The Somerset & Dorset Railway (continued). Thanks to help from Ivor Sutton, we feature here some archive photographs from the Colour-Rail Collection which illustrate the S&D in action. These images are in no partiicular order, but give a flavour of the line and the trains that used it. As can be seen, this was no minor rural branch line; the length of the trains alone proves that.

Above: Locomotive no. 2218 at Glastonbury & Street station on a Highbridge local. The Morris 1000 GPO van seen at the platform was once a common sight throughout the country, while the churns in the foreground contain water for the crossing keepers along the branch. Just to the left of the engine, the tower of the 15th century church of St. John the Baptist can be seen, described as 'one of the most ambitious parish churches in Somerset'. March 1962. (Colour-Rail Collection)

Above: A class 4F locomotive, no. 44558, seen at Shepton Mallet (Charlton Road) with a southbound mixed freight service. No trace of this station now remains, the site having been taken over by light industrial use. April 1962. (Colour-Rail Collection)
Above: Shepton Mallet (Charlton Road) station seen three years after closure; the train in the above picture was passing through the right hand platform. The viaduct just visible in the background has survived, thanks to it being purchased after closure by Showerings Ltd., who developed Babycham – 'the genuine champagne perry' – in 1953. More recently, the viaduct has become part of the Kilver Court retail complex, but its new owners continue to look after it. 1969. ('JohnLR' used under the terms of this Creative Commons Licence)
Above: Locomotive no. 53809 pilots unrebuilt West Country Pacaific 34103, Calstock, northbound at Evercreech Junction. This was where trains for 'the branch', the Somerset Central Railway's original main line to Burnham-on-Sea, diverged from the extension to Bath. When the latter opened, it created a through route to the Midlands and North which completely eclipsed the earlier railway. Summer 1962. (Colour-Rail Collection)
Above: A child single from Shepton Mallet to Evercreech Junction, the stations seen in the photograph above. The price of 8 old pence is equivalent to 3½p in modern money. Date unknown but from the British Railways era. (Robin Summerhill Collection)
Above: A fine study of an S&D express about a mile south of Midford and just south east of Twinhoe. The locomotive at the front of the train was class 9F no. 92212 which was heading north on the 09:55 Bournemouth West – Leeds service, taking the Martin family home to Chesterfield after their annual summer holiday in Swanage. Note the gleaming paintwork and clean windows! This section of the old line is now open as part of Sustrans route NCN24. 19th August 1961. (George Martin by kind permission of Peter Martin)
Above: A parcels label for Wincanton, which was valid from any station on the once extensive Southern Railway network. This example was printed in January 1941 (determined by the '1/41' near the top left corner) and would have been distributed widely to the company's parcels offices. Note that the parcels clerk was responsible for filling in the route. (Jeff Vinter Collection)
Above: Class 9F no. 92078 is seen on an up train seen from above Winsor Hill Tunnel in an almost aerial view showing the sharp divergence of the two lines. This section of the old line, now tree-covered, is owned by the Dinder Estate which allows permissive access between the northern edge of Shepton Mallet and Ham Wood Viaduct. July 1961. (Colour-Rail Collection)