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Home > Your Visit > Accessibility Guide

Accessibility Guide

The West Somerset Railway welcomes passengers who have a disability and any accompanying assistance dogs. Indeed, if you a disability, you may travel at half the adult or child fare.  If you have a carer with you, he or she may also be eligible to travel at half fare. (Standard and Special Event Fares only, disabled concessions are not available on our special services).  There is no need to pre-book, however if you have more than 3 wheelchairs, please let us know the date, and trains you intend to travel on as this will give us an idea of how many wheelchairs will be on your train and if we need to add our Lorna Doone Coach or new wheelchair accessible coach to provide extra capacity.  

Even if your mobility is limited, most of the stations along the West Somerset Railway are accessible to you.  Please arrive with at least 25 minutes to spare for boarding.  Restrict your speed to 2 mph for the safety of both yourself and everyone else. Until you are boarding a train, please keep away from the platform edge.

We hope that the information below will help those travelling with us who have a disability.  For more information on fares please see our fares pages.

The railway has ten Stations along its route; if you are in a wheelchair or your mobility is impaired nine of these are accessible to you. The one station without easy access is Doniford Halt which has a small uneven gravel path leading down from a road embankment with gated entrance (and no car parking). At Stogumber the gardens, picnic areas and refreshment room are easily accessible and allow good views of passing trains, however, the platform is narrow and can be difficult for you and your wheelchair to access the train.

Click here to download the West Somerset Railway Access Statement.


The Trains

Most of our trains are accessible even if you have a disability.  You can move between the carriages (including to the buffet car) on the level but the somewhat narrow connecting doors of our heritage carriages stop you from doing so in a wheelchair or scooter.

If you can step aboard and move to a seat, a small number of our carriages have a space (at one end) in which your folded wheelchair may be carried.

However, wheelchairs and all scooters will normally travel in the Guard’s Van. Here you will find windows and non-slip flooring. Access is via a ramp (note that whilst the on-train crew are there to help you, it is your responsibility for boarding using the ramp). Again, access to the rest of the train is on the level but restricted by the narrow connecting doors into the coach saloons.
 
Booking of accessible coaches

We have three carriages which can be put on a specific train (subject to advance booking and availability). The carriages are specially adapted to accommodate wheelchairs. The Lorna Doone can accommodate up to 10 wheelchairs and 'The Golden Fox' Accessible Carriage and Stephen Hawking Accessible Coach can accommodate 6. To check availability/pre-book please call us on 01643 704996. In addition there is room in the Guard's Van to travel.
 
Size Restrictions

Most WSR services can carry manual or powered wheelchairs (and mobility scooters), folded if necessary, up to the following limitations for safety reasons:

Width: 700 millimetres (27 inches)
Length (including footplates): 1200 millimetres (47 inches)
Weight including passenger: 230kg (36 stone), the safe limit of our ramps.

However if the wheelchair is bespoke and adapted for your special needs please contact the Railway in advance of travel and we will review on an individual basis.

Station

Disabled Parking Sign

Access to Platform

Accessible

Platform

Toilets

Cafe

Shop

Bishops Lydeard

yes

shallow ramps

RADAR

yes

yes

easy access

 Crowcombe Heathfield

no

level

yes

no

n/a

grassed area

 Stogumber

no

steep ramp

yes

yes

n/a

too narrow

 Williton

no

shallow ramps

no

no

no

narrow

 Doniford Halt

no

none

n/a

n/a

n/a

very difficult access

 Watchet

yes

level

yes

n/a

yes

easy access

 Washford

no

steep ramp

no

no

no

grassed area

 Blue Anchor

no

shallow ramps

no

no

no

narrow

 Dunster

no

level

no

no

n/a

grassed area

 Minehead

yes

level

RADAR

yes

yes

easy access

 
Boarding the Train

It is your responsibility to load your wheelchair or scooter on and off the train and we ask you or your travelling companion to ensure that the scooter is folded ready for boarding prior to the train's arrival. If you wish help, please do not hestitate to ask.

If your scooter or wheelchair is oversize, we have a small number of (ordinary, standard size) wheelchairs available for loan at Bishops Lydeard, Watchet and Minehead for your use whilst you are on the railway.

If your wheelchair is oversize for medical reasons (but not overweight), please contact us in advance of travel (details below) and we may be able to issue a permit to travel for your wheelchair.

Please ask for assistance if it would help. We are here to ensure you enjoy your day!

Engine Shed Open Days

The Railway’s engineering departments  are not usually open to the public, but on special events may be open for a small fee. These are not easily accessible to you if you have a disability for safety reasons.


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