WSRA Preserve and Protect our carriages

This is a long term project focussed on preserving and protecting our historic carriages and displaying them on the West Somerset Railway, so everyone can experience the steam railway journey of a bygone era.

We need to keep the carriages in a safe and comfortable condition for everyone to enjoy, but they are around 70 years old and so finding a clean and dry environment to store and work on them is paramount.

The WSRA owns five TSO carriages, one BCK carriage, the four carriages that comprise the Quantock Belle Dining Train and the Inspection Saloon shown here.


A shed to protect our carriages

We would like to provide year round covered space for some of our most valuable and valued heritage carriages. At the moment we don’t have enough covered storage space to protect our carriages. This is especially important for wooden bodied vehicles, like our Hawksworth designed Taunton Engineers Inspection Saloon.

There are several possible ways of achieving covered storage and the Trustees are exploring a number of options, including the possibilities of building a new shed or re-locating an existing heritage shed from the national network onto the WSR.

The coaching stock in use on the West Somerset Railway is made up of British Railways Mark 1 vehicles dating from the 1950’s and 60’s. The majority are of a type known as Tourist Second Open vehicles with sixty four seats arranged in sixteen units of four aligned with the windows to give the best view of the Somerset countryside and the activity on the railway.  The WSRA owns six of the TSO carriages.

When these coaches were built it was never envisaged that they would still be in regular use sixty or seventy years later.  Keeping them in good condition and fit for use in the modern world is quite an undertaking.  Rot and corrosion are one of the biggest issues and water ingress beneath the body panels can eat away at the frame beneath. We have to stay on top of this maintenance, to ensure  passenger comfort and safety and deliver an authentic heritage railway experience.


The Project Purpose

is to provide covered storage for our most vulnerable carriages, and space  so we can work on them to preserve them for future generations.

Please help

Give a one-off donation towards our Preserve and Protect fund or set up a regular payment.  You will be re-directed to the JustGiving Checkout to make your donation and the WSRA will receive 100% of your donation.  You may be asked to make a contribution to the checkout costs, which is discretionary.

Our Carriages

TSO Carriages

WSRA owns Tourist Second Open carriages

  • 4911
  • 4435
  • 4956
  • 5024
  • 4419

All on hire to the WSR PLC and in general service on the WSR.

BCK carriage

The WSRA owns

BCK (Brake Composite Corridor) 21174  (Phoenix)

Built in 1958

Acquired for preservation in 1983, previously ran with the Quantock Belle dining train.

Now on hire to the WSR PLC and in general service on the railway.

Quantock Belle Dining Train

The WSRA owns The Quantock Belle Dining Train comprising:

  • FO 3108  Meteor
  • RU 1909 Orion
  • RMB 1804 Aries
  • BSK 35408 Jupiter

The Set is on hire to the WSR PLC and a key part of the heritage experience on offer on the railway.

Taunton Inspector's Saloon

The WSRA owns

Hawksworth Designed Taunton Inspector’s Observation Saloon W80976W

On loan to the Pontypool and Blaenavon Heritage Railway