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!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

changes at Blandford

(top 1967 Jeffery Grayer)

Blandford is probably the largest and most important place on the southern S&D - and obscenely still off the network, despite this section retaining freight traffic until January 1969. The population is currently 8755 (census 2005), and grew over 100% between 1981 and 1991. The station site has some minor encroachments (and also some surviving track) but replacement shouldn't be too difficult, though freight facilities may have to be located elsewhere south of the passenger station.

I suspect that this will be the first section of the S&D to be restored to real trains (Blandford to Bournemouth) and that the section north to Templecombe may be the last section of the main line to be restored.

The town is surprisingly busy, with branches of all the main banks, chain stores, even a Holland and Barrett! It is madness that in the first decade of the 21st century it lacks any form of modern transport. That will certainly change now the New S&D is on the scene!
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