Sadly, not Midsomer Norton, or Sturminster Newton, but Goathland, not high in the Mendips, high on the North Yorkshire Moors. The Pines Express which ran from Manchester to Bournemouth, began in 1910, though it wasn’t named ‘The Pines Express’ until 1927. Originally operated by the LMS /LNWR the service was a response to the LSWR / GWR who had begun to operate a joint service between Bournemouth and Birkenhead.
Until 1962 the Pines Express ran via the Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway, which was formed, principally, of the Somerset Central Railway and the Northern section of the Dorset Central Railway, which, in an amalgamation of September 1862, become the Somerset & Dorset Railway. The S&DR’s extension into Bath effectively bankrupted the company and in 1875 they signed a deal with the LMS and the LSWR, to ensure the survival of the company. The following year, 1876, by Act of Parliament, the S&DR became the S&DJR we all knew and now lament.
The Pines Express used the S&DJR until 1962 when it was re-routed via Oxford, Reading, Basingstoke and Southamptom, until it was axed in 1967. Briefly resurrected by BR the name Pines Express finally disappeared in 2002.
The last Pines Express over the S&DJR was hauled by the last Swindon built locomotive, No.92220 Evening Star, which was slightly ironic as the purchase of the S&DR by the LMS / LSWR was made to prevent the GWR having access – c’est la vie.
I have written a book about my 60 years involvement with railways, from trainspotter, via steam age footplateman, to railway author and photographer, this is a link to it: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751
These are some totally unsolicited comments from people who have already read Gricing: Amazon Customer on 6 Jan. 2016 Format: Paperback Verified Purchase: “Brilliant and interesting book”
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
‘treated myself to a copy of “Gricing” for Christmas, excellent reading.’
‘I’m enjoying your book. It’s a real page-turner, thought provoking and great photos, to boot’
‘I bought and enjoyed “Gricing” etc and would heartily recommend it to readers’.
‘I was given what I believe to be your book called “Gricing” the other night. Very much enjoyed the book if it is yours!