Steam Locomotive 41312 for visiting Somerset and Dorset Railway at Midsomer Norton

LMS Ivatt Tank 2-6-2T 41312 will visit Somerset and Dorset Railway (S&DR) at Midsomer Norton for a short period in September.

The visit is to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the last run of the ‘Pines Express’ from Manchester to Bournemouth over Somerset and Dorset.

For a year, the railroad has been looking for opportunities to highlight the event. Thanks to the generosity of the Mid-Hants Railway, 41312 will visit the railway in September 2022 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of ‘The Last Pines’ and the rebirth of the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway at Midsomer Norton.

41312 will be used for two special photo charters on September 15 and 16 and will carry passenger trains on the weekend of September 17 and 18.

The locomotive was built at Crewe Locomotive Works in May 1952 and spent its entire working life in the southern region.

Although not strictly an S&D locomotive, members of its class were based for a period at Bath Green Park and 41312 itself was based at Bournemouth, at the southern end of the S&D, from May 1964 to April 1967. Bath based engines would have been used on local passenger trains from Bath to Binegar and Templecombe to Evercreech Junction.

They were also often used as bank engines behind heavier trains on the steep grades of the line’s northern extension to Bath, and are said to have been seen passing through Midsomer Norton station regularly in the 1950s.

Matt Cornborough, President of SDJR Co Ltd, said: “We are very pleased to have retained the services of the Ivatt for this celebration of the 60th anniversary of the end of the Pines Express. Although only with us for a short time, it will be a fantastic opportunity to see the pines again on the only operational section of the original Somerset & Dorset. Come and enjoy!”

Jose P. Rogers