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, May 08, 2007

Midsummer at Midsomer

We're planning a Midsummer event at Midsomer Norton for the weekend of 23 and 24 June 2007. The whole site will be open, there should be some activity on the track, and the catering coach will be featuring our first EVENING BARBECUE with music on the Saturday. The theme for the weekend will be VOLUNTEERING and will form part of our push to greatly increase the number of working volunteers ready for the big opening next year. This will be the second biggest event in Rail Preservation (the first being the reopening of the Talylln in 1951), regular steam hauled trains on the first standard gauge section of Britain's Favourite Railway! It can't be over-hyped, though I suspect we'll try!

In the meantime we're concentrating on getting the catering coach open both days every weekend. To this end we need more volunteers with an interest in catering. Some jobs don't even need a food hygiene certificate, but if you have one (or are willing to get one at the Trust's expense) you'll be able to do all the jobs connected with this fascinating side of the set up. You can work one day a month or more if you wish. We are a very friendly team absolutely dedicated to giving our visitors a great time. If interested please email.

One downside of this switch to working full weekends is that we'll only be able to offer a basic service on Mondays until new volunteers come forward. We'll only be offering hot and cold drinks and packaged snacks between 11 and 11.15 and 1 and 1.15 on Mondays, although we have already had one offer of somebody willing to do one full Monday a week, so this should only be a very temporary cutback!

So to reiterate the coach is now open every Sunday with the full menu, occasional Saturdays, again with the full menu and evening barbecues/music, and limited opening every Monday.
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