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This years West Somerset Railway Spring Steam Gala is being held on Saturday and Sunday 17-18 March and Thursday to Sunday 22-25 March. This year's theme is "Summer Saturdays in the West".
An early departure from Bishops Lydeard was double headed by large prairie 4160 and "Castle" 5051 Earl Bathurst. Photo by Rodders Greenway.
I caught up with them at Williton as they were leaving en route to Minehead.
Meanwhile SDJR 2-8-0 88 was at Bishops Lydeard, she has been away from the line and since her return is facing the opposite way. Photo by Rodders Greenway.
Not yet running but making excellent progress, 34046 Braunton is now rapidly taking shape at Williton - boiler, wheels and motion on, cab progressing.
As is now usual there is a standby loco at Williton during Galas, today it was GW 2-8-0 3850.
On display at Williton was this modern steam wagon, a Roanoake.
Also on display was small prairie 4561 which is waiting her turn for overhaul in Williton works. There are some non steam photos of Williton taken on the same visit on WSR 2007
Back on to Williton station and 7802 Bradley Manor arriving with a down train.
7802 was crossing with 5521 which is seen here arriving with her up train.
The next up train was hauled by Std 4 tank 80136 and WC pacific 34007 Wadebridge, the pair are seen nearing Bishops Lydeard. Photo by Rodders Greenway
5521 had joined up with classmate 5553 at Bishops Lydeard, the pair are seen coming on to the back of the above train to return it to Minehead. Photo by Rodders Greenway
34007 Wadebridge seen by the water tower at Bishops Lydeard with 6412 and the auto trailer waiting to leave for Norton Fitzwarren alongside. Photo by Rodders Greenway
Later in the day I caught 6412 and auto trailer 178 resting between Norton shuttles in the Quantock Belle's bay at Bishops Lydeard.
This time it was 5051 Earl Bathurst by the water tower.
Having brought in an up train the two Manors, 7822 Foxcote Manor and 7802 Bradley Manor, made their way to the loco compound.
Just after the Manors got on shed a complete contrast in the form of a Virgin Voyager arrived with a shuttle working from Taunton.
Perhaps an even bigger contrast, the Voyager passing 6412 and the auto trailer.
The 4 Car Voyager (Sheffield Voyager) was a perfect fit for Platform 1 at Bishops Lydeard as this photo shows.
The Voyager left for Taunton after the next up train had arrived, the two Manors, 7822 Foxcote Manor and 7802 Bradley Manor, then came on to the back of it to work back to Minehead.
The second Saturday started for me with 850 Lord Nelson approaching Crowcombe Heathfield with an up train.
The next down train was worked by resident 2-8-0 3850 also seen from Crowcombe Bridge.
3850 was followed down by large prairie 4160 and small prairie 5521. It's nice to see 4160 back after her recent overhaul off the West Somerset.
The prairies were crossed by 5051 Earl Bathurst - which was running as 5027 Farleigh Castle for the day.
The next down train train was a Railtour from Sheffield to Minehead which was "topped" by 47839 Pegasus (left) and "tailed" by 47805 Talisman. The stock was a mixture of ex Virgin and ex Anglia Mk2s with a very smart chocolate & cream buffet.
The 47s crossed with S&D 88 - different generations of blue locos.
88 then departed for Bishops Lydeard, the signal couldn't be cleared due to the "tailing" 47 having been stood on the track circuit when the token was withdrawn.
7802 Bradley Manor and 5051 Earl Bathurst (running as 5027 Farleigh Castle leaving Crowcombe for Minehead.
Down the hill at Bishops Lydeard and S&D 2-8-0 88 was waiting with a couple of extra coaches to add to the next train in.
GW 2-8-0T 4274, visiting from the Bodmin & Wenford, then arrived with the train 88 was going to take out.
4247 went on to the water tower ready for her next working.
The shuttles from Taunton were being worked by Virgin Trains, today they turned out 220 001 Somerset Voyager which was named at Minehead in May 2003 and is seen here passing autotrailer 178 with 6412.
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!
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This site was last updated 15-07-2012
Photos not otherwise credited are ©2001-2007 S G J Huddy. Other photos are included with permission of the copyright holders.