Webcam on the scenic railway in England
The West Somerset Railway (WSR) is a 36.6 km railway line in Somerset, England, steeped in heritage. The ownership of the line and its stations lies with Somerset Council. Operations and management of the railway are entrusted to the West Somerset Railway plc (WSR plc), a company partly owned and strongly supported by the West Somerset Railway Association (WSRA) charitable trust and the West Somerset Railway Heritage Trust (WSRHT). The WSR runs services utilizing both vintage steam and diesel trains.
Initially established in 1862 connecting Taunton and Watchet, it later expanded from Watchet to Minehead in 1874 through the Minehead Railway. Despite being a single line, enhancements were made in the early 20th century to accommodate the influx of tourists heading to the Somerset coast. After closure by British Rail in 1971, it was reopened in 1976 as a heritage line.
This stands as the longest independent heritage railway in the United Kingdom, adhering to the standard gauge. Typically, services cover around 33.0 km, spanning from Minehead to Bishops Lydeard. On special occasions, some trains extend an additional 3.2 km to Norton Fitzwarren, where a connection to Network Rail enables occasional through trains to link to the national network.