West Somerset Railway director of mechanical engineering retires

The West Somerset Railway (WSR) has announced that its mechanical engineering manager, Bob Meanley, is stepping down from the company’s board.

A statement from the railway said: ‘He had two spells as a member and made an invaluable contribution during the very difficult time of the pandemic, and when trains could not get to Minehead due to the closure of the level crossing,

Bob is one of the greatest locomotive engineers of the preservation era. For almost 25 years he was chief engineer of Tyseley Locomotive Works and oversaw the restoration and operation of much of the Tyseley fleet, including the No. 5043 Castle class. Earl of Mount Edgecumbe and no. 7029 Clun Castle.

He was also responsible for managing the restoration of many other mainline steam engines and the restoration of the streamlined LMS Coronation Pacific No 6229 class. Duchess of Hamilton for the National Railway Museum.
At the 2020 Heritage Railway Association Awards, Bob received the annual award for Services to the Preservation of Railways.

The West Somerset Railway will announce a new Director of Mechanical Engineering shortly.

The railroad’s statement continued: ‘Bob served as Director responsible for mechanical engineering. His very extensive experience in the heritage sector and, in particular, his in-depth knowledge of steam engines gained over many years has been invaluable to the railway. During his time with the WSR he had a special role in directing the development of changes in the mechanical engineering organization on the railway, including the overall direction of the absorption of Williton’s work into the company of the WSR association.

“Bob has decided that with the railway on a more solid footing, he is able to spend more time on a range of professional pursuits closer to home in the West Midlands.”

WSR Chairman Jonathan Jones-Pratt said: “We are very sorry to see Bob step down from the board, but we fully understand his reasons and hope he will stay in touch with the railroad at the end of the day. ‘coming. We owe Bob a considerable debt for the work he has done helping us through our most difficult times. We wish him much success in the future.