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Copyright © Gordon Jones 2007

The SDJR station at Midsomer Norton was south of the town centre at the top of  Silver Street. The station closed with the rest of the line on 6th March 1966, and in 1969 the station was sold for use by a local school as a field study centre. It was resold in 1995 to Wansdyke District Council. In the same year the Somerset and Dorset Railway Trackbed Trust was formed, (this has now become the Somerset and Dorset Railway Heritage Trust). The aims of this organisation were the restoration of the station to its 1950’s appearance and the relaying of 1000 feet of double track towards Chilcompton, hopefully later extending the line further towards Chilcompton Tunnel. Eventually they hoped to run steam trains on this short length of line and make the site a working museum.

I visited the site on a Sunday in mid October 2000. The bridge which carried the SDJR over Silver Street was demolished in 1970 and the road was later widened, but the station is easy to recognize, standing on the right hand side of Silver Street as you climb the hill from the centre of the town. New platform fencing had been erected on the “up” platform and the shelter had been refurbished and painted. A small working party were carrying out various tasks, but found time to make me very welcome.

Work was proceeding on restoring the edge of the “down” platform by laying new grey bricks, specially made to the same pattern as the originals. Once this was completed they planned to replace the badly worn surface of the platform. A flower bed had been established at the end of the “up” platform, a fitting tribute to a station that won awards for its station gardens. They also plan to re-build the signal box, (only the foundations remained at that time), and the greenhouse which once stood on the platform and provided many of the plants for the gardens.

This site is a rare opportunity to restore an S&D station. As far as I am aware, all other S&D stations, except Shillingstone*, have either been demolished, converted to an alternative use or are occupied as private homes, (e.g. Wellow, Masbury and Cole stations).

Midsomer Norton station (1), October 2000 Midsomer Norton station (2), October 2000

Midsomer Norton station on 15th October 2000. This view is looking towards Silver Street, (that is north-east towards Radstock). The trackbed stops just beyond the main station building, where the bridge over Silver Street was removed in 1970.

Midsomer Norton station (15th October 2000), from the main station building, looking south west towards Chilcompton. Work is in progress replacing the edge of the “down” platform.

*Restoration has started at Shillingstone Station. For more information see:

Shillingstone Station Project

For further information about Midsomer Norton Station

go to:

Somerset & Dorset Railway Heritage Trust

The first standard gauge line on any SDJR main

track bed for over thirty-five years!

16th June 2002.

16th June 2002.

On the 19th May 2002, volunteers at Midsomer Norton Station started the laying of the first standard gauge line to sit on any SDJR main track bed* since the original lines were lifted in 1966. The picture on the left is taken from the ‘down’ platform looking towards Chilcompton. The right hand picture is from the ‘up’ platform looking towards Radstock. Wooden sleepers are being used in the station area to help recreate the original setting. Cost and availability, however, make it necessary to use concrete sleepers once the lines leave the station and head towards Chilcompton. These pictures were taken on 16th June 2002.

*A short section of track had been laid earlier in and near the goods shed.

More Progress as over 2,100 tons of waste are removed to reveal the trackbed and ‘down’ retaining wall.

“Over a bit more lads”. Track laid on the ‘up’ platform side of the station is re-aligned and positioned as Nick Howes (in orange jacket) checks the measurement.

9th March 2003

The approach to the station from the Chilcompton side after the removal of 2,100 tons of waste from the track bed. This also exposed over 700 feet of the original ‘down’ retaining wall, (on right of picture), mostly in good condition. The loading guage previously almost buried, now completely uncovered stands near the wall.

9th March 2003

Picture above shows Midsomer Norton Station on the 17th August 2003. With double track laid and rolling stock sitting in the station and the ‘down’ platform with new tarmac surface, the station is regaining some of its lost glory.

17th August 2003

Steam returns to Midsomer Norton and Signal Box Reconstruction - Pictures on next page

IMPORTANT

Since I wrote the original notes for this page in October 2000 there have been  a lot of changes. I have added text and pictures at intervals and will hopefully continue to do so in the future. All additions are in chronological order, (the further down the page - the later the information). G.J.

Midsomer Norton station, June 2002 Midsomer Norton station, June 2002 Track laying, Midsomer Norton, March 2003 Cutting after removal of 2,100 tons of waste Midsomer Norton station, August 2003

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