When news happens get involved. Send your pictures, views and video to us by text and email
Weymouth set for steamy welcome with visit from classic trains
WEYMOUTH is set to welcome more steam trains this summer.
Another steamy season is in store as a tour company plans regular day excursions to the resort from Bristol and London between June and August.
This will be the third consecutive year that the Railway Touring Company, of King’s Lynn, Norfolk, has run weekly trips to Weymouth in the summer months.
As well as boosting the local economy by bringing hundreds of day-trippers into Weymouth each time, the trains are a favourite with young and old enthusiasts. Classic carriages are hauled by steam locomotives which ran in the ‘golden age’ of steam railways including ‘Nunney Castle,’ ‘Braunton,’ ‘Sir Lamiel’ and ‘Tangmere’.
And as a bonus, the London trains will be ‘banked’ up the line to Dorchester with an engine at the rear as well as the front, making for an impressive scene.
The Weymouth Seaside Express from Bristol and the Dorset Coast Express from London Victoria aim to recreate the days of holiday excursions run by British Railways in the 1950s.
The Bristol train will run every Sunday from June 30 to September 1 and the London train operates on Wednesdays from July 24 to September 11. This includes Weymouth Car-nival on August 21.
Additionally, the Railway Touring Company’s Royal Wessex train will run to Weymouth from Little-hampton on Saturday, June 1. Steam Dreams, operators of the ‘Cathe-drals Express’ tour has scheduled a Weymouth trip on Saturday, August 31.
Tourism and culture spokesman for Weymouth and Portland Borough Council Ian Bruce said it was ‘excellent news’.
He added: “I’m absolutely delighted as it will mean yet more visitors coming to our beautiful town.”
Local rail enthusiast and photographer Ian Brooke welcomed the news.
He said: “It’s an incredible boost to the economy because these trains are usually fully booked, particularly on Sundays, so they’re bringing bring about 400 people at a time. These are people who probably haven’t visited Weymouth before and come to spend their money.”
Mr Brooke added: “It would make it easier for the operators if there was a turntable was reinstated at Weymouth as currently, locomotives have to travel up to Yeovil to turn round.”