The Somerset & Dorset: The Postwar Years (Unique)

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With its main line stretching across the Mendip Hills from Bath to Bristol, the Somerset & Dorset was one of the classic cross-country railway routes of the British Isles. Prior to Nationalisation in 1948, the line had been jointly owned by the LMS and Southern railways, however the unification of the railway industry, allied to the economic realities of the 1950s brought new challenges to the line.

The first passenger services to be withdrawn, on the branches from Glastonbury to Wells and from Edington to Bridgwater, succumbed in the early 1950s, but the main line with its interregional services such as the famous ‘Pines Express’, continued to operate until the middle of the next decade. Its fate was, however, sealed by control of much of the line being transferred from the Southern to the Western Region and by its proposed closure in the Beeching Report of March 1963. With traffic diverted away, the last through passenger services operated in March 1966.

The popularity of the Somerset & Dorset ensured that it was well-recorded by photographers after World War 2. Incorporating some 60 rare or previously unpublished images, this book portrays the operation of the line over its last two decades. Photographs are presented in one-per-page format, with an extensive caption accompanying each. An introduction to the line during this period is also included. 64 pages.

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