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Latest Blog Posts

West Somerset Railway running through Washford once again
Posted on 19th April 2019

19 April 2019

The West Somerset Railway is once again running trains through Washford as from today - Good Friday - and our shop & museum are open... see the Facebook announcement below.

Our Annual Special Train on Sunday 7 July is available to book
Posted on 18th March 2019

The S&DRT Annual Special Train awaits departure from Bishops Lydeard in 2018

Enjoy a Summer day out on the West Somerset Railway for no more than £12 ... on our Annual Special Train on Sunday 7 July.

Departing from Bishops Lydeard at 11.40 and returning from Minehead at 17.25, the train is due - as always - to be hauled by our S&D 7F, No. 53808. The service will also stop at Washford for the S&DRT museum and at Dunster for the castle and village.

Food is available to pre-order - a Railwayman's Lunch (vegetarian option available) on the outward journey and a cream tea on the return.

Please note that bookings must be made by 26 June and that no actual tickets will be sent to you - your email confirmation is your ticket.

The Annual Special Train is provided as part of the hire agreement for 53808 and therefore the Trust retains all the proceeds from this service.

Book now!


Our Spring magazine is another great read
Posted on 8th March 2019

Pines Express magazine, issue 292

Our Spring magazine is out now with plenty of S&D reading and photos - why not join us?


  • BR's 1960 deliberation on S&D through traffic: the S&D went from investment to plans for complete closure in under four years - this article tells the story of how the outlook changed and how it was intended to accommodate the through traffic on other routes. Based upon the content of original documents that are now part of the Trust's archive.
  • Modelling an S&D 7F in 7¼” gauge: we're now at part 4 and Vic has completed items that would be impossible to reach with the boiler in place and... has run the engine on compressed air. Music to his ears!
  • Researching S&D photographers: Dave Bown finds that there is quite a story behind photos of the Bridgwater branch by Owen Prosser and speculates as to his purpose in travelling on the branch that day.
  • S&D stations part 16 - Bath Green Park: after the smallest station on the line, David Grimwood now describes the largest in the latest installment in his series.
  • Percy Parsons: after a set of points was altered at Highbridge, Burnham excursion passengers found themselves in a vehicle with no seating. How would the Station Master be appeased?
  • S&D photos by Gwen Chapman. When young enthusiast Tim Chapman was being taken around the S&D by his aunt, she also took photos; we have a selection of her work.
  • Itinerary from the SLS Special on 6 March 1966: the first two pages from this fascinating document.
  • Centre-spread photo: an October morning at Midsomer Norton South in 1965.
  • No less than eight pages of news... and much more!
A great evening at the Heritage Railway Association Annual Awards
Posted on 10th February 2019

On the stage at the HRA awards

We had a great evening at the Heritage Railway Association Awards on Saturday 9 February. 

Although we didn't win our category with the restoration of Coach 4, it was good to meet so many other groups with similar interests.

Along with Ian Young, S&DRT Chairman, several members of the restoration team past and present attended the event; Neil Pankhurst's involvement with the Trust goes back several decades.

Our friends at the Helston Railway were there and deservedly won a category with the re-creation of Truthall Halt... Kilmersdon should be steaming down to Truthall again from 28 March, and with a record 10,000+ visitors in 2018, the Helston is looking forward to another year of solid progress.

[Photos by Rod Ormston]

Sale on now in our online shop
Posted on 26th January 2019

Many items are currently at reduced prices in our online shop; this year's calendar, mugs, coasters, working timetables and so on. 

While you're there, why not have a look through our selection of books and DVDs - many with an S&D connection. 

Video of the Annual Model Railway Exhibition at Edington
Posted on 8th January 2019

Callum Willcox, one of the exhibitors at Edington writes:

"5th & 6th January 2019 saw the Somerset & Dorset Trust host it's annual Model Railway Exhibition, at Edington Village Hall, Somerset.
This years line-up featured no less than 12 layouts in a variety of gauges and scales, as well as a selection of Trade Stands and Demos. The event also saw Amiens 1918's first outing for 2019, with the layout preforming well over the weekend.
Hope you enjoy!"

Photos from the Winter Steam-up at the Helston Railway
Posted on 8th January 2019

Following on from the video of Kilmersdon, here are some stills, also from Saturday 5 January, at the Helston Railway in Cornwall.

Helston train services take a break now and resume on 28 March.

[Photos by Brian Kennedy]

Kilmersdon at the Helston Railway’s Winter Steam-up
Posted on 6th January 2019