Welcome to the 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway'
Saturday, May 13, 2006
Overview of Midsomer Norton
Four years ago this was empty trackbed and the loading gauge was almost buried in rubble. The track gang at Midsomer Norton have worked amazingly over the last few years, restoring the complex pointwork to a very high standard. Works trains now run regularly over the track, preparing the line for reopening in 2007. Sunday is the best day for seeing trains in action. We have a diesel locomotive, No 10, also a railroader nicknamed 'Derrick'.
In September 2006 work should begin on extending the track southwards well away from the station site.
Outline approval has now been given to operation of public trains in 2007, once protective works are completed at the Silver Street end, where the bridge was demolished. The Board has decided to rename this part of the S&D revival 'The S&D Mendip Main Line Project', to reflect our longer term ambitions of rebuilding the line between Radstock and Shepton Mallet. On completion of this part of the project the hope is that Radstock to Bath will follow quickly, as within ten to twenty years private personal transport will become the preserve of the very rich, the rest of us will need to rely on public transport! There is already considerable support for a restoration from Radstock to Bath amongst local people, as well as a possible restoration from Radstock to Bristol via Pensford. Whilst Radstock to Shepton is seen primarily (at least in the short to medium term) as a tourist line, restoration to Bath will be primarily a public transport service, though still mainly using steam of course. Diesel is unlikely to be an economic option due to the exponential rise in oil prices as it becomes scarcer year by year.