The Somerset & Dorset Railway Between Templecombe and Shillingstone. We make no apologies for featuring another section of the S&D on these pages, for much of the route is being converted ionto a multi-use trail. On 15th October 2011, members of the club's Southern and South Western Areas enjoyed a coach trip which visited sites along the line between Templecombe and Stourpaine, although this photographic record stops at Shillingstone where the battery in the webmaster's camera expired. (It had not been charged due to an attack of amnesia the night before!)

Above: The Gartell Light Railway, based at Yenston (just south of Templecombe) has brought live steam back to about a mile of the S&D ... with a set of half size trains, all of which – steam engines included – were manufactured at John Gartell's agricultural machinery business. Currently, the line runs from Common Lane (just off the S&D) to Park Lane via Pinesway Junction, but the line is now being extended north towards Templecombe. The narrow gauge track can be seen above approaching the site of what in time will become the northern terminus of the line. 15th October 2011. (Jeff Vinter)

Above: The new terminus station straddles a bridge over a small stream. When the club visited, the detritus on the south bank of the stream included a beer crate from Watney, Mann & Truman, one of the less well regarded brewing companies from the 1970s. 15th October 2011. (Jeff Vinter)
Above: As can be seen, weeds have become established along the new-laid track, but these will be cleared in due course. The railway moved quickly to start the extension before the Railway Inspectorate changed its rules for newly constructed lines. After the station had been started and some track laid, attention turned to constructing the new level crossing which will be installed at Common Lane, Yenston. When the club visited, this had been manufactured as an integrated concrete unit and was waiting on site to be craned into place, probably during the spring of 2012. 15th October 2011. (Jeff Vinter)
Left: Some of the most photogenic images from Britain's abandoned railways come not from the largest relics, such as old viaducts and terminus stations, but from little bits of half-forgotten railway 'furniture' such as these steps, which still lead up to the trackbed 45 years after the last train passed by. The concrete steps and fence posts will have come from one of the Southern Railway's concrete works, most probably that at Exmouth Junction which, despite the name, was actually situated in Exeter. 15th October 2011. (Jeff Vinter)
Above: In October 2006, the long-missing bridge over the River Stour near Fiddleford Mill was replaced. On this visit, members of the North Dorset Trailway and the Two Tunnels Shared Path unfurled banners for a publicity shoot. This picture shows off the new bridge to good effect, even if it does rather dwarf the banners. 15th October 2011. (Jeff Vinter)
Above: The club's visit coincided with the official opening of Shillingstone's replacement signal box, but only the fastest walkers arrived in time for the afternoon ceremony – the rest heard it from afar as the shunter, seen near the platform canopy, ran over a set of detonators. 15th October 2011. (Jeff Vinter)
Above: A close-up of Shillingstone Railway Project's detonator-crushing diesel – no. 466629, a Ruston & Hornsby locomotive built for the 'Ransomes' factory in Ipswich in 1962. The locomotive has been re-painted in Prussian blue, the historic livery of the S&D, and assists with shunting and track-laying duties. 15th October 2011. (Jeff Vinter)
Above: This photograph speaks for itself, although the bicycles are a reminder that, nowadays, the North Dorset Trailway runs along the southbound platform at the station – but it all brings business to the nascent railway. 15th October 2011. (Jeff Vinter)
Above: On the skyline, the distinctive ridges of the neolithic camp on Hambledon Hill can be seen clearly, while the River Stour meanders through meadows in the middle distance. This must have been one of the most scenic locations to wait for a train anywhere on the Southern Railway's extensive network. 15th October 2011. (Jeff Vinter)