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!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

castles in the air?

(Josselin 9.7.07)

Sometimes when you look at the work needed just to restore from Radstock to Shepton you wonder how long it will take to restore the S&D proper, relay the track, demolish incursions, repair the engineering works, rebuild the stations, put the signalling back in, raise money, train staff, complete all the legal arrangements, rebuild Prestleigh Viaduct, purchase locos and stock, negotiate running agreements with other lines (Network, East Somerset, North Somerset, North Dorset, Gartell) etc etc.

And then you can see just how easy it can be by looking at the restoration of the Welsh Highland from Carnarfon to Portmadog, 25 miles of line closed 30 years BEFORE the S&D, now likely to be fully reopened in just two years time. Or look at the Gloucestershire Warwickshire, now ten miles of busy line where there was once just empty trackbed and demolished stations.

And then remember that our line is the S&D, possibly the World's favourite line, and that our work lies ahead, in a world of unstable climate and Peak Oil, both which work totally towards rail and against the old-fashioned and dying 'alternatives', and suddenly it all seems so easy ...
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We were in Josselin on the same day! Small world.
Keep up the good work - hope to get to MN soon