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 02, 2009

the future is now

Two shots of old Nordkettenbahn in Innsbruck, which linked Innsbruck to Hungerburg.

Two shots of Alpenzoo station, in the woods above Innsbruck, on the brand new line which replaces that in pics 1 and 2, designed by an English woman!

The line has several unusual features. It begins as an underground railway in the heart of Innsbruck, running on the level. There is a second station at city level, then a run over a brand new bridge, still on the level. It then enters another tunnel where it starts climbing steeply, emerging just before the futuristic Alpenzoo station where it switches to viaduct for the final climb into Hungerburg. There are four stations in all, probably a record for a single section funicular. The trains contain five sections in a frame which hydraulically change position depending on the gradient.

The new line has only been open from winter 2007.

If only local authorities in the UK had the same far-sighted approach to modern transport as they do in Austria! This is something that falls within the remit of the New S&D - to change the mindset of the old farts!
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