ANOTHER visiting locomotive has been announced ahead of this weekend's West Somerset Railway (WSR) Spring Steam Gala.

The railway has announced that No. 2857, a 104-year-old Great Western 2-8-0 tender engine built to haul heavy goods trains throughout the network, will appear at the gala.

A WSR spokesperson said: “Although this engine has been here before, it is particularly special.

“It now mostly spends its time on the Severn Valley Railway, and its visit to Somerset is also special because it is the last visit away from the Severn Valley before it goes into a period of overhaul and refurbishment.

“The visit has been arranged at very short notice, thanks to considerable support from the 2857 Society who own the locomotive.

“Arranging the visit of a locomotive like this is no easy task, and it will travel down to Somerset by road early in the week.”

No. 2857 will be used to haul passenger trains from Minehead to Bishops Lydeard and back throughout the gala and will work at least one goods train during the event.


The spokesperson added: “2857 ended its working life on the main line working out of Neath in South Wales and was mainly employed on hauling coal trains to London.

“On each trip, it might take over fifty loaded wagons full of coal for the London domestic market.

“It won’t have quite such a tough time in West Somerset, but the gradients on the railway will require it to work hard. It promises to be an exciting sight.”

No. 2857 was arranged to attend the festival after locomotive 9466 was found to be in need of urgent maintenance so cannot run during the gala. 

It is due to be in operation later in the season.

The WSR Steam Spring Gala will start on Thursday, May 5 and finish on Sunday, May 8.

For more information and to see the timetable, visit

Tickets will also be available on the day at station booking offices and on the trains.