There were lots of thrills and no spills at the Somerset & Dorset Railway at Midsomer Norton on Sunday when Santa was riding the train. Leaving his reindeer behind he travelled up the line behind Joyce the little steam engine and pushed at the back by Dennis the Diesel. He will be coming again to Midsomer Norton Station next week, Sunday 22nd accompanied by his elves bearing presents. This Sunday he was helped on to the train by one of his elves as seen on the photo.
The next event at the station is in March when there will be a class 26 Diesel on loan from the Gloucester and Warwick Railway.
Joyce, Our Sentinel steam locomotive gets into her stride despite very greasy rail conditions with the first of the 2019 season Santa Specials.
The footplate crew of Roger Warner, Andy Chapman and Matt Cornborough did a magnificent job of ensuring that Joyce ran faultlessly all day
The newly installed steam heating system ensured that not only all the happy girls and boys and their families were toasty warm on their journey but so to were Santa and his helpers.
If you are thinking of bringing your family to see Santa we still have spaces on our trains running next Sunday, 8th December but if you are thinking of coming along on either the 15th or 22nd December booking is advisable as these seats on these trains are selling fast.
TRACK FUND APPEAL
The Trust has been offered a large amount of redundant track materials by Network Rail, including over 140 concrete sleepers and 14 x 60ft panels of track!
This generous donation requires the Trust to act quickly to retrieve the items, and it is estimated that transportation costs will be in the region of £15k. We estimate there are at least 10 lorry loads of materials to be recovered.
As you can see from the photo, the items are in an excellent condition, and will be key to the Trust’s plans for further siding space and engineering facilities.
We’ve already had one member generously donate £1200 towards the costs, but would like to ask our supporters if they could assist with funding. If you can assist, any size donation will be gratefully received! Please visit our website to donate online, or donations can be sent to the station c/o Track Fund.
We would like to apologise to all our members who are currently waiting to receive the next copy of the Trust's magazine, 'The Telegraph'.
We are waiting on the decision from Bath & North East Somerset Council (B&NES) on the Outline Planning Application, which we understand could be imminent.
The Trust wants to ensure that as soon as we know the decision of the Planning Committee that our members are informed first in the publication without any delay.
Thank you for all your patience, we look forward to sending you edition 53 of The Telegraph as soon as the decision is known and we can assure you it will be packed full of all our recent news.
On the evening of Monday 23rd September, railway member working very closely with operational crews from both Avon Fire & Rescue Service and Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service staged a major training exercise for the emergency services. This exercise 'Train Wreck' involved a simulated scenario of a train on fire, which also involved hazardous materials and a number of casualties requiring rescue.
One of our members, Graham Jackson, himself a former fire service officer had worked closely with the emergency services to set up this exercise that resulted in several several fire engines and their crews from both Avon and Devon & Somerset FRSs attending the station at Midsomer Norton in order to gain access along the platform to the location of the simulated train fire. This proved to be a very worthwhile training exercise for all the crews involved, the exercise being held in realistic conditions and crews faced with a number of hazards and also requiring casualties to be rescued / led to safety.
The training exercise proved to be a fantastic public relations exercise for the railway, once again proving the value of the Somerset & Dorset heritage railway to the local and wider community and how we can work with numerous other organisations for the mutual benefit of both parties.