I've never been a great fan of anniversaries, but I suppose I should mark the 41st anniversary of temporary closure of the S&D.
We all know now that the original closure simply hadn't been properly thought out, that it was a political rather than economic decision. I won't go over all the shenanigans that our ancestors dreamt up!
What's important is that the S&D is now on its way back. It's only the beginning now, with three points on the route now possessing rails again, but all of the active S&D groups have expansion plans, and I'm expecting more restoration groups to spring up, probably on the Radstock-Bath section and on the branch.
The arguments for closure seem like nonsense now, even without Peak Oil and Climate Change just the gradual economic development within the UK would have already increased traffic on the line dramatically. Try travelling on some of the roads that parallel the route and you'll see what I mean! Try getting from Midsomer Norton to Bath in under 30 minutes by road!
Rail's time has come. The network is already suffering capacity problems even with much freight still being carried in soon-to-be-obsolete lorries. A vast new network of privately-owned and operated railways and tramways will soon be developed as the roads and air travel grinds to a halt as the oil runs out.
The new S&D will be at the forefront of this development. We'll always be different, favouring staffed stations, mechanical signalling and modern working steam but, make no mistake, the new S&D will be a transport system first and foremost.
So anniversaries of 'closures' will become less and less relevant as the future becomes the present. We're informed and inspired by the past but the future is where we'll have to survive and flourish.
The new S&D will be the best monument to the old one!