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, February 27, 2007


When I get jaded at Midsomer Norton I always take time out from the office and take a walk around the site.

Yesterday was great - nice weather and lots going on. Dave from Devizes was repairing the retaining wall and the Monday Gang were gathered round a spectacular bonfire at the far end of the extension - they are almost the Chilcompton Gang these days!

Back at the station the signalbox looks great, with part of the frame in place inside.

I still have to pinch myself sometimes when I see the progress all around. It's amazing that a site that nearly vanished under bland housing has now almost returned to its 1950s condition and we're now only just over a year away from running regular trains on the real S&D again. It's also inspiring to think that this tiny part of the S&D will be the launch pad for restoration of this magnificent line, restoring a real transport service to this part of the world.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Moonraker says:

Sat here at the computer, listening to the rain hammering against the window, and feeling a bit fed up. Then this picture appears! Marvellous stuff. Thanks for brightening up my day.