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Taunton to Chard Railway

 

Last updated : 23rd Nov 2011

 

The Taunton to Chard Branch Railway was opened in 1866. In 1891 the line was converted to standard gauge. The line was closed in 1964. Many features of the line are still visible, and parts of the track bed are now a cycle track. The line actually runs through and past Chard to Chard Junction, where it joined the Honiton to Yeovil mainline. This small site attempts to show some of the many interesting features that can still be seen. It is still being added to so call back from time to time. Consider looking at old OS 1900 maps to get a feel for where the line ran.

 

To see the pictures listed below  go to https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=f2f65a21417102d0&sc=photos&id=F2F65A21417102D0%21224#cid=F2F65A21417102D0&id=F2F65A21417102D0%211091&sc=photos

 

Creech St Michael.

PC135518 The main line railway looking west towards Taunton from the road bridge in the village. The Taunton Chard line branched off left, just beyond this picture at 'Creech Junction'. This was next to the old Creech Paper Mills.

 

P9190103 The rail bridge over the river Tone, known as Five Arch Bridge, looking west towards Taunton. The line came in off the main line at Creech Junction to the right, then over the bridge to continue to the left to Chard.

 

P9190106 The bridge from the west side.

 

P9190108 Close up of the wonderful stone work of the bridge. Look through the archway and you can see the Taunton Chard canal bridge a little further east on the river Tone.

 

P9190109 The old track bed leads off from the bridge on the left, to cross the road on the right.

 

P9190113 View from the road looking north towards the river crossing.

 

Ilminster.

P3241857 North of the town the railway crossed the river Isle, about half a mile west of Eames Mill. This view from the river bank is to the west of the bridge looking east. Ilminster to the right.

 

P3241859 Looking across the river Isle, the track bed runs left to right across the picture, with Ilminster on the hill and to the right.

 

P3241860 The bridge over the river Isle looking towards Ilminster. In fact the Taunton Chard canal ran parallel with the railway here, which explains the apparent very wide track bed. There must have been a canal bridge to the left of this rail bridge. The large iron girder is obviously places there to encourage people not to venture onto the land to investigate the remains of the old railway and canal!

 

P1296109 Station building to the west of the town.

 

P1296110 Engine sheds at the station

 

P1296111 Another view of the station building.

 

Donyatt.

P6018750 Approaching the road bridge to the east of the village, heading for Chard. From Ilminster this part of the old track bed is now a cycle track and footpath.

 

P6018749 Looking back at the bridge in the direction of Ilminster.

 

Chard.

P9039903 This station building was known as the 'Joint' station, the 'Town' station was a little further along the line in the middle of the town.

 

Perry Street.

P3261899 Standing on Perry Street near the cross roads for Chard Junction, looking north along the track bed.

 

Chard Junction.

P3261907 Looking north along the track bed towards Perry Street

 

P3261908 The line curved in round from right to left to join the mainline which also runs right to left in this picture, just this side of the green tanks.

 

P3261912 From Chard Junction crossing, looking west to where the line curved in to join the main line from the right.

 

P3261906 The Old Station House on the right, just before you reach the crossing over the main line. The branch line curved in from the right. At right of the picture, next to the broken fence, is a footpath where you can walk west to the branch line track bed to see where it joined the mainline.