Station opened - 28th August 1854
Highbridge for Burnham-on-Sea - 1951
Station closed to goods - 2nd November 1964
Station closed to passengers - 7th March 1966
Grid Ref: 182 ST 323469
|Highbridge station first opened to passengers in August
1854 as part of the Highbridge to Glastonbury
section of the Somerset Central Railway, being worked by the Bristol and
Exeter Railway until being absorbed into the S&D in February 1862.
The station was built adjacent to the existing G.W.R. station on the Bristol to Taunton main line and consisted of five platforms, although two of these were either side of one line. Trains to and from Highbridge Wharf and Burnham-on-Sea had to cross the main G.W.R. Bristol line at the Northern end of the station. This flat crossing over the G.W.R. main line was originally controlled by 'Highbridge A' signal box which was at the Northern end of the through platforms. This was closed in 1914 and was later converted into a staff room. The crossing was then controlled by 'Highbridge West' G.W.R. box. The station area was controlled by 'Loco Box' signal box, a 25 lever box situated at the Southern end of the station. This box also controlled access in to the carriage sidings as well as the locomotive depot and works. The road crossing into the G.W.R. goods yard and access into the S&D goods sidings just to the North of the G.W.R. main line crossing was controlled by the 12 lever 'Highbridge B' box. A short distance North of this box was 'Highbridge C' signal box. This 19 lever box controlled the busy A38 road crossing and access into Highbridge Wharf sidings.
In 1948 after nationalisation all the S&D signal boxes were re-named as follows:
'Highbridge C' became 'Highbridge East A' Closed on 16th
The G.W.R. 'Highbridge West' box was closed on the 20th March 1972.
Plan of Highbridge Station area in 1921
Grid Ref: 182 ST 324469
The works were originally designed and built by the Somerset Central Railway, with numerous additions being built over the following years. These were the headquarters for the repair and maintenance of locomotives and rolling stock for the whole of the Somerset and Dorset railway.
Consisting of many buildings including erecting, boiler,
machine, painting and smiths shops, along with stores, offices and a
sawmill. All the gas required for the works and station was produced from
the railway's own gas works situated within the station area.
S&D coaching stock was also built at Highbridge between
1862 and 1913.
Following various other cutbacks by the S&D the works were closed in 1930 with the loss of about 300 jobs.
For more information on S&D loco's,
For more information on S&D Rolling Stock,
View of Highbridge Works around 1895.
Grid Ref: 182 ST 324470
This was situated in the northern part of the works adjacent to the main line, next door to the paint shop. There was a two road engine shed, along with the usual coal and water facilities.
Grid Ref: 182 ST 314473
The wharf was at the Western end of the Glastonbury Canal, which was opened in 1833 and was purchased by the Bristol & Exeter railway in 1848 for the grand sum of £7,000. The various sidings and buildings etc. were on the Southern side of the line to Burnham-on-Sea, the entrance to the sidings being controlled by the previously mentioned 'Highbridge C' signal box (Later re-named 'Highbridge East A' in 1948). These sidings also served timber yards, sawmills, two brickworks and a fuel company. This is where the S&D shipping fleet operated from, until 1933 when the last ship was sold. Most of the shipping was used for the transportation of goods between South Wales and Highbridge for onward transportation by rail. Goods included steel rail for use by the S&D and L&SWR, timber and also agricultural and dairy goods from various Somerset and Dorset locations along the S&D lines. Non railway owned ships carried on using the wharf until it was closed on the 2nd of November 1964. The wharf sidings were finally closed on May the 16th 1965.
View of the wharf sidings, looking east. March 23rd 1932.
For more information on the S&D shipping fleet, see my S&D Shipping Page
Copyright © Kevin Clapcott
Most recent revision Friday August 10, 2007