West Somerset Railway
The Railway Station
Tel: (+44) 01643 704 996
Postcode for Sat Nav: TA4 4RQ
Williton Station consists of many buildings from the time the line was first opened and the buildings have been carefully preserved. The main building still retains the original Italiante chimney, and inside it is like walking in to a time warp. Even the Ladies toilet, we believe is the most photographed toilet in West Somerset! The original Bristol and Exeter signal box is believed to be the only one surviving and in operational order. originally the two tracks through the station were broad-gauge - hence wider than usual 'six' foot between the rails. The present steel footbridge, rescued from Trowbridge, Wiltshire at the end of the 1980's, was restored and erected in 2011, on the site of the original timber bridge , which was removed sometime in the 1920's.
Williton Station has a booking office which sells the full range of West Somerset Railway Tickets which can be found by visiting the Fares Pages.The Station has toilets but no disabled toilet facilities, and serves a range of hot and cold refreshments.
For those who would like to explore Williton itself, leave the station behind the Signal box and walk up Station Road past the industrial estate to the junction with Long Street and you shortly reach the first of the town's pubs, 'The Railway Inn'. Thereafter Long Street is a mix of building styles and materials and combines modern houses with older cottages and various business premises such as B&B's and Hotels. Early on you will have passed Gilbert Scott Court, the recently restored and converted Victorian Hospital, which is now an attractive housing development. Finally, at the head of this road you will find the Williton Social Club and a new florist, both of which are opposite the head offices of The West Somerset Free Press. A little further on is a newly opened Charity shop for the Taunton based St Margaret's Hospice, and a Fish & Chip and Pizza shop (Evenings only!). A right turn past these brings you to the 'Masons Arms', a delightful bar and restaurant, and which also has comfortable accommodation units.
The town centre itself includes a newsagent, post office, one bank, Spar and Co-operative food stores together with three ladies hairdressers and a barbers shop. The Farmhouse Butchers, combines a deli and on certain days fresh fish. A recently opened bistro cafe and carpet shop, have brought new life to the town. A look in the local Estate Agents is worthwhile, a good place to start should you be considering a move to this delightful part of West Somerset. Along the Taunton Road is the 'Wyndham Arms', which serves good food most days, whilst a turn back onto the Minehead Road brings you past Gliddons hardware and country clothes store to the edge of town and Police Station. Across the road is the new Croft house care home and from here is signposted the Bakelite Museum. This museum houses an amazing collection of items from the precursor of the plastics revolution and together with its tea rooms rewards the half an hour walk from the station.
Williton also boasts a modern library, up to date Health centre, a Cottage Hospital and Fire Station. The Head Offices of West Somerset Council and a filling station are central in the village.
The Coleridge Way can be accessed from Williton Station. The Coleridge Way is a 36 mile route through the stunning Somerset countryside of the Quantock Hills, the Brendon Hills and Exmoor, a landscape that inspired Coleridge to produce some of his best known work.
Wibble Farm Nurseries is 1 mile from Williton Station.
Williton Station stands right on the edge of the small town which it has served since 1862 and if you decide to explore beyond the station be prepared to do some walking.
However the station area itself has some points of interest. Firstly the gap between the two lines of track is wider than might be expected. This is a consequence of the tracks that passed here being Brunel's Broad Gauge of 7 feet and a quarter inch rather than the current standard gauge of 4 feet 8 and a half inches. The Signalbox which controls the movements at this station dates from the opening of the Railway in 1862 and is the last remaining box from the Bristol and Exeter Railway (who ran the branch on behalf of the original West Somerset Railway company before the Great Western took over).
The goods shed is now the home of the Diesel and Electric Preservation Group (D&EPG), a dedicated band of enthusiasts whose passion and work is dedicated to the upkeep and maintenance of the generation of Diesel locomotives built in the 1960s and withdrawn from use by British Rail between the 1970s and 1990s. The D&EPG has an established visitor centre tracing the history of the Diesel Locomotive and this is open at weekends. The rest of Williton yard is a working area and access is not normally permitted to this or the large shed at the Minehead end of the site. This shed was once part of the GWR works at Swindon and was donated to the West Somerset Railway by Tarmac Plc. The Shed is the restoration base of the West Somerset Railway Association and the West Somerset Steam Railway Trust. Also present there are 5542 Ltd who are rebuilding a Great Western Auto Coach No: 168.