WSR late arriving at Taunton?

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Tiny Tim

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The West Somerset Railway's official policy, as I understand it, is that it no longer wishes to run trains into Taunton Station. The early years of the WSR were plagued by problems with BR and the NUR that eventually put paid to any ambitions to link into the national network. With other heritage lines, notably the Swanage Railway, now successfully gaining access to NR stations, should a new attempt be made to reconnect the WSR to the outside world? I visited the WSR last Summer, it's quite galling to catch a bus from Taunton to Bishop's Lydeard in the knowledge that a perfectly useable rail link exists. And flippin' inconvenient. I've heard the argument that the WSR can't afford a mainline certificated train and crew, but other heritage groups are 'affording' it now. It was the WSR's original aim (in 1971) to run trains from Taunton to Minehead, isn't it about time they got there?
 
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WSW

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The West Somerset Railway's official policy, as I understand it, is that it no longer wishes to run trains into Taunton Station. The early years of the WSR were plagued by problems with BR and the NUR that eventually put paid to any ambitions to link into the national network. With other heritage lines, notably the Swanage Railway, now successfully gaining access to NR stations, should a new attempt be made to reconnect the WSR to the outside world? I visited the WSR last Summer, it's quite galling to catch a bus from Taunton to Bishop's Lydeard in the knowledge that a perfectly useable rail link exists. And flippin' inconvenient. I've heard the argument that the WSR can't afford a mainline certificated train and crew, but other heritage groups are 'affording' it now. It was the WSR's original aim (in 1971) to run trains from Taunton to Minehead, isn't it about time they got there?
The WSR are doing all they can to encourage a mainline TOC to run onto the branch. This seems to be the best option but no TOC is going to do that unless they can see a profit. And there is your answer as to why the WSR are not doing it themselves. Absolutely no point in pouring money down the drain to try to hang on to a dream.

Steve
 

Tiny Tim

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"There is my answer" to a totally different question. Not the access by mainline excursions to the WSR, which already happens, but the running of WSR services into Taunton. I've tried asking this question before, and nobody seems to want to answer. If negotiations are underway between the WSR and NR I can understand. Please, someone, tell me this is happening. If not, why not?
 

Clip

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It does seem mad that they dont attempt to do this. With Butlins down there becoming increasingly popular you wouldve though that they would be investigating the feasability of going to Taunton to pick up holiday makers rather then making them get a bus all the way to minehead.

Butlins is also being used increasingly now if the off season for various festivals and weekends and most of the grumps I have heard(and said myself) is that you have to get a bus when there is a perfectly usable railway. And no matter how much I reccomend people to use the WSR from Bishops people dont want to because of dragging their cases off a train onto a bus then onto a train then off again.
 

WSW

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"There is my answer" to a totally different question. Not the access by mainline excursions to the WSR, which already happens, but the running of WSR services into Taunton. I've tried asking this question before, and nobody seems to want to answer. If negotiations are underway between the WSR and NR I can understand. Please, someone, tell me this is happening. If not, why not?
I'll try again. The WSR is not running into Taunton because it would be a financial disaster and most WSR supporters prefer the existing WSR than none. Initial and ongoing costs far exceed projected income. If those figures change then WSR will obviously reconsider. But for now, it doesn't balance in WSR's favour eg the profit I mentioned in my last post. So there, again, is your answer to your question about WSR running its services into Taunton. As for WSR and NR and TOCs in discussion about a regular service run by a TOC - yes this has been happening for a long time and may well happen in due course.

Steve
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
It does seem mad that they dont attempt to do this. With Butlins down there becoming increasingly popular you wouldve though that they would be investigating the feasability of going to Taunton to pick up holiday makers rather then making them get a bus all the way to minehead.

Butlins is also being used increasingly now if the off season for various festivals and weekends and most of the grumps I have heard(and said myself) is that you have to get a bus when there is a perfectly usable railway. And no matter how much I reccomend people to use the WSR from Bishops people dont want to because of dragging their cases off a train onto a bus then onto a train then off again.
WSR has been regularly "investigating" the Taunton question since 1971. When the books balance in WSR's favour, maybe it'll happen.

That said, there is absolutely nothing (beyond operational issues) to stop a mainline TOC running down the Minehead and back. It's already happened with both goods and passengers and if there's money to be made then it'll happen again. Bottom line is to ensure no-one loses money.

Steve
 

Big_Panda_20

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On the subject of a rail link between Taunton and Bishops Lydeard, they should I belive they should be running a service. You would also think that the WSR would have the money to try a regular link between the two especially in the summer months, as they have invested in the land and devepolment at Norton Fitzwarren (This could aslo become a regular station with the big housing development in the area. For commuting to Tauton and beyond); & scince there stock isn't certificated to run on BR steels. Why don't they hire out for example a class 144, 150 or 153 to make the link over the summer as a trail?

I have a few other idea's as how they could make the link, but i'm just suggesting ideas to what they could do.

1. TOC's could run the regular Cardiff Central to Taunton but Terminate at Bishopls Lyderad

2. WSR invest in certificate to allow them to run some stock on BR steels to Taunton.

3. A new railway is laid from Norton under both silk mills bridge and staplgrove road bridge as i belive the is space under both for an extra line and end in the bay platform i belive no7 which is facing south which has no track in at the moment at Taunton. (Not sure if this would work but would keep WSR and BR steels seperate.)

Just ideas though
 

WSW

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On the subject of a rail link between Taunton and Bishops Lydeard, they should I belive they should be running a service. You would also think that the WSR would have the money to try a regular link between the two especially in the summer months, as they have invested in the land and devepolment at Norton Fitzwarren (This could aslo become a regular station with the big housing development in the area. For commuting to Tauton and beyond); & scince there stock isn't certificated to run on BR steels. Why don't they hire out for example a class 144, 150 or 153 to make the link over the summer as a trail?

I have a few other idea's as how they could make the link, but i'm just suggesting ideas to what they could do.

1. TOC's could run the regular Cardiff Central to Taunton but Terminate at Bishopls Lyderad

2. WSR invest in certificate to allow them to run some stock on BR steels to Taunton.

3. A new railway is laid from Norton under both silk mills bridge and staplgrove road bridge as i belive the is space under both for an extra line and end in the bay platform i belive no7 which is facing south which has no track in at the moment at Taunton. (Not sure if this would work but would keep WSR and BR steels seperate.)

Just ideas though
Just a few comments on the above posting:

- the capital cost of the land at Norton would equate to the cost running a service to Taunton for just one year using either own stock (after expensive certification) or hired-in stock and crews. And the revenue would be a fraction of the costs. So the maths don't add up.

- the WSR has been talking to TOCs for some years now about running (for example) Cardiff-Taunton trains up to Bishops Lydeard. But so far, no TOC has wanted to do so.

- the WSR doesn't have the money to invest in gaining mainline certification for their own stock, let alone the cost of track access and pilot crews.

- the space alongside the current Up main was once occupied by the Up Relief and was indeed used by Minehead and Barnstaple Up trains terminating at Taunton. But the current Up main was slewed at Silk Mill and at Staplegrove when the Up Relief was removed. So there isn't now room to re-lay the Up Relief without also replacing the Up main to its former (and slower) alignment. Yes it could be done. But at what cost? The WSR does not have the spare £Ms needed.

- Any investment and commitment to running costs must consider the possible income. At present there is no way the income would cover the running costs.

And I'm one of those who would dearly like to see a regular passenger service between Minehead and Taunton (and beyond).

But isn't it heartening to know that there were 700 movements across the junction at Norton Fitzwarren in the last year...so there is already a busy "rail link" between the WSR and Taunton, even without regular passenger trains.

Steve
 

Greenback

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I understand the difficulties facing the WSR, but on a personal note, is it coincidence that the only heritage railway in the South West that I have never travelled on is the WSR? It's simply too much of a faff compared to the other lines that have such easy access to and from main line services.
 

Mvann

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As far as I'm aware, the north York moors is the only heritage railway running trains onto the network as a regular service at the moment.
 

WSW

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I understand the difficulties facing the WSR, but on a personal note, is it coincidence that the only heritage railway in the South West that I have never travelled on is the WSR? It's simply too much of a faff compared to the other lines that have such easy access to and from main line services.
Sorry to hear that, Greenback. I'm sure you will be very welcome when/if you do make it and I'm also sure you'll enjoy the trip (even if it does mean catching one of the regular buses from outside Taunton Station which will drop you, after a 10 min run, at the Booking Office at Bishops Lydeard Station). Hope to see you soon.

Steve
 

Greenback

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Sorry to hear that, Greenback. I'm sure you will be very welcome when/if you do make it and I'm also sure you'll enjoy the trip (even if it does mean catching one of the regular buses from outside Taunton Station which will drop you, after a 10 min run, at the Booking Office at Bishops Lydeard Station). Hope to see you soon.

Steve
I have looked into it, but no matter how regular the buses are, it's still more of a faff than , say, crossing the platform at Bodmin Parkway, or walking to Totnes Riverside!

I'm sure I will make it one day, though!
 

LE Greys

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Well, it's seriously annoying. I don't know the exact distance, but it can't be more than a couple of miles. The ideal would, of course, be two miles of dedicated WSR track alongside the NR line and a dedicated WSR bay. However, even I (famous for unrealistic expectations) must admit that is impossible. It's also perhaps not that realistic to expect WSR trains to mix it with Voyagers and HSTs on a main line every day, since even Wareham does not see that intensity of service. Then there's all the money invested in making it possible to turn engines at both ends (although I don't know it that happens in everyday service). Do you sacrifice that for the sake of running to Taunton?

Really, I can only hope that there will be some sort of compromise reached one day, perhaps a service that only happens during galas or a new NR station at Norton Fitzwarren (if there are new houses there).
 

Big_Panda_20

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Well, it's seriously annoying. I don't know the exact distance, but it can't be more than a couple of miles. The ideal would, of course, be two miles of dedicated WSR track alongside the NR line and a dedicated WSR bay. However, even I (famous for unrealistic expectations) must admit that is impossible. It's also perhaps not that realistic to expect WSR trains to mix it with Voyagers and HSTs on a main line every day, since even Wareham does not see that intensity of service. Then there's all the money invested in making it possible to turn engines at both ends (although I don't know it that happens in everyday service). Do you sacrifice that for the sake of running to Taunton?

Really, I can only hope that there will be some sort of compromise reached one day, perhaps a service that only happens during galas or a new NR station at Norton Fitzwarren (if there are new houses there).
I know what you mean LE Greys it is annoying that they don't make the link.

However FGW have run a class 150 from Taunton to Bishops Lydeard in the past on Gala weekends and mixed traffic, but they only done this ocasionally?

The 4th story on this links shows they do these services. http://www.wsr.org.uk/newsmay2011.htm

It is about 6 miles to Taunton from Bishops Lydeard and Norton is about halfway at 3 miles (The WSR also run trains to norton to have the turned to me they wast money doing this operation as they would have to run 6 miles just to turn a loco why not include Norton as a regular stop?). Norton also has a new station build by the wsr assosiation i think which only serves the steam rally at Norton in the triangle though. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norton_Fitzwarren_railway_station

There is new housing as Norton as it is being build on the old Taunton cider factory and the old trading estate roughly doubling the size of the village.
 

WSW

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I think maybe you are being a little simplistic and not quite understanding the economics. Yes it is "annoying" but where do you magic the money to cover the shortfall between revenue and costs? And yes all potential moneybags have been explored!

The FGW shuttles during some special events have proved popular as have the special trains to Cardiff and Paignton also run jointly between WSR and FGW. But doing it day in day out is not likely to break even.

The "station" at Norton is nothing more than a four-coach platform with no facilities whatsoever. It has no road access. And the permissions from ORR extend to limited and specified use only. The platform was only put in for the Rally although clearly there is potential to expand and grow the facilities in time. Whereas Bishops Lydeard Station has a big car park, booking office, loco depot, shop, toilets, museum, cafe, three platforms, signalling; and buses call frequently. And it takes most visitors just a few more minutes to get to Bishops Lydeard as it would to Norton Platform. Economics and facilities. Running the odd loco to Norton for turning doesn't really break the bank and it is only done for preferred, operational reasons.

As I said above, it is annoying but until the economics of operating the link become favourable, a regular passenger service to/from Taunton ain't going to happen.

Steve
www.wsr.org.uk


I know what you mean LE Greys it is annoying that they don't make the link.

However FGW have run a class 150 from Taunton to Bishops Lydeard in the past on Gala weekends and mixed traffic, but they only done this ocasionally?

The 4th story on this links shows they do these services. http://www.wsr.org.uk/newsmay2011.htm

It is about 6 miles to Taunton from Bishops Lydeard and Norton is about halfway at 3 miles (The WSR also run trains to norton to have the turned to me they wast money doing this operation as they would have to run 6 miles just to turn a loco why not include Norton as a regular stop?). Norton also has a new station build by the wsr assosiation i think which only serves the steam rally at Norton in the triangle though. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norton_Fitzwarren_railway_station

There is new housing as Norton as it is being build on the old Taunton cider factory and the old trading estate roughly doubling the size of the village.
 

richw

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As far as I'm aware, the north York moors is the only heritage railway running trains onto the network as a regular service at the moment.
Bodmin and Wenford railway, inter connect with main line services at Bodmin Parkway, doesnt come onto the network as such, but uses a main line station, but on an isolated platform.

Doesnt a heritage railway connect at Totnes as well to main line services?
 

steamybrian

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The Spa Valley Railway runs trains on a parallel adjacent track to Network Rail for about one mile into Eridge however there are no physical connections between their respective tracks.
Peak Rail also run adjacent to Network Rail into Matlock for a short distance.
I agree that the cost of running WSR trains over NR tracks into Taunton will be big money. The cost of trying to build a parallel line into Taunton will be seriously high money as well. Therefore I accept the option is to convince a TOC to run a train service to Bishops Lydeard.
 

richw

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There is a station in Totnes called littlehempston for the South Devon Railway, which is seperate to the NR station, however they are only about a 5 min walk apart.
i never knew that, trying to work out exactly where to on google maps, i've found the junction where the S. Devon railway meets the main line, would Littlehempston be where the heritage stock is on google maps http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&ll=50.438956,-3.685471&spn=0.000443,0.001321&t=k&z=20
 

Mvann

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South devon hasn't used totnes for at least 20 years due to cost. The cost of running into a shared station is a lot different to actually running on the network.
 

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Tiny Tim

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The West Somerset Railway is one of the oldest, longest and most respected Heritage Railways in the country. I'm well aware of the efforts made by the WSR that inspired other organisations to mount similar campaigns.

From the outset British Rail were less than helpful, and the National Union of Railwaymen presented a particularly perverse campaign on behalf of the bus drivers, despite the bus company, Western National, eventually dropping their opposition. It's a miracle that the WSR ever re-opened the Minehead Branch, the original economic case was based on running into Taunton, and we're very lucky to be able to travel along this lovely line today.

So much for history. Today, the lack of a train service from Taunton onto the WSR is simply anachronistic. I fully understand that there's a large financial commitment required, but I cannot help thinking of the Bluebell Line, who have cleared some 900,000 tons of waste from Imberhorne cutting to re-establish a link with the mainline at East Grinstead, whilst the WSR have never even lost their connection to the mainline, but don't use it.

I'm not 'anti' the WSR, I very much enjoyed my last visit and I'll be taking another delightful day out there soon. I simply think that times have changed, and the obstacles are no longer insurmountable.

This thread was rather slow to get going. Are forum members frightened to criticise the WSR?
 

WSW

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Thanks for your kind words and support for the WSR, TT.

There are very different situations when comparing the Taunton link with other heritage railways that link (or will link) with Network Rail. Consider:

- it requires running for two miles on one of the busiest main lines in the country (or, if using the Down/Up Relief, it requires crossing over the Main lines)
- it already has a much-used connection (700 trains in the last year)
- the projected revenue from passenger trains is not likely to cover annual costs

The WSR is here today in part because it did not pursue the Taunton link for regular passenger trains as that part of the business has and is still a high commercially risk. Better the WSR as it is now than no WSR.

The WSR is not a hobby. It is a successful business employing around 50 full time staff, and has a multi-million pound turnover. No competent company is going to allow part of its business to run at a six figure loss every year. They simply do not have the money.

The WSR's chosen option is to encourage and allow other companies to take the financial risk and run their trains onto the WSR, whether to Bishops Lydeard or beyond. There have been one or two toes in the water (wheels on rails?!) which help all parties test the market.

As I has said before, the existing link (which WSR part-funded) is very successful and much used, and brings good business to the WSR, some of it involving passenger trains, too, as witnessed just yesterday. The Triangle will bring even more business (and not just from turning visiting steam locos!).

This thread has been interesting for me (a WSR volunteer since 1977) and I am happy to respond to comments and suggestions, and hopefully, to correct some of the understandable misconceptions concerning the Taunton link.

Steve
www.wsr.org.uk









The West Somerset Railway is one of the oldest, longest and most respected Heritage Railways in the country. I'm well aware of the efforts made by the WSR that inspired other organisations to mount similar campaigns.

From the outset British Rail were less than helpful, and the National Union of Railwaymen presented a particularly perverse campaign on behalf of the bus drivers, despite the bus company, Western National, eventually dropping their opposition. It's a miracle that the WSR ever re-opened the Minehead Branch, the original economic case was based on running into Taunton, and we're very lucky to be able to travel along this lovely line today.

So much for history. Today, the lack of a train service from Taunton onto the WSR is simply anachronistic. I fully understand that there's a large financial commitment required, but I cannot help thinking of the Bluebell Line, who have cleared some 900,000 tons of waste from Imberhorne cutting to re-establish a link with the mainline at East Grinstead, whilst the WSR have never even lost their connection to the mainline, but don't use it.

I'm not 'anti' the WSR, I very much enjoyed my last visit and I'll be taking another delightful day out there soon. I simply think that times have changed, and the obstacles are no longer insurmountable.

This thread was rather slow to get going. Are forum members frightened to criticise the WSR?
 

Tracky

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Perhaps the idea of extending Cardiff-Taunton trains could be raised again when the franchise holder isnt running the profitable bus service that serves passengers that may take the train.
 

paul1609

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As an ex-director of another heritage line I can quite understand the WSRs reluctance to run in to Taunton. It's okay comparing this to the Bluebell's Extension in to East Grinstead but they really are as different as Chalk and Cheese. The Bluebells scheme consists largely of one off capital costs but running in to their own station in East Grinstead mean they are no major ongoing payments to third parties.
The only heritage railway that operates scheduled services over lines shared with national rail passenger services is the North York Moors the nature of the service on this backwater makes it rather a special case and the low speed limit means that the NYMR have been able to get concessions on the safety requirements for their services to Whitby.
This is a rather different kettle of fish to running 2 miles along the Great Western Main line in to Taunton Station- imagine the compensation bill to the WSR of a train running short of steam and stalling on the main line for 20 minutes, it would have knock on delays at Bristol Temple Meads, Reading, Birmingham New Street to name just a few. It just wouldn't be financially viable.
I think the next development on heritage railways sharing tracks will possibly be the Swanage railway at Wareham it'll be interesting to see what is proposed there.
 

STEVIEBOY1

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Well, it's seriously annoying. I don't know the exact distance, but it can't be more than a couple of miles. The ideal would, of course, be two miles of dedicated WSR track alongside the NR line and a dedicated WSR bay.

I Went onto the WSR on Saturday by a mainline steam charter, all the way from Paddington to Minehead and someone that day said that your suggestion above could be a possibility infact. It would be logical, but I guess still would be expensive.

It is a bit of a pain having to go to Taunton, then wait for the bus to the WSR & VV. Trying to get the schedules to work out for me have been hard too.

Having WSR go into Taunton would be more convenient.

Someone's suggestion here of extending the Cardiff/Taunton trains to the WSR a good idea too.

As mentioned here, having adjacent or very close NR & Preserved railway stations makes the journey much easier, such as at Alton, Whitby/Grosmont, Eridge, Keithley, Totnes, Matlock, Duffield, Sttingbourne, Bodmin to name but a few.

Saturday's main line trip with "Tangmere" went quite well, only a few mins late arriving, and on the return journey, although owing to a Points problem then delay with taking water which at one stage meant we were about 50 minutes late, by the time we got back to Slough where I got off, it was right on time. I don't know how punctual it was back at Paddington. (On the outbound journey, we went along the under used line via Park Royal, then via Castle Bar Park). On the mainline in both directions Tangmere performed very well indeed. The Stations on the WSR are very well kept and the WSR staff were very welcoming. The Shops at Bishop's Lyd and Minehead had some good Hornby & Bachmann items at good prices too.The shunting arrangements/loco change went very well especially in the evening. There was no diesels attached on the mainline or on the WSR so pure steam all the way, there and back. So overall a very good day.

I did notice there seemed to be small platform now at Norton Fitzwarren and I saw part of the triangles too, which I assume are in use now, although I could not quite see the ends of them, there appeared to be more construction going on in connection with these too.
 
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LE Greys

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I Went onto the WSR on Saturday by a mainline steam charter, all the way from Paddington to Minehead and someone that day said that your suggestion above could be a possibility infact. It would be logical, but I guess still would be expensive.

It is a bit of a pain having to go to Taunton, then wait for the bus to the WSR & VV. Trying to get the schedules to work out for me have been hard too.

Having WSR go into Taunton would be more convenient.

Someone's suggestion here of extending the Cardiff/Taunton trains to the WSR a good idea too.

As mentioned here, having adjacent or very close NR & Preserved railway stations makes the journey much easier, such as at Alton, Whitby/Grosmont, Eridge, Keithley, Totnes, Matlock, Duffield, Sttingbourne, Bodmin to name but a few.

Saturday's main line trip with "Tangmere" went quite well, only a few mins late arriving, and on the return journey, although owing to a Points problem then delay with taking water which at one stage meant we were about 50 minutes late, by the time we got back to Slough where I got off, it was right on time. I don't know how punctual it was back at Paddington. (On the outbound journey, we went along the under used line via Park Royal, then via Castle Bar Park). On the mainline in both directions Tangmere performed very well indeed. The Stations on the WSR are very well kept and the WSR staff were very welcoming. The Shops at Bishop's Lyd and Minehead had some good Hornby & Bachmann items at good prices too.The shunting arrangements/loco change went very well especially in the evening. There was no diesels attached on the mainline or on the WSR so pure steam all the way, there and back. So overall a very good day.

I did notice there seemed to be small platform now at Norton Fitzwarren and I saw part of the triangles too, which I assume are in use now, although I could not quite see the ends of them, there appeared to be more construction going on in connection with these too.
Being able to sell through tickets both ways would be very helpful as well, although I don't know exactly how they would handle that.
 

WSW

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See my comments about the physical obstacles with (re)laying the Up Relief between Norton and Taunton. Your "someone" may need to check the facts :)

See above my comments about Norton Platform.

The Triangles (Outer and Inner) are complete and commissioned. Your mainline loco, Tangmere, was turned at Norton on Saturday. There are no current construction projects at Norton although long term plans include a line leading to the southern face of Norton Platform, sidings along the Barnstaple section and the Allerford Spur, and a headshunt from Allerford Junction towards Lydeard.

See http://www.wsr.org.uk/cgi-bin/galleri.cgi?h=Maps of the Norton Triangle&t=nortonmappix for maps of these locations.

The WSR's DMU was turned today on the Inner Triangle. Pictures at www.wsr.org.uk

Steve
www.wsr.org.uk


I Went onto the WSR on Saturday by a mainline steam charter, all the way from Paddington to Minehead and someone that day said that your suggestion above could be a possibility infact. It would be logical, but I guess still would be expensive.

I did notice there seemed to be small platform now at Norton Fitzwarren and I saw part of the triangles too, which I assume are in use now, although I could not quite see the ends of them, there appeared to be more construction going on in connection with these too.
 

STEVIEBOY1

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See my comments about the physical obstacles with (re)laying the Up Relief between Norton and Taunton. Your "someone" may need to check the facts :)

See above my comments about Norton Platform.

The Triangles (Outer and Inner) are complete and commissioned. Your mainline loco, Tangmere, was turned at Norton on Saturday. There are no current construction projects at Norton although long term plans include a line leading to the southern face of Norton Platform, sidings along the Barnstaple section and the Allerford Spur, and a headshunt from Allerford Junction towards Lydeard.

See http://www.wsr.org.uk/cgi-bin/galleri.cgi?h=Maps of the Norton Triangle&t=nortonmappix for maps of these locations.

The WSR's DMU was turned today on the Inner Triangle. Pictures at www.wsr.org.uk

Steve
www.wsr.org.uk
Thanks for above message and the links to maps and the photos which are great.:D I had a most enjoyable day to the WSR with Tangmere on Saturday. :D Best Rdgs.
 

WSW

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Odd things going on yesterday - whilst a Network Rail HOBC stands on the Minehead Branch on one of its regular visits, two express steam locomotives - nos 71000 and 60163 - head west on the West of England main line at Norton Fitzwarren - as seen in
this picture

Funny how the distinction between heritage and modern become blurred and in some cases, reversed!

Steve
 
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Odd things going on yesterday - whilst a Network Rail HOBC stands on the Minehead Branch on one of its regular visits, two express steam locomotives - nos 71000 and 60163 - head west on the West of England main line at Norton Fitzwarren

Steve
The West of England Mainline? Are you sure? I thought that bit there was the Great Western Mainline (GWML)
 
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