The original coaching and wagon stock used by the Somerset & Dorset Railway were the remnants of the old Somerset Central and Dorset Central Railway Companies, who had been worked by the Bristol & Exeter and London & South Western Railways respectively.

From 1862 new coaching stock was ordered, these orders were built by various companies, including John Perry of Bristol, Joseph Wright of Birmingham and Rowland Brotherhood of Chippenham.

Typical 6 wheel SDJR coachCarriage construction was later carried out at the S&D Highbridge Works. The new stock was all of non-corridor construction, painted in a rather attractive blue livery with gold lining and lettering, this matched the locomotives of the day. The first vehicles were four wheel and six wheel non-bogie stock. Bogie carriages were first built in 1898, with the last examples being built in 1913. Most of these were 46 foot vehicles built to basically a Midland design, but with a fairly high flattened elliptical roof profile similar to the LSWR designs.

No. 100 - A 46' Brake Third bogie coach.
Built in 1904 at Highbridge.

As with the early S&D locomotives, numbers were re-used again after older stock was withdrawn, some numbers being used as many as 4 times.
Some coaches were re-built and/or re-numbered, in particular many coaches were converted to workmen's coaches.

Later all the through trains to the Midland and North were made up of Midland corridor stock, however sometimes the odd S&D non-corridor vehicle had to be used to meet demand, particularly during the busy holiday season.

In 1930 all remaining S&D coaching stock was divided between the L.M.S and the Southern Railway and within a short period of time they were all sent for scrap.

Workmens train set Nos. 1, 2 & 3.
Workmen's train set. Coaches Nos. 1, 2 & 3 (right to left).

The train set pictured above was close coupled and tight buffered, being only used for workmen. Each coach had 4 wheels and it was labeled "To run between Highbridge and Burnham only".

These vehicles were ex regular service vehicles and had just one upholstered compartment at one end of the set. This was (of course) reserved for supervisory and clerical staff, who traveled free. All the other seats were painted matchboard and the staff had to pay 6d a week for the journey (boys 3d).
The guard of the train, who happened to be a painter, was paid an allowance of 1s 6d per week for acting as guard, however he still had to pay his 6d for the journey!


S&D 4-wheel composite coach
S&D 4-wheel composite coach
S&D non-corridor composite bogie coach
S&D non-corridor composite bogie coach


Copyright © Kevin Clapcott
Most recent revision Friday August 10, 2007