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, February 10, 2009

four more from broadstone





Four more 1977 shots from Broadstone.

This was once the main line to Dorchester and Weymouth, before Bournemouth even existed. A new direct line was eventually opened to Bournemouth, and this section of Castleman's Corkscrew became something of a backwater. Even so it had a fairly extensive service, always worked by steam.

It seems strange that rails remained to Wimborne (until 1977), West Moors and Ringwood (1967), as well as to Blandford (1969), yet all of this potentially valuable Bournemouth commuter network is currently completely closed. All of these areas, despite being unserved by modern transport, have grown since closure of the railways. I remember reading somewhere that the trackbeds were to be reserved for a future rapid transit system but nothing seems to have happened on this front. Surely it's long overdue? But then even Bournemouth Airport (at Hurn) is not rail served. I don't think airports have any long term future but it does seem incredible to me that a reasonably busy regional airport has no rail connection, particularly one very close to an existing closed railway formation (the Ringwood-Hurn-Christchurch line, closed in 1933!)

I do see this area as one of prime importance for the New S&D because as well as through trains on the main line there will be scope for many (possibly tram-train or Parry People Mover) local and commuter services in this heavily populated area, as well as many potential freight flows.
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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ringwood to Christchurch closed 30th Sepetember 1935!

Sunshiner said...

You're right of course. My fault for relying on memory rather than checking first!