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Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

1932 Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway

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Map of the line.

Note: This is a sub-section of 1932 Railway Year Book and Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway

Note: Parts are missing from original in the text below. Check the images or PDF for a full transcript

GERALD W. E. LODER, Wakehurst Place, Ardingly, Sussex.
RRIGHT HON. SIR EVELYN CECIL, G.B.E., M.P., Lytchett Heath, Poole, Dorset. SIR ALAN G. ANDERSON, K.B.E., The Manor House, Notgrove, Gloucestershire.
SIR JOHN FIELD BEALE, K.B.E., 66, Cannon Street, London, E.C. 3.
ALFRED HAROLD WIGGIN, Bordesley Hall, Alvechurch, Worcestershire.

  • London Midland & Scottish Ry.’s representatives. f Southern Ry.’s representatives.

Secretary—F. H. WILLIS, Waterloo Station, London.
Joint Accountants—R. G. DAVIDSON, and A. HOWIE, Waterloo Station, London.
Audit Accountant—A. E. MOORE, London Bridge Station, London.
Chief General Superintendent—C. R. BYROM, Euston Station, London.
Chief Goods Manager—J. BALL ANT YNE, Euston Station, London.
Mineral Manager—E. WHARTON, Derby.
Chief Engineer— G. ELLSON, O.B.E., M.Inst.,C.E., Waterloo Station, London.
Chief Mechanical Engineer— W. A. STANIER, Euston.
Estate Agent—W. H. C. CLAY, Euston Station, London.
Rating Agent—H. J. BURCHAM, Euston Station, London.
Solicitors—Messrs. BEALE & CO., London and Birmingham; W. BISHOP, Waterloo Station, London.
Bankers—NATIONAL PROVINCIAL BANK LIMITED, Waterloo Station Branch London.

THE Somerset and Dorset Railway - formerly leased jointly by the London and South Western and Midland Rys.—is an amalgamation of the Somerset Central and Dorset Central. The Somerset Central Ry. was incorporated 1st July, 1852, for a line from Glastonbury to Highbridge, taking over the Glastonbury Navigation and Canal from the Bristol and Exeter Ry. in 1853, at which date an extension to Wells had already been decided upon. It was opened between Highbridge and Glastonbury 7th August, 1854, being worked as a broad-gauge line by the Bristol and Exeter, and from Glastonbury to Wells 3rd March, 1859. The Dorset Central Ry., at first intended to be known as the South Midland Union Ry., received Parliamentary sanction in 1856 for a narrow-gauge line between Wimborne and Blandford, and in 1857 for the Blandford and Bruton extension, the former section being opened for traffic 1st November, 1860, and worked by the L. & S. W. Ry. The Somerset Central had agreed to lay down a third rail, and in 1861 running powers between the two companies were arranged, culminating in their amalgamation as the Somerset and Dorset Ry. in 1862. The connection from Blandford to the Somerset Central section at Bruton was opened 21st August, 1863. The present junction connection between the Somerset and Dorset line and the Southern Railway was completed in March, 1870, and was the property of the Salisbury and Yeovil Ry. and of the L. & S. W. Ry. in succession. The original connection, involving a double reversal, then fell into disuse. Attempts were being made for reaching Bristol by narrow gauge, and after the company had undergone various vicissitudes, an Act was obtained for a connection with the Midland Ry. at Bath, opened from Evercreech 20th July, 1874. The company was, however, still in a difficult position, and, although the Bristol and Exeter was prepared to take over part of the line, eventually the London & South Western and Midland Rys. agreed upon a joint lease for 999 years, this being sanctioned by Parliament in 1876. In connection with the 1921 Railways Act, the Somerset and Dorset Railway Company was dissolved and the undertaking vested in the Southern and London Midland & Scottish Rys. jointly, as from 1st July, 1923. The S. & D. trains obtain access to Bournemouth West over the Southern Ry. (formerly L.S.W.) lines from Broadstone.

Principal Towns Served.—Bath, Radstock, Midsomer Norton and Welton, Shepton Mallet, Wincanton, Sturminster Newton, Blandford, Poole, Bournemouth, Highbridge, Bridgwater, Glastonbury, Wells and Burnham-on-Sea.

Running Powers.—The O. W. Ry. Co. exercises running powers over the Somerset and Dorset Joint Ry. for a distance of 9 chains, at Wells, and can also use the Somerset and Dorset Joint Ry. station at Wells.

Steepest Gradient.—1 in 50. Between Bath and Midford, 1.75 miles, between Radstock and summit of Mendip Hills, 2.25 miles, between summit of Mendip Hills and Evercreech Junction, 5.25 miles ; total, 9.25 miles.

Docks.—Harbour at Highbridge.

Permanent Way.—Rails of bull-head section, weighing 95, 90 and 83 lbs. per yard; sleepers, 9 ft. and 8 ft. 6 in, by 10 in. by 5 in., and are placed at 2 ft. 6^ in. centre to centre ; chairs, 50, 48, 46 and 40 lbs. each.

Season Tickets.—The number of season tickets issued during 1931 was, approximately 1,900, available for periods of one week, one, two, three, six, or twelve months.

Through. Services.—Through carriages are run between Bournemouth West and Bradford, Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester, Derby, Birmingham, Cheltenham and Gloucester, and Bristol.

Summit Level.—Between Binegar and Masbury 811 feet above sea level.

Total length of platform faces at largest stations.—Highbridge 1,389 ft.; Glastonbury 867 ft.; Evercreech Junction, 837 ft.

Mile Posts.—On down side of main line.

Gradient Boards.—On up side of main line.

Locomotives and Rolling Stock.—The locomotives, formerly owned by the joint committee, were taken over by the L.M.S. Ry. on 1st January, 1930, and that company now provides the engine power required on the joint line. As from that date the carriages and wagons previously owned by the joint committee were apportioned between the Southern and L.M.S. Rys., who now jointly provide the rolling stock required. From the 1st June, 1930, the operating and commercial duties appertaining to the joint line were taken over by the L.M.S. Ry., who now provide the traffic staff required on the joint line. The maintenance of the line, stations and buildings and the permanent way staff were taken over by the Southern Ry. as from 1st January, 1930. The Southern is also responsible for the accounting work pertaining to the joint line. By these arrangements the joint line is worked and maintained by the two companies for the joint committee.

Mileage.—The total mileage of the Joint Railway is 105 miles 13 chains are double or more, the remainder being single single liners, in equivalent of single track, 181 miles 17 chains.

Statistics (1931).—Receipts : passenger train traffic, £208,398; total revenue receipts, £341,430; expenditure, £335,242.

See Also


Sources of Information