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!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

80s style

Not S&D, but a reminder of probably the worst decade for railways (and the S&D in particular) - check out this website. The four shots above are all from my own 80s collection!

Hopefully you've spotted the new style blog - I felt it was time for a complete change! With moves towards reinstating the whole route I'll be concentrating more on this but with regular nods in the direction of Midsomer Norton, Shillingstone, Gartell, Washford, Masbury and Midford. I'll be rebuilding the sidebar from scratch.
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Friday, August 29, 2008

great dorset steam fair

Some images from the Great Dorset Steam Fair on Wednesday.

Debs and I were guests of ITV Local and were preparing a bloggers' report on the show, which involved going around with a camera and interviewing people. It was great fun but finished early for us after Debs had an accident! The film will appear on ITV Local soon and I'll give a link when available.

The Fair is fantastic and you really do need a few days there to see everything. We missed whole swathes of it.

Interestingly the fair exists because of the S&D! It grew out of a few film shows of the S&D shown near the Fair site back in the 60s. It's now been running for 40 years. More about the history of the Fair and the strong S&D connection here.

There was a stall featuring the Lynton and Barnstaple but, sadly, nothing from the S&D this year.

Eventually no doubt the showground will be served by a branch line off the new S&D, turning the wheel full circle!
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Friday, August 22, 2008

tv exposure

This blog has been chosen as just one of four throughout the region to feature in a Meridian Tonight programme next week (Wednesday 27 August 2008) broadcast from the Great Dorset Steam Fair. Hopefully this will be a chance to present what we're all about at the S&D, from the small heritage set ups at Midsomer Norton and Shillingstone to the whole route revival that seems to be getting closer every day now. The programme is at 6pm next Wednesday.
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Thursday, August 07, 2008

southern attraction

About to open south of Midsomer Norton is Kilver Court Gardens which is framed perfectly by the S&D viaduct in Shepton Mallet. It will be nice when visitors are able to arrive by train - even if it takes 10 to 20 years yet - and just imagine a 9F pulling ten coaches going across the viaduct!

The more attractions that lie along the route the more passengers we'll be carrying, particularly with joint ticketing. This is great news for the S&D.
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