Somerset & Dorset Railway Heritage Trust
The Somerset & Dorset Railway Heritage Trust is a UK-registered charity which owns the museum and railway at Midsomer Norton railway station. Commercial activities such as catering, retail services and the operation of public trains over the original trackbed come under the control of the Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway Company Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of the Trust. It is separate to and should not be confused with the Somerset and Dorset Railway Trust, which is located at the West Somerset Railway's Washford railway station.
The S&D Heritage Trust was formed some 30 years after 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, who leased it to the Trust to restore to its 1950s condition.
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 II exhibits. Having agreed a lease arrangement with the trackbed owners, the Trust has over time relaid the track which now runs for 1 mile from the station up the ruling 1:50 gradient to the infilled cutting towards Chilcompton. The railway bridge over Silver St has been removed, and further extension Southwards will require removal of the in-fill and restoration of the former Chilcompton railway tunnel.
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. The Trust eventually raised only £80,000 by the deadline, and the site was sold to another party.
The trust has two operational diesel locomotives and a 200 hp double engined Sentinel steam loco, and operates regular passenger trains using three Mk 1 carriages. In 2019, public services will run every two weeks, with steam and diesel traction alternating.
- Sentinel 0-4-0VBT, works no. 7109 named 'Joyce'. Similar to the S&DJR Sentinels used on the line at Radstock North and built at the Sentinel Waggon Works, but neither survived into preservation. In service - boiler ticket expires 2026 (privately owned).
- English Electric 0-6-0DH, works no. D1120, in service
- British Railways Class 08 0-6-0DE D4095, built Horwich Works 1961. TOPS number 08881. In service
- British Railways 4MT 2-6-4T No. 80072 Visited from the Llangollen Railway September 2016 numbered as 80043 for the duration of the visit as this was the number of a classmate that had worked on the Somerset & Dorset line in the 60s
- LMS Class 3F 'Jinty' 0-6-0T No. 47406
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 on 6 March 1966. The railway currently has three of these vehicles but the aim is to eventually have two rakes of 3 coaches including a BSK or BSO with one train in BR lined maroon and the other in BR Southern Region green.
|Number & Name||Description||History & Current Status||Livery||Owner(s)||Date||Photograph|
|No. 255||6-wheel 5 Compartment Third||Under restoration (body only), on modified underframe of a LMS CCT. Was later sold to the Brecon and Merthyr Railway, one of only three surviving vehicles, in 1920 then withdrawn by GWR c. 1930. The underframe of the LMS CCT was later found to be that of a Midland Railway 6-wheeler, making it more perfect for the fitting. Might be painted in an S&DJR livery as the coach is the appropriate type as used on the line.||N/A||unknown||1890||~|
|No. M34527||Mk1 BSK||Under restoration||BR lined maroon||Somerset & Dorset Railway Heritage Trust||1955||~|
|No. M26049||Mk1 SK||Operational.||BR lined maroon.||Private Owner.||1962||~|
|No. S1162S||SR PMVY||Operational||SR Green||Private Owner||1945||~|
|No. M59664||Class 115 DMU TCL||Static, in use as staff canteen||BR line green||Somerset & Dorset Railway Heritage Trust||1960||~|
|No. 10023||Mk3a RFB||Static used as buffet car||Plain green||Somerset & Dorset Railway Heritage Trust||1980||~|
- "Midsomer Norton Station". Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway Searching for a lost line. Gordon Jones. Archived from the original on 9 March 2012. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
- "Visitor Information" (PDF). Somerset and Dorset Railway. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
- "Home". The Somerset & Dorset Railway Heritage Trust. Archived from the original on 8 June 2010. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
- £500k needed in three months to buy iconic railway station Archived 29 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- "Masbury station". Somerset & Dorset Railway Heritage Trust. Archived from the original on 28 May 2014. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
- "The S&D Mendip Mainline Project". Somerset & Dorset Railway Heritage Trust. Archived from the original on 8 June 2010. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
- Andy Chapman. "Sentinel Steam Loco 7109: 7109 Ownership". Sentinel7109.blogspot.co.uk. Retrieved 6 August 2012.