Welcome to the 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway'
Saturday, May 12, 2007
the bigger picture
It's helpful sometimes to set what we're doing at Midsomer Norton into perspective. The S&D was over 100 miles long. We can drive for two hours and still be on the route. This week we were down in deepest Dorset yet crossed the S&D near Creekmoor, a few weeks ago on the Bristol Channel coast and there was the S&D again, at Burnham. Wimborne, Wells, Bridgwater, Bath, Glastonbury, Broadstone - all once saw S&D trains - and will again. Down at Shillingstone the S&D is beginning to reappear, on many points on the route you'll find solid, timeless reminders of the line. It is as if everyone realised the 'closure' of the S&D was just a phase, that it would be back sooner or later. Because a restored S&D, even without the converging catastrophes (for roads at least!) of Peak Oil and Climate Change, is inevitable. Large towns like Norton-Radstock, Blandford, Glastonbury and Wimborne will not survive in the future without modern transport. Businesspeople will still need markets, children will still need to get to school, people will still need to commute to work, hopefully we'll still have enough leisure time (even in a harsher world) to travel for pleasure or to find peace and quiet. The new S&D will sit perfectly into the new world, be an asset and give our area and country an edge against those that didn't see the future until too late, who stupidly tried to hang on to the past whilst the future overtook them.
We're being empowered at the local and regional level, no-one considers restoring a railway as a 'hobby' these days. Rail is back in a big, big way, on the network and outside of it. The S&D will always lead others in this respect because we look to the future rather than the past.