We are pleased to announce that D6948 (37248) will be visiting the West Somerset Railway during May, June and early July this year.
As well as appearing at the WSR’s Diesel Gala from the 20thto the 22ndJune and the line’s 40thAnniversary Weekend on 8thand 9thJune, D6948 will be working a number of scheduled and additional passenger services over the 20 mile long route from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead during the course of its stay.
This will be a unique opportunity to ride behind D6948 and experience the sight and sounds of an English Electric class 37 working hard as it climbs the gradients of this scenic west country route to the coast. Class 37s have a particular niche in WSR history, as they were the staple motive power for the heavy stone trains which operated from Westbury to Minehead in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The route also has special significance for D6948, and for some her owners and Group members too, as the coastal section from Watchet to Minehead will bring the loco within sight of her ‘traditional’ home in South Wales once again – being a Cardiff Canton engine for the majority of her working life.
Due to the substantial recent increases in road transport cost for locomotives of this size, this is likely to be the last time one of the Group’s locomotives will be able to visit another railway away from our Toddington base. The visit has only been possible on this occasion through private sponsorship of part of the transport cost, so we would encourage everyone to make the most of the opportunity. The Group would also like to thank the WSR and the DEPG for the invitation and are pleased to be able to help support the WSR in such an important year in its recovery.