Shillingstone Railway Project

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Main building at Shillingstone Station being refurbished in Southern Railway colours, October 2007
A big project: 92207 being stored at Shillingstone, October 2007

The Shillingstone Railway Project (formerly the Shillingstone Station Project) is a heritage railway project based at Shillingstone railway station on the former Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway.[1] It is supported by the North Dorset Railway Trust (NDRT). The medium-term aim is to restore the current leased length of one quarter of a mile: an addition of 1,200 feet (370 m) of single track mainline with a loop through the platforms. The long-term aim is to extend north towards Lamb House Bridge, and to provide a rail link with Sturminster Newton, working in harmony with the North Dorset Trailway. Track has been laid through the station using 95 dull head rail extending to the Church gate on the current southern boundary.The signal box, coal store, motor trolley hut, permanent way huts, signals and pole route have been rebuilt. The NDRT has rebuilt the 400 foot Down platform wall and replaced and repaired the platform edge slabs. The North Dorset Trailway runs alongside the formation and up over the 395-foot (120 m) 'down' platform. The electrical supply has been improved and the Museum improved. The Station Gardens are also a prominent feature for the 28,000 visitors that come annually. The NDRT membership in 2017 exceeded 500 for the first time.

Buildings[edit]

The station building currently houses a cafe, shop, work room, model railway and separate toilet facilities for ladies and gentlemen. The registered museum displays a variety of artefacts that have been donated over the years. The Signal box has been rebuilt and fitted with fully working signalling equipment. The south end of the up platform has been rebuilt and the picnic area above landscaped with a colourful garden and an outdoor 'O' scale model railway. A new siding has been laid to accommodate the catering carriage at present outside the main station platform which serves as additional café accommodation and is available for hire for private functions. The down platform waiting shelter has been rebuilt in its original position and serves as storage.

Stations[edit]

  • Sturminster Newton - Proposed
  • Shillingstone - under restoration as a base of operations
  • Stourpairne & Durweston Halt - Proposed

Activity[edit]

In 2009, 210 feet (64 m) of the up main track through the station was laid and ballasted using 110a and 113a flat bottom rail and wooden sleepers. The Ruston & Hornsby diesel shunter was moved from the isolated goods dock. This was the first standard gauge loco on the Somerset & Dorset mainline south of the Mendips and north of Blandford, since the demolition train departed in July 1967, exactly 42 years before. The wooden box van was also been moved to the same track.

Progress in 2010 included acquiring a tracked Priestman Mustang excavator, finishing construction of the up platform wall, regrading of the cattle dock track bed and preparations for track-laying, and the connection of the station to the mains drainage system.

On 9 and 10 May 2015 two new arrivals where added to the stations fleet, a class 48DS 4wd Ruston a long time since the previous Ruston was sold. This arrived along with an ex-virgin cross-country kitchen coach No.11062

On 12 August 2015 a class 08 shunter was bought successfully by the NDRT. This class 08 (No.08 995) is a low cabbed version and is only one of three survivors of this variant. She is currently having repairs before transfer to Shillingstone..

New rolling stock is on its way, along with the restoration work on both engines 30075 & 30076 run by the team at Project62.

History[edit]

After the closure of Shillingstone railway station on 7 March 1966, and a few years post closure, the Dorset County Council purchased the trackbed for a proposed Shillingstone by-pass.

Various furniture manufacturing companies were sited in the former station yard, and over 1970s, industrial buildings were constructed, some of them making partial use of the station building.

By December 2002, the by-pass plan had been shelved and the station was derelict.

Dorset County Council decided to dispose of the redundant station, and, after protracted negotiations, lasting from 1998 to 2005, the North Dorset Railway Trust took signed a lease for the former station site.

The Trust's plan was to reopen the station as a tourist attraction, and restore site to as it looked in the 1950s and 1960s.

Restoration work commenced in 2003, and over the years, the main building was repaired, and a replica signal box with a correct Stevens frame. and tablet machines, was constructed by volunteers. The Porters office was reconstructed, and the Parcels office restored. Track was laid in the dock and up platform, also NDRT members. This work is now nearing completion.

Rolling stock[edit]

Coaches[edit]

  • MK1 BR M25424 Built 1957. Purchased by the Swanage Railway, but was sold to Shillingstone in 2011.
  • Mk3a Ex-Virgin cross-country Open First buffet coach No.10224 built by British Rail in 1970 at their Derby works. The Mk 3 saw service with British Rail before joining the ranks of Virgin Trains rolling stock where it worked until retirement in 2002. It was then stored until 2005 and was used by the Army for bomb disposal training. Purchased for a nominal sum in May 2015, and moved shortly after to Shillingstone.

Wagons[edit]

  • Senior Naval Stores Officer (SNSO), 10 ton 4w van, SNSO 535. Built in 1910 for the Admiralty initially at Chatham Dockyard, later at Gosport. Purchased from Gosport in March 1984 and moved to West Somerset Railway. In 2005 this van was sold to Shillingstone. Currently under restoration.
  • Esso 4w Fuel Oil Tank 3957, Departmental No DB999088, Internal user number 083548. Ex Bournemouth West depot waste oil tanker then was bought by the Swanage railway, before moving to Shillingstone.
  • L&NWR 4w Non-Vent 10 Ton Box Van, Diagram number 88, Navy number RNAD 335, ex RNAD Bedenham. Moved from Washford to Shillingstone Feb 2016. Currently under restoration.
  • GWR 10t Ventilated Van 11451 (Code: MINK) Built by GWR at Swindon in 1901 on Lot 418 to Diagram V5. Moved from Washford to Shillingstone Feb 2016.
  • BR Dogfish ballast wagon. B983184 moved to Shillingstone from Queenborough Rolling Mill in 2013. The Dogfish & Catfish were BR's standard small ballast hopper wagons, almost 2000 being built. Fitted with vacuum brakes from new, many lasted into the 1990s while a program to fit air-brakes to surviving Dogfish wagons was started in 2000. Despite this, the last examples of both types were withdrawn in 2006.
  • BR ADB904131, 21 ton lowmac transporter wagon, GWR style riveted, Vacuum brake [Diag 2-245 Lot 2592, Built Swindon 1949.

Wickham Trolley[edit]

  • BR LMR Manchester, Type 17a, Built by D Wickham & Co 27/2/1959, BR No TP57P, Works No 8267 Currently taken by the NDRT members who refuse to return it to its owner.

http://www.ontrackplant.com/otp/TP57P

Stored off Site[edit]

  • BR Class 08 0-6-0 No. 08 995 was built at Horwich Works in October 1959 as number D3854, being renumbered 08 687 in February 1974. It was rebuilt with reduced height to operate on the Burry Port and Gwendraeth Valley railway, being renumbered 08 995 on 4 September 1987. It was named KIDWELLY at Landore Traction Maintenance Depot in October 1987, and was transferred to Transrail Freight Limited in summer 1994 as part of the privatization of British Railways. Transrail Freight Limited was purchased by North and South Railways Limited on 24 February 1996 and was renamed English Welsh & Scottish Railway Limited on 14 October 1996. 08 995’s nameplates were removed in June 2004. English Welsh & Scottish Railway Limited was purchased by Deutsche Bahn AG on 28 June 2007, being renamed DB Schenker Rail (UK) Limited on 18 December 2008. 08 995 was sold in 2015 to the North Dorset Railway Trust and is currently undergoing repairs prior to its transfer to Shillingstone.
  • BR 9F 2-10-0 92207, Built by BR (W) in Swindon "A" Shop during May 1959, 92207 was the 13th-from-last steam locomotive to be built for British Railways. It was part of lot number 429 (the final order for main line steam locomotives by British Rail). Currently under restoration off site.

Former Exhibits[edit]

  • LMS 20 Ton Brake Van 950194 Scrapped on site.
  • Ruston & Hornsby diesel shunter, arrived in 2007 at Sillingstone. 88DS class, works number 466629 Built 1962, supplied new to Ransomes Simms & Jeffries, of Ipswich. Sold to the Whitwell & Reepham Preservation Society 2013.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]