Welcome to the 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway'
Sunday, May 06, 2007
I'd never been a great fan of steam, my main interest was in the lines themselves, the infrastructure, atmosphere and potential for the future. But as the likelihood that steam will become the main source of power in the future grows every day then my interest has been awakened! Also Geoff Akers' impassioned descriptions of the power of steam have entered my conciousness and I'm finally becoming aware as to how important steam as a concept is. It drives our nuclear reactors and with consumate ease can drive huge trains of many hundreds of tons. The technology is simple and understandable, efficient and long-lasting. It is sustainability incarnate and will still be operational centuries after fossil-fuel dinosaurs like cars, lorries, buses and diesel locomotives are just rusting old exhibits in nostagia museums.
Steam has everything. The sights, sounds and smells, the ability to create atmosphere - something our washed-out 'modern' society totally lacks, to our spiritual disadvantage - the sheer power and elegance. Steam railways are not popular because of that vile human weakness, nostalgia, but because they represent a wonderful vision for a future we can have if we fight for it. A human-scale sustainable society that puts happiness as its aim, rather than this pointless manufactured 'ambition' that so many (rather brainless) 'individuals' fall for these days. What would you rather be - a jet-setting millionaire with a hard-set frown or a signalman at Midford or Midsomer Norton?