Locomotives of the S&DJR   S&DJR Coaching Stock

27 May 2013

The Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway existed in several guises between 1854 and final closure to passenger services in 1966.

It started off as two separate companies, the Somerset Central Railway which began service in 1854 and the Dorset Central Railway which began in 1860. These two companies agreed from a very early date to join together both their tracks and their companies, with the result that the Somerset & Dorset Railway was born in 1862.

The company was over-ambitious though, and it over-spent on new locomotives and in building the new connection from Evercreech Junction to the Bath (Midland) station at Queen's Square. It was quickly forced to accept the fact that it had to sell out to the bigger companies.

However, rather than agree a purchase with the Bristol & Exeter Railway which, as an operating arm of the GWR, had run the earliest services on the Somerset Central and was seen as the natural source of a takeover, the S&D agreed a joint ownership deal with the Midland Railway and the London & South-Western Railway. These companies shared the running and operating duties on the Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway from 1875, with the Midland being the main supplier of locomotives. The line still retained a degree of independence, and this continued until 1930, when the S&D was formally absorbed by the LMS and SR.

During the years of independence until 1875 and semi-independence until 1930, the S&D bought and sold a relatively small but somewhat bewildering array of locomotives. Quite often, new arrivals re-used old stock numbers, or older locomotives were renumbered as they were rebuilt or refurbished. Overall, the locomotives can be divided into four main phases:

  • Primitive locomotives of the early days
  • Johnson-era locomotives from the Midland Railway in Derby
  • Fowler-era locomotives from the Midland Railway
  • Locomotives gained during the last days

The table below shows the locomotives acquired by the line in each of the four phases. Many of them carried over from one phase to the next, and a large number of them survived until 1930 and even into British Railways days.

The fates of some of the locomotives are unknown, so please help to fill in the gaps. Where photos are available, the maker name will be shown as an underlined link. Click on this to view the photo in a separate window. There are plenty of gaps in the photographic record, so please send in more photos to help build it up. Get in touch here.





Main Sources

Atthill, Robin - The Somerset & Dorset Railway, The David & Charles Series Illustrated, Pan Books Ltd, 1970

Online Sources

The Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway


Locomotives of the S&DJR   S&DJR Coaching Stock