Minehead Rail Link Group

Minehead Rail Link Group

JOIN THE CAMPAIGN FOR A RAIL SERVICE FROM MINEHEAD & WEST SOMERSET TO TAUNTON, BRISTOL & CARDIFF

Minehead Rail Link Group
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Somerset West Lottery

Volunteer plea as West Somerset Railway plans for the future

WEST Somerset Railway (WSR) has asked its stakeholders whether they believe funds should be sought so the heritage line can be developed to...

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GWR Franchise Consultation Meeting

All group members may be interested in reading about the recent GWR franchise consultation meeting I attended in Bristol last week. The meeting was...

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A HERITAGE RAILWAY FOR THE PEOPLE

Retired RMT rep and Minehead Rail Link Group press officer David Latimer says it is time to re-open lost West Somerset rail routes. Ever since...

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Funds from the Somerset West Lottery

Minehead Rail Link Group is celebrating a new and optimistic breakthrough this week. We have been granted access to funds from the Somerset West...

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Separating The Myths From The Facts

There are still a few who cling on to misinformation as to why they think we can’t have trains to Taunton and here we debunk these myths.

Myth 1

The trains can't go faster than 25mph over WSR

Fact 1

It is true that the current heritage steam service to Bishops Lydeard can’t exceed 25mph, but the HM Inspectorate of Railways can increase that speed restriction for the sort of service we are campaigning for to whatever they feel is safe, and this has already been done elsewhere.

Myth 2

There is no room on the WSR for any extra trains.

Fact 2

There is capacity for several extra trains per day on the line. When BR ran the line, in the holiday season it coped with a far more intensive service than we have now (including the odd slow moving freight train) - and in the latter years, that was with less infrastructure than there is now!

Myth 3

The line will need lots of money spending on it.

Fact 3

The line is maintained to the very highest standards and has a safety record that it is justly proud of. Hundreds of heavy freight trains have passed over the line bringing in material for sea defence work as well as large numbers of high-capacity InterCity excursions from all over the country. The line is as safe and as well-maintained as any in the land.

Benefits Of Bringing Main Line Trains Through To Minehead.

  • The journey from Minehead to Taunton by rail could be under 1 hour. That’s much faster than the bus and faster than the car when roads grind to a halt at the busy periods. (Buses would still play a vital role feeding into Minehead, Williton and Taunton stations, and by being co-ordinated with trains would attract more people out of their cars)
  • Day trips from Minehead to London will be possible - maybe even through trains to London and Manchester in Summer.
  • It is hard to get from Minehead to Bridgwater by bus - the existing Cardiff trains already call at Bridgwater.
  • Traffic congestion in the rush-hour and on Butlins ‘changeover’ days would be cut. And with traffic - including 1000’s of lorry journeys - into West Somerset, expected to soar with the impending construction of Hinkley C nuclear plant, rail is the ideal way to beat the expected traffic jams.

  • More visitors coming by rail means more parking spaces would become available in Minehead, for locals.
  • Holidaymakers would benefit from the service. One third of Butlins visitors come from South Wales - regular through trains from Cardiff and Newport to Minehead would persuade many of our visitors to come in comfort by rail.
  • Hotels and hospitality would receive a welcome boost - several major events have bypassed Minehead when the organisers discovered the town had no proper rail service.
  • A through rail service would be beneficial to the elderly, disabled and those with children and bulky luggage.
  • With recent developments in Minehead, the town’s railway station is now within walking distance of many of the towns newer facilities to the south of the level crossing including supermarkets, hospital, industrial estate, and leisure facilities.

  • The developments in and around Taunton Station, including the new proposed walkway from Taunton Station to the town centre would make the proposed rail service appealing to shoppers as well as commuters.
  • West Somerset’s economy is faltering by comparison with Cornwall, Devon and Dorset. The train service would go a long way to rectifying that and boosting local businesses. When choosing a site to locate, businesses almost always consider whether the potential location has a decent rail service. Our lack of rail services means we lose out to other towns in the West Country that have a proper rail service.
  • As awareness of Green Issues increases it’s vital we play our part in reducing our carbon-footprint. It is environmentally suicidal and illogical to drive from far away parts of the country to Minehead and then to take a nostalgic trip on a steam train to Bishops Lydeard and back, when you could make the whole journey by rail (changing at Bishops Lydeard if you wanted a steam train ride)

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