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!

Monday, July 23, 2007


Blogger seems to have been affected by a bug making photos load then disappear over the last couple of days. It may be flood-related as we've lost our phone for about 12 hours now, and Broadband is down in many parts of the country outside of the flood area. Looks like Climate Change effects are already causing problems, as so often forecast on this blog.

Will try to make progress tomorrow! Thanks for your patience.


Toddingtonted said...

"Looks like Climate Change effects are already causing problems, as so often forecast on this blog."

What a load of nonsense. When its hot and sunny, so called "experts" blame climate change and when its cold and wet they do the same. Last Summer we were all told to expect all summers to be the same and look what's happened. All this talk of climate change does is to alienate people when in fact they should indeed be using resources more wisely. And another thing, while Im in spleen-ventin mode, if you think railways are the answer to all our post oil, climate change dreams then have a look at some of the railway websites and one in particular - we cannot run trains at a certain otherwise excellent railway in Gloucestershire because there is no water supply because of flooding temporarily stopping a water treatment works!

Sunshiner said...

Ted, I really think you read and see what you want to, and consider yourself somehow cleverer than the scientists. You may be, I don't know, but I've learned that it's a good idea to listen to people that have dedicated their lives to a particular subject, rather than what the bloke in the pub says after a few drinks.

Climate change is just that, a changing climate caused by increasing temperatures. Two major effects are more heatwaves and greater rainfall events. Southern and Eastern Europe are currently suffering an incredible heatwave, Britain has had TWO 'freak' rainfall events in under a month. Both of these effects have long been forecast by scientists specialising in climate change. How does explaining effects 'alienate' people, or is it a case of people being frightened of what they hear so they bury their heads deeper in the sands? I personally believe that positive feedbacks are kicking in already and that the scientists have been very careful, perhaps too careful, with their forecasting. If you want to knock them then knock them for that - they have been VERY conservatiuve up till now.

Who will suffer most from Climate Change and Peak Oil? Those that have studied the subject and long prepared for it, or those leftie sheep that believe everything some tiny minority of christian doomwishers, oil company-funded 'scientists' and the Chav Idiocracy tell 'em in the pub? Remember, there are still people who believe the earth is flat or was 'created' 6000 years ago. Some people will always hide from the truth, or try to twist it to match their own world view.

I would be the last person to claim a particular weather event is directly due to climate change - and if you read my post carefully I still haven't claimed it. But I'm 95% certain that this is a clear signal that the effects long forecast are now beginning to take place.

I wish you well with your denial - you must be the last Climate Changer Denier left!

I don't think railways are the answer, but an answer. The fact that they are as vulnerable to climate change effects as the old roads are doesn't mean we should all curl into a ball and yell 'this is not happening'!

Interestingly the only way out of Tewkesbury at the moment is via the 'old' (and future) railway, which suggests that the railway builders took possible flooding into account when constructing the line! So perhaps railways can be made less vulnerable to climate change effects ... localising water, wood and electric supplies would be a start - and why on earth did planners build water treatment works and electricity power stations on flood plains anyway? And in the Severn Valley of all places?

Ted, you're my favourite commenter on this blog, and I'm glad you're still with us despite everything. I also sincerely trust you're managing okay up in Gloucestershire, you and everyone else. Having suffered a flood myself in the past I know how vile it can be. And I wouldn't wish life without running water or electricity on anyone.

Toddingtonted said...


Thank you for your reply and, before I forget, thank you for fixing the site so that we can see the photos: the garden at MS in particular is most attractive.
I don't want to waste electrons so I'll have to agree to disagree with some (not all) of your views again that's all.
I am not cleverer than the scientists although I do have a degree in geography for what its worth(!) but I am aware that climate change does happen. Indeed, this is likely to be just another interglacial period. Climate change is also caused by cooling not just rising temperatures. My issue is with the way in which some scientists (and more importantly the media) tend to treat the subject. I agree with your views on the situation of key sites such as electricity sub-stations and I believe that we will see some changes here - but it will cost taxpayers' money. A number of house valuations will have taken a dive too but that's another story. I used to live not too far from Tewkesbury and it always flooded but not in July and not quite like this. Perhaps its a one off - who knows? The railway line that you mention was, as I'm sure you know, the old Midland branch from Aschurch to Tewkesbury and on, I believe to Upton on Severn. I'm sure it would have been better if that had remained in situ but there we are.
Sadly, I don't live in Gloucestershire any more (I live in Lincolnshire, but not the part around Louth and Horncastle which flooded recently!) and we have been relatively lucky here although the River Witham became rather high at Lincoln recently.

Anonymous said...

Youve got issues! im not expert bu he climates been warming up sins the last ice age! Otherwise wed still havce snow and penguins outside the window lol! Its jus a ply to tax us all on petrol!

Sunshiner said...

Wow! You wish ...

And tax on petrol is way under what it needs to be to affect behaviour - the sooner it is raised the better. Then people will begin to change the way they move about, until then we are all getting off lightly.

The climate may have been warming up since the last Ice Age but never at anything like the rate it is now. Are you seriously claiming that increased carbon dioxide doesn't affect temperature? And that the graph of temperature rises matching CO2 rises is some sort of coincidence? Sorry, but the battle to establish the reality of Climate Change was won years ago, and in the words of Paul Roberts '[ ][I]t is now clear to all but a handful of ideologues and ignoramuses that our steadily increasing reliance on fossil fuels is connected in some way to subtle but significant changes in our climate'. (Roberts, Paul. The End of Oil. London, Bloomsbury, 2005. p6)

There's no virtue in ignoring the truth, and it's only going to get worse.

Toddingtonted said...

Well Anonymous, I think climate change may well already have affected your spell-checker. Either that or you've been at that cloudy cider stuff (that reminds me somewhat of a urine sample that would concern a pox-doctor) that they seem to be fond of in SW England.