Railways on the Air (ROTA)

This is an annual event organised by the Bishops Auckland Amateur Radio Club. This year the event is taking place over the weekend of 26th and 27th of September and FoMS have arranged for the West Somerset Railway to be represented.

It see’s two special interests coming together, Amateur Radio enthusiasts put on special event amateur radio stations to celebrate heritage railways across the country. The aim is that radio amateurs have a good time and promote Amateur Radio while helping to celebrate the unique position railways hold in our national heritage.

Railways on the air (ROTA) weekend usually takes place every year on the weekend closest to the 27th September.

This date celebrates the anniversary of the first steam powered passenger railway which took place on 27th September 1825 – the first passenger train ran on a line in the North East of England from Darlington to Stockton. Bishop Auckland Amateur Radio Club coordinates this event.

This year, Friends of Minehead Station are activating Minehead Railway station, representing the entire West Somerset Railway with a special call sign, GB2WSR. The station is being run by local Amateur Radio enthusiast and FoMS committee member, Richard Newton (Amateur Radio call sign G0RSN).

Sadly this year, due to the current Covid-19 situation members of the public will not be able to operate the station, however, if government restrictions allow members of the public will be able to watch and listen to the station being operated from a carriage set on the platform and ask any questions they may have from a distance.

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