Welcome to the 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway'

The original Somerset and Dorset Railway closed very controversially in 1966. It is time that decision, made in a very different world, was reversed. We now have many councillors, MPs, businesses and individuals living along the line supporting us. Even the Ministry of Transport supports our general aim. The New S&D was formed in 2009 with the aim of rebuilding as much of the route as possible, at the very least the main line from Bath (Britain's only World Heritage City) to Bournemouth (our premier seaside resort); as well as the branches to Wells, Glastonbury and Wimborne. We will achieve this through a mix of lobbying, trackbed purchase and restoration of sections of the route as they become economically viable. With Climate Change, road congestion, capacity constraints on the railways and now Peak Oil firmly on the agenda we are pushing against an open door. We already own Midford just south of Bath, and are restoring Spetisbury under license from DCC, but this is just the start. There are other established groups restoring stations and line at Midsomer Norton and Shillingstone, and the fabulous narrow gauge line near Templevcombe, the Gartell Railway.

There are now FIVE sites being actively restored on the S&D and this blog will follow what goes on at all of them!
Midford - Midsomer Norton - Gartell - Shillingstone - Spetisbury

Our Aim:

Our aim is to use a mix of lobbying, strategic track-bed purchase, fundraising and encouragement and support of groups already preserving sections of the route, as well as working with local and national government, local people, countryside groups and railway enthusiasts (of all types!) To restore sections of the route as they become viable.
Whilst the New S&D will primarily be a modern passenger and freight railway offering state of the art trains and services, we will also restore the infrastructure to the highest standards and encourage steam working and steam specials over all sections of the route, as well as work very closely with existing heritage lines established on the route.

This blog contains my personal views. Anything said here does not necessarily represent the aims or views of any of the groups currently restoring, preserving or operating trains over the 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. Posted by Picasa

1 comment:

ChrisCMR said...

As a newly-joined member of the S&DRHT, I love the idea of restoring the line between Radstock and Shepton Mallet, but there is one idea which nobody else seems to have thought of. If the line was connected to the Radstock-Frome line at Radstock, and to the East Somerset Railway at Shepton Mallet, then surely it would be possible for main line railtours to run over the re-built S&D by using those lines to access it. I'm sure that running railtours over it would find favour with many enthusiasts!

Does anyone else have the same view?