Welcome to the 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway'
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
New S&D update
As you can imagine my email box is full of enquiries, ideas etc pertaining to the new S&D.
The first outcome of this is that I will be dropping 'Trust' from the title of the group. This is to avoid any confusion with the existing three trusts! New Somerset and Dorset Railway says it all really, adding 'Trust' looked to some as if this would be a successor (or 'rival') to one or all of the existing trusts. This is not the intention at all. The New Railway will be first and foremost a company dedicated to rebuilding the S&D as a working steam railway, providing all the services currently provided by our dying road system. The existence of operating railways on parts of the route will be seen as a benefit, and we will work very closely with them right from the start. We'll also support any schemes for cycleways on the route, providing that they are prepared to relocate when the trains return. This is exactly what is allowed for, in example, Sustrans' constitution.
We will be offering membership, probably on a minimum donation basis at first. We will also raise funds through the normal charity channels, as well as operating retail businesses.
The primary rail-based aim will be to provide a real rail service at some point on the route, to generate additional funds for expansion and to allow company employees to gain valuable experience, as well as provide a very public focus for our activities.
Another important aspect of the New S&D will be promotion and marketing of the whole route, maing strong contacts with local, regional and national media for example. As well as pushing the S&D onto the agenda, it will also push Peak Oil, which about 90% of the population are still unaware of.
I've seen a figure of £2 billion to restore the whole route. Whilst this is a very high figure there may well be substantial funds available as central government desperately seeks ways of keeping the country moving! Think of it as a challenge rather than a brick wall! See my earlier post re inspiration ...