West Somerset Railway

Discussion in 'Railtours & Preservation' started by Lewis lamb62), 16 Feb 2019.

  1. Lewis lamb62)

    Lewis lamb62) Member

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    Does anyone know what type of people ride the west Somerset railway, is it just tourists and rail fans or do people ride it to go to wirk etc..
     
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  3. Peter Mugridge

    Peter Mugridge Established Member

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    Back in 2014 we used it to get to and from a family holiday at Butlin's at Minehead ( not my choice... would personally have preferred a proper hotel! ).

    GWR from Paddington to Taunton, taxi to Bishop's Lydeard, steam train to Minehead. Same in reverse for the way back.
     
  4. Train Maniac

    Train Maniac Member

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    If they made it a through connection to Taunton then im sure maybe a few people might consider it. Sadly not going to happen with the current management situation WSR have got themselves into (last i heard at least), the whole psshhazz of finding space to fit train between North Fitzwarren, and the fact that the local bus company oppose it. Then of course if you want to be really down in the dumps (and personally disagree with) you could say that even then it wouldnt be popular due to the relatively slow speed restrictions and heritage stock being used.

    With a more positive view you could kinda call it public transport during the summer months, with traffic between Minehead and Watchet for the beach and the like. I should probably mention that ive never personally been (definitely want to!) but is all based on a general logic overview
     
  5. swt class 450

    swt class 450 Guest

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    It is mainly just railway enthusiasts and tourists that use it. Like most heritage railways the trains are too infrequent and only run on certain days (often the weekend only) and not all year round (often not during the winter) and don't run late enough in the evening. So i highly doubt that anyone would use it for work.
     
  6. DaveHarries

    DaveHarries Established Member

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    Or bus from Taunton to Bishops Lydeard: Service 28 (Minehead - Taunton) calls at Bishops Lydeard station when the railway is operating. GWR have a ticket which will get you to Taunton station, relevant connections to BL station and "a day's unlimited adventure" on the West Somerset Railway. Details: https://www.gwr.com/destinations-and-events/heritage-railways/west-somerset-railway

    The no. 28 bus runs twice per hour and departs from the car park on the South side of Taunton station, outside the ticket gate on Platform 2.

    Dave
     
  7. Peter Mugridge

    Peter Mugridge Established Member

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    Yes, but with the luggage as well, the taxi was much easier - and faster. The bus would not have connected with the next train from Bishops Lydeard; the taxi could. Plus as we were there for a week, it was better to get a straightforward return ticket for the two tail elements of the journey ( Epsom to Taunton and on the WSR ).
     
  8. HaggisBotherer

    HaggisBotherer On Moderation

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    Very few, if any, people use heritage railways for 'regular' travel to work, for shopping, etc. The train services are simply too slow, infrequent and run at the wrong times (and, at certain times of the year, not at all) to make them a viable means of commuting.

    Many heritage lines have trumpeted this utopian 'community railway' ideal over the years. Precisely none have succeeded in making it work.
     
  9. Weekender

    Weekender Member

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    This sounded good to me but I have just tried to book it from Gloucester, tried several different Saturdays when the railway is open but every time it just says ‘fare not available ‘
    I guess it’s only from selected stations.
     
  10. broadgage

    broadgage Established Member

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    I live near the WSR and have used it for shopping trips, I suspect however that I am in a tiny minority and that vast majority of WSR customers are enthusiasts or other leisure customers.
    As others have suggested, the WSR would be of much more use if it ran regularly to Taunton or beyond, or if national network services ran onto the WSR and connected therewith at Bishops Lydeard.
    This has been regularly proposed, but with little progress to date.
     
  11. Merthyr Imp

    Merthyr Imp Member

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    We had several holidays at Butlins in the mid-2000s and went by train to Taunton and got the convenient connecting bus from there which terminated in the camp itself.

    In 2007 there was the timetabled 'Butlins Express' which ran between Bristol Temple Meads and Minehead operated by Victa Westlink Rail. We thought about making use of that, but as it would have meant carrying suitcases the quarter mile or so from Minehead station to the camp decided to stick to the bus as mentioned.

    We did have a joyride from Minehead as far as Taunton and back though. Photo is of 31452 at Taunton.

    31452 at Taunton 4.8.07.JPG
     
  12. A0wen

    A0wen Established Member

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    I would suggest the Swanage Railway's 'Park and Ride' from Norden is a case where it has worked?
     
  13. Shenandoah

    Shenandoah Member

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    It has worked solely because of the vast sums of money, much of it public funds, that have been invested. The financial gain to the area was a factor.
    However, without subsidy - and that equally applies to the WSR - it would be a non starter. It is not simply a question of having DMU's etc. and passengers, it the the immense costs upgrading signalling and safety on the line that swallows up the cash. There has to be a significant local gain for these projects to be considered. Swanage appears to have met the criteria needed: whilst I support the WSR plans, in principle, I have reservations about the feasibility of it.
    The link below gives details of the subsidies applied as far as Swanage is concerned.
    https://www.swanagerailway.co.uk/ne...ime-in-45-years-thanks-to-partnership-working

    When the Dartmouth line, which never was closed and became the Dart Valley Company (not to be confused with the SDR who became tenants if the Dart Valley for some years) a DMU service, particularly aimed at schools was tried, it did not pay - and that was in large conurbation. Bus services were better, more frequent and more convenient.
     
  14. STEVIEBOY1

    STEVIEBOY1 Established Member

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    I see there was an item in the news that the WSR were open this weekend through to Minehead and did very well, it also mentioned that GWR are looking into a Shuttle serviuce again to Taunton from Bishops Lydeard. (Do they still do something similar from Exeter to Okehampton, where is also a preserved line?)
     
  15. B7rleThrasher

    B7rleThrasher Member

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    I occasionally commute on it between BL and MH when I need to get to meetings in Minehead!
     
  16. randyrippley

    randyrippley Established Member

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    could be a home for some of the Pacers
     
  17. richw

    richw Established Member

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    I’m guessing you’re in the minority, Being a bit of a rail enthusiast?
    How does the fare compare to other methods of transport, I’ve always thought it sounded a bit pricey?
     
  18. AnthonyRail

    AnthonyRail Member

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    No thanks
     
  19. tiptoptaff

    tiptoptaff Established Member

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    It's a tourist railway. Not much more. Trains to Taunton are a group who want to see it turned in to a commuter railway, but I don't think Minehead has a demographic of commuters...!

    The group have no clue about what would be required, cost of the extra stock and staff that would bee needed, and keep quoting it took an hour to do MD to TN in BR days, but can't accept this was because the line speed was 55mph and it had shorter token sections (there were boxes at Kentsford and Leigh Woods that broke the BA-WN and WN-CH sections)

    GWR to BL is a positive, it'll bring in more tourists. But that's about the sum of it.
     
  20. E759

    E759 Member

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    7 dates this Summer 2019 announced 08/07/2019: (Link)

     
  21. STEVIEBOY1

    STEVIEBOY1 Established Member

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    That's seems a good step, hope it all goes well. :)
     
  22. AnthonyRail

    AnthonyRail Member

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    £5 car park for day then £8 return on top of WSR fare.

    Expensive day out.
     
  23. STEVIEBOY1

    STEVIEBOY1 Established Member

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    I wonder what the return bus fare is from Taunton to B.L. ?
     
  24. MP33

    MP33 Member

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    Is there disused Freight infrastructure that could be re used to enable a train to travel in and leave Bishops Lydeard in another direction? Are there that many stations on the GWR main line now that could be served by a stopping service further West?
     
  25. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

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    £3.60 single, £5.40 return
     
  26. tiptoptaff

    tiptoptaff Established Member

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    The only connection to the mainline is the existing one, facing Taunton. AFAIK, the Barnstaple line was accessed from the same junction off the mainline as the Minehead line
     
  27. duffield

    duffield Member

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    And as I remember it, the stub of the Barnstaple line now forms the 'bottom' of the Norton Fitzwarren turning triangle.
     
  28. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    That’s right Duffield.
     
  29. Edders23

    Edders23 Member

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    which don't meet modern disability standards so couldn't run to Taunton but would be a lot cheaper to run than a manor kettle
     
  30. paul1609

    paul1609 Established Member

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    Do the modern disability standards apply to a heritage railway running in to a Networkrail station? (NYMR, Spa Valley, Cholseley, Isle of Wight, Strathspey, Peak rail and others)
     
  31. Paul Hitchcock

    Paul Hitchcock Member

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    IOWSR runs adapted vehicles in every train and is not actually connected physically to the electric railway.
     

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