Events & Experiences

Return of West Somerset Railway Spring Steam Gala 23rd to 26th April 2020

After a gap of one year in 2019, 2020 sees the return to the calendar of an event that has been a must visit since 1996 from 23rd - 26th April 2020.

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Return of West Somerset Railway Spring Steam Gala 23rd to 26th April 2020 based on photo by Andrew Jeffrey


After a gap of one year in 2019, 2020 sees the return to the calendar of an event that has been a “must visit” since 1996. The WSR’s Spring Gala is back and the line-up of guest steam locomotives will feature bigger machines than was possible in 2019, thanks to the sterling work of the track and infrastructure teams.

Book your tickets in advance (up to 12 hours before the date of travel) for the in advance discount shown in the pricing section below.  

Ticket Type On The Day Price In Advance Price
One Day Rover Adult/Senior £35.00 £32.20
One Day Rover Young Person (age 5-17) £17.50 £16.10
Two Day Rover Adult/Senior ( for use on two consecutive days only) £47.00 £43.25
Two Day Rover Young Person (age 5-17) ( for use on two consecutive days only) £23.50 £21.10
Three/Four Day Rover Adult/Senior £75.00 £69.00
Three/Four Day Rover Young Person (age 5-17) £37.50 £34.50
09:00 Tickets available
09:00 Tickets available
09:00 Tickets available
09:00 Tickets available
Quantock Belle Gala Breakfasts

Why not treat yourself to a Quantock Belle Gala Breakfast on either the 8.50 service from Bishops Lydeard or the 10.55 service from Minehead. 

A full English Breakfast with a fruit juice and all you can drink Tea and Coffee will be available. 

Tickets for one breakfast can be purchased in advance here.

You must have a valid ticket to travel in conjunction with your breakfast ticket. Both tickets will be checked on the service. 


Homefleet Locomotives

The home fleet locos in action should include:-

“Manor” Class 7828 “Odney Manor”

The unique “Small  Mogul” 9351

Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway 7F 53808

7822 "Foxcote Manor"

Visiting Locomotives

The headline visiting locomotive as at November 2019 will be British Railways Class 9F 92134 built at Crewe in 1957, withdrawn from Birkenhead at the end of 1966 and finally returned to working life at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway in 2019. The Spring Gala will be its first visit to southern England in the preservation era. It is the only surviving 9F with a single chimney rather than the doubles which feature on the other survivors of the original class of 251 machines.

Another locomotive making its WSR debut will be British Railways Class 4MT 76084 which will be only the second of this class of 2-6-0 mixed traffic locos.  It is normally based on the North Norfolk Railway. It too was constructed in 1957 at Horwich, near Bolton, and spent its B.R. working life in and around Lancashire. Rather unusually after being purchased for preservation y a private individual it remained in its new owner’s garden until his death when a group  purchased the loco and restored it to working life.

Further visiting locomotives will be announced as soon more information is available. 

Please note that all locomotives are subject to change and availability. 

Other Attractions

Railway Lovers will also find the following to attract them:-

Railway Museums at Bishops Lydeard, Washford and Blue Anchor

Model Railway interest at Bishops Lydeard and Stogumber, plus second-hand model railway equipment on sale at Williton, Watchet (Saturday morning) and Dunster stations.

Models, books, dvds plus toys and souvenirs in the shops at Bishops Lydeard  and Minehead with sales counters at other stations (except Doniford Halt). Washford specialises in items specific to the former Somerset and Dorset Railway.

Cafes at Minehead (licensed), Williton and Bishops Lydeard plus light refreshments at other stations except Doniford Halt.

Licensed buffet cars on most trains.

See locomotives being turned on the MInehead turntable

Visit the Depot and Heritage Centre of the Diesel and Electric Group at Williton and see work on other projects.

 Freddie Huxtable will be visiting the Buffer Stop Shop at Minehead Station on Friday 24th April to personally sign copies of his book Taunton to Barnstaple Vol 3.

I Like Steam Trains But Am Not An Enthusiast?

Why not take advantage of the enhanced timetable and frequent trains to enjoy Spring in West Somerset and the beautiful Quantock Hills?

Our 10 stations offer chances to:-

Go walking in the Quantocks from Crowcombe Heathfield or Stogumber – and to enjoy their home made refreshments before catching the train home. 

Watchet is an old harbour town with 1000 years of history, reflected in the 2 museums. There are local shops, narrow streets, an antiques centre, and plenty of places to eat and drink

Washford station is a 20 minute walk from the tranquillity of Cleeve Abbey, now in the care of English Heritage.

Dunster station is a 20 minute walk from the medieval village with its main street overlooked by the Castle, part of the National Trust. There are small local shops and a wide choice of places to eat and drink.

Blue Anchor and Minehead stations are right by the beaches and Minehead station is at one end of the town’s main street.

Sample some local Real Ale and Craft Beer at Quantock Brewery – 200 yards from Bishops Lydeard station.

So why not stay in the area for a night or more? There is accommodation to suit all tastes in Bishops Lydeard, Stogumber, Williton, Doniford, Watchet, Washford, Blue Anchor, Dunster and Minehead. Buy a Rover Ticket for one or more days and you can explore as you wish.

The “Quantock Belle” dining cars will offer a breakfast service on Thursday 23rd. On Friday 24th there will be an evening dining train portion of the evening “mega train” due to be headed by 92134 and giving passengers some fine dining while enjoying the countryside views as the light changes on a round trip from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead and return.  There will be a Sunday lunch served on the 13.05 from Bishops Lydeard on the 26th.