Trust Ltd
· No 92203 - owned by Mr David Shepherd and on loan from the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Steam Railway
· No 92212 - on loan from the Mid-Hants Railway Ltd
· No 80104 - owned by Southern Locomotives Ltd and on loan from the Swanage Railway
· No 78019 - owned by Loughborough Standard Locomotives Ltd and on loan from the Great Central Railway plc
· No 6024 - on loan from the 6024 Preservation Society Ltd
· No 4160 - owned by 4160 Ltd
· No 5553 - owned by The Waterman Railway Heritage Trust
· No 34046 - owned by Locomotive 34046 Ltd
All the above is believed correct as at 16 March 2010 and listed in good faith. Not all engines will be working each day. Peckett 0-4-0ST no 1788 Kilmersdon will be in steam giving shunting demonstrations at Washford - hopefully - during the second weekend. All engines are, of course, subject to availability.
Events and Highlights...
· Several guest engines – including 71000 (subject to availability)
· Intensive timetable
· Quantock Belle cars on selected trains every day
· New former GWR turntable in operation at Minehead
·  All the above highlights, and the information below, are believed correct as at 10 December 2009, detailed in good faith and subject to availability.
Train Timetables...
» Saturday 20 March 2010
» Sunday 21 March 2010
» Thursday 25 March 2010
» Friday 26 March 2010
» Saturday 27 March 2010
» Sunday 28 March 2010
Please note other trains - empty coaching stock, goods trains, light engines, charter trains - may run. Details will be found in the Working Timetables published with the Souvenir Programme.
Norton Shuttles...
On the Gala Saturdays and Gala Sundays there will be shuttles along the line towards Norton Fitzwarren and the triangle site, leaving Bishops Lydeard at 11.45am, 12.45pm, 1.45pm and 2.45pm. These will be top and tailed.
- please note wheelchairs cannot be carried on the Norton Shuttles
The Quantock Belle...
The Quantock Belle cars in service on every day of the Gala serving hot snacks.
There will be a full breakfast service on the Quantock Belle dining train on Sunday 21 March ONLY. The meal will be available on the 9am departure from Bishops Lydeard and 11am departure from Minehead on this day only.
- Orange or Grapefruit Juice
- Egg, Bacon, Sausages, Tomatoes and Baked Beans
- Toast and Marmalade
- Tea or Coffee with a complimentary refill
- Bury Black Pudding (extra 50p)
The price of the QB Standard Breakfast is held at £6.50.
We understand this is a trial which may lead to the re-introduction of the popular breakfast service at future special events.
A mouth-watering selection of food and drink will be available to visitors at the forthcoming Spring Steam Gala. A good range of fast food will be available up and down the Railway. Most on-train buffets will have sandwiches, rolls and baps plus hot pasties, pies and sausage rolls. In addition, the Quantock Belle buffet will serve hot bacon baps and sausage baps. Additional goodies such as apple pie and cream teas will also be available. The Turntable café on Minehead Station, will serve bacon and sausage baps and other light snacks, plus a new range of filled jacket potatoes to eat in or take away. And last but not least, there will be food outlets at Minehead and Bishops Lydeard Stations, and the majority of stations up and down the line will be offering their own range of culinary delights during the Spring Steam Gala. Alcohol will only be sold on the trains. Each buffet car will have a different Somerset draught beer. Choose from Exmoor Ale, Exmoor Hound-Dog, Cotleigh Tawny or Cotleigh 25. There will be bottled cider and beers including Exmoor Gold, Cotleigh Barn Owl and our own Old Steamer. For 2010, we have a limited edition GWR175 beer label available only on the West Somerset Railway trains. All buffets will serve a range of soft drinks, hot beverages, snacks, cakes and biscuits. There will also be supplies of our new Year Mug resplendent in gold and green - the ultimate Gala souvenir
Museums and Model Railways...
The Gauge Museum at Bishops Lydeard, Somerset & Dorset Railway Trust External website museum at Washford, and Blue Anchor Railway Museum will all be open. Trackwork display at Crowcombe Heathfield. The Taunton Model Railway Group’s base at Bishops Lydeard will also be open (small separate admission charge payable).
The Watchet Market House Museum external website has some interesting pictures, displays and models relating to the West Somerset Mineral Railway and will be opening specially for the weekends (20-21 and 27-28 March) of the Spring Steam Gala between 10.30am and 4.30pm. The Museum is situated in the Market House and is approximately five minutes walk from the station at the edge of the harbour, conveniently close to pubs and cafes. Worth a visit for those interested in the Mineral Line and in the history of this ancient harbour town.
Shed Visits...
The sheds at both Minehead and Williton will be open during the Gala - a unique opportunity, as access is normally very restricted to the public on safety grounds. Minehead shed will be open between 10am and 5pm on both Saturdays and both Sundays. (admission charge of £1 per person). Come and see engines resting on shed in between their duties, and visit the workshop and view work on the overhaul of BR(W) Manor Class 4-6-0 no 7828 Odney Manor. Williton DEPG Diesel Depot Visior Centre and Yard will be open every day of the Gala from 10am to 5pm (admission by donation). Several Heritage Diesel locomotives will be berthed on the depot plus the standby steam locomotive that you will be able to cab.
The Turntable...
Following successful trials last year, you will be able to see steam locomotives turned on our fully restored former GWR locomotive turntable. A feature that was common in the days of mainline steam 40 years ago, yet rarely found on today’s heritage steam railways. The bonus at Minehead is that you can stand on the platform or viewing area, or have a cuppa at the Station Kiosk, and watch or photograph the locomotives turn from almost every possible angle.
The turning times for each day:
Details to follow...
Lineside Photography...
A reminder that access to the lineside and other areas away from the public areas is restricted to those with a valid Lineside Photography Permit. More information...
Souvenir Programme and Working Timetable...
Our new format colour souvenir programme which will include the complete working timetable and locomotive rosters for all six days will be available from mid-March from Minehead and at all stations during the event and priced at £3.00 per copy.
Free bus services - Bishops Lydeard and Taunton
A special free bus service operated on behalf of the Railway by Quantock Motor Services and linking Taunton Railway Station, the Park and Ride car park at Silk Mill and Bishops Lydeard Station will run at least every thirty minutes on all six days, starting at 9am from Taunton Railway Station. The last bus will connect with the final train arrival at Bishops Lydeard Station.
Location of bus stop at Taunton Railway Station:
The free bus service will stop for WSR passengers under the Taunton Station Bridge each day. Those coming off Taunton Railway Station, simply leave the station and follow the pavement round to the overbridge - there is no need to cross the road.
Location of Silk Mill Park and Ride:
The Silk Mill Park and Ride is on the west side of Taunton.
Other bus services
Service 300. This Sundays-only service is operated by Quantock Motor Services External website. The easy access, low floor open top double deck bus departs Taunton Castle Way at 8.45am, calling at Taunton Railway Station at 8.50am, and WSR's Bishops Lydeard Railway Station at 9.05am. The return bus calls at Bishops Lydeard Railway Station at 6.40pm, Taunton Railway Station at 6.55pm and Taunton Castle Way at 7pm. If planning to use this service, please check with Quantock Motor Services External website before you travel. The details about the Service 300 bus are provided here for information only. Please note you will need to pay to travel on the 300 Service.
The First Bus service collects from the down side of Taunton Station at 16 and 46 minutes past the hour except Sunday when it runs at 35 minutes past only. £2.95 single to Bishops Lydeard. The details about the First Bus are provided here for information only. Please note you will need to pay to travel on the First Bus services.
Retail Outlets...
The Railway's principal shops at Minehead and Bishops Lydeard will both be open throughout the Gala – offering a wide range of gifts, souvenirs, books, videos etc – and shops at several of the intermediate stations will also be open. The excellent Reader’s Halt bookstall, situated on the platform at Minehead, will also be open. A small number of sales and information stands will also be present.
In what has become a West Somerset Railway tradition Alan Hammond will be launching his latest book about the Somerset and Dorset Railway at the Spring Steam Gala with signing sessions at Minehead Station. The book is entitled "Splendour of the Somerset and Dorset Railway" and follows the successful established pattern of memories of the former line from former staff and enthusiasts, plus an essay about the 7F 2-8-0s, and over 230 photographs of the former S&D. Published by Millstream Books of Bath the print run will be limited to 2500 and it will cost £20. If you are unable to visit the Gala but would like to order a copy please send your order plus a cheque for £23 (which includes postage and packing) to the Buffer Stop Shop, West Somerset Railway, The Railway Station, Minehead, TA24 5BG. Cheques should be made payable to West Somerset Railway plc.
Rover Tickets allow you the complete freedom of the line and purchasing them is the best way of enjoying the Gala.
Rover Tickets for the Autumn Steam Gala are now online:
· One Day Rover for 20 March External website
· One Day Rover for 21 March External website
· One Day Rover for 25 March External website
· One Day Rover for 26 March External website
· One Day Rover for 27 March External website
· One Day Rover for 28 March External website
· Two Day Rover covering 20 and 21 March External website
· Two Day Rover covering 25 and 26 March External website
· Two Day Rover covering 27 and 28 March External website
· Four Day Rover covering 25 to 28 March External website
· Six Day Rover External website
Please note that no privilege ticket, free pass and voucher facilities are valid at the Spring Steam Gala. Special event fares apply to all passengers. Discounts are available on Rover Tickets purchased in advance- use the Booking Form External website.
Rover Tickets allow you the complete freedom of the line and purchasing them is the best way of enjoying the Gala. One, Two, Four and Six Day Rover Tickets will be available. Rover Tickets for the Spring Steam Gala are now online (see above)
How to Book...
You can book Rover Tickets at a discount in advance in the following ways...
· Via the TicketWeb External website website
· By telephone, using your Credit Card. Please ring 01643 704996, 9am-5pm Monday-Friday
· By completing the Booking Form External website
· In person at Minehead Station 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday
Latest Gala News
18 Mar 2010
No Washford shunt during first weekend but hopefully during second weekend
15 Mar 2010
On train breakfast now available on Sunday 21 March (only)
13 Mar 2010
Full range of food and drink including real ales
3 Mar 2010
Sadly, no Taunton rail shuttles this time
3 Mar 2010
Norton Shuttles
23 Feb 2010
Photo locations
17 Feb 2010
Print & Display Poster available.
10 Feb 2010
Details of Taunton bus links released.
10 Feb 2010
Booking Form External website now online.
10 Feb 2010
Lineside Photo Permits
9 Feb 2010
Braunton confirmed for all six days.
5 Feb 2010
Timetables now available.
20 Jan 2010
Nos 92203, 78019, 80104, 6024 added to the guest list.
15 Jan 2010
Rover Tickets now available online.
14 Jan 2010
No 92212 confirmed as guest loco.
10 Dec 2009
No 71000 confirmed as guest loco.
Gala Poster
There are two downloadable options, a PDF and a Jpeg image for those who can print a small supply. Or copies of the printed A4 poster can be obtained from John Simms of the Railway's Commercial Office. Contact John by email or telephone 01643 700382.
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