Bishops Lydeard railway station
|Original company||West Somerset Railway|
|Post-grouping||Great Western Railway|
|Operated by||West Somerset Railway|
|Stations on heritage railways in the United Kingdom|
|A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z|
|UK Railways portal|
Bishops Lydeard railway station is the current southern terminus for regular trains on the West Somerset Railway, a heritage railway in Somerset, England. It is situated in the village of Bishops Lydeard.
The station was first opened on 31 March 1862 when the West Somerset Railway was opened from Norton Junction to Watchet. The railway was operated by the Bristol and Exeter Railway which became a part of the Great Western Railway in 1876, but the West Somerset Railway remained an independent company until 1922 when it too was absorbed by the Great Western. Nationalisation in 1948 saw it become a part of the Western Region of British Railways but was closed on 4 January 1971.
In 1862 the station had just one platform, on the west side of the line, but it had a goods yard with a goods shed and a house for the station master. The second platform was not added until 1906. On 10 June 1936 the line was doubled from here to Norton Fitzwarren. On 1 March 1970 the signal box was closed and the track from Norton Fitzwarren through Bishop’s Lydeard to Williton was operated as a single track.
On 9 June 1979 trains returned to Bishops Lyeard. The West Somerset Railway was now a heritage railway operating steam and diesel trains from Minehead, and Bishops Lydeard now became the southern terminus of the line, although track remains in place to Norton Fitzwarren to allow special trains and occasional goods trains to operate through from Network Rail to the West Somerset line. The station is the headquarters of the West Somerset Railway Association which provides volunteer support for the railway, and the "Quantock Belle" dining car train is based here.
The station has two platforms used for passenger trains. Platform 2 is the 1906 platform but has been extended at the Taunton end. It contains most of the visitors facilities, including the ticket office and shop and a car park has been formed behind the platform. On the original platform the old goods shed has been restored and is used as a visitor centre and museum; its artefacts includes a GWR sleeping car and the Taunton Model Railway Club’s model railway layout is on display. The original station offices are now used by the West Somerset railway Association. A third platform at the Taunton end of the station is normally used to keep the 'Quantock Belle' dining cars, and a locomotive servicing depot has been established nearby.
Trains run between Minehead and Bishops Lydeard at weekends and on some other days from March to October, daily during the late spring and summer, and on certain days during the winter. During special events a shuttle service runs between Bishops Lydeard and Norton Fitzwarren, and from time to time special trains also run through onto Network Rail's tracks at Taunton.
|Preceding station||Heritage railways||Following station|
|Crowcombe Heathfield||West Somerset Railway
|Terminus||West Somerset Railway
- MacDermot, E T (1931). History of the Great Western Railway. 2 (1863-1921) (1 ed.). London: Great Western Railway.
- Maggs, Colin G (1991). Taunton Steam. Bath: Millstream Books. ISBN 0-948975-26-1.
- Oakley, Mike (2006). Somerset Railway Stations. Bristol: Redcliffe Press. ISBN 1-904537-54-5.
- Coleby, Ian (2006). The Minehead Branch 1848-1971. Witney: Lightmoor Press. ISBN 1-899889-20-5.
- "Timetables". Timetables. West Somerset Railway. 2009.
- "The Steam Fayre and Vintage Rally". West Somerset Railway Association. Retrieved 2009-07-31.
- "News". West Somerset Railway. Retrieved 2009-07-05.
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