• Unlimited travel on any normal service day
• Relax and enjoy a steam ride through the beautiful Mendip countryside
• The train journey is approximately 40 minutes over a 5 mile round trip
• You are welcome to ride as many times as you like on your visit
• Visit the engine shed, workshop and David Shepherd Discovery Centre
• Allow around 3-5 hours for this experience
What Can I Expect
Immerse yourself in a wonderful world full of locomotives and rolling stock from a bygone age when you book your ticket to ride on our steam railway experience! The East Somerset Railway is a small and friendly steam railway centre just a few miles outside Shepton Mallet and this experience allows you to travel freely all day long, so you can really make the most of your day out.
This steam train line originally ran from Witham to Wells, but the route experienced the harsh reality of the Beeching cuts and the passenger route was shut in 1963. Freight trains did continue, with bitumen trains using parts of the line right up until 1985 and stone trains going as far as Merehead Quarry.
As it happens, steam fan David Shepherd was looking for a railway to runs his locos. Despite his lack of experience, at the height of the cuts David had simply, as he says, "Picked up the 'phone to British Rail and bought two locomotives". For the princely sum of £5000, he had two well-maintained trains, one that was BR standard class 9F 2-10-0 92203 just eight years old and 75029 a 4-6-0 just a few years older. During his search he came across a very sad and overgrown railway line at Cranmore in 1971...
And thanks to the tenacity of David Shepherd and his enthusiastic band of steam-mad volunteers, the railway experienced a rebirth in 1973 when when it re-opened as a heritage railway. The ESR now runs from Cranmore to Mendip Vale, serving train stations Cranmore West and Merryfield Lane in between and it has breathed life back into the valley.
Nowadays there is so much waiting to be explored on this steam railway, which, in our experience is one of the friendliest there is! The main terminus at Cranmore now boasts a miniature railway, museum, waiting room, ticket office, shop, restaurant, art gallery and model shop. Further along is the signal box with a delightful picnic area where you can watch the trains trundle past. Either a short train hop or a walk away is Cranmore West, where the engine sheds are located that house current restoration projects
Your steam railway experience gives you an all day rover ticket for the ESR at Cranmore in Somerset, so on a standard schedule day, you can catch as many of the steam or diesel trains that are running passengers services as you like. You can hop on and off so you can visit all the stops at your leisure. Make sure you count in time to head over the Maesdown Bridge so you watch the trains pass underneath with the steam billowing out of the loco's funnels - a brilliant photo opportunity.
• Open weekends from March to October and selected weekdays in the summer
• Vouchers are valid for most special events but not childrens character visit days , Day Out with Thomas, Evening Wine & Dines or Santa Specials
• This experience is for a minimum of two people
• Under 17s must be accompanied by a participating adult
• Family Tickets provide unlimited travel on any normal service day for two adults and two children
• 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?
• Home-made meals and refreshments can be purchased from the Whistlestop Cafe
• Shepton Mallet, Somerset