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!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

radstock - world heritage site?

For those of you who can get hold of a copy of this week’s 'Midsomer Norton, Radstock and District Journal' [free local paper], published 1/2/07, there is an excellent headline letter (1/3 page) from Trust member Michael Knox, who lives in Milton Keynes.

The general gist is that Norton Radstock need to abandon the idea of a few/several/way too many new houses on the old GW Radstock station site and instead go bold and establish a World Heritage Site for Steam, Coal and Railways !!! It makes my idea for trains back to Bath and Shepton seem quite tame !

It’s a nicely written article and I look forward to the various replies next week. It's good to see someone thinking way outside the box. Michael argues that the site of a 9F powering up from Radstock to MSN will bring people from far and wide (it will CERTAINLY do that!!) and that bold plans now will reap rewards in the future.

(Adopted from JW's email to SDRHT Departmental heads 1/2/07)
Of course this is exactly the sort of clever idea that -
a) Does justice to the uniqueness and importance of the S&D and
b) Challenges the lesser characters that still exert a small amount of influence locally to explain WHY this shouldn't happen!
In the meantime we'll keep laying a panel at a time - but I get a sneaking feeling that this WILL happen with the right support ...

1 comment:

Robin Whitlock said...

Hi, I'd like to be informed about developments regarding this situation in Radstock. What should I do, keep an eye on the paper, if so where do I look? This isn't just concerned with my railway interests by the way, as getting involved in stuff like this will look good on my CV when I graduate.