WEST Somerset Railway’s annual Winter Steam Festival saw nearly 1800 passengers travel on trains between Bishops Lydeard and Minehead at the weekend.

The railway ran seven trains in each direction on Saturday December 28 and Sunday December 29 and four steam trains were in action.

On Saturday, visitors had a chance to try their hand at the controls of Class 14 diesel locomotive D9526 which was giving ‘Driver for a Fiver’ trips at Minehead Station.

At Bishops Lydeard, the Taunton Model Railway Group had their club room open for visitors while at Williton, visitors could take a look behind the scenes.

General manager Paul Conibeare said: “We had a very successful Winter Steam Festival with cold, dry weather.

"888 passengers travelled on Saturday and 898 on Sunday, this was an increase of 138 on 2012.

“The next steam gala after all our winter works programme will be the Atlantic Coast Express Gala running from March 27 until March 30."

Passenger train services resume on February 15 and details of the Railway’s programme for 2014 including the Spring Steam Gala in March can be found at www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk or by calling 01643-704996.

  • Get your copy of this week's West Somerset County Gazette out on Thursday (January 2) for more pictures.