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!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


There are quite a lot of new faces around Midsomer Norton these days - partly as a response to our higher profile (website, magazine articles, local papers, perhaps even this blog) and also to our volunteer drive, which is bringing in several new people every week, at least at the enquiry level!

So why give up your precious time to help restore the S&D? My reason is that I'm desperate to see the line back, both as a major tourist attraction but, more importantly, because it should never have closed and will be an essential transport asset in a car, lorry and plane-free future. But it's only going to happen if WE make it happen. We don't want a 'basic' railway foisted on us by a scared distant government, we want the new S&D to be as similar to the old S&D as possible, run and owned by local people. Most volunteers do live locally of course, but we have several who regularly travel 200 miles or more to visit us and do their bit.

The new Telegraph should be out any day now, and there will be a major article on volunteering in it. Please read it carefully and give it some thought ...
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I would like to say that I visited the site on Thursday 23rd and I have to say that so far you have done an excellent job. I can't wait to see the up Pines Express thundering towards Bath behind a 9F or a humble down stopping train behind a BR standard or a 4F. But for the moment perhaps something less grand will do because as long as there are trains on the Swift and Delightful nothing else really matters.