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!

Saturday, November 17, 2007


The Monday Gang were enjoying the sunshine earlier this week. It's getting busier and busier every week now, the car park was jam packed by the time I arrived around ten. I can't wait until I get out of the office and back out on the line again, especially with the catering coach open four days a week from the end of January!

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Trinity said...

oh dear it seems the catering coach people have decided they no longer wish to run the place. So it won't be open at all except maybe the odd Sunday if someone will do it.
Trouble with Midsomer Norton is it isn't a terribly friendly place for the tourist anyways. No parking places, buffet coach never open, shop not always manned. I understand that it's a railway under construction but surely these people bring money. How can a railway be built without finances?

Sunshiner said...

It's a real mess with the catering coach. You're right, the franchising team behind Sparks and Cinders have withdrawn, though without giving a rational reason. We'd worked VERY hard to make sure the transition was as simple and straightforward as possible. I suspect heads will roll at MN, and there's talk of legal action being initiated for breach of contract. We'll see!

But it certainly seems at the moment that the catering coach will NOT be open four days a week from January, despite the promises of the Sparks and Cinders people.