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, September 17, 2007

space monsters

An unusual shot - the platform lines clear of rolling stock!

We do have a problem with storage space at Midsomer Norton. Every inch of siding space together with most of the platform lines is usually blocked with wagons, coaches and locos. Sadly this is not going to change any time soon. The real problem is the steep gradient on the running lines which will prevent us using the reinstated up line as a long storage siding.

It's not all bad news. Lack of space means that every potential item of new stock needs to have an excellent case for coming to the line. Many heritage lines have long sidings of rusting wagons etc which really make the place look tatty. We won't have the option.

We do have a fair selection of rolling stock, but every item has to earn its keep, either as an engineering vehicle, for storage or as a museum piece that will bring in extra visitors. Hopefully when we reach Chilcompton and Radstock extra storage space can be developed!
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Richard Lewis said...

This one had me spluttering into my bedtime mug of tea! I was depressed, but not surprised, by the amount of derelict vehicles swamping MN on a recent visit. Most rly restoration groups claim to want to "recreate the rly scene in 1950s" or whatever, then proceed to fill every inch of track with rusting/rotting junk. The MN group is following this depressing pattern. Is that what I am paying for as an MN supporter? No way. Is that what the average non-rly enthusiast visitor wants to see? NO. So, I agree with comment, but presumably you are a member of the management team that allowed this to happen. Now this rediculous derelict coach body has arrived. Ho hum!

Sunshiner said...

The problem was it wasn't explained to me or most of the Board, but just arrived out of the blue! I had no idea of the time frame and not for one moment was it explained that it would be put within a couple of feet of our catering coach, blocking out the view from the windows and obscuring the catering coach from the view of visitors in the yard, leading to the resignation of the catering manager.

At the end of the day what we're doing at MN is building a new railway, a transport link with a heritage aspect. We need to be commercial and forward thinking. I have no problem with an old coach body being at MN, but it has to take second place to important commercial aspects of the site.

I suspect I wasn't told of its arrival or positioning (like 90% of the Board) as we'd have pressed for further discussion before allowing it to arrive!