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WITH three Saturday trials remaining for the joint Great Western Railway and West Somerset Railway diesel rail shuttle between the Taunton main line and Bishops Lydeard, more people are travelling from WSR stations to Taunton, according to the latest figures.

Chris Austin, Chairman of West Somerset steam railway trust, who has been leading the shuttle project for WSR, said the number of passengers travelling to Bishops Lydeard from the national network last weekend was 38 per cent, with 25 per cent just travelling on the shuttle.

“But there were more people from WSR stations taking a trip to Taunton than in previous weeks [37 per cent compared with 19 per cent.”

And twice the number of passengers, 14 per cent compared with the previous seven per cent, said they were travelling to shop in Taunton.

Mr Austin added: “People are still travelling long distances to visit us – the furthest travellers on Saturday were from York, Wigan, Aberystwyth and St Austell.

“One visitor, just travelling on the shuttle, was from California!” He said of those responding to the latest survey,43 per cent had heard about the shuttle from websites or social media and 29 per cent from the press.

The three remaining shuttle services of five trains a day will run tomorrow (Saturday), September 21 and October 5.

The final Saturday will tie in with WSR’s autumn steam gala from October 3 to 6.


Full story printed in West Somerset Free Press

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