|May 7 to 9 2004 saw the West Somerset Railway's first Diesel Gala since 1999 with a variety of visiting locos joining those based on the line.|
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On the Saturday EWS's 59204 brought a railtour from Paddington to Minehead onto the line, this was the scene at Bishops Lydeard as passengers from it rushed to see another engine being attached.
Mendip Rail's 59103 was added for the run to Minehead, the first unusual pairing of the day.
After the 66 was detached 59204 headed off back to Paddington, passing pannier tank 6412 having a weekend off in the loco compound.
66716 had worked down to Minehead double heading with EWS's 37419, the pair are seen beside resident 03119 which was working "top and tail" shuttles to Norton Fitzwarren.
Another view of the pair heading through the trees, just visible is the photographer who took the next photo.
A different view from Rodney Greenway of the pairing heading under the bridge away from Bishops Lydeard.
37419 worked back up to Lydeard with a different GM partner, 59103. They are seen arriving at Williton while resident 33 D6566 waits with a down train.
The pair split up to run round, meaning the 59 was in the lead on the next run, they are seen here passing at the south end of Bishops Lydeard station.
Another pair of visitors, Fragonset's 33103 and 33202 arriving at Crowcombe Heathfield with an up train.
Heading down at Crowcombe, resident Class 14 D9526 with a down train.
Another view of D9526, this time at Williton on the Friday with an up train. Photo by Jon Tooke.
Also at Williton on the Friday was another resident hydraulic, Hymek D7017. D1010 Western Campaigner can be seen outside the shed where she was sidelined with an air leak. Photo by Jon Tooke.
The highlight for many on the Sunday was the triple header of Class 33's, resident D6566 (33048), and visiting 33103 and 33202 - an example of each sub class, it must have been a first! They are seen here leaving Williton for Minehead. Photo by Jon Tooke.
The trio after running round at Minehead, they had to be split as there isn't room to get 3 locos off at once. 33's have good acceleration, 3 of them on a 7 coach train was phenomenal.
Viewed from this direction you can just see that 33202, nearest the camera, is narrower than the others, a relic of narrow tunnels on the line to Hastings, singling the track has removed the need for special stock.
The Fragonset 33's are both named after aircraft, 33103 is Swordfish and 33202 Meteor.
While the 33's were in the bay 37419 and 59103 ran into the main with a down train.
37419 running round, earlier in the day it had, by popular request, been working solo, great to hear a 37 powering away.
59103 followed round, the use of the various visitors required the WSR to get a rake of coaches together with air brakes for the first time which added extra interest for those involved.
Class 03 D2133, Class 04 D2271 and ex Royal Ordnance Barclay shunters with a demonstration goods train in Minehead yard.
The pair of Barclay shunters on the line are used by the P Way department, this is a rare view of one them away from their home at Dunster.
Small prairies 5542 and 5553 taking a break outside Minehead shed, their services not required with the influx of diesels.
Also taking a break were 80136 and 7828 Odney Manor. Odney looks likely to remain a Minehead based loco, hopefully her overhaul will follow a decision on this.
A final diesel shot, 66716 pilots 59204 at Williton with the through special on its way back to Paddington. Photo by Jon Tooke.
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This site was last updated 13-08-2012
Photos not otherwise credited are ©2001-2012 S G J Huddy. Other photos are included with permission of the copyright holders.