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 29, 2008

shillingstone progress

I managed to pop in to Shillingstone on the way back from honeymoon yesterday. What a difference a year makes! The shop was open, the station was buzzing with people (and dogs), the building and platform were accessible and unlocked and there's a real working loco sitting on track. They are making fantastic progress for a small team and I'd encourage anyone who lives close to them to get involved with the restoration.
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Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what these guys intend to do ?
Are they going to lay track to somewhere or just the station ?
If so in a direction, which direction ?
Stourpaine would be best i think as it has a halt (not in the best of health)but if you head north there is no station.
At least if they head towards and get to Stourpaine they could do trips along the line.

David B said...

Looking at the aerial maps on Google, Stourpaine does indeed seem the best option. Northwards, they'd have to buy up some gardens and a tennis court (although the nearest bridge is still intact, unlike Midsomer). Southwards there seems to be huge lengths of untouched trackbed, ripe for use. Have the Trust there been in touch with the Land Registry to find out who owns what and if it's available?

Anonymous said...

The problem is the trailway own all the trackbed south of the station until the end of the village so and an agreement would have to be made with them. as well as that the enormus amount of infill in cliff cutting would give us quite the bill of spoil removal. But as it stands at the moment we have a long way to go and as usual legal bull shit is getting in the way of progress, like planning permission, and various rules and regulations. But we will get there eventualy.

Anonymous said...

What we are doing is putting the station back to what it was in the 1950's. The plan is to lay about three quarters of a mile of track with double track through the platforms with a siding into the cattledock. We do have a working diesel a Ruston-Hornsby it was running but not moving at our open day. We do have a buffy bar with tea, coffee and soft drinks open most weekends. We also have flushing toilets running water and electricity. One of our long term plans if everything goes according to plan is to build a two road restoration shed. We are working with the trailay put as with everything it takes time. Please come down and see how we are doing.