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!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Swanage station. A line that almost never happened but is now one of the leading heritage lines, which also operates 'real' trains to take visitors from Norden to Swanage, leaving their cars behind.

Wulfric. Born four months early, we were told that he had 0% chance of surviving by the doctors.

The signalbox at Midsomer Norton. Rebuilt from a pile of rubble, now an absolute gem and a credit to the whole heritage movement.

The Rhatische Bahn in Switzerland. A huge network of metre gauge lines running through spectacular scenery, using engineering on an epic scale - and profitable!

A1 Pacific 'Tornado', built 2008. 18 years and £3 million - and many said it would never happen!

The above are some of my own inspirations which keep me working towards reinstatement of the S&D. Let me know yours!

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Toddingtonted said...

Having seen the BBC 2 TV programme this morning on the subject of the building of Tornado, I can quite see what an inspiration it is. I was determined to watch this programme and was somewhat surprised to find the rest of my family watching it whilst pretending not to! I also requested that I'd like an A1 for Christmas next year! I didn't see any stereotypical railway enthusiasts in the programme, what I saw were ordinary people who were determined to see the project through. If the S&D have some like minded people at MN then 2009 should be a good year, after all, they have done brilliantly so far!

Sunshiner said...

Same here - my 18 year old stepdaughter was fascinated by the programme, which says it all really!