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!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

2007 - the last easy year!

2007 is likely to be the last easy year at Midsomer Norton -not that we mind! At the moment everything is development, from 2008 and the opening to the public it will be development and operation.

Operating a working line will need a whole new tranche of volunteers - guards, station masters and mistresses, signalmen and women, engine drivers etc.

There will also be the need to open on extra days - to this end the shop is likely to be open 4 or 5 days a week from this month, we'll also be opening the catering coach on more days each week as the year passes. We're also planning occasional evening openings of the catering coach with special meals and patio discos. This will all give us a higher presence locally and, importantly, increased revenue.

With the receipt of the HLF funds for the museum there will be the need for museum staff, this will also bring many more visitors to the site.

Other developments in 2007 will include the launch of our new website, a glossy sales list and, of course, extension of the line southwards towards Chilcompton.

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