Bartholomew map showing railways in the Shepton Mallet area, c.1965

Bartholomew map showing railways in the Shepton Mallet area, c.1965. The Somerset and Dorset line runs from north (Bath and Radstock) to south (Wincanton and Bournemouth), and the Cheddar Valley / East Somerset line from west (Yatton, Cheddar and Wells) to east (Witham, Frome and Westbury).

Shepton Mallet had railway stations on two lines, both now closed. The first station, called Shepton Mallet (High Street) in British Railways days, was on the East Somerset Railway branch line from Witham and opened in 1859. The line was extended to Wells in 1862 and later connected to the Cheddar Valley line branch of the Bristol & Exeter Railway from Yatton to Wells via Cheddar. Through services between Yatton and Witham started in 1870. The line was absorbed into the Great Western Railway in the 1870s.

A second station, later called Shepton Mallet (Charlton Road), opened in 1874 with the building of the Bath extension of the Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway. This station was some distance east of the centre of the town and was approached on the Charlton Viaduct.

Both stations closed in the 1960s under the Beeching cuts. Shepton Mallet (High Street) closed with the withdrawal of passenger services on the Yatton to Witham line in 1963, though part of the former East Somerset line remains open for freight and as a heritage railway. Shepton Mallet (Charlton Road) was lost in 1966 with the closure of the Somerset & Dorset line.

Source: Shepton Mallet – Wikipedia
Map showing the location of former and current Shepton Mallet stations

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Supported by Mendip District Council and James Heappey, MP for Wells, the promoters of a scheme “to introduce a passenger service to Shepton Mallet in Somerset” made a submission to the Department for Transport Restoring Your Railway Fund, proposing a short extension of the heritage East Somerset Railway from the current terminus at Mendip Vale across the fields to a new station at Cannards Grave. It was not among the proposals selected to receive development funding.

On 25 March 2007, the East Somerset Railway announced that it had received a £7,500 grant from Shepton 21 Group, a local organisation, set up to regenerate the area around Shepton Mallet. The money was to be spent on conducting a feasibility study into extending the line towards Shepton Mallet, with a possible new terminus at Cannards Grave, on the outskirts of Shepton Mallet.

Source: East Somerset Railway – Wikipedia

Further reading

Beeching Reversal – Shepton Mallet (Mendip Vale), on The Anonymous Widower website

East Somerset Railway – official website

East Somerset Railway – Wikipedia

Ordnance Survey map of Shepton Mallet, 1930, showing both former stations, on National Library of Scotland website