Introduction & Notes A brief introduction to the line and some notes about this site.


S&D CrestThe Somerset and Dorset was possibly one of the most interesting railway lines in the country. With its rather torturous route, linking the Bristol Channel with the South Coast of England. The line had everything, beautiful scenery, deep cuttings, tight curves, numerous tunnels, steep gradients - particularly the sections between Radstock and Evercreech and the climb out of Bath towards Midford where they reached 1 in 50. The line also seemed to have a certain charm all of its own. A certain amount of 'friendly rivalry' existed between stations, with most of them along the line all trying to have the best kept station and gardens.

From its initial forming in 1862, the line existed through some troubled times, particularly in the early years, including two world wars, and even when the line was absorbed into the British Railways nationalisation scheme in 1948, when the London Midland Region operated the line with the Southern Region supervising, the line still held its own character, right up until final closure as part of the famous 'Beeching Axe' in 1966.

The Somerset & Dorset had to put up with a fair bit of  unkind publicity in its day.
This postcard was just one such example, a variation on the "Slow & Dirty" theme.

Postcard of the "Slow and Doubtful"



Most of the information on these pages has been derived from numerous sources, most of it has been double checked against other publications etc, but as with any historic information mistakes can sometimes creep in.

All images on this site remain the copyright of the respective owners. Due to the nature of old photographs and books etc. some are not of very good quality but have been included for their historical interest.

I have tried to present the information in logical sections, in a standard format, thus (hopefully) making it easier to read and navigate the pages.

I would finally like to say a big thank-you to everybody who has provided information, support and assistance for this site since it's conception in February 1997, your continued support is very welcome and makes it all worthwhile.

-- Kevin --


Copyright © Kevin Clapcott
Most recent revision  Thursday November 29, 2007