Somerset & Dorset
Michael L. Roach
Evercreech Junction to Highbridge
The night of 29/30 June 1962 was spent close to the railway at Evercreech village 1½ miles north of Evercreech Junction. For northbound trains Evercreech Junction signalled the long climb to Masbury Summit more than 8 miles long and mostly at 1 in 50. It was a formidable obstacle for freight trains that were often banked in the rear. The night of 29/30 June was cool and still with no wind. In those conditions the noise of two steam engines battling their way up a steep gradient carried on the still air and we heard a couple of freight trains making their way noisily up the bank. There was no finer sound for a steam enthusiast and it proved that the line was still open 24 hours a day in summer 1962. We were away early the next morning to Evercreech Junction to catch the 8.15am to Highbridge for Burnham-on-Sea. The train of two coaches and a van was hauled by BR Standard 82002. Two engines were passed en-route 2219 close to the actual junction and 43216 at Shapwick Halt with 7 wagons on a returning freight train. It was a 45-minute trip to cover the 22½ miles which was very good by the standards of the time. The S&D Station at Highbridge adjoined the former B&ER/GWR station on the Bristol to Taunton line. We walked up to the A38 through the town to photograph a traction engine in a yard alongside Huntspill Road which may have been the yard previously used by the firm of W.W. Buncombe. The firm was formerly a well-known purchaser and hirer of steam rollers, and had a large fleet available for use on schemes all over southern England.
MLR / 27 June 2023
in South Devon
One engine in steam GWR Large Prairie 2-6-2T 4110 recently overhauled from ex Barry condition. The loco was purchased back in the 1970's and went through several societies via the West Somerset Rly until bought by the Paignton and Dartmouth Rly who contracted the ESR to carry out a heavy general overhaul.
A shot of the Cycling Lion.
Somerset's latest turntable created by the NG railway at Cranmore.
A GWR boundary post, located on the new Platform 2.
Cheers, Peter (Todd)
Doors will open at the Folk Hall, Portishead, BS20 6PR from 7.00pm with the meeting starting at 7.30pm.
To provide a bit of structure, the meeting will be in four parts, with a very brief summary presentation at the start of each section, followed by your questions:
1. History of the past 23 years and how we got to this point, highlighting key moments - basically the History of PRG and the reopening project.
2. Key features of the planned Portishead and Pill line, service levels etc.
3. What's happening now and next, through to the reopening of train services in 2026
4. What PRG may become as the line reopens – a Rail User Group / Friends of the Portishead line. This section will be more of a discussion, we’re looking for your ideas.
Lastly, just a reminder - if you change your e-mail address, please don’t forget to let us know.