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!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

what it's all about

Sometimes when things get on top of us (which happens even here at Midsomer Norton) it's worth stepping back a bit and remembering what this is all about! It's not about restoring a dozen miles of single track, running industrial locos, turning old stations into retail centres or running trains full of mixed-liveried vehicles full of people on a short trip from nowhere to nowhere.

It's about the above. Bringing back the S&D as a working steam railway through the best scenery in England. It's about restoring the iconic scenes we all remember either directly or through the work of those lucky photographers in the 50s and 60s, it's about running long double-headed steam trains over Midford Viaduct, it's about waiting for the train in front of a roaring fire at Midsomer Norton on a snowy evening, it's about the rebuilding of Evercreech Junction and Prestleigh viaduct, it's about running a two-coach branch train in the shadow of Glastonbury Tor; post-Peak Oil it's about allowing people to still move about, about bringing thousands of people daily to Bournemouth to the seaside or to Bath for the city sights. And it's about all the places in between, still suffering from the unneccesary removal of their railway.

It's going to be a long drag and it'll be hard at times, but we'll prevail. And that's why we're doing this! To restore England's finest railway so that we and our children and their children can enjoy what our parents and grandparents did. It's as simple as that. We're Bringing Back Our Trains. Posted by Picasa

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