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, January 30, 2007

MSN news

This is the quiet month or two after Xmas, but it seems to be busy this year! Shop takings are rising again after the post-Xmas blues, six volunteers did a Food Hygeine course at the weekend to increase the catering coach staff, new S&D products are on order for the shop, donations of goods for the second hand shop have been phenomenal, track is extending (see previous post) and bank clearance is proceeding well, though the lure of warmth from the bonfires may be the main reason for this! The signalbox is now about to be glazed, barge-boarded and finialed, which will mean external completion.
And in the last couple of weeks we've received four grants - £49,500 HLF money for the museum, £1000 from British Airways for up platform work, £2000 from the local council for Sentinel restoration and a free computer, software and year's broadband connection from BT.
Visitor numbers and membership are also rising as we begin to push the line more aggressively with public trains now just over a year away!

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