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Locomotives of the Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway (Hardback)

A Definitive Survey, 1854–1966

Local History Transport Photographic Books Colour Books Trains and Railways England

By Tim Hillier-Graves
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
Series: Locomotive Portfolios
Pages: 248
ISBN: 9781526748355
Published: 9th September 2021


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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 George

The 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.

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.

James Simmonds

About Tim Hillier-Graves

Tim Hillier-Graves was born in North London in 1951, on leaving University he served with the Royal Navy seeing wide service on land and sea.

For much of this time he specialised in weapon development projects, specifically missiles and heavyweight torpedoes, working alongside BAe Systems, Marconi Space and defence systems and Mc Donnell Douglas in the process.

In support of this work he undertook prolonged periods study at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich and the Royal Military College of Science, Shrivingham.

Later in his career he changed specialisms and focussed on human resource management and also outsourcing to industry.

After which he became an assistant director with responsibility of housing for military personnel, from which he retired 2011, to concentrate more fully on writing.

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