Following the landslip on the West Somerset Railway near to Combe Florey, just after Christmas, an appeal for urgent financial support was made by the railway’s charitable partner, the West Somerset Railway Association.

The Association announced today that its Landslip Appeal, launched in February, has successfully reached its target of £50,000, in less than six weeks.

Geoff Garfield, Chair of WSRA Trustees said “We are incredibly grateful to our supporters who contributed to this appeal and helped us achieve our ambitious target. This money will make it possible for the West Somerset Railway to complete the recovery from the Combe Florey landslip. To reach this figure in only two months, even with match funding from the Charity and government gift aid, is a real landmark, especially given the cost-of-living crisis.”

Jonathan Jones-Pratt, Chairman of the West Somerset Railway plc said “This is a very good example of all the members of the railway community working together at a difficult time.  The operating company is very grateful to Geoff Garfield, his fellow trustees, and, in particular all the donors for this magnificent effort in a very short space of time.”

An update on the works has been provided by Peter Chilcott, the railway’s Head of Infrastructure:

“Trains are running along the whole length of the railway, although under restrictions. We have installed monitoring devices in the embankment, so we can confirm that there is no further slippage. The next task is to build the retaining wall, which will prevent any further mud reaching the track, or our neighbour’s properties. It is hoped that the work can be undertaken while trains are running, but this is subject to a number of factors which have yet to be reviewed in detail. Funds for this come from our insurance claim. Next winter, we plan to remove the track panels where the ballast has been contaminated with mud. The ballast will be replaced, and new track laid, so the section will be better than it was before the landslip. This work will be funded from the landslip appeal, and we can now plan this in detail, knowing the money is there.”


Press Enquiries:

Frank Courtney, WSR PLC Director (Communications) –

Geoff Garfield, WSRA Chair –

22nd April 2023


Images courtesy of Frank Courtney (top) and Steve Speck