Alex de Mendoza, a business owner and head of the Minehead Rail Link Group (MRLG) has been campaigning to get a rail link re-established so that there can be a regular service between Minehead and Taunton.
West Somerset Railway’s longtime volunteer and secretary of the all-party parliamentary group for heritage railways, Chris Austin announced at the first public MRLG meeting held on Tuesday at the Minehead Old Hospital that WSR would be submitting an application to Great Western Railway (GWR)’s customer and communities fund to trial a connecting shuttle to link the national network at Taunton with the heritage railway at Bishops Lydeard.
Mr Austin said he had been looking into this issue for the past 25 years, the major setback being the lack of rolling stock and money.
He was thankful however, that WSR had finally been able to overcome the rolling stock problems and acquire the funding needed to introduce the cause.
He added that support for the trial was needed from as many people as possible as it would be a contender among other worthy projects.
Mr De Mendoza said the MRLG would be backing this initiative as it could be the first step toward getting the regular service desired.
Councillor Benet Allen, secretary of the MRLG added:
“The new service would have the support of the 20,000 people who live down the line – and the 70,000 people who live at the other end.
“And a thousand times more across the country who will be able, finally, to get to Minehead by train.”