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, September 29, 2008

more wasted main line infrastructure

(All Charwelton 20/9/08, courtesy Mick Knox)

There were many appalling main line closures in the UK thanks to dipstick Beeching. The S&D of course, the Waverley, Plymouth-Exeter via Tavistock, Dumfries to Stranraer, Woodhead and the Ripon line for example. But probably the maddest was the Great Central route, the UK's last main line, built to European loading gauge throughout and promoted way back in 1900 as a future link to the Channel Tunnel. This should be one of the first lines to be reinstated, but at the moment it's still in deep sleep apart from the Nottingham-Leicester section and Aylesbury-Marylebone. This is the sort of line that will compete with us for resources in the future!
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1 comment:

Toddingtonted said...

Interesting photos posted on an interesting day! If and its a big if, the next Govt is prepared to turn down Heathrow expansion and reinstate some at least of the never should have been closed GCR instead then that really would be something! Who knows Sunshiner, maybe a rebuilt S&D at least over some part of the route, might well come to pass. Certainly for a political party (other than the Greens) to say what was said today a few years ago would have been near disasterous - but times are changing and who knows? Personally much as I like aircraft, the train is a much classier form of transport let alone the "green" credentials!