Great Western Society Taunton Group

THE subject of Terry Nicholl’s presentation was the extremities of the former Midland Railway – Somerset and Dorset and Settle and Carlisle.

He commenced with photographs of the Somerset and Dorset main line from Templecombe to Bath Green Park and the Evercreech Junction – Highbridge branch.

He covered infrastructure, locomotives, stations, depots and working practices from summer 1962, when through expresses still ran to Bournemouth, to rationalisation and eventual closure in 1966.

Terry also showed the former Midland line from Bath – Mangotsfield and main line link from there to Bristol.

The Settle and Carlisle line crosses the Pennine ridge and various river valleys.

This required construction of spectacular viaducts and the boring of tunnels. These and the landscape were well illustrated by photographs taken in a period commencing in the mid-1960s, when steam was still operating and through expresses ran, and including the period of uncertainty in the 1980s when closure was threatened.

Terry also showed todays operation of regional passenger services, through freight trains and regular steam or diesel hauled specials.

Next meeting: Friday, January 20 at 7.30pm in Stoke St Mary Village Hall – Steaming in the 1960s by Alan Reeve.