Saturday, 18 June 2022

Beyond the Dorchester and Exeter Extension

The proposed Dorchester and Exeter Extension would have run between Dorchester South and near to what was the junction with the Yeovil Extention line just east of Axminster with a further junction to the Chard-Taunton line.

One of many proposed routes of the D&E

But what of the traffic both on and off the line, presumably not all the trains would have terminated at either Dorchester or Exeter? The line would have been an extremely useful alternative diversionary and direct route albeit it single and the Plymouth-Portsmouth-Brighton service would have been better served by the D&E as it would have enjoyed a trailing connection at Dorchester South for traffic from Portland's naval base via Weymouth.

H2 32421 on a Bournemouth-Brighton crosses the Avon at Christchurch
The train would have exchanged locos at Bournemouth with a Brighton loco for the remained of the journey, Bournemouth or Exmouth Junction would have shared the supply of suitable motive power between Exeter and Bournemouth. The latter had an allocation of D15s in '48 whilst Exmouth had both S11s and T9s both capable over the hills between Exeter and Dorchester.
 Very capable 4-4-0s

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