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!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

buses? you've got to be joking

About a year ago a few backwards-looking deadbeats in Bristol decided that to save a penny a year each on the council tax they’d like the excellent Supertram scheme postponed. These idiots seem to think that cars (LOL!) and, extraordinarily, buses!! (double LOL!!) can carry the traffic ...

And this is before Peak Oil hits. When we can perhaps for a few more years expect road traffic to actually INCREASE.

Over the long term buses have an even darker future than cars. At least a few rich people will have a private road and a preserved car and some black market biofuel to play with a few times a year, but I can’t see how buses have any future. Even today most bus journeys are bleak and slow affairs, as they compete with road traffic - lorries, tractors, cyclists, horseriders, dithering eighty year olds driving Morris Minors - slowing everyone down. The Supertram in Bristol would have avoided all of this, and be useable for freight traffic as well in the future.

As prices rise petrol and diesel will begin to be rationed in favour of the military, essential workers, the government etc. Black market petrol and ethanol will soar in price so a few rich people could continue driving. But the majority of people - that’s you and me - will be left without any. Railways will of course be expanding rapidly, but the limited skill base and economic resources will mean that this doesn’t happen as quickly as it should. Many will be stranded, miles from a railway, and be left to fall back on their own resources. There’ll be a huge increase in cycling and horse riding, but many will still only have the option of walking. Buses won’t be there because they will not be able to get fuel, or if they can it will be so expensive that nobody will be able to find the fares. Railways, being electric or steam worked, will have little or no fuel problems. There will be sidings full of decaying diesel locomotives of course!

Roads will become less and less useable as repairs are no longer undertaken. Some cities will retain their road networks for a while, but they’ll be fighting a losing battle. Eventually most if not all roads will be abandoned altogether, leaving rail, bicycle, horse or foot as the only way of getting around. Buses will be as obsolete and unuseable as those decaying lines of diesel locomotives. Posted by Picasa

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