Yeovil - Dorchester
Michael L. Roach
In the last part I was leaving the railway bridge just east of Honiton Tunnel at about 2.15pm to continue on the journey eastwards towards the Somerset & Dorset. Next stop was at Chetnole on the Yeovil to Dorchester line. The line was built by the Great Western after taking over the Wilts, Somerset & Weymouth Railway which ran out of money, and opened to Weymouth in January 1857. Chetnole Halt opened in September 1933 and is still open 90 years later – a remarkable survivor when the next station to the south, Evershot, serving a much larger and important village closed in October 1966. In 1962 Chetnole had two platforms on a double track main line still carrying express passenger trains from Paddington to Weymouth and perishable trains of potatos, tomatoes and flowers from Weymouth Quay to the Midlands. When I returned to Chetnole in 2012 it retained a single platform on a single line carrying dmus only; and is a request stop used by 3,000 passengers pre-covid. I moved on northwards to Yetminster then a fully functioning staffed station with signal boxh, but now also a single platform unstaffed halt used by 7,700 passengers pre-covid. Next station was Thornford Bridge Halt now a single platform used by 3,500 pre-covid. The three villages are one, two and three miles off the A37 from Dorchester to Yeovil and it could be the difficulty and time involved in providing a bus service along the narrow roads that has led to the survival of the three unstaffed halts.
MLR / 22 June 2023
Droning around, a new perpective
Stoke Canon and Staffords Bridge