3.5.07

West Somerset Railway


West Somerset Railway
Originally uploaded by fred pipes.

A big bonus of attending All Tomorrow's Parties at Butlin's Minehead was the opportunity to ride the West Somerset Railway from Minehead to Bishops Lydeard (almost to Taunton) - at around 23 miles the longest privately owned passenger rail line in the UK - and back. I dragged Nick and Rob along, but I think they secretly enjoyed it. I had the worst cup of coffee ever on the train topped by lumps of congealed milk skin (the attendant had regailed Nick with tales of the Beatles filming parts of A hard day's night at Blue Anchor and Crowcombe Heathfield). Saw loads of pheasants and other wild life and had a veggie pasty and bottle of Brown Owl from the buffet on the way back. We were pulled by 2-6-0 9351, which had been rebuilt from GWR 5101 Class 2-6-2T 5193 (the new number is an anagram of the original, the driver told me). At Williton, we saw the train travelling in the opposite direction was being pulled by GWR 4575 Class 2-6-2 5553. GWR 2884 Class 2-8-0 3850 was in steam at Minehead and various other Westerns were spotted. Nice to see locos exclusively native to the region. A fantastic way to spend Saturday morning - I even got a discount for showing my Senior Railcard.

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