SEmG

Yeovil Junction

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The modest Somerset town of Yeovil is remarkable in that it was once served by three passenger stations - Yeovil Pen Mill on the former GWR line between Castle Cary and Weymouth, Yeovil Junction on the former LSWR main line between Waterloo and Exeter, and Yeovil Town the joint GWR/LSWR station on the GWR line from Taunton. Of these stations only the town station was close to the main centre, the junction station being some two miles out of town at the end of a country lane. Ironically it is the convenient Town station which has been closed requiring travellers to use road transport from either Pen Mill since 1965 or from the Junction since 1966 into the town.

The GWR was the first railway to serve the town with its line first from Taunton and then Castle Cary. The LSWR arrived from the east with its single line service commencing on 1st June 1860 into the GWR's first station at Hendford. The main line to Exeter, again initially single track, opened on 19th July 1860. Yeovil Town station - replacing Hendford - opened on 1st June 1861. The majority of LSWR trains came from the junction and the direct LSWR line from the east was lifted in the 1870s (although its earthworks can still be seen). Doubling of the LSWR main line was completed by July 1870. Earthworks, which also still exist, for a south west chord between the Clifton Maybank branch to the Weymouth line were constructed in 1860 but never used. In the late 1980s there was a proposal to finally lay track so that Weymouth services could call at the junction station involving a reversal, but these never came to fruition.

The original layout of the junction station had two island platforms with the through route taking the outer faces, encountering a severe 20 mph speed restriction in doing so, with a single track for the branch service to Yeovil Town between. For exchange of goods between the two railway companies the GWR built the Clifton Maybank branch, initially broad gauge, from the Weymouth line to a site to the immediately south of the LSWR's junction station.

Between 1907 and 1909 the junction station was extensively rebuilt, again with two island platforms but with four tracks between them, the centre pair being through tracks for non stopping services. The booking hall was, and still is, on the up island platform. The two platforms and the entrance to the station were linked by a lengthy roofed lattice footbridge.


 
This picture in June 1969 taken from a Brighton to Exeter service standing at the south platform face of the former up island platform shows the through roads and the down platform still intact but in departmental service.

photograph by Michael Taylor

Yeovil Junction

 
Yeovil Junction All that remains today of what was once a long footbridge merely crosses one track to link the station forecourt to the island platform still in passenger use.

photograph by Colin Duff


 
Yeovil Junction in 1983 and a stranger to the line 6L unit number 1014 is seen on excursion duty with the SEG/RCTS Devonian DEMU Railtour in 1983.

photograph by Colin Duff

SEG Train

 
Yeovil Junction The platform in use today, as pictured here on 2nd October 1999, is the former up platform and the platform face nearest the camera was originally used by the shuttle train to Yeovil Town.

photograph by Colin Duff

 
The retention of the turntable at the station long after many others had been removed makes the station an obvious destination for steam railtours.

photograph by Colin Duff

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This page was last updated 3 December 2002

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