WSR Carriage Restoration

Restoring and maintaining WSR Carriages

Phoenix MD (2)

Restoring and Maintaining our carriages

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. There are also a limited number of vehicles with compartments and side corridors as seen in films such as "The 4.50 from Paddington”, "The Lady Vanishes” and more recently the "Hogwarts Express” sequences in "Harry Potter”.

When these coaches were built it was never envisaged that they would still be in regular use sixty 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 Mark 1 fleet represents the last of the steam-era rolling stock and is an important part of the railway's heritage. We take a pride in keeping the vehicles regularly painted in their authentic livery.

Three of the coaches have been adapted for use by wheelchair passengers. Two of the TSO’s have an area cleared for passengers in wheelchairs to travel with good views of the world around them. "Lorna Doone” is a vehicle especially adapted for the use of larger, pre-booked, groups of wheelchair users.  This very versatile vehicle is undergoing a major overhaul at WS Restoration in Williton during 2019, funded by the Friends of Minehead Station.

Preparing a carriage for painting

carriage preparation at WN (2)

So how can you help?

Volunteer your time and talent :

  • we need a range of everyday practical skills to help with the prepartion work
  • we need skilled joiners, painters and finishers

Please complete the enquiry form on this page telling us how you'd like to help and we will get back to you.

Donate towards the Restoration and maintenance of our carriages

Online giving is safe and easy, but if you prefer not to use online facilities please send your cheque to the address below.

Please consider giftaiding your donation.  We receive an additional 25% at no cost to you.  Gift aid declarations are available HERE

WSR Carriage Refurbishment Fund, West Somerset Railway Association, The Railway Station, Bishops Lydeard, TAUNTON, TA4 3BX.

Ask how you can help with carriage refurbishment

Supporting the Heritage of The West Somerset Railway