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!

Monday, April 20, 2009

a lesson from Austria

Berg Isel station.

The tramride through the woods.

Igls station.

Years ago there was a rural tramway in the Black Country which ran up to a beauty spot called Kinver. It was a popular and busy route which only closed (in 1930!) because the parent tramway company, principally an urban set up, was closing down. If open today it would be a major tourist attraction.

In Austria they do things differently! The little tramway from Bergisel on the Innsbruck network up to Igls is like an Austrian Kinver Light Railway, complete with a bit of street and roadside running, followed by a wonderful squealy trip through the woods, up to a real station in Igls. Trams run every hour. Don't miss it!

Apparently the entire route of the Kinver Valley line remains. Why not bring tourist trams back to the Black Country? If Austria can do it why can't we?
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Anonymous said...

because the health & Safety police would do their nut. can't have trams running around on roads, where an earth does one put the fencing to keep the chav's off the track?


Anonymous said...


We'd better not tell them about Croydon, Wolverhampton, Manchester, Sheffield, Nottingham, Blackpool, Birkenhead, Llandudno and (from this summer) Porthmadog then!

Anonymous said...

They were obviously on holiday in Weymouth then, panicking about a return to using the harbour branch....

We should return the trams everywhere, and the trolley buses. That should tip the H&S police over the edge?