The West Somerset Railway (WSR) was honoured to host the Royal Train for an overnight stay by Her Majesty the Queen ahead of her visit to Somerset last Thursday (March 28).
Arriving in the small hours of Thursday morning after leaving London Euston station late the previous evening, the Royal Train was taken onto WSR metals from the main line connection and then stabled securely on the WSR tracks close to HM Royal Marine 40 Commando base at Norton Manor camp.
The Royal visitor then left the WSR route from the Norton Fitzwarren junction around 9.30am and then via rail for the short journey to Castle Cary station and her well-publicised visit to Somerset.
It was the third time the Minehead branch had welcomed Royal visitors for an overnight stay on the line.The Duke of Gloucester visited in 2002 for the 50th anniversary of the Lynton & Lynmouth Flood Disaster and King George VI also stayed near Norton Fitzwarren during the Second World War years.
Meanwhile, WSR steam trains will be running between Bishops Lydeard and Watchet Station from now until 18 April, when the heritage line reopens fully to Minehead. WSR Rover Tickets will be valid on ‘Buses of Somerset’ service 28 from Watchet to Minehead (return).
The bus link services are thanks to ‘Buses of Somerset’ Managing Director Alex Carter and WSR plc Chairman Jonathan Jones-Pratt who both wished to show their community support and help the WSR.
Passengers are advised to check the timings of services to ensure their connections. Ordinary return train tickets from Bishops Lydeard to Watchet only are also available without the bus connection. Further information on 01643 704996 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.