North Dorset Railway – Shillingstone Station

North Dorset Railway

Shillingstone Station is a reminder of what train travel in the countryside was like before the Beeching cut backs. In 1997 restoration work begin on the old Shillingstone Station and has continued at a rapid rate since then.

The station is now a museum with an excellent café offering hot and cold drinks and food. It sits alongside the trailway that runs from Sturminster Newton to Spettisbury. The perfect way to break up a long winter walk. You can also book to eat in one of the railway carriages.

The North Dorset Railway is a heritage standard gauge railway based at Shillingstone Station off the main A357 road, in the heart of rural Dorset. The station is on what was the Somerset and Dorset Railway, which opened in 1862. It eventually became part of British Rail Southern Region. The track and all of the infrastructure, fortunately excluding the station building and platforms, were removed and the site abandoned.

Around 1997, restoration work was started by a group of dedicated volunteers and the North Dorset Railway Trust was formed as a charitable trust to restore this part of the railway as it was in the 1960s and to develop it as a ‘living museum’. Its aim is to bring the station back to life and the first section of track was re-laid in the station in 2008.

Work commenced in autumn 2021 to extend the trackbed northwards to Bere Marsh but it will be several years before the railway is able to offer passenger rides. This is the first stage of the reconstruction of the railway to Sturminster Newton.

How to get there:

Shillingstone station is a approximately 9.5 miles from Shaftesbury and can be reached by road via Guy’s Marsh and Hammoon. The journey take around 20 minutes. Parking is available on site and will soon be expanded. Be aware of opening times as they vary depending on the day of the week.

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