Somerset & Dorset Railway Heritage Trust
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, which is located at the West Somerset Railway's Washford railway station.
The trust was 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, 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. 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 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. The full plan would require 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.
January 2016 saw the Trust reach agreement with the Duchy of Cornwall to clear surface vegetation and other land management activities including improving drainage on the next section of former track bed as far as Chilcompton Tunnel 'cutting'. Work started over the weekend of 23/24 January 2016. Once a lease agreement has been signed with the Duchy of Cornwall the current reinstated section of the Somerset & Dorset Joint railway will be extended.
- Sentinel 0-4-0VBT, works no. 7109. 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. Under restoration (privately owned)
- English Electric 0-6-0DH, works no. D1120, in service
- British Railways Class 08 D4095, built Horwich Works 1961. TOPS number 08881. In service
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.The railway currently has two 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. M34527||Mk1 BSK||Under restoration||Plain 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||DMU TCL||Static||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. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
- "Visitor Information" (PDF). Somerset and Dorset Railway. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
- "Railway Extension Stage 2" (PDF). Bath and North East Somerset Council. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
- "Somerset & Dorset Railway". Old Steamers. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
- "Home". The Somerset & Dorset Railway Heritage Trust. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
- £500k needed in three months to buy iconic railway station
- "Masbury station". Somerset & Dorset Railway Heritage Trust. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
- "The S&D Mendip Mainline Project". Somerset & Dorset Railway Heritage Trust. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
- Andy Chapman. "Sentinel Steam Loco 7109: 7109 Ownership". Sentinel7109.blogspot.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-06.