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!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

new record prices for oil ...

Motorists faced more grim news as oil hit a new record above 135 US dollars a barrel on supply fears and US economic concerns.

The fresh peak came in the week the AA motoring organisation reported the highest monthly rise in average diesel prices this century - up by 6.76p to 124.17p a litre. Petrol also leapt 4.49p to 112.55p a litre in the month to mid-May.

Crude oil for July delivery peaked at 135.04 dollars in overnight Asian trading as demand showed no signs of abating.

The spike came after US figures showed an unexpected drop in stockpiles, while downbeat growth forecasts from the US Federal Reserve weakened the dollar.

Prices may fall again, but few now expect oil ever to go below $100/barrel again - yet even a year ago $100 oil was considered a fantasy. 10 years ago it was just $10 a barrel.

What this means for the S&D is uncertain. It may mean fewer visitors - though motorists are extremely unlikely to reduce their driving over the short term in response to higher petrol prices, despite all their moaning! They are more likely to cut back on other things. Long term it means a much brighter future for rail generally, as a persistently high oil price will result in people making lifestyle choices that will reduce their dependence on the car - but decent public transport needs to be in place to allow them to do this.

Much more on our associated site ...
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