For four days, the West Somerset Railway will hark back to the days where London was linked to the West Country, South/Mid Wales and the West Midlands by Great Western Railway services and locomotives.
Passengers could travel directly to large towns served by express trains. Many coastal resorts such as Minehead, Fowey, Porthcawl and Helston however involved alighting at a junction station and completing the journey on a branch line train, which ambled along in a seemingly timeless manner.
Wherever the trains ran, they were headed by the distinctive (in appearance and sound) steam locomotives of Great Western design, which were in many cases built at the main workshops in Swindon.
So why not join us for a day or more between 3rd and 6th October?
Rover tickets for the event can be purchased at discounted prices now on this website or via 01643 704996 and once again we’ll offer a special £3 fare for young persons aged 3 to 17 on Sunday 6th October.
Multiple Events are in this category
Prices for this event could vary from day to day, click the links above to see prices for your chosen date.
Home Fleet Locomotives
Examples of GWR practice which should feature over the four days are as follows:-
6960 “Raveningham Hall”. One of 330 “Hall” and “Modified Hall” locomotives that were the mainline workhorses, engaged in all sorts of work including holiday trains
7822 “Foxcote Manor” and 7828 “Odney Manor”. The smallest of the GWR mixed traffic types the “Manors” took a wide variety of passenger and freight trains over lines too lightly constructed for the “Halls”, “County’s” and “Granges”
9351. A “Mogul”, designed but never actually built by the Great Western. The plan was brought to life in the workshops at Minehead and the loco is returning to service this year after a heavy overhaul.
A non- GWR locomotive is 53808, designed for use on the Somerset and Dorset line between Bath and Bournemouth. Although intended for heavy freight trains they often worked holiday trains in the summer including one that linked Exmouth and Cleethorpes.
Details of special “guest” engine appearing at the Gala will appear here as they are confirmed.
As well as the trains running through the Quantock Hills and along the Exmoor Coast there will be things to see and visit along the line:-
Railway Museums at Bishops Lydeard and Blue Anchor stations. Run and staffed by the West Somerset Steam Railway Trust these house relics and reminders of the GWR and the Western Region of British Railways. There is also a large model railway in the Bishops Lydeard Museum. Washford station is the Museum and Workshops of the Somerset and Dorset Railway Trust and the Town Museum at Watchet (less than 10 minutes walk from Watchet Station) has exhibits from the West Somerset Mineral Railway which finally closed in 1917)
There will be licensed buffet cars on most trains over the Gala and refreshments are available at all stations except Doniford Halt (cafes at Bishops Lydeard, Williton and Minehead with the Turntable Café at Minehead being licensed).