Ever since British Rail closed the Taunton - Minehead line, the people of West Somerset have been asking for a through train service to Taunton and beyond, to run alongside the steam trains that run between Minehead and Bishops Lydeard.
Sadly this hasn’t happened and at the moment there are practical reasons why the steam trains cannot regularly run through to Taunton; the main one being that WSR trains are not authorised to travel over Network Rail tracks.
However it is possible for some of Great Western Railway’s existing hourly Cardiff to Taunton trains to continue on to Minehead, giving the people of West Somerset a regular service to Taunton, Bridgwater, Bristol and Cardiff.
The infrastructure is complete and maintained to the highest standard and there is capacity on the W.S.R. to accommodate the extra trains.
Before this can be done the W.S.R., local authorities, Great Western, Network Rail and Government agencies need to get together and work out a package that is viable and most beneficial to the people and businesses of West Somerset and Taunton.
Fortunately with the electrification of much of the Great Western network underway, additional diesel trains will become available. However several other factors including timetabling, staffing, marketing, operational matters, financial and practical support from Government and other agencies all need to be addressed and this takes time and energy.
The Minehead Rail Link Group was set up by Minehead Chamber of Commerce to find ways of realising these aspirations and to encourage those involved to work together to give West Somerset the rail service it has long been asking for.
Address:- c/o 24 Friday St., Minehead
Contact:- Marcus Knapman
Telephone:- 01643 706 717