Welcome to the 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway'
Sunday, January 04, 2009
new dawn for the S&D
The above photo captures probably the iconic moment of the new S&D - a Jinty running a passenger train on the main line. Many thought this day would never come, and it was an absolute credit to the Midsomer Norton Trust when it did happen. All this was done with volunteer labour and with minimum income.
In 2009 the Trust at MN is on the verge of running REGULAR trains. Every single member of the Trust should be glowing with pride at this incredible achievement. Hopefully once trains are running even more new members will flock to the Trust. Running trains is going to need a whole new tranche of volunteers filling roles that currently don't even exist. At the same time the line will still be extending. If you do feel like getting involved at Midsomer Norton please contact the station for more details.
Further south there is the wonderful Gartell railway, which operates narrow gauge trains over a short length of 2 foot gauge track, partly on the trackbed of the S&D. This line is situated just south of Templecombe, and has plans to extend north. The line only operates about once a month, so please check their website for dates. They also need volunteers of course!
Further south still is the Shillingstone group, who have made incredible strides in restoring this most charming of S&D stations. They have a working loco and some track panels already laid.
Elsewhere Masbury is being restored, but this site is private so please do not trespass. The Trust at MN are able to arrange occasional visits. The eventual plan is to relay track.
There are always rumours that something is going to happen at Midford. This is probably the most scenic point on the whole S&D, but there are access problems for a small line.
Off the S&D at Washford there is an excellent museum full of S&D relics ranging from photos to a full size 7F.
The various S&D groups are all working together to extend the S&D presence and experience. Join as many of them as you can!
In March this year the New Somerset and Dorset Railway will be launched. This group will be looking at ways to restore the WHOLE route as a working steam railway. A well as the obvious heritage and tourist passenger trains, it will also look at ways of operating 'genuine' services - passenger and freight. Railways will play a much greater role in the future within the UK's transport system as the oil starts to run out and alternatives prove unviable. The NSDR will seek to ensure that the S&D is one of the first lines restored! Membership to the 'New' will be available from 6.3.09, but if you want to get involved now please don't hesitate to get in touch!