Saturday 29 April 2023

Somerset and Dorset Delight


It's always a pleasure getting the excellent S&D Telegraph, the house magazine of the Somerset and Dorset Railway Trust down in Midsomer Norton. It's a high quality magazine but the best thing about it is the content, which is superb. This current issue (number 62) contains articles on a walk along the whole route in 1976, the 9F that the group is purchasing for eventual use at Midsomer Norton, general articles on all aspects of the rebuilding and maintaining of the line and reports on volunteers.

The S&D revival, in my opinion, is the most important thing in UK rail preservation. There are stirrings of rebuilding at several points, from Midford in the north down to Spetisbury in the south. Midsomer Norton and Shillingstone are both proceeding with establishing working heritage railways.

I worked many years at Midsomer Norton and saw huge progress from a trackless station to an almost mile long route (including double track!) and a fully rebuilt signalbox and greenhouse. I had to give up due to health issues but I still follow developments closely, mainly through the Telegraph magazine.

So the station is restored, the line plans to extend both north and south and a big locomotive is coming. The group need to break out from the Misdomer Norton South site and start to build a premier league line where big locos like the 9F can really see some proper work.

I'd urge anyone with an interest in the S&D to join the group at Midsomer Norton and help make this happen, whether by volunteering, supporting financially or just spreading the word!

The group can be contacted via their website at and emailed at

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