A day on the West Somerset Railway.

Leaving Wicksons yard at 7-45 on Sunday September 18th, a steady drive down the M5 took us to Bishops Lydeard, to commence our 20 mile journey to Minehead.

 We were booked on the 12-30 train, pulled by class 7 Pacific No 70000 Britannia.

After calling at Crowcombe Heathfield, and Stogumber, we arrived at Williton, and waited for the 12-25 passenger train from Minehead to pass us in the station.

A number of diesel locomotives were parked in the yard at Williton.

After exchanging tokens with the other train crew, Britannia then carried on with the journey.

After approx 10 minutes the train arrived at the town of Watchet.

Travelling then along the coastline.

A short stop at Washford, and on to meet the DMU from Minehead which was waiting in Blue Anchor station to exchange tokens.

Leaving Blue Anchor, a further 15 minutes took us to the terminus at Minehead, after a quick stop at Dunster to pick up passengers.

The Pacific then ran round its train, ready to take out the 14-15 back to Bishops Lydeard. A quick walk along the platform to see some interesting items. A beautifully restored West Country class No 34046 stood majestically in the head shunt.

 In Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway livery, was 2-8-0 No 88.

A restored wooden bodied wagon was parked in the sidings.

West Somerset Railway is one of the few Heritage Railways to own a Turntable.

The 0-6-0 diesel shunter was also parked in the sidings.

Before Brittania left with the 14-15 to Bishops Lydeard, a special private charter arrived in platform 2, pulled by GWR 7828 Odney Manor. This special was to celebrate the first outing of the Manors Return to  Steam after a major overhaul.

Heavy rain did not stop the enthusiasts, who watched and photographed the engine as it drove onto the turntable, and rotated 180 degrees, so as to return chimney first to Bishops Lydeard.

A late lunch in the station buffet, and then a stroll along the sea front in the rain.

Returning to the railway in time to see Odney Manor shunt its stock into platform 1 and change the headlamp code.

The Manor then ran round ready to depart with the special charter. Just after 4-30 the DMU returned into platform 2.

As 7828 left for Bishops Lydeard with the charter we boarded our coach to return to the Midlands.

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