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, which is located at the West Somerset Railway's Washford railway station.


The restored signal box

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,[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 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.[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]

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.


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]



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.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. 255 6-wheel 5 Compartment Third Under restoration (body only), on modified underframe of a LMS CCT and Six-wheel 5 Compartment Third. N/A unknown 1890 ~
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 Class 115 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 ~

See also[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". Retrieved 2012-08-06. 

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