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!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

by train to stonehenge

This neat 0-6-0 'Doll' was the train engine today on the trip from Pages Park to Stonehenge on the Leighton Buzzard Narrow Gauge Railway.

The pleasant station platform at Pages Park just before departure.

On the 'roadside' section near Stonehenge Works.

Replenishing 'Doll' at Stonehenge.

This was my first visit to this unusual line, which takes a very urban route past back gardens and over numerous ungated crossings through Leighton Buzzard (reminiscent of the lost section of the Welshpool and Llanfair in Welshpool), then heads into the countryside on almost roadside track to Stonehenge, where there is a very interesting narrow gauge museum.

The line is 2 foot gauge and was first opened in 1919.

The station building at Pages Park is made from corrugated iron, but is a nice roomy building with a large well-stocked shop. The Dobbers' cafe has a fairly unadventurous menu (if you're vegetarian!) but has a very fast and friendly service.

The trains ran on time, were well filled and seemed very popular with the locals as we passed them. The staff throughout were friendly and seemed to really enjoy what they were doing.

The destination station, Stonehenge, had a small well-stocked takeaway and a very good craft shop. The museum is very laid-back and interesting.

All-in-all a very nice day out with plenty to see and some pretty unique experiences on a fascinating line. But don't expect spectacular scenery!

For more shots of the line see the tracks and tracks blogsite at http://tracksandtracks.blogspot.com/ Posted by Picasa

1 comment:

Steve Sainsbury said...

A site report from the Leighton Buzzard Light Railway!