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, April 10, 2009

electric cars - the next con

So everyone is now talking about electric cars, that they are going to save the world! This is hilarious. The worst thing is that Gordon Brown et al keep explaining that this is to control CO2 emissions, no mention of Peak Oil!

The fact is that to switch all the UK's cars to electric power - which is after all what these idiots are proposing - will require current UK electricity generating capacity to increase FOURFOLD. (Source Analysis commissioned by CBT from Keith Buchan of the Metropolitian Transport Research Unit) This does not take into account the embedded energy also required to build these vehicles. Not even the greenest hippy would claim that renewables could supply even a tiny percentage of this increase so where is the only place it could come from? Coal. Great news for the pits of North Somerset but very bad news for the climate.

These odd ideas will fall one by one as the seriousness of the energy crunch comes clear to even the most befuddled politician. We need to constantly argue the case for rail, to stress how much more energy efficient it is (ironically 400%), and to point out that once a line is in place almost all the income is profit. The Americans and continental Europeans understand this, particularly with regard to freight, it will not be that long before our dull lot realise it too. But a little bit of lobbying and information thrown their way won't hurt either!

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