The S&DRHT are currently in the process of launching our own 50/50 Prize Draw fund.
The prize draw fund will generate income in order to allow the railway to expand and improve the facilities for both our members and visitors to our railway. The income into the fund will be split 50/50 between prizes -1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes drawn each month and 50% to the Trust to help fund new projects and improvements to the railway.
We are seeking a member with a few hours a week spare time to run this exciting new project for the Trust and help to generate funds to improve our railway.
Responsibilities to include:
· Maintaining a register of all players and their payments.
· Overseeing the monthly prize draw.
· Maintaining a record of prize draw income and expenditure.
If this is something that you are interested in running on behalf of our railway please contact
On Saturday 11th May, the S&DRHT welcomed over 60 people to the station for a special ‘first train’ to run over the new extension. The latest ¼ mile extension now brings the running line to a total of one mile, and just a few yards short of the infilled cutting.
The special day was a thank you to supporters who have donated £100 or more to the extension appeal, and also a thank you to several members of the permanent way team who have helped build the extension over the last few years, in all winds and weathers.
Stephen Lacey – Trust Chairman – welcomed invited guests including a number of ex S&D footplate crews to Midsomer Norton where the special train was ‘topped and tailed’ by the Trust’s two Diesel electric shunters D1120 and D4095
Several journeys up and down the line were made, whilst the guests enjoyed a complimentary packed lunch and views through carriage windows not seen by train passengers for over 50 years.
During the day, a raffle was held which generated over £225, with a number of lucky winners returning home with various bottles of wine, a fine food hamper and a coffee machine!
The glorious spring sun was the perfect backdrop for the Trust to show its guests a number of ongoing projects, such as the Wickham Trolley restoration. The positive response from the guests was extremely gratifying for the Trustees to hear, with many complementing the Trust on its work to date.
The Trust would like to thank all those who have donated to the extension appeals, and its working volunteers who have all helped revive another section of the S&D.
A formal opening of the extension is planned for later in the year, however passenger trains will be operating over the Extension from Saturday 18th May, starting with our ever popular Real Ale Train, tickets for which can be purchased via our website.
As with any railway, whether it’s part of the national rail network or that of a Heritage Railway there is always regular maintenance to be undertaken in order to ensure that the permanent way is in good condition for the coming operating season.
As part of this regular maintenance task, for the second week running members of the ‘track gang’ were carrying out the work of removing all the fishplates at each rail joint, applying grease along the contact points between the fishplates and the rails - to ensure that the rails can expand more easily in hot weather - then putting back the fishplates and tightening up the nuts and bolts.
With the aid of the petrol 2 stroke ‘nut runner’ excellent progress was made in the warm Somerset sunshine and all of the fishplates on approx. 1/3 mile of the running line from the engineers siding to the Hunt Crossing were completed.
The track gang went home, very tired but very pleased after a productive days’ work.
Once this maintenance task is completed, then the next task is likely to be the dropping of more ballast and then the hiring in of a tamper machine to pack the ballast under the sleepers and ensure that the rail head is level. Our ballast appeal is still open for those wishing to donate.
We are always on the lookout for new volunteers who fancy trying their hand at the numerous tasks that there are on a heritage railway. You don’t need any prior experience and don’t have to be super fit. If you would like to get involved or simply find out more then why not come down to the station at Midsomer Norton on a Sunday or Monday and have a look around
Brian Litherland 15th April 2019
On Monday 4 March 2019 a 3 carriage train was operated on the Somerset & Dorset Railway at Midsomer Norton for the first time in 53 years! This train was operated as part of the preparations for the Diesel Locomotive Gala event that is planned for this coming weekend.
Extension Work – Jacking and Packing!
Another Sunday and another day of steady progress with members of the track gang continuing to ‘jack and pack’ the track on the current extension. The track gang are making good progress with the work to get the remaining ¼ mile extension ready for passenger use in March.
The work involves positioning sight-boards along the running rail and in conjunction with a track gauge incorporating a spirit level, the track is lifted to the desired height using hand operated jacks. The ballast is then packed under the ends of the sleepers using shovels to ensure that when the jacks are then released, the sleepers don’t drop and the track level remains in the desired plain. It’s hard but satisfying work and the track gang members are making good progress and expect to have to drop another 200 tons of ballast before the work is completed.
If you fancy getting involved and helping to rebuild a part of the iconic S & D then please come along and assist. No prior experience is required, ideally you just need some old working clothes and steel toe-capped safety boots. Training and plentiful cups of tea will be supplied.
If the idea of a Sunday wielding a shovel is not your idea or you live too far away, then you can still get involved and assist by donating to our ballast appeal - £ 20 for a ton – please see the fund-raising page.
Suspension of all Public Services Updated 26th March 2020.
All public services have been stopped and there is no public access to any of the site.
This is going to be a challenging time for all heritage railways as we rely on footfall to keep us running. Your understanding, patience, and co-operation is appreciated and we thank you all in advance for your ongoing support.
Guidelines for Working Volunteers
The station site is now closed to all working volunteers.
The site is under constant CCTV surveillance and local observers are conducting regular site checks.
Please note that the Company has now taken the decision to suspend all passenger trains and operating days until further notice.
Like many other businesses, the Somerset and Dorset Heritage Railway is monitoring the situation and following government guidelines.
As everyone's health and welfare is our priority, we will take all necessary precautions to ensure this.
We have asked that all our all staff and volunteers follow this advice:
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
• Put used tissues in the bin immediately
• Wash your hands often with soap and water
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
• Avoid close contact with people who are unwell
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth when your hands are not clean
Visitors if you are planning on visiting from an area that has been directly affected by the coronavirus and you are showing symptoms similar to those associated with the virus (fever, cough, breathlessness), it is best that you do not visit until you have contacted your local health authority or doctor for further advice and instruction.
We will continue to monitor the situation and government advice and will issue further updates if the situation changes.
The latest government information on coronavirus can be found on the Department for Health and Social Care’s website.
Given that the advice from the health authorities - for the moment has not changed - we are operating as normal for the time being
We will advise you further should this position change.
‘Outstanding’ say South West in Bloom about Midsomer Norton Station
Members of the Gardens team met at the station on Monday March 2nd and were presented with their certificate from the South West in Bloom ‘Outstanding’ certificate in the ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ class.
‘Outstanding’ is awarded to groups who have achieved a level 5 which is the highest level in the ‘Its Your Neighbourhood’ event.
The ‘Its Your Neighbourhood’ is a development of the Neighbourhood awards scheme and is not competitive but is designed to give support and recognition to community action groups across the South West. Although the plants on display are a large part of the award other factors are equally important. The Judges are looking for community participation and environmental responsibility and recognised that Midsomer Norton Station has shown high levels of all three.
In 2019 the ‘In Bloom’ judge Denise James visited and was able to observe the result of work done not only by the gardens team but also students from the Fosse Way School and a group of volunteers from Sainsbury’s who were celebrating 150 years by doing some local community work. Trustee with the responsibility for grounds and gardens, Gail Coleshill, took the judge not only around the site by the station buildings but also up the line in the Wickham Trolley so that she could see the environmental improvements and wildflowers lineside as a result of judicious clearing by the track work volunteers.
The official awards day took place towards the end of last year in Newquay but as there were too many volunteers from Midsomer Norton Station to make the trip it was decided to hold a small presentation in the spring.
Trustee Gail Coleshill said, “Although we have entered the Its Your Neighbourhood class before we have never achieved Outstanding before and I would like to pay tribute to all the hard work from the team. There is no doubt that the station looked its best not only with all the flowering borders around the station but also the wildflowers up the line.
We would also like to pay tribute to Denise James who has been a great help and support over the years and we were very sad to hear of her death last autumn.
Fosseway School took over the Dig for Victory bed near the Pillbox and planted it with flowers and vegetables are grown from seed at the school. Sainsbury’s volunteers continued making the front road border by clearing the weeds, filling the ditch with home grown compost and planting shrubs and perennials.
Trustee John Baxter will be presenting the certificate and a cake to celebrate the ‘Outstanding’ work of the volunteer gardens team at Midsomer Norton Station.
The Station volunteers would welcome more volunteers for the gardens team.
The Trust are pleased to announce the purchase of two BR 16Ton Mineral Wagons. These wagons, once restored, will kick start our plans to recreate a demonstration coal train.
Coal traffic was the lifeblood of the S&D, with the many collieries along the northern section of the line, seeing hundreds of these wagons every week.
The Trust is appealing for donations towards to the transportation and restoration of these iconic vehicles. Both currently reside at the Swanage Railway and will require replacement flooring and a good rub down prior to painting.
Any donation will be great fully received, and will help the once common sight of coal wagons return to the S&D!
Donations can be made via our website, or in person at the station! Remember to fill in a Gift Aid Form to make your donation go even further!