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!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Today we've just hit 100 views of this blog - this is a fantastic result! Despite the Midsomer Norton Trust breaking their link to this site we are now getting about double the number of visits we did back when we did have the link.

Of course once I'd been told (by a regular blog reader) of this totally daft and self-harming action I went and created links to dozens of other websites (S&D and Peak Oil) so really they did me a favour.

It does look a bit daft that what most people consider to be the primary S&D restoration group doesn't even have a link to this unique S&D blog with its huge photo archive and (often) day to day record of MN activity but then I suppose the SDRHT website does it all so much better than I ever will ...
Posted by Picasa


Anonymous said...

Julian doesnt have the time to add photo pages, update all the maps, plans, etc etc

Sunshiner said...

Then why break the link to the blog where I DO have the time to add loads of stuff all the time?

The SDRHT website is its shop window to the world. It says a lot if it isn't regularly updated. If Julian can't find the time surely there are plenty (myself included) who could add content/photos to its pages? Or does the Trust not trust anyone else to do it? They need to broaden out their volunteer base.

I offered to set up ebay and mail order sales but was told (just a couple of weeks ago) that it was in hand. Is it? Last time I looked there was no internet sales feature on their website - they just direct you to their shop which isn't always open every Sunday, let alone Saturdays or during the week. When I was running sales fully 90% of sales were outside of the shop. I imagine all this income (and goodwill) has now been lost.

There is a huge deal of support for the S&D out here, but the MN Trust seems to just brush it off claiming they've everything in hand and can do it better than anyone else anyway.

This is why there are such huge problems there in my opinion. Can we really wait until October for the change we're being promised?

Anonymous said...

i totally agree, they (jb) trust no-one, especially trouble makers like you and I who threaten to upset the sunday locals and dare to post how things really are on the ground.