A NEW book has been published which takes a fascinating look at 160 years of rail travel in Somerset.

The Branch Lines of Somerset by Colin G. Maggs, published by Amberley, is packed with information and photographs.

It outlines the main railway routes and describes in detail the branch lines – most of which were closed in the Beeching era of the 1960s.

A chapter is dedicated to the line from Creech Junction to Chard Junction and includes photos from yesteryear which will be of interest not to local historians as well as rail enthusiasts.

Somerset’s branch lines have seen a diverse range of railway activity – horse-drawn passenger coaches, the second steam railcar built in England and operated as early as 1848, an internal-combustion engine railcar, and a similarly powered shunting engine in the 1920s, long before they were common on the main lines.

The book is priced £16.99 and is available from available from Amazon.co.uk or direct from Amberley Books on 01453-847813 and also on the publisher's website - follow the link below for more information.