Welcome to the 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway'
Sunday, December 21, 2008
The emails etc are now flying with plenty of you asking stuff about the new Trust, also a few reporting that the Midsomer Norton Trust has now erased any reference to this blog on their website - despite it being the 'best bit' (according to you, not me!)
No problem! The new trust will fully support ALL the groups restoring parts of the S&D - there will be no need to reciprocate! We've no intention of opening parts of the line for playing trains, though we will be purchasing sections of the trackbed as they become available, to protect them until the trains return. Any sections we own that adjoin sections of restored line will be happily handed over for tracklaying!
The window of opportunity is closing. We need to get OUR line to the forefront as the reopening of lines accelerate. Resources will tighten as more and more lines are rebuilt - we need to stake our claim now.
Extract from one email reply I sent today -
The main thing is to start planning and networking now, rather than waiting for ten years when it's obvious to everybody that we need to rebuild our railways just to keep functioning.
I've always said the S&D will be reopened, but I'm worried it will be as a basic, electrified line with little or no concessions to its uniqueness/history.
One of the biggest problems we have is that most Peak Oil types expect us to be thrown back into the Dark Ages within 10 to 20 years. There's a risk that we will, but I believe that if we start reallocating resources now, then we have a chance to retain at least a degree of mobility and civilization, even if it's at a lower level than what we have today. But I've always been something of an optimist!
The key is to start rebuilding our rail network now, whilst we have the resources. 20 years in the future is too late. That's the challenge.
In a way this will be a rebirth of the original SDRHT, which has got somewhat bogged down with the minutae of setting up a tiny heritage station/line, which is really not what the Trust was set up for. It was supposed to be project-based, with MN just being one project amongst many.
The new Trust will work closely and fully support all the current groups (and cycleways) on the S&D.