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 03, 2009


Great news literally just in - the extension to the running line at Midsomer Norton has been granted planning permission! This means the MN Trust can now get seriously down to work on this stretch with trackbed preparation and tracklaying.

Congratulations to everyone at Midsomer Norton who have helped make this happen, particularly to Pete Russell who has worked so hard on the arcane paperwork which would have made the rest of us lose the will to live.

This is a major event in the history of a new Somerset and Dorset Railway.
Posted by Picasa


Anonymous said...

superb, better start with the paper work for the next section. poor Peter, this is going to be never ending. can't wait to see double track to the new boundry. this does mean there will be more to strimm embankment wise next winter!


David B said...

This is fantastic news! Details in app 07/02516/FUL

Toddingtonted said...

May I add my congratulations to all who have worked hard to get this far. Patience is a virtue as regards railways it seems (other good recent news including the through train to Swanage and the cutting of the frames for the new "Patriot" LMS 4-6-0 both of which have been a long time coming). Although this piece of poetry by Brooke is about something vastly different (WW1) I think it sums up my views anyway at this time:

Now, God be thanked
Who has matched us with His hour,
And caught our youth, and wakened us from sleeping,
With hand made sure, clear eye, and sharpened power,
To turn, as swimmers into cleanness leaping,
Glad from a world grown old and cold and weary,
Leave the sick hearts that honour could not move,
And half-men, and their dirty songs and dreary,
And all the little emptiness of love!

Well, I can be an emotional old sod at times; perhaps railways do this to us!