Welcome to the 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway'
Monday, August 13, 2007
The shark is said to have stopped evolving about 100 million years ago. The violin assumed its current form around 400 years ago. They have both reached their peak of perfection - there's no need to evolve any further.
I'm beginning to think that the S&D circa 1955 is the same. That it fulfilled many different roles and needs - local transport provider, a cheap efficient and effective way of moving thousands of holidaymakers hundreds of miles, secure employment for whole generations of Somerset and Dorset folk, a mouthwatering vista for lovers of railways, steam and the countryside, a place of peace and contentment occasionally interrupted by extraordinary power and spectacle.
So when people question what we're about, how we're going to square the circle, how we're going to cater for the supposedly contrary requirements of railway enthusiasts and 'real' passengers and freight suppliers, as well as tourists, I just think 'shark'! The S&D did all this in 1955, why try to reinvent the wheel? The new S&D will have manned stations, manual signalling, steam engines, compartment coaches and all the other paraphenalia of a working 1950s steam railway because that's what's best for all of the above. We may need to 'tweak' the fuel (from coal to wood) due to the new realities of Climate Change and Peak Oil, but otherwise it will be just as it was - only even more profitable! So don't worry - the new S&D is in very caring and responsible hands, it's our baby as much as yours!