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  1. As well as a Military Vehicle Collector I’m also a Volunteer Fireman on the West Somerset Railway in Somerset. I’ve been asked by the West Somerset Railway Gala Team to help organise a military freight train loaded with WW2 vehicles and a static display of military vehicles, displays and reenactors at Bishops Lydeard station as a part of their usual Spring Gala on 22-25th March 2018. The WSR will have an American S160 2-8-0 freight loco available to pull the train, these engines were made in the USA and shipped to England and Europe as a part of the war effort in the run up to and after D-Day. Many operated in the UK during 1944-45 including from Taunton shed. As there was a big military base on North Hill in Minehead a military train hauled by this type of loco taking vehicles down the branch is something the WSR wants to recreate as a part of its larger Spring Gala. The WSR also has enough genuine war department wagons to make a train including flat wagons for vehicles, open wagons for kit, closed wagons and brake vans to ride in. Therefore the plan is to have a totally authentic military train loaded with WW2 vehicles running over the line, plus a display of static vehicles and displays at Bishops Lydeard next to the station platforms. It’s in planning currently and I have some details to thrash out so is all subject to confirmation which I will give as soon as I can so I just need to know who is interested at the moment. No commitment of course and as always you can just turn up to be a part of the display as you wish. However I do need to be a bit more organised for the vehicles on the train and reenactors or uniformed owners to man it, as the plan is to allow you to ride on the military train in brake vans plus some will hopefully be able to get a trip on loco footplates over the line as well. Therefore could you contact me if you would like to: 1. Have your vehicle on the train (up to GMC sized WW2 vehicles). 2. Ride in the Brake vans on the train over the line (20 miles each way) and help ‘guard’ it when it sits in the stations ( In British, American, Home Guard, uniforms for this) and talk to the public. 3. Just come along to Bishops Lydeard with a vehicle or display or re-enactment (not just WW2). British, American, Home Guard & Civilian only please. No Germans or Axis. I plan to try and arrange some footplate passes to ride over the line on the locomotives (others will be running as well over the gala) and to have some free tickets to travel on the normal passenger trains that will be running for those in uniform or civilian period dress who bring a vehicle or display in addition to being able to ride on the freight train itself. Could you please drop me a line on andyfnorman@yahoo.co.uk or ring me on 07590 487885 or of course reply on here. I have a meeting on the 5th Jan so if anybody is interested if you could come back to me by then that would be great, that’s not of course a deadline in anyway it would just help me to know some reaction when I’m talking to people then.
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