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, March 27, 2009

fools step in ...

Apparently there is a proposal to build 14 houses on S&D trackbed north of Sturminster Newton. There is still time to put in objections to this here.

More details here.

This has caught us rather on the back foot as there are only a few days to get objections in. HOWEVER this does underline why a strong group representing the WHOLE S&D needs to be up and running as quickly as possible. The houses, if ever built, will of course need to be demolished, tunneled under or diverted around when the line is reinstated, probably at a greater cost than rebuilding on the original site (as it is now).

We need to identify these possible trouble spots and BUY the land over the next few years. We need to rapidly increase our membership and get maximum publicity, funds and contacts to stop this anachronistic stupidity reoccuring.

But this is hardly the time to be building houses with falling prices and massive availability, and what idiot would seriously buy in a town ten miles or so distant from modern transport? So perhaps it's a hollow threat?

We do need to ensure that our views are widely known and understood through the towns and villages on our route. But it's going to take time and a good deal of hard work. We need to start making the connections locally with people that hold power. It's easier than many think. Most of all people need to take us seriously and realise that we are going to be around for a very, very long time! That the temporary closure of the S&D was an aberration and that the world has changed.

So come on board and get actively involved!

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1 comment:

GMasterH said...

Some people just don't apreciate the magnitude and the dire results of their actions.