Somerset & Dorset Railway Heritage Trust

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Somerset & Dorset Railway in former goods shed at Midsomer Norton

The Somerset & Dorset Railway Heritage Trust is a UK-registered charity, that through operating a railway museum at Midsomer Norton railway station, aims to preserve as much of the former Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway as possible. It is separate to and should not be confused with the Somerset and Dorset Railway Trust, presently located at the West Somerset Railway's Washford railway station.

History[edit]

The restored signal box

The Trust was originally formed shortly before the closure of the S&DJR in 1966 under the Beeching Axe, headquartered in Midsomer Norton. The station site was sold in 1969 to a local school, and then in 1995 to the Wansdyke district council,[1] who leased it to the Trust to restore to its 1950s condition.[2]

The Trust has since restored the original station buildings, a signalbox and a goods shed. A museum is located in an old horse stable block that houses a collection of S&DJR memorabilia, and there is also a pillbox with World War 2 exhibits. The Trust has over time relaid the majority of track within the station site, and currently has almost 2 miles (3.2 km) of track.

A road bridge over the railway, north east of the station has been removed, therefore relaying track to the north of the station would be expensive. However, having agreed a lease arrangement with the trackbed owners, the Trust is currently extending track southwards up the gradient along the 2 miles 2 chains (3.3 km) of trackbed towards Chilcompton, and has presently relaid half the required length.[3][4] The full plan would require restoration of the former Chilcompton railway tunnel.[5]

In May 2013 an online appeal was launched to raise £500,000 by 30 September 2013 to purchase the station at the summit of the S&DJR at Masbury.[6] The Trust eventually raised only £80,000 by the deadline, and the site was sold to another party.[7]

Operations[edit]

The Trust has two operational diesel locomotives on site, and under a Light Railway Order allow it to operate passenger trains south towards Chilcompton.[8]

Rolling stock[edit]

Locomotives[edit]

Key

Coaching stock[edit]

British Rail Mark 1 coaches were the principal passenger stock of the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway from 1951 until the closure of the railway.

Number & Name Description History & Current Status Livery Owner(s) Date Photograph
No. M5562 Mk1 SK Operational. Plain maroon. Private Owner. 1955 ~
No. 92939 Mk 1 BG Operational. Ex NSE. Somerset & Dorset Railway Heritage Trust. Date: unknown ~
No. M26049 Mk1 SK Operational. BR lined maroon. Private Owner. 1962 ~

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Midsomer Norton Station". Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway Searching for a lost line. Gordon Jones. Retrieved 23 November 2013. 
  2. ^ "Visitor Information" (PDF). Somerset and Dorset Railway. Retrieved 23 November 2013. 
  3. ^ "Railway Extension Stage 2" (PDF). Bath and North East Somerset Council. Retrieved 23 November 2013. 
  4. ^ "Somerset & Dorset Railway". Old Steamers. Retrieved 23 November 2013. 
  5. ^ "Home". The Somerset & Dorset Railway Heritage Trust. Retrieved 23 November 2013. 
  6. ^ £500k needed in three months to buy iconic railway station
  7. ^ "Masbury station". Somerset & Dorset Railway Heritage Trust. Retrieved 10 July 2014. 
  8. ^ "The S&D Mendip Mainline Project". Somerset & Dorset Railway Heritage Trust. Retrieved 1 May 2012. 
  9. ^ Andy Chapman. "Sentinel Steam Loco 7109: 7109 Ownership". Sentinel7109.blogspot.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-06. 

Coordinates: 51°16′51″N 2°28′58″W / 51.2809°N 2.4828°W / 51.2809; -2.4828