For years I have travelled along the West Somerset Railway with my grandparents who live locally. Our favourite destination was the seaside resort of Minehead where we would go to the beach, have and ice cream and play crazy golf.

The Railway enjoyed the Christmas spirit over the December holidays with the Santa Express. As the train travelled from Bishops Lydeard to Stogumber,  children and adults alike were greeted in their seats by Father Christmas who was handing out presents to the customers. The carriages were decorated suitably for the occasion and a warm mince pie was on offer in the buffet cart. 

The railway is only one of few fully functioning steam railways left in the country and relies on ticket sales and donations. The round trip of 1hour 30minutes provides some breathless views over the Somerset countrysides most precious landmarks such as Dunster Castle and the Bay at Watchet. For many tourists, the Butlins in Minehead also provides a large attraction during the summer. 

After speaking to a volunteer at Bishops Lydeard working as the conductor for the mornings Santa Express, he stated that he was glad, ‘to see the special occasion was so popular as the railway usually has to close during the quiet winter months’. The railway owns 6 steam engines and 10 diesel locomotives, driven by trained volunteers from the local areas. Earlier in the year from the 5th to 12th of September, the well known Flying Scotsman visited the railway. The daytime excursion tickets sold out during the first few weeks which included night time visits to Blue Anchor where a fish and chips dinner was included. The general manager of the railway Paul Conibeare, stated that,’ We were very pleased to see busy trains and to welcome our passengers on Britains longest heritage railway’.