This series of trains from London Paddington to Minehead features haulage by two steam locomotives in one day.
An express steam locomotive will haul our train from London Paddington to the West Somerset Railway at Bishops Lydeard. The Heritage Railway will then provide a steam locomotive to haul our train to Minehead and back. This provides a truly fascinating day out travelling through beautiful scenery to the Bristol Channel coast.
We leave London Paddington at around 08:05, steam hauled, and stop at Slough and Reading to pick up more passengers. At Reading we join the Berks and Hants line which runs through picturesque rural countryside. We pass the celebrated Newbury Racecourse before making our final stop for passengers at Newbury station. We continue westwards, travelling beside the tranquil Kennet & Avon Canal, and climbing steadily to Savernake Summit. We pass through the Vale of Pewsey, with views of one of the famous Wiltshire White Horses as we approach Westbury, and continue through undulating agricultural countryside to Taunton.
Soon after leaving Taunton, we arrive at Norton Fitzwarren, where we transfer to the West Somerset Railway (WSR), the longest Heritage Railway in the country. We continue to Bishops Lydeard, where a WSR steam locomotive will take over our train for the remainder of the journey to Minehead. The WSR runs along the edge of the Quantock Hills between Bishops Lydeard and Watchet where it meets the coast. The line then turns inland to Washford and returns to the coast at Blue Anchor, passing near to Dunster with its magnificent castle, and terminating at Minehead.
On arrival at Minehead, there will be more than two hours to explore this delightful Bristol Channel seaside resort, where the railway station is close to the beach. A WSR steam locomotive will haul our train from Minehead to Bishops Lydeard, where our main line steam locomotive will take over for the return journey to London Paddington. The train will stop at Newbury, Reading and Slough to set down passengers.
The steam locomotives to be used on this day trip come from the following pool:
No 6201 Princess Elizabeth, Princess Royal Class 4-6-2 built by the LMSR at Crewe in 1933, for use on express passenger trains.
No. 6023 King Edward II, King Class 4-6-0, built at Swindon Works in 1930 by the Great Western Railway (GWR), for use on express passenger trains.
No. 34046 Braunton, West Country Class Pacific 4-6-2, built at Brighton Works in 1946 for the Southern Railway (SR) and rebuilt in 1959, for use on express passenger trains.
Premier Dining includes a full English breakfast and a four course dinner silver served at your seat.
First Class includes morning coffee with a Danish pastry and afternoon tea with a savoury dish followed by a selection of fancies and cakes.
Standard Class includes a reserved seat at a table for four.
A buffet car is available and serves tea, coffee, snacks and light refreshments. Tables for two can be guaranteed in first class and premier dining for a supplement of £22 per person. (subject to availability)
Approximate timings shown