Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway

The Somerset and Dorset Railway Trust promotes the spirit and history of the Somerset & Dorset Railway. They have an extensive archive and museum, including an  S&D engine and coaches, publish a quarterly magazine and welcome visitors to their base at Washford. Find out more at


A Railwayman Remembers. Click here to read about working life on this line.

From the Bristol Mercury Guide to Burnham 1884:


o.s. 1921-43

Highbridge Crossing Gates
Highbridge Wharf
Brick and Tile Works
Cox’s Warehouse & entrance to Pillsmouth Farm
Sign at Pillsmouth Crossing
Looking back at signal gantry & Cox’s Warehouse
Station approach
Run-around-line up to buffer stops
Rails down jetty – original end of the line.

Photos from Glyn Luxon Collection

Somerset Central Railway Centenary souvenir ticket 1954. Scan courtesy of Ann Popham.

Below Desmond ‘Peter’ Dyer recalls his days on the GWR and SDJR

Here is an atmospheric YouTube video by Vic Jones representing the Highbridge to Burnham line, given the amount work that must have gone into this we can forgive  the inevitable inaccuracies .

Another marvellous video of the journey from Glastonbury to Burnham past and present can be found here: Ghost Train, Glastonbury to Burnham.


Strictly speaking this was not on the S&D rails but it was whilst the train was crossing over the S&D line running to Burnham. 

Railway smash @ Highbridge 20th June 1909 ( AJ)

Train crash 1

Train crash 2

Train crash 3

Train crash plan

Train crash plan2



Photo above courtesy of Catherine Poarch.

Easter Monday 1914 – a locomotive was derailed whilst crossing the points behind Eton Rd. The following appeared in the Somerset and West of England Advertiser on 17th April:

This is how the same spot looks now.


Rail death report




From “Beyond The Shadows” the history of three local families by Rita Probert:
Rail death txt

From the British Railways Holiday Guide, South West 1952:

One thought on “Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway”

  1. Gary Leigh Andrews recently left a comment on the World War I Casualties page which I have copied below as it is also of interest for this page:
    “My Uncle Ron was an old man when I met him. My Grandfather and three more of his brothers were Railway men. Edgar sadly died just before the Somme catastrophe in 1916. He was a Foundry man. it shows he was Apprentice served in the Railways. My Grandfather was injured during the war and moved to Swindon sometime in the 1920s. He was a Coach builder and Decorator. He used to do the livery of the GWR Coaches and Wagons in Swindon until he retired in 1953. I did sign writing as a Hobby and never knew about my Grandad being a Professional Sign Writer. I guess you have heard of Bill Andrews. He too was a Copperplate Sign Writer in a Solicitors before becoming a Professional Cricketer for Somerset. His brother Cliff was also a Professional Cricketer playing for Hampshire. I met Bill many times, he was a big man as I remember. I never worked in the Railways in Swindon as they were rapidly declining in the 1970s so, I went to Vickers Armstrong as an Apprentice. I spent 50 years in Engineering and just recently retired. I climbed through the ranks and worked for a Company called Iscar Tools limited, UK. Good Company, good job, I miss it now. My Dad’s brother left me moments of his Railway days, they are tucked away in my garage. He was a Fireman on the Foot Plate. I will dig it out and see what there is. It was a lot of items.”

    John Strickland replied:
    “Hello Garry,
    I’m pleased you contacted us as Chummie came to many of our Local History meetings and gave a talk about his railway experiences on one occasion. He was a lovely man and full of praise for his railway employment and experiences. I remember one of his comments was ‘ To tell you the truth I would like to go there now if I could’. We have an extract of his talk under the section a Railwayman Remembers on the Somerset & Dorset page. I will ask one of our members about the Dyer family as I know she is a distant relative to the newsagents article and hopefully she will get in touch with you.
    I also have a photo of Chummie sat talking to one of his mates. If you would like a copy please let me know.

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