• Unlimited travel on any normal service day
• Tea or coffee and a cake each in the onsite Whistlestop cafe
• A visit to the footplate with, option to step on board for photo opportunities at the discretion of the driver on the day
• On selected days there may be an opportunity to visit the signal box
• Participants should allow around between 3-5 hours on site for this experience
What Can I Expect
It’s pretty much access all areas when you go on this Somerset railway experience! This great value railway experience for two gives you plenty to see and do at this delightful heritage railway near Shepton Mallet in Somerset. It will appeal to all ages and it’s railway day out that steam and diesel loco fans will love.
Founder of the East Somerset Railway David Shepherd first set eyes on the dilapidated railway station at Cranmore in 1971 and it was “one of the many sleepy little branch line stations that were victims of the Beeching axe.” Since he had bought two steam locomotives from British Rail in 1967 that needed a home, he invested in Cranmore. Passenger services stopped in 1963 and freight trains continued to use the line until 1985, then the first of the Somerset heritage railway passenger services ran in late 1973.
By buying an East Somerset railway experience you’ll be helping to safeguard this wonderful little part of British railway history. Your experience starts with introductions to the enthusiastic staff and volunteers who are working on the day. You’ll each be issued with an all day rover ticket that is valid for all services on the line, which runs from Cranmore Station where you’re at, to Mendip Vale.
As well as enjoying steam train rides on your railway day for two, you get the rare treat of visiting the footplate of the steam loco. The footplate is always a busy place, so opportunities to visit are limited. They are subject to operational availability and always have to be with the driver’s permission. It’ll probably be just before the train departs, or just after it has returned to the station. This much coveted part of the day is great for photo opportunities and gives you the chance to have an informal chat with the driver and fireman, so you can ask all those questions you’ve always wanted to!
Back at the main station, there’s time for your cake and tea treat in the Whistlestop Cafe. A little stroll after all that creaminess might be a nice idea. You can head over to the East Somerset model shop, visit the small museum in the station’s waiting room, wander around the engine shed (where all the restoration work goes on) and take a look at the miniature railway too. If time and staff availability permits, you may also be invited on a brief visit of the station’s signal box - a brilliant way to round off your VIP Somerset railway experience.
• Open weekends from March to October and selected weekdays in the summer
• Pre-booking is not required for this experience, you can just turn up on a day when trains are running
• Vouchers are valid on all trains except Santa Services
• This experience is for two people
• Under 17s must be accompanied by a participating adult
• You are more than welcome to bring family and friends, however they will be required to purchase a ticket on the day
Anything Else I Need To Know?
• Please note, the footplate is a busy place, so visits are subject to operational constraints and at the discretion of the driver
• Tea and cake can be upgraded to a hot lunch for an additional charge payable on the day
• East Somerset Railway, Shepton Mallet, Somerset