A PIECE of railway history is back where it belongs after 50 years.

West Somerset Railway supporters have brought a unique Great Western Railway signal box name plate back to the popular heritage railway.

Minehead signal box closed in 1966 and its nameplate was sold.

Railway volunteers have now clubbed together to buy the nameplate and bring it back to Somerset.

A team of 22 supporters and the Friends of Minehead Station raised the necessary £1,400 raised in less than a week.

The plate is still in the same condition it was when removed from the signal box in 1966, complete with original British Railways Western Region chocolate-and-cream paintwork.

This is The West Country:

The old signal box in 1958.

The plate will now form part of the collection of the West Somerset Steam Railway Trust, the heritage charity supporting the line.

Trust chairman Chris Austin said: "This was a magnificent effort by supporters of the railway to raise the necessary funds so quickly.

"This important piece of the line’s history will help us tell the story of railways in Somerset to future generations.

"In the dark days 50 years ago when the line was running down towards closure, who could have foreseen it would ever come back to today’s successful West Somerset Railway?"

The name plate will be on display at the trust’s Museum at Blue Anchor Station during the West Somerset Railway Autumn Steam Gala from Thursday, October 5, until Sunday, October 8, from 10.30am to 4pm.