Great Western Coffee Shop

Sideshoots - associated subjects => Preserved railway lines, Railtours and other rail based attractions => Topic started by: grahame on May 11, 2008, 10:29:15 am



Title: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at T
Post by: grahame on May 11, 2008, 10:29:15 am
Closed, 4th January 1971. Reopened by the West Somerset Railway as a tourist attarction, and now open to main line charters too - the West Somerset Railway that serves Williton (pop 3000), Watchet (5000) and Minehead (11000) is a prime candidate for restoration as a regular transport link from these hard-to-access communities in to Taunton.

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/mmd26.jpg)
Potential Commuter Train?

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/mmd24.jpg)
Butlins brings a LOT of people to Minehead

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/mmd9.jpg)
Minehead Town Centre - a bustling place!

Having been to Minehead (http://www.wellho.net/share/minehead.html) yesterday and travelled along the West Somerset Railway (http://www.wellho.net/share/wsr.html), I wondered what we had here.  And what I have found is a need for aknowledgable update.  Can anyone fill me in on the various ideas that look like they might be practical to use this line as a regular public transport link?


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: devon_metro on May 11, 2008, 10:43:35 am
I'd say something along the line of a summer 'butlins express' similar to last year (with more appropriate timings than last year!) Perhaps also more sensibly priced as the high fare often put people off going on it (inc me!) Sadly it isn't being run this year, although perhaps FGW could do something on summer Saturdays? (Paddington - Reading - Didcot - Swindon - Chippenham (with connecting train from Melksham of course ;)) - Bath - Keynsham - Bristol TM - Nailsea - Yatton - Worle - Taunton (pick up only) and MINEHEAD.)

Perhaps two round trips - 0915 and 1315 from Paddington?

Last years 'Butlins Express' operated by Victa Westlink
(http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/liamy_2006/other/butlin1.jpg)
(http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/liamy_2006/other/bultin2.jpg)

Only problem was that a number of the runs ran as empty trains



Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: John R on May 11, 2008, 11:08:25 am
The problem with the Butlins Express was the timings didn't allow day trippers to the West Somerset Rly and Minehead. The WSR/Butlins haven't been able to find an operator willing to support them this year, following Victa-Westlink's demise.

I believe the WSR's 5 yr plan is considering a diesel shuttle from BL to Taunton, but the obstacles in the privatised railway are considerable (though NYMR have overcome them).  That will appeal to those visiting the railway, but to provide an affordable option for day trippers to Minehead the minimum needed is a DMU service from Bristol to Minehead, say in the 6 weeks in the summer when commuter traffic is lighter. However, unlike yesterday, when FGW staff gave their time for free, running a service down to Minehead and then waiting several hours before the return would be costly in terms of unproductive staff time.

Given Butlins were interested in a service leaving Minehead late morning and arriving back late afternoon, maybe two return trips a day would meet this requirement and that of day trippers. Of course, these services will take paths on the WSR that will be very valuable in the peak for them, so they will need to consider the impact of losing those for the bread and butter customers wanting a trip behind a steam train.

The other consideration is that the line is limited to 25mph. This is fine for an excursion like yesterday, but does make the journey a bit long for the normal daytrip traffic that would be needed to make a service viable. I understand the WSR has no aspiration to increase this due to the significant costs involve once you go above that limit.
 


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on June 21, 2008, 03:49:58 pm
Steam-powered summer specials at West Somerset Railway are under threat after problems with tracks and trains have thrown one of the West's biggest tourist attractions into crisis just before the school holidays.

Only one of the railway's four steam locomotives is in operation after a severe fault on the track damaged wheels of other engines, making them unsafe for passengers. Sources close to the railway say maintenance work carried out free of charge by Network Rail as a training exercise is at the root of the problems - a claim West Somerset Railway manager Paul Conibeare denies.

He said: "The Network Rail train was used to grind the top of the tracks and did not cause this. What we have found on some stretches is an unusual lipping on the side of some of the tracks. When trains travel over tracks, over time some lipping will appear but this is something we haven't encountered before so it has been a learning curve for us."

Maintenance teams are now working through the night to grind down the rails by hand as time is running out before thousands of holiday makers arrive hoping to hop on board one of the iconic steam trains. The extra lipping of the tracks has damaged the trains' wheel flanges and tyres and the railway had no option but to withdraw the engines as the fault could cause engines to derail.

Mr Conibeare said: "Safety is paramount to us which is why we are working hard to sort these problems out."

Diesel trains will be used to substitute steam and ensure ordinary services are not interrupted but some people believe trade will still be hit when disappointed passengers hoping for steam decide to spend their money elsewhere.

The railway's annual family fun days are due to be held on the weekend of July 5 and 6 and although fears have been raised that the technical problems could put the event in jeopardy, Mr Conibeare says it will go ahead as normal.

The railway is running one steam train and one diesel engine to keep to its published timetables. See west-somerset-railway.co.uk for more information.

Full article in Western Daily Press: see
http://www.westpress.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=145786&command=displayContent&sourceNode=231644&home=yes&more_nodeId1=145795&contentPK=20921924


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on September 22, 2008, 11:18:12 pm
"A 62-year-old steam engine which was rescued from a scrap yard has been restored and will take to the rails again in Somerset. The locomotive was built in 1946 but spent 22 years in the scrap yard in south Wales until her rescue in 1996.

The engine, named "Braunton", has been rebuilt using the parts of 13 other scrapped locomotives.

The engine will haul a special fund-raising train for the West Somerset Steam Railway Trust's heritage carriages project on Wednesday, 24 September.

The project aims to restore original Great Western Railway 1930s coaches for use on the WSR."

For full details, see http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/somerset/7627940.stm


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: bignosemac on April 19, 2010, 10:16:16 pm
As part of the GWR 175 celebrations, this years Mixed Traction Weekend is themed 'GWR 175 - Diesels in the West'.

It will feature the WSR home based Hydraulic fleet as well as three guest engines from other Railways.

Highlights
 
  • A feast of Maybach music - with ^Western^, ^Warship^, ^Hymek^ & Class 14 locomotives in action
  • THREE ^guest^ locomotives - ^Western^ No D1062 ^Western Courier^; ^Warship^ No D821 ^Greyhound^ & Class 14 No D9520
  • The return of Class 52 ^Western^ No D1010 Western Campaigner
  • Intensive timetable
  • Refreshments including Hot Food outlets at principal stations
  • Museums, model railways, gift shops, refreshments
  • Shunting demonstration at Dunster
  • DMU Shuttle service from Minehead towards Blue Anchor on all three days
  • Diesel & Electric Preservation Group Heritage Diesel Visitor Centre, Depot & Yard at Williton open for inspection
  • Free bus link between Taunton & Bishops Lydeard
  • Special souvenir programme
  • Day & Weekend rover tickets - cheaper if booked in advance thereby avoiding ticket office queues on the day

More information from the West Somerset Railway website (http://www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk/mixedtraffic.html#asg13).



Edit note: added to calendar. Chris.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: 6 OF 2 redundant adjunct of unimatrix 01 on April 19, 2010, 10:40:57 pm
Ahh there are some advantages to having a route starting at ta4-3_ goiNg threw ta4-4_,ta23-0_ and ta24-6_ :-) Camera in van!


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: bignosemac on August 17, 2010, 09:11:32 pm
A steam gala celebrating the 175th anniversary of the Great Western Railway.

The LNER interloper Tornado is expected to appear!

Further details from the West Somerset Railway (http://www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk/late_summer_weekend.html) website.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: bignosemac on August 17, 2010, 09:17:04 pm
It is confirmed that 60163 Tornado will be returning to the West Somerset Railway on 13-17th September following the repairs to her boiler.

Further information and ticket details can be found on the West Somerset Railway (http://www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk/Tornado.html) website.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: bignosemac on August 19, 2010, 09:34:54 pm
I will be off to the WSR on Monday 13th September for a ride behind Britain's newest kettle, so if anyone wants to join me then let me know here and/or by PM.

Tornado will be used for two return trips on the normal timetable, so there is no need to book in advance. Adult Day Rover tickets are ^14.80.

I plan to phot at Bishops Lydeard for Tornado's departure at 1140 then take the 'normal' steam service from Bishops Lydeard to Watchet at 1230, break there for photting opportunites of Tornado on her way back up to Bishops Lydeard and then a spot of lunch. Thence to Minehead by 'normal' steam again then return on Tornado at 1735.

....and to think I prefer Diesel-Hydraulics!  ;)


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on August 19, 2010, 11:05:35 pm
....and to think I prefer Diesel-Hydraulics!  ;)

There's no accounting for taste.  ::) ;D

However, I'm rather inclined to offer to join you for that day out, bignosemac!  In the past, I've missed travelling behind Tornado, due to certain rather unfortunate circumstances, so I'd like to try and catch her this time!

CfN.  ;) :D ;D


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: robert.nash on August 20, 2010, 07:20:35 am
Hi - I'll be there as long as I can get some time out of the office....

Cheers


Robert


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: robert.nash on August 22, 2010, 01:41:56 am
Time off sorted - will definitely be there...


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: bignosemac on August 22, 2010, 02:31:08 am
Well, that's three of us. Shame there's no GroupSave on the WSR. :(

As I said upthread, anyone else is more than welcome. I'll be catching the 0855 out of Temple Meads, which should be a bit of loco-hauled Mk II....


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Electric train on August 22, 2010, 09:13:03 am
As much as I would like to see that foreigner running on GW metals I don't think I can get down there so I will just have to make do with seeing a storm in mid Hants on Tuesday http://www.watercressline.co.uk/Home (http://www.watercressline.co.uk/Home) (warning sound a little loud)

 :)


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: bignosemac on September 06, 2010, 03:36:52 am
Bumping this thread to see if any other Coffee Shop member would care to join us on this jolly.

You need to be at Taunton station for 1030ish for the bus to Bishops Lydeard at 1047. And the day out as I've planned will get us back to Taunton station at 1914.

If the full day out is not an option then there are other opportunities for a ride behind Tornado for a half-day out. PM me and I can give you details.

bignosemac  :)



Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: johoare on September 06, 2010, 11:32:02 pm
I would love to but need to be at work on the 13th :-(


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on September 06, 2010, 11:36:06 pm
Sorry to learn that you can't join us, Jo: I'll take a few photos, and post them here, to show you what you'll have missed!  ;D


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: johoare on September 06, 2010, 11:45:24 pm
Thank you.. Hopefully there will be a similar thing but at a weekend soon... :)


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: devon_metro on September 06, 2010, 11:54:51 pm
Ill be driving through Taunton in the evening if that is any consolation  :D


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on September 07, 2010, 12:00:20 am
I'll give you a suitable wave, then!  ;D


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: bignosemac on September 07, 2010, 08:57:38 pm
From the Bridgwater Mercury (http://www.bridgwatermercury.co.uk/news/8376603.Writer_s_story_in_new_West_Somerset_Railway_book/?ref=rss):

Quote
A Bridgwater writer^s work has been published in a collection of stories on the West Somerset Railway.

Joe Tiernan, of Halesleigh Road, has written A Special Delivery for the book Ticket To Read.

The book is a selection of 16 short stories that will make you think, laugh and give readers a glimpse of life on and around the West Somerset Railway.

He is part of a Somerset-based writers^ group that came up with the idea to write a book surrounding a local tourist attraction.

Joe said: ^We approached the West Somerset Railway and they thought it was a good idea.

^It has been a really good experience writing the story. The group writes about anything.

^I enjoy writing black humour stories and there are parts of this in my story.^

The book is on sale on a trial basis at Bridgwater Bookshop and Joe will be signing copies of Ticket To Read at the Quantock Gateway on Thursday, September 16 from 6.30pm.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on September 10, 2010, 08:18:46 pm
An update, from the WSR website:

Quote
Following a hugely successful visit by the A1 Pacific locomotive 60163 ^Tornado^ to the West Somerset Railway in 2009 the WSR is delighted to welcome back this historic machine for two more visits in 2010.
The locomotive will be working trains between 4 and 19 September Bishops Lydeard (near Taunton) to Minehead.

The Locomotive will also be working on the 4th and 5th September for our Late Summer Weekend and the 11th and 12th September for the CAMRA Real Ale Festival Weekend on our Minehead Service (1015 and 1415).
We would like to apologise for the non-running of Tornado on Friday 17 September, however it will now be running on the 18 and 19 September. Please see the timetable below.

Tornado will work the following Train services over the CAMRA Real Ale Festival on the 11 and 12 September: On Saturday 11 September 1015 from Minehead; 1230 from Bishops Lydeard; 1405 from Minehead; 1600 from Bishops Lydeard and the 1755 from Minehead. On Sunday 12 the locomotive will work the 1025 from Bishops Lydeard, 1220 from Minehead, 1425 from Bishops Lydeard and 1605 from Minehead.

Two round trips per day will be run and normal fares will apply on the trains headed by ^Tornado^. Advance booking of tickets is possible and although this will not guarantee a booked seat it will allow ticket holders to walk past any queues that have formed at the booking offices. The tickets will also be valid on other WSR service trains on the day. During the two weeks ^Tornado^ will head the 11.40 a.m. and 3.05 p.m. from Bishops Lydeard and the 1.15 p.m. and 5.35 p.m. from Minehead on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays whilst on Tuesdays and Wednesdays the first departure from Bishops Lydeard will be at 11.05 a.m. with the departures for the rest of the day being at 1.15 p.m. from Minehead, 3.05 from Bishops Lydeard, and 5.35 p.m. from Minehead - see the timetables below


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: eightf48544 on September 11, 2010, 11:42:08 am
Well worth going to Beer Festival It's excellent you can watch them turning locos with a pint in your hand.

Been a couple of times on Hertfordshire through trains, first class, breakfast on way down, straight into the beer festival and dinner on way back. Probably beats my favourite ICE3 although not for speed.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: bignosemac on September 13, 2010, 11:46:15 pm
A grand day out! Tornado was in fine fettle. Scared the bejaysus out of Jess when she was shunting at Bishops Lydeard. Even left me with a ringing in the ears. And I thought Valenta engined HSTs were loud.....

Pictures to follow over the next day or two.....


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: bignosemac on September 14, 2010, 07:52:30 pm
Some pictures of 60163 Tornado at Bishops Lydeard along with a few others from the day out.

(http://i598.photobucket.com/albums/tt68/bignosemac/WSR%2013-09-2010/DSCF0128a.jpg)

(http://i598.photobucket.com/albums/tt68/bignosemac/WSR%2013-09-2010/DSCF0136a.jpg)

(http://i598.photobucket.com/albums/tt68/bignosemac/WSR%2013-09-2010/DSCF0140a.jpg)

(http://i598.photobucket.com/albums/tt68/bignosemac/WSR%2013-09-2010/DSCF0142a2.jpg)

D1010 Western Campaigner at Williton.
(http://i598.photobucket.com/albums/tt68/bignosemac/WSR%2013-09-2010/DSCF0169b.jpg)

The West Somerset Railway crosses the trackbed of the West Somerset Mineral Railway near Watchet.
(http://i598.photobucket.com/albums/tt68/bignosemac/WSR%2013-09-2010/DSCF0173a.jpg)

Walking from Watchet to Washford along the former West Somerset Mineral Railway trackbed.
(http://i598.photobucket.com/albums/tt68/bignosemac/WSR%2013-09-2010/DSCF0177b.jpg)

BR(W) 5101 Class 2-6-2T 'Large Prairie' no. 4160 running round at Minehead.
(http://i598.photobucket.com/albums/tt68/bignosemac/WSR%2013-09-2010/DSCF0193a.jpg)

GWR Castle Class 4-6-0 no. 5029 Nunney Castle on shed at Minehead.
(http://i598.photobucket.com/albums/tt68/bignosemac/WSR%2013-09-2010/DSCF0198a.jpg)

GWR 5100 Class 2-6-2T 'Large Prairie' no. 5553 on the turntable at Minehead.
(http://i598.photobucket.com/albums/tt68/bignosemac/WSR%2013-09-2010/DSCF0202a.jpg)

Sunset and 'Right-Away' at Stogumber.
(http://i598.photobucket.com/albums/tt68/bignosemac/WSR%2013-09-2010/DSCF0215a.jpg)

Can we have more stations as immaculately turned out as this on the national network please?
(http://i598.photobucket.com/albums/tt68/bignosemac/WSR%2013-09-2010/DSCF0217a.jpg)


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on September 15, 2010, 12:00:19 am
My own 'first impressions' of Tornado:

Is that her, in the distance?
(http://img214.imageshack.us/img214/4649/015si.jpg) (http://img214.imageshack.us/i/015si.jpg/)

Can't see a bluddy thing, for all that steam!
(http://img822.imageshack.us/img822/4601/017ty.jpg) (http://img822.imageshack.us/i/017ty.jpg/)

Ah ... that's better!
(http://img840.imageshack.us/img840/7631/025ajp.jpg) (http://img840.imageshack.us/i/025ajp.jpg/)

My thanks to members bignosemac and robert.nash for a Grand Day Out!  ;D


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: 6 OF 2 redundant adjunct of unimatrix 01 on September 15, 2010, 12:19:42 am
i saw it at work in watchet.... if i knew you were about i would have said hello


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: inspector_blakey on September 15, 2010, 05:55:31 am
Time for me to shamelessly drop in a photo of the beast, which was taken neither recently nor (obviously!) at the WSR. Still the best kettle out there by an absolute country mile though!

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4128/4991758859_5e39afe339.jpg)


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: 6 OF 2 redundant adjunct of unimatrix 01 on September 15, 2010, 09:36:18 pm
well as a few other people seem to have seen it on the wsr in the past week.......  ;D

(http://www.flickr.com/photos/relex109/4994129236/)

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4088/4994129236_74e1e6bd3b.jpg)



Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on November 14, 2010, 02:23:09 pm
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-11752715):

Quote
A heritage railway is working with the Environment Agency (EA) to move rock in order to repair coastal flood defences in Somerset.

West Somerset Railway will take stone-carrying trains from the mainline network to Minehead.

The EA is installing a 130-metre (427ft) section of rock in front of an existing ridge to protect homes and businesses in the town.

A spokesman said the trains would reduce the need for lorries.

Headed by diesel locomotives, the trains will begin their journey with stone from the Mendip quarries.

Paul Conibeare, general manager of West Somerset Railway, said: "We were pleased to see heavy freight trains back on the branch line and being worked by us in what over the years has become a well-tuned operation. We will always be pleased to help in the future and where possible reduce the number of lorry movements on the local road network."

Councillor Chris Morgan, from West Somerset Council, commended the partnership, which he said "significantly reduces the need for heavy lorries to use our narrow country roads".


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: 6 OF 2 redundant adjunct of unimatrix 01 on November 19, 2010, 08:02:27 pm
the a39 is a total nightmare! hopefully the wsr will get more contracts like this


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: The SprinterMeister on December 29, 2010, 09:44:52 am
Im surprised this subject hasn't come up on here yet.

Twin Engined diesel-hydraulic to the seaside anyone?
 ;D

http://www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk/FGW.html (http://www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk/FGW.html)


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: grahame on December 29, 2010, 10:19:23 am
Actually it has ... but it's a bit hard to know which board to put it in.  It got put into "diary" as it's a specific dated event ...

http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=8128.0


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Toiletdriver on December 29, 2010, 03:45:32 pm
Im surprised this subject hasn't come up on here yet.

Twin Engined diesel-hydraulic to the seaside anyone?
 ;D

http://www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk/FGW.html (http://www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk/FGW.html)

Oy! Stop pinching my jokes!!! ;) ::)


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: The SprinterMeister on January 02, 2011, 05:51:00 pm
Im surprised this subject hasn't come up on here yet.

Twin Engined diesel-hydraulic to the seaside anyone?
 ;D

http://www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk/FGW.html (http://www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk/FGW.html)

Oy! Stop pinching my jokes!!! ;) ::)

Haha, didn't realise you were on here as well!

 ;D



Edit note: Gentle adjustment of quote marks - just to make the joke clear!  Chris.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on April 12, 2011, 01:33:04 pm
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-13048172):

Quote
A new service is launched to bring more tourists to Dunster Castle in west Somerset by steam train.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: 6 OF 2 redundant adjunct of unimatrix 01 on April 12, 2011, 01:47:02 pm
i was going to criticize this, until i read the part about the bus from dunster station to the castle  :D .... its a-bit of a trek !

the a39 is a nightmare its a shame that the wsr can't also offer a faster service between the steam service


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Timmer on April 12, 2011, 05:16:51 pm
the a39 is a nightmare its a shame that the wsr can't also offer a faster service between the steam service
It's a shame they can't offer a service from Taunton station.  :(


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on April 12, 2011, 05:28:48 pm
Indeed - that Minehead bay platform at Taunton is still there (with a bit of digging out, obviously!):  ;D

(http://i.imgur.com/tA35e1Q.jpg?1)


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: 6 OF 2 redundant adjunct of unimatrix 01 on April 12, 2011, 06:40:25 pm
well there is the triangle at norton fitzwarren


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Electric train on April 12, 2011, 07:01:56 pm
well there is the triangle at norton fitzwarren

Ting ting  ::)  sorry could not resist

Has WSR got any asperations to run to a mainline station or is it in the too difficult for NR to deal with folder


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on April 12, 2011, 07:42:31 pm
My understanding is that it's in the West Somerset Railway's "it's too expensive to deal with Network Rail on this one" folder ...  ::) :o :(


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: bignosemac on April 12, 2011, 07:46:49 pm
Has WSR got any asperations to run to a mainline station or is it in the too difficult for NR to deal with folder

Living in Taunton, as I did until my mid twenties, there were regular stories in the Somerset County Gazette about WSR's aspirations to run regular scheduled services to/from Taunton station. Hardly a year passed without some story about WSR's latest plans to do so. Usually backed by various traffic studies showing that the market was there.

When the line to Minehead was re-opened by the WSR in the mid to late 1970s they initially faced objections running into Taunton not from BR but from the local bus operator, Western National.

Today, the major stumbling block does indeed appear to be Network Rail.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: 6 OF 2 redundant adjunct of unimatrix 01 on April 12, 2011, 09:03:06 pm
at some point wasn't the wsr offered that bay platform


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Timmer on April 12, 2011, 09:47:25 pm
Yes I remember the stories and the big plans to run services to Taunton hence the big campaign to get the line better connected to the mainline network with the signalling upgraded. It's just a great shame that it is only used for occasional charters and trains taking stone to bolster Minehead's sea defences.

As someone who lives in Bath I would visit Minehead a lot more than I do if there was a connection at Taunton onto the WSR that isn't a bus. Driving from Bath to Taunton is quite a journey even though it isn't that far as the crow flies as its a slow old route. Going M4/M5 really is going the long way round.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: 6 OF 2 redundant adjunct of unimatrix 01 on April 13, 2011, 12:00:43 am
the only thing i will say is that as things stand at the moment, you can get a bus direct from platform 2 and can get threw tickets which are great value, and that if services did run the journey time with  line speeds as they are now  would probably be longer than the bus


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: signalandtelegraph on April 13, 2011, 07:37:07 pm

ISTR a lot of the early opposition to trains running back into Taunton was from the NUR who were trying to protect the bus drivers jobs.

If the WSR were to run through to Taunton,  I believe  this would require an additional 'train set' to maintain their current timetable. 

Access to the bays pictured would involve a substantial alteration to the signalling system.  Access to the down side bay is curently possible via the relief line. Unfortunately it is not possible to run round which would limit the stock to be used (I believe 'Autocoach' working is not permitted on NR infrastructure!)

All in all, a variety of reasons apart from cost and each taken in isolation might not be a problem.  However when added together then the sums probably dont stack up.

Extension of the Bristol stoppers to Bishops Lydeard/ Norton Fitzwarren would seem to be the way forward.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: super tm on April 13, 2011, 10:52:38 pm
Access to the bays pictured would involve a substantial alteration to the signalling system. 

Would it not be possible for the WSR to run a track alongside the current running line into the bays pictured.  AIUI it used to be four tracked all the way to the junction and it looks like there is sufficient space to lay an extra track.

This would not require any extra signalling and run independent of the current railway.  I noticed when they replaced the level crossing at Norton Fitzwarren with a bridge they seem to have left room for an extra track.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: bignosemac on April 13, 2011, 11:13:07 pm
Still wouldn't solve the run-round problem, leaving only WSRs heritage DMUs able to run into Taunton.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Electric train on April 14, 2011, 07:00:36 am
Access to the bays pictured would involve a substantial alteration to the signalling system. 

Would it not be possible for the WSR to run a track alongside the current running line into the bays pictured.  AIUI it used to be four tracked all the way to the junction and it looks like there is sufficient space to lay an extra track.

This would not require any extra signalling and run independent of the current railway.  I noticed when they replaced the level crossing at Norton Fitzwarren with a bridge they seem to have left room for an extra track.

This is where the Chinnor & Princess Risborough Railway are having problems running from Tame Jcn to PR station and that only runs alongside an NR operational "siding."  NR would I suspect require a fence (post and wire would do) to prevent passengers in the event of evacuation or WSR track / ops staff getting onto its operational lines the WSR track / ops could hold NR track competencies but that would need them being part of the Sentinel scheme, The Bunk at Cholsey achieved it but their parallel running is only a few meters


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: super tm on April 14, 2011, 07:57:29 am
TWERPs (Tunbridge wells and Eridge Railway) has just reopened into Eridge station which has parallel running with network rail and no fence.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: super tm on April 14, 2011, 08:53:57 am
Still wouldn't solve the run-round problem, leaving only WSRs heritage DMUs able to run into Taunton.

There are two platform in the bay and there seems to be enough room leading up to have two tracks.  You could have a run round loop within the platform area.

However I suspect one of the major problems is that signalling cable etx are currently located in the trackbed where the extra track could run.  This would be quite expensive to relocate.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: 6 OF 2 redundant adjunct of unimatrix 01 on April 17, 2011, 04:12:24 pm
or just use the dmu.......


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: thetrout on April 18, 2011, 09:27:30 am
Top and Tail 31's anyone... ;D

It's been done before!


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: 6 OF 2 redundant adjunct of unimatrix 01 on April 18, 2011, 01:49:12 pm
 :) reminds me of another plan down in the southwest


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: 6 OF 2 redundant adjunct of unimatrix 01 on May 02, 2011, 07:18:25 pm
Fgw will be providing a unit on saturday and sunday to run between taunton and bishops lydeard  :D

http://www.tauntontrains.co.uk/NEWS-INFO.htm


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on May 04, 2011, 01:46:09 pm
From thisisthewestcountry (http://www.thisisthewestcountry.co.uk/news/9006175.Duke_of_Gloucester_opens_new_Minehead_Hospital/):

Quote
Two innovative Minehead developments received the royal seal of approval when the Duke of Gloucester officially opened them.

The town's new ^25.5m community hospital and the recently completed ^300,000 Joint Cadet Centre were opened by the Duke yesterday.

Former and current West Somerset Railway staff members welcomed the Duke as he arrived at Minehead Railway Station on the steam train from Bishops Lydeard.

West Somerset Railway General Manager Paul Conibeare said: ^It went very well and what a great time for him to visit - on our 35th anniversary year.^

He said a lot of background work was done to make the visit memorable for the Duke who was presented with a model of the train he travelled on.

He added: ^It all went to plan and were running a few minutes ahead of schedule.^

From thisissomerset (http://www.thisissomerset.co.uk/news/Dream-come-true-Duke-shoves-coal-Somerset-steam-loco/article-3517731-detail/article.html):

Quote
Dream come true as Duke shovels coal on Somerset steam loco

Royal steam enthusiast the Duke of Gloucester realised every steam fan's dream when he rode a steam locomotive footplate during a busy day in the West, even helping to shovel coal.

The Duke was in Somerset, yesterday,to open the new ^25 million Minehead Community Hospital and Minehead Joint Cadet Centre, and his official duties offered the perfect opportunity for him to become a volunteer on the West Somerset Railway

The heritage line runs from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead so the Duke boarded a special train at Bishops Lydeard, carrying VIP guests to Minehead

He rode the footplate for the first few miles, as far as Crowcombe Heathfield station, before joining the coaches for the remainder of the journey.

Lord Lieutenant of Somerset Lady Elizabeth Gass, West Somerset Railway Chairman Humphrey Davies, the Railway's general manager Paul Conibeare and Don Bishop representing the volunteers and supporters of the West Somerset Railway Association were also aboard.

When the train arrived at Minehead the Duke met some of the Railway's volunteer workforce before watching a steam locomotive turned on the turntable which is a big feature of the tourist attraction line.

The Duke is a Patron of the Severn Valley Railway.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: ChrisB on May 04, 2011, 01:49:18 pm
Gloucester? Shurely shum mishtake?......:-)


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: bignosemac on May 04, 2011, 03:28:34 pm
Jammy git!

Us mere mortals have to pay upwards of ^400 for a footplate experience on the WSR.  ;D


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: broadgage on May 06, 2011, 03:54:31 pm
the a39 is a nightmare its a shame that the wsr can't also offer a faster service between the steam service
It's a shame they can't offer a service from Taunton station.  :(

Agree that both through services and faster would be an improvement.
Through services are run from time to time, but not regularly.
A somwhat faster service could be offered by omitting the intermediate stops, but the main problem is the 25 MPH line speed.
Wonder if this could be increased ? I believe that the Great Central Railway at Loughborough has a line speed of 40 MPH, and I believe that much of the "Minehead branch" was 45 MPH in BR days.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: inspector_blakey on May 06, 2011, 04:39:15 pm
The issue of a higher-then-25mph linespeed is a complicated one - most (if not all) heritage lines operate under light railway legislation. This is considerably less burdensome and bureaucratic than the mainline system, but comes with certain limitations, notably a maximum 25 mph speed in normal service.

My knowledge may be out of date, but (at least as I understood it at the time) the GCR was only authorized to operate at maximum speeds of up to 60 mph under certain, very controlled, conditions, and certainly not in normal service.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Electric train on May 06, 2011, 04:53:50 pm
The issue of a higher-then-25mph linespeed is a complicated one - most (if not all) heritage lines operate under light railway legislation. This is considerably less burdensome and bureaucratic than the mainline system, but comes with certain limitations, notably a maximum 25 mph speed in normal service.

My knowledge may be out of date, but (at least as I understood it at the time) the GCR was only authorized to operate at maximum speeds of up to 60 mph under certain, very controlled, conditions, and certainly not in normal service.
I believe that the Watercress Line can operate up 45mph for locomotive testing when it is not open to the public


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Tim on May 06, 2011, 05:05:50 pm
The issue of a higher-then-25mph linespeed is a complicated one - most (if not all) heritage lines operate under light railway legislation. This is considerably less burdensome and bureaucratic than the mainline system, but comes with certain limitations, notably a maximum 25 mph speed in normal service.

My knowledge may be out of date, but (at least as I understood it at the time) the GCR was only authorized to operate at maximum speeds of up to 60 mph under certain, very controlled, conditions, and certainly not in normal service.

The GCR can only run at high speed when closed to teh public and subject to a prior track inspection and only one train running IIUIC


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: anthony215 on May 31, 2011, 02:52:46 pm
A timetable has been published for this according to a email i received.

http://www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk/shopimages/sections/extras/MTW%20Shuttle%20Times%20-%2011th%20and%2012th%20June.pdf

fare is ^5 which is payable on the train. I am planning on coming down for this hopefully so i may see some of you there


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: 6 OF 2 redundant adjunct of unimatrix 01 on May 31, 2011, 05:29:14 pm
well i have a work trial tomorrow so if i get it i will be going


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: bignosemac on June 22, 2011, 03:36:37 am
From the Somerset County Gazette (http://www.somersetcountygazette.co.uk/news/9095642.West_Somerset_Railway_honours_marines_with_train_naming/):

Quote
ROYAL Marines from 40 Commando paraded at Minehead's railway station to mark the renaming of one of the trains in honour of the unit.

The train formally called the 7828 Odney Manor is now the Norton Manor - 40 Commando, commemorating their base at Norton Fitzwarren, near Taunton.

(http://www.somersetcountygazette.co.uk/resources/images/1688989/?type=display)

Major Renny Bulmer of 40 Commando said: ^It is a great honour for the unit to be recognised in this unique manner.

^We have forged close links with West Somerset Railway over the years and it is fantastic that they have decided to name one of their locomotives after the unit's home base.^

Many of the marines on parade during the naming ceremony served last year in Afghanistan.

West Somerset Railway General Manager Paul Conibeare said: ^The railway felt that with 7828 due to return to service with us this year, we should take the opportunity to commemorate the Battalion and its sacrifice with a locomotive nameplate that also continues the naming traditions of the Great Western Railway.^

The day after the naming ceremony families of the marines were treated to a day out in Minehead.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on December 08, 2011, 06:40:05 pm
From thisisthewestcountry (http://www.thisisthewestcountry.co.uk/news/9406287.Simulated_blaze_used_to_train_fire_crews/):

Quote
West Somerset fire crews have tackled one of their most ambitious challenges yet - a simulated fire on board an actual passenger train.

Over 30 volunteers took part as live casualties in the training exercise on West Somerset Railway, complete with injuries and make-up supplied by Minehead's ambulance station.

The scenario was designed to mimic a fire breaking out on a passenger rail car as it approached the outer limits it Minehead Railway Station.

The train and its four carriages stopped away from the platform next to Minehead's Morrison's store so as to make accessing the train even more difficult.

Breathing apparatus crews were tasked with rescuing mannequins from a heavily smoke-filled carriage, while other crews evacuated the volunteers, which included wheelchair users.

Five fire engines from Minehead, Williton and Porlock along with Incident Support Units from Taunton and Wiveliscombe also took part, accompanied by trainee paramedics and a clinical lead paramedic.

Watch Manager Chris Jones, of Minehead Fire Station, said: ^Opportunities like this do not become available that often and this gave all three partners the chance to practice techniques, contingencies and procedures. Following excellent efforts and professionalism from all the crews, all the casualties were located and rescued.^


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on February 24, 2012, 06:18:41 pm
From the Somerset County Gazette (http://www.somersetcountygazette.co.uk/news/west_somerset_news/9546410.Tributes_to_West_Somerset_Railway_enthusiast/):

Quote
Tributes have been paid to a retired policeman and railway enthusiast from Stogumber who lost his battle with cancer last week.

Nigel Lee, 54, moved to the village with his wife Sandra and son Oliver in 2005 because of his love for the West Somerset Railway, after 30 years of service with the Surrey police force.

Otherwise healthy, Nigel was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in April last year, which resulted in him becoming paralysed from the torso down. After lengthy stints in both Musgrove Park Hospital and a hospital in Salisbury, he was looking forward to spending some quality time with his family, but sadly never got a chance to go home.

Wife Sandra said: ^Nigel fought long and hard this last year and even through it all, still supported everyone else. He was always thinking of others. If he could help people he would. He was a good family man, a loving and caring husband, my best friend and soul mate. We had many happy years together. Oliver and I would like to thank all the staff from Ward 9 at Musgrove for their support, they have been absolutely wonderful.^

Nigel was passionate about his volunteer work on the Quantock Belle Dining Train, where he contributed in a variety of ways from stewarding, helping behind the bar and in the kitchen, before taking up the role of roster clerk to organise his fellow volunteers.

The Quantock Belle train manager, Richard Knight, met Nigel seven years ago while he was dining on the train. He said: ^He used to come down from Surrey on a Sunday to work on the train - it was amazing that he used to drive all that way. He absolutely loved it here. He had a wicked sense of humour - when Nigel was on the train there was always a lot of laughter. He was a great man and will be sadly missed.^

Nigel's funeral will take place at St Mary's Church in Stogumber at 1pm next Tuesday (February 28), with the cortege being escorted by police outriders in honour of his service as a traffic motorcyclist, before a service at Taunton Deane Crematorium.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on February 25, 2013, 12:18:03 am
From This is the West Country (http://www.thisisthewestcountry.co.uk/news/somerset_news/10243182._/?):

Quote
Celebration of working together at railway crossing opening

(http://www.thisisthewestcountry.co.uk/resources/images/2341836.jpg?type=articleLandscape)
Father Vincent Woods with West Somerset Railway chairman Humphrey Davies and Watchet town councillor John Irven on the train behind campaigner Linda Stacey and West Somerset Railway general manager Paul Conibeare. PHOTO: Steve Guscott

(http://www.thisisthewestcountry.co.uk/resources/images/2341837/)
Representatives of Jim Kelly's family, Margaret and Phil Moulder at the new crossing. PHOTO: Steve Guscott

Successfully working together was the theme of the official opening of the new wheelchair-friendly Goviers Lane railway crossing in Watchet on Monday.

Campaigners, volunteers, townspeople and railway representatives celebrated with passengers of two special trains which ran from Minehead to Williton with 50-minute breaks at Watchet.

The former layout proved difficult for less mobile and elderly people to negotiate, including Jim Kelly who died after his mobility scooter tipped over at the crossing in 2010.

The new ^66,000 chicane system, funded by Somerset County Council, West Somerset Council and West Somerset Railway, has made pedestrians^ journeys to the town centre, Esplanade and marina much easier.

John Irven, who was instrumental in getting the project off the ground, said: ^This is now our own crossing, reconnecting the town, and I ask everyone as a community to ensure our crossing is used safely and properly, and is kept in a condition we can all continue to be proud of. I hope our brilliant new crossing will continue to bring all of us closer as a community as we move forward together.^

A message from the late Mr Kelly^s family was read out at the ceremony, thanking everyone involved for making the crossing possible: ^Our dad would have been very happy and proud to see this ^ he knew very well that when people work together, have a positive attitude and don^t give up, they can achieve beautiful results, such as this new crossing. Thanks very much on behalf of dad, too, and have a safe crossing from now on.^

West Somerset Railway general manager Paul Conibeare said: ^It was good to see stakeholders and the local community coming together at the official opening of the Goviers Lane crossing, for which we have all been on a long journey.^


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: bobm on March 23, 2013, 02:41:56 pm
Problems for their gala today after a car leaves the road and ends up close to the line at Norton Fitzwarren.

 Somerset County Gazette (http://www.somersetcountygazette.co.uk/news/10308058.Vehicle_plunges_20ft_off_bridge_by_railway_line_near_Taunton/)

Quote
3:00pm

 A Somerset County Council spokesman said: ^There has been some superficial damage to the Norton Railway Bridge which we will repair as soon as possible.
 
"One coping stone has been knocked out from a parapet and two others dislodged.^
 
2:34pm

 THE scene of the incident on the B3227 has been cleared and the road is open as normal.

12:46pm

 THE crash is the second railway-related incident to happen in Somerset in the space of two days.
 
A man, believed to be local and in his 60s, died on Thursday morning after his car was struck by a train at a level crossing in Athelney, near Langport.

12:43pm

A SPOKESMAN for South-West Ambulance Service said: "We were called at 11.19am to reports of a single vehicle that had come off the road before the Allerford Inn at Norton Fitzwazrren.
 
"Two ambulances were sent and found a single female patient in her early 20s. She was taken to Musgrove Park Hospital with head injuries but these are not life-threatening or life-changing."

12:38pm

THE woman driver of a car that crashed off a bridge onto a railway line has walked away unscathed.
 
She ploughed through a fence beside the bridge on the Milverton side of the main road at Norton Fitzwarren, and plummeted 20 feet down onto the track below.
 
Her Ford Fiesta was written off, but she was able to get out, although she was taken to hospital for a check up.
 
Paul Conibeare, general manager of the West Somerset Railway, which owns the line, said she was not believed to have been seriously injured.
 
He added: "She was coming from Milverton and ended up going through the hedgerow and onto the railway line, across the clavert.
 
"Thankfully, she walked away unscathed."

Mr Conibeare said the car had been removed from the track and the WSR's steam gala, which started on Thursday and ends on Sunday, has resumed after a brief break.

12:24pm

 IN a statement, Avon and Somerset Police said: "We were alerted to a collision on Norton Bridge at around 11.17am this morning.
 
"A car had left the road and come to rest near to a railway line.

"Highways and the Council are in attendance."

No-one was seriously injured.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on March 31, 2013, 07:43:26 pm
A video news report, from ITV News (http://www.itv.com/news/west/update/2013-03-22/railway-line-crash-woman-had-a-lucky-escape/?):

Quote
Railway line crash woman had a 'lucky escape'

A young woman had a lucky escape today after her car plunged 25 feet from a bridge onto a railway line.

The car hit track owned by the West Somerset Railway at Norton Fitzwarren near Taunton and then bounced backwards into a ditch.

The driver escaped with a few scratches and managed to make her way back onto the main road as help arrived.

Interviews: Andy Berry, digger driver, and Paul Conibeare from West Somerset Railway (http://vimeo.com/62437589)


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on April 21, 2013, 04:47:28 pm
From This Is The West Country (http://www.thisisthewestcountry.co.uk/news/10334750.Writer_calls_for_reopening_of_Minehead_to_Taunton_rail_service/):

Quote
Writer calls for reopening of Minehead to Taunton rail service

(http://www.thisisthewestcountry.co.uk/resources/images/2396807.jpg?type=articlePortrait)
David Henshaw, author of The Great Railway Conspiracy.

A new book calls for the return of modern through trains to Minehead, after the line fell victim to the Beeching Axe in 1971.

The Great Railway Conspiracy by David Henshaw explores the influence of British Railways Board chairman Dr Richard Beeching^s pivotal 1963 report, The Reshaping of British Railways.

The infamous ^Beeching Report^ suggested a third of all 7,000 stations in the country should close and that passenger services should be cut from thousands of miles of track, including the line linking Taunton and Minehead.

The new book examines the Beeching legacy and how many axed lines are now successfully reopening, as well as analysing the top 30 potential rail reopenings inthe country ^ including the Minehead line.

Mr Henshaw, editor of A to B and Miniature Railway magazines, said: ^Reconnecting Minehead to the national network would transform the railway into a genuine commuter route to Taunton and Bristol, as well as bringing visitors direct to Minehead, while cutting traffic congestion on the A39 in the process. The West Somerset Railway has done a great job of running this as a heritage line but unlike many other heritage lines the Minehead-Taunton route is already connected with the national rail network. Even if a summer-only service was offered, this is the perfect opportunity to get Minehead back onto the modern rail map.^

Paul Conibeare, general manager of West Somerset Railway, is hopeful ongoing talks with train operators could enable a viable link to open in the future. He said: ^We have had meetings with First Great Western about the possibility of mainline trains continuing from Taunton to Bishops Lydeard. There is a mainline link which is used for freight already, so the infrastructure is in place, but it would need to be viable and sustainable. We would not look at running our steam trains to Taunton but to have mainline trains come to us and connect to what is already a very successful tourist attraction.^


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: trainbuff on April 21, 2013, 05:38:26 pm
Surely a Summer service connecting from Paddington or even XC services direct to Minehead could be good for all those going to Butlins. Seeing the amount of luggage getting off trains at Taunton and then transferring to a packed bus would be a winner. Through ticketing and track access charges for the 'interlopers' would surely be a benefit to both The West Somerset AND  FGW andXC.

Certainly a similar thing to what happens at Newquay, especially as passenger numbers for XC seem to have fallen over the last few years. I am not sure for Great Western. Would only need to be 1 train on 'changeover' day for each company to Minehead. I know HST's were stored at Minehead several years ago. I travelled on the Steam Railway and saw ex Virgin Power Cars and coaches mothballed there. (Were these the ones that XC refurbished?)

It is good that the West Somerset is negotiating though. What do others think? Is it workable or even profitable?


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: John R on April 21, 2013, 07:02:42 pm
It was tried half heartedly about five years ago, but was not a success. However, I think that was down to the fact that it was only announced when most people would have already made their arrangements (or, more to the point, those people who might have holidayed at Minehead had a rail connection been available, had by then made alternative plans.)

So if it's going to work it needs to be in place at the start of the year, so that people can plan accordingly.




Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: devon_metro on April 21, 2013, 08:03:58 pm
It was tried half heartedly about five years ago, but was not a success. However, I think that was down to the fact that it was only announced when most people would have already made their arrangements (or, more to the point, those people who might have holidayed at Minehead had a rail connection been available, had by then made alternative plans.)

So if it's going to work it needs to be in place at the start of the year, so that people can plan accordingly.




It was also expensive I believe!


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: John R on April 21, 2013, 08:42:24 pm
Yes, I seem to recall thinking at the time that as an "add-on" from Bristol to Minehead it wasn't cheap, particularly when thinking that the profile of people likely to be taking their summer holidays at Butlins Minehead would imply a relatively limited budget.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: TonyK on April 21, 2013, 09:00:57 pm
As with any other railway service improvement, a bit of money will have to spent in "priming the pump", and the traditional source is the local authority. I wonder if this has been looked at by Somerset CC from a business case point of view?

As for Butlins being an indication of a low budget, I had a look at an apartment for 2 adults, 2 children in May. Regular price is over ^1000.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on April 21, 2013, 09:11:43 pm
That will be the West Somerset Council that is already on the verge of going bust, then?  ::)

See Why West Somerset Council is at risk of going bust (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-20731232)  :-X


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: TonyK on April 21, 2013, 09:14:01 pm
That will be the West Somerset Council that is already on the verge of going bust, then?  ::)

See Why West Somerset Council is at risk of going bust (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-20731232)  :-X

One and the same, which is why I was never confident.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: broadgage on April 24, 2013, 10:22:34 am
IMHO, through trains form the national network onto the WSR is an idea whose time has come.
It may not happen just yet for the reasons already given, but I predict that within a few years we will see regular through services.

Taunton to Minehead is the obvious route, but from furthur away would be a possibility as well.
The large station car park at Bishops Lydeard is regulary well filled in the summer, and many more passengers come on the limited bus service. Presumably many of these customers would use a through train if one existed.

As well as traditional family holidays, Butlins regularly hold large scale religous events and music festivals, these attract huge crowds many of whom dont drive.
Those attending music festivals probably enjoy a drink, and at the religous events many seem to choose not to drive.
Busses dont provide a suitable alternative for these numbers.

On a "butlins day" local chaos often results.

Through trains would considerably relieve matters. At busy times full length loco hauled trains would be well filled, with DMUs being a realistic alternative at less busy times.
I wonder if some of the rules regarding the national network could be relaxed if heritage trains are running at only modest speeds and for short distances on the national network.
Would It really be that dangerous to allow a couple of preserved locomotives and say 8 MK11 coaches to run into Taunton ?



Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: ChrisB on April 24, 2013, 11:08:23 am
Sounds as though Butlins might get asked for a contribution.....:-)


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Puffing Billy on April 24, 2013, 10:53:25 pm
I would love to see regular through trains from Minehead and/or Bishop's Lydeard to Taunton and beyond, but cannot realistically see this happening for some time to come. Mr Conibeare mentions trains "continuing" beyond Taunton onto the WSR, which suggests to me that he envisages the possibility of tweaking the existing  GW timetable to extend current Taunton terminators to Bishop's Lydeard (I do not think regular running beyond BL would be realistic, because the WSR runs at virtually full capacity in summer). This might make the service more economic to GW, but would it be easy to operate in practice? There are no signal boxes between Taunton and Bishop's Lydeard, but (I believe) two junctions with ground frames. Would this necessitate the GW service carrying a guard or pilotman - perhaps someone versed in signalling practices could explain? In the longer term, is the possibility of WSR themselves running through to Taunton not a more likely prospect?

In any case, I think the primary aim has to be improving access from the national network to the WSR itself, with the benefit to Butlins' clients - at the moment at least - a secondary consideration. Butlins relies heavily on its proximity to the motorway, and while high summer on the M5 is my idea of hell, there is much to be said for the convenience of a big family car packed full of luggage. As for the train attracting customers off the buses, the bus does have the advantage that it drives right into the holiday camp. Butlins is only a moderate stroll along the seafront from Minehead station, but those with heavy luggage might be put off. The line does run right along the back of the camp - perhaps a "Butlins Halt" between Dunster and Minehead would be a possibility!


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: 6 OF 2 redundant adjunct of unimatrix 01 on April 24, 2013, 10:57:01 pm
The m5 is not the issue, the a38 around carhampton is a major bottleneck


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on April 24, 2013, 11:04:30 pm
... perhaps a "Butlins Halt" between Dunster and Minehead would be a possibility!

Please pardon my sense of humour, but I couldn't help but envisage such a halt thus: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyuwBW9lNa8  :P ::) ;D


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: TonyK on April 24, 2013, 11:16:00 pm
The m5 is not the issue, the a38 around carhampton is a major bottleneck

More of a problem is the A39, all the way from Bridgwater. I have had the misfortune of driving to Minehead on a summer Saturday more than once. Whether you go via Bridgwater or via Taunton, it is top-start all the way from Williton. Coming home one day, heavily laden with family, we got stuck behind the departing Butliners by the station. Having crawled past the supermarket in a very long time, I noticed the corner of a road atlas sticking out from underneath the great pile of stuff on the rear parcel shelf. I thought if we could get it, we could find another way home. 20 minutes later, as we neared the roundabout 200 metres further, my daughter managed to free it. Triumph was short-lived though, because it was an atlas of France. It may still have been quicker to return to Bristol via Paris and Lyons, but we gave up. These days, I know the area well enough to find my way home by a number of routes, but never find myself there on Saturdays.

Prices are a bit steep, but offers can be had. WSR have discounted Day Rover tickets, but you will have to move fast, as the offer ends on Friday 26 April. You can buy a day rover for an adult for ^10.00, which is ^7.00 off the usual price, valid for one day's unlimited travel until 1 January 2014. Details here (http://www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk/article.php/580/its_back____discounted_day_rovers_special_offer). WSR are good with local residents, too, offering a pass for half price travel. It costs ^10.00 for 2 years, and is available to anyone who is a council tax payer in the post-codes around the railway.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: 6 OF 2 redundant adjunct of unimatrix 01 on April 25, 2013, 01:29:32 am
I'm sorry I did mean the a39... It's been a while since I was up there but you are correct williton as soon as you get to the petrol station


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: bignosemac on April 25, 2013, 02:14:59 am
I remember a summer Saturday journey to Porlock for a family gathering when I was a kid.

There were two cars from Taunton and my step-dad decided to turn left at Cedar Falls and head for Wheddon Cross and Horner. We arrived in Porlock a full 15 minutes before my grandparents, who had crawled along the A358/A39 with the holiday traffic.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: broadgage on April 25, 2013, 08:56:27 am
------- Butlins is only a moderate stroll along the seafront from Minehead station, but those with heavy luggage might be put off. The line does run right along the back of the camp - perhaps a "Butlins Halt" between Dunster and Minehead would be a possibility!


This was seriously considered a few years ago, and like through running might be worth revisiting.
A loop  off the WSR main line into Butlins car park was proposed. This would require several hundred yards of track, 2 points and protecting signals, a platform, and 2 small bridges to carry the loop over a small stream and adjacent footpath/cycleway.
A halt actualy on the line would be less useful as though nearer to Butlins than Minehead station it would still be a bit far with luggage, and would still need one bridge.

A halt actualy on the main line would also be liable to cause delay to other services during loading and unloading at busy times.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: trainbuff on April 25, 2013, 01:11:18 pm
 There are no signal boxes between Taunton and Bishop's Lydeard, but (I believe) two junctions with ground frames. Would this necessitate the GW service carrying a guard or pilotman - perhaps someone versed in signalling practices could explain?

There is a Signalled route into and out of the West Somerset in both directions. This has had to be done to allow Network Rail stone trains onto the WSR. Some deal between NR and the WSR that provided all the materials for the latters new triangle at Norton Fitzwarren. From Taunton access is gained via the Down relief, and is signalled with a Lunar Light Junction Indicator (Feathers!) onto the WSR. Also the route out is signalled as well. Both are Colour lights controlled from Exeter panel (until Didcot takes over!). This was also part of the necessary works to allow NR trains onto the WSR. I would assume that the section runs now from the junction up to Bishops Lydeard, but please correct me if this is not the case on the WSR.

I believe this does make a through service more possible. I hope one can be implemented in the future, but as one of the previous contributors to this thread has pointed out. It does need to be 'primed' and planned well in advance


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Andrew1939 from West Oxon on October 04, 2013, 09:04:37 am
I keep wondering what is happening at the West Somerset Railway. It has been trying for many years to get access to Taunton and now it has that so that occasional excursions can get from the network to the line but nothing seems to be happening on getting some form of public service from Minehead to Taunton. Is it objections from the unions? Or is it that a subsidy would be needed from Somerset County Council and it can no longer find the money due to budgetary constraints? or something else?


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: bobm on October 04, 2013, 10:57:43 am
The last I read, a bid for funding had failed.

 Somerset Gazette (http://www.somersetcountygazette.co.uk/news/9866026.Bid_for_Taunton_to_Minehead_railway_grant_fails/)

Quote
A JOINT bid for a multi-million pound grant which could have made a rail service possible between Minehead and Taunton has been unsuccessful.
 
Somerset County Council joined its Devon counterpart and Exmoor and Dartmoor National Parks in requesting ^3.6million from the Government for a sustainable transport project.
 


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: bignosemac on October 04, 2013, 11:14:23 am
I very much doubt there would be union problems now. There's very little militant union activity by bus drivers these days.

Back in 1976, the nascent West Somerset Railway had to end plans to run into Taunton because of objections from the local branch of the NUR. It wasn't railway workers that were objecting, but bus drivers in the NUR who feared for their livelihoods. The bus drivers were concerned that if the WSR were to reach Taunton it would affect their jobs working the Taunton-Minehead buses. Trying to sort this 'blacking' was a frustrating endeavour for the WSR. They were told by the national executive of the NUR that this was a local branch issue, whilst the local branch of the NUR representing the bus drivers was saying that the 'blacking' was a decision that could only be changed by the executive!! Very odd that the NUR were so militant when a few bus drivers jobs may have been affected, but oddly silent a few years earlier when many of their members were made redundant following BR's closure of the Taunton-Minehead branch.

Back then it was hoped that the WSR would be a commercial public transport operator in addition to a heritage one.

Funding is the major stumbling block. Another is capacity at Taunton station.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Puffing Billy on October 04, 2013, 12:23:39 pm
As a resident of West Somerset, I can see what a phenomenal success the West Somerset Railway is, and understand that they do not want to commit themselves to a project which would compromise their profitability. The most obvious solution I can envisage is one where FGW/Network Rail pay for not only the initial investment necessary for the Taunton-Bishop's Lydeard link to meet the requirements for regular scheduled services, but also its ongoing maintenance. This may well depend on whether it is feasible to fit an extended Bristol-Taunton-Bishop's Lydeard service into the timetable, because otherwise they would incur the expense of running extra empty-stock services. The only variation on this solution, which may be a little fanciful, is for FGW, while bearing the cost of the service, to contract out the running of the trains to the WSR - this would have the advantage that the stock is already in place at Bishop's Lydeard, but would, I assume, necessitate the extension of a fully independent WSR track all the way into Taunton in order to exempt the WSR from having to meet national rail requirements.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: John R on October 04, 2013, 10:15:17 pm
The problem with extending the Bristol - Taunton services is the time it takes to get to and from BL, so an extra unit is inevitable, which would make it uneconomic. However, recent improvements at Norton mean that it would be possible to build a second platform there, and have one for WSR trains, and the other for FGW services. This would cut quite a lot off the return journey from Taunton.

One possibility might be to run a limited service, targeted at giving periodic opportunities for those who would want to use the connection. So for example it could run on Tues and Thus in the summer holiday, offering a day out opportunity from North Somerset stations to the SWR and Minehead. And similarly on some Sats or Suns, which would also offer a reverse opportunity for communities on the WSR to have a day out in Bristol, Bath or elsewhere.

Realistically though, I can't see this happening until more dmu stock becomes available, so 2016 at the earliest. By which time we'll probably be back in franchise letting time, (I confidently expect the new franchise to run into 2016), so thinking about the link will be very low priority for operators.
 


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Puffing Billy on October 06, 2013, 09:52:19 pm
The problem with extending the Bristol - Taunton services is the time it takes to get to and from BL, so an extra unit is inevitable, which would make it uneconomic. However, recent improvements at Norton mean that it would be possible to build a second platform there, and have one for WSR trains, and the other for FGW services. This would cut quite a lot off the return journey from Taunton.

One possibility might be to run a limited service, targeted at giving periodic opportunities for those who would want to use the connection ...

Have not heard that suggestion aired before, and it is an interesting possibility. But surely a station in that location would essentially become a park-and-ride for the Dulverton/Bampton/Wiveliscombe area (as well as the recently expanded Norton Fitzwarren village). I cannot see the WSR considering it worth running connecting services for commuters, and as for leisure travellers heading for the WSR, they already have a half-hourly bus which picks up adjacent to the platform in Taunton and drops them right outside the station at Bishop's Lydeard.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: John R on October 06, 2013, 10:15:36 pm
The problem with extending the Bristol - Taunton services is the time it takes to get to and from BL, so an extra unit is inevitable, which would make it uneconomic. However, recent improvements at Norton mean that it would be possible to build a second platform there, and have one for WSR trains, and the other for FGW services. This would cut quite a lot off the return journey from Taunton.

One possibility might be to run a limited service, targeted at giving periodic opportunities for those who would want to use the connection ...

Have not heard that suggestion aired before, and it is an interesting possibility. But surely a station in that location would essentially become a park-and-ride for the Dulverton/Bampton/Wiveliscombe area (as well as the recently expanded Norton Fitzwarren village). I cannot see the WSR considering it worth running connecting services for commuters, and as for leisure travellers heading for the WSR, they already have a half-hourly bus which picks up adjacent to the platform in Taunton and drops them right outside the station at Bishop's Lydeard.

I believe there are strict planning considerations that preclude the use of Norton platform for anything that involves driving there, so a park and ride would be out of the question, and the only viable use would be as an interchange station.

As for the half hourly bus service, I suspect anything that involves a bus connection immediately puts a lot of prospective punters off. Think of the way it could be marketed, for those looking at a day out in the summer holidays:-

a) direct service (eg from stations Bristol to Taunton) to Norton, where you conveniently change onto a WSR train to Minehead. One through ticket.

b) train to Taunton, then you have to get (OK, where from?) a bus connection to Bishops L (what if the train's late, what if the bus is late, do I have to buy another ticket, is my Family Railcard valid, what about pushchairs, all my picnic coolboxes etc), and then catch the WSR to Minehead.  


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Puffing Billy on October 12, 2013, 04:52:57 pm

I believe there are strict planning considerations that preclude the use of Norton platform for anything that involves driving there, so a park and ride would be out of the question, and the only viable use would be as an interchange station.

I know that that restriction applies to the existing WSR station, but surely the opposite would apply to a new FGW station - would the planning authorities give permission for a new station without car parking? Either it is a flop, in which case it is a waste of time, or it is a success, in which case the local roads get clogged with parked cars.

Assuming the new station is somewhere between Norton Fitzwarren junction and the WSR boundary (any other option would require new pointwork and signalling), trains still have to cross the other running lines to reach it - is this viable for regular services? Is building a station here actually cheaper than simply extending the WSR the rest of the way into the disused platform at Taunton, which would remove any operational problems? If you already assume WSR are happy to run trains to Norton, then no doubt they would go the extra 2 miles to Taunton. This assumes FGW are happy to fund the extension (perhaps in return for a reasonable charge for access to Taunton station), because I do not think the WSR want to pay for it.

Quote
As for the half hourly bus service, I suspect anything that involves a bus connection immediately puts a lot of prospective punters off ...

It may put some off - FGW should promote the bus more explicitly as a WSR link as well as a Minehead link.

Quote
... direct service (eg from stations Bristol to Taunton) to Norton, where you conveniently change onto a WSR train to Minehead. One through ticket.

You can already get a through "buslink" ticket to Minehead, so you can use this as far as Bishop's Lydeard to change for the WSR. WSR,FGW and First Bus need to get together to offer a "West Somerset Link" ticket valid on both the bus and train.
 
Quote
... train to Taunton, then you have to get (OK, where from?) a bus connection to Bishops L (what if the train's late, what if the bus is late ...

As soon as you get off the train at Taunton you are facing a sign directing you back along the same (usually) platform to the bus stop. If you are towards the rear of the train, you can practically jump from the train door to the bus door without your feet touching the ground. As for the timing, I think that for most leisure travellers, half-hourly is a good enough frequency that they will not even bother checking the times - if you strike lucky, you have 2 minutes wait; if it is nearer 30 minutes, you go for a cup of tea and watch the world go by.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: John R on October 12, 2013, 06:09:26 pm
I'm sorry but I don't believe for one moment that eg, a family, let's say a mother and two young children, maybe one in a pushchair would find the option of a bus connection attractive. They are not to know that the bus stop is outside, or even that through fares are available. The possibility of arriving just after a WSR train had departed and having maybe an hour's wait for the next one would be offputting. Yet a simple, stay on the train until Norton and then change onto another one is a safe option.

I discounted the option of the WSR extending to Taunton - they haven't shown any inclination to do it over the last 30 years, so I think one can assume that it's an unattractive option - either down to the capital cost or ongoing running costs including the numerous requirements to run on the national rail network.   By the way, I don't think FGW would pay for any extension of the WSR into Taunton, the infrastructure operator is Network Rail, so any "deal" would be with them (as is currently happening with the second platform at Whitby for the North York Moors Railway).


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on October 13, 2013, 12:09:31 am
Picking up on a point made by Red Squirrel, and reading interesting posts by John R and Puffing Billy subsequently, I'm rather inclined to try to split this topic into a separate discussion on the West Somerset Railway, and merge it with a previous discussion as to why the WSR haven't expanded their services into Taunton yet.

Please bear with me while I do a bit of moving and merging.  ;)


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on November 30, 2013, 03:16:24 am
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-25149914):

Quote
West Somerset Railway sell-off considered by county council

A heritage railway in Somerset could be sold off under plans being considered by the county council.

(http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/71424000/jpg/_71424850_apex_steam_train_01(3).jpg)
The branch line was closed in 1971 and bought a year later by the council

Minehead's West Somerset Railway (WSR), which uses historic steam locomotives, is run by West Somerset Railway plc. The company leases the land from the authority, which owns the freehold, but now the council is looking to sell.

A council spokesman confirmed it was "exploring potential interest from two parties who have expressed interest" but no decisions had been taken.

The 20-mile (32 km) line between Minehead and Taunton was closed by British Railways in 1971 as part of the Beeching cuts. The following year, the council bought the branch line and leased it to the WSR.

Independent councillor Mike Rigby, said the railway now attracts more than 200,000 visitors a year and "puts ^10m into the local economy".

"There's a bid from the West Somerset Railways Association, a support charity, and a bid from the West Somerset Railway PLC that currently operates the railway," he said. "Whatever comes out of this process, we have to make sure, very sure, that the railway can continue to operate."

A West Somerset Railway Plc spokesperson said it was unable to comment at the present time.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on December 29, 2013, 02:49:14 pm
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-25535444):

Quote
West Somerset Railway future 'secure'

(http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/71424000/jpg/_71424850_apex_steam_train_01(3).jpg)
The branch line was closed in 1971 and bought a year later by the council

The immediate future of a heritage railway in Somerset is secure because of an increase in ticket sales during 2013, its general manager has said.

Paul Conibeare said they were "about ^50,000 up on the fares budget which is just over ^2m".

The county council is currently considering selling off Minehead's West Somerset Railway (WSR), which is run by West Somerset Railway plc. A decision is expected at the end of January.

Independent councillor Mike Rigby has said previously that, whatever the outcome, the council needed to be "very sure that the railway can continue to operate". He said there was a bid in from the West Somerset Railways Association, a support charity, and a bid from the West Somerset Railway plc.

Mr Conibeare said: "That ^2m in sales at the ticket office just about keeps the railway going with the coal, salaries and expenses we have throughout the year. Without that we couldn't survive. Any profit we make is reinvested in the business."

He said the heritage line had also been left more than ^1.7m over the last five years through people's wills.

The 20-mile (32 km) line between Minehead and Taunton was closed by British Railways in 1971 as part of the Beeching cuts. The following year, the council bought the branch line and leased it to the WSR.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: TonyK on December 29, 2013, 03:45:02 pm
Whilst nobody likes a cartel, I can see little point in having competing bids from complementary charities. I hope this sale has the interests of the WSR in mind, rather than those of the county council and its taxpayers.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: grahame on May 21, 2014, 01:26:17 pm
West Somerset Railway sell-off plans shelved by council

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-27484808?

Quote
Plans to sell off a heritage railway have been shelved by Somerset County Council after a bidding process failed to find a suitable buyer.

The two bidders for the freehold were West Somerset Railway Plc and the West Somerset Railway Association (WSRA).

As a result of the decision, the WSRA has said it wants to begin negotiating with the West Somerset Railway Plc to make a joint bid.

A WSRA spokesman said: "We believe that the best interests of the heritage railway will be served by a further unified bid to be submitted without delay which satisfies the requirements of both parties as well as ensuring the long term future of the railway."


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: TonyK on May 21, 2014, 07:54:19 pm

Quote
Plans to sell off a heritage railway have been shelved by Somerset County Council after a bidding process failed to find a suitable buyer.

The two bidders for the freehold were West Somerset Railway Plc and the West Somerset Railway Association (WSRA).

As a result of the decision, the WSRA has said it wants to begin negotiating with the West Somerset Railway Plc to make a joint bid.

A WSRA spokesman said: "We believe that the best interests of the heritage railway will be served by a further unified bid to be submitted without delay which satisfies the requirements of both parties as well as ensuring the long term future of the railway."


Whilst nobody likes a cartel, I can see little point in having competing bids from complementary charities. I hope this sale has the interests of the WSR in mind, rather than those of the county council and its taxpayers.

Like I said...


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: bignosemac on May 21, 2014, 08:02:17 pm
Indeed FT,N. Most prescient of you. Crystal ball was working well.

What are the EuroMillions numbers for this week please.  :P ;) ;D


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: grahame on May 21, 2014, 08:06:49 pm
What are the EuroMillions numbers for this week please.  :P ;) ;D

They're here for the main numbers:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50

and

and the stars are here:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

I'm not sure which yet, though



Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: TonyK on May 21, 2014, 08:28:51 pm
I got the right numbers, but not necessarily for the right weeks... (Cue Andre Preview)

The two charities may decide to form a separate not-for-profit company, with directors appointed by both, to handle all the formalities here. That way, only one corporate body is involved, making the process simpler.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: John R on May 22, 2014, 07:56:26 pm
I got the right numbers, but not necessarily for the right weeks... (Cue Andre Preview)

Andrew Preview if you please.




Edit note: Quote marks fixed. CfN


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: TonyK on May 23, 2014, 06:58:30 am
That's easy for you to say...


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on March 12, 2015, 07:36:31 pm
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-31822551):

Quote
Somerset councillor David Huxtable censured over conduct in railway bid process

(http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/74969000/jpg/_74969761_74969760.jpg)
Somerset County Council wanted to sell the freehold of West Somerset Railway but shelved the proposal because neither bidder met the council's criteria

A politician has been censured for bringing his office into disrepute over the sale of a heritage railway.

An investigation found Somerset County Council cabinet member David Huxtable breached the authority's code of conduct during the sale of West Somerset Railway's freehold.

His impartiality was questioned after a Freedom of Information request released emails he shared with a bidder.

The council confirmed Mr Huxtable had now resigned from his cabinet position.

Two groups - the West Somerset Railway Association and West Somerset Railway Plc - bid for the railway's freehold. Mr Huxtable was to sign off the sale.

However, after emails between Mr Huxtable, a Conservative, and Roger Bush from the West Somerset Railway Association were released, their relationship was described as "cosy" by fellow councillor, Mike Rigby, an independent.

The emails showed various statements from Mr Huxtable including:
"I would have thought Mike Rigby would be making a big mistake if he made too much of this proposed transfer of freehold. Perhaps that needs pointing out to him. The quieter this is kept, the better, and making a fuss could be construed as damaging for the railway."
"I think I might open my 'media campaign' which will point out that it is not in the public interest for the Plc to hold the freehold."

A standards committee hearing panel found Mr Huxtable had used his position improperly to give another person an advantage, and conducted himself in a manner which could bring the council into disrepute.

Council leader John Osman said: "This is obviously a devastating outcome for a councillor who has devoted more than 30 years to public service."

He described Mr Huxtable's decision to resign from his cabinet position as an "honourable step to take".

The sale of West Somerset Railway's freehold is currently on hold because neither bidder met the council's criteria.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: broadgage on November 02, 2015, 07:25:38 pm
For some years the West Somerset Railway have run special trains from Bishops Lydeard in connection with the Dunster by candlelight event.
This year, the special trains will NOT be calling at Dunster. According to the local newspaper this is due to concerns about the footpath from the station to the village being unlit!

What nonsense ! The footpath never has been lit, and most locals are well aware of this. For the benefit of visitors unaware of the lack of lighting, there is clear advice in publicity material to "bring a torch"

In previous years there has been a shuttle bus from Minehead station to Dunster village for those who don't fancy the walk. But this year the bus will be the only option for those arriving by rail. Some doubt that the bus service will be adequate for ALL those attending rather than just those who don't fancy the walk.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: grahame on May 18, 2016, 06:36:21 pm
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-somerset-36322169

Quote
Steam trains have been suspended on a heritage railway after an "old military device" was found near a station.

West Somerset Railway (WSR), which runs steam and diesel trains, said services had been suspended "for safety reasons".

According to reports, the device was dislodged from a bank and rolled on to the track.

Police have cordoned off a large area near Watchet station and Brendan Road has been closed as a precaution.

An Avon and Somerset Police spokesman said officers were at the railway station following the discovery of "what is believed to be an old military device".

"The small device will now be examined by experts from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit," he added.

Despite the talk on social media, there is no official suggestion that this is a modern act of terrorism.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: ChrisB on May 18, 2016, 08:53:01 pm
There's a photo somewhere of the rusty item somewhere I've seen, will find it tomorrow. It's not modern for sure


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: bignosemac on May 18, 2016, 09:13:09 pm
Heritage grenade on a heritage railway perhaps?  :P


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: grahame on May 18, 2016, 09:36:34 pm
There's a photo somewhere of the rusty item somewhere I've seen, will find it tomorrow. It's not modern for sure

It's on the page I linked to above  ;D or directly at http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/A692/production/_89724624_img_5128.jpg



Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: bignosemac on May 19, 2016, 02:23:13 am
It seems one has to tread carefully in this part of Somerset.

You never know what you might find, so just Watchet, okay.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: ChrisB on May 19, 2016, 09:14:44 am
It's on the page I linked to above  ;D or directly at http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/A692/production/_89724624_img_5128.jpg

Yup, that's it...


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Tim on May 19, 2016, 09:29:34 am
It seems one has to tread carefully in this part of Somerset.

You never know what you might find, so just Watchet, okay.

Never take a trip on the WSR with BNM, he'll be Taunton you to the end of the line. 


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: bobm on May 19, 2016, 10:31:11 am
I have - and dumped him at Dunster, or was it Blue Anchor can't remember now.   ;D


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on May 19, 2016, 11:10:56 pm
Never take a trip on the WSR with BNM, he'll be Taunton you to the end of the line. 

I know: I did once, and it nearly did mine head in.  ::) :P ;D


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Electric train on May 20, 2016, 09:22:36 am
Never take a trip on the WSR with BNM, he'll be Taunton you to the end of the line. 

I know: I did once, and it nearly did mine head in.  ::) :P ;D

Possibly left by these freedom fighters, they had munitions stashed all over the place

(http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/1200x675/p03hb118.jpg)


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Busboy W1 on June 12, 2016, 09:56:10 pm
After seeing some leaflets and information on FB, GWR are running 150247 from Taunton through to Minehead this coming Sunday to launch a new inclusive ticket aptly named the WSR AWAY DAY, for more information there is a dedicated Eventbrite page: wsrawayday.eventbrite.co.uk

One wonders if this sevice carrys a fair few passengers then it could be the start of something more regular between Taunton & The WSR rather than the 28 bus!


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Rob on the hill on June 13, 2016, 12:23:19 pm
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/wsrawayday-tickets-25928250094
Quote
GWR invite you to a special charter on Sunday 19 June 2016 for the launch of the new WSR Away Day
The Charter will run from Taunton through to Minehead via Bishops Lydeard & Return

Taunton to Minehead
•Departing
•Taunton 1115
•Bishops Lydeard 1135*
•Arriving
•Minehead 1255

Minehead to Taunton
•Departing
•Minehead 1525
•Arriving
•Bishops Lydeard 1630
•Taunton 1705

An on-board trolley will be serving a range of refreshments with all proceeds going to charity.

On arrival at Minehead a launch party will take place with special guests in attendance.

A limited edition "E-ticket" is available for travel on the charter, priced at £25.99. There is only a limited number of tickets so book early.

*Inclusive connection at Bishops Lydeard for those wishing to travel behind a Great Western steam loco to Minehead.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on June 14, 2016, 10:51:54 pm
Many thanks for posting, Busboy W1 and Rob on the hill: I've now taken the opportunity to add details of this event to the Coffee Shop forum's calendar.  ;)

Their picture of 150247, by the way, was taken at Bristol Temple Meads.      Not Taunton.   ;D


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: grahame on June 15, 2016, 01:44:34 am
I rather suspect it won't catch members of The Coffee Shop out, but anyone following the link on the eventbrite site to the location event map will be shown where Minehead Station is.    But return tickets are being sold and you'll need to join the train at Taunton - https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.0231137,-3.1028946,15z .

Good to see through services to Minehead.   With a population of around 12,000 and growing general rail network use year on year, isn't the case for a regular service to Minehead growing all the time?


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: bobm on June 19, 2016, 01:07:55 pm
Saw the train at Bishops Lydeard. It didn't look particularly full.

(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/wsrdmu1.jpg)
(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/wsrdmu2.jpg)


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: Rob on the hill on July 07, 2016, 12:15:39 pm
The charter on 19th June seems to have been to promote the new all-in-one ticket for visitors to the WSR, and includes mainline train to Taunton, bus to Bishops Lydeard and travel on the WSR, and can be booked through GWR.
http://westsomersetrailway.vticket.co.uk/article.php/1236/new-ticket-deal-saves-passengers-almost-20-on-local-attraction
https://exmoor4all.com/2016/06/23/minehead-anticipates-tourism-boost-with-new-all-in-one-west-somerset-railway-ticket/
Quote
Visitors to Minehead, in the heart of Exmoor, will now be able to travel on the West Somerset Railway, the largest heritage railway in the UK, with an all-in-one ticket as GWR trains complete a new ticket initiative.

The initiative sees the launch of a ‘one ticket’ solution enabling passengers to explore Britain’s longest heritage railway, the West Somerset Railway, with GWR rail and a local bus service fare included. The one ticket solution will include train travel from mainline stations and a connecting bus service (at present) from Taunton to Bishops Lydeard.

Visitors travelling from outside of Somerset could see significant savings with the removal of a peak time ticket restriction on a service from London.

Paul Conibeare, West Somerset Railway General Manager, has said; “We are delighted with this news. There has been months of planning and engagement between West Somerset Railway, the Visit Somerset team and the GWR team.  This will be a huge boost for the WSR and the local economy”.

John Turner, Visit Somerset’s Chief Executive and member of the executive board for Exmoor Tourism said; “We have studied a previous example of this kind of development in East Grinstead on the Blue Bell Railway.  Although it was a cross platform link we still believe that we can derive connections between the two schemes due to West Somerset Railway as an attraction being far larger. The Blue Bell team saw 60,000 more visitors and an increase of over a million pounds. With some extensive marketing for West Somerset Railway we will hope that we can see this type of increase over a five-year period”.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line at Taunton (ongoing discussion)
Post by: bobm on July 07, 2016, 09:37:11 pm
As with many things the devil is in the detail.

For anyone travelling via Taunton the "fixed" costs are the £4.50 return bus fare between Taunton and Bishop's Lydeard and the £17.10 ticket on the West Somerset.

From Swindon the all-in price is £58.30 - the off peak day return to Taunton is £37.20 - so the through ticket saves you 50p.  Strangely from Bristol the saving is £8.10

From London the savings are bigger, particularly if you travel on the 07:30 as the through ticket at £95.80 compares to the only valid walk up ticket valid on that train to Taunton of £116.50 - so you have saved before even getting to the West Somerset.

However whether the saving is 50p or £42.30 I guess the fact there is a through ticket will draw people who would not otherwise have travelled, which is a good thing.

(all prices based on the first train of the day from London, arriving at Taunton at 09:44)


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: SandTEngineer on November 29, 2016, 04:57:57 pm
Have not seen this mentioned anywhere yet:
http://westsomersetrailway.vticket.co.uk/article.php/1279/joint-statement-by-wsr-plc-and-minehead-chamber-of-commerce


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: broadgage on November 30, 2016, 05:35:28 pm
Have not seen this mentioned anywhere yet:
http://westsomersetrailway.vticket.co.uk/article.php/1279/joint-statement-by-wsr-plc-and-minehead-chamber-of-commerce

Sounds good.
Over the years there have been many proposals to run through trains from the national network onto the WSR. With very  little result so far, but I feel that this is an idea whose time has come.
A through service from the national network to Minehead would be preferable IMO, but a connecting service with a RELIABLE connection at Bishops Lydeard would be a good start and a lot better than nowt which is what we have now.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: SandTEngineer on November 30, 2016, 06:35:47 pm
Perhaps they could use one of these on the new service ;)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xy72b2VrQRk&feature=youtu.be


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: broadgage on November 30, 2016, 08:24:33 pm
Perhaps they could use one of these on the new service ;)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xy72b2VrQRk&feature=youtu.be


Funny looking thing  :o looks like an underground train, yet sounds as though it is diesel powered and not electric.
Wonder what it is for ? perhaps some sort of rescue unit for LUL in case of traction current failure ? Or a staff shuttle for when the current is turned off at night ?

I suppose it could be used, certainly different and borderline heritage if it is actually an old underground train.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: SandTEngineer on November 30, 2016, 08:48:00 pm
Perhaps they could use one of these on the new service ;)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xy72b2VrQRk&feature=youtu.be


Funny looking thing  :o looks like an underground train, yet sounds as though it is diesel powered and not electric.
Wonder what it is for ? perhaps some sort of rescue unit for LUL in case of traction current failure ? Or a staff shuttle for when the current is turned off at night ?

I suppose it could be used, certainly different and borderline heritage if it is actually an old underground train.

You're obviously not up to date.....
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_Class_230

....and I'm sure that Grahame would love one or two of these on his local line.... ;)


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: grahame on November 30, 2016, 09:06:11 pm
A through service from the national network to Minehead would be preferable IMO, but a connecting service with a RELIABLE connection at Bishops Lydeard would be a good start and a lot better than nowt which is what we have now.

The article says:

Quote
The Minehead Chambers of Commerce and the West Somerset Railway plc both wish to see regular services linking to the national network return to the West Somerset Railway, where they are viable and sustainable and are complementary to the heritage and tourist services established during the 40-year history of progress by the West Somerset Railway since the line re-opened in 1976.

The next stage of fulfilling those ambitions is hoped to be a two-year trial of services on a regular basis linking the national network to the WSRs southern gateway terminus of Bishops Lydeard. It is hoped that trial can commence in 2018 so that the results from it can be taken into account in the next round of railway operator franchising on the national network.

My reading is that the proposal as it now stands is a service train - perhaps a shuttle from Taunton - to Bishop's Lydiard where passengers to / from Williton, Watchet, Dunster and Minehead will change on or off heritage trains, or other trains operated by the heritage railway. The article doesn't tell us whether or not any extra services would run on the WSR - whether the services would just be targeted at making Minehead a more attractive draw for visitors / leisure trips, or whether they're looking at wider markets. The population catchment of the towns and villages served by the line is around 20,000 - much bigger that Looe and comparable with Newquay.

Without a comparable heritage line on my "patch", and without answers to the above, I can't comment on the business case.  But with the potential local passenger numbers based on the cathcments, there would be a strong case for using something like the D Train in the video, basing it at Minehead and running through services if and when heritage trains weren't running.  But I do understand this might be difficult due to the manual operation and heavy labour costs of heritage signalling systems.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: grahame on November 30, 2016, 09:11:44 pm

....and I'm sure that Grahame would love one or two of these on his local line.... ;)


Actually not the solution we're going for.  With a top speed of 60 m.p.h. you would get pathing issues between Chippenham and Swindon.   A turn around at Chippenham is none-robust using current platform, and there's a lot of through traffic to there - so, please, no routine Chippenham turn back of all trains (do it late evening by all means).


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: broadgage on June 05, 2017, 01:03:56 pm
Demands for a regular through service between Minehead and Taunton are growing.

http://www.mineheadraillink.org.uk/ (http://www.mineheadraillink.org.uk/) Link to latest news re this. I feel this would be a considerable step forward for the local economy in view of the poor and worsening bus service.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: Southernman on June 05, 2017, 10:41:45 pm
Demands for a regular through service between Minehead and Taunton are growing.

http://www.mineheadraillink.org.uk/ (http://www.mineheadraillink.org.uk/) Link to latest news re this. I feel this would be a considerable step forward for the local economy in view of the poor and worsening bus service.

I think the difficulties are substantial and are trivialised here. Whilst it is possible to increase the line speed from a modest 25mph this creates issues as all the current operating staff would have to be retrained, stock and track maintained to a higher standard. I suspect that some volunteers would be lost as either not willing or able to deal with the added pressures. What about signalling distances? More staff required if longer hours or a year round services proposed. Its a long single track railway and the 'heritage' feel will be greatly diminished.

How many passengers would in reality use it? Not an easy proposition by any means even if it was desirable - and who will pay? Swanage is a much shorter railway so can keep the 25mph limit.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: broadgage on June 05, 2017, 10:59:50 pm
Faster running might not be that hard.
Signal spacing and braking distances are largely unaltered from BR days, when much of the line was 45 MPH with a few bits of 60MPH.
Modernish stock such as a 158/159 or an HST should be no less safe at 40MPH than heritage stock at 25.

A great many WSR staff have recent or ongoing experience on the national network and are suitably experienced in higher speed operation.

EDIT TO ADD
A member with first hand experience states that the maximum speed in BR days was 55 and not 60 MPH as I believed to be the case. See post #160 for details.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: bignosemac on June 06, 2017, 12:07:44 am
A great many WSR staff have recent or ongoing experience on the national network and are suitably experienced in higher speed operation.

And are retired from said network, or are giving up a little spare time to work voluntarily at a gentler pace. That's certainly the impression I got when I spoke to two signallers in Williton Box a couple weeks ago, when I was allowed up for a chat between trains.

Then there was the station master I spoke with the following week when Flying Scotsman paid a visit as far as Bishops Lydeard. This station master seemed a little put upon that he was required to work on into mid evening even though 60103 wasn't actually going through his patch.

Whatever their experience I don't think you could run a regular scheduled service from the mainline to Minehead with a pool of retired or semi-retired volunteers.

I don't doubt that the permanent way and signalling is in excellent condition. That's probably because there is so much down time for maintenance, again largely by volunteers. A more intensive service require more maintenance. That requires more staff and more capital expenditure.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: grahame on June 06, 2017, 05:11:34 am
Whatever their experience I don't think you could run a regular scheduled service from the mainline to Minehead with a pool of retired or semi-retired volunteers.

The issue of running scheduled services from a volunteer / active retiree pool isn't limited to the Taunton to Minehead line; just try chatting with community bus groups about finding drivers to work scheduled services.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: John R on June 06, 2017, 11:48:34 am
Faster running might not be that hard.
Signal spacing and braking distances are largely unaltered from BR days, when much of the line was 45 MPH with a few bits of 60MPH.
Modernish stock such as a 158/159 or an HST should be no less safe at 40MPH than heritage stock at 25.

A great many WSR staff have recent or ongoing experience on the national network and are suitably experienced in higher speed operation.

The limit of 25mph used to be because preserved railways were covered under a Light Railway Order, which limited them to that speed, but meant a much less onerous (and thus costly) regime to maintain and run the railway.  Although I don't believe LROs exist any more, I suspect that 25mph is still a significant point beyond which there will be much more cost.  The fact that no preserved railway has felt able to justify passenger services beyond 25mph (on its own metals) is a bit of a clue to that.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: TonyK on June 06, 2017, 12:07:41 pm
But which passenger on a preserved railway wants to have his experience of a steam-hauled ride through verdant countryside with semaphore signalling curtailed by unseemly haste? I am more than happy to spend more than an hour riding from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead or back, soaking up the nostalgia. If I were to be a commuter heading from Minehead to Taunton for a train to work in Bristol or elsewhere every weekday, I would want to be conveyed much more quickly.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: bignosemac on June 06, 2017, 12:08:12 pm
The fact that no preserved railway has felt able to justify passenger services beyond 25mph (on its own metals) is a bit of a clue to that.

Nearly a fact. But the Great Central Railway is not limited to 25mph. On my recent visit there I timed both steam and diesel hauled services at 40+mph.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: John R on June 06, 2017, 12:32:43 pm
I was aware that non-passenger services on the GCR could go faster (hence my careful wording), but not that passenger services could.

In response to FTN, yes, I agree that passengers going for the ride are not particularly interested in a faster journey, but the thread was discussing the possibility of a public service type operation, for which speed will be much more important.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: broadgage on June 06, 2017, 02:14:54 pm
I would foresee a mixture of heritage services that call at every station and are limited to 25 MPH, and through commuter services running at 40MPH and calling at principle stations only.

The faster services would use older main line stock that is passed for use on the national network. HSTs are the obvious choice as some will soon be surplus to requirements elsewhere and these now old trains should be affordable to purchase or lease.
The "get you home redundancy" of two power cars would be most valuable on the national network to avoid hugely costly delay minutes in case of breakdown.
HSTs ARE borderline heritage now!
On the heritage line an HST should be able to run on one power car to reduce fuel consumption and maintenance costs.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: John R on June 06, 2017, 02:29:36 pm
The fact that no preserved railway has felt able to justify passenger services beyond 25mph (on its own metals) is a bit of a clue to that.

Nearly a fact. But the Great Central Railway is not limited to 25mph. On my recent visit there I timed both steam and diesel hauled services at 40+mph.

Having done some additional research, the Great Central Rule Book (as at 3/5/15) specifically states that the maximum permitted speed under normal circumstances is 25 mph, and I'm guessing that anything other than normal circumstances would not involve passenger hauled trains.  It also states that checks can be made at any time.

http://www.orr.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/22745/raib-loughborough-central-2016-05-09.pdf


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: chrisr_75 on June 06, 2017, 02:35:00 pm
passenger hauled trains

 ;D ;D


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: John R on June 06, 2017, 02:41:59 pm
Oops! One way of saving on coal I guess!


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: stuving on June 06, 2017, 02:57:14 pm
What John R actually suggested was that any train that exceeded 25 mph would not be passenger hauled. I agree entirely.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: grahame on June 06, 2017, 03:04:54 pm
I would foresee a mixture of heritage services that call at every station and are limited to 25 MPH, and through commuter services running at 40MPH and calling at principle stations only.

I would suggest that an excellent way to finance the new service would be for developers to build Stogumber New Town and Blue Anchor Harbour Retirement Complex served by some of the more minor stations, and finance the build up operation via CIL / 106 funding ... of course, that would turn Stogumber and Blue Anchor into principle stations

Quote
HSTs are the obvious choice ...

Are you sure - can't get to Minehead any more?    / 13th May


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: Adelante_CCT on June 06, 2017, 03:27:47 pm

I can see it now "The 17:36 Great Western Railway service to Westbury, has been cancelled, this is due to a member of staff being unavailable" Cue passengers grumbling and starting to find alternative routes, when suddenly Graham comes along the track pulling a 153.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: broadgage on June 06, 2017, 04:24:38 pm
I would foresee a mixture of heritage services that call at every station and are limited to 25 MPH, and through commuter services running at 40MPH and calling at principle stations only.

I would suggest that an excellent way to finance the new service would be for developers to build Stogumber New Town and Blue Anchor Harbour Retirement Complex served by some of the more minor stations, and finance the build up operation via CIL / 106 funding ... of course, that would turn Stogumber and Blue Anchor into principle stations

Quote
HSTs are the obvious choice ...

Are you sure - can't get to Minehead any more?    / 13th May

I thought that Blue Anchor was ALREADY a retirement complex  :)
As for the prohibition on HSTs to Minehead, they have been there before so presumably whatever the impediment is, it can be removed.

More seriously though at a time of rising housing demand there is something to be said for building more housing in the area and financing rail improvements thus.
There is a large new housing development underway in the general area, but not near a WSR station unfortunately.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: ChrisB on June 06, 2017, 06:40:37 pm
The impediment is the state if the track....


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: bignosemac on June 06, 2017, 06:40:56 pm

As for the prohibition on HSTs to Minehead, they have been there before so presumably whatever the impediment is, it can be removed.

Changes were made, since the last HST went to Minehead, to Watchet's platform face, reducing what was a large gap for boarding and alighting passengers. HST power cars would now foul the platform. That's one reason why the recent GWR railtour from Paddington was cut back to Bishops Lydeard.

Because of the limited clearance HST power cars would have to have the steps up to the cab removed.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: Rhydgaled on June 06, 2017, 07:39:44 pm
More staff required if longer hours or a year round services proposed. Its a long single track railway and the 'heritage' feel will be greatly diminished.
In terms of heritage railways in general, I've thought for a while that any proposals for providing a public-transport service would need to involve a 'National Rail' TOC, who would operate services in the low season (using Sprinter DMUs for example). Then, in the tourist season, the heritage railway would run the services releasing the DMUs for strengthening 'National Rail' services elsewhere. Both would still be limited to 25mph on the heritage railway's infrustructure though.

I would foresee a mixture of heritage services that call at every station and are limited to 25 MPH, and through commuter services running at 40MPH and calling at principle stations only.

The faster services would use older main line stock that is passed for use on the national network. HSTs are the obvious choice as some will soon be surplus to requirements elsewhere and these now old trains should be affordable to purchase or lease.
The "get you home redundancy" of two power cars would be most valuable on the national network to avoid hugely costly delay minutes in case of breakdown.
HSTs ARE borderline heritage now!
The class 150 Sprinters are also borderline heritage, although there's a longer wait before any of them are retired. Class 153s and Pacers though look likely to be withdrawn in the next few years. A problem with your suggestion is that the heritage railway's track standards may not be sufficient for the safety regulator to approve speeds in excess of 25mph; in fact I would guess (without having checked the sectional appendix or anything like that) that the North York Moors railway trains to Whitby are permitted to exceed 25mph on the Network Rail metals but not on the heritage line.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: John R on June 06, 2017, 07:58:27 pm
Indeed, one of the attractions of the NYMR is the ability to have some running at speeds in excess of 25mph once on Network Rail metals.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: bignosemac on June 06, 2017, 11:26:57 pm
The fact that no preserved railway has felt able to justify passenger services beyond 25mph (on its own metals) is a bit of a clue to that.

Nearly a fact. But the Great Central Railway is not limited to 25mph. On my recent visit there I timed both steam and diesel hauled services at 40+mph.

Having done some additional research, the Great Central Rule Book (as at 3/5/15) specifically states that the maximum permitted speed under normal circumstances is 25 mph, and I'm guessing that anything other than normal circumstances would not involve passenger hauled trains.  It also states that checks can be made at any time.

http://www.orr.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/22745/raib-loughborough-central-2016-05-09.pdf

I was there. Speedometer app on my phone recorded a top speed on a Class 37 hauled passenger service of 43mph. Touched 41mph on the steam hauled service too. Even allowing for GPS speedometer inaccuracy I'm confident we ran at speeds in excess of 25mph for sustained periods.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: John R on June 07, 2017, 07:52:10 am
I'm not doubting you BNM. I'm sure they must have now got authority to run at a higher speed as a matter of course, as given the reason those documents are on the ORR site I can't imagine that anyone would flout the rules.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: chrisr_75 on June 07, 2017, 09:27:25 am
given the reason those documents are on the ORR site I can't imagine that anyone would flout the rules.

I can. It didn't stop a mainline operator of heritage trains breaking the rules on a number of occasions and ignoring recommendations from RAIB/ORR for a while, putting the safety of many people at risk.

BNM - maybe you should pass your concerns on to the ORR/RAIB and let them look into it - I think they sometimes do random speed checks on mainline railways, so I see no reason why they shouldn't check a heritage railway out.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: Witham Bobby on June 07, 2017, 11:53:33 am
Signal spacing and braking distances are largely unaltered from BR days, when much of the line was 45 MPH with a few bits of 60MPH.
The line speed on the branch was 55 mph.  No bits of 60 mph (officially at least, although the Swindon & Gloucester RCW Cross Country sets did roll well  ;) )

When I was involved in laying out the signalling for the re-opening, we had to design for a line speed of 40 mph (for DMUs), as was stated in the Light Railway Order (1975) which gave the legal basis for the WSR to operate the railway.  At the time, this was particularly relevant for the AOCL crossings at Dunster (Sea Lane), Leigh Woods and Roebuck Gate, as well as the pedestrian crossing at Watchet (Goviers Lane).

The use of the 40 mph limit never happened, as the year-round DMU service we intended didn't materialise.  The costs of the Running Powers Agreement (for the Norton Fitzwarren - Taunton portion, using the former Up Relief line) and the maintenance and inspection regime for the vehicles proved prohibitive for the penniless WSR of those days.

The line evolved into the heritage railway that exists today, and I know many of those now involved would absolutely resist the ideals us pioneers had, back in the 1970s

perhaps I should add that after working for BR as a signalman, I was employed by the WSR as its first Operating Superintendent, from 1976 to 1979.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on June 07, 2017, 07:20:39 pm
... in which case, may I thank you for your informative (and very well informed) post here, Witham Bobby.  :)



Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: Witham Bobby on June 12, 2017, 10:44:39 am
The WSR held a diesel traction gala last weekend (10 & 11 June 2017) and a GWR operated DMU shuttle was supposed to have operated between Taunton and Bishops Lydeard, with 7 out and back services from Taunton planned for each day.

In the event, the shuttles were cancelled and a rail replacement bus with GWR representative on-board was substituted, for "operational reasons", I gather.

[Edit to correct spelling - on-board, not on-beard  ;D]


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: broadgage on June 12, 2017, 11:30:08 am
I enjoyed the gala but agree that a lack of the expected shuttle to/from Taunton was a disappointment and also shows GWR in a poor light.
Some shuttles up to the network rail boundary were run with WSR DMU, not much good for getting anywhere but an interesting trip over a very seldom used bit of track.
Some wag suggested (light-heartedly) that perhaps we should carry on to Taunton ! after all the notice at the boundary states "West Somerset Railway locomotives not to pass this point" So no problem with a DMU passing the boundary then !


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: phile on June 12, 2017, 09:10:03 pm
The replacement of the Shuttle service by a bus was due to a severe shortage of DMUs which had resulted in many short formed trains and even cancellations.   Running the Shuttle and cancellations taking place would have put GWR in a worse light still.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: TonyK on June 12, 2017, 09:58:24 pm
In the event, the shuttles were cancelled and a rail replacement bus with GWR representative on-board was substituted, for "operational reasons", I gather.

[Edit to correct spelling - on-board, not on-beard  ;D]

You hipster, you...


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: sikejsudjek3 on September 12, 2017, 12:39:04 am
As someone who has worked on a large heritage line's track gang for many years and been a member of the Permanent way institute, I can confirm that the limitation to 25mph running is often nothing to do with the track quality but simply a limitation of the light railway order. ie - to run faster requires a mountain of extra paper work ! It doesn't always require a track upgrade. Some heritage lines have superior track to parts of the national network.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: grahame on September 12, 2017, 01:20:39 am
As someone who has worked on a large heritage line's track gang for many years and been a member of the Permanent way institute, I can confirm that the limitation to 25mph running is often nothing to do with the track quality but simply a limitation of the light railway order. ie - to run faster requires a mountain of extra paper work ! It doesn't always require a track upgrade. Some heritage lines have superior track to parts of the national network.

Welcome to the forum, sikejsudjek3

There are indeed some heritage lines which have superb permanent way ... and I have seen others that struggle to keep their track and rolling stock in working order.  They operate under "light railway order"s - which I understand were brought in under the light railways act of 1896,  facilitated by the transport and works act of 1992 which allows new construction by order of the minister of transport rather than requiring a private act of parliament.   

The approach is very much "let's be sensible and not price a little local service that can do a great deal of good out of the market by imposing mammoth requirements on it", but it's very much a "one size fits all" approach, hence limits like the 25 m.p.h.    This form of low-threshold limitation isn't unique to railways - the Bed and Breakfast rules / laws allow for some relaxations in accommodation provision to owner-run, owner-lives-there hostelries below a certain size, and businesses with less than 6 employees are exempt from certain provisions and paperwork.   Such provision is fantastic to help move things along in a pragmatic way, but adds false hurdles to enhancements just beyond the limit. A sort of poverty trap ...


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: TonyK on September 12, 2017, 11:43:07 am
As someone who has worked on a large heritage line's track gang for many years and been a member of the Permanent way institute, I can confirm that the limitation to 25mph running is often nothing to do with the track quality but simply a limitation of the light railway order. ie - to run faster requires a mountain of extra paper work ! It doesn't always require a track upgrade. Some heritage lines have superior track to parts of the national network.

Welcome indeed, sikejsudjek3!


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: Red Squirrel on September 12, 2017, 12:56:39 pm
It's not just the track, is it? A lot of the rolling stock used on heritage lines, while safe enough at 40km/h, soon starts to look a bit dodgy if you start pulling it along any faster. As well as insecure doors and windows, many of these carriages (which would not have met modern safety standards when new) are now weakened by rust and rot.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: sikejsudjek3 on September 13, 2017, 09:10:53 am
Thanks for the welcome.

Yes it would help if there was another category of light railway order that allowed for faster running using more modern stock (locking doors, etc) maybe up to 40 mph, with the appropriate standard of P.Way tamping and checking. This would make running commuter services over preserved lines more attractive. My own preserved line has been laying continuous welded rail with stressing and welds completed and checked by network rail contractors, has had the rails ultrasonically checked, and regular tamping. Its also visually checked each week.

By contrast I had a trip on the Isle of Wight Ryde to Shanklin service this summer. You'd be hard pressed to find ride quality that bad on most preserved lines ! I'd be amazed if it isn't getting close to safety limits. Through the platforms (and I assume elsewhere ?) it seems to be old bull head rail with shingle ballast. It feels like there is plenty of track twist causing the stock to continually roll. The line speed is around 50 mph ! It felt so bad in places I decided to sit at the back of the second coach.... There is absolutely no way that we would tolerate ride quality that bad on our heritage line. Ironically most of our track is more modern and built to a far higher standard.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on September 13, 2017, 06:12:56 pm
Probably worth splitting this off / separate IOW thread under South Western Railways?

Now done: see http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=18706.0

CfN.  :)



Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: grahame on September 13, 2017, 07:18:15 pm
Probably worth splitting this off / separate IOW thread under South Western Railways?

Now done: see http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=18706.0

CfN.  :)



Many thanks - don't like to 'moderate' myself.  Kinda Judge and Jury thing


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: Red Squirrel on September 13, 2017, 07:55:56 pm
...Kinda Judge and Jury thing

I read that as 'Kinda Judge Judy thing'...

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e5/Judge_Judy_Sheindlin_VF_2012_Shankbone.JPG/220px-Judge_Judy_Sheindlin_VF_2012_Shankbone.JPG)


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: TonyK on September 13, 2017, 10:09:44 pm
It's not just the track, is it? A lot of the rolling stock used on heritage lines, while safe enough at 40km/h, soon starts to look a bit dodgy if you start pulling it along any faster. As well as insecure doors and windows, many of these carriages (which would not have met modern safety standards when new) are now weakened by rust and rot.

A bit like that "new" Severn Beach Line Turbo you described recently.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: broadgage on January 12, 2018, 10:49:14 am
BBC news report that the level crossing near Minehead station is to be upgraded later this year.
At present the crossing has half barriers that are lowered across the relevant part of the road, the upgrade will replace these with barriers that close the entire width of the road to traffic.

There have been numerous instances of crossing misuse by driving around the barriers, and also by queueing on the crossing. I recall one case where the accused motorist said in court that "it was only a steam train" !

This link shows a webcam view of the crossing.http://www.wsr.org.uk/r-cam-md2.htm (http://www.wsr.org.uk/r-cam-md2.htm)

In this view, the present barriers LOOK long enough to cross the entire width of the road, but this is an illusion caused by the camera angle. The road is much wider than it looks in that view.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: Puffing Billy on January 12, 2018, 03:43:04 pm
As a daily user of this crossing, I am surprised to hear that there have been "numerous instances" of people driving round the barriers. I have only personally witnessed one example of this; on finding one morning that the barriers were obviously stuck down in front of me, I dutifully turned round and availed myself of an alternative route (no more than a half-mile detour), but not before I had witnessed several cars ahead of me steering round the barriers, which was obviously completely irresponsible - if the culprits ended up in court, serve them right.

As for queueing on the crossing, I certainly have witnessed this; but surely the extended barriers would make no difference to this problem - if cars are occupying the crossing, then safety dictates that it should not be possible to lower the barriers, which in turn will prevent the railway signals from clearing (at the same time as catching the offenders on camera). I do not know if any obstacle detection system is currently in place - perhaps someone can enlighten us?

I think most cases of this queueing are careless, rather than reckless - motorists, who may have been queueing from a mile back on certain days of the year, creep onto the crossing anticipating that the car in front is about to clear the far side of the crossing only to find too late that it has come to a halt less than a car-length the other side. Perhaps it would be a good idea to extend the box-junction markings ten yards either side of the barriers to allow for momentary lapses in concentration?


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: Red Squirrel on January 12, 2018, 05:26:21 pm
...which in turn will prevent the railway signals from clearing

Depends... if this is an AHB, then as I understand it there is no connection between the barriers and the signalling system.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: stuving on January 12, 2018, 05:55:48 pm
...which in turn will prevent the railway signals from clearing

Depends... if this is an AHB, then as I understand it there is no connection between the barriers and the signalling system.

It's listed (Trackmaps 2010) as an ABCL, meaning locally monitored. The barriers are still half-length, since their fall is triggered by the train - at least usually it is. The local monitor is the driver, who has to be going slow enough to stop if the crossing isn't clear when the train gets to it.

If it is to have full gates, presumably it will be operated from the nearby signal box - though it's not that close, so it would need some heritage CCTV (lenses and mirrors?). All of this supposes that the only types available are the same as on Network Rail, though that's likely as it's down to the ORR in both cases.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: SandTEngineer on January 12, 2018, 06:30:58 pm
...which in turn will prevent the railway signals from clearing

Depends... if this is an AHB, then as I understand it there is no connection between the barriers and the signalling system.

It's listed (Trackmaps 2010) as an ABCL, meaning locally monitored. The barriers are still half-length, since their fall is triggered by the train - at least usually it is. The local monitor is the driver, who has to be going slow enough to stop if the crossing isn't clear when the train gets to it.

If it is to have full gates, presumably it will be operated from the nearby signal box - though it's not that close, so it would need some heritage CCTV (lenses and mirrors?). All of this supposes that the only types available are the same as on Network Rail, though that's likely as it's down to the ORR in both cases.

There used to be a rule that if the monitoring signalbox was within 200m of the level crossing then CCTV is not required.  Need to check the latest standards to see if thats still allowed.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: Puffing Billy on January 12, 2018, 06:39:01 pm
Trains into Minehead are controlled by the signal just before the crossing, operated by the Minehead signalbox - when the signal is switched, the road lights/barrier sequence starts, and the signal aspect does not actually change until the barriers are completely down. Trains out of Minehead are treadle-controlled - the platform starter is cleared in advance, and the train has to pull past it to reach the signalbox, where it picks up the single-line token. Almost immediately afterwards, it hits the treadle to start the road light/barrier sequence, and by the time it reaches the "crossing-clear" indicator light, the barriers should be down. So, as far as I know, the signalman has no control over the barriers for departing trains. In the light of that, you could say that without additional protection, full barriers might represent a tenuous safety hazard, because there is no "escape route" for a vehicle on the crossing.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: grahame on October 31, 2018, 08:36:37 pm
Pictures from a trip on the West Somerset Railway over the last two days

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/wsr_oct18_1.jpg)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/wsr_oct18_3.jpg)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/wsr_oct18_5.jpg)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/wsr_oct18_6.jpg)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/wsr_oct18_4.jpg)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/wsr_oct18_2.jpg)


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: SandTEngineer on October 31, 2018, 10:21:18 pm
I went for a trip last week and was supprised how busy it was for late October.  Looks as though it was the same for your trip.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: TonyK on November 05, 2018, 08:28:41 pm
I went for a trip last week and was surprised how busy it was for late October.  Looks as though it was the same for your trip.

Probably because of all the people who had been waiting for the quieter periods.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: ellendune on November 05, 2018, 09:48:34 pm
I went for a trip last week and was supprised how busy it was for late October.  Looks as though it was the same for your trip.

It was the half term holidays!


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: RA on November 07, 2018, 10:48:47 pm
An interesting development that will see the line closed between the 2nd of January and the 01st of April .

http://www.wsr.org.uk/news.htm


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: grahame on November 07, 2018, 10:53:15 pm
An interesting development that will see the line closed between the 2nd of January and the 01st of April .

http://www.wsr.org.uk/news.htm

Interesting indeed ... one waits to see more details and wonders if the cloud might have some sort of silver lining.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: Red Squirrel on November 08, 2018, 09:24:43 am
With apologies if this has already been posted elsewhere:

Quote
WSR bid to link with Taunton in 2019
Published: 2nd November 2018

(https://www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk/userfiles/news/150%20gwr%20jon%20simons%202.jpg)

The West Somerset Railway has submitted proposals to Great Western Railway for a shuttle train service connecting Taunton and Bishops Lydeard on peak days during the summer of 2019. 

The bid is to GWR's Customer & Communities Improvement Fund and is in competition with hundreds of others from around the Great Western Network.  The results should be known later this year, and if successful, the service could start at the end of May 2019.  The diesel trains, run by GWR, would connect with the WSR steam trains from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead.   

Full article: West Somerset Railway (https://www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk/news/detail/wsr-bid-to-link-with-taunton-in-2019)




Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: eightf48544 on November 08, 2018, 10:34:50 am
Just heard WSR is shutting between 2nd January and 1st April 2019 to carry out PW work and staff training in new new safety and compliance rules  recommended by the ORR after a recent inspection.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: broadgage on November 08, 2018, 11:43:25 am
I find it surprising that deficiencies found during the recent inspection warrant a prolonged closure, but would defer to the expertise of the inspectors regarding this.



Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: Andy on November 08, 2018, 11:55:49 am
I imagine that the extended closure may be needed not only to carry out work required following the recent ORR inspection. There's the usual winter maintenance work to do and, possibly, some additional preparatory work for the shuttle service between Taunton & Bishops Lydeard. 


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: stuving on November 08, 2018, 12:57:09 pm
I find it surprising that deficiencies found during the recent inspection warrant a prolonged closure, but would defer to the expertise of the inspectors regarding this.

Wasn't the inspection specifically about running GWR trains on what was up to now "heritage" track? I remember previous discussions about what that would imply, though maybe not on this thread. In this case it must depend on what ORR were asked for, as well as their interpretation of the rules.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: SandTEngineer on November 08, 2018, 03:18:41 pm
On another website there is a downloadable letter that can be viewed here (note the date): https://www.wsra.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/WSR-PLC-Briefing-23-10-18-3-WSRA.pdf


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: grahame on November 08, 2018, 03:32:38 pm
On another website there is a downloadable letter that can be viewed here (note the date): https://www.wsra.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/WSR-PLC-Briefing-23-10-18-3-WSRA.pdf

There is some very interesting data in there ...

Quote
... we need an annual figure of 500k per year to continually maintain our track bed etc. That provides for no improvement legacy but is simply to conform to the standard which we are required to meet. ...





Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: SandTEngineer on November 08, 2018, 03:52:02 pm
On another website there is a downloadable letter that can be viewed here (note the date): https://www.wsra.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/WSR-PLC-Briefing-23-10-18-3-WSRA.pdf

There is some very interesting data in there ...

Quote
... we need an annual figure of 500k per year to continually maintain our track bed etc. That provides for no improvement legacy but is simply to conform to the standard which we are required to meet. ...

Yes, and thats just the track.  What about the formation itself, bridges, signalling (lots of it on the WSR), stations etc. etc.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: SandTEngineer on November 10, 2018, 03:40:56 pm
Repercusions have started: http://www.thisisthewestcountry.co.uk/news/17215031.two-board-members-of-west-somerset-railway-announce-resignations/?ref=mr&lp=1


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: grahame on November 10, 2018, 05:44:19 pm
Repercusions have started: http://www.thisisthewestcountry.co.uk/news/17215031.two-board-members-of-west-somerset-railway-announce-resignations/?ref=mr&lp=1

And sad to see repercussions on the repercussions ... the public comments seem less than helpful!


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: TonyK on November 12, 2018, 06:39:43 pm
And sad to see repercussions on the repercussions ... the public comments seem less than helpful!

But not very informed one man (women don't troll heritage railways) said:

Quote
Obviously they've not achieved what there role was, and there out before there pension is reprimanded, cowards.

so managing two wrong versions of the common there / their / they're homophonous error. I would think he is probably not the HR member of a FTSE 100 company.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: Lee on November 16, 2018, 08:38:44 am
From Rail Advent: (https://www.railadvent.co.uk/2018/11/west-somerset-railway-release-details-of-action-plan.html)

Quote from: Rail Advent
The West Somerset Railway PLC Chairman, Jon Jones Pratt, has released an update on the situation at the West Somerset Railway, which sees the railway close for 3 months in 2019.

The chairman has explained a number of key changes that will be made in the future, this follows on from the most recent board meeting.

The first change comes as Jon Jones Pratt has been elected unanimously to take on the role of Chairman on a permanent basis, rather than the current interim basis.

He is now working to restructure the board and focus on recruiting new professional directors with key portfolios in order to take the railways 2019 business plan and to deal with the recommendations from the Office of Rail and Road.

The board has seen a number of resignations from current directors recently (more information here). Mr Jones Pratt has thanked them for their good service.

Long-serving WSR plc managing director and HRA Vice Chairman Mark Smith has agreed to re-join the Board as our Policy & Business Development Director.

Now, what we must point out is that the ORR has NOT issued either an Improvement or Prohibition Notice on the West Somerset Railway, this is highlighted by the fact that all of the Santa Specials and Winter steam trains in December are running, and are filling up quickly. Make sure you give them a visit, Im sure they would love to see you!

The railway also hopes to see GWR Manor Class loco No. 7828, originally named Odney Manor, to return to traffic in December. However it will probably return in the guise of Norton Manor 40 Commando

Jon Jones Pratt is currently working on a specific action plan alongside the ORR about their recommendations. He has also made it 100% clear that there was never any major safety threats or unreported dangerous occurrences.

The decision by the West Somerset Railway to close for three months in 2019 has been seen as a positive and responsible decision by the Office of Rail and Road and demonstrates a commitment towards the safety of staff and visitors.

In reality, the closure of 3 months only contains 17 days of normal railway operations and four gala days. Jon Jones Pratt has pointed out that this will hurt the railway financially but it is a short-term pain for the long term as they address the action list.

The ORR letter to the chairman runs for a full eight pages long, however, there is only 5 key points that they have raised that the railway must take action for. Some of these changes are already underway, such as improvements in safety and infrastructure, tightening up procedures, record keeping and compliance, and staff and director appointments.

The West Somerset Railway has already had kind offers of help and assistance from other heritage railways for the postponed Spring Steam Gala. This includes the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, the Welsh Highland Railway and Tyseley.

This shows a big family relationship that exists when it comes to the heritage railway industry, and it is great to see. A new Acting Chief Mechanical Engineer post will be announced shortly.

In terms of more improvements, the railway will be focussing on the training and competency of all staff who hold safety critical roles, such as Drivers, Firemen, Guards, Signalmen and other operating staff. So a new SMS will be written shortly and the HOPS system set up to operate correctly.

Two areas have already begun, along with a department by department review and audit. Mr Jones Pratt has also invited the ORR to deliver some key learning messages and to assist with their training programme of which mandatory dates will be sent out soon this will also be attended by an ORR representative.

To embrace the changes, the railway needs to tighten up its procedures to improve the heritage culture that the West Somerset Railway offers.

Jonathan Jones Pratt has made a personal commitment and the board must:

- The railway must turn this business of ours around

- The railway must operate in a fully compliant manner to satisfy the ORR

- The WSR must improve our revenue and cut our costs where we can

- They must build our business markets further, and focus on the future.

- A recovery plan will also be drawn up at Board level and with senior management

Jonathan Jones Pratt has spoken with members of the Planning Team to let them know about the gala cancellation, and are now looking into holding a gala at a later date to coincide with their 40th Anniversary, once a date is agreed, we will update you.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: Lee on November 28, 2018, 08:47:07 am
From the BBC: (https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-somerset-46360510)

Quote from: BBC
West Somerset Railway (WSR) has vowed to overcome "disharmony" as it carries out a "recovery plan" following an inspection.

WSR decided to close for three months from January following an audit by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR).

The heritage railway was told it had a "significant number of important actions to take" earlier this month.

One of the key issues was tension which had existed between the two main parts of the railway, WSR bosses said.

Chairman Jon Jones Pratt said "disharmony" between West Somerset Railway Plc and West Somerset Railway Association (WSRA) was well known, but the two parts were "working very closely together" on the modernisation plan.

The railway is run by the plc, which employs paid staff. The association is made up of some 1,000 volunteers.

"Ultimately the two organisations need to work aligned for the greater good of this railway," said Mr Pratt.

"It is poor there have been issues in the past, but we've got to move forward."

Following the report by the railway watchdog, WSR promised to "focus on qualifications and effective record keeping".

Mr Pratt said a new board was in place and volunteers were now getting regular updates and being "up-skilled".

He added the structure of the board was also changing with each member getting a specific portfolio responsibility, such as compliance or health and safety.

The closure will only affect 17 days in February when a service normally runs, but the tracks will be in use for engine testing and general maintenance work.

The railway is also hoping to grow its service and has submitted a bid to Great Western Railway (GWR) to run a commuter service from Minehead to Taunton next summer during its 40th anniversary year.

The trial period will run for 50 days during peak times, with the aim of bringing in a regular service, if there is enough local demand.

A GWR spokesman confirmed the bid was made in October and will announce the successful bids in the new year.

Unless, I've missed something ground-breaking news-wise, isn't the bid for Taunton-Bishop's Lydeard connectors only?


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: rogerw on November 28, 2018, 04:53:01 pm
From the BBC: (https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-somerset-46360510)

Unless, I've missed something ground-breaking news-wise, isn't the bid for Taunton-Bishop's Lydeard connectors only?
That was my understanding too


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: grahame on January 23, 2019, 07:58:55 am
An interesting development that will see the line closed between the 2nd of January and the 01st of April .

http://www.wsr.org.uk/news.htm

And from This is the West Country (http://www.thisisthewestcountry.co.uk/news/17377903.jobs-go-at-west-somerset-railway-amid-three-month-closure-after-safety-inspection/)

Quote
Jobs go at West Somerset Railway amid three-month closure after safety inspection

THREE jobs have been axed at West Somerset Railway (WSR) as the organisation confronts a need 'to reduce costs'.

The head of commercial, head of human resources and head of operations roles have been axed in the shake-up, which the railway says is in a bid to 'improve the efficiency and sustainability of the railway in the long term'.

It is not clear how many other positions are under threat.

Chairman of the WSR, Jonathan Jones-Pratt, said: "This is a very challenging time for the railway and we recognise that these decisions have a very significant impact on all our staff, but particularly those directly affected.

"We are very saddened indeed when we have to lose any of our highly committed staff team, but we must act in the interests of the future of the railway as a whole.

"All the staff who have recently left and those who may, following consultation, be leaving in the near future, shall go with our very best wishes for the future."


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: Lee on January 23, 2019, 08:37:06 am
The Chairman had clearly flagged up that a restructure of all departments would take place in early 2019, and this would be consistent with that.

For me, the test for the future of the railway will be whether the WSR genuinely moves on after the closure period, or whether there are further issues beyond that point.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: Timmer on January 23, 2019, 08:46:35 am
It's very sad to see this happening. Hope the new chairman can turn it round as it's a wonderful railway.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: Lee on January 25, 2019, 08:09:51 am
A new community engagement officer has been appointed at the West Somerset Railway - https://www.somersetcountygazette.co.uk/news/17383448.new-appointment-at-west-somerset-railway-days-after-three-jobs-axed/


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: grahame on February 24, 2019, 02:01:38 am
The Chairman had clearly flagged up that a restructure of all departments would take place in early 2019, and this would be consistent with that.

For me, the test for the future of the railway will be whether the WSR genuinely moves on after the closure period, or whether there are further issues beyond that point.

For any Coffee Shop member who are more deeply involved with the West Somerset Railway - from news update on their web site (https://www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk/news/detail/new-date-released-for-postponed-meeting-for-shareholders-staff-and-volunteers)

Quote
Dear Shareholders, Volunteers & Staff Colleagues

We have now been able to confirm a new date for the meeting previously due to be held on Saturday 2nd February 2018.  We would like to invite you to the meeting on Saturday 2nd March 2019, 11am at Oake Manor, Oake, Taunton, Somerset, TA4 1BA.

We will discuss how your railway will be facing up to the challenges of operating Englands Longest Heritage Railway.  What work is planned and what will be deferred for future closure periods, in order to operate our Steam Railway using locomotives which would not have operated on our line in British Railway days.

There will be a series of presentations, at the end of which there will be plenty of opportunity to ask any questions you may have.

If you would like to attend the meeting, please register your attendance with Kerry Noble on 01643 700407 or kerry.noble@wsrail.net

Jonathan Jones-Pratt

Chairman
 


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: TonyK on February 24, 2019, 03:35:25 pm
I'm glad to see that there is no mention of a "meaningful vote". We don't want mass resignations.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: broadgage on March 13, 2019, 07:22:42 pm
Interesting report on TV news about the WSR.
rather doomerish about recently "nearly going bust" But also sounded optimistic about through running to the national network and referred to "talks with GWR" about this.

It was not clear exactly what is talked about, Through GWR services to Minehead ? or a connecting service to Bishops lydeard ?

An interview with Mr. Mendoza was included, the leader of a local group who are pushing for through running.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: bignosemac on March 14, 2019, 05:24:16 am
The volunteers are doing an excellent job trying to keep the show on the road.

The board of directors on the other hand...


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: Red Squirrel on March 14, 2019, 09:53:56 am
The volunteers are doing an excellent job trying to keep the show on the road.

The board of directors on the other hand...

Without good leadership, no amount of goodwill will keep the show on the road. I note that the WSR is taking steps to beef up its board - I don't have a view on whether this will be effective, but I certainly wish them well:

Quote
The West Somerset Railway (WSR) plc has taken steps to further strengthen the Board of Directors with three new role and advisor appointments.

Former WSR plc Managing Director and Heritage Railway Association (HRA) Vice Chairman Mark Smith, who became a plc director late last year, now becomes the company's new Vice Chairman and he will bring his wealth of heritage railway experience to bear on operations.

Mark Smith was MD of the WSR for 18 years from 1988 to 2006 and oversaw one of the biggest growth and successful periods seen on the 23 mile line before 'retiring' and taking on various roles with the HRA.

Martin Brown has been appointed as Safety & Compliance Adviser to the board initially, but with a view to him becoming a full director in due course after a trial period. Mr Brown is currently Crossrail's, or the Elizabeth Line's, Health and Safety Director.

He has a Mechanical Engineering Degree (Sheffield), an MA in Industrial Relations (Warwick) and undertook post graduate research work at Imperial College on impacts of the changes from the Health & Safety at Work Act.

See full announcement on WSR website (https://www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk/news/detail/west-somerset-railway-plc-moves-to-further-strengthen-board-of-directors-with-three-new-roles-and-advisors)


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: grahame on March 14, 2019, 10:39:19 am
The volunteers are doing an excellent job trying to keep the show on the road.

The board of directors on the other hand...

Without good leadership, no amount of goodwill will keep the show on the road. I note that the WSR is taking steps to beef up its board - I don't have a view on whether this will be effective, but I certainly wish them well

A new team can rarely produce results 'overnight' and sadly that's sometimes what's 'needed'. I would be very much inclined to wait and see how things go before commenting in the 'honeymoon period'.   The volunteers doing an "excellent job of keeping the show on the road" is encouraging as it would indicate the faith of that army in a positive future for the railway.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: grahame on March 29, 2019, 11:10:13 am
From Somerset County Gazette (https://www.somersetcountygazette.co.uk/news/17529898.west-somerset-railway-to-reopen-on-march-30/)

Quote
AFTER undertaking more than 100K of infrastructure work, overhauling stall training and sorting out its finances - West Somerset Railway is ready to reopen.

The railway faced an extended winter closure following an inspection from the Office of Rail and Road in November.

Bosses at the railway ordered the closure from January 2 until April in order to carry out a significant number of improvements highlighted by the inspection body.

But things are back on-track for the beloved railway, as service begin to return to normal on Saturday, March 30.

The reopening announcement comes following another inspection of the ORR on Friday, March 22.

WSR plc chairman, Jon Jones Pratt, said: The ORR inspectors were very impressed by all of the massive progress across the board that we have made during a relatively short period, and Im delighted they gave us a clean bill of health to re-open this coming weekend.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: broadgage on March 30, 2019, 07:26:01 pm
One way in which I feel that the WSR could do better (and has done better in the past) is regarding the arrangements for shareholders at the AGM and travel thereto and return.

Until a few years ago, the AGM was held in Minehead with a shareholders special train being put on from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead and return.

This was stopped a few years ago and was IMO a backward step. The withdrawal of the special train, with buffet AND meal service, and its replacement with a couple of second class carriages attached to a service train was in my view a backward step.
I own shares in the railway, I considered buying more shares but decided not to after this.

I appreciate that running the special train costs money, and would not expect it to be free, a significant fare was payable and an increase in this seems reasonable.
3 classes were previously offered, second, first, and dining, usually hauled by one of the larger engines.

It was rather a comedown from champagne served at ones table and consumed from proper glasses, to beer in a plastic cup.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: bradshaw on April 01, 2019, 12:22:07 pm
There is an article on the WSR in the Railway Magazine for April. Starting on p24 it is titled Back from the Brink


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: Red Squirrel on April 05, 2019, 10:17:30 am
There is an article on the WSR in the Railway Magazine for April. Starting on p24 it is titled Back from the Brink

To expand on this:

The 6-page feature paints a very sobering picture of the predicament the WSR found itself in towards the latter half of 2018. As well as financial and organisational problems that required urgent action, the railway needed to spend 140,000 on immediate track repairs just to get the line up to a standard where the ORR was happy for it to run trains; it needs to spend 500,000 a year for the next 10 years on its permanent way to reverse previous 'managed decline'.

WSR chair Jonathan Jones-Pratt is nonetheless reasonably upbeat about the future:

Quote
The business is safe. We're able to trade for 2019. We will need to review the business model again in July, ahead of the next trough when winter comes around again.

However, it is my intention that we act as responsible directors and as a responsible business so that we never again find ourselves in the situation we're in today.

Source: The Railway Magazine, April 2019


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: bradshaw on April 16, 2019, 12:24:30 pm
This appeared via Twitter this morning

https://www.somersetcountygazette.co.uk/news/17576597.west-somerset-railway-train-services-from-taunton-to-bishops-lydeard-could-be-set-to-leave-the-platform-after-60000-boost/


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: Cava on April 16, 2019, 01:04:49 pm
Good to see archive photo from the This is the Age of the Train Weekend.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: Timmer on April 16, 2019, 01:09:28 pm
This appeared via Twitter this morning
https://www.somersetcountygazette.co.uk/news/17576597.west-somerset-railway-train-services-from-taunton-to-bishops-lydeard-could-be-set-to-leave-the-platform-after-60000-boost/
Great news, doesn't say when it's starting though. Anyone know?


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: Lee on May 05, 2019, 01:39:45 am
https://www.somersetlive.co.uk/news/somerset-news/railway-coach-west-somerset-railway-2832942

Quote from: Somerset Live
A West Somerset Railway coach has been targeted by vandals in what's being described as "mindless vandalism".

The coach, stabled overnight at Bishops Lydeard in sidings, is believed to have been struck on Monday evening (April 29) at around 9pm.

A spokesman for the railway said the coach sustained damage including broken glass, with three large carriage windows and two droplight windows in doors being smashed in the attack.

A member of the public contacted the West Somerset Railway about the damage, and general manager Paul Conibeare attended the scene and informed the police.

It's estimated the damage will cost 1,000 to replace and repair.

The railway station has since launched a fundraiser to fund the repairs.

The coach has now been moved to Minehead for repairs in the workshops there, which will hopefully take just a few days to complete if replacement glass is in stock.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: bignosemac on May 06, 2019, 10:53:31 am
There's video floating around on social media apparently showing the eejit doing the damage while being filmed by a mate.

Hopefully that will aid the police in their detection of the miscreants and aid in their prosecution.



Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: Timmer on May 06, 2019, 02:41:21 pm
There's video floating around on social media apparently showing the eejit doing the damage while being filmed by a mate.

Hopefully that will aid the police in their detection of the miscreants and aid in their prosecution.


I certainly hope so.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: GBM on May 06, 2019, 04:01:58 pm
Being an 'oldie', I don't understand the craze for filming yourself doing everything (including eating).
Whilst I can understand filming something lovely; I fail to understand how filming yourself damaging something, then posting it to show off to the world, won't have follow up consequences.
Perhaps the next generation of filming everything will include bank robberies, etc?  ::)


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: Robin Summerhill on May 06, 2019, 05:08:15 pm
Quote from: GBM
Perhaps the next generation of filming everything will include bank robberies, etc?  ::)

No need to do bank jobs any more when they can get just as money out of telephone and email scams...


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: grahame on June 08, 2019, 03:38:52 am
From the Minehead Rail Link Group (http://www.mineheadraillinkgroup.org.uk/component/content/article/105-news/342-wall-of-silence-over-railway-shuttle-trial?Itemid=1395)

Quote
A trail-blazing trial shuttle service linking the national rail network with West Somerset Railway - due to begin this month - still has no known starting date, timetable or details of prices, frustrated railway supporters claimed this week.

Article continues ....


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: Timmer on June 08, 2019, 07:47:58 am
Ive been regularly checking the WSR website hoping for news on this as want to visit the railway this Summer by travelling solely by train.

Its concerning to say the least that nothing is being said. Doesnt look good.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: AMLAG on June 08, 2019, 10:01:27 am
Indeed.

I rang the WSR a few days ago and the Minehead booking/enquiry clerk was apologetically unable to give any confirmation of a possible start date or times etc. of this long aspired for service,  which is now funded, incl a 60,000 CCIF contribution.

One could be forgiven for thinking that if a certain SWT now SWR  Senior Manager with a  farming background had been involved then it would be looking far more certain; viz the several new regular services introduced in the last couple of years between Yeovil and Waterloo via C.Cary, Frome and Westbury etc. (achieved without years and years of talk, promises and little action on the ground), not to mention the main line Saturday services to  Corfe Castle for Swanage.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: broadgage on June 10, 2019, 08:14:00 pm
Do GWR have the stock to run this service?

A regular look at travelwatch would suggest not. Many recent days have seen a dozen or more short formations due to the standard "more trains than usual needing repairs"
I refer here not to the IETs but to the various older DMUs used on branch line services.

What on earth happened to the "loads of spare stock" that would result from IETs and class 387 EMUs displacing older units.

I have a cynical suspicion that this new service will run only for a very short part of the Summer season, and be frequently cancelled due to lack of stock.
Patronage should then be low enough to pronounce through trains as being a failure, and an experiment that does not need repeating for a few years.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: Western Pathfinder on June 10, 2019, 09:38:29 pm
I would think that it all depends on how full a service is going to be offered, as to the amount of stock required to operate this if and when .


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: grahame on June 10, 2019, 10:20:48 pm
What on earth happened to the "loads of spare stock" that would result from IETs and class 387 EMUs displacing older units.

Rumour has it that there's a number of perfectly serviceable trains that could be used for the next 6 months to parked up at Long Marston and Papworth. Further work on them could render them servicable beyond.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: broadgage on June 29, 2019, 01:23:08 pm
Does anyone know what is happening ?
Summer* is now one third* over, and presuming that a couple of weeks notice is to be given of starting the through trains, then summer will be half gone by the time it starts.

*There is more than one definition of summer, but when considering warm weather and holiday arrangements, a commonsense definition of summer is June, July, and August.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: Celestial on June 29, 2019, 01:38:08 pm
It would have started by now but given your close interest, GWR is still trying to find a set with a buffet car.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: broadgage on June 29, 2019, 02:26:45 pm
It would have started by now but given your close interest, GWR is still trying to find a set with a buffet car.

EVEN I would not expect a buffet for the journey between Taunton and Bishops Lydeard !


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: Timmer on June 29, 2019, 06:58:20 pm
Does anyone know what is happening ?
Summer* is now one third* over, and presuming that a couple of weeks notice is to be given of starting the through trains, then summer will be half gone by the time it starts.
Its not looking good is it.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: bignosemac on June 29, 2019, 07:17:22 pm
I'm hearing on the jungle drums that it's unlikely to happen this year, bar one or two 'proving' runs. WSR are being overly cautious after nearly losing their safety certificate before the operating season started this year.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: grahame on June 30, 2019, 12:01:11 pm
I'm hearing on the jungle drums that it's unlikely to happen this year, bar one or two 'proving' runs. WSR are being overly cautious after nearly losing their safety certificate before the operating season started this year.

That does not surprise me. Three pieces of circumstantial evidence point me this way, including a short-notice definite start date ("be prepared to go all hell for leather on publicity 'cos we won't have long") that is now history. But stranger things have happened at short notice!


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: broadgage on June 30, 2019, 04:59:08 pm
At the time, I cynically wondered if the adverse inspection report last year was a politically motivated attempt to prevent, deter, or delay, through running between network rail and the WSR.
I still have slight suspicions.

After reading yes minister, I have a mental picture of a minister for not doing anything saying,
Humphrey ! the wretched locals are on about trains to Minehead again. Any ideas what we can do about this.

Well minister, in view of climate change protests, we cant be seen to be anti-rail can we. But perhaps something more subtle could be done. Should I have a word with the chaps at rail safety, if they look hard enough something wrong could be found to stall this for a few years.

Jolly good idea, Humphrey, see to it please. Oh Humphrey, this might deter any similar nonsense elsewhere.

Yes minister it might.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: broadgage on July 03, 2019, 04:53:59 pm
A recent conversation with several long standing WSR volunteers would appear to support my cynical views.
Remarks included "we have had our warning about the perils of through running, it is costing 250,000 without actually running a through train"

And "they want main line standards, despite being a light railway with a 25MPH limit"

Also "no concerns were raised about the track between bishops Lydeard and Norton Fitzwarren, which was the only bit planned to be used by through trains"

There was a general consensus that GWR do not have the stock to operate the service, and also that any through running had to be "nipped in the bud" lest it led to demands for a regular service.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: Timmer on July 03, 2019, 05:36:49 pm
Well thats that then.

The government should be doing all it can to get people out of cars onto rail. Yes this would have been a tiny step forward in the grand scheme of things, but like whats happening down in the Swanage Railway it doesnt bode well.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: grahame on July 04, 2019, 01:45:30 pm
There was a general consensus that GWR do not have the stock to operate the service ...

They certainly seem to be short of working trains far too often .... 165 / 166 problems this afternoon, the two busiest Swindon to Westbury services of the day cancelled, and no train on that line from 13:29 to 18:48.  Our commuters put up with it too often (somehow!) but I can just imagine how poorly it would be received on what would have been primarily a leisure service, with a different set of customers each day.

Quote
15:19 Swindon to Westbury due 16:00
16:21 Westbury to Swindon due 17:03
17:36 Swindon to Westbury due 18:18
17:36 Swindon to Westbury due 18:18 will be cancelled.
This is due to a fault on this train.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: eightonedee on July 04, 2019, 09:53:21 pm
Perhaps (if and?) when the 769s arrive they could be run for testing on this route as part of their acceptance trials?

If they do not arrive on time presumably the GW fleet will be under strain.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: grahame on July 05, 2019, 05:35:46 am
Perhaps (if and?) when the 769s arrive they could be run for testing on this route as part of their acceptance trials?

An awful long way from any electrics ... I suppose they could run Cardiff to Bishops Lydeard, but perhaps better to initially cascade units displaced from running diesel out of Reading depot on part-electric routes.  Maybe they could be tested on the West Somerset as part of acceptance trials, but that would be irregular and without carrying passengers I suspect.

Quote
If they do not arrive on time presumably the GW fleet will be under strain.

Yes, but that's now a commercial decision to keep the size of the fleet to a manageable minimum and to expect the class 143 pacers to be displaced by incoming trains.  Should the powers that be wish, plenty more 2+4 castles or classics could be taken out of store and run ... to destinations such as Barstaple, Weymouth, Swindon as well as them taking a higher proportion of services on the Cardiff to Penzance service and shorter workings along the way.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: Timmer on July 05, 2019, 06:29:38 am
Yes, but that's now a commercial decision to keep the size of the fleet to a manageable minimum and to expect the class 143 pacers to be displaced by incoming trains.  Should the powers that be wish, plenty more 2+4 castles or classics could be taken out of store and run ... to destinations such as Barstaple, Weymouth, Swindon as well as them taking a higher proportion of services on the Cardiff to Penzance service and shorter workings along the way.
Which has always been the biggest problem of privatisation for passengers that of course TOCs are always going to lease a fleet at the absolute minimum that they can get away with. With an ageing fleet and a lack of investment by TOCs and government leading to short forms and cancellations.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: ellendune on July 05, 2019, 10:10:44 pm
With an ageing fleet and a lack of investment by TOCs and government leading to short forms and cancellations.

Then is it my imagination that every new franchise recently been ordering lots of new trains even sometimes when the existing ones weren't very old (or in SWR's case barely out of the box)?


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: Timmer on July 06, 2019, 07:44:54 am
Then is it my imagination that every new franchise recently been ordering lots of new trains even sometimes when the existing ones weren't very old (or in SWR's case barely out of the box)?
And how many years has this taken and how many franchises are still running ex BR stock that is 30+ years old? Im thinking about the franchises like Northern and GWR where on local lines these trains are set to continue for a good few years yet.

Take a look at todays GWR Journeycheck where you will see 31 services listed as shortformed due to train faults and the 29 on Northerns Journeycheck page. All local services, where old tired rolling stock continues to operate these services. Not much investment there.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: Celestial on July 06, 2019, 09:49:39 am
Then is it my imagination that every new franchise recently been ordering lots of new trains even sometimes when the existing ones weren't very old (or in SWR's case barely out of the box)?
And how many years has this taken and how many franchises are still running ex BR stock that is 30+ years old? Im thinking about the franchises like Northern and GWR where on local lines these trains are set to continue for a good few years yet.

Take a look at todays GWR Journeycheck where you will see 31 services listed as shortformed due to train faults and the 29 on Northerns Journeycheck page. All local services, where old tired rolling stock continues to operate these services. Not much investment there.
Of the 31 12 are one unit running between Bristol and Weston, and another 8  are one unit running around Exeter. So maybe not as bad as 31 initially sounds?

Northern has got a massive order of new stock (in fact the first 9 units started this week), so lots of investment there. It just takes time to deliver.


If you think the trains should have a lifespan of 30 to 40 years then it's not surprising that there is still BR stock running around, 20 years after privatisation.  And I'm sure BR had lots of short formed services every day - we just didn't know about it pre-internet.


And of course, it's the government that really decides which franchises are going to order new stock and how much, so in reality no change there since BR days. 


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: Timmer on July 06, 2019, 10:16:58 am
Northern has got a massive order of new stock (in fact the first 9 units started this week), so lots of investment there. It just takes time to deliver.


If you think the trains should have a lifespan of 30 to 40 years then it's not surprising that there is still BR stock running around, 20 years after privatisation.  And I'm sure BR had lots of short formed services every day - we just didn't know about it pre-internet.


And of course, it's the government that really decides which franchises are going to order new stock and how much, so in reality no change there since BR days. 
Indeed, Northern does have a massive order for new stock which at long last is to be welcomed. My how their passengers have suffered up there for many years because of under investment. Same goes for services in Wales and East Midlands. At least they now have new rolling stock for local services to look forward to whereas we dont.

Cant answer about whether BR had many shortformed services. All I would say is they did have a lot more spare rolling stock at their disposal.

And finally. Yes it is the government that controls what is spent and what isnt in effect dictating how the franchise is run so it is them who I hold responsible for the under investment in our rail network on a local level for so many years.

Please understand my frustration when it comes to the GW franchise on a local level that we would be looking at at least five years before we would see any new rolling stock. On a line that I use, the Cardiff-Portsmouth line, a few years back we were so close to getting brand new trains, now we have Turbos with five across seating, a definite step back from the 158s they are replacing.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: bobm on July 08, 2019, 05:34:53 pm
Service to start on 27th July.

https://www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk/news/detail/new-somerset-train-services-start-on-july-27-gwr-shuttles-to-west-somerset-railway-details-announced (https://www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk/news/detail/new-somerset-train-services-start-on-july-27-gwr-shuttles-to-west-somerset-railway-details-announced)

Quote
Taunton Link for WSR 2019

The WSR and GWR are together providing a rail link between Taunton and Bishops Lydeard on seven Saturdays during the summer of 2019.  Details at a glance are:

Dates.  Trains will run between Taunton and Bishops Lydeard on the following Saturdays:

July 27

August 3, 17, 31

September 7, 21

October 5

(on 3 August, trains will call additionally at Norton Fitzwarren)


More details in the link.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: broadgage on July 08, 2019, 06:26:35 pm
Glad to see this, but just 7 days a year and that only after missing the first two thirds of the summer is not very impressive.

I expect to use at least one of these services, do not know which one as yet.
If any coffee shop members intend to travel, perhaps we might meet.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: grahame on July 08, 2019, 06:29:52 pm
Glad to see this, but just 7 days a year and that only after missing the first two thirds of the summer is not very impressive.

I expect to use at least one of these services, do not know which one as yet.
If any coffee shop members intend to travel, perhaps we might meet.

It is more than 50% likely I will be around on 3rd and / or 4th August, but nowhere near certain.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: bradshaw on July 26, 2019, 07:18:32 pm
The Taunton to Bishops Lydeard shuttle starts tomorrow and then every Saturday thence  August 3rd, 17th, 31st, September 7th, 21st and 5th October

Quote
https://www.tauntontrains.co.uk/newsarchive/2019/07#571 Returns on the Bishops Lydeard - Taunton shuttle are 6.00 for adults and seniors and 3.00 for people aged 3 to 17; singles will cost 4.00 and 2.00. The service will connect with WSR train services allowing passengers who travel out on the first train of the day and back on the last train can have around four hours in Minehead (or less if they wish to travel back on an earlier service). Trains are most likely to be formed of a two coach Class 150 unit and depart Taunton at 09:39, 10:28, 12:10, 15:37 and 16:36, and depart Bishops Lydeard back to Taunton at 10:03, 11:45, 12:53, 16:09 and 17:28..


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: grahame on July 26, 2019, 07:33:43 pm
The Taunton to Bishops Lydeard shuttle starts tomorrow and then every Saturday thence  August 3rd, 17th, 31st, September 7th, 21st and 5th October

I have added the first and last of those to the calendar - though I have described 5th October as "final for the year" with an optimism that we will see more and better in 2020.

Personally I may be there on 3rd August - the fayre at Norton Fitzwarren.  Still waiting to see how the need for RailFuture branch helpers pans out - I want to avoid going all the way from Melksham to Taunton for a single short shift if I possibly can!


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: bobm on July 26, 2019, 07:42:47 pm
Assuming my train to Taunton doesnt fall victim to weekend staff shortages I will there tomorrow.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: bobm on July 27, 2019, 01:18:42 pm
A good turn out for the launch of the new service.

(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/bibdep.jpg)

Among those on the platform at Taunton to welcome the class 150 for the service was Peter Taunton, the town crier of.... er Stafford(!)

(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/bibtc.jpg)

The train was sent on its way by Rebecca Pow, the local MP, with about 90 making the first trip

(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/bibrp.jpg)

(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/bibpass.jpg)

At Bishops Lydeard the train was brought into the same platform as the connecting steam service meaning just a short walk forward for those going to Minehead.

(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/bibplt.jpg)

(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/bibplt2.jpg)

The train will make five round trips on each of the operating days taking 17 minutes to make the journey compared to 31 minutes by the bus (which still runs from outside Taunton Station and continues to Minehead).

(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/bibtok.jpg)

(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/bibarr.jpg)


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: RailCornwall on July 29, 2019, 10:17:54 pm
Planning to do this trip on a Saturday. The 0730 Ex Truro gets into Taunton at 1022 and the Bishops Lydeard service goes out at 1028. Looking at RTT last week that wouldn't seem a problem. If the 0730 was late running how would anyone recommend getting to BL for the 1100 to Minehead? I am presuming a taxi would be the only option. Would GWR hold the BL service for a few minutes if a connection could be made with a slightly late running PZ to Paddington service? The other option would be to use the XC service leaving Truro just after 0700, I'd prefer not to use that though.

Guidance would be welcomed.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: grahame on July 29, 2019, 10:47:05 pm
Planning to do this trip on a Saturday. The 0730 Ex Truro gets into Taunton at 1022 and the Bishops Lydeard service goes out at 1028. Looking at RTT last week that wouldn't seem a problem. If the 0730 was late running how would anyone recommend getting to BL for the 1100 to Minehead? I am presuming a taxi would be the only option. Would GWR hold the BL service for a few minutes if a connection could be made with a slightly late running PZ to Paddington service? The other option would be to use the XC service leaving Truro just after 0700, I'd prefer not to use that though.

Guidance would be welcomed.

At extra nugget but not guidance.  The shuttles are retimed for this Saturday (only) ... it leaves Taunton 1 minute earlier, stops for 2 minutes at Norton Fitzwarren, and arrives Bishops Lydeard a couple of minutes later than other dates.  Special stop due to the steam fayre which is listed on our calendar.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: TonyK on July 29, 2019, 10:51:45 pm
Holding for connections isn't really done these days, but as both the relevant services are GWR, I suppose it's possible. There's a 4-minute stop at Exeter St Dave for the Penzance train which can be used to pick up a couple of minutes, other than which you can but hope.

Are passengers to be embarked at Norton Fitz? I wasn't aware of a platform there.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: bignosemac on July 29, 2019, 11:16:50 pm
The West Somerset Railway have a platform at Norton Fitzwarren. Used occasionally in connection with special events, such as the Steam Fayre, which is held on land adjacent to the WSR's triangle just outside Norton Fitzwarren village.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: grahame on July 30, 2019, 05:04:25 am
The West Somerset Railway have a platform at Norton Fitzwarren. Used occasionally in connection with special events, such as the Steam Fayre, which is held on land adjacent to the WSR's triangle just outside Norton Fitzwarren village.

Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norton_Fitzwarren_railway_station) suggests this is the first call from the National Network at Norton Fitzwarren ...

Quote
The WSR entered into a partnership with the modern Great Western Railway (GWR) in 2019 to operate Summer Saturday services between Taunton and Bishops Lydeard on Saturdays when special events are taking place. On 3 August, services will call additionally at Norton Fitzwarren for the annual Steam Fayre Vintage Rally, run by the WSRA, taking place at the station. The introduction of these GWR services will be the first time the new station has been served by a train from the national rail network.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: bobm on July 30, 2019, 06:03:21 am
When I went past on one of last Saturdays shuttles there appeared to be people working on the platform so perhaps making some last minute preparations?


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: TonyK on July 30, 2019, 02:58:46 pm
History is being made!


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: broadgage on July 30, 2019, 04:53:03 pm
History is being made!

Indeed. Passenger trains from the national network have of course passed through Norton Fitzwarren, and I suspect that the odd one may have stopped for operating reasons, but this would appear to be first ever scheduled stop by a passenger train from the national network.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: Witham Bobby on July 31, 2019, 11:08:06 am
History is being made!

Indeed. Passenger trains from the national network have of course passed through Norton Fitzwarren, and I suspect that the odd one may have stopped for operating reasons, but this would appear to be first ever scheduled stop by a passenger train from the national network.

First stop of a scheduled public passenger train at Norton Fitzwarren from the Taunton direction since 1961.  I know the station is in different location now.  But it's definitely an historic moment.

The station closed by BR was not well used; Norton Fitzwarren was a much smaller village back then.  My aunt and uncle lived there.  I don't suppose it would have occured to them to go to Taunton on the train; he had a three-wheeler for that (A Reliant, I think, with a canvas top).  I was told in the 1970s by a railwayman who had worked around Taunton for many years, that a big part of the reason for closure was the operating inconvenience of trains calling there, when both Main and Relief lines were so busy; it slowed the junction working quite considerably.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: RailCornwall on July 31, 2019, 05:48:57 pm
Thanks for the comments. I'll be sorting a trip for 17th August.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: broadgage on August 02, 2019, 04:11:33 pm
I hope to make at least one return trip from Minehead to Taunton, via WSR services and changing onto GWR at Bishops Lydeard.
Either Saturday 03/08 or Sunday 04/08.

Anyone else coming ? I would be pleased to meet other members on board the WSR service, or at the Plough pub in Taunton, or at the Old Ship Aground pub in Minehead.
My plans are uncertain at present as to time and date.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: grahame on August 02, 2019, 05:37:49 pm
I hope to make at least one return trip from Minehead to Taunton, via WSR services and changing onto GWR at Bishops Lydeard.
Either Saturday 03/08 or Sunday 04/08.

Anyone else coming ? I would be pleased to meet other members on board the WSR service, or at the Plough pub in Taunton, or at the Old Ship Aground pub in Minehead.
My plans are uncertain at present as to time and date.

My weekend schedule

Saturday 3rd
09:30 - 10:15 - welcome "Melksham Remembers" group for meeting at "Well House Collection"
10:45 - 11:30 - attend official launch of Melksham Splashpad
19:00 - 21:00 - Informal meeting of the Bowerhill Villager team at the Refa

Sunday 4th
09:30 - leave home for station
09:50 - 10:05 - travel Melksham to Taunton on train, observe loading and how many transfer towards Weymouth
10:25 - 10:58 - train Westbury to Taunton
Taxi to Norton Fitzwarren (don't think the shuttle runs on Sunday??)
12:00 - 14:00 - stand duty for Railfuture, Severnside Branch at West Somerset Steam Fayre
15:00 - 17:00 - stand duty for Railfuture, Severnside Branch at West Somerset Steam Fayre
Taxi or lift to Taunton Station
17:23 - 18:03 - train Taunton to Westbury
18:45 - 19:00 - train Westbury to Melksham
19:15 home.
Last three items may vary - 17:41 train change at Bath Spa and Trowbridge , 19:56 at Melksham
This variation to be applied if any one of
* I miss the 17:23
* I stop for a very quick pint / natter
* There is a massive crowd in the morning headed for Weymouth and I want to see if they had a good day


Well - you did ask about other people's plans!!


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: PhilWakely on August 03, 2019, 04:46:29 pm
I took advantage of the GWR service after lunch today (breaking my journey home from Reading to Exeter). The journeys were packed as far as Norton Fitzwarren, but thinned out beyond in both directions. Apparently, a journey to Norton Fitzwarren for the steam fayre was FREE from either direction. I am sure that somebody has missed a trick here, given that the cost of the whole season operation is in the region of 160,000.

Also, it will be interesting to see what the patronage is like in future weeks when the steam fayre is not there.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: grahame on August 03, 2019, 05:02:09 pm
My weekend schedule

[snip]

18:45 - 19:00 - train Westbury to Melksham
19:15 home.


Looks like me up the Swanee ...

Quote
Sun, 4 August 18:45 Westbury to Swindon due 19:27
04/08/19 18:45 Westbury to Swindon due 19:27 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.
Additional Information
Customers should use the next service the 19:41 from Westbury which calls at Trowbridge (19:46), Melksham (19:57), Chippenham (20:08) and Swindon (20:33).


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: bignosemac on August 03, 2019, 05:04:19 pm
It'll also be interesting to see the outcome of next week's WSR Extraordinary General Meeting (10th August 2019). The company accounts are also late.

Bridgwater & West Somerset MP Ian Liddell-Grainger has raised concerns about WSR's finances.

WSR's chairman was interviewed by BBC Points West on Friday 2nd August. I personally wasn't convinced by his responses to questions about the WSR's finances and why the accounts are late.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: TonyK on August 03, 2019, 05:58:53 pm
Hm. Late accounts is not usually a good sign. Here's hoping it is a mere administrative slip.


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: bradshaw on August 03, 2019, 06:03:39 pm
From the News section of the WSR website

Quote
The Railway wishes to announce that Mr Conibeare has decided to leave the Railway from Wednesday 31 July   2019.   Mr Conibeare started with the Railway in 1983 and has held a number of posts, latterly as General Manager. 

Mr Conibeare has decided that the time was right to move on to new challenges and we wish him well.   


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: IndustryInsider on September 08, 2019, 12:32:57 pm
Do GWR have the stock to run this service?

I have a cynical suspicion that this new service will run only for a very short part of the Summer season, and be frequently cancelled due to lack of stock.
Patronage should then be low enough to pronounce through trains as being a failure, and an experiment that does not need repeating for a few years.

I see everything ran on the last week of the trial on 7th September, but do we know how successful the trial was (either anecdotally or officially), and whether any trains were cancelled due to lack of stock or other problems on any of the other weeks of operation? 


Title: Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line
Post by: martyjon on September 08, 2019, 08:08:22 pm
Help please.

Any forum member know if Taunton - Bishops Lydeard shuttle is running on  tne 28th September, RTT seems to think it is as there are STP journeys / times for that date but the WSR website says running on 21st September and 5th October as I want to treat my great niece and her mum, dad and older sister to a belated birthday treat with a journey on Thomas's or one of his friends train as it was her 4th birthday this weekend and it is my sisters on the 4th October and her and hubby will tag along too as they live in Taunton. I suppose I could always phone the WSR, they should know.



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