Rail services in Weymouth on the right track as a tourism draw

Steam locomotive alongside a high speed train. It comes from Bristol on summer Saturdays

Steam locomotive alongside a high speed train. It comes from Bristol on summer Saturdays

First published in News by

WEYMOUTH is welcoming a range of special day-trip rail excursions this summer providing an extra boost for the economy.

One has been laid on tomorrow to bring visitors to the Dorset Seafood Festival.

It comes as talks continue about possibly siting a turntable near Weymouth station so visiting steam engines can turn around, reducing costs for railtour operators.

Network Rail says a proposal has been put forward by West Coast Railways for land currently occupied by the line which branches off to form the disused quayside tramway branch.

Putting it there would effectively close off the branch so this needs to be considered in discussions.

Meanwhile, Weymouth station was brimming with activity last weekend as the resort welcomed a steam special from West Sussex hauled by ‘Black 5 No 44932’, plus a selection of luxurious coaches hauled by diesel locomotives in a separate excursion from Cheshire.

They were seen alongside an eight-carriage High Speed Train (HST), which First Great Western runs as an additional Saturday service in the summer to cope with additional demand on the Bristol line.

Between them, the three trains last Saturday brought more than 1,000 passengers.

Meanwhile, the Railway Touring Company began its weekly ‘Dorset Coast Express’ steam trains from London to Weymouth on Wednesday that will run throughout July and August.

Weekly Sunday steam from Bristol begins on July 27.

This is the fourth consecutive summer the Railway Touring Company has organised its tours. Other specials are in the timetable, including a Class 159 diesel unit from London on Saturday which will bring day-trippers to Weymouth for five hours before returning to the capital via Westbury and Salisbury.

UK Railtours’ ‘Long Wey Round’ train has been organised to coincide with the seafood festival.

Weymouth has long been a favourite of excursion operators but this summer looks set to be the busiest ever.

Borough council spokesman for leisure and tourism Rachel Rogers, pictured above, said: “It’s fantastic that companies are laying on these trains.

“They bring people into town and boost the economy, and give people the opportunity to see what great attractions we have.”

Comments (6)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

3:09pm Fri 11 Jul 14

cosmick says...

Great news, more people who come the better.
Great news, more people who come the better. cosmick
  • Score: 4

6:00pm Fri 11 Jul 14

bigfatlad says...

I love seeing the steam trains at Weymouth station!
I love seeing the steam trains at Weymouth station! bigfatlad
  • Score: 4

12:10pm Sat 12 Jul 14

WykeReg says...

If we value the town's heritage we should welcome the use of the quayside branch. It would be wonderful to see steam trains regularly running through the town. No doubt Elf and Safety would have a hissy fit, but I'm not aware of mass deaths in the time when the branch was in regular use.
If we value the town's heritage we should welcome the use of the quayside branch. It would be wonderful to see steam trains regularly running through the town. No doubt Elf and Safety would have a hissy fit, but I'm not aware of mass deaths in the time when the branch was in regular use. WykeReg
  • Score: 2

10:36pm Sat 12 Jul 14

Milton Boy says...

Could not the turntable be built on the Network Rail car park, which is rarely a quarter full? This would leave the quay line available for use in the future. Steam operators are discouraged at present by the cost of running to Yeovil Junction to turn the engine round. More steam tours would generate more income for the town.
Could not the turntable be built on the Network Rail car park, which is rarely a quarter full? This would leave the quay line available for use in the future. Steam operators are discouraged at present by the cost of running to Yeovil Junction to turn the engine round. More steam tours would generate more income for the town. Milton Boy
  • Score: 0

11:43am Sun 13 Jul 14

arlbergbahn says...

Milton Boy wrote:
Could not the turntable be built on the Network Rail car park, which is rarely a quarter full? This would leave the quay line available for use in the future. Steam operators are discouraged at present by the cost of running to Yeovil Junction to turn the engine round. More steam tours would generate more income for the town.
It appears that from a story in the Weymouth Advertiser this week, (which the Echo doesn't seem to have noticed), that seems to be just what they're hoping to do.
[quote][p][bold]Milton Boy[/bold] wrote: Could not the turntable be built on the Network Rail car park, which is rarely a quarter full? This would leave the quay line available for use in the future. Steam operators are discouraged at present by the cost of running to Yeovil Junction to turn the engine round. More steam tours would generate more income for the town.[/p][/quote]It appears that from a story in the Weymouth Advertiser this week, (which the Echo doesn't seem to have noticed), that seems to be just what they're hoping to do. arlbergbahn
  • Score: 0

11:40am Mon 14 Jul 14

dorsetdog says...

WykeReg wrote:
If we value the town's heritage we should welcome the use of the quayside branch. It would be wonderful to see steam trains regularly running through the town. No doubt Elf and Safety would have a hissy fit, but I'm not aware of mass deaths in the time when the branch was in regular use.
I 101% agree with you here Wyke Reg . It is part of our heritage and should be preserved. What a money spinner for the town it would be if the line to Portland was open now especially if they started at the quay.
[quote][p][bold]WykeReg[/bold] wrote: If we value the town's heritage we should welcome the use of the quayside branch. It would be wonderful to see steam trains regularly running through the town. No doubt Elf and Safety would have a hissy fit, but I'm not aware of mass deaths in the time when the branch was in regular use.[/p][/quote]I 101% agree with you here Wyke Reg . It is part of our heritage and should be preserved. What a money spinner for the town it would be if the line to Portland was open now especially if they started at the quay. dorsetdog
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree