On Thursday (27th December 2018) Joseph Rogers, author of the forthcoming title Britain's Greatest Bridges, became the first person recorded by the West Somerset Railway to run from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead via every station on the line. Joseph, who also works with the railway's Commercial Team, left Bishops Lydeard Station with the first service of the day at 1015 and arrived in Minehead at 1544, 3 minutes before the final arrival at Minehead.
Along the route totalling 24.1 miles, he received signatures from volunteers at all the stations to record his time and even stopped at the unmanned Doniford Halt. He then returned to Bishops Lydeard on the final departure from Minehead at 1615.
The route follows safe areas around the West Somerset Railway following public footpaths.
Such a challenge had been proposed on the official West Somerset Railway website for the year, with a sheet available to print off to record each station visit, but until now, no such form had ever been completed and handed back to the railway.
“Hopefully many more will come forward to attempt this in the future” Joseph explained. “It would be a great way to help raise money for some worthy causes, including the railway itself”.
Joseph's challenge came at rather short notice, with only a few running days left before the end of the running season.
The West Somerset Railway now commences its Winter maintenance programme, ready for reopening on 30th March 2019.