My Photographs Links Page Midsomer Norton Station 2012

PRESERVED & SPECIAL INTEREST
RAILWAY PHOTOGRAPHS

 

MIDSOMER NORTON SOUTH STATION 2009

 

This station was opened on 20 July 1874 as part of the Somerset & Dorset Railway's extension from Evercreech Junction to Bath.  This extension allowed Midland Railway trains to establish a profitable holiday link from the north, with many summer expresses bringing holiday-makers from Manchester, Birmingham, etc to the sandy beaches of Bournemouth.

For most of its life, the S&DJR was operated in partnership by the London & South Western Railway (from 1923 Southern Railway), and the Midland Railway (from 1923 London, Midland & Scottish Railway).  However, the S&DJR remained an independent company right through to nationalisation in 1948.  After nationalisation, the S&DJR became part of the Southern Region of British Railways.

The inevitable move of passenger and goods traffic to the roads during the 1950s, and the fact that it was still essentially a rural line, left it vulnerable to closure.  The "Beeching Axe" swung in 1966, and the line with all the remaining S&DJR stations from Bournemouth West to Bath Green Park were closed.  Most of the stations have been demolished, but Midsomer Norton (and Shillingstone in Dorset) survived the bulldozers.  

The Somerset & Dorset Heritage Trust was established in 1992, and has restored the Midsomer Norton South station.  Visitor facilities include a restaurant car and a museum in the former stables.  Plans include relaying tracks to Chilcompton, the next station south, via the Chilcompton Tunnel.  There are thoughts of an extension in the opposite direction towards Radstock, but this would require the reinstatement of a road bridge.

The photographs below were taken on Sunday 20th September 2009.

 

The station building.  This contains the book shop and leads on to the down platform.
(Up to Bath and down to Bournemouth).

 

The down platform looking towards Radstock.

 

The up platform looking towards Radstock.

 

The shelter on the up platform.

 

The vertical sleepers mark the start of the former bridge over the road.
Any thoughts of extending to Radstock would have include the reinstatement of this bridge.

 

Visitors' hunger and thirst needs are covered by a restaurant car with outside patio for those warmer days.

 

The Signal Box on the up platform is an entirely new construction,
based on photographs of the original, which was demolished soon after closure of the line.

 

Inside the Signal Box, the equipment is very impressive.
The lever frame came from the Branksome (near Bournemouth) signal box.

 

The former engine shed is now a general workshop for the band of volunteers working on restoration projects.

 

This 0-6-0 English Electric diesel loco is used for shunting duties at the site.
In 2011 it was used to pull the first paying-passenger brake van ride.

 

A fully restored BR Mk 1 coach in Midland livery stands on the up platform.

 

A nicely restored long wheel-base brake van also resides on the up platform.

 

A wagon on the down platform awaits badly-needed restoration.

 

View from the end of the down platform looking towards Chilcompton.

 

From the up platform the double track curves left and continues for about quarter of a mile.

 

The inside of the station building which is currently the book shop.
When passenger services commence, this will revert to being the ticket office.

 

View of the station site from the hill just to the south.

 

 

 

My Photographs Links Page Midsomer Norton Station 2012

 

Copyright M J Smith, 2009
No photographs to be reproduced elsewhere without permission.

mjs@onlineweb.com