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West Somerset Mineral Railway Project go to homepagelink to heritage lottery fund website
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Passenger traffic

The railway was opened to passengers in 1865, and became a new and important means of travel between remote communities on the Brendon Hills and Watchet. 

 

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A group of passengers about to be hauled up the incline
A group of passengers about to be hauled up the incline

 

Although the Somerset County Gazette of 9 September 1865, described the carriages as ‘new and comfortable’, the carriages are likely to have been at least second hand if not older. 

 

The seats of the first and second class compartments were upholstered, those of third class had timber boards.  No details of their type and origins are known. 

 

 

 

 

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A single third class passenger ticket from Roadwater to Washford
A single third class passenger ticket from Roadwater to Washford

 

 

 

 

To transport miners to the foot of the incline and people attending Temperance meetings at Brendon Hill, ore wagons fitted with temporary plank seats were used.   

 

After the mines closed in 1883 passengers traversed the incline in a similar fashion (see below).  The railway stayed open until 1898. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pontypool with with a mixed train of carriage and wagons waiting to depart from Watchet Station in 1866
Pontypool with with a mixed train of carriage and wagons waiting to depart from Watchet Station in 1866
 

Pasteboard tickets were issued at the four stations on the lower section of the line, and a uniform charge of 2d was made between each station for third class passengers. 

 

Second class fares were 3d between stations and first class 4d. 

 

It was only on rare occasions that miners’ families could afford to spend an eighth of their weekly wage on a railway ticket. 

 

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Go to West Somerset Mineral Railway timetable
West Somerset Mineral Railway timetable of May 1, 1872
Go to WSMR stations in pictures
Comberow station looking north east
Go to A surgeon's free train pass
A surgeon's free train pass