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, December 01, 2008

report from st moritz

Well, it looks like this will work!
Oddly the Swiss Railway network has been really inefficient today. Our first train was delayed and was making some horrible and scary braking noises.
The second train was delayed by about 25 minutes. But the real problem was the Albula line south of Preda was CLOSED due to the avalanche risk. I've been travelling 30 years over here and I've never known a late train, let alone a line closure.
Luckily in the last few years a 19km metre gauge tunnel has been opened linking Klosters with the Engadine valley, so we used this line. Even this had been stopped for a while today due to a tree on the track, but that had been sorted by the time we reached there.
So we're now ensconsed in the fabulous Waldhaus hotel overlooking the lake. We've had three feet of fresh snow so the village looks amazing! We're doing the Bernina line on Thursday, then travelling back to Geneva on Friday.
It's amazing how busy the railways here are, at Landquart there seemed to be a train every few minutes, for a town smaller than Midsomer Norton!
I'll try to download some photos I took today later and include them in tomorrow's post. Posted by Picasa

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