Somerset and Dorset Railway Museum
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: 19th century rolling stock
The Somerset and Dorset Railway Trust (SDRT) maintains a museum at Washford station with objects related to the history of the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway (popularly known as 'The S&D'), which began in 1862 and was closed just over a century later in 1966.
The railway linked Bournemouth with Bath, with a branch line running from Evercreech to Burnham-on-Sea, wells, Highbridge, and Bridgwater. Though the line did carry freight over the Mendips, its main purpose was to take summer tourists from the north of England to the seaside at Bournemouth. These Saturday 'holiday trains' were incredibly popular, even though the railway gained the rather dubious nicknames of 'The Slow and Doubtful', or worse, 'The Slow and Dirty'.
The museum includes the original 1874 station building and the Great Western Railway's wooden signal box. The interior of the signal box now houses a recreated interior of a similar box at Midford.
Among the numerous S&D exhibits are handbills, tickets, signalling equipment, tools, lamps, and station nameplates. Rolling stock includes the 0-4-0ST No. 1788 "Kilmersdon" made by Peckett and Sons of Bristol. The largest and heaviest exhibit is the SDJR 7F 2-8-0, No. 88 steam locomotive. Built in 1925, the locomotive was restored from scrap condition, a task that took 18 years to complete.
There is also a diesel-mechanical locomotive made in 1942 for Cadbury's and later sent to the Bath Gas Works. See carriages including an 1886 first class carriage that was used as a cricket pavilion after it was taken out of service! Freight cars include ventilated vans, fruit vans, a Shell tank wagon, a military van made in 1886, and a variety of open and closed flat wagons.
There is a small charge for museum entry.
About Somerset and Dorset Railway Museum
Address: Washford Station, Washford, Somerset, England, TA23 0PP
Attraction Type: Museum
Location: Off the A39 at Washford rail station
Website: Somerset and Dorset Railway Museum
Phone: 01984 640 869
Photo Credit: Phil Champion, licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Cleeve Abbey - 0.5 miles (Abbey)
Combe Sydenham Hall - 3.4 miles (Historic House)
Dunster Castle - 3.6 miles (Castle)
Gallox Bridge - 3.6 miles (Historic Building)
Dunster Working Watermill - 3.7 miles (Historic Building)
Dunster Yarn Market - 3.8 miles (Historic Building)
Dunster Butter Cross - 3.9 miles (Historic Building)
Elworthy, St Martin of Tours Church - 4.3 miles (Historic Church)
Nearest Accommodation to Somerset and Dorset Railway Museum:
Nearest Self Catering Cottages
Nearest Bed and Breakfasts
Nearest Tourist Information Centre ('as the crow flies')
Exmoor National Park
Dunster National Park Centre
Tel: 01643 821 835