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!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

midsummer and midsomer

Just five hours to the solstice. If any railway is Pagan then it has to be the S&D, running through the heart of mystical Wessex and serving the classic Pagan location of Glastonbury. So it's quite appropriate that we've always had a Midsummer at Midsomer event even if in the past it's been held in July! This year we're almost spot on with the festivities starting in just 36 hours time.

I spent today traipsing around Midsomer Norton getting posters up in the shops. We've always made it low-key in the past, but we've had a bit of a media push this year with press releases going to local and regional papers. This will probably be the last Midsummer event we have without running trains.

So do try to turn up! There will be plenty going on around the volunteering theme. And don't forget the Saturday evening disco and barbecue on the catering coach patio - hopefully the evening won't be too light and the patio and disco lights can be seen to their full effect! The barbecue starts at six pm. We'll be serving cream teas in the afternoons and the normal menu between 11 and 3 on Saturday and Sunday. The bar will be running throughout.
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Toddingtonted said...

The signal box looks fantastic. Well done to those who "have made all things new." I hope that the weather stays good for this weekend at Midsomer but all those hippies at Glastonbury seem to attract the rain every year! However the sun shines on the righteous and the unrighteous, the Godly and the Ungodly!

Sunshiner said...

I don't think there's been a hippy at Glastonbury for about twenty years now - they can't afford the ticket price. It's all strawberry-chomping upper middle class mumsy types and their right-on luvvy husbands these days!

Toddingtonted said...

Sunshiner, my dear chap, Glastonbury now sounds like just my sort of place then! Must get down there soon! I might find some people there who will also sign up to join the S&D.

I wonder what the poor people are doing today?