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!

Monday, July 07, 2008

future transport

'Near the end of the 20th century, the belief in the desirability of perpetual growth in mobility and transport has started to fade. In many countries, highway accessibility is so ubiquitous that transport cost has almost disappeared as a location factor for industry. In metropolitan areas, the myth that rising travel demand will ever be satisfied by more motorways has been shattered by reappearing congestion.
People have realised that the car has not only brought freedom of movement but also air pollution, traffic noise and accidents. It has become obvious that in the face of finite fossil fuel resources and the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions the use of petroleum cannot grow forever.
There is now broad agreement that present trends in transport are not sustainable, and many conclude that fundamental changes in the technology, design, operation, and financing of transport systems are needed.'

For those of you fazed (or crazed in some cases) by the prospect of Peak Oil and Climate Change, why not treat yourself to this book, which is a level-headed, academic but readable work that gives a far brighter prediction for future transport than many of the hair-shirted Peak Oil crazies would like you to have! Electricity is the key ...
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