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The season started in February with services between Minehead and Williton, on 15 February they were worked by the WSRA's ex GWR 0-6-0PT 6412 seen here running round at Williton passing the DEPG's depot with D9526, D6566 and the two Hymeks visible.
Another view of 6412 running round, this time with the WSRA's workshop in the background with the Lynton & Barnstaple's diesel loco, a steam roller and West Country Braunton's smokebox on view.
A last view of 6412 at Williton, by now coupled to her train ready to return to Minehead.
One of the main developments on the line over the 2004 "shut down" is the installation of a crossover in the bay platform at Minehead to enable locos to run round thus saving shunt release movements. Here the S&T gang are installing bases for the ground frame and rodding etc.
Latter in the afternoon the ground frame had been put in place.
On 13 March J15 0-6-0 65462, the first of the visitors for the Spring Steam Gala to arrive on the line, was raising steam in the loco compound at Bishops Lydeard.
Another view of the ex GER J15 being prepared at Bishops Lydeard.
Once she had steam up 65462 moved over to the tower to take water. Photo by Jon Tooke
Meanwhile resident small prairie 5542 was doing some shunting as part of a training session in the sidings at Bishops Lydeard.
It was also the first day of use for the new booking office at Bishops Lydeard, seen here being inspected by one of the first passengers to buy a ticket from it.
Class 14 "Teddy Bear" D9526 waiting for the signal outside Bishops Lydeard Station whilst bringing auto trailer 178 up ECS from Williton. Photo by Jon Tooke
Three more views of Class 14 diesel D9526 arriving at Bishops Lydeard with autotrailer 178 ECS ready for a charter the next day.
The next up train was hauled by the WSRA's pannier 6412 seen here arriving at Bishops Lydeard. Photo by Jon Tooke
Later in the day D9526 returned light engine to the DEPG's depot at Williton.
Later on again Class 08 D3462, fresh from overhaul at Williton by the DEPG went up to Bishops Lydeard. It is seen here waiting the road from Williton. Photo by Jon Tooke
Moving up the bank to Crowcombe Heathfield resident pannier 6412 was double heading the visiting J15 65462 on the last down train of the day.
Next morning, 14 March, 5542 was working a charter with the autotrailer, the pair are seen arriving back at Bishops Lydeard from a photo session at Crowcombe Heathfield and crossing the DMU which was waiting to work the first service of the day to Minehead.
The charter had been to Norton Fitzwarren twice in pouring rain before getting back to Crowcombe Heathfield where it crossed with 6412 working the 10.15 Minehead to Bishops Lydeard.
A second view of 6412 arriving at Crowcombe Heathfield.
Moving on to Minehead, Ex GER J15 0-6-0 65462 is seen on Minehead shed. Viewed from this side you can see her air brake pump, she is dual brake fitted.
Another view of 65462 with BR Standard 4 tank 80136 also in shot.
Four views of the charter with 5542 doing a run past at Stogumber. The owners of 5542 have launched a restoration project to restore similar auto trailer No. 169 - see www.5542.co.uk for details.
In the near left photo the fireman is trying to get someone with a camcorder to move clear, as he didn't the train had to stop - if you are taking photos or videos on a railway please remember to keep clear of the line!
The following weekend saw 65462 working a Steam Engineman Charter, seen here arriving at Crowcombe Heathfield.
Another view of the visiting J15, about to exchange single line staffs at Crowcombe.
Moving on another week it was the Spring Steam Gala which has its own page.
A fortnight later a rather different visitor at Bishops Lydeard was this Sentinel S6 steam lorry. There are some more photos of it on Roadsteam.
A through special from Milton Keynes seen at Williton on 17 April hauled by EWS's 37047 and 37057. Photo by Jon Tooke
The pair waiting for the return run at Minehead.
80136 comes past the 37's on her way from the loco to her train in the bay platform.
The 37's still waiting as 80136 disappears on her way to Bishops Lydeard.
The pair are on their way home, seen again at Williton by Jon Tooke.
Here they are again arriving at Bishops Lydeard.
Underway again they are seen passing resident 08 shunter D3462, whose paint is in somewhat better than the EWS pairs.
A contrast in front ends, 37057 and BR Std 4 tank 80136 at the south end of Bishops Lydeard station.
A last view of the pair on their way back to the main line.
The tail end of their train, 37047 is just visible beyond the stabled DMU and the houses of the new village of Cotford St. Luke are visible over the top of the train.
The first diesel gala on the WSR since 1999 was held on May 7 to 9 2004, a great event with plenty of unusual pairings of visiting locos from rival Freight Operating Companies and a triple heading of Class 33 Cromptons.
For the rest of May and during June I haven't been taking photos on the WSR as I've just passed out as a guard and I've been too busy with my new duties to take any photos, however events on the line have been recorded on www.wsr.org.uk and I'll soon be adding more on here.
On the evening of 26 June 04 7820 Dinmore Manor waits in Up Sidings while EWS' 37203 waits on the Norton Road ready to take over an returning through train to Alton.
The train 37203 was waiting for was formed of the MHR's Green Train, it arrived from Minehead behind resident locos 5542 and 6412. It had arrived behind 73096 which came of at Lydeard and went to Westbury to turn earlier in the day.
5542 came off first, she was going back to Minehead light engine later.
6412 then came off prior to going to shed.
As 6412 headed for the loco, 5542 was stood at the water tower and 37203 was still waiting to come on to the train.
37203 comes back on to the Green Train while 5542 was taking water.
37203 attached and ready to leave for Westbury where it was going to be replaced by 73096 for the rest of the journey back to Alton.
37203 leaving while 5542 continues to wait patiently to start her run back to Minehead.
A final view of 37203, in Mainline livery and complete with snow ploughs which hardly seem needed in June!
5542 had got as far as the north end of Bishops Lydeard station when D7017 arrived with the next Up train, the Quantock Belle dining train which was working a shareholders special for the WSR plc's AGM.
A last view of the day, Hymek D7017 and the Quantock Belle runs into Bishops Lydeard.
4936 Kinlet Hall arrived back on the line in late July for a stay until September, she is seen here gleaming in the sunshine at Minehead on the 1st. of August.
In the background of the above photo, seen better here, are 7820 Dinmore Manor which is now stopped for overhaul and small prairie 5542 which was being coaled before returning her train to Bishops Lydeard.
A closer view of Kinlet's immaculate paintwork in the bright August sun.
Gleaming name and number plates, brass safety valve cover... Truly a product of "God's Wonderful Railway"!
Ex GWR large prairie 5199 visiting for the Autumn Steam Gala was working the Quantock Belle dining train the previous weekend, she is seen here waiting departure from Bishops Lydeard. Photo by Rodney Greenway
Another view of her the next day at Williton working the 14.10 from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead.
The big event of the month, the completion of the restoration/rebuild of large prairie 5193 into small mogul 9351, she is seen here outside the works at Minehead in the company of 5542 and 80136. Photo by Rodney Greenway
Another view of her, a few details to finish off - and that splasher looks ready to receive a nameplate! Photo by Rodney Greenway
Another Gala visitor which arrived in good time was 9F 2-10-0 92214, seen here in the loco compound at Bishops Lydeard. Photo by Jon Tooke
Earlier she had worked a special for the S&DJR Trust commemorating the 150th. anniversary of the opening of the Somerset Central, which later merged with the Dorset Central to form the Somerset & Dorset. Photo by Jon Tooke
In late September this HST, formerly with Virgin Cross Country then on Midland Mainline's Project Rio services, arrived for storage on behalf of its new owners, First Great Western. It was a strange visitor to have during a steam gala!
The Taunton end power car is 43155 City of Aberdeen, with its new owners I'm not sure whether it will ever visit the Granite City again!
An oddity, I spotted these loose coupled wagons during shunting demonstrations at Washford. It seems amazing now to think that this much slack existed between every wagon of a traditional goods train.
The month started with the Autumn Steam Gala, this view is of newly completed small boiler mogul 9351 arriving at Minehead. We had to wait a while for her debut but she ran very well all weekend, full marks to the team that rebuilt her.
The following Saturday was somewhat quieter - only 4 trains working! - my eye was caught by this line up of goods brake vans at Minehead.
Shortly after Class 03 diesel shunter D2133 ran down the loop with them.
The next day BR Std. tank 80136 unusually went to Washford and is seen here sat in the yard there.
On Friday 15 Oct. an additional HST power car, 43093, arrived at Minehead for storage along with the set seen above on Sat. 16 Oct.
At the other end of the line Class 115 DMU power car 51663 was having its body removed as being beyond repair. The underframe is to be used for other purposes.
A preserved Hastings Line DEMU visited the line on 16 Oct. working a special from Hastings. This view is of power car S60000 at the Taunton end of the set seen from one of the WSR's trains in the sidings.
At the other end was power car S60116 Tunbridge Wells, the 7 car set included 3 power cars the third was "inside" S60000. They are known as Thumpers, the guard who brought it from Westbury said he'd found out why after listening to the engine the other side of a thin partition!
After I'd got my my train out of the way a rather better view became possible, must be the first visit of a Thumper to West Somerset.
Later in the day I was back in time to catch the unit leaving the West Somerset for the trip back to Hastings.
A last view of the Thumper, a "quiet" late season day which had besides this visitor seen 4 steam turns and the resident DMU.
9351 has been working the Bishops Lydeard - Crowcombe Santa Specials this winter, she is seen here at Crowcombe Heathfield waiting while the children visit Santa.
Another view of her, for the kids it's a chance to have good look at a steam engine while the others see Santa.
For the first two trips at least the trains are top and tailed in case of difficult rail conditions, this is Class 33 "Crompton" D6566 on the rear after banking the train up from Lydeard.
On this occasion, 28 Nov., the diesel wasn't needed for the last two trips so 9351 had run round in this view.
A fortnight later 9351 was again on Santa duties, this time she was caught by Jon Tooke at Bishops Lydeard awaiting departure. In the background is 5542 with the stock for the Santa Express to Williton. Photo by Jon Tooke.
Meanwhile Class 08 D3462 and class 33 D6566 were stood in Up Sidings awaiting their next duties. In the left background, under a sheet, is Autotrailer 169 which will soon move to Williton for restoration to commence. Photo by Jon Tooke.
A little later 5542 had got to Williton and run round. On these trains the children see Santa on the train while on the move. Photo by Jon Tooke.
Santa took advantage of the break at Williton to take a walk on the platform before the return run to Bishops Lydeard. Photo by Jon Tooke.
In the DEPG workshop at Williton Class 25 D7523 is undergoing a bodywork overhaul and repaint, she is seen here gleaming under the lights. Photo by Jon Tooke.
Also at Williton, Rick Wakeman was at the controls of Standard 4 Tank 80136 on a Driver Training Course. You don't have to be a rock star to go on one of these, see www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk for details - perhaps you could ask Santa to book you on one next year! Photo by Jon Tooke.
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This site was last updated 13-08-2012
Photos not otherwise credited are ©2001-2004 S G J Huddy. Other photos are included with permission of the copyright holders.