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, October 16, 2006

bridges and cameras

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(Demolishing a bridge on the Bridgwater branch, 1957)

Apologies for not posting for a few days - thanks to glandular fever and a short holiday.

Back to the station today - buzzing as usual! Julian Peters and Wally Moon were being filmed for a Channel 4 programme, which ended up being done in the shop as the weather was vile. Julian brought in a couple of Ivo's old photo albums, from 1950 and 1965, these were the famous ones which used to travel up and down the line being passed from employee to employee.

Apparently bridge renewal over Silver Street may not be quite as difficult as we originally thought, though still very expensive. The road may only need a small amount of trimming although the services will need to be relocated - but the bridge itself will only need small ramps at the station and Radstock end so the need for a lifting bridge or other esoteric devices will not be needed!

The time isn't that far off when we'll need to make the decision Radstock first or Chilcompton infill first! My vote's with Radstock, as a station at Radstock will be a superb advert for us, right by the main roads. With the thousands of extra visitors this'll bring in we should quickly raise the necessary funds for removing the infill, and have an excellent transhipment point from rail to road or even rail throughout via the Frome line.


Rockers said...

I agree Peak. I think Radstock first would be a better idea commercially, especially considering removing the landfill at chilcompton is going to be bloody expensive anyway.
Has an engineer looked at Silver Street then? What about the bridge across the road to Radstock from Notton? thats going to be a biggy.

Peak Oil Dreams said...

Yes, a top engineer has given us this advice. Although the second bridge across the main Radstock-MN road is a 'biggy' it won't have the costly problem of lowering the road!

When ready I imagine we will raise the cash through a national appeal and a share issue, after a few years of raising the profile and getting people to understand just how ambitious we are!

Wait till we have to rebuild Prestleigh Viaduct ...

Rockers said...

Good stuff!! Will be awesome heading to Radstock you could even provide limited public transport between the 2 towns.

They only demolished Prestleigh recently did'nt they? How come?

Keith said...

Re. Silver Street bridge. The Strathspey Railway had a similar problem at Boat of Garten,the bridge had been demolished because of road improvements.The railway carried on with there Broomhill extension and eventually got a new bridge built.It would be interesting to find out whether the council built it or whether they had to finance it themselves.