The figures for the Taunton-Bishops Lydeard shuttles provided by GWR on the Saturday of the WSR's Autumn Steam Gala - 5 October 2019 - pleasingly broke previous records. It was the busiest day of the seven shuttle train days run so far, with 266 passengers (around 475 passenger journeys) for the day. Previously the busiest day had been the inaugural service on 27 July where most visitors were trying it out for the first time. The busiest train on 5 October carried 111 passengers in from Taunton, most of whom walked forward to join the steam train.
The Gala was busy all day Saturday, no dount helped by the shuttles, and it was also helpful that BBC Somerset carried a positive radio interview piece with West Somerset Steam Railway Trust Chairman Chris Austin (who is leading on the shuttle project for the WSR) on both the shuttles and Gala on their Saturday morning prime slot at 8.15am.
The shuttle TTIs were so busy that Chris had to travel with them on three trips to count the passengers and hand out the visitor survey forms as TTIs were fully occupied in selling tickets. There was some good positive feedback from the shuttle passengers. An extra day of shuttles has just been agreed with GWR and Network Rail for Saturday 26 October (half term weekend) and the timetable used on the first seven days will apply. See www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk for details shortly.
11 October 2019
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc