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!

Friday, January 02, 2009

let's have a great 2009!

Shillingstone station.

Burnham-on-Sea ground frame box at Washford.

Lady Angela at Midsomer Norton South.

Somerset's Secret Railway - the Gartell near Templecombe.

2009 is going to be a FANTASTIC year for the S&D. Regular trains should start running at Midsomer Norton, the museum should also be open and with the pull of regular trains the whole site should benefit from many more visitors.

The Gartell is looking north to extend their tracks towards Templecombe. This is a gem of a line with lots of nods to the S&D, at the moment it's the only part of the S&D running regular trains (on 2 foot gauge of course).

Washford has a superb collection of S&D stock and artefacts and is well worth a visit.

Shillingstone is developing quickly with track laid, two engines on site and visitor facilities improving and expanding on every visit!

Remember that you'll need to be a member of one of the above groups (or of a few select others) to join the New Somerset and Dorset Railway, which is seeking to restore the whole route as a response to the challenges of Peak Oil and Climate Change. The creation of this new set-up will be another highlight of 2009, giving the S&D unparallelled support in the UK with FIVE active restoration projects, four on the actual route of the line.
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