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!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

looking ahead - july 13 2016

(Photo - Ivo Peters, 1956)

Will this be the view from the pill box of Midsomer Norton South in 2016? We like to think so! Already most of the infrastructure is in place, although sourcing an impressive train like the one above may be a bit harder!

So where do we realistically think we'll be in ten years time? Probably running from a new station in Radstock, through Midsomer Norton and on to the site of the original Chilcompton station. Probably with a stock of about five steam engines, ranging from the Sentinel to a tender engine. Elsewhere sections of land will be owned by us on the stretch south to Shepton, with initial preparation work on some of the station sites south of Chilcompton. Perhaps Binegar signalbox rebuilt ready for trains in about 2020?

North of Radstock preparation work on the Bath extension should be well under way, working closely with BANES, the national government, Sustrans and other interested parties, for the Bath line will be primarily a transport route. Petrol will probably be around £3 a litre, with shortages commonplace. There will be a scramble for new railway lines to be rebuilt as quickly as possible, but we will need to keep a cool head in order to build the S&D WE want, not a cheap and cheerless utilitarian route foisted on us by a desperate government!

Elsewhere on the route hopefully Shillingstone will be laying track towards Blandford, as the route north from Bournemouth becomes a vital transport corridor, linking Blandford, Wimborne and Ringwood to the network.

Of course things may move much faster than I forecast! Watch this space ... Posted by Picasa

No comments: