The Spring Steam Gala will take place on Saturday 5th/6th March and between Thursday 10th and Sunday 13th March 2016.
It was on March 6th 1966 that the last passenger trains ran over the surviving lines of the one-time Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway, between Bath (Green Park) and Bournemouth (West) and the along the branch line between Evercreech Junction and Highbridge. However although most of the old route has returned to nature the memory of the S&D still burns strongly with continuing production of books and films about the line, the trains that ran on it and the staff who worked it.
In March 1996 the West Somerset Railway staged its first ever major Spring Steam Gala to mark the 30th Anniversary of the closure, so two decades will have elapsed since this important annual event took its place in the WSR calendar although the theme of the WSR Galas has been varied with the passing years.
Between March 10th and 13th 2016 the WSR will hold a major Steam Gala to mark this double event with appropriate classes of steam engines at work including the planned return to action of 7F 2-8-0 88/ 53808 after overhaul. Stations will be renamed after lost locations on the S&D and there will be plenty of other points of interest along the line between Bishops Lydeard (near Taunton) and Minehead including the Washford Museum of the Somerset and Dorset Railway Trust who have been based on the WSR for forty years.
CONFIRMED VISITING LOCOMOTIVES:
SDJR 7F No. 53809
BR Standard 4MT Tank No. 80072
LMS Black Five No. 45379
SR Un-Rebuilt West Country No. 34070 ‘Manston’
SR Rebuilt West Country No. 34053 ‘Sir Keith Park’
HOME FLEET LOCOMOTIVES
SDJR 7F No. 53808
LMS 4F No. 44422