He said: “The WSR continues to attract more passengers year after year – 2013 has seen new records set with extra visitors also attracted over the summer by the sunny weather.
“Maintaining the WSR is hugely expensive – it costs almost £1,000,000 to fully refurbish a single steam engine – so it’s vital for the WSR to attract strong visitor numbers to remain financially viable.
“It also depends on the dedication and goodwill of thousands of volunteers, many of whom live in Taunton Deane.
“I’m delighted that the WSR is being imaginatively managed with new ideas for the future.
“One proposal is to enhance the station facilities at Bishops Lydeard.
“A longer-term possibility is for a regular timetable of diesel trains joining Bishops Lydeard to Taunton and beyond which could be used by commuters as well as leisure travellers.”