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, January 22, 2007

fresh fields ...

Incredibly 'track' has already started to appear on the new extension! This is the very first panel to cross the former red barrier onto the new piece of trackbed. It is of course only temporary and will be used to access the new works with tool trolleys etc!

Hearty thanks to the Access and Grounds and Trackworks teams who have made this happen so quickly. The scene here has transformed over the last few months with what was a small wood now looking so much more like a potential railway again.

Welcome to all you new visitors who have arrived via the Railway Modelling site. I absolutely promise that I didn't post the comment about this site being suicide-inducing though it proves the old adage that there's no such thing as bad publicity! Hopefully many of you will become regular visitors both to the blog and the line!

We're not pie-in-the-sky optimists but hard-headed businesspeople building the railway a little at a time for future generations who will need to find new ways to get around. The general consensus is that Shepton to Bath will become a premier league line over the next 20 to 30 years, and every day more people join up to help us achieve it. At the moment it's still real fun and small enough for everyone to make a real difference to what we're doing. There's no room for flights of fancy at the new S&D, it's a mix of hard graft, original ideas and - sadly for some - extreme realism. Dreamers need not apply!
Posted by Picasa


Anonymous said...

Don't discourage the dreamers - one of them might just be a millionaire! Remember the Squire who bankrolled the Titfield to Mallingford line, he was a 'dreamer of dreams'!


danZ said...

wow thanks for that photo! how exciting to see the track extend!

Any chance of seeing what the trackbed looks like at the silver street end. like over the other side of the bridge?

Toddingtonted said...

"Hard headed businesspeople" eh? Haven't you forgotten something? Ballast!

Peak Oil Dreams said...


Will try to climb through the brambles some time soon to check the northern side of Silver Street! It will be cleared in the next few years when the joint cycleway (Six Arches) and S&D northern extension are built, but it is clear all the way to Radstock and of course protected as a transport corridor.

Underlining the action starting to develop on this stretch are the letters shortly to be sent to a few deadbeat householders who have illegally extended their gardens onto the trackbed in the last few years!

Norton Radstock have already voted £100,000 to the cycleway, so things are moving ...

Peak Oil Dreams said...


Yes, the wonderful Stanley Holloway character.

If only it were that easy ... though rumours abound of benefactors out there just waiting for us to build a few more miles of line before digging into their bottomless pockets!