Let’s get 4561 rolling

WSRA Trustee Meeting report 13 April 2021

The WSRA Trustees met on Tuesday 13th April by remote conference call. Amongst the items discussed were:

  • Minutes of the Previous meeting in March were approved and are available for members to view in the members section of this website.
  • B&E Station Signs – arrangements are being made to collect the patterns
  • Rolling Stock – Trustees noted that negotiations are still ongoing for updated hire agreements
  • Triangle Running Rights – The old agreement has been extended until the end of April to allow negotiations to be finalised for a new agreement.
  • 4561 Trustees noted continued progress, agreed to an additional spend for extra fabrication and authorised negotiations to begin for the second 6 stage phase of restoration.
  • WSRA Promotions Ltd – Trustees confirmed the intention to make the company dormant within a year, as it is not currently needed.
  • Membership – RMW presented a paper outlining an incentive scheme for working volunteers to join the WSRA.  This was agreed and JAG and RMW charged with implementation.  Details will be made public via HOPS in due course.
  • Fundraising – Rail Renewal Fund –  Trustees considered requests for funding from the WSR PLC. The immediate request would use up all the funds held and so Trustees also considered future fundraising strategies.  A Rail Renewal appeal pack will be designed and subject to WSR PLC agreement distributed and placed on the trains for the 2021 operating season.

WSRA funded work goes ahead on Minehead Station culvert

Work to clean and inspect the culvert was planned for the 2019/2020 winter, but due to COVID-19 it did not go ahead at that time.  This week, the contractors are on site and the WSRA has confirmed the commitment to pay for it.

Photos show the tankers that were used to jet the culvert and clear the silt etc. The contractors recycle what is cleared out, and reuse the water instead of having to refill the tanker with water each time. The pipe that runs along the up side of the track was accessed from the road at Seaward Way crossing, they jetted this from that end as all of the manholes are too difficult to access. It is thought that there was around 6 tonnes cleared out in total – but we will know more when the report paperwork comes through.

The contractors used a camera controlled remotely (by the man in the van) to see the inside of the pipe to check the condition, and in the section under the track they had to send a man in as the camera couldn’t be used due to the silt levels.

WSR will receive reports, official photos and the camera surveillance from the contractor in due course.

Photos courtesy of WSR PLC Infrastructure department.

Significant milestone reached in the restoration of 4561

The team at Williton have this week lowered the cylinder assembly into position within the mainframes and having placed nuts and bolts through the main and extension frames the assembly was levelled and the crane slings removed.
The opportunity was then taken to put 4561’s smokebox on its saddle and the team are really pleased to report that it fits. This is quite a milestone stage and the WSRA Trustees are extremely pleased with progress.

Chairman Mike Sherwood said “Seeing the smokebox back in position after all these years is brilliant. It’s great progress and we congratulate Ryan and his team.”

For the full story read the  4561 RESTORATION BLOG

DMU appeal fund reaches target

The WSRA is pleased to announce that the recent fundraising campaign for the railway’s DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) has now achieved its £5000 target. The West Somerset Railway is very grateful to everyone who donated to this appeal. The funds will be used to pay for repairs to the old door handles, locks and striker plates on the DMU to ensure that they are safe for passengers.

Work has already commenced to remove the old items and prepare them for sending away for refurbishment. Interim Operations Manager Paul Fleet said “This most welcome funding allows us to focus on some of the small, but nevertheless important components of the unit.
Our small team of dedicated volunteers are grateful for all of the donations, and would welcome offers of help to bring about a number of desired and long-overdue improvements that will keep the unit serviceable over the coming years.”