… and how to donate items of S&D interest!
The spirit of the Somerset and Dorset Railway lives on through our museum at Washford. Our displays help to tell the story of the rise and fall of the railway and its closure in 1966.
Here you can explore the history of railways in Somerset and Dorset and how they contributed to the development of communities, trade and industry of the region.
Visitors can get close to items associated with this former cross-country rail route, from humble tickets and posters to signals and rolling stock. In our reconstruction of Midford Signal Box you can try your hand at pulling the signal levers. Click here for a full list of our rolling stock collection.
We make a small charge for admission to the museum, which includes access to the railway yard and large exhibits:
We aim to make the museum appealing to all visitors and hope to make continual improvements. Feedback is always welcome, whether positive or otherwise.
Our well-stocked shop includes many books which explore the themes and stories of the railway, its trains and staff.
Please note that, owing to Covid and the non-running of the West Somerset Railway, the museum is currently closed for the foreseeable future.
How to find our archives
The Trust has over 3000 photographs and these are steadily being scanned. Many are now being made available to download in our online shop – see the photo collection page.
The Trust’s extensive archive of over 3,000 reference books, documents, drawings and plans are housed at the Somerset Heritage Centre at Norton Fitzwarren, Taunton and can be searched via their on line catalogue. This wealth of information is available to all with an interest in any aspect of the Somerset & Dorset Railway, including family historians.
The Heritage Centre’s collection reference is A\CWO but the Trust’s accession numbers have also been retained so the catalogue can be searched by either reference. If using the Trust’s accession numbers these should be entered in the ‘AnyText’ search option. The material deposited includes archive items (Trust accession number A series), drawings (D numbers), bridge reports (F numbers), press articles (N numbers) and tickets (T numbers). Over the coming year, the full collection will be catalogued electronically in line with recommended musuem practice.
The collection is fully accessible at the Heritage Centre but members are recommended to make an appointment before visiting. If viewing plans the map table should also be booked.
Somerset Heritage Centre’s opening hours are:
- Mondays 1pm – 5pm
- Tuesdays to Fridays 9am – 5pm
- Saturdays 9am – 1pm
The Heritage Centre is in Brunel Way, Langford Mead, Norton Fitzwarren, Taunton TA2 6SF. Telephone 01823 278805 (enquiries) or 01823 337600 (appointments). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
During October 2011, the Trust returned to the Bath Record Office, after many years on loan, 67 drawings and plans of Bath Green Park station and environs dating from 1869 to 1934. These now have the Record Office’s accession number 925. The Bath Record Office is located at Guildhall, High Street, Bath BA1 5AW
S&D related material is also held at the Dorset History Centre
The Trust continues to collect items related to the S&D Railway and welcomes donations of relevant material, subject to the material meeting the Trust’s collections policy. Please contact the Collections Assistant email@example.com (please remove the anti-spam square brackets before sending) if you wish to offer an item or wish to know more about our collections.