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, December 30, 2007

towards 2008

Hope you all had a great Xmas. We had a good December at the station with a Christmas meal (mainly for the volunteers) on the first Sunday, a wonderful Santa weekend with around 75 children in to see Santa then a family Xmas meal on the big day itself which was a unique experience.

2008 is going to be an important year for the line with a lot of new development. A large legacy came in just before Xmas will which allow a lot of progress - more please!

On the volunteer front we've had a lot of new regulars join the team in 2007, coming in nearly every week. The signalbox is FANTASTIC and an absolute credit to the line and to Graeme Mayes and John Rideout who have done most of the work. The museum should be completed in 2008, bringing another visitor attraction to the site. And the Sentinel restoration will be proceeding throughout the year - funding is in place.

Also expect 3 or 4 more issues of the Telegraph magazine, in my objective opinion easily the finest magazine produced by any of the smaller heritage set ups. And we can't wait to get started on tracklaying on the extension ...

I'm really looking forward to working at the site in the New Year, once I've got this bricklaying course under my belt!
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