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A variety of visitors line up at Bishops Lydeard at the start of the Gala Friday, Black Five 45407, West Country 34022 Exmoor and BR Std 4 2-6-0 76079.
The visiting West Country is actually 34027 Taw Valley, but she has been carrying the identity 34045 Ottery St. Mary however for her visit to the WSR she is appearing as 34022 Exmoor to mark the 50th. Anniversry of Exmoor National Park this year.
Exmoor's temporary nameplate.
"I remember these when I was a lad" - trouble is, so do I!
GER J15 0-6-0 65462 and GWR 2-6-2T 5553 leaving Bishops Lydeard with a down train.
The next down train running in from the sidings behind Black Five 45407 past 34022 being prepared for the following service.
Moving down the line a bit, 45407 at Crowcombe Heathfield.
Back down the hill to Bishops Lydeard, BR Std 4 tank 80136 arriving from Minehead.
34022 and 76079 ready to double head 80136's train back to Minehead, with 6412 and the auto trailer in the background.
After a ride to Williton behind the above pair the J15, 65462 and the small prairie 5553 are seen approaching Williton.
They arrived back at Bishops Lydeard after a spirited run, resident pannier 6412 then passed them with a "shuttle" down to Norton Fitzwarren.
65462 and 5553 then changed places during running round for the return journey to Minehead.
It looks like 65462 is carrying a spare chimney on the back of her tender, quite why I don't know!
A cosy cab - the crew of 65462 relax between runs. Photo by Rodney Greenway
The next down train was hauled by the Black Five 45407, seen leaving Bishops Lydeard with 6412 and the auto trailer in the other platform, also the support coaches for the 34022 and that for 45407 and 76079 can be seen in the background.
A rather atmospheric shot of her the other side of the bridge.
A last one of the Friday at Lydeard, 76079 approaches the water tower to take water in the course of running round.
Meanwhile a third small prairie, 5552 visiting from Bodmin, was seen at Minehead on a goods working. Photo by Rodney Greenway
Also seen at Minehead, Black Five 45407 was in the loco yard. Photo by Rodney Greenway
Black Five 45407 nears the summit of the line at Crowcombe Heathfield with a Minehead bound train on the Saturday morning.
34022 Exmoor then left Crowcombe for Bishops Lydeard with an up train. At present tender first running is necessary on the West Somerset but with expected developments at Norton Fitzwarren and Minehead it may be possible to turn locos at both ends of the line in the not too distant future.
A quick dash across the bridge for another shot of the rebuilt Bulleid West Country pacific, going away shots are often better with a tender first loco to my mind.
After time for a cuppa and a piece of homemade cake BR Std 4 76079 arrived with the next up train.
Another shot of 76079 after she'd passed me.
34022 then appeared with the next down train - early so I wasn't where I'd intended to be for a shot of her boiler first!
On to Dunster where visiting small prairie 5552 was shunting goods wagons.
Meanwhile 34022 was seen arriving at Minehead. Photo by Rodney Greenway.
Back to Williton where GER J15 65462 was seen on a down train, the only one she worked single headed on the Friday or Saturday.
In the yard at Williton - between the DEPG and WSRA's sheds this steam roller was running up and down flattening the roadways.
Up to the summit at Crowcombe Heathfield and 45407 was working another down train.
It might be a Steam Gala but I couldn't resist a shot of Class 08 D3462 fresh from overhaul doing duty as station pilot at Bishops Lydeard.
Auto train duties on the shuttle from Bishops Lydeard to Norton Fitzwarren where in the hands of pannier 6412 seen here in Platform 1 with 34022 waiting behind her to come on the back of the next up train to work it back to Minehead.
A little later and 34022 was on her train in Platform 2.
BR Std 76079 then ran round and joined 34022 to double head back to Minehead.
Two photos of 5193 in Minehead Works, it is being converted to a Mogul in the process - see In Works for more details. Photos by Rodney Greenway.
There are brief technical details of these locos on WSR Locos
The visiting West Country underwent another change of identity on the Sunday morning, this time to 34046 Braunton, the genuine one is undergoing restoration at Williton and this was both a reward and a challenge to the team involved!
During the Sunday afternoon visiting locos were being moved to Bishops Lydeard ready for onward movement home, as part of this all 3 small prairies worked together so here they are 5542, 5552 and 5553 - The Three Prairies.
Well, that's it for this years Spring Steam Gala, a very successful and enjoyable three days.
You too can be part of the action - new volunteers are always welcome, you can find out more on Volunteers, there's a big perk in exchange for your efforts - free travel!
There are other photos of the West Somerset Railway in 2004 on WSR 2004
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This site was last updated 15-07-2012
Photos not otherwise credited are ©2001/2002 S G J Huddy. Other photos are included with permission of the copyright holders.