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, June 15, 2008

Back, better than ever and now a troll-free zone!

Thanks to all the messages of support! This blog will now continue - and hopefully be bigger and better than ever.

From now on any troll messages will be removed, both on the message board and in the comments section. It's pretty obvious that these are coming from people that may have been offended by my non-S&D blogs, which take a much stronger position on Peak Oil etc. It did seem odd that all the messages were mentioning this subject, even though it appears rarely on this site. The final message, claiming that you needed to 'believe' in Peak Oil was both hilarious and disturbing. Peak Oil is a simple geological and economic fact, and this daft comment proved (to me) that these trolls were really getting ridiculous and desperate.

So don't worry - I won't be giving up this blog, there will still be the same balance of site reports and looks at the wider transport picture and we'll also have the benefit of no more troll posts! So some good has come out of the recent attacks!

Don't for one minute think that this will mean the site becomes bland or boring. I will always happily retain posts that challenge what I'm saying or what's going on in the world - what will go will be personal attacks, mad posts (mainly pseudo or un-scientific attacks on climate change or peak oil) and posts trying to tell me what I can post on my own blog!

The S&D was Britain's finest railway, but it's no good to us as a bunch of memories, fading photos and empty trackbed. Only its restoration and reopening as a real and heritage railway will be a fitting monument to the folly of those 1960s politicians that neither understood or appreciated the limits to road transport that are now so obvious to ALL of us, including the trolls!

I'm really going to enjoy this site from now on. I hope you do too!

Expect reports on MN and Shillingstone in the next couple of weeks, plus LOADS on Peak Oil and the end of road transport ...
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Toddingtonted said...


Aha! The seductive medium of the Internet. I thought you couldn't resist carrying on! I'm looking forward to seeing reports on what is happening at MN (especially as I won't be able to get there for the Midsummer Event) and I suppose I'll just have to put up with your guff on Peak Oil and the end of road transport and the fact that you don't have an ego etc. However, I can choose to ignore those bits and happily read about the developments at MN. After all, it is as you say, your blog. IIRC track was being laid in the Chilcompton direction recently, how is that going?

david said...

Delighted to hear you're carrying on with this Blog

Best wishes

Patrick said...

Oil hits $139 and rising...! :)

An intermodal shift looks more and more inevitable as the weeks pass; yet another question in Parliament on Friday about new transport priorities at the DfT.

Tom said...

If you want news on Shillingstone its Going very well power and water is on the porters shed is finnished track bed is nearly after much tampering with ready for laying track. Also power and water are now on in the main station building. for pictures and more infor email me

Anonymous said...

you stick with it mate. I very much enjoy reading you comments - often off beat, but always spot on.

Lewis, Bideford, Devon

pjohn151 said...

So glad the blog is carrying on, hope married life is agreeing with you - belated congratulations to yourself and Debs!

Martin said...

Great to hear that you're continuing with the site. I've really enjoyed your updates over the past few months and, as a transport planner, I really welcome the focus on meeting long term local transport needs in a peak oil context.


Anonymous said...

Pleaes pay attention Toodingteds comments regarding news which I echo. The readers of this blog who are unable to visit MSN are hungry for updates on the extension, track laying, land lease progress, time frames for reaching Chilcompton, news about the tunnel. We are aware of all the fine goings on at the station but clueless as what's happening beyond.