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!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

blandford arches

These are the remaining arches of the bridge that carried the S&D across Langton Meadow, south of the town.

There are plans to start a group to preserve this part of the S&D. Apparently the arches are already something of a tourist attraction, so are seen as having potential and value as they are.

Latest info I have is from the Western Gazette from 2 January 2009, but I've also requested an update to get the latest news.

The Western Gazette article is reproduced below.

A STEERING committee has been set up to progress the formation of a charitable trust dedicated to the preservation of the old railway arches on Langton Meadow in Blandford.

More than two dozen people attended a meeting last Wednesday to further the project, when town councillor and Blandford Museum education officer Sylvia Hixson Andrews gave a presentation on the way forward.

She said the arches already brought visitors to the town, as was evidenced by people calling at the museum to find out about the Somerset & Dorset railway.

Museum railway club founder members David Cash and Bob Downes, together with museum archivist Pam le Bas, a representative of the Shillingstone Railway Station project, and David Mason agreed to meet again on Thursday 15 January to draw up objectives and officer nominations which could be put to a further meeting of prospective trust members on Thursday 5 February.

Mrs Hixson Andrews said it would be important to find a treasurer, since if the project went ahead to restore the arches and develop a rail trailway or any other visitor attractions, the trust would be handling substantial funds.

FOR information, or to get involved in the project, call David Cash on 01963 364162 or e-mail dcash9@btinternet.com
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1 comment:

gigagannet said...

Excellent stuff very enjoyable on a Sunday afternoon with a glass of wine. Brilliant photos thanks everso for posting.
I lived in Spetisbury as a child, and remember the railway well between Shillingston and Bailey Gate, In its hey day. So much so that when I returned to Blandford in the earley 80's I Video taped the remains of the railway track as it bought back childhood memories.
They are on youtube gigagannet or (Blandford Forum Railway)google. There is also original film of Blandford station and the arches. Just type hollandtowers in the youtube search box.