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Jeremy Browne MP visited Bishops Lydeard to hold discussions with Paul Conibeare
general manager, and chairman John Irven - Date unknown Photographer unknown.
8 November 2014
Plans to Link the WSR with Taunton Are Being Discussed


Bishops Lydeard Somerset - There is "no reason" why the West Somerset Railway (WSR) can't be linked up with the main line at Taunton.
 
That's the view of WSR bosses, who have held talks with organizations including Somerset County Council and National Rail, to gather a feasibility report about whether it would be possible to link the WSR at Bishops Lydeard to Taunton.
 
The WSR plans suggest the best way to do this would be by extending the current Cardiff to Taunton stopping service with an extra stop at Bishops Lydeard.
 
The service would not be in competition with the regular bus service into Taunton as it would run during peak holiday times in order to bring more visitors to Bishop's Lydeard.
 
"Because the train line exists there is no physical reason why it cannot go ahead," said Paul Conibeare, general manager at WSR.
 
"The plans are in very early stages but why not bring people to our historic train station via public transport? It would relieve the roads of some of the holiday traffic."
 
The WSR attracts around 200,000 visitors every year.
 
Taunton Deane MP Jeremy Browne visited WSR to hear about the latest developments.
 
"The rail link would make it so much easier for people to get to the railway by public transport, not just from Taunton but from the major cities like London and Birmingham. I very much hope that the time tabling and practical issues with this proposal can be overcome because it would be of huge benefit to the steam railway. The exciting new ideas from the WSR are exactly what is needed to secure its future for the next 50 years."
 
Plans are also being discussed to improve the facilities at Bishops Lydeard station which would help with the preservation and maintenance of the train engines and rolling stock.
 
It would also add a museum.
 
Hollie Borland.

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