The Somerset and Dorset Railway Heritage Trust are based at the former Midsomer Norton South Railway Station. The postal address is Midsomer Norton Station, Silver Street, Midsomer Norton, BA3 2EY. However, there are some specific details that will be of interest to radio hams:

  • Lat/Long: 51.281077°,-2.482759°
  • IARU: IO81sg
  • IOTA: EU005 (UK Mainland)
  • WAB: ST65 – England


Station AdvertisementThis year the Railways on the Air commemorative weekend took place over the 21st and 22nd of September. As in previous years South Bristol Amateur Radio Club was invited to operate from the Somerset and Dorset Railway Heritage Trust at the Midsomer Norton South Station.

The Trust open the Midsomer Norton South Station every Sunday providing a station shop, 2 museums, buffet coach meals and conducted tours; so if you haven't already paid them a visit or haven't been for a while please consider spending some time in their company.

Station Setup

This is our third year of continuous operation from the Somerset and Dorset Railway Heritage Trust and we have learnt something each year. The big thing we realised from last year was something we were all subliminally aware of which is that in the event of poor weather the platform operation wasn't ideal. In our first year of operation both days had been really nice despite the late September date. Last year although Saturday was good, Sunday was wet and cold.

On the Sunday last year we had looked longingly at the rolling stock that wasn't part of the train rides and concluded that access to a brake van would give us a much better operating location. This offered a number of advantages: there was an open sided area where we could operate or talk to interested people in good weather, there was the covered guards area where we could set up if the weather became unpleasant, and finally the guards van had a stove that could potentially be lit for added warmth (assuming it was still operational).

We asked the Trust if this was a possibility this year. They, however, went one better and located us in the railway carriage next door to the buffet car which forms the café. This was a really good location. Not only did it offer warmth and shelter but it had comfortable seats and tables to form the operating position. It was also one of the areas of the site to receive the heaviest footfall as people visited the café giving us the opportunity to showcase Amateur Radio

We are indebted to the Trust for allowing us to operate from this location. The carriage itself is scheduled for full refurbishment to provide additional facilities for the Trust and staff including a staff rest room and a meeting room. We wish the Trust well with this operation and look forward to operating from the refurbished carriage next year.

This years station comprised:

  • Manson EP-925 25A Linear Power Supply
  • Yeasu FT-840 HF 100W HF Transceiver
  • MFJ-934 Manual ATU
  • Vertical Antenna
  • Half Size G5RV Antenna
  • Dell Laptop running HRD (only used for logging)

Saturday 21 September 2013

Julian M6JCE erecting roach polesColin (G4PYN) offers suitable encouragementAntenna Arrangements

The change of location, from the platform to the carriage, caused some consternation with Saturdays team. They had come prepared for operation from the platform, and despite being trained communicators Andy G7KNA had failed to adequately explain the change to Dave G7BYN. As a result hasty changes of plan replaced the expected horizontal dipole, doublet or long wire antenna planned to be attached to the platform fence to a vertical antenna.

This antenna was not, however, a particularly good choice. Possibly as a result of the angel of radiation or perhaps because it wasn't well grounded the initial performance was not what we expected to see.

During the Saturday, therefore, the antenna went through a bit of a rethink, resulting in a half size G5RV being erected from a couple of roach poles tied to either end of our railway carriage. In this case the roach poles were actually BT measuring poles but they served their modified purpose well and Julian M6JCE is commended for having the foresight to bring these with him and loan them for the operation.

As a result of the antenna issues, Saturday got off to a slow start with only 14 stations in the log, although 7 of these (50%) were Special Event stations associated with Railways on the Air and a further 3 were club stations.

Members of the club came and went throughout the day, in fact some went more than others. In lieu of the usual train rides the Trust were organising escorted walks of the track. Most of our operators decided to take one of these walks on the Saturday afternoon, leaving Henryk M0HTB at the operating post for a couple of hours without any relief as the walk seemed to extend itself into ever more interesting areas. Perhaps this goes some way to accounting for the limited number of contacts on the Saturday in addition to the antenna woes.

We did work our friends and neighbours the North Bristol Radio Club who had set up at the Bitton Steam Railway, and the newly reformed Mid-Somerset ARC who were operating from the East Somerset Railway.

Dave G7BYN Operating with Julaun M6JCE LoggingDave G7BYN Operating with Julaun M6JCE LoggingDave G7BYN Operating with Julaun M6JCE Logging

Sunday 22 September 2013

Andy G7KNA Operating

The Lundy DXpedition team had returned to the mainland yesterday so there were additional operators available for the Sunday shift.

This, combined with the now resolved antenna choices and the fact that everyone had been on the escorted walks, meant that we were fully geared up for our normal operation. Starting about 10:00 we began searching for other RotA operations.

This tactic was successful, netting us Didcot Railway Centre, East Kent Railway and Hollycombe Steam Collection in the first 45 minutes of operation followed by Bluebell Railway, Marconi Centre, Nene Valley Railway, Royal Gunpowder Mills and Roundhouse Railway Museum.

Nene Valley was quite important to us as it is now supported by David M0DFW who remains a life member of the Somerset and Dorset Railway Heritage Trust and was the person responsible for our introduction to the Trust. He now lives in Cambridgeshire and is active with the Nene Valley Railway. We worked David direct towards the end of the day.

After spending the morning hunting and pouncing up and down the 40m band we selected a clear spot towards the top of the band around 14:00 and started calling CQ, allowing those individuals looking for RotA operations to find and work us.

This part of our operation was also a success and typically we were flat out towards the end of the day with mini pile-ups occurring at various times in the afternoon.

Overall we managed to work a total of 94 radio stations, although there were a small number of duplicates in this list. There were 18 confirmed RotA operations and several other Special Event and Club Callsigns bagged.


Date of Contact Time Station Worked Band or Freq (MHz) Mode TX RX Operator’s Name QTH IARU Locator Distance (km) Notes
21/09/2013 11:34 GB2LHR 40m SSB 59   59   Rob Lake Windermere     Lakeside & Hatherthwaite Railway – Furness Amateur Radio Society
21/09/2013 11:40 GB0GWR 40m SSB 59   59   Barry Cheltenham     Cheltenham Race Course – Cheltenham Amateur Radio Asociation
21/09/2013 11:52 G0BRC 40m SSB 59   54   Robin Sittingbourne     Bredgar and Wormshill Light Railway – Bredhurst Receiving and Transmitting Society
21/09/2013 12:11 GB2NHR 40m SSB 59   59   Paul       Normanby Hall Model Engineer Society – Brigg & District A.R.C.
21/09/2013 12:23 GB5RSR 40m SSB 59   59   Robin Preston Lancashire     Ribble Steam Railway – Central Lancs Amateur Radio Club
21/09/2013 13:28 M0XLT 40m SSB 57   59   Kevin Skipton      
21/09/2013 13:41 MX0XLT 40m SSB 59   59   Kevin Yorkshire Dales near Skipton     NVIS
21/09/2013 13:44 MX0TSR 40m SSB 57   59   Daniel Tamworth     Tamworth Scouts – QSO with Rebecca
21/09/2013 13:47 G8YPL 40m SSB 57   59   Pete Liverpool      
21/09/2013 13:48 M0ZVR 40m SSB 57   59   Barry Pershore      
21/09/2013 13:50 MX0NBC 40m SSB 57   57   North Bristol Club Bitton     Bitton Station Avon Valley Railway – North Bristol Amateur Radio Club
21/09/2013 13:52 GW4GNY 40m SSB 57   59   Martin Welshpool      
21/09/2013 14:16 GB2CAV 40m SSB 59   59   Dave Chattam Dockyard     HMS Cavalier 1944-1972 Sea Class Destroyer D73
21/09/2013 15:01 GB0ESR 40m SSB 59   59   Shaun Cranmore     East Somerset Railway – Mid Somerset Amateur Radio Club
22/09/2013 10:16 GB0DRC 40m SSB 59   59   Dave Didcot     Didcot Railway Centre – David Aram
22/09/2013 10:26 GB2KCL 40m SSB 59   59   Brian Dover     The East Kent Railway – Dover Amateur Radio Club
22/09/2013 10:57 GB2HSC 40m SSB 59   58   David       Hollycombe Steam Collection – D.Lawrence – Tooth Radio Group
22/09/2013 11:06 GB0BR 40m SSB 59   59   Kevin Horstead Coynes Station     Bluebell Railway – Gavin Keegan & The Downland Radio Group
22/09/2013 11:33 GB2DMR 40m SSB 59   59   Bill Bangor Northern Ireland     Drumawhey Miniature Railway – Bangor & District Amateur Radio Society
22/09/2013 11:42 GB0HBL 40m SSB 59   59   Cliff       The Helston Railway – Poldhu ARC
22/09/2013 12:00 GB0NVR 40m SSB 59       Paul Peterborough     Nene Valley Railway – Huntingdonshire Amateur Radio Society
22/09/2013 12:12 GB2RGM 40m SSB 59   59   John Waltham Abbey     Royal Gunpowder Mills – LEFARS
22/09/2013 12:33 G100RSGB 40m SSB 59   59   David Chesterfield     Barrow Hill Roundhouse near Chesterfield – John Rogers M0JAV
22/09/2013 12:54 M0RGI 40m SSB 59   59   Ian Hazelmere      
22/09/2013 12:59 GB2CPM 40m SSB 59   59   Peter Amberley Museum and Heritage Centre     Amberley Narrow Gauge & Industrial Railway Collection – Amberley Museum Amateur Radio Group
22/09/2013 13:04 M0HTB 40m SSB         Henryk Dundry      
22/09/2013 13:09 M6EUS 40m SSB 57   59   Sue Pullborough West Sussex     WAB Required
22/09/2013 13:11 M0VFG 40m SSB 59   59   Patrick Dartmoor      
22/09/2013 13:13 M6FOR 40m SSB 59   59   Ian Derby      
22/09/2013 13:17 G4GMA 40m SSB 57   59   John Kidderminster     Flex 1500
22/09/2013 13:31 M0HTB 40m SSB 59   59   Henryk Dundry     7m inverted dipole ends a few feet off the ground – SOTA linked dipole
22/09/2013 13:38 2E0LKC 40m SSB 57   59   Peter 1mile from Manchester Airport      
22/09/2013 13:40 G8CBU 40m SSB 59   59   Ray Luton Bedfordshire     WAB: TL02 (WAB Square required)
22/09/2013 13:44 M0PHI 40m SSB 59   59   Philip Bradford on Avon      
22/09/2013 13:47 MM3PDM/P 40m SSB 53   59   Peter Peterhead      
22/09/2013 13:49 M0ZAE 40m SSB 59   59   Henry       WAB: TL05
22/09/2013 13:51 G0FZI 40m SSB 59   59   Brian Wells Somerset      
22/09/2013 13:52 MW0HJM/P 40m SSB 59   59   Richard Welshpool     Club Callsign Air Cadets
22/09/2013 13:55 GW3LNR 40m SSB 59   59   Aurthur Merthyr Tydfill South Wales      
22/09/2013 14:20 MW0GUK 40m SSB 59   59   George Abergaveny      
22/09/2013 14:22 ON2OPA 40m SSB 59   59   Andre        
22/09/2013 14:22 M3VCP 40m SSB 57   59   Simon        
22/09/2013 14:23 G4KLE 40m SSB 59   58   Merv NW Cambridge      
22/09/2013 14:24 G8GRS 40m SSB 59   59   Richard        
22/09/2013 14:25 G8ISI 40m SSB 59   57   Frank        
22/09/2013 14:26 G1WAP 40m SSB 59       Brian        
22/09/2013 14:27 GM4MTI 40m SSB 58   57           QRM
22/09/2013 14:27 M6CQJ 40m SSB 59   58   Eddie        
22/09/2013 14:28 M0DFW 40m SSB 59   59   Dave Cambridgeshire      
22/09/2013 14:29 M0DFW 40m SSB 59   59   Dave Cambridgeshire      
22/09/2013 14:34 GB0AVR 40m SSB 59   59   Gareth       Amman Valley Railway – St Tybie Amateur Radio Society
22/09/2013 14:40 OZ3FS 40m SSB 59   59   Frank        
22/09/2013 14:41 M0NWW 40m SSB 59   59   Nigel Harwich      
22/09/2013 14:43 G0WKN 40m SSB 59   59   Ken Lutton South Lincolnshire      
22/09/2013 14:46 EI2KD 40m SSB 59   59   Rodny        
22/09/2013 14:48 GB75NG 40m SSB 59   59   Tim Walcott Station      
22/09/2013 14:49 G0GNI 40m SSB         Mike Isle of White      
22/09/2013 14:50 G8XXJ 40m SSB 59   59   Geoff Brighton      
22/09/2013 14:51 M0KLK 40m SSB 59   59   Bill Shephay      
22/09/2013 14:54 G4RAC 40m SSB 59   59   John Burton On Trent      
22/09/2013 14:57 G7BGA 40m SSB 59   59   Geoff Shrewsbury      
22/09/2013 14:59 GX4BJC/A 40m SSB 59   59   Peter Ivybridge Devon      
22/09/2013 15:01 M5LMY 40m SSB 59   59   Dave Berkshire      
22/09/2013 15:03 M0NWW 40m SSB 59   59   Nigel Harwich      
22/09/2013 15:06 G4SXR 40m SSB 59   59   Colin Stonehenge Amesbury      
22/09/2013 15:08 G6TEL 40m SSB 59   59   Steve Poole Dorset      
22/09/2013 15:09 G4XXM 40m SSB 59   59   Dave Eastbourne      
22/09/2013 15:11 2E0DSB 40m SSB 59   59   Dennis Bristol      
22/09/2013 15:13 G0TRB 40m SSB 59   59   Roger Tamworth      
22/09/2013 15:14 G4CHD 40m SSB 59   59   Terry Westward Ho!      
22/09/2013 15:16 M0HCT 40m SSB 59   59   Martin Nailsea      
22/09/2013 15:18 G8EWP 40m SSB 59   59   Dick Bognor      
22/09/2013 15:19 G3PLP 40m SSB 59   59   Bob Colford West Midlands      
22/09/2013 15:20 M0ZCB 40m SSB 59   59   John Wroughton      
22/09/2013 15:22 M0VIE 40m SSB 59   59   Kevin Cheshire      
22/09/2013 15:25 G3OOP 40m SSB 59   59   Brian Chesterfield      
22/09/2013 15:27 2W0JKN 40m SSB 59   59   Stephen Wrexham      
22/09/2013 15:28 G0VAS 40m SSB 59   59            
22/09/2013 15:30 M0BGS 40m SSB 59   59   Geoff Leeds      
22/09/2013 15:32 G6ENY 40m SSB 59   57   Noel Northumberland      
22/09/2013 15:35 GW4PYC 40m SSB 59   59   Ray Llanelli      
22/09/2013 15:36 G3ZIY 40m SSB 59   59   Richard Gatwick      
22/09/2013 15:38 G4ENC/P 40m SSB 59   58   Pete Wrexham N Nottingham      
22/09/2013 15:40 2E0KCW 40m SSB 59   58   Pat Hull      
22/09/2013 15:41 PC2F 40m SSB 57   58     Netherlands     10w
22/09/2013 15:42 M0TDW 40m SSB 59   59   Bill Malborough      
22/09/2013 15:44 2E0LMR 40m SSB 59   59   Gaz Northamptonshire      
22/09/2013 15:45 M0VRS 40m SSB 59   59   John Hatfield Peveril      
22/09/2013 15:47 G0GWY 40m SSB 59   59   Geoff Scunthorp      
22/09/2013 15:48 G4SQA 40m SSB 59   59   Dave Peterborough      
22/09/2013 15:49 2E0GBU 40m SSB 59   59     South West London      
22/09/2013 15:49 G0VLF 40m SSB 59   59   Ray        
22/09/2013 15:51 2E0WUF/P 40m SSB 59   59           SOTA
22/09/2013 15:53 G7TCW 40m SSB 59   57   Chris Staffordshire