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, May 11, 2008

silver street protection works

Looking fantastic, the Silver Street protection works are now in place, and are as always a credit to the track works gang. Hidden under the neat chippings are the serious sliding buffer protection features which will stop any runaway falling into the road below. Hopefully within a few years all this will be swept away when the bridge is replaced and trains are heading towards Radstock again.

Back in October both the weather and the works were looking pretty miserable!
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Anonymous said...

Running to Radstock with what? At your site all there seems to be is a motley selection of freight stock, the Mk1 sleeping coach, a Mk3 buffet and the strange Mk1 variant you've fitted for Push-Pull working. And what progress on the motive power front? A diesel and the Sentinel. That will never deal with the gradients of the S&D. Do you have anything ready that is powerful enough for the return of the "Pines Express" on your re-born S&D? Make all your plans for a railway but without trains it's useless!

Sunshiner said...

With any restoration it is a step by step process. Five years ago we had no track. The Sentinel is owned by a private group and will not pull passenger trains. We are heading towards Chilcompton first as it is easiest. For this trip the diesel will be adequate, but the intention is to bring in a steam engine, probably an 0-6-0. (There are inevitably many offers - this is the real S&D after all!)When restored back to Radstock we'll need a larger engine, but what would be the point in acquiring one now?? It would merely tie up capital and siding space. Each bit will fall into place as and when it needs to - just as it has up till now.

Sorry if I'm stating the bleeding obvious to 99.9% of the readership!

Bogie said...

Sunshiner > It is useful to re-iterate this. Work on restoring a railway begins with the track and then follows with the engines. No point buying a steamer until you have a platform to run it towards at Chilcompton or Radstock.

I think the work the track gang have done getting this gravel-trap done is wonderful. Along with the newly re-surfaced up platform, the station is finally looking ready for customers.

Stumpytrain said...

Can't quite understand what "Anonymous" is talking about. What's the point of having a large locomotive until it has somewhere to stretch its legs? I'm not an active member of the group but I think they're doing an excellent job and getting their priorities right as well.

Anonymous said...

A great project and a great blog. As someone actively involved in railway restoration since before the S&D's closure, I applaud your step-by-step approach. I've given you an extensive write up on Behind The Water Tower which is read daily by 100 plus readers interested in railway developments in Poland.

Keep up the good work,

Best wishes,