Welcome to the 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway'
Monday, January 12, 2009
Hot on the heels of my link to the Clutton site yesterday came news that the project had closed down. Well, if I'd scrolled just a little futher on the site I'd have spotted it myself!
Last time I called there I spotted a mark one coach and a narrow gauge industrial diesel, so they were obviously beyond stage one.
These station restoration schemes are always a little fragile unless somebody has bottomless pockets. The inspriration for Clutton I think were a couple of restored stations in Herefordshire, but these were privately owned so doubtless had the funds to proceed, similar to what is happening in Masbury. The downside is access of course!
Without operating trains there's little to set such a place aside from any other tourist attraction offering food and drinks (I think the mark one was going to become a buffet car). There would also be real problems of staffing, especially if it was going to be with unpaid workers!
This was why it was so important to rebrand the old SDRHT 'Midsomer Norton South Station Project' to 'Mendip Main Line Project', to let people know that our ambitions lay well beyond the infamous 'short demonstration line' that we once proclaimed!
Right from the start of running trains the Midsomer Norton set up will be looking to expand both north and south. Fans of the S&D deserve nothing less!
Clutton will no doubt arise from the ashes eventually, but as part of a far larger network!