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The station was opened on 16 July 1874 by the Minehead Railway. The railway was operated by the Bristol and Exeter Railway which was amalgamated into the Great Western Railway in 1876. The Minehead Railway was itself absorbed into the GWR in 1897 which, in turn, was nationalised into British Railways in 1948.

The signal box was closed in 1952, goods traffic ceased in 1964, and the station was unstaffed from 1966. The line was eventually closed on 4 January 1971, but was reopened by the West Somerset Railway on 28 August 1976.

Washford is the second highest station on the line and is situated in a gap between the coastal cliffs and the Brendon Hills. It is accessed by two very steep inclines for steam trains – climbing up from Blue Anchor trains face a 1 mile (1.6 km) section at 1 in 65 (1.5%), the steepest on the line. The station has a single platform on the south side of the line, although there is an extensive yard on the opposite side of the line from the platform which is where the Somerset and Dorset Railway Trust is housed.

Come and explore the atmosphere of a unique railway - the Somerset & Dorset line - which ran from Bath to Bournemouth through some of the most scenic parts of the two counties and has captured the imagination of generations. See how communities were changed by the coming of the railway, from the agriculture of the Somerset lowlands to the coal mines in the north of the county. Discover how peat was dug from the wetlands and transported by its own narrow-gauge railway. Study the lives of the people who built and worked on the line through the spade which cut the first sod and tool boxes made by apprentices at Highbridge Works, on one of the S&D line's branches. We have historical carriages; an 1886 S&D First Class carriage has been fully restored. There's a reconstruction of one of the S&D's signalboxes where you can ring the bells and pull the levers. One or more restored steam locomotives is usually on site. Our shop has a range of book, DVDs, etc plus refreshments and snacks.