The Somerset & Dorset Railway
The Somerset & Dorset became something of a legend in its own lifetime, achieving fame (and sometimes notoriety) quite disproportionate to its size. It was always a line of character, grappling with persistent poverty and appalling operational difficulties - a ruling gradient of 1 in 50 over its main line, 63 miles of single track, and violently fluctuating seasonal traffic. Even in its last decades, long after the splendid blue livery had disappeared, its sturdy individuality and picturesque-ness attracted railway lovers and photographers from far and wide.
Robin Atthill (author of Old Mendip) is a local historian who has lived close to the Somerset & Dorset and known it intimately for many years. This book, based on prolonged research on the original documents and a number of hitherto unknown sources, tells the story of the line from its first beginnings in 1850 to its closure in 1966: the amalgamation of the Somerset Central and the Dorset Central in 1862 to form a Channel-to-Channel route from Burn-ham to Poole; the extension to join the Midland Railway at Bath; its Joint days from 1875 to 1948 controlled from Derby and Waterloo; its decline after nationalisation and its sad demise under the Beeching axe.
O. S. Nock contributes two chapters on locomotive history, practice and performance; there are six appendices, including a full record of S & D ship-ping activities, and the book is profusely illustrated with a number of hitherto unpublished photographs and line drawings, and three maps.
Hardback with dust jacket, 200 pages, black & white photographs and more
Condition: Good with crease in laminate of dust jacket
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Updated: 1 June 2020