View Full Version : Archived: Disused Pumphouse-Yeovil Junction Railway Station-Dec 2010

02-02-2011, 07:08 PM
Please be advised, the station itself is very much ‘live’. Should it ever become disused it would make a great explore.

The station is right on my doorstep (literally) and has some interesting features which were the original reason for my visit but would not in themselves have warranted a report.

I certainly hadn’t expected to stumble across the Pumphouse. I know very little about the railways and it took me a while to figure out what it was.

In addition to a 1928 map found by a friend of mine and showing the Pumphouse, I found one dated 1925 which doesn’t. So the conclusion I’m drawing at the moment is that it was built between or around these dates.

Being a bit crocked from a recent accident I was getting’stir crazy’. I needed to get out and when I heard the steam whistles, I took a walk up to the station to get a few pics. The station regularly hold steam days at the museum. So I thought, because of my injury, a gentle stroll round the station taking pics would be a nice tonic. Little did I know that I would end up fighting through undergrowth and crawling over this wonderful little Pumphouse. Think I might have aggravated my injury.

A couple of links which have been used or quoted from for this report;



The Railway Centre was….“Created in 1993 in response to British Rail's decision to remove the turntable from Yeovil Junction. Approximately a 1⁄4 mile of track along the Clifton Maybank spur is used for demonstration trains. The site contains a Great Western Railway transfer shed built in the 1860s, which was erected to facilitate the transfer of goods from 7 ft 0 1⁄4 in (2,140 mm) broad gauge to 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge freight wagons. This is the last remaining shed of its type and has been converted to a visitor centre. The site also has an S.R. turntable and a 15,000-imperial-gallon (68,000 l; 18,000 US gal) water tower”

Strangely, no mention of the Pumphouse at all! I’d love to get involved in restoring it for the museum and will be offering my services once I’m fit.

A little background history on the station itself from Kent Rail ;

“In 1870, the Salisbury to Exeter route became a double-track affair. As a prelude to the works, the eastern side of the triangular junction between the main line and Yeovil Town was eliminated on 1st January 1870, the track bed subsequently becoming a footpath. The western side of the triangle was retained for a dedicated shuttle service between Junction and Town stations. At this time, Yeovil Junction comprised an unusual layout of two island platforms separated by just a single-track: thus, a train stabled between the platforms could be accessed from either side. The central track was dedicated to the Yeovil Town shuttle service, whilst through trains were routed on the outer platform lines. The latter followed the severe curvature of the platform edges, requiring a 20 MPH to be enforced on all trains passing through. Such restrictive operating practices eventually led to inevitable station rebuilding in the following century (more of later). A trio of LSWR sidings existed immediately below the southern island platform, beyond which were the Broad Gauge tracks of the GWR’s Clifton Maybank branch. The sidings also provided a feeder to a 50-foot 1-inch turntable, positioned at the western extremity of the site, on the ‘’down’’ side of the station. Situated just to the east of this was a 50-foot-long brick-built shed, a GWR structure, which was used to transfer goods between the railway systems. Physical connections with the incoming GWR Clifton Maybank branch were possible when the line was converted to Standard Gauge over the weekend of 18th to 22nd June 1874; the branch could only be used in the daylight hours. North of the station, on the ‘’up’’ side, existed a trio of eastward-facing sidings, in addition to loop line which avoided the platforms. These were accompanied by an attractive pitched-roof goods shed, about 40-feet in length, fabricated from local stone.”

Okay, now you know where we are, a map shot. References are made north, south etc based on the map shot rather than ‘true’ compass readings.


Spotted the Pumphouse on my way home taking the scenic route south west of the down side of the line.


Nice Georgian style arch head with smaller inset doorway (later addition) suggests building could be Edwardian


To the side of the building, the pipes exit to run first into the embankment and then alongside the line toward the station at embankment level. Note the buttress which is not hollowed out inside the building and as far as I can tell is solid.



There is also some kind of hatch or cap, stone built, which may lead down to a sump or reservoir at the rear of the building but it’s so overgrown I can hardly see it let alone photograph it.

The rail bridge North West portal over the tributary which would have supplied the Pumphouse.



The bridge just south west of the turntable where the pipes exit the embankment to make their way to the site of the original water tower.


An old pic of the Transfer shed and original water tower. Apparently taken sometime in the 1940’s and the Transfer shed in it’s 1860 form. Both pics courtesy of the above Railway Centre web page link.



Internals of the Pumphouse, first through doorway, odd frame to rear wall, possibly for gauges. I am reliably informed there were two pumps here which would allow for continued operation in the event of a pump failure. The fittings on the pipework going through the wall are non-return valves with small bypass valves for pump priming. It looks like these were most likely electric pumps.


Pipework, valves, electrics and very precarious support girders. Oh and asbestos yuk






Pit pipes. The pit is filled. If this is ever restored, I actually can’t wait to get in there and dig it out.


Never done a report on this subject before, hope you liked it and thanks for taking the time.

03-02-2011, 03:46 PM
Thanks for the feedback guys, thought I'd add just a few pics of the museum features. The steam days event brings a lot of interesting Locos to the station and they all get about faced on the turntable. Wonderful to see the old carriages as well which you're free to wander around inside while the engines are being turned.

Current water tower


Transfer shed - Shedmaster's office


Transfer shed from across the tracks




'Pectin' - The resident Loco