West Somerset plans spark memories of pioneer railbus

The two-year trial of DMU services planned for 2018 is by no means the first bid to link the West Somerset Railway to the national network at Taunton. A scheme which attracted plenty of attention was tried over 25 years ago.

Attracting more attention at Bishops Lydeard on the day than the average resident steam locomotive was the experimental railbus. STEPHEN EDGE/WSR

As reported in Headline News in our last issue, senior officials of Britain’s longest standard gauge line are in talks with main line operator Great Western Railway about running DMU services from
Taunton to Bishops Lydeard to connect with West Somerset trains on selected days.

Under the trial scheme, which is being backed by Minehead Chamber of Commerce, West Somerset steam services will not run into Taunton, nor Great Western Railway trains north of Bishops Lydeard, where passengers will have to change. However, visitors will be able to travel to the WSR over the national network without using buses to cover the gap between the two.

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