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!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

the future is almost here ...

Mick Knox writes (referring to the Tavistock decision) This is undoubtedly the future for rail and I have believed this since the 1990's. Just building houses and office space without decent transport links defies the lessons of history. Roads can't do this anymore, so rail is the answer. Sooner or later Radstock will realise this and it will apply to all of the country. Lost lines will return as transport is king, and without it you have nothing.....

Things will really kick off when it's obvious even to the government of the day that without rail transport the nation will go into serious decline as roads no longer are viable. Sensible businesspeople will already be realising that building (and probably even operating) new railways will be a good way of making money in the future. Genius US investor Warren Buffet realised this a few years ago and started buying up US railroad stocks. His reasoning was that once the infrastructure and equipment are in place almost all income is profit.

Hopefully local councils will also realise that modern rail transport is not only essential in an energy-constrained future, but that it will bring an income in at the local level, where railways and tramways are locally owned.

Not only will just about all the Beeching cuts be reversed, but many places that never even saw rail transport in the first railway age will get trains and trams in the second one.
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