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!

Monday, August 14, 2006

reorientating towns as our trains return

As Peak Oil and post-Peak Oil effects take hold, towns are going to have to be radically redesigned. The centrepoint of towns in the future will be the railway station, with most businesses, factories and shopping areas receiving goods by rail. Most larger towns with have a conventional or ultra-light tramway, with lines carrying freight as well as passengers. There are also likely to be many cross-country or urban light railways connecting with smaller junctions, giving a much busier general atmosphere to railways in the future.

The post Peak Oil railway station will be a fascinating place, with cafes and shops either on the platform or close by, and a lot of people passing on foot or bike.

Some of the S&D stations were fairly central, Radstock probably being the best example, certainly on the Mendip section of the line. In the post Peak Oil world any development will obviously happen in rail connected areas, and the nearer to a station the better. As always the future S&D will be a balance between respect for the past and awareness of new business opportunities in a world that’s going to be radically different from today. Posted by Picasa

1 comment:

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