Welcome to the 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway'
Thursday, January 29, 2009
(photos Mick Knox - S&D 6.3.2006)
I had a frantic email from Mick Knox today. He was off - immediately - to photograph the Bletchley-Claydon line. The engineers were out clearing the route ready for an engineering assessment prior to reopening. This is part of the Oxford-Cambridge line, closed - incredibly - in the 60s. He had hoped to get shots of the route before any disturbance.
Also I've just read that the Waverley route rebuilding will start a year earlier than planned, in 2010. This was another double track main line closed (in 1969), against the wishes of just about everybody. The new section will be the 35 miles from Edinburgh to Tweedbank, the cost of restoration is only £250 million. Compare this with the money wasted on road building! It will still leave Hawick rail-less, though this shouldn't be for much longer, the locals are already clamouring for its reconnection. Hawick is far too large a town to lack any form of modern transport. No doubt Peebles and Biggar will also want reconnecting to the 21st century once the rails start reappearing in the Scottish Borders.
This is good news for the S&D. Where Scotland leads England will no doubt follow. It is ridiculous that large towns (and a city!) like Midsomer Norton, Radstock, Shepton Mallet, Wincanton, Wells, Glastonbury and - incredibly - Blandford still lack any sort of sustainable transport as we approach the second decade of the twenty first century.
Our task becomes easier as each day passes.