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, August 24, 2006

red letter day!

The current end of the line ...

The first few metres of the extension - peaceful now ...

Out into the S&D countryside on the new extension. (pic Pete Russell)

Beyond the tunnels, one of the few obstacles on the Radstock-Shepton section. Can't wait to start digging into this! (pic Pete Russell)

Today is a red letter day for the 21st century restoration of the Somerset and Dorset Railway!

Today we’ve completed the lease for the next section of trackbed, which will bring us away from the station environs at last and take us out into the countryside for which the S&D was so famous. We’re no longer just a restored station but an embryo railway, an embryo that will develop into the premier heritage/community railway in the country!

The lease covers the next quarter mile of trackbed and negotiations for the section beyond it are already underway. The timing is perfect - we’ve just taken delivery of a quarter mile of track materials and also the bird nesting season ends on 31 August so we can actually begin clearing the route.

This would indeed be a very interesting time to join the S&D if you’re not already a member! As well as restoring this quarter mile there is also work to be done at the Silver Street end to allow us to run public trains in 2007, as well as all the usual range of jobs that a heritage railway offers.

Our short-term aim is to restore public trains back to just north of Chilcompton Tunnel, before considering whether a Radstock restoration or extension south of the tunnels should get priority. Both are expensive options but keep watching this site for ways you can help - or take a visit to the sidebar now! Posted by Picasa

1 comment:

Rockers said...

Good Stuff.

Hopefully I should be able to pop down and help with the clearance.
Helped abit a few sundays ago but haven't had chance to get down since.