SDJR 7F 2-8-0 No. 88
The Trust’s largest and heaviest museum exhibit is former SDJR 7F 2-8-0, No. 88, built in 1925. It now carries its BR number, 53808. Restored from scrapyard condition between 1969 and 1987, the locomotive was in regular service with the West Somerset Railway until 2019. The locomotive moved to the Watercress Line (Mid-Hants Railway) on long-term hire in August 2020 and was photographed at Ropley. Photo © Barrie Baker.
53808 first appeared in service on the Watercress Line for the 2020 Autumn Steam Gala, as can be seen in this video. Although the line reopened in April with the easing of pandemic restrictions, the loco is currently out of service receiving attention at Ropley works.
Peckett 0-4-0ST Kilmersdon
Built in 1929 with works number 1788, Kilmersdon was the last steam locomotive to work the Somerset Coalfield. The locomotive was on a long hire to the Helston Railway in Cornwall – as pictured – from May 2018 to January 2020. The loco moved from Helston to the Watercress Line in Hampshire in 2021 and is currently being assessed pending overhaul.
Before going to Helston, Kilmersdon regularly appeared along with our fully-restored 1886 S&D carriage, Coach 4, during West Somerset Railway galas at Minehead where for a small fee, visitors could experience first class travel from times long past. Photo © Dave Temple.
Here is archive film footage of Kilmersdon (then just known as No. 1788) at work in Somerset.
Andrew Barclay 0-4-0 diesel-mechanical locomotive
Delivered in 1941 to the Royal Ordnance Factory at Puriton near Bridgwater, Andrew Barclay No. 349 was used during the war for moving raw materials and finished exposives for use in munitions. After the war, it went to (at least) Abelson & Co. (Engineers) of Sheldon, Birmingham (a manufacturer of cranes, dumpers, etc) and then to the Haunchwood Brick & Tile Co. in Warwickshire prior to preservation in the 1980s. There are only two of this type of locomotive known to have survived and this one is the most complete.
Most recently, No. 349 had been owned by Damien Stabler of Suffolk and based on the Colne Valley Railway. However, Mr Stabler – who had been the owner for 13 years – was struggling to find the time to spend on it and so we were very happy to accept Mr Stabler’s very generous donation of the locomotive to assist with movements at Washford. Photo © Dave Temple.
Ruston & Hornsby 0-4-0 diesel-mechanical locomotive.
Recently repainted in its original colours, this little diesel was built in 1942 for Cadbury’s. It later moved to Bath Gas works. Photo © Dave Temple.
S&D Third class 5-compartment 6-wheel carriage No. 114
Built in the S&D’s own works at Highbridge, Somerset, in 1890, retired by the SR (as 1423) in 1930 and converted to form a bungalow in Sussex (with No. 98). Recovered by the Trust in 1996 and awaiting restoration. Photo © Rod Ormston
S&D First class 4-compartment 6-wheel carriage No. 4
Coach 4 was built in the S&D’s own works at Highbridge, Somerset, in 1886.
After withdrawal in around 1930, the carriage body was converted for use as a cricket pavilion at Templecombe and there it remained for the next half century (in terms of time rather than cricket!). The vehicle was rescued by the Trust in 1986 and is now fully restored.
The coach has often been seen at the ends of the West Somerset Railway with short runs out of Minehead station during galas and, as pictured here, on the platform at the Norton Fitzwarren steam rally. Photo © Rod Ormston.
S&D Third class 6-wheel carriage No. 98
Built by Cravens in 1894, No. 98 is virtually identical to coaches built at Highbridge and very similar to many built for the Midland Railway around that time. Awaiting restoration. Photo © Beverley Zehetmeier.
MkI Brake Gangwayed (BG) carriage No. 80972
This was built for BR in 1956 and was acquired by the Trust in 2018. It has now been refurbished to provide extra museum space. Photo © Dave Temple.
London & South-Western Brakevan (Road Van) (12424)
Returned to LSWR livery and number. Built about 1902, rebuilt late 1990s by SDRT volunteers. Photo © Gerry Leyman
London & South-Western Ventilated Van
The brown van (42106) with the sliding doors intact is from 1901. Mansell wheels (steel & wood construction). Photo © John Cannon
London & South-Western Ventilated Van RNAD 304, given number 51171
LOH 18ft WB 11ft LSWR mixed Panter and Shepherd axleboxes, Mansell wheels, long springs, LSWR plain buffer casings. 1898 wheelsets. Doors changed to SDJR design, and van numbered 747
Southern Railway – style Parcels & Miscellaneous Van S1633S
Built by BR to a Southern Railway design, the PMV has been restored to original condition. Internal length 31′ 10″.
On 9 November 2020, the PMV moved to the Watercress Line.
London Midland & Scottish Van 37103 CCT
Built by Metro-Cammell in 1938 under Lot No. 1154, and known by the LMS as a Covered Motor Car Van.
British Railways Fruit D (W3450W)
Built to a GWR design (Y14 diagram) in 1955. Condemned in 1976 at Reading, purchased privately, then transferred to the SDRT. Photo © John Cannon
The van is now fitted out with seating and a video screen for cinema purposes and has previously travelled to the Norton Fitzwarren steam fayre where it has been used for the serving of refreshments.
Southern Railway Box Van S48949
Built to a standard pattern between 1935 and 1949. Photo © John Cannon
London Midland & Scottish 12 ton Steel Van (LMS 179162).
ca. 1930. Photo © John Cannon
Shell/BP Tank Wagon
Built in 1902 as No. 231. WB 10ft, wooden headstocks, to carry 20 ton. Photo © John Cannon
Military Van RNAD 229
LSWR affiliations wheelset marked “LSWR Co 1886”. LOH 15ft 4in WB 9ft 2in. Mixed axleboxes, all LSWR: one Shepherd’s dated 1927, another Warner’s Box B 9in x 4in. Photo © John Cannon
Open & Flat Wagons
Some 31,000 of these wagons were built by the LMS at Earlestown and Derby, and for the LMS by private builders, between 1924 and 1940. They were very similar to the RCH 1923 Standard 12 ton mineral wagon design. As well as the LMS, the LNER also adopted the design as the standard mineral wagon – number built unknown, but at least 6,000. In addition, an estimated 234,000 of the RCH 1923 Standard design were built by the trade for private owners between 1923 and 1940. Photo © Chris Nevard
NE 10 ton 424023 (RNAD 184)
LOH 15ft 10in WB 9ft 4in. LMS and LNEC 8×4 axleboxes. Self contained buffers. Photo © John Cannon
NE 13 ton 145741 (RNAD 194)
LOH 19ft 4-plank WB 10ft LNE-N and GNR axleboxes. Buffer casings LNE. Photo © Gerry Leyman
AD 119 Open 4-plank
LOH 15ft 5in WB 9ft 2in. Three SR(E) and one SR(B) No 7 axleboxes. Ironwork consistent with LBSCR. Photo © John Cannon
LMS Open 4 Plank P61045
Ex-Port of Bristol Authority wagon built by the LMS in 1932. 5-planks; steel frame; full height door. Currently masquerades as S C Ruffey’s wagon based at Sodor. Photo © George Moon
Narrow gauge track, locomotive & stock
From the Ashcott Peat Works Railway, which crossed the S & D on the level. Photo © Gerry Leyman