West Somerset Railway Locomotive Rosters
September Roster, please click here
Please note that the locomotive rosters are correct at the time of print but are subject to change for operational, mechanical or any other reason. If you are visiting the railway to see a specific locomotive it is advisable to call us on 01643 704996 to confirm the locomotives availability.
Steam Locomotives of the West Somerset Railway
STEAM LOCOMOTIVES OF THE WEST SOMERSET RAILWAY.
The following is a list of steam engines based on or associated with the West Somerset Railway. Please note that they will not all be in service at any one time and may be in the workshops being serviced. There is no regular public access to the Railway’s workshops but they are usually open to the public on Steam Gala weekends.BRITISH RAILWAYS WESTERN REGION "MANOR” CLASS 4-6-0 7828 "NORTON MANOR”
The "Manor” Class was designed by C.B. Collett for work on the lighter built main lines of the Great Western, such as the former Cambrian system in Mid Wales, and the first 20 emerged from Swindon Works in 1938. A further 10 were built by the Western Region, also at Swindon, in 1950 and 7828 was one of these.
The loco spent most of its 15 year B.R. career on the Cambrian. It then went to the Barry Yard before being purchased by Mr Ken Ryder and it moved to the WSR from the East Lancs Railway in the 1990’s. Mr Rtder subsequently sold it to the WSR and it is approaching the end of a heavy overhaul. 7828 was known throughout its mainline and earlier WSR career as "Odney Manor” but in 2011 was named "Norton Manor” in honour of the base of 40 Commando which is the neighbour of the line at Norton Fitzwarren. Just to confuse things the original plans for the class included extra locomotives and the never-built 7830 was due to be named "Norton Manor”.
There are two more "Manors” with
WSR connections, both from the 1950 batch.
7820 "Dinmore Manor” was
purchased by Dinmore Manor Locomotive Limited from the Gwili Railway. It was a
regular performer on the line in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s before being
withdrawn for overhaul which is now underway at Tyseley in Birmingham.
7821 "Ditcheat Manor” is owned by
the West Somerset Railway Association but is not presently fit for service and
is on display in STEAM Museum in Swindon.
SOMERSET & DORSET JOINT
RAILWAY 7F CLASS 2-8-0 88
The first major locomotive overhaul to be completed by the WSR back in 1987 after much preliminary work carried out at Radstock and Washford by its owners the Somerset and Dorset Railway Trust. It ran just under 50,000 miles over the WSR after this before a further major overhaul at the end of the 20th century which entailed almost complete reconstruction of the boiler. Number 88 is one of two surviving members of an original class of eleven designed for working heavy freight trains over the Mendip Hills although they were also used on holidays trains between Bath and Bournemouth.
The engine was built by Robert Stephenson and Sons in 1925 and originally carried a non-standard 5 feet 3 inch diameter boiler. This was removed during an overhaul at Derby in the 1950’s and was replaced by a standard one from withdrawn "Midland Compound” 41097. The loco was withdrawn from British Railways service in 1963 as 53808 and spent time in the scrapyard at Barry before being purchased by the SDRT as part of the abortive "Radstock Prokect” in the late 1960’s.
GREAT WESTERN RAILWAY DESIGNED "MOGUL” 2-6-0 9351
The most controversial steam engine in the history of the WSR. The design for this locomotive dates from the 1930’s but the Great Western never actually built any engines of this type, opting instead for the 2251 Class of 0-6-0. However in the 1990’s the West Somerset purchased "Large Prairie” number 5193 in unrestored condition and took the decision to create the "engine that never was”. This stirred up considerable heated debate but since its entrance into traffic 9351 has proved to be an excellent performer, well suited to the secondary main line nature of the WSR.
GREAT WESTERN RAILWAY 2884 CLASS 2-8-0 3850
The first of this series of heavy freight engines was designed by G.J. Churchward and entered service in 1903. So powerful and popular were they that the Western Region of British Railways tried to have another batch built half a century later, although that request was declined.
The 2884 series was a modification of the original design by C.B. Collett and it emerged from Swindon Works in 1942, spending two decades mainly at the head of heavy coal and mineral trains. After withdrawal it spent another 20 years in Barry Scrapyard before coming to the WSR in the 1980’s as the first engine to be purchased by the Group which has now become Dinmore Manor Locomotive Ltd. For various reasons its return to traffic was a protracted one and took two further decades but today it is the most powerful hauler in the home fleet. DML Ltd now wn two further GWR 2-8-0’s number 2874 and 3845 but these are stored away from the line in unrestored condition.
GREAT WESTERN RAILWAY "LARGE
PRAIRIE” 2-6-2T 4160
Technically a British Railways built machine as it was completed in March 1948, two and a half months after Nationalisation, at Swindon. It came to the West Somerset Railway at the start of the 1990’s and was restored by the "Iffy Rivet Company” a volunteer group whose workmanship completely belied their self-imposed name. "Large Prairies” were regular performers on Minehead trains in steam days and 4160 has been a popular engine with crews and visitors for almost two decades now. The Large Prairies main duties were at the head of heavy suburban and stopping trains but part of 4160’s working life on British Railways was spent assisting heavy freight trains through the Severn Tunnel.
PECKETT 0-4-0 SADDLE TANK
Built in 1929 in Bristol "Kilmersdon” is a typical small industrial shunting engine which spent its working career at the colliery of the same name in North Somerset, becoming the last steam engine to work in industry in the county. Today it is the care of the Somerset and Dorset and Railway Trust at Washford and is usually steamed to give shunting demonstrations during Gala events.
6960 "RAVENINGHAM HALL"
6960’s duties would have been the standard work for this highly versatile class, principally semi-fast and fast express trains and fast freights.
"Small Prairie” 4561 is owned by the West Somerset Railway Association and is completely stripped down for overhaul at Williton.
Diesel Trains and Locomotives on the West Somerset Railway
Most diesel services on the West Somerset Railway are worked by a diesel multiple unit train (dmu), also known as diesel railcars. Diesel railcars were introduced by the Great Western in the 1930’s but the idea was widely adapted by British Railways as part of the Modernisation Plan of the 1950’s. The DMUs replaced many steam worked local services and proved popular with the passengers who appreciated their cleanliness, higher speeds and good all round views of the surroundings. On may services the entry of the DMUs into service meant a general increase in passenger traffic. The units employed on the WSR spent the last part of their working lives with British Rail working around Birmingham before the Croos City routes there were electrified.
The preservation of heritage diesels began in the 1970’s as some far-sighted enthusiasts (including some railway industry professionals) recognised the fact that the ranks of the first generation of main line diesel locomotives were being thinned as some traffic types left the railways and standardisation of equipment advanced. Already some historic locomotives such as the pair of prototype LMS main line machines and the trio built for the Southern Railway had been scrapped and without the efforts of the pioneers many other historic classes would now be only images in books and back numbers of magazines.
The Diesel and Electric Preservation Group were one of the first into the field and have been associated with the West Somerset for most of its history. In three and a half decades they have built-up a splendid collection of machines including as comprehensive a fleet of the Western Region Diesel Hydraulic machines as is possible to do so (this group of engines lasted only one generation in B.R. use with the last being switched-off in 1977). Starting off in the former goods shed they have established a large depot and a heritage centre at Williton which is generally open at weekends and during Galas and if you have an interest in heritage locomotives in particular or railway history generally you will probably enjoy a visit there if time permits..
CLASS 52 "WESTERN” No. D1010 "WESTERN CAMPAIGNER”
The "Westerns” were first introduced by British Railways in 1961 and began to appear in numbers on West of England express services from 1964 onwards. Fast and powerful the 74 locomotives that made up the Class soon attracted a major enthusiast following and their early demise, as a non-standard class, in 1977 was much regretted.
However as mentioned earlier they also worked stone trains from the Mendips and on withdrawal D1010 was purchased by Foster Yeoman with a view to putting her on display at the entrance to their Torr Works. She was also given the identity of it scrapped class mate D1035 "Western Yeoman”. After a number of years there she came into the possession of the DEPG who have restored her to working order and its original name and number.
CLASS 42 "WARSHIP” No. D832 "ONSLAUGHT”
The "Warship” Classes 42 and 43 were the immediate predecessors of the "Westerns” at the head of the Western Region Expresses and worked alongside them until the last examples were switched off in 1972. "Warships” did work freight services but their light weight construction which contributed to their high speed running capabilities reduced their braking capacity on mineral trains and therefore they were more likely to feature of fast freight duties such as van trains. D832 is one of two survivors and is on loan to the DEPG from the Bury Hydraulic Group on the East Lancs Railway.
CLASS 35 "HYMEK NO.D7017
The 101 members of the "Hymek” Class were produced in Manchester by Beyer Peacock as a mixed traffic machine but they had not been in traffic for very long before the operating departments discovered that they could reach speeds of 90 m.p.h. on heavy expresses and match the schedules of the day. As with the "Warships” their comparatively light weight (one of the major advantages of hydraulic as distinct from electric transmission which was behind the Western Region decision to go for the idea) reduced their braking capacity but they were still employed on coal and other mineral hauls. The engine was one of the first to be acquired by the DEPG and the first main line diesel to be based on the WSR. Class mate D7018 is undergoing heavy long term overhaul at Williton.
CLASS 35 "HYMEK NO.D7018
As with the "Warships” Hymeks comparatively light weight reduced their braking capacity but they were still employed on coal and other mineral hauls.
CLASS 14 "TEDDY BEAR
The smallest of the diesel hydraulics the Class 14’s were the orphans of the storm, being built to replace the family of Great Western pannier tanks just as many of the duties performed by the panniers on branch line and local duties were vanishing in the wake of the Beeching Report. Although the engines did little work in their short time in state ownership quite a number passed into useful employment in industry. In the case of D9526 it became the works shunter for Blue Circle Cement at Westbury.
When acquired by the DEPG it showed plenty of evidence of its time in this role but since being comprehensively cleared of cement dust and restored it has been a useful part of the operations of the WSR.
CLASS 33 "CROMPTON” No. D6566
Built as a general purpose diesel electric type for the Southern Region the Class 33’s proved to be one of the most reliable work horses ever to be available to the railways of Britain, capable of most jobs except for the fastest expresses and the heaviest freight work. That led them to range far and wide from their original area and there are few lines that they have not visited in almost five decades of use. Westbury has seen them on cross country passenger, permanent way and oil trains amongst other traffics down the years. Class mate D6575 is approaching the end of an overhaul and repairs to damage sustained in a fire and should be back in traffic later in 2011.
CLASS 47 No. D1661 "NORTH STAR”
Another one of the undoubted successes of the first generation of British Railways diesels these Brush Type 4’s have done the lot from the prestige passenger turns to the big mineral hauls and with the 50th Anniversary of the Class only a year away some are still finding gainful work on the national network. D1661 was one of the first of the Class to be allocated to the Western Region and the name it was given was from Great Western tradition (the first "North Star” was the best steam engine the GWR had when it opened in 1837 and a replica can be seen in STEAM Museum in Swindon). D1661 finished its main line career as number 47840, fitted with long range fuel tanks for cross country and other diagrams that took them around the UK. It was presented to the care of the DEPG after withdrawal from mainline work.
CLASS 03 No. D2133
In the 1950’s the freight network of Britain’s Railways included hundreds of miles of industrial and dock sidings, much of it with weight restrictions and/or tight curves restricting what locomotives could pass over it. British Railways therefore took delivery of large numbers of smaller diesel shunting locomotives to tackle these jobs. Taunton loco shed were allocated a batch of 03’s for work in such areas as Bridgwater Docks. D2133 was one of these and when the docks closed she was purchased by British Celanese to shunt in their internal rail system in the town. When rail traffic to the works ceased the engine was presented to the West Somerset Railway and is now normally used for shunting at Minehead having never worked outside Somerset in its story to date.
The British Rail Class 09 is a class of 0-6-0 diesel locomotive designed primarily for shunting and also short distance freight trips along branch lines.
DH16 was the 2nd out of an order of 18 locos to be built for the Manchester Ship Canal Company where it worked until 1971. Dh16 arrived on the WSR in August 2001.
Built by Andrew Barclay & Sons at their Kilmarnock works. No1 & No.2 were supplied to the Royal Ordnance Factor at Puriton, Bridgwater. 1 & 2 were capable of working in tandem.
1 & 2 remained in Puriton until 1991 and were loaned to the WSR arriving in summer 94. Both locos were repainted in dark green livery.
The Coaching stock of the West Somerset Railway
The carriages in day to day use on the West Somerset are British Railways Mark I’s built between the mid-1950’s and mid-1960’s. The majority are of a type known as TSO’s (Tourist Second Open) and are of open plan arrangement with seats arranged in "bays” of four around a table. There is a small amount of compartment stock with side corridors as seen in films such as "The Lady Vanishes”, "4.50 From Paddington”, "”A Hard Days Night” or more recently the "Harry Potter” series.
A number of the carriages are in use as buffet cars and each steam train will normally offer this service. Food on sale from the buffets includes pasties and pies, sandwiches, cakes and lighter snacks. Hot and soft drinks are sold and the buffets are also licensed, selling mostly locally brewed beers and ciders. A full dining train service is offered by the "Quantock Belle” dining train which normally operates on Sunday lunchtimes through most of the operating season. For information about the "Quantock Belle” contact 01823 433856.
The "Heritage Carriages Project” organised by the West Somerset Steam Railway Trust aims to restore former Great Western Railway coaches. The first to be completed was the 1897 Sleeping Car which had spent many years as part of a house in the Somerset village of Stogursey. Now restored to its former glory it is not suitable for daily operation on the line but can usually be viewed in the Gauge Museum at Bishops Lydeard. It is hoped that Collett passenger brake number 6705 which is approaching the completion of its overhaul after repatriation from the USA will be in service sometime in 2012 and other Great Western coaches are stored at Williton awaiting their turn for restoration.
Steam Engineman Course
Experience the feeling of working steam locomotives as you join the team on the footplate, shovel coal into the firebox, blow the whistle, open the regulator and feel the power.
Treat someone special (even yourself) to the thrill of a lifetime learning what it feels like to be a real fireman and engine driver. A really special present or excellent Corporate Hospitality.
With twenty miles of stunning Somerset countryside and coastal scenery, and challenging gradients there is something for everyone from the novice to the experienced enthusiast.
Our Steam Engineman Courses are designed for moderately fit men and women (over 18) to experience aspects of the railway unseen by many passengers. Depending on your choice of course you will learn how to prepare a locomotive, the principles of working a steam locomotive, signalling, braking, safety, driving and firing. Guided by an experienced West Somerset Railway Instructor you will haul a train of coaches or freight wagons along part of the entire longest preserved railway in the country.
Enjoy a real treat yourself or give the perfect surprise gift Voucher.
Steam Engineman Course dates for 2014
SEC Tasters - £225.00
Stage One - £450
March 9th/ 10th
Stage Two - £475.00
Stage Three - £475.00
Stage Four - £795
Stage Five (used to be stage 6) - £695.00
SEC Course Information
08:30 – 09:45 Prep locomotive and Shunt and form train
09:45 – 11.00 Depart for Bishops Lydeard
11.20 – 13.15 Bishops Lydeard to Minehead and shunts
13.15 – 14.15 Lunch
14.15 – 15.30 Depart to Bishops Lydeard
15.50 – 17.30 Bishops Lydeard to Minehead and shunts
17.30 – 18:30 Shunt Train and Dispose Locomotive
18.30 – 19.00 Tea/coffee. Final Thoughts
Diesel Experience Course
the feel of a working Class 33 diesel electric locomotive as you join
the Driver in the cab to take the seat and drive the Heritage Diesel
Treat someone special (even yourself!) to the thrill of a lifetime learning what it feels like to be a real Diesel Driver. With twenty miles of stunning West Somerset countryside and coastal scenery there is something for everyone from novice to enthusiast.
Our Diesel Engineman courses are designed for moderately fit men or women aged 18 years or over who will experience aspects of our railway operations unseen by our many passengers. On your course you will learn about your diesel locomotive and how to drive it safely in service.
Guided by an experienced Diesel & Electric Preservation Group Driver you will haul a former British Railways Goods Brake Van along part of the longest standard gauge Heritage Railway in the country.
Please see our DEC Accommodation List for establishments who serve an early breakfast.
Check our web site & Facebook & Twitter pages for updates.
Dates and How to Book
To book please call 01643 704996 or Online. If you have a Diesel Engineman Course Voucher or Gift Voucher to redeem please call us to do this and make the booking.Alternatively we can take a deposit of £100.00 then the full balance 4 weeks in advance, please call us to do this.
Price per person: £295.00
Stage One Dates
Saturday 5th April
Saturday 26th April
Saturday 10th May
Saturday 17th May
Saturday 6th September
Saturday 27th September
Saturday 11th October
Saturday 18th October
Saturday 1st November
All deposits are non-refundable.
Cancelled bookings are subject to the following charges:
£40.00 if cancelled more than 4 weeks before the booked course date.
25% of course fee if cancelled between 21 & 28 days before the booked course date.
50% of course fee if cancelled between 7 & 20 days before the booked course date.
100% of course fee when less than 7 days before the booked date.
Refunds will only be considered if the West Somerset Railway can re-sell the cancelled place.
All cancellations must be received in writing.
Starting from Williton
08:30 – 08.45 Arrive Williton. Tea/coffee.
09.00 Safety brief
09.15 Tour of Williton Diesel Depot and locomotive preparation
10:00 Depart Williton for Minehead
10.50 Arrive at Minehead, pick up Heritage Freight Train
11.10 Depart Minehead for Bishops Lydeard
12.55 Arrive Bishops Lydeard
Lunch (as fits in with duties)
13.10 Depart Bishops Lydeard for Minehead
14.50 Arrive Minehead, stable Heritage Freight Train
15.40 Depart Minehead for Williton
16.10 Arrive Williton and Stable locomotive
16:20- 16:45 Tea/coffee.
During trips you will drive one way and be the second man for the other; riding in the Guards Van when not on the footplate.
Please note: Only course participants may travel in the Guards Van.
Driver Experience Charters
Price: Dependent on locomotive, hire charge and number of miles required for charter.
For more information please email email@example.com or call us on 01643 704996.
2014 Diesel Running Dates
Please note that individual locomotive appearances are subject to availability.
Both the WSR and DEPG reserve the right to change any aspect of this Plan, at any time, to suit the operational
needs of the Railway.