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Author Topic: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - merged topic, ongoing discussion  (Read 106571 times)
broadgage
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« Reply #60 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.  Sad

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.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
inspector_blakey
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« Reply #61 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My knowledge may be out of date, but (at least as I understood it at the time) the GCR was only authorized to operate at maximum speeds of up to 60 mph under certain, very controlled,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.
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« Reply #62 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My knowledge may be out of date, but (at least as I understood it at the time) the GCR was only authorized to operate at maximum speeds of up to 60 mph under certain, very controlled,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
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« Reply #63 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
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anthony215
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« Reply #64 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
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« Reply #65 on: May 31, 2011, 05:29:14 pm »

well i have a work trial tomorrow so if i get it i will be going
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bignosemac
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« Reply #66 on: June 22, 2011, 03:36:37 am »

From the Somerset County Gazette:

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.



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.
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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #67 on: December 08, 2011, 06:40:05 pm »

From thisisthewestcountry:

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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.^
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William Huskisson MP was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #68 on: February 24, 2012, 06:18:41 pm »

From the Somerset County Gazette:

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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.
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William Huskisson MP was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
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« Reply #69 on: February 25, 2013, 12:18:03 am »

From This is the West Country:

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Celebration of working together at railway crossing opening


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


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.^
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William Huskisson MP was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
bobm
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« Reply #70 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

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.
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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #71 on: March 31, 2013, 07:43:26 pm »

A video news report, from ITV News:

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
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William Huskisson MP was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #72 on: April 21, 2013, 04:47:28 pm »

From This Is The West Country:

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Writer calls for reopening of Minehead to Taunton rail service


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.^
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William Huskisson MP was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
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« Reply #73 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?
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« Reply #74 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.


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