The Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway – almost always referred to as "the S&D" – was an English railway line connecting Bath in north east Somerset and Bournemouth now in south east Dorset but then in Hampshire. Bath is a city in Somerset in the south west of England It is situated west of London and south-east of Bristol. Somerset ( or) is a county in south west England The County town is Taunton, which is in the south of the county Bournemouth ( is a large coastal resort town in the Borough of Bournemouth in Dorset, England. Dorset ( (or archaically, Dorsetshire) is a county in South West England on the English Channel coast Wildlife Hampshire has wildlife typical of the island of Great Britain It was never a high speed line, its winter business was carrying freight and local passenger traffic over the Mendips. The Mendip Hills (commonly called The Mendips) are a range of Limestone hills situated to the south of Bristol and Bath in Somerset In addition there was a daily express train, The Pines Express which ran between Manchester and Bournemouth. The Pines Express was a named passenger train that ran daily between Manchester and Bournemouth in England between 1910 and 1967 In the summer season it came into its own and carried a heavy service of Saturday holiday trains from northern towns to Bournemouth.
It always commanded a considerable loyalty from railway enthusiasts, and when it closed in 1966 it was widely mourned.
The S&D Joint Railway was jointly operated by the Midland Railway and the London and South Western Railway (L&SWR). A joint railway is a Railway operating under the control of more than one railway company those companies very often supplying the traction over the railway The Midland Railway (MR was a Railway company in the United Kingdom, which existed from 1844 to 1922 when it became part of the London Midland and Scottish The London and South Western Railway (L&SWR was a Railway company in England from 1838 to 1922 After the 1 January 1923 Grouping joint ownership of the S&D passed to the LMS and the Southern Railway. The Railways Act of 1921, also known as the Grouping Act, was an enactment by the British government of David Lloyd George intended to stem the losses being London Midland for the new (2007 railway company The London Midland and Scottish Railway ( LMS) was a British Railway company The Southern Railway (SR was a British railway company established in the 1923 Grouping. 
Its attraction was its quirky individuality, its fascinating and varied scenery (captured particularly by the photographs and pioneering cine films taken by Ivo Peters), and the way it seemed to struggle against overwhelming odds. A photograph (often shortened to photo) is an Image created by Light falling on a light-sensitive surface usually Photographic film or an electronic Ciné (sometimes Cine) is usually used to refer to one or more of the home movie formats including 8 mm, 9 Ivo Peters ( 29 July 1915 &ndash 7 June 1989) was an English railway photographer Its main line climbed to 811 feet (247 m) above sea level at Masbury, and it contained several single line sections, but it managed to handle a considerable volume of holiday trains on summer Saturdays, when it seemed every possible locomotive was drafted into service to handle heavy trains requiring double-heading and rear assistance over the steep gradients. A foot (plural feet or foot; symbol or abbreviation ft or sometimes &prime – the prime symbol) is a non-SI unit M is the thirteenth letter of the modern Latin alphabet. Its name in English is spelled em (ɛm Mean sea level (MSL is the average (mean height of the Sea, with reference to a suitable reference surface A single track Railway is one where traffic in both directions shares the same track In Railroad terminology, double-heading or double heading indicates the use of two Locomotives at the front of a Train, each operated individually
Its origins lay in times before the railway network in England had settled, and both local and strategic aspirations structured the line’s earliest days.
The fame of the Somerset & Dorset line reached its peak in the first years of the 1960s, just before final closure as part of the nationwide reduction of railway services, usually called the Beeching Axe. The Beeching Axe is an informal name for the British Government 's attempt in the 1960s to reduce the cost of running British Railways, the nationalised railway system
The main line was still active, carrying local passenger trains and a daily long-distance train, The Pines Express, from Manchester to Bournemouth West, reversing at Bath Green Park. The Pines Express was a named passenger train that ran daily between Manchester and Bournemouth in England between 1910 and 1967 Local freight on the route survived in adequate volumes, although the Somerset coalfield was largely exhausted and coal traffic had dwindled. The Somerset coalfield included pits in the north Somerset, England, area where Coal was mined from the 15th century until 1973
On summer Saturdays, the line continued to carry a very heavy traffic of long-distance trains, from northern towns to Bournemouth and back. It was part of the charm of the route that the originating towns were all on the former Midland Railway, as if the railway grouping of 1923 had never taken place. The Railways Act of 1921, also known as the Grouping Act, was an enactment by the British government of David Lloyd George intended to stem the losses being These trains brought unusual traffic combinations to the route, and the home fleet of BR standard class 5 4-6-0s and the BR standard class 9F 2-10-0s were augmented by strangers such as LMS Jubilee Class 4-6-0s from the north and West Country Pacifics from the south. The British Railways Standard Class 5MT 4-6-0 was one of the standard classes of steam locomotives built by British Railways in the 1950s The British Railways BR Standard Class 9F 2-10-0 is a class of Steam locomotive designed for British Railways by Robert Riddles The London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS Jubilee Class was a class of Steam locomotive designed for mainline passenger The SR West Country and Battle of Britain Classes, also known as Light Pacifics or Spam Cans, are classes of air-smoothed 4-6-2 ''Pacific'' As assistance over the steep gradients was usually required, the original S&D class 7F 2-8-0s were pressed into service to assist, or handling lighter trains on their own.
The route remained steam-worked in its entirety until after closure, when diesels worked demolition trains, and some diesel workings operated to Blandford Forum after the line had closed. Freight was largely in the hands of Stanier 8Fs, Standard 4-6-0s and the S&D 7F 2-8-0s, assisted by Jinty 0-6-0Ts and GW 57XX Pannier Tanks; freight trains were assisted in rear by these locomotives over the Combe Down summit and over Masbury. The London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS Fowler 3F 0-6-0T is a class of Steam locomotive, often known as jinty. Combe Down ( is a village suburb of Bath in the English county of Somerset, within the Bath and North East Somerset Council area
The Highbridge branch trains were latterly worked by Collet 2251 0-6-0s, and Ivatt 2MT 2-6-2Ts. Highbridge may mean Highbridge Bronx, a neighborhood in New York City USA Highbridge Park, Manhattan New York USA A large city
The S&D main line ran south from Bath Queen Square (later renamed Green Park) to Radstock, at one time the centre of the Somerset coalfield, and then over Masbury summit, at 811 feet (274 m) above sea level crossing the Mendip Hills, via Shepton Mallet and entering the catchment area of the River Stour to Wincanton and Blandford, joining the L&SWR Weymouth line at Poole, the S&D trains continuing to the L&SWR station at Bournemouth West. Green Park railway station is a former railway station in Bath, Somerset, England. The Somerset coalfield included pits in the north Somerset, England, area where Coal was mined from the 15th century until 1973 The Mendip Hills (commonly called The Mendips) are a range of Limestone hills situated to the south of Bristol and Bath in Somerset Shepton Mallet is a small rural Town in Somerset, England. It is situated five miles (8 km to the east of Wells, and lies just The River Stour is a 605 Mile (97 Km) long River which flows through Wiltshire and Dorset in southern England, and Poole ( is a large coastal town and seaport in Dorset on the south coast of England
The branch line from Highbridge to Evercreech Junction had been the original main line, when attracting steamer traffic across the Bristol Channel had been an objective. A steamboat or steamship, sometimes called a steamer, is a ship in which the primary method of propulsion is steam power, typically driving a Propeller The Bristol Channel ( Môr Hafren) is a major inlet in the island of Great Britain, separating South Wales from Devon and Somerset It traversed an area of very low population density, and when the marine connection ceased, only Glastonbury and Street in the centre of the route contributed any worthwhile income. There had been other, shorter branches, but these too generated very little traffic and they had all closed by the early 1950s.
Serving only a string of medium-sized market towns between its extremities, the S&D generated a modest internal traffic, and it had daunting operational costs due to the difficulty of its main line. Its strategic significance was the formation of a through route between the Midlands and the South Coast, by connecting with the Midland Railway at Bath. This article is mainly about the English Midlands For other uses see Midlands (disambiguation. The Midland Railway linked Bath to Bristol and via Gloucester to Birmingham and the North. Bristol ( ˈbrɪstəl is a city, Unitary authority and ceremonial county in South West England, west of London Gloucester (ˈɡlɒstɚ) is a city, district and County town of Gloucestershire in the South West region of England. Birmingham ( ˈbɜːmɪŋəm Ber -ming-um Heavy summer holiday passenger traffic and healthy through freight business was the result, but the long and difficult main line was very expensive to support the business.
There was only one connection intermediately on the route, at Templecombe where the Salisbury – Exeter route was crossed. Templecombe is a village in Somerset, England, situated on the A357 road five miles south of Wincanton, twelve miles east of Yeovil Salisbury (ˈsɒlzbri ˈsɔːlzbri ('Solzbry' or ˈzɔːwzbri ('Zawzbry' — moving from RP to local dialect) is a cathedral city in the Exeter ( (IPA ˈeksɪtər is a city, district and County town of Devon, England. There was an awkward layout there, requiring through trains to reverse along a spur between the S&D main line and the east-west L&SWR main line. The throughout journey time for ordinary passenger trains was typically four hours, although the limited stop holiday expresses managed it in two hours.
Much of the S&D was single track, but the main line was double track from Midford to Templecombe, and from Blandford to Corfe Mullen. A double track railway usually involves running one track in each direction compared to a single track railway where trains in both directions share the same track Midford is a village south of Bath, Somerset, England. The village is dominated by the former viaduct of the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway Corfe Mullen is a Village in Dorset, England, on the north-western urban fringe of the South East Dorset conurbation and is part of the rural Crossing trains on the single line sections always added operational interest to the line, but the focus was the quirky operation of trains calling at Templecombe. These had to reverse from Templecombe station to Templecombe junction (for southbound trains, and the reverse for northbound). The station pilot at Templecombe was kept busy with these evolutions and the light engine movements associated with them. A switcher or shunter ( Great Britain: shunter; Australia: shunter or yard pilot; USA: switcher (or In at least one case a northbound train set back on to a southbound train at Templecombe Junction, to be pulled into the station by the southbound train engine; after station duties the equipage was pulled back to the junction by the northbound train engine, and the two trains were then uncoupled to continue on their separate ways.
A sample timetable is shown in outline at the end of this article.
The Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway came into existence in 1 November 1875. Events 996 - Emperor Otto III issues a deed to Gottschalk Bishop of Freising which is the oldest known document using the name Ostarrîchi Year 1875 ( MDCCCLXXV) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common  It was formed when the Somerset & Dorset Railway ran into unmanageable financial difficulties and they leased the line for 999 years to the Midland Railway and the London and South Western Railway jointly. The Midland Railway (MR was a Railway company in the United Kingdom, which existed from 1844 to 1922 when it became part of the London Midland and Scottish The London and South Western Railway (L&SWR was a Railway company in England from 1838 to 1922 
The origins of the Somerset & Dorset Railway lay with two separate companies, which built sections of line, each with their own ambitions.
The Somerset Central Railway started out as a local railway line designed to give Glastonbury transport access for manufactured goods, to the Bristol Channel and to the Bristol and Exeter Railway's main line. Glastonbury is a small town in Somerset, England, situated at a Dry point on the Somerset Levels, south of Bristol. The Bristol Channel ( Môr Hafren) is a major inlet in the island of Great Britain, separating South Wales from Devon and Somerset The Bristol & Exeter Railway was a railway company formed to connect Bristol and Exeter. It soon saw that a longer connection southwards was useful, and made an alliance with the Dorset Central Railway, and built an easterly line to join that railway at Cole.
The Somerset Central Railway opened on 28 August 1854 from Glastonbury to Highbridge Wharf. Events 475 - The Roman General Orestes forces western Roman Emperor Julius Nepos to flee his Capital Year 1854 ( MDCCCLIV) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Common year  Glastonbury was then an important manufacturing town, but its location made the transport of goods difficult. Coastal shipping was still dominant for transport and the Bristol Channel ports of Bridgwater and Highbridge were about 18 miles away. Bridgwater in Somerset, England, is a Market town, the administrative centre of the Sedgemoor district, and the leading industrial The Bristol and Exeter Railway (B&ER) had been opened, passing through both those towns, in 1841. The Bristol & Exeter Railway was a railway company formed to connect Bristol and Exeter.
Highbridge was chosen as the destination because a route to Bridgwater would have been much more challenging technically, because of high ground to the east of Bridgwater itself. The Glastonbury Canal had been bought by the friendly B&ER, and by arrangement with them the canal was closed and the railway built partly on the course of the canal, reducing construction cost. The Glastonbury Canal ran for just over through two locks from Glastonbury to Highbridge in Somerset, England, where it entered the
The line was opened as broad gauge, as a feeder to the B&ER, and had stations at Glastonbury, Ashcott, Shapwick, Edington, Bason Bridge (opened in 1862), and Highbridge at the B&ER station. Broad gauge Railways use a Rail gauge (distance between the rails greater than the Standard gauge of. Ashcott is a small village and Civil parish located in the Sedgemoor area of Somerset in the south-west of England. Shapwick is a village on the Somerset Levels, in the Sedgemoor district of Somerset, England. Edington is a rural Village, situated on the north side of the Polden Hills in the Sedgemoor district of Somerset. There were goods facilities at Highbridge Wharf, to the west of the B&ER line. The line was worked operationally by the B&ER.
Initial results were encouraging, and the original objective of the railway, to give Glastonbury access to the maritime and railway transport links at Highbridge, was successfully achieved.
Highbridge Wharf became a thriving activity, and at this early date coastal shipping was still an important means of transporting goods. To reach South Coast destinations the ships had a difficult and hazardous passage round Land’s End, and there were hopes that the railway could become the core of a transport chain bringing manufactured goods, especially metal goods, from South Wales to the Southern Counties, and taking agricultural produce back to feed the industrial population in South Wales, using shipping across the Bristol Channel. Land's End ( Cornish name Penn an Wlas) is a headland on the Penwith Peninsula, located near Penzance in Cornwall South Wales (De Cymru is an area of Wales bordered by England and the Bristol Channel to the east and south and Mid Wales and West Wales The Bristol Channel ( Môr Hafren) is a major inlet in the island of Great Britain, separating South Wales from Devon and Somerset
The success of Highbridge Wharf for goods traffic encouraged ideas of expanding passenger traffic across the Bristol Channel, and on 3 May 1858 the Somerset Central Railway opened an extension from Highbridge to a new passenger pier at Burnham, expecting heavy passenger traffic. Events 1491 - Kongo monarch Nkuwu Nzinga is baptised by Portuguese missionaries adopting the baptismal name of João Year 1858 ( MDCCCLVIII) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Common A pier is a raised Walkway over water supported by widely spread Piles or pillars. Burnham-on-Sea is a Town in Somerset, England, at the mouth of the River Parrett and Bridgwater Bay. The pier was actually a slip, a broad ramp 900 feet (274 m) long, sloping down at 1 in 21 into the tidal waters; and steamers berthed alongside at the point where the adjacent part of the slip was at a suitable height. A foot (plural feet or foot; symbol or abbreviation ft or sometimes &prime – the prime symbol) is a non-SI unit M is the thirteenth letter of the modern Latin alphabet. Its name in English is spelled em (ɛm Characteristics A tide is a repeated cycle of sea level changes in the following stages Over several hours the water rises or advances up a beach in the flood A steamboat or steamship, sometimes called a steamer, is a ship in which the primary method of propulsion is steam power, typically driving a Propeller Rails were laid on the slip, and single wagons were worked down to the steamers using a wire rope; passengers, however, walked to a platform at Burnham station nearby. In both cases the arrangement was awkward and inconvenient, and the anticipated traffic growth never materialised, and the Burnham Pier, which had cost £20,000, was a financial failure.
At the eastern end, a branch to the important city of Wells was opened on 15 March 1859. Wells is a small Cathedral city and Civil parish in the Mendip district of Somerset, England, on the southern edge of the Mendip Events 44 BC - Julius Caesar, Dictator of the Roman Republic, is stabbed to death by Marcus Junius Brutus, Year 1859 ( MDCCCLIX) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common This had originally been planned to be part of a main line extension towards Frome, where the Wilts, Somerset and Weymouth Railway could be joined, giving the yearned-for access to the South Coast towns, but by now the Somerset Central thought that joining up with the Dorset Central Railway would be a more cost-effective option. Frome ( (ˈfruːm is a medium-sized Town and Civil parish in Somerset, England, near the Mendip Hills. The Wilts Somerset and Weymouth Railway was a Broad gauge railway that linked the Great Western Railway at Chippenham Wiltshire with Weymouth Wells therefore was a branch line only, with the station at Priory Road. Wells (Priory Road was a railway station on the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway at Wells in the county of Somerset in England. It too was broad gauge, and one intermediate station at Polsham was opened in 1861. Polsham (also spelled Poulsham) is a small village in the parish of St Cuthbert Out in the Mendip district of Somerset.
The impetus now however was the south-easterly link with the Dorset Central Railway, and parliamentary powers were sought for the extension to Cole.
Cole was no destination in itself, but was the agreed point of meeting up with the Dorset Central Railway. The important town of Bruton lay nearby, but its topography made a closer approach difficult. The Wilts, Somerset and Weymouth Railway had been opened in 1856, giving broad gauge access to the Great Western Railway (GWR) system, but the Somerset Central wanted only to get standard gauge access to the Dorset Central Railway and the South Coast. The Wilts Somerset and Weymouth Railway was a Broad gauge railway that linked the Great Western Railway at Chippenham Wiltshire with Weymouth Broad gauge Railways use a Rail gauge (distance between the rails greater than the Standard gauge of. The Great Western Railway ( GWR) was a British railway company and a notable example of Civil engineering, linking London with the West The standard gauge (also named the Stephenson gauge after George Stephenson, or Normal gauge) is a widely-used Rail gauge. Parliamentary powers were sought and the standard gauge was specified, but pressure from the broad gauge B&ER – who feared loss of the feeder traffic from the line it had supported – led to a requirement to lay broad gauge and to make a junction with the Wilts Somerset and Weymouth where the lines would cross. Weymouth (ˈweɪməθ is a town in Dorset, England situated on a sheltered bay at the mouth of the River Wey on the English Channel coast
The line from Glastonbury to Cole opened on 3 February 1862 and mixed gauge track was laid, although the required connection to the Wilts Somerset & Weymouth was never opened. Events 1112 - Ramon Berenguer III of Barcelona and Douce I of Provence marry uniting the fortunes of those two states Year 1862 was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year starting on Monday Glastonbury to Highbridge and Burnham was converted to mixed gauge at the same time. Dual-gauge or mixed-gauge Railway is a special configuration of railway track, allowing trains of different gauges to use the same track Intermediate stations between Glastonbury and Cole were West Pennard, Pylle and Evercreech. West Pennard is a village and Civil parish east of Glastonbury in the Mendip district of Somerset, England. Pylle is a village and Civil parish 4 miles south west of Shepton Mallet, and 7 miles from Wells, in the Mendip district of Somerset
The Dorset Central Railway had started with higher ambitions than the Somerset line. Its promoters had originally intended a connection to the north via Bath, but their actual railway started more modestly. It opened on 1 November 1860 from the London and South Western Railway (L&SWR) station at Wimborne, to the important market town of Blandford. Events 996 - Emperor Otto III issues a deed to Gottschalk Bishop of Freising which is the oldest known document using the name Ostarrîchi Year 1860 ( MDCCLX) was a Leap year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Leap year starting The London and South Western Railway (L&SWR was a Railway company in England from 1838 to 1922 This article is about the town Wimborne Minster For the church of Wimborne Minster see Wimborne Minster. The Blandford station was south of the river Stour bridge. 
The line was worked by the L&SWR. This and all of the Dorset Central Railway's lines were standard gauge. Intermediate stations were at Spetisbury, and Sturminster Marshall. Spetisbury is a village in north Dorset, England, situated on the River Stour and the A350 road, four Miles south east of Blandford Sturminster Marshall is a village and Civil parish in east Dorset in England, situated on the River Stour between Blandford Forum
Seeing that its northwards destiny could best be served by an alliance with the Somerset Central Railway, it obtained powers to extend to Cole and join that railway there, and it opened part of this route, from Templecombe to Cole on 3rd February 1862, the same day that the Somerset company opened its section to Cole. There was one intermediate station, at Wincanton. Wincanton is a small Town in south Somerset, southwest England. All of this northern section was worked by the Somerset company.
Templecombe was a small community and its significance was the connection to London over the Salisbury & Yeovil Railway's line. London ( ˈlʌndən is the capital and largest urban area in the United Kingdom. Salisbury (ˈsɒlzbri ˈsɔːlzbri ('Solzbry' or ˈzɔːwzbri ('Zawzbry' — moving from RP to local dialect) is a cathedral city in the Yeovil (ˈjovɪl is a town in south Somerset, England, on the A30 and A37. The DCR trains used the Salisbury & Yeovil Railway station on the main line. The difference in levels between the two lines and the availability of land induced the company to make the physical connection facing towards Salisbury and London, and the junction was to the east of the S&YR station. The S&YR provided a track from the point of junction back to their station, and DCR trains arriving from Cole had to reverse from the junction to the S&YR station. It is unlikely at this early date that through running (without calling at Templecombe) was contemplated, and the DCR spur probably did not connect directly into the S&YR main line.
The Somerset Central Railway and the northern part of the Dorset Central Railway were worked as a single unit from the beginning, and on 1 September 1862 the two railways were amalgamated  by Act of Parliament, under the title Somerset & Dorset Railway. Events 462 - Possible start of first Byzantine indiction cycle. Year 1862 was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year starting on Monday An Act of Parliament is a Law enacted as Primary legislation by a national or sub-national Parliament. At this time therefore, the system consisted of:
The new company opened the missing link from Blandford to Templecombe on 31 August 1863, and now the original dream of a link from the English Channel to the Bristol Channel materialised. Events 1056 - Byzantine Empress Theodora becomes ill dying suddenly a few days later without children to succeed the Throne Year 1863 ( MDCCCLXIII) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common The Bristol Channel ( Môr Hafren) is a major inlet in the island of Great Britain, separating South Wales from Devon and Somerset The L&SWR allowed through passenger trains to run over their line between Wimborne and Poole, reversing at Wimborne. The Somerset and Dorset company therefore operated trains from Burnham to Poole and on the branch to Wells. At this time the Poole station was on the western side of Holes Bay, at the location that ultimately became Hamworthy Goods.
Intermediate stations between the point of junction at Templecombe and Blandford were Templecombe (S&DR station), Henstridge, Stalbridge, Sturminster Newton, Shillingstone and Blandford. The original connection from Cole to the Salisbury & Yeovil Railway (S&YR) had faced towards London, and the new line diverged half a mile or so north of the S&YR line, passing under it by a bridge. The S&D Templecombe station was provided between the new junction and the S&YR bridge. The opening of Sturminster Newton station prompted the renaming of the Sturminster Marshall station to Bailey Gate (after the adjacent turnpike gate) to avoid confusion. A toll road, (also known as a tollway, turnpike, pike, or toll highway, especially if it is constructed to Freeway standards At Blandford, a new station was built, situated more conveniently to the town, and the earlier DCR station south of the River Stour was closed. The River Stour is a 605 Mile (97 Km) long River which flows through Wiltshire and Dorset in southern England, and
Templecombe had suddenly become the most important interchange point on the system, and trains from Wimborne needed convenient access to a station. The company provided its own "Lower" station on the direct north-south line a little north of the S&YR line on the east of its own line. S&DR passengers had their own station, but the through traffic from Glastonbury and Highbridge to London was important, and would not think well of the half mile walk between the two stations. London ( ˈlʌndən is the capital and largest urban area in the United Kingdom. To accommodate those passengers, the S&YR operated a shuttle train service between the two stations. The diagram in Atthill's book implies tha there was no platform face on the east-facing spur, but it seems likely that a simple platform was provided to avoid a double reversal by the shuttle train (if it had to run from the DCR main line platform).
This arrangement could hardly continue, but the topography of the village was challenging. The solution eventually adopted was to construct a new west-facing connection entering directly into the S&YR station. Because of the height difference it made its junction with the DCR main line some distance to the north at a new junction. The east-facing connection to the S&YR line was severed, although the spur was retained as a siding connected at the Templecombe S&DR end.
At some later date, it became obvious that the S&D station to the east of its main line was almost useless, as nearly all trains called at the main (Upper) station to make connections. The Lower station was closed and a short platform, Templecombe Lower Platform, was provided on the west side of the main line, adjacent to the main road. There were no facilities on it, and only the last train from Bournemouth and certain other very early or late trains used it.
In the first half of the 19th century, Bournemouth was an insignificant hamlet, and when a railway from London to Dorchester was being planned, no importance was attached to the coastal area. Bournemouth ( is a large coastal resort town in the Borough of Bournemouth in Dorset, England. A hamlet is (usually&mdashsee below a Rural community — that is a small settlement — which is too small to be considered a Village. Accordingly the railway from Southampton to Dorchester cut inland to pass through the important towns of Ringwood and Wimborne. Southampton ( IPA /ˌsaʊθˈhæmptən/ is the largest city in the county of Hampshire, on the south coast of England Dorchester is a Market town in southern central Dorset, England, on the River Frome at the junction of the A35 and A37 A town is a type of settlement ranging from a few to several thousand (occasionally hundreds of thousands inhabitants although it may be applied loosely even to huge metropolitan Ringwood is a Town in Hampshire, England, which is located on the River Avon, west of the New Forest and north of Bournemouth This article is about the town Wimborne Minster For the church of Wimborne Minster see Wimborne Minster. There was a branch to the west of Holes Bay from Poole Junction (now Hamworthy) to a station called Poole, situated to the west of the bridge over the inlet. This was the "Poole" station that Somerset & Dorset trains reached over L&SWR tracks, reversing at Wimborne.
This was inconvenient for the town of Poole, and the L&SWR interest built a railway to reach Poole itself from Broadstone, opening on 2 December 1872, and through a daughter company from Poole to Bournemouth on 15 June 1874. Events 1409 - The University of Leipzig opens 1755 - The second Eddystone Lighthouse is destroyed by fire Year 1872 ( MDCCCLXXII) was a Leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Leap year Events 763 BC - Assyrians record a Solar eclipse that will be used to fix the Chronology of Mesopotamian history Year 1874 ( MDCCCLXXIV) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common The Bournemouth station eventually became the familiar Bournemouth West. Somerset & Dorset trains transferred from the Hamworthy station to the new Poole station immediately, and extended to Bournemouth as soon as the extension was opened. They still had to reverse at Wimborne, as the Corfe Mullen connection did not materialise until 1885.
In earlier times the massive port and industrial centre of Bristol had been the northerly magnet, but in the intervening years other railways had interposed themselves. The Port of Bristol comprises the commercial and former commercial docks situated in and near the city of Bristol in England. But the Midland Railway had reached Bath in 1869 and the S&DR decided to head for that destination. This had the advantage also of crossing the North Somerset coalfield.
An Act of Parliament was obtained which included running powers for the last half mile into Bath over the Midland's line, and the use of their Bath station at Queen Square. An Act of Parliament is a Law enacted as Primary legislation by a national or sub-national Parliament. The terrain was quite different from the previous ground covered; the Somerset Central had originally crossed the Somerset levels, and the southerly sections had followed undulating ground in river valleys. The Somerset Levels (or Somerset Levels and Moors as they are less commonly but more correctly called is a sparsely populated Wetland area of central Somerset The Bath extension would involve formidable civil engineering works including several tunnels and lofty viaducts. A tunnel is an underground passageway The definition of what constitutes a tunnel is not universally agreed upon A viaduct is a Bridge composed of several small spans The term viaduct is derived from the Latin via for road and ducere to When completed it would present long and daunting climbs at a ruling gradient of 1 in 50, and a summit high on Mendip Hills at 811 feet (247 m). M is the thirteenth letter of the modern Latin alphabet. Its name in English is spelled em (ɛm
The line was completed remarkably swiftly, notwithstanding financial difficulties which involved the contractor discontinuing work for a period, and on 20 July 1874 the Bath Extension -- almost immediately thought of as the main line, was opened. Events 1304 - Wars of Scottish Independence: Fall of Stirling Castle - King Edward I of England takes the last rebel stronghold Year 1874 ( MDCCCLXXIV) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common
There were four passenger trains each way every day; two of them carried through coaches from Birmingham to Bournemouth.
Intermediate stations were at Wellow, Radstock, Chilcompton, Binegar, Masbury, Shepton Mallet, and Evercreech New. The original Evercreech station was renamed Evercreech Junction.
The completion of the line to Bath brought a further massive traffic increase, but the financial burden of the loans taken to build the Bath extension weighed the little company down even more, and it soon became clear that even day to day operating expenses could not be met. Atthill  rightly describes the Bath extension project as an act of financial suicide.
The company realised that the game was up, and sought purchasers. The GWR and the B&ER were obvious candidates, but in August 1875 a 999 year lease was abruptly agreed to the Midland Railway and the L&SWR jointly, and this was confirmed by Act of Parliament on 13 July 1876. An Act of Parliament is a Law enacted as Primary legislation by a national or sub-national Parliament. Events 1174 - William I of Scotland, a key rebel in the Revolt of 1173-1174, is captured at Alnwick by forces loyal to Year 1876 ( MDCCCLXXVI) was a Leap year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Leap year
The purchase price was generous, being calculated by the Midland and L&SWR as much to exclude the GWR and B&ER from Bournemouth as anything else, and the rental income enabled the S&DR company to pay its shareholders 3½%, a considerable income in those years of very low inflation.
The railway route was now the Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway.
|Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway|
With the lease to two very powerful companies, the operation of the Joint Line (as it was now called) would no longer be hampered by shortage of money. A joint railway is a Railway operating under the control of more than one railway company those companies very often supplying the traction over the railway The Midland Railway and the L&SWR set up a joint committee, and divided up responsibilities so that the Midland was in charge of motive power, and the L&SWR provided the infrastructure and rolling stock.
The serious accident at Foxcote, near Radstock took place on 7 August 1876, within a month of the formal takeover of responsibilities, and must have brought home to the parent companies the urgency of their intervening to bring things into good order. The Radstock rail accident took place on the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway in south west England, on August 7, 1876. Events 322 BC - Battle of Crannon between Athens and Macedon following the death of Alexander the Great. Year 1876 ( MDCCCLXXVI) was a Leap year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Leap year Operation of the complex stretches of single line had been done by issuing telegraphic train orders from an office at Glastonbury, and the L&SWR set about providing a proper token signalling system.
Aside from that, the new management consolidated the links with mineral extraction interests near the line.
At Wells, two other railways, originally independent, had approached the S&D station there (Priory Road). The East Somerset line from Witham led in from the east, and had a station opposite the S&D station. The Bristol & Exeter operated a Wells branch from Yatton, with a station at Priory Road. The S&D station sat exactly between them and while these railways remained broad gauge, connecting them, a connection was difficult. Eventually they were absorbed by the Great Western Railway (GWR), and then converted to standard gauge, and on 1 January 1878 a through connection was made, so that goods traffic exchange was now possible, and GWR passenger trains could run throughout from Yatton to Witham, through the S&D station. New Year See also New Year The Ancient Romans began their consular year on January 1st since 153 BC Year 1878 ( MDCCCLXXVIII) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common They did not make calls there until 1 October 1934, and ceased to do so when the S&D Wells branch closed in 1951. Events 331 BC - Alexander the Great defeats Darius III of Persia in the Battle of Gaugamela. Year 1934 ( MCMXXXIV) was a Common year starting on Monday (link will display full 1934 calendar of the Gregorian calendar.
The main line transit from Bath to Bournemouth was still hampered by the necessity of reversing at Wimborne, and the Joint companies built a new cut-off line from Bailey Gate to what became Broadstone station. The new line ran alongside the Wimborne line for the first two miles to Corfe Mullen and the cut-off carried its first goods traffic on 14 December 1885, and was fully brought into use on 1 November 1886. Events 1287 - St Lucia's flood: The Zuider Zee sea wall in the Netherlands collapses killing over 50000 people Year 1885 ( MDCCCLXXXV) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Events 996 - Emperor Otto III issues a deed to Gottschalk Bishop of Freising which is the oldest known document using the name Ostarrîchi Year 1886 ( MDCCCLXXXVI) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common It is not clear why the ten month delay took place, but it may be connected with objections from the town of Wimborne at the obvious loss of train services.
In 1889 and 1891 the Midland Railway and the L&SWR bought out nearly all of the stock of the original S&D shareholders, so that they finally became joint owners of the line.
The original Somerset Central Railway company had considered the important town of Bridgwater as its western terminus, but had decided that the difficulties of constructing a route were too great. Bridgwater in Somerset, England, is a Market town, the administrative centre of the Sedgemoor district, and the leading industrial However the Bridgwater Railway Company made the connection from Edington Road, renamed Edington Junction, to Bridgwater, opening the seven mile line on 21 July 1890; there was one intermediate station at Cossington and a Halt at Bawdrip. Events 356 BC - Herostratus sets fire to the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World Year 1890 ( MDCCCXC) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common  From that time, there was a viable passenger transit from Bridgwater to London via Templecombe, in competition with the GWR route via Bristol.
The nominally independent Bridgwater Railway had a working arrangement with the L&SWR and the line was operated from the outset by the S&D. After the 1 January 1923 Grouping ownership of the line passed to the Southern Railway. The Railways Act of 1921, also known as the Grouping Act, was an enactment by the British government of David Lloyd George intended to stem the losses being The Southern Railway (SR was a British railway company established in the 1923 Grouping. 
From 1884 a number of the single line sections were made double track, to improve handling of the heavy train service, and by 1905 about two-thirds of the main line mileage was double track, and trains could now run throughout from Bath to Bournemouth with reasonable convenience, excepting only the awkward arrangement at Templecombe. A double track railway usually involves running one track in each direction compared to a single track railway where trains in both directions share the same track Southbound trains calling there (to make connection into the L&SWR Exeter main line) had to be hauled back to the S&D junction by a spare engine, then to continue their southward journey; the corresponding evolution in reverse was necessary for northbound trains. This complexity persisted until the final closure of the S&D line.
However the remaining single line sections proved a serious delaying factor for the traffic. Safety on single line sections was secured by every train carrying a token for each single line; instruments at the signal boxes were electrically interlocked to ensure that only one token could be out of the instruments for any one section at a time. In Railway signalling, a token is a physical object which a locomotive driver is required to have or see before entering onto a particular section of single track In Railway signaling, an interlocking is an arrangement of signal apparatus that prevents conflicting movements through an arrangement of tracks such as junctions or crossings The tokens had to be handed to the driver of every train by the signalman, and in the case of express trains, this meant slowing to walking pace to secure the handover.
Alfred Whitaker, the S&D locomotive engineer, developed a mechanical apparatus; part of this fitted to the locomotive cabside consisted of jaws which caught a loop on a pouch containing the token; the pouch was held at the lineside in a special delivery holder. The token to be given up by the train was correspondingly caught by a catcher fixed at the lineside.
This system enabled token exchanges to take place at 40 mph, and considerably accelerated the handling of through trains at single line crossing places.
The main line was single from Bath Junction to Midford (inclusive), from Templecombe Jn to Blandford with crossing places at Stalbridge, Shillingstone, and from Corfe Mullen to Creekmoor Junction.
Locomotive and rolling stock on the Somerset and Dorset was largely defined by those running the line, the 5 main phases were:
The early locomotive fleet was bought in from suppliers, and as the company was always in financial difficulties, the stock was never to the highest specification. The Midland Railway (MR was a Railway company in the United Kingdom, which existed from 1844 to 1922 when it became part of the London Midland and Scottish The London and South Western Railway (L&SWR was a Railway company in England from 1838 to 1922 London Midland for the new (2007 railway company The London Midland and Scottish Railway ( LMS) was a British Railway company The Southern Railway (SR was a British railway company established in the 1923 Grouping. See also Rail transport in Great Britain, National Rail, Network Rail This article is about the defunct entity "British Railways" See also Rail transport in Great Britain, National Rail, Network Rail This article is about the defunct entity "British Railways"
The company had its own Locomotive, Carriage and Wagon works at Highbridge. Highbridge is a Somerset Market town situated on very edge of the Somerset Levels near the mouth of the River Brue. This closed in 1930 and the locomotives were transferred to the control of the LMS. London Midland for the new (2007 railway company The London Midland and Scottish Railway ( LMS) was a British Railway company
Things improved considerably when the Joint ownership started, and the Midland Railway provided more powerful and reliable traction. Even so the Midland Railway's policy of building small engines was spectacularly unsuitable for the heavy gradients and heavy loads of the S&D.
For many years, right up to 1959, a Midland design of 4-4-0 class 2P was the mainstay of the express passenger traffic, with variations of 3F 0-6-0 freight tender engine and 0-6-0T tank engines. A revolutionary change took place when the Midland built a small fleet of 2-8-0 tender engines to handle the heaviest freight trains -- the unique S&DJR 7F 2-8-0 series -- with Walschaerts valve gear and the greatest tractive effort ever delivered by a Derby locomotive. The Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway (S&DJR 7F 2-8-0 is a class of Steam locomotive designed for heavy freight
After nationalisation in 1948 the Southern Region Battle of Britain and West Country 4-6-2 locomotives were a common sight. The heavier Merchant Navy 4-6-2 was not used on the line.
In the final few years, GWR Collett 0-6-0 tender locomotives in the 22XX class handled all of the Highbridge branch work, and LMS standard Jinty types Dealt with the shunting duties. The LMS 4F 0-6-0 tender locomotives worked some trains down from Bath -- they were commonplace on the Bath to Bristol services -- and the Western Region drafted in green liveried standard class 5 4-6-0s in the 73XXX series, with class 4 75XXX locomotives working from the Bournemouth end. The 7F 2-8-0s were pressed into passenger service in summer.
Some standard tanks classes operated on the line, the most powerful being the standard class 4 2-6-4T in the 80XXX series; these had one disadvantage, in that the water tanks extended along the cabside and this prevented the fitting of the Whitaker tablet exchange mechanism there.
The final three or four years saw a small fleet of 9F 2-10-0 locomotives working on the heaviest passenger trains, including 92220 "Evening Star", the last steam engine to be built by British Railways. British Railways Standard Class 9F number 92220 Evening Star, is a preserved British steam locomotive These locomotives proved ideal for the S&D, delivering considerable power, good steaming, and high adhesion. These heavy freight locomotives had relatively small wheels, and had never previously run with passenger trains, but with the Pines Express they were easily able to reach, and perhaps exceed, the 70 mph line speed limit on the better, downhill parts of the route. After a review of the velocities of the reciprocating masses and coupling rods, a 60 mph maximum speed was urgently imposed.
Diesel multiple units were trialled on the route about 1959 when dieselisation of branch lines was in full swing elsewhere, but their relatively low power made them impractical for the steeply graded route. A diesel multiple unit or DMU is a Multiple unit train consisting of multiple carriages powered by one or more on-board Diesel Dieselisation or Dieselization (see spelling differences) is generally used for the nowadays increasingly common use of Diesel fuel in vehicles as
The beginning of the end was as early as 1951 with the closure of the branch from Glastonbury to Wells. In December 1952 passenger services were withdrawn on the branch from Edington Junction to Bridgwater (Edington Junction being renamed 'Edington Burtle'); followed by closure of the branch on 1 October 1954. Events 331 BC - Alexander the Great defeats Darius III of Persia in the Battle of Gaugamela. Year 1954 ( MCMLIV) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1954 Gregorian calendar)  In 1956 four of the smaller stations on the Dorset section of the main line were closed as an economy measure. The short section of branch-line from Highbridge to Burnham-on-Sea closed to regular services in 1951, though through specials continued to use the line until September 1962.  Highbridge was the new branch terminus and was renamed several times, becoming: 'Highbridge & Burnham-on-Sea'. Highbridge and Burnham railway station is situated on the Bristol to Taunton Line in the town of Highbridge in Somerset, England and also 
In Summer 1962 John Betjeman (before his knighthood) visited the Somerset and Dorset to make a short BBC documentary, entitled "Branch Line Railway", first broadcast in March 1963. Sir John Betjeman, CBE ( 28 August 1906 &ndash 19 May 1984 was an English poet writer and broadcaster who described himself in Who's Who Starting at Evercreech Junction, Betjeman travelled the 24 mile stretch to Highbridge and Burnham-on-Sea, making a plea for this branch line to be spared by Dr. Beeching. The black-and-white film was issued on video by BBC Enterprises in 1987.
A further small closure affecting the S&D in 1965 of the Bournemouth West terminus station saw S&D trains in the last months starting from and ending at Bournemouth Central. Bournemouth West railway station was a railway station in Bournemouth, Dorset, England. Bournemouth railway station, once known as Bournemouth Central, is the main Railway station serving the town of Bournemouth in Dorset,
An active campaign to save the line was lost when in 1965 the then Transport Secretary Barbara Castle confirmed its closure, despite the then new Labour government promising no further railway cutbacks. Barbara Castle Baroness Castle of Blackburn PC (6 October 1910 &ndash 3 May 2002 was a British left-wing politician born Barbara Anne Betts in Chesterfield Closure scheduled for 3 January 1966 was deferred when one of the road operators withdrew his application for a licence to provide some of the alternative road services, and an emergency service was introduced on that date instead. This reduced the number of trains departing Bath to four a day (06. 45, 08. 15, 16. 25 and 18. 10), and two a day (06. 55 and 16. 00) from Highbridge. There were no through trains other than the 18. 46 from Bournemouth Central on Saturdays, with journeys being broken at Templecombe and no suitable connections provided. There were no services on Sundays. Finally, on 7 March 1966 the whole S&D line from Bath to Bournemouth – and also the Evercreech Junction to Highbridge line – was closed under the Beeching Axe and dismantled, except for three short sections. Events 161 - Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius dies and is succeeded by co-Emperors Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus Year 1966 ( MCMLXVI) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar of the 1966 Gregorian calendar. The Beeching Axe is an informal name for the British Government 's attempt in the 1960s to reduce the cost of running British Railways, the nationalised railway system At the northern end, from Highbridge to Bason Bridge Creamery, and Writhlington Colliery (accessed from the former Great Western line at Radstock until 1973). At the southern end Blandford Station remained open, accessed by a branch from Broadstone until 1969 for freight access. Broadstone was a railway station in the northern part of the town of Poole in the county of Dorset in England.
The line is now being actively restored at both Midsomer Norton South and Shillingstone stations. British Railways Standard Class 9F number 92220 Evening Star, is a preserved British steam locomotive Midsomer Norton railway station (originally Midsomer Norton and Welton, later Midsomer Norton Upper and finally Midsomer Norton South) was a station Shillingstone railway station was a station in the English county of Dorset. There is also a narrow gauge line south of Templecombe - the Gartell Light Railway - which uses a short section of S&D trackbed with extension northwards to Templecombe currently in the pipeline. Locomotives See also British narrow gauge railways
Many of the steam engines which ran on the line are being restored and preserved, including the iconic 92220 Evening Star and her sister 92207 Morning Star. British Railways Standard Class 9F number 92220 Evening Star, is a preserved British steam locomotive The British Railways BR Standard Class 9F 2-10-0 is a class of Steam locomotive designed for British Railways by Robert Riddles
A charity, called The New Somerset and Dorset Railway, is currently being set up with the aim of buying up stretches of trackbed and buildings, as well as lobbying local and national government. They will be presenting a document 'The Case for a New S&D' soon. 
The S&D’s domestic train service was not fast, and except on summer Saturdays, there were a handful of stopping services, several of them running from Bath to Templecombe and from Templecombe to Bournemouth separately, and even the through stopping trains waited for some time at Templecombe. Some trains ran from Highbridge to Templecombe, and a few of the trains started from Bristol, reversing at Bath. (All these comments apply “and vice versa” wherever appropriate. )
The 1938 Bradshaw  gives a good snapshot of the train service:
Stopping trains took the best part of four hours for the Bath to Bournemouth journey. In July 1938 stopping trains left Bath Queen Square at
The last train of the day from Bournemouth to Templecombe terminated there at the lower platform instead of reversing into the Upper station. A summer Sunday evening train started from the Lower Platform and ran to Bournemouth Central, but there were only one or two trains on Sundays.
The connections at Templecombe were poor, and this probably reflects timetable improvements over the years on the Waterloo - Salisbury - Exeter line that were not supported by S&D connectional arrangements. The early possibility of making a fast Bridgwater to Waterloo journey via Templecombe has vanished by 1938.
Summer Saturdays increased this traffic immensely over the domestic business; holidaymakers returning home wanted to leave Bournemouth in the morning, but the southbound arrivals travelled later in the day (having left northern towns in the morning).
There were thirteen long distance trains handled over the S&D, all but one of them with Bournemouth as their southern terminal. The exception ran to Sidmouth and Exmouth, leaving the S&D at Templecombe; in later years it ran from Cleethorpes, forming an interesting coast-to-coast service. The holiday trains otherwise avoided Templecombe, and many ran non-stop from Bath to Poole taking two and a half hours from Bath to Bournemouth. The northern terminals were mostly Midland railway towns, with Bradford in the lead. Two southbound trains and one northbound train started on Friday night and ran through the small hours.
Six trains a day ran on the Highbridge line from Burnham-on-Sea to Evercreech Junction taking about 70 minutes for the 24 miles – two morning trains continued to Templecombe. A seventh train ran as the last of the day from Burnham-on-Sea to Wells, and the first train of the day in the reverse direction also ran from Wells to Burnham-on-Sea. In addition there were eleven daily trains in summer between Highbridge and Burnham-on-Sea only.
The Wells to Glastonbury line saw six trains each way daily, and the Bridgwater branch had eight trains each way (plus one Wednesdays only down train) daily. These more or less connected with trains for Evercreech at Edington Junction.
The trackbed near Cock Mill Crossing, between the sites of Pylle and West Pennard stations, crosses the site of the Glastonbury Festival and functions as an internal road within the festival site. For the classical music and theatre festivals co-founded by Rutland Boughton between 1914 and 1926 see Glastonbury Festival (1914-1925 The There are gates at both points where it crosses the perimeter fence. A perimeter fence is a structure that circles the Perimeter of an area to prevent access