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, March 31, 2009

more thinking of the future

Last night there was an excellent episode of Railway Walks in which Julia Bradbury ambles along various currently closed sections of railways in the UK.
Yesterday she was walking a twelve mile stretch of the Spey Valley railway. The line seemed wonderfully well preserved, it used to serve a number of distilleries. It made me think about how these distilleries plan to send their products in the future. This line seemed an excellent cndidate for reopening.
A bit of searching on line found this website. So Scotland is again leading the way with modern transport - there is even a prescient quote from an MSP (Member of the Scottish Parliament) which goes -
Wish you all the best in campaigning for more rail connections, and for steam to remain as the principal motive power for as long as we have enough of the wonderful old Leviathans in working order. It may well be that wood or other bio fuel could be used in future in new, advanced steam engines.

Green mean steam!!

—Robin Harper MSP, Scottish Green Party
Sound familiar?

1 comment:

david said...

Dear Robin Harper MSP,

Thanks for posting a link to our site to restore the Forres to Grantown line :-)


Please help us out by signing the petition:


Best wishes,

David Gregson