Dunster Station

Dunster Station

West Somerset Railway

A guide to the history of Dunster Railway Station

One of the best parts about living in or visiting Dunster is that it is the perfect combination of natural beauty and history. You have plenty of wonderful landscape and scenery to enjoy, whilst you learn lots about the area and its past. That’s what makes the village “picture perfect”.  

Fans of railways and stations, enjoy Dunster thanks to the beautiful Dunster Railway Station.  Found about one mile outside of Dunster itself, this is a station that may be small in size, but it is big!

The introduction of Dunster Railway Station

The Dunster Railway Station was opened on the 16th of July 1874, by the Minehead Railway. It formed part of the wider Bristol and Exeter Railway, which then became a part of the wider Great Western Railway in 1876.  

In those early days, the station could have been described as being simple. It had a small signal box, that was found at one end of the platform. However, when the platform was extended during 1926 the signal box was demolished.  

A new signal box was installed in 1934 (although it was not brand new, bought second-hand from another station), once this was put to use, the line that took people between Dunster and Minehead doubled.  

A national rail service marked a change for the station

During 1948 GWR was nationalised and became British Railways. This began the beginning of the end for the station, at least in the way that it had been used until that point.  

In 1964, goods traffic was withdrawn from the line, which meant that there was no choice but to start to wind down the services that came to and from the station. This led to the entire line being shut down in 1971.  

Dunster Station 1960s

 

A new beginning

It wasn’t long before things changed for Dunster Railway Station and people started to want to mark a new beginning for the station as a whole. On the 28th March 1976 the railway station was reopened by West Somerset Railway, labelled as a heritage railway site.  

It was at this time that the signal box was moved to Minehead. Another big change to the station was that the goods yard became home to one of the main railway teams.  

There are trains that run through the station that go between Minehead and Bishops Lydeard. These run mostly on the weekends, however, between March and October, there are additional services that run.  

A little more information on Dunster Railway Station

One of the many reasons that people love Dunster Railway Station is because it is a station that is picture-perfect. This stone-built building is now a Grade II listed building and it has a design that showcases the status of the station from the past.  

Whilst the station now does see passengers (albeit in smaller numbers) it also has several other uses. It houses a workshop and base for the West Somerset Railway Civil Engineering department.  

If you want to sample the beauty of Dunster Railway Station for yourself, then you are going to want to see it in real life. That is the only way that you can truly understand what sets it apart from other stations out there. 

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