Cross Country Weekend


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The West Somerset held a Cross Country Weekend on 10 & 11 May 2003, the centrepiece was the naming of Virgin Cross Country's Voyager 220 001 Somerset Voyager at Minehead on the Saturday.

Virgin Voyager 220 001 arrives at Williton

The Voyager arrived on the WSR by working a special from Bristol Temple Meads, in aid of the RNLI, my first sight of it was as it arrived at Williton.


220 001 and 7820 cross at Williton

The soon to be Somerset Voyager crossed 7820 Dinmore Manor which was working a Minehead - Bishops Lydeard train.


Somerset Voyager and Dinmore Manor at Williton

A better view of the rear coach of the Voyager while it moved off from Williton.


Voyager and Manor

A last view of this first working of a Voyager (or indeed a Virgin train) onto the WSR.


The actual naming is on Voyager naming, a collection of photos by my WSR colleagues Jon Tooke and Rodney Greenway and from Ian Cudworth.

Peak at the summit

In keeping with the Cross Country theme a Class 46 "Peak" 46035 (D172) was working "The Devonian", Class 45 & 46 "Peaks" were associated with services such as the Paignton - Leeds "Devonian" for many years.  Seeing one again, even as here at Crowcombe Heathfield, brought back many memories for me.


The Devonian

The train carried roof boards for the Devonian as seen in this shot.



D6566 and 47732

Class 33, D6566, and Class 47, 47732 (D1762) Restormel stand in the bay at Bishops Lydeard.  47's and 33's were also associated with Cross Country services, in the latter case on the Southern from Reading.


Line up at Lydeard

This is the full line up in the bay, they arrived in a convoy of light engines with a support coach (for the 46) and some TPO vans for added brake force when they return with 5051 added to the incoming consist of 46035, 67010 and 47732.  There are photos of this movement on Loco Convoy.

5542 on display

With the influx of visiting locos resident small prairie 5542 was not in service but was on display in the loco compound at Bishops Lydeard.


John Wood and his baby

The chairman of 5542 Ltd, John Wood is seen here with his "baby", which took 23 years to restore so magnificently.



D7523 and 7820 at Williton

D7523 outside the depot at Williton while 7820 waits to cross with a down train.



Up Voyager at Williton

The Voyager finally appeared and is seen approaching Williton station.



The Voyager and 7820

It arrives framed by the Manor and the WSRA's workshops.



Voyager leaving Williton

A last shot of the Voyager for now as it pulls away from Williton.



Minehead loco

The view at Minehead with (left to right) 5224, 4160, 46035 and 7820 on shed.



46035 at Minehead

Another view of 46035 on Minehead loco.



Minehead loco

Another view of the loco with (left to right) 7820, 46035, a Class 115 DMU MBS and D2133 visible.


47732 arriving at Minehead

A very wet scene as 47732 arrives at Minehead in a downpour with the first service train (as opposed to mainline excursion) worked by a 47 on the WSR


47732 and 46035 at Minehead

A second view with 46035 also in shot.



Western Campaigner and Earl Bathurst

5051 Earl Bathurst and D1010 Western Campaigner await their turns to head up trains to Bishops Lydeard at Minehead Station.


A Siphon G, a Castle and a Western

The Castle left first, on the left is an ex GWR Siphon G van to add to the western flavour.


Earl Bathurst leaving

Earl Bathurst leaves

Collecting the token

3 shots of Earl Bathurst leaving and collecting the token.


D1010 Western Campaigner

D1010 Western Campaigner

Next Western Campaigner pulled out before setting back into the bay platform.


7820 arrives at Minehead

7820 arrives at Minehead

7820 arives at Minehead

Resident 4-6-0, 7820 Dinmore Manor, then arrived with the last train of the day from Bishops Lydeard.


7820 off to shed

7828 and 5224

As 7820 retired to shed the line's other Manor, 7828 Odney Manor, out of service due to boiler problems, and 2-8-0T 5224 bask in the evening sun.


On Sunday the timetable was basically 2 steam turns working between Minehead and Bishops Lydeard with the Voyager shuttling between Williton and Minehead and 46035 and 47732 "Top and Tailing" between Williton and Norton Fitzwarren.

67010 at Bishops Lydeard

67010 remained on display at Bishops Lydeard attached to the support coaches.


47732 at Bishops Lydeard

EWS's 47732 was on the Norton Fitzwarren end of of the top and tail operation, seen here waiting with their first train of the day.


46035 at Bishops Lydeard

46035 at Bishops Lydeard

At the other end was preserved 46035, it had been a long time since I'd seen or heard a "Peak" - brought back some memories!



The Cornishman

The train was called The Cornishman, for long the name carried by a Leeds - Penzance service.


Earl Bathurst at Williton

For the Sunday 5051 Earl Bathurst's train carried the Devonian nameboards, seen here at Williton.


47732 at Williton

Also at Williton is 47732 whilst reversing the "top and tail" shuttle.



Somerset Voyager in the Somerset countryside

Somerset Voyager approaches Williton through the Somerset countryside.


46035 and Somerset Voyager

It then arrived alongside 46035 for an exchange of passengers.


47732 nears Bishops Lydeard

Shortly after 47732 was leading past Combe Florey near Bishops Lydeard.



47732 at Norton Fitzwarren

46035 at Norton Fitzwarren

Further down the line, at the very end of the line at Norton Fitzwarren 47732 and 46035 stand at each end of their train prior to returning to Bishops Lydeard and Williton.



67010 reforming convoy

Towards the end of the afternoon 67010 began to reform the convoy of locos, it is seen here in Up Sidings at Bishops Lydeard.


67010 and 7820

Soon after 7820 Dinmore Manor came almost alongside the 67 while running round its train.


Voyager departs

Everything has to come to an end, the end of the Cross Country weekend came as 220001 Somerset Voyager pulled out of Bishops Lydeard en route for the mainline at Norton Fitzwarren and thence back to Bristol.


There are other photos of the West Somerset Railway in 2003 on WSR 2003 and Spring Steam Gala 2003 

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!

  Click here to go to the West Somerset Railway's site

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This site was last updated 15-07-2012

Photos not otherwise credited are 2003 S G J Huddy.  Other photos are included with permission of the copyright holders.