A large steam gala was recently held on the West Somerset Railway to mark the 50th anniversary of the closure of the Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway.

The ‘S&D’ railway ran from Bath Green Park to Bournemouth West with traffic peaking in the early 1960s consisting mainly of summer Saturday trains from the north plus the daily ‘Pines Express’ from Manchester to Bournemouth, the line closed on 7th March 1966 after Dr Richard Beeching wielded his axe.

Stations on the West Somerset Railway were temporarily renamed after those on the S&D, so Minehead became Bournemouth West, Bishops Lydeard was Templecombe and so on. Six relevant visiting locomotives were chosen and a couple of identities swapped although the National Railway Museum vetoed the recreation of BR 9F 2-10-0 no 92214 to 92220 ‘Evening Star’, authentic S&D lamp headcodes and train reporting numbers were also carried.

Here is a small selection of images from the event on the 9th and 10th March;

SDJR 7F 2-8-0 no 53808 waits at 'Bournemouth West' (Minehead) prior to working the 12:35 service to 'Templecombe@ (Bishops Lydeard). (FujiFilm X-T1, Fujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS)

SDJR 7F 2-8-0 no 53808 waits at ‘Bournemouth West’ (Minehead) prior to working the 12:35 service to ‘Templecombe’ (Bishops Lydeard). (FujiFilm X-T1, Fujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS)

Simmering at 'Bournemouth West' is BR Class 4MT 2-6-4T no 80072 masquerading as 80043, the loco that hauled the final passenger train on the line on 6th March 1966. FujiFilm X-T1, Fujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS)

Simmering at ‘Bournemouth West’ is BR Class 4MT 2-6-4T no 80072 masquerading as 80043, the loco that hauled the final passenger train on the line on 6th March 1966. (FujiFilm X-T1, Fujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS)

Bulleid Pacific 4-6-2 no 34053 Sir Keith Park was 'morphed' to represent no 34098 'Templecombe' and is seen here arriving at 'Bournemouth West' with the 990Birmingham - Bournemouth Relief. (FujiFilm X-T1, Fujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS)

Bulleid Pacific 4-6-2 no 34053 Sir Keith Park was ‘morphed’ to represent no 34098 ‘Templecombe’ and is seen here arriving at ‘Bournemouth West’ with the 990 Birmingham – Bournemouth Relief. (FujiFilm X-T1, Fujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS)

SDJR 2-8-0 no 53808 with the 'M227 07:35 Nottingham - Bournemouth'. (FujiFilm X-T1, Fujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS)

SDJR 2-8-0 no 53808 with the ‘M227 07:35 Nottingham – Bournemouth’. (FujiFilm X-T1, Fujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS)

The superbly restored signal box at 'Midford'. (FujiFilm X-T1, Fujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS)

The superbly restored signal box at ‘Midford’. (FujiFilm X-T1, Fujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS)

SDJR 2-8-0 no 53809 & Bulleid 'Battle of Britain' class 4-6-2 no 34070 Manston double-head the Manchester to Bournemouth 'Pines Express' away from 'Bailey Gate' (Blue Anchor). (FujiFilm X-T1, Fujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS)

SDJR 2-8-0 no 53809 & SR Bulleid ‘Battle of Britain’ class 4-6-2 no 34070 Manston double-head the ‘Manchester to Bournemouth Pines Express’ away from ‘Bailey Gate’ (Blue Anchor). (FujiFilm X-T1, Fujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS)

LMS 0-6-0 no 44422 reverses onto SDJR 2-8-0 no 53809 at 'Templecombe' (Bishops Lydeard). (FujiFilm X-T1, Fujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS)

LMS 0-6-0 no 44422 reverses onto SDJR 2-8-0 no 53809 at ‘Templecombe’ (Bishops Lydeard). (FujiFilm X-T1, Fujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS)

LMS 8F 2-8-0 no 48624 leaves 'Binegar' (Watchet) with the '990 Birmingham - Bournemouth Relief'. (FujiFilm X-T1, Fujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS)

LMS 8F 2-8-0 no 48624 leaves ‘Binegar’ (Watchet) with the ‘990 Birmingham – Bournemouth Relief’. (FujiFilm X-T1, Fujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS)

BR 9F 2-10-0 no 92214 working hard uphill with the '1095 Manchester to Bournemouth Pines Express'. (FujiFilm X-T1, Fujinon XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS)

BR 9F 2-10-0 no 92214 working hard uphill with the ‘1095 Manchester to Bournemouth Pines Express’. (FujiFilm X-T1, Fujinon XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS)

A typically rural Somerset & Dorset scene as LMS 0-6-0 no 44422 works a goods train. (Fujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS)

A typically rural Somerset & Dorset scene as LMS 0-6-0 no 44422 works a goods train. (FujiFilm X-T1, Fujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS)

The driver of BR 2-6-4T no 80043 (80072) waits for the right away from 'Midford' (Washford). (FujiFilm X-T1, Fujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS)

BR 2-6-4T no 80043 (80072) waits for the right away from ‘Midford’ (Washford). (FujiFilm X-T1, Fujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS)

LMS 0-6-0 no 44422 coasts into 'Evercreech Junction' (Williton) with a recreation of the 'M245 0740 Bradford - Bournemouth' from 1960. (FujiFilm X-T1, Fujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS)

LMS 0-6-0 no 44422 coasts into ‘Evercreech Junction’ (Williton) with a recreation of the ‘M245 0740 Bradford – Bournemouth’ from 1960. (FujiFilm X-T1, Fujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS)

BR 2-6-4T no 80043 (80072) climbs Castle Hill towards Williton with the 09:50 Bishops Lydeard to Minehead service. ((FujiFilm X-T1, Fujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS)

BR 2-6-4T no 80043 (80072) climbs Castle Hill towards Williton with the 09:50 Bishops Lydeard to Minehead service. (FujiFilm X-T1, Fujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS)

SR Bulleid 'Battle of Britain' class 4-6-2 no 34070 Manston leaves 'Evercreech Junction' (Williton) heading for 'Midsomer Norton' (Norton Fitzwarren). (FujiFilm X-T1, Fujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS)

SR Bulleid ‘Battle of Britain’ class 4-6-2 no 34070 Manston leaves ‘Evercreech Junction’ (Williton) heading for ‘Midsomer Norton’ (Norton Fitzwarren). (FujiFilm X-T1, Fujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS)

BR 9F 2-10-0 no 92214 arrives at Watchet with the 15:50 Norton Fitzwarren to Minehead service. ((FujiFilm X-T1, Fujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS)

BR 9F 2-10-0 no 92214 arrives at Watchet with the 15:50 Norton Fitzwarren to Minehead service. (FujiFilm X-T1, Fujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS)

Looking for the genie. (FujiFilm X-T1, Fujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS)

Looking for the genie. (FujiFilm X-T1, Fujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS)

Public Notice, withdrawal of railway passenger service, Somerset and Dorset. (FujiFilm X-E1, Fujinon XF 18mm f/2 R )

Public Notice, withdrawal of railway passenger service, Somerset and Dorset. (FujiFilm X-E1, Fujinon XF 18mm f/2 R )