EARLY SOMERSET CENTRAL & DORSET CENTRAL SERVICES
By 1861, still worked by the Bristol &
Exeter, the line had been extended through to Burnham and Wells,
The Burnham extension was regarded as a
separate branch by the Bristol & Exeter, which worked the trains in
connection with its own main line trains rather than providing a through
service over the Somerset Central.
Meanwhile, the L&SWR had been running a
service over the Dorset Central between Wimborne and Blandford, with five
trains a day each way, and two on Sundays, taking thirty to thirty five
minutes for the ten mile journey with two intermediate stops, and
terminating at the temporary station at Blandford St Mary.
On the 3rd of February 1862 the Somerset Central, having its broad gauge track converted to 'third rail' to allow mixed gauge running, began to work its own 'narrow gauge' trains between Burnham and Wells and also to Templecombe since opening its extension to Cole linking up with the 'narrow guage' Dorset Central, just prior to the merger of the two companies forming the Somerset & Dorset Railway.
EARLY S&D SERVICES (1863-1873)
The best time for the thirty five miles from Burnham to Templecombe was 1hour 42mins, this involved a wait at Highbridge and reversal to reach Templecombe Upper, although most trains took about two hours with ten intermediate stops.
There were also two broad gauge Bristol
& Exeter trains, the daily passenger train from Bristol to Wells via
Highbridge and a daily goods train.
The opening of the link
between Templecombe and Blandford in August 1863 enabled the Somerset &
Dorset to operate its intended 'Channel to Channel' service. There
were four through trains a day each way between Burnham and Hamworthy
station at Poole, with two on Sundays.
(SEE THE TEMPLECOME PAGE FOR MORE INFO ON THE JUNCTION LAYOUT)
In the summer of 1864 a fifth train was added, there was a non‑stop run from Highbridge to Glastonbury in twenty minutes, and one of the Sunday trains reached Poole in 3hours and 20mins. from Burnham.
There were a number of local trains
running between Burnham and Highbridge, three each way between Burnham and
Wells, six each way on the Wells branch itself, and four between Templecombe
or Blandford and Wimborne.
LATER S&D SERVICES (1874-)
Still In preparation...
THE PINES EXPRESS
It was a daily Manchester to Bournemouth West
express service started on the 1st of October 1910, in response to the GWR /
LSWR Birkenhead to Bournemouth via Oxford service, being run jointly by the
London & North Western and the Midland Railways.
During the second world war the title was dropped. However on the 23rd of May 1949 'The Pines' was back again, this time under the control of the newly nationalised London Midland, Western and Southern Regions of British Railways.
On Saturday the 8th of September 1962 the
last up and down workings of 'The Pines Express' were hauled over
the S&D by BR 2-10-0 No.92220 'Evening Star', it was turned out in
immaculate condition, and all along the line people watched the sad passing
of this famous train. On the up journey the loading of the train was 426
tons - a record for an unassisted climb over the Mendip Hills.
This section is still under construction
Copyright © Kevin Clapcott
Most recent revision Friday August 10, 2007