Scheduled trains direct from Taunton to the West Somerset Railway will run on peak days this summer thanks to grant from the Great Western Railway’s Customer and Communities Improvement Fund.
A GWR shuttle service from Taunton to Bishops Lydeard will provide the link on selected days throughout the summer, starting in June.
The Exmoor Gateway project will improve social mobility for West Somerset and provide better access to the hugely popular West Somerset Railway, with its steam trains to the seaside at Minehead. A trail blazing joint venture between GWR and the WSR, it will also provide the first practical experience in running a regular national rail service over a heritage line and provide data on costs and benefits for the future.
WSR Chairman Jonathan Jones-Pratt said:
"We welcome the chance to work with our colleagues on GWR to bring more visitors to this lovely part of Somerset, and to enjoy the sight and sound of steam trains to the seaside. What better way to start a holiday or have a great day out?"
In the meantime, and on days when the special shuttle trains are not running, the link is provided by Buses of Somerset route 28, running direct from Taunton station (platform 2 exit) to the WSR at Bishops Lydeard station, again at the back of platform 2. Through tickets are available from principal GWR stations to the WSR, which include both bus and train link.