CASE STUDY

West Somerset Railway

An old country branch of the Great Western Railway, WSR is made up of 20 miles of track with 10 scenic stations and is a hugely popular tourist attraction, running a range of trains and special events throughout the year.

Departures

We met the WSR team when they were looking to update their website to improve the conversion of web views to on-site customers. With a dated and restrictive CMS and confusing navigation, we were keen to show them how much easier website management could be.

As is often the case for heritage railways, WSR needed to display a wide range of railway aspects on the website, which had led to a convoluted navigation and sitemap on their existing website.

Customers struggled to find the information they needed in order to visit and as the CMS was restrictive and difficult to manage the site info was often out of date too, compounding the problem.

West Somerset Railway
West Somerset Railway
West Somerset Railway

Switching Tracks

Working alongside the client we used our CMS platform to build a bespoke solution to allow them to quickly and easily manage the day to day running of the website. It also allowed them to set up events and experiences well in advance to streamline administration and encourage early ticket sales to maximise revenue.  

Using our calendar module we introduced a daily train departures timetable, with colour coding and further information governed through the CMS to allow the team to clearly display which trains were available to customers on any given day as well as promoting any upcoming events to boost attendance.

This was supplemented by a custom Events and Experiences module which integrated with WSR’s online ticketing provider to pull through train dates, times, and availability so that the admin team could populate the event info once and have it in sync on both systems, with live updates as customers book.

We also utilised AWS’s scalable hosting solution to ensure that the WSR website was always stable, with AWS matching any dramatic increases in traffic; this was particularly useful when WSR put tickets for their Flying Scotsman event online, which flew out of the door almost as quickly as the train itself! With the hosting automatically scaling up the system kept running as smoothly as ever allowing customers to have the best possible purchasing journey.

Arrivals

The new site has been hugely successful, with positive feedback from customers and almost 40,000 tickets sold online in the first year of the new site being live. The updated feel reflects the railway’s modern and family-friendly outlook while showcasing the classic trains and heritage which make the line well worth a visit. We’re delighted to see more visitors getting to experience this for themselves, and look forward to helping West Somerset Railway more in the future.

"One of the biggest differences that we have noticed between you and our old web providers is how quickly the team over there gets things done and how helpful everyone is!

Thank you so much I could not be happier with the way this is going!"

Samantha White - Marketing Officer
The West Somerset Railway

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