Autumn Steam gala

Thursday 1st to Sunday 4th October- Autumn Steam Gala on West Somerset Steam Railway with the Tornado engine!

The Autumn Steam Gala which takes place between October 1st and 4th will mark the 40th Anniversary of the opening of the West Somerset Railway.

Steam locomotives now confirmed as being due to work (as at 19th September 2015) are as follows:-

LNER Peppercorn Class A1 No. 60163 'Tornado'

Great Western Railway 28xx 2-8-0 2857 (courtesy of the Severn Valley Railway and making its first ever appearance at the West Somerset)

Great Western Railway "Large Prairie” 2-6-2T 4160 (its last Gala appearance before heavy overhaul)

Great Western Railway "Hall” 4-6-0  4936 "Kinlet Hall”

Great Western Railway "Modified Hall” 4-6-0 6960 "Raveningham Hall”

Great Western Railway "Manor” 4-6-0 7812 "Erlestoke Manor” (courtesy of the Severn Valley Railway)

Great Western Railway "Manor” 4-6-0 7828 "Odney Manor”

Other guest engines are still being sought and it is expected that Peckett Saddle Tank "Kilmersdon” will be shunting at the Washford base of the Somerset and Dorset Railway Trust.

Autumn Steam Gala Locomotive News:

The West Somerset Railway had hoped that it would be possible to bring one of the original WSR opening day locomotives to the Autumn Steam Gala but unfortunately despite best efforts neither GWR 0-6-0PT 6412 or one of the Bagnall Tanks has been able to be made available. As an alternative we are currently concluding arrangements to bring a 3rd star locomotive to the October 1st to 4th Gala this will be in addition to 2857 and 7812 which have been already confirmed courtesy of the Severn Valley Railway, 2857 Society and Erlestoke Manor Fund”

There will model railways in action at Bishops Lydeard and a Saturday and Sunday there will be a model railway exhibition in the Beach Hotel at Minehead opposite the station.

The Museums at Bishops Lydeard, Washford and Minehead will be open, as will the headquarters of the Diesel and Electric Preservation Group at Williton.

Plus with the hourly train services from each end of the line this is a great opportunity to get out and about.

Special Ticket offer. On Sunday October 4th only children aged 5 to 15 will be able to travel for a flat rate of £2.00 on any journey including Rovers if accompanied by a full fare paying adult or senior citizen. 

There will be licensed buffet cars on most trains during the Gala and sales and information stands at stations.

The Yarn Market Hotel in Dunster has a Special Railways of Exmoor weekend from October 1st to 4th including a Day Rover for the Gala on Friday 2nd. Details from 01643 821425 or

Although public passenger trains did not begin to operate on the revived West Somerset Railway on Sunday 28th March 1976 (when Lord Montague of Beaulieu flagged away the inaugural train from Minehead to Blue Anchor) the first train movements on the line had begun in the previous autumn. With this in mind it has been decided to make the 2015 Autumn Steam Gala a commemoration of four decades of WSR operations and to bring back to the line locomotives that have worked on it during that period. This will of course depend on availability of potential "guests” from their home railways and their current serviceability (so sadly there will be no "Evening Star” to bring back memories of 1989 and early 1990). However given the very long line of guests that have appeared in WSR history, plus some former members of the "home fleet” which have gone to new homes, there is potential for an interesting line-up of locos. Add in the usual array of things to see and do along the line this should be a great way to mark the movement from late summer into early autumn.

How to Book! 

Tickets can be bought online or by calling 01643 704996

One Day Rovers: £21.60 Adult, £19.35 (60+), £10.80 ( 5 to 15), £60.00 (family of 2 adults and up to 2 children).