Locomotives of the Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway (Kindle)
A Definitive Survey, 1854–1966
Although closed to traffic in 1966, with most of its infrastructure swiftly destroyed by British Railways, this unique railway line still lives in the minds of many, some too young to remember it in its heyday.
For more then a hundred years it courted disaster and could, on a number of occasions, have succumbed to overpowering financial pressures, but it survived with the help of partnerships with larger, more secure companies, namely the Midland Railway and the London & South Western Railway. Later on, after the grouping in 1923, the line came under the control of the LMS and the Southern Railway.
It was unfortunate that the line suffered in later years from inter regional rivalry between the Western and Southern Regions of British Railways, which led to its eventual closure.
The variety of companies involved in its running meant that during its lifetime, the small pool of locomotives needed to service the line was supplemented by the best each partner could offer.
So from the beginning to the end there were a myriad number of types of locomotive running over the Mendips, providing a lively variety of motive power.
This heavily illustrated book traces this unique and fascinating history and brings to life this singular, much-missed and loved railway.
"Overall, the book should be of interest to anyone who wants to study the history and geography of the S&D, the locomotives that worked over it, the engine crews and engineering support teams. For anyone wanting to use it as a reference source there is an excellent index, but the writing is in a style that encourages continuous reading. Highly recommended."Ffestiniog Railway Magazine
"It is a work well worth consideration."Steam World, December 2021
Featured in a book review with Philip GeorgeThe Visitor Magazine
This is probably the definitive book on the locomotive history of this railway company. The book covers in detail the complete motive power history of the line.James Simmonds
It includes a full chapter on the early days of broad gauge operation with some excellent old photos.
I would strongly recommend this for anybody interested in the Bruneian broad gauge Rees.