Page head: Station Staff and train. Image used by kind permission of Bob & June Thomas.
Bridgwater Mercury and Western Counties Herald 5th May 1858:
“Sometime ago it was considered advisable to connect Burnham, by a branch Railway from Highbridge, with the Bristol and Exeter and Glastonbury lines of railway, and it was naturally expected that the enterprise would pay by means of excursionists to the rising watering- place and the traffic sure to flow from Wales. To render the branch railway more likely to prove remunerative the formation of a pier was necessary, and within twelve months from the period of the work’s commencement both railway and pier were completed. To the exertions of George Reed, the chief credit of this success is undoubtable due. The line and pier have been constructed by the Somerset Central Railway Company at a cost, in the whole, of £20,250, the railway costing £14,000 and the pier £6,250. The engineer was Mr Gregory, assisted by Mr Snow, resident engineer; and the contractors were Messrs J and C Rigby………The railway consists of a single line of rails, and the pier is a long strip of masonry, from the high water to low water mark, (a continuation of the line itself,) with an unpaved slip cut out on the western side, which allows vessels to be alongside to unload.”
The photo above is from Summer 1885, which is the earliest picture of the railway we have.
The track followed the path now described by Marine Drive as far as the Apex park entrance, and then paralleled the Burnham Rd into Highbridge.
A view of the location of the original station buildings taken in 2016.
The same location of the station buildings taken by the late Glyn Luxon around 1960
The station buildings when viewed from the High Street.
Folow this link for a contemporary account of the opening of the railway.