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!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

bridging the gap

A shot along the up platform under the canopy. Trains from Radstock will enter this platform.

A closer view of the gap with the beginnings of the safety works in position. This is to protect Silver Street prior to the bridge being replaced.

The new bridge with be skewed across the road and on the northern (right hand) side will be about 100 metres from the point where the photo has been taken. This will mean that the road will only have to be lowered slightly to accomodate larger vehicles - if these still exist in 10 or 20 years time ...

Another bridge will need to be replaced on the main Midsomer Norton to Radstock road. There will be no height problems at all here as the line was high above the road.

A return to Radstock will allow us to properly restore Midsomer Norton station and station area to 1950s style and move the retail and some office functions down to a purpose built building alongside or close to a replica Radstock station. This will also alleviate some of the inevitable parking problems already experienced at Midsomer Norton - and of course set us up nicely for the eventual return to Bath.
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Toddingtonted said...

When is work due to start on the replacement Silver Street Railway bridge and earthworks and how much, roughly, will it cost?

Peak Oil Dreams said...

After we reach the Chilcompton infill I suspect. There haven't been any costings yet as there may well be a redundant bridge available which will bring the cost right down. It can only be done in one hit, ie Midsomer Norton to Radstock which will require a second bridge over the main MN - Radstock road. We're talking millions rather than hundreds of thousands.

It will be cheaper to continue south of course, as there are no significant problems until Shepton, but the Radstock location will have superb parking facilities, the possibility of building a replica station with other facilities nearby freeing up MN station for full restoration and, possibly most importantly, a very visible presence near the mining museum.

Once we're established at Radstock then we can seriously look at the option of returning to Bath, which is the key to success for the line both as a leading tourist attraction but more importantly as a major transport link for passengers and freight.