West Somerset Railway helps with Minehead flood defence

Steam engine Braunton West Somerset Railway will take stone-carrying trains from the mainline network to Minehead

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A heritage railway is working with the Environment Agency (EA) to move rock in order to repair coastal flood defences in Somerset.

West Somerset Railway will take stone-carrying trains from the mainline network to Minehead.

The EA is installing a 130-metre (427ft) section of rock in front of an existing ridge to protect homes and businesses in the town.

A spokesman said the trains would reduce the need for lorries.

Headed by diesel locomotives, the trains will begin their journey with stone from the Mendip quarries.

Paul Conibeare, general manager of West Somerset Railway, said: "We were pleased to see heavy freight trains back on the branch line and being worked by us in what over the years has become a well-tuned operation.

"We will always be pleased to help in the future and where possible reduce the number of lorry movements on the local road network."

Councillor Chris Morgan, from West Somerset Council, commended the partnership, which he said "significantly reduces the need for heavy lorries to use our narrow country roads".

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