An extract from a report by Hertfordshire Railtours following a visit by the first "Treacle Eater"excursion to Yeovil Junction. A second "Treacle Eater" has since run!:
We had already decided that the servicing of the locomotive (coaling, watering and turning) was to be a quite leisurely affair as the moves involved were a little more complex than might be expected, but given that we had almost three hours there was a potential problem in my mind as to how over 450 people would occupy themselves. I needn't have worried in the slightest!
We had already planned for PECTIN to haul three brake vans up and down the Clifton Maybank spur during the afternoon (a service which was much appreciated and heavily used by everyone on board), but what 1 hadn't expected was the level of additional activity planned around this.
The guided walks to the "Jack-the-Treacle-Eater" folly were much more popular than even our hosts expected and was something I would have liked to have done myself - next time perhaps! The Morris Dancers performing on the platform were a very nice touch, as were the guided tours around the site, the provision of "The Lunch Box", and the Company shop all of which gave people plenty to see and do.
Everyone enjoyed the view of CLAN LINE being turned on the turntable and then running through the station, and the fact that we were all kept very well informed with clear announcements over the public address system was a big bonus too. Attention to detail and the professional approach throughout the day was very much in evidence and much appreciated.
Whether it's our own event that you want to come to or an event laid on especially for you, you can count on your passengers being satisfied customers at the end of the day!
is a GATEWAY
There is so much to see within a short coach ride from Yeovil Junction Station. Here are some examples:
Yeovil Town Centre (via a special bus service) - a thriving Regional Shopping Centre
Fleet Air Arm Museum at Yeovilton
Haynes Motor Museum, a unique and extensive private collection
Sherborne Abbey and Town - an olde worlde town full of interesting shops, public schools and the famous Abbey
Sherborne Castle, home of Sir Walter Raleigh
Montacute House, scene of the filming of 'Sense and Sensibility'
Cerne Abbas Giant
East Somerset Railway
Wells Cathedral and Glastonbury Tor
Seaton Tramway and Pecorama
Axminster, where you can still see carpets being made
Bath and West Showground, site of many famous West Country events
Many more National Trust properties
provide ideas and contacts,
make arrangements, and
service the locos and rolling stock.
Just call us to discuss your requirements.
is a STOPOVER
On any railtour passengers need servicing just the same as the locos and rolling stock. Here at Yeovil Junction we can combine both activities!
So while the locomotive is being serviced or changed there is much for the passengers to watch and enjoy because our site is designed to provide excellent viewing of these operations.
Passengers can watch the locomotive being turned on one of the few remaining turntables in the country
In addition there is a shop on our platform providing a huge range of railway related goods and souvenirs, and there are guided tours of this very historical site, still bearing relics of the Broad Gauge era.
Resident locos on site include a Peckett industrial tank engine which may be used to provide brake-van rides along the Clifton Maybank spur, together with demonstration freight trains.
There is an exhibition of railway artefacts and pictures in the Engine Shed
Four National Railway Museum wagons (in course/to be restored) can be viewed.
Locomotive servicing is down to a fine art now with a full turn round, including coaling, watering and turning, taking no more than an hour.
For trains just requiring water on a tight schedule, we can do this in 20 mins without the loco having to be detached from the train.
is an OPERATIONAL BASE
Positioned as we are at an intersection in the national network, Yeovil Junction offers a variety of routes for locally based railtours in support of local tourism. Locomotive and rolling stock can be kept and maintained on our site at Yeovil Junction:
the Bristol to Weymouth passenger services are limited in number
the Bristol-Weymouth Partnership, an association of local authorities, are actively seeking to promote the line
Bristol-Weymouth is not a major route and may not therefore be subject to the same operational restrictions (steam bans, etc.) but is very scenic.
from the South East, excursions can call at Salisbury (for City, Cathedral and Stonehenge), Gillingham, Dorset (for Stourhead Gardens) and Sherborne (for town, Abbey and Old and New Castles) before arriving at Yeovil Junction.
trains along the Salisbury-Exeter line face significant gradients in both directions which provide an excellent test of the engine and crew!
An alternative concept of the operational base may be the provision of alternative motive power to railtours passing through Yeovil Junction. This would require locomotive owners to base themselves here for a period that would allow them to service a number of different railtour operators. So a trip that commences with diesel power could swap to steam power or vice versa, providing added interest for the passengers.
has a FUTURE!
Our plans include:
Following the acquisition and restoration of last remaining Transfer Sheds in situ in the country, is to develop this into a fully fledged Visitor Centre. This shed adjoins our site.
the expansion of the recently constructed 2-road Engine Shed into a fully fitted workshop. Main line steam and diesle engines have already stayed.
restoring the four National Railway Museum wagons to their former glory
The South West Main Line Steam Company (Yeovil Railway Centre) exists to serve the railtour industry and to promote 'green' tourism in the South West. We offer a unique service to an industry that has taken some knocks in recent years, so we are keen to make our contribution to it's revival and future prosperity.
Our Mission statement below explains how we perceive our contribution:
COMPANY MISSION STATEMENT
To strengthen our position as an attractive destination for railtour passengers, and achieve a significant market share in this area of the leisure industry.
To be the leading operational and servicing facility for preserved Main Line Locomotives (steam or diesel) in this country.
To enhance the local environment and help sustain the railway infrastructure in our area.
To explore and evaluate opportunities for diversifying the business into related activities.
As a registered charity we rely entirely on income generated from visiting railtours, membership subscriptions and donations.
For further information please contact our Chairman, Paul Gould, on:
Tel: 07970 594797
Correspondence: Yeovil Railway Centre, Yeovil Junction Station, Stoford, YEOVIL, Somerset BA22 9UU