Three weeks after “Flying Scotsman” brought the crowds to the West Somerset Railway another steam engine with a Scots-influenced name will be making its debut on the 20 miles of line between Bishops Lydeard (near Taunton) and Minehead.
The locomotive in question is British Railways 4MT 4-6-0 75014 “Braveheart” which is normally based on the Paignton and Dartmouth line and it will feature in the WSR’s Autumn Steam Gala between October 5th and 8th for a four day guest appearance. Built in the 1950’s it will be only the second member of its class to appear on the line, the first being 75069 back in 1995.
Another guest will be instantly recognisable by “Thomas the Tank Engine” fans as a relative of “Duck”. This is Great Western Railway pannier tank number 7714 which is appearing from its home on the Severn Valley Railway. Other engines in action will be “Dinmore Manor”, “Foxcote Manor”, “Raveningham Hall”, the pair of surviving Somerset and Dorset 7F’s 53808 and 53809, LMS 4F 44422, “Kilmersdon” and “Caledonia Works 1219”. Discounted Rover tickets, allowing passengers to travel as they wish, can be purchased via 01643 704996 or www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk Rovers, single and return tickets can also be purchased “on the day of travel” at station booking offices. On Sunday October 8th (only) young persons aged 5 to 17 can travel for a flat fare of £2 if accompanied by an adult or senior citizen.
On Saturday and Sunday October 7th and 8th the workshops at Minehead and Williton will be open to visitors for a look behind the scenes. Taunton Model Railway Group will offer a last chance to see their award winning “Tamerig Central” layout at Bishops Lydeard between the Friday and Sunday and there will be a model railway sale at Watchet station in the morning of Saturday 7th. Details of other things to see and do and where to eat and drink can be found in the souvenir programme which can be ordered in advance from the same contact points as the advanced Rover tickets.