The West Somerset Railway, running from Bishops Lydeard, near Taunton, to Minehead, starts it peak season in the last week of July and until the end of August. Regrettably, this year there will be no trains on Fridays. This is for a number of reasons. Over the last few years, the railway has been faced with various challenges, including Covid, and the WSR team are committed to ensuring the railway has a successful long-term commercial future. There is a national shortage of coal for railway steam engines, and whilst the railway has a good supply, it is important that this is used for busy trains. The cost of other supplies to the railway is also rising fast, and railway wants to avoid raising ticket prices if it possibly can. (Any passengers who have pre-booked will be individually contacted.)
On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays there will be five trains each way between Bishops Lydeard and Minehead, whilst on Mondays and Sundays there will be four. All the trains will be hauled by one of the railway’s heritage steam engines, except for one train each way on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays (the 1100 from Bishops Lydeard and the 1525 return), which will be hauled either by one of the railway’s heritage diesel locomotives, built for British Railways in the 1960s, or by the recently refurbished heritage diesel multiple unit. Our friends at DEPG are thanked for the support given in enabling the change in services.
On the 6th and 7th of August the railway will be running a special service, which will include trains to and from the Norton Fitzwarren showground of the Steam and Vintage Rally, run by the West Somerset Railway Association. This Rally includes exciting displays of large numbers of working road steam engines, together with all sorts of other vintage displays and activity.
Further specials events will take place in the autumn. These include the “Forties Weekend” on 10th and 11th September and the Autumn Steam Gala from 29th September to 2nd October. Regular services will continue in September and October, and then after the usual gap in early November, a full season of “Winterlights Specials” and “Santa Express Trains” will run in late November and right through the Christmas period.
Book online at www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk
General Manager, Kerry Noble said:
The planned changes for this August will help secure the long-term future of the railway. In the last couple of years everyone (including our over 800 volunteers) has worked hard to ensure the railway operates on a good commercial basis. 2022 continues to be a difficult trading environment and it is essential that we continue to monitor finances closely. A number of options were explored and we believe this option has the least impact on our customers and that these changes will ensure that we continue to work on a sound basis. I should like to thank everyone for the support given to the railway so far this season and we look forward to serving our customers, and working with all our local partners through our busiest period.
Enquiries and interviews:
Kerry Noble. M: 07719 046975