Cranmore station around 1910 with an up passenger train bound for Witham approaching.
The East Somerset Railway was inaugurated in 1855 and opened as a broad-gauge line from Witham on the Westbury to Weymouth line to Shepton Mallet in 1858, extending to Wells in 1862. Unfortunately, the line was not commercially successful and it was sold to the Great Western Railway in 1874. The railway continued under GWR and then BR, essentially unchanged, until 1963 when passenger services were withdrawn. Freight traffic was also reduced and the line cut back. Bitumen trains continued to Cranmore until 1985 and stone trains still use the branch as far as Merehead Quarry to this day.
Credit: Jim Cobb, 25/07/2001
The site was cleared, a new engine shed and sidings built and then at the end of 1973, the East Somerset Railway was opened. As Cranmore station was still used for Bitumen traffic, initially operations were from a small platform next to the engine shed (now Cranmore West) but with the end of the freight traffic, the ESR returned to Cranmore station in 1985. The line was also extended westwards towards Shepton Mallet and a new platform built at Mendip Vale.
Things to see at Cranmore can be found on the Cranmore Station Overview.
Quick answers to common questions can be found on the Frequently Asked Questions.