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June 15th, 2009
We were invited to stay with a family friend in Wellington, near Taunton, and tour the West Somerset Railway. We boarded the train at Reading station and went across to Newport, Wales, returning via Bristol and heading down to Taunton for the next day's trip. At Newport, we went to a bridge and watched for about 30 minutes. Moments after we left, a train came over with a pair of rare Class 67s! Grumbling at the loss, I was more than a little surprised to have the same train return a few minutes later and take us to Taunton.
(map) Reading is a major railway junction between Oxford and London.
Swindon is famous among locals for its fanciful roundabouts -- look at a map of the city to understand quite why -- and is also along the line between Reading and Bristol.
Newport is the first city over the border from England and is apparently where Class 66s coming from Canada are off-loaded.
Several trains cross the bridge in Newport in the few minutes we watched, followed by a Class 67-led passenger train entering the station as we walked back and a short freight train passing through.
Bristol is a major west coast city near the border with Wales.
We spent one hour at Patchway station, which is the station on the north leg of the wye connecting Bristol and Newport. Each leg of the wye has its own station.
Taunton is near Bishops Lydeard and the West Somerset Railway.