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!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

gartell open tomorrow



(Photos courtesy John Penny)

Wow, that was quick! Within an hour of posting my previous entry I had a response from John Penny who is a volunteer at the Gartell Light Railway. The line is open tomorrow, so try to get down if you're in the area. It runs in part on the old S&D main line trackbed, just south of Templecombe, and has lots of little S&D touches.
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2 comments:

GMasterH said...

Midford? I did'nt know anything was going on at Midford! But it was a logical place to start another project. Platform intact, magnificent viaduct, goods yard for storage and very close to the ultimate goal... BATH!

Sunshiner said...

There is a plan to put a refreshment coach on some track at Midford, but nothing more than that at the moment. There was a scheme some years ago which failed due to problems with the locals. But it's pretty inevitable that a workable scheme based near Midford or Wellow will arise at some time in the future as this really is the best bit of the line and essential for reinstatement back into Bath. It will be a real honeypot and will probably be the first stage of reopening of the whole route through the New Somerset and Dorset Railway scheme. I doubt it would be that viable as a stand-alone scheme as the cost of maintaining tunnels and viaducts would be prohibitive for a small group. As part of a reinstated line linking Bath, the Midlands and the South Coast the infrastructure costs can be subsumed into the larger scheme.