My Photographs Links Page Midsomer Norton 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 25th March 2012.


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


Work was underway on a couple of closed wagons.


Sentinel Steam locomotive 7109.  Manufactured by the Sentinel Waggon Works at Shrewsbury in 1927, Sentinel 7109 is a balanced, double-engined, single-geared, industrial steam locomotive.  It has a pair of transverse engines at the front and a vertical water-tubed boiler at the rear in the cab.  It uses gears and chains to transfer the drive to the axles.  Two 200HP design variants were made to suit the Somerset & Dorset at Radstock where a low bridge required reduced maximum height. These were the Radstock Sentinels with lowered cab roofs.  As Sentinel 7109 has its boiler the right way up (vertical), steam and smoke exhaust straight up and out of the top, in this case through a hole in the cab roof.


This two-car Class 108 Diesel Multiple Unit arrived by road in November 2011 from their previous restoration home at Long Marston in Warwickshire. The DMU, on loan to the railway at Midsomer Norton, belongs to an owner group, who will restore and maintain the it during its stay, with some minor remedial attention being required before it is ready to run.  It was hoped to have regular passenger services from April to September 2012.


The Trust have now completed this newly-built greenhouse which was part of the original station.


View along the tracks towards Chilcompton.  The track now extends for about a quarter of a mile.


Class 08 diesel shunter number D4095.  The Trust purchased the locomotive with donations and loans from members, and
it arrived at Midsomer Norton in January 2012. The loco was built in 1961 at Horwich, and is liveried in all over BR green.


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


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


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.




My Photographs Links Page Midsomer Norton Station 2009


Copyright M J Smith, 2012
No photographs to be reproduced elsewhere without permission.