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, November 27, 2006

painter and decorator

We are incredibly lucky at Midsomer Norton in having one of the UK's leading artists right on our doorstep - and a lover of the S&D to boot! David Fisher was at the station today launching his latest masterpiece, 'Wait For Us'. This features the soon-to-be-reinstated bridge over Silver Street. David will be at the station on the Saturday (9th December) during the Santa weekend.

This is his previous work, 'Let Battle Commence', featuring the first test run of a 9F, facing the Mendip gradients at the Dorset end of Radstock station.

Another shot of the latest work ... which would make a superb Xmas present for your hard-working Blogger (hint!)


Dean said...

Wonderful picture David. I see the article accompanying mentions the soon to be reinstated Silver street bridge. What is the latest on this please?

Keith said...

Lovely painting,captures the feeling of the fifties perfectly.The Strathspey Railway put the bridge back at Boat of Garten so it must be possible for Midsomer Norton with Silver Street bridge in the future.

Peak Oil Dreams said...

Whilst at the moment we're concentrating on heading south to a temporary 'Chilcompton Halt' it is likely that we will switch to restoring to Radstock before the push to the old Chilcompton station proper, through the tunnels. A station at Radstock will be highly visible and give us a much higher profile than we currently have. To this end the safety works at the Silver Street end will be easy to convert when the bridge is restored. We have had an engineer look at the situation and reinstatement is not as big a task as we'd first feared.

This is all about 5 years in the future and will of course depend on a very vigorous funding push! 'Soon' should be considered in the light of S&D restoration being a long-term project, crossing generations!

On the whole the route between Bath and Shepton is almost clear of obstacles. Midsomer Norton to Bath is protected as a future transport corridor.