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!

Friday, November 24, 2006

wood you believe it?

From vilification to vindication - wood burning steam is not solely an idea from my (apparently) drug-addled mind, but is now being considered by yet another start-up line. The Kielder Railway is intending to use waste wood from Kielder Forest to power its steam locomotive.

Of course when I manage to tear myself away from my beloved wholesale quantities of crack cocaine this makes perfect economic sense, particularly in an oil-less future. The price of coal will rocket as demand increases. Coal is finite, wood - when carefully managed - is not only infinite but can be carbon-neutral.

And yes, I am keeping my eye on fusion, which will of course be the ultimate key to a solar economy, but there is only a 50% chance it will work, and it will still be high-tech in a low-tech world. You'll never get a locomotive-sized fusion reactor, let alone a car-sized one, and who would seriously want to see catenary over Midford Viaduct in any case? It's rather missing the point ...

The lovely irony of course is that nuclear fusion will be yet another form of steam power, as it will be steam generated by fusion that will drive the turbines ... Posted by Picasa

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