New coach parking in Minehead
The West Somerset Railway, which is Britain’s longest standard gauge heritage railway, will be exhibiting at the South West Group Travel Show in Bristol on 14 January, and a fortnight later will be at Alexandra Palace for the Excursions show.
The 2012 timetable leaflet is now available and this year it is in a new format as a booklet and as well as the main timetable information it also gives dates of special events and special train workings such as Murder Mysteries, and Fish and Chips.
The Winter Steam Festival takes place on 28-29 December and will have hourly train departures from both Bishops Lydeard and Minehead from 10am to 4pm.
There will be five steam engines in action and it is hoped that the locomotive line-up will include the recently-restored Great Western 6960 Raveningham Hall which is currently being painted in the workshops at Minehead. Normal fares apply for the festival.
During steam and diesel gala events the WSR cannot accept normal group bookings with reserved seats, but Rover tickets are available which will allow the holders to travel on the trains and explore what the Gala has to offer to suit their own programme for the day, and at a reduced rate.
For coach groups who are looking to enjoy a full meal, the Yarn Market Hotel in Dunster will open its restaurant especially at lunchtime for exclusive use. Bookings should be made direct with the hotel.
Catering is also available on the trains with details in the group travel packs.
For those interested in both Exmoor scenery and industrial archaeology there are opportunities to see the remains of the West Somerset Mineral Railway again in 2012. For this trip passengers leave Minehead by the 10.15 or Bishops Lydeard by the 10.25 train and alight at Williton for a conducted tour of the remains of the line. The cost per person is £27.50 (including the booking fee) and the maximum limit is 22 passengers. The dates of the public trips are 14 April, 23 June, 11 August and 23 October.