Alex Seal

Prototype Photographs

Over the past few years I've collected pretty much every book with material relating to the Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway. Presented on this page is a number of thumbnail images of published photographs of the area being modelled at Midford... I'm afraid you'll have to purchase the books to see the full size images!
 
Midford Don't Click Here!
Don't Click Here!

Between Bath and Radstock the S&D line passed through some of the most delightful pastoral scenery to be sound in north Somerset and in this view the Cleethorpes - Exmouth SO train heads south from Midford. Former S&D 2-8-0 53806 piloted by BR Standard Class 4MT 4-6-0 75009 was photographed on 25 August 1962.

© Alan Jarvis
Somerset Steam

Midford Don't Click Here!
Don't Click Here!

The S&D was famous for the remarkable locomotive combinations that could be seen, particularly on summer Saturdays when many additional holiday trains were run and locomotive resources were stretched. Here an unidentified northbound express approaches Midford behind ex LMS 2P 4-4-0 40700 piloting Bullied West Country Class 34041 Wilton in July 1961.

© Colour Rail
Somerset Steam

Midford Signal Box Don't Click Here!
Don't Click Here!

Monday 14 August 1961 finds 4F 0-6-0 44417 easing off the viaduct and into the platform at Midford with a Templecombe - Bath service.

© Derek Cross
The Somerset & Dorset Line

Midford Signal Box Don't Click Here!
Don't Click Here!

Pictured at Midford station in June 1950 is 2P 40509 still carrying its pre-nationalisation identity of LMS 509 slowing to collect the token for the single line to Bath Junction.

© Derek Cross
The Somerset & Dorset Line

Midford Station Don't Click Here!
Don't Click Here!

The porter retires to his room as a train from Templecombe, hauled by BR Standard 4MT 4-6-0 75070 leaves the tiny station at Midford on the last leg of its journey to Bath Green Park some 4 miles away. June 1962.

© Derek Cross
The Somerset & Dorset Line

Midford Signal Box Don't Click Here!
Don't Click Here!

West County 34043 Combe Martin sets off from Midford south bound with a Bath Green Park - Templecombe local on 14 August 1961.

© Derek Cross
The Somerset & Dorset Line

Midford Signal Box Don't Click Here!
Don't Click Here!

Setting off from the tiny station at Midford and onto the double track section four miles south of Bath on 8 June 1964 is the evening Bath - Binegar service behind BR Standard 3MT 2-6-2T 82041.

© Derek Cross
The Somerset & Dorset Line

Midford Signal Box Don't Click Here!
Don't Click Here!

The 6.5pm Bath - Binegar local seen on 11 August 1961.

© Derek Cross
The Somerset & Dorset Line
The Last Years Of The Somerset & Dorset

Midford Signal Box Don't Click Here!
Don't Click Here!

The Pines Express with LMS 2P 40569 and BR Standard 5MT 73050 crossing Midford Viaduct in August 1959.

© Derek Cross
The Somerset & Dorset Line

Midford Station Don't Click Here!
Don't Click Here!

In December 1960 heavy rain fell in south and west England and on 4 December 1960 an earth slip immediately north of Midford station closed the railway to through traffic for five days. Here Standard Class 5 74049, looking somewhat bent, is pulling away from Midford and passing over the reinstated embankment with the 0906 Templecombe - Bath train on 8 June 1963.

© Hugh Ballantyne
The Somerset & Dorset Remembered
Part 1 - Bath To Evercreech Junction

Midford Station Don't Click Here!
Don't Click Here!

Midford station 3¾ miles from Bath Junction comprised just a single platform and an attractive but simple wooden station building. It was perched on a steep hillside with the track on a ledge just wide enough for a single line. Positioned part way along the platform was the lattice post signal with its distinctive X shape signal. Here Standard Class 4 75023 is drawing to a stop with the 1520 Bath - Templecombe local on 9 June 1962.

© Hugh Ballantyne
The Somerset & Dorset Remembered
Part 1 - Bath To Evercreech Junction

Midford Viaduct Don't Click Here!
Don't Click Here!

On a beautiful Spring day driver Dick Every accelerates on of the five "Armstrongs" Class 4F 44560 onto the double track away from Midford station with the 1520 Bath - Templecombe on 28 April 1962. The little station and its signal box are clearly visible on the hillside, likewise the points for the double track positioned on the viaduct.

© Hugh Ballantyne
The Somerset & Dorset Remembered
Part 1 - Bath To Evercreech Junction

Midford Viaduct Don't Click Here!
Don't Click Here!

Low November sunlight and the leaves on the trees are in their autumn tints, whilst "Armstrong" Class 4F 44561, old S&DJR No.61 is pulling away from Midford with the 1520 Bath - Templecombe on 4 November 1961.

© Hugh Ballantyne
The Somerset & Dorset Remembered
Part 1 - Bath To Evercreech Junction

Midford Viaduct Don't Click Here!
Don't Click Here!

The weather during the last fateful week leading to closure in early March 1966 was generally sunny, albeit cold. At Midford on 5 March 1966, the last Saturday morning there was quite a severe frost, as seen in the foreground of this picture, with Class 8F 48760 crossing the eight arches of Midford Viaduct with the very last down 0815 Bath - Templecombe train.

© Hugh Ballantyne
The Somerset & Dorset Remembered
Part 1 - Bath To Evercreech Junction

Midford Viaduct Don't Click Here!
Don't Click Here!

Midford viaduct, officially bridge No. 18 was 168 yards long and crossed over the B3110 road to Hinton Charterhouse, the Cam Brook, the former Somersetshire Coal Canal and, not least, the GWR branch from Limpley Stoke To Hallatrow. An abutment of the GWR bridge over the Cam Brook can be seen in front of the third and forth arches. Crossing the viaduct is Standard Class 75073 with the 0953 Bristol Temple Meads - Bournemouth semi fast that had not stopped at Midford.

© Hugh Ballantyne
The Somerset & Dorset Remembered
Part 1 - Bath To Evercreech Junction

Midford Viaduct Don't Click Here!
Don't Click Here!

The southbound Pines Express crossing Midford Viaduct on 26 August 1961. The train is headed by 2P 4-4-0 40564 and rebuilt Bullied Pacific 34046 Braunton.

© Hugh Ballantyne
The Somerset & Dorset Files No.1

Midford Don't Click Here!
Don't Click Here!

A 2P 4-4-0 pilots a Standard Class 5 4-6-0 on the northbound Pines Express through Midford Station on 10 March 1955. The herbaceous single track line crossing tfrom right to left in the foreground was the GWR branch from Limpley Stoke to Hallatrow which passed under Midford Viaduct.

© Hugh Ballantyne
The Somerset & Dorset Files No.1

Midford Viaduct Don't Click Here!

A visit to Midford on 22nd October 1967 was to prove very timely for track removal gangs were to reach the station by the first week in December. Were it not for the film of rust evident on the rails in this signal top view there is little to indicate that this is not a working railway. However, soon it would go the way of the Camerton branch whose remains can be seen passing under the viaduct in the foreground.

© Jeffery Grayer
Sabotaged & Defeated - Last Rites on the Somerset & Dorset

Midford Signal Box and Station Don't Click Here!

The gaunt shell of Midford box stands in October 1967 whilst the station building has already suffered at the hands of the demolition gangs whose bottles of propane gas can be seen at the platform end. The tablet catching apparatus leans drunkenly against the wall of the box.

© Jeffery Grayer
Sabotaged & Defeated - Last Rites on the Somerset & Dorset

Midford Signal Box Don't Click Here!

No doubt Percy Savage and Harry Wiltshire, the two long serving signalmen at Midford, would turn in their graves to see the state of their once immaculately kept box. The rusting levers stand silent witness to the impending destruction although fortunately the interior of the box has been lovingly recreated at Washford on the West Somerset Railway.

© Jeffery Grayer
Sabotaged & Defeated - Last Rites on the Somerset & Dorset

Midford Viaduct Don't Click Here!

The viaduct on he left carries the S&D route over the 53 yd long Midford Viaduct which took the line from Camerton over the Cam Brook. This then joins the Wellow Brook, the combined waters running under the line at the 66 yd long Frome Road Viaduct, before reaching the halt This was the location of the opening shot in"The Titfield Thunderbolt" film.

© M.T Tozer coll.
Frome To Bristol Including The Camerton Branch

Midford Viaduct Don't Click Here!
Don't Click Here!

A heat haze hangs over the beautiful Midford Valley as 2P 4-4-0 40564 and modified SR Pacific (probably 34028 Eddystone) speeds southwards with the down Pines Express.

© Norman Lockett
The Somerset & Dorset In Colour

Midford Viaduct Don't Click Here!
Don't Click Here!

An unidentified 8F 2-8-0 strolls across Midford Viaduct with a down goods train on 18 August 1965.

© Paul Cottrell
The Somerset & Dorset Files No.1

Midford Viaduct Don't Click Here!
Don't Click Here!

Ex SDJR 2-8-0 No.53809 (the engine involved in the Combe Down Tunnel runaway incident crosses the eight arch Midford viaduct with a Bournemouth West - Derby empty stock train, 11th July 1960. Note the track bed of the ex GWR Camerton - Limpley Stoke line to the right of the locomotive. No.53809 was rescued from Barry scrap yard by the late Frank Beaumont. It has been restored and has done some main line running over BR in recent years, currently being at Butterley, Derbyshire.

© R. C. Riley
The Colour Of Steam Vol. 2 - The Somerset & Dorset Line

Midford Signal Box Don't Click Here!
Don't Click Here!

The late Signalman Percy Savage, a kind and dedicated railwayman, puts ready for action the tablet exchanging apparatus patented by Alfred Whitaker in 1905, during his 1889-1911 period as Locomotive Superintendent of the Joint Line.
Midford signal box had been rebuilt after partial demolition by errant 3F 0-6-0T No.7620 in 1936, due to the crew having failed to close the regulator and leaping from their engine to protect themselves from a collision that seemed inevitable but did not actually take place at Writhlington Colliery Sidings, near Radstock. The rebuilt Midford signal box was maintained immaculately right to the closure of the line.

© R. C. Riley
The Colour Of Steam Vol. 2 - The Somerset & Dorset Line

Midford Don't Click Here!
Don't Click Here!

Class 4F 0-6-0 No.44523 assists ex SDJR 2-8-0 No.53801 on entry to the double line section at Midford with the 9.8am Birmingham-Bournemouth West, 5th September 1959. Although at this time Class 2p 4-4-0s were the regular assistant engines, Class 4F 0-6-0s were pressed in to service at times of heavy traffic. The powerful freight 2-8-0s did not appear on passenger trains until the 1950s when there were allowed to take ten coaches unaided over the Mendip Hills,

© R. C. Riley
The Colour Of Steam Vol. 2 - The Somerset & Dorset Line

Midford Station Don't Click Here!

The tiny station at Midford, seen here on 2nd June 1962, consisted of simple wooden buildings which were clustered together on a ledge cut into the steep hillside above the picturesque valley. The station was four miles from Bath and marked the end of the single line section, which became double track just before the southern end of the viaduct. The 16-lever signal box at Midford, which controlled entry onto the single line section to Bath, was one of the key boxes on the S&D route. There are various stories of "misses" when locomotives were attempting to pick up the tablet from the Whitaker tablet-exchange apparatus, with the result that the tablet landed on the roof of adjacent Hope & Anchor public house or in nearby gardens. On at least two occasions it was, apparently, lost without trace.

© Roy Denison
Somerset And Dorset Steam Finale

Midford Viaduct Don't Click Here!

A Bath to Templecombe stopping train, hauled by Class 4F 0-6-0 No.44557, steams across Midford viaduct in 1961. The train comprises a Southern Region Maunsell designed three-coach set in carmine and cream livery. No.44557 was built for the S&D by Armstrong Whitworth Co. in 1922, and was allocated to Templecombe shed at the time of the photograph.

© Roy Denison
Somerset And Dorset Steam Finale

Somerset & Dorset Files No.1

R.C. Riley 44965 11 July 1960 [REF 14955]