Railway Days

Somerton declined in Victorian times, when the railway had reached Langport and roads across the Somerset levels allowed traffic a direct route from Wells to Taunton and Bridgwater. There were schemes to provide a railway line from Castle Cary to Taunton on the main Great Western line from Paddington to Devon and Cornwall, but work did not begin until 1903.

The line sliced right through the town, crossing the Cary valley on a viaduct of five arches where substantial engineering works were needed because of the geological structures on the north side of the valley and the deep beds of wet sand and mud under the valley floor. The viaduct is 50 feet high and the foundations are 50 feet deep. The station was built in a cutting just off West Street and it was hoped the railway would revive the town.

The railway was much used during the years when the station was open (1906 - 1962), with goods and post coming regularly from Castle Cary and Taunton. Children went to school on the train and it was the most convenient form of travel for many purposes.

 In 1962, during the Beeching cuts, all intermediate stations along the line between Castle Cary and Taunton were closed to passengers and goods traffic, and motor traffic took over.