Published: September 8, 2007
It's 45 years since Burnham-On-Sea Railway Station closed

It is 45 years this week since Burnham-On-Sea Railway Station closed to passenger traffic. To mark the anniversary, takes a look back at the station's history...

The station, in Pier Street, closed to regular passenger traffic in October 1951, although summer excursions continued until 8th September 1962.

The station in Pier Street, pictured, was opened on 3rd May 1858 with the name 'Burnham' and it was not until 12th July 1920 that the suffix 'on-Sea' was added.

The Burnham Branch extended two or three miles westwards from Highbridge, requiring a special 'diamond crossing' over the main line and a gated level-crossing over the A38.

The Burnham line was a key element in the original planning for the Somerset and Dorset line and was built with the expectation of picking up passengers from paddle-steamer ferries from South Wales and transporting them to the south coast of England.

Unfortunately, the passengers never came in substantial numbers and by the 1950s the Burnham branch was used mostly for carrying summer excursion traffic only.

Hundreds of posters like the one shown here were distributed around the country to promote the idea of visiting the resort by train - and these are now collectors items. The final summer excursion travelled out of the station on 8th September 1962.

The site of the station is now taken up by Burnham's lifeboat station. The signalbox which used to stand alongside the platforms has been restored and is now based at Washford on the West Somerset Railway.


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