Railways on the Air (ROTA) 2020

Firstly “thank you!” for supporting my efforts to get this up and running. On the first day I operated the station alone and on the second day I was joined by my wife, Diane (M3HJN). Without the help of Martyn on the set up and take down days and Diane’s assistance and the support and encouragement from the rest of you this would not have been possible.

Over the 26th and 27th of September West Somerset Railway Amateur Radio Special Event Station, call sign GB2WSR (Gulf Bravo Two West Somerset Railway) took part in the ‘Railways on the Air’ event, where amateur radio enthusiasts ‘activate’ heritage railways all over the UK and Ireland and do their best to promote their railway on the air (within our licensing conditions I hasten to add).

During this event we were transmitting on 3.5 MHz and 7Mhz and were contacting other amateur radio enthusiasts and in particular looking to talk to other heritage railways.

Over the two days we established contact with a total of 181 other “ham” radio stations, 12 of which were heritage railway special event radio stations.

We spoke to radio stations in the following countries:

England
Wales
Scotland
Ireland
N.Ireland
Isle of Man
France
Italy
Belgium
Germany
Holland
Spain
Portugal
Switzerland
Poland
Sweden

Our furthest contact was the Portuguese station who was situated on the southern tip of Portugal, 1,616km (1004 miles) away. We also had the pleasure of contacting the following heritage railways:

GB2KDR – Keith and Dufftown Railway (Scottish Highlands)
GB4VBR – Vale of Berkeley Railway
GB6RHD – Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch light railway
GB1CR – Corris Railway (Wales)
EI2WRC/P – Waterford and Suir Valley Railway (Republic of Ireland)
GB60BR – Bluebell Railway
GB0CVR – Colne Valley Railway
GB0HBL – Helston Branch Line
GB0NDR – North Dorset Railway
GB0SDR – Norton South Railway Station
GB0WHH – Welsh Highland Railway (Porthmadog)
GB1MHM – Moseley Heritage Museum for narrow gauge mining railways

We would love to do this in 2021, we hope that by then Covid-19 will be a thing of the past and we will then be able to make it a more interactive event for the general public.

Best wishes,

Richard, G0RSN