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 30, 2009

your future transport needs you

Just to return to Tavistock for a moment, Devon County Council have formally supported the proposals passed by WDBC last week-they were supportive anyway, but now the project is officially endorsed by them, so another piece of good news. Secondly,the local newspaper, the Tavistock Times, is currently running a poll online to gauge the percentage of people who would use the rebuilt railway. I was browsing another forum last night [First Great Western coffee shop] and it mentions this poll, along with a theory that the anti railway brigade in Tavistock may well have been organising themselves to influence the outcome of the poll. To counter balance this, I was wondering if as many people who use this site could pay a quick visit to the Tavistock Times website and register a positive vote. I don't think this is cheating, because Ii imagine that if you were in the vicinity of Tavistock you would use the railway. I don't think ultimately the poll will influence any major decision making either way, but you never know how propaganda can be twisted, so best be on the safe side. Co-operation would be much appreciated. Website is here.

Personally I'm amazed that there is an anti-railway faction in Tavistock. Not only will the railway mean quicker journey times into Plymouth, but will raise house prices, especially those near to the railway. Idiots!

The article in the paper (below) is more 21st century!

THE reinstatement of the railway between Bere Alston and Tavistock has moved a step closer, following this week’s decision by Devon County Council’s executive. Councillors agreed to support the principle of entering into a joint venture partnership with Kilbride Properties Ltd to deliver the multi-million project which would re-open the line from Bere Alston station to a new station at Tavistock, with a regular through train service operated to and from Plymouth. Sections of the railway track bed of the old line, which closed in 1968, have been purchased by the county council — with the transfer from BRB Property completed in March. Some land clearance has now also been carried out along the route. Cllr Margaret Rogers, the executive member for environment, said: ‘Re-opening the railway line and developing a new walking and cycling route will provide people with real alternatives to using their cars. ‘This formal partnership will hopefully enable the development of walking and cycling trails running alongside the railway to access the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape Heritage sites. ‘Not only will this scheme help the county council to make Devon even greener by cutting congestion, but it could provide an economic boost for local tourism.’ The re-opening of the railway line and provision of a railway station at Tavistock are among the key transport proposals in the adopted structure plan, Devon to 2016, and the current West Devon Local Development Framework includes proposals for 250 homes next to the proposed railway station, south of the A390 Callington Road. West Devon Borough Council last week voted for its core strategy proposals which included backing for a rail link ‘in principle’ for Tavistock.
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hantsandy said...

I think its great that they are planning to re-open another rail link. Its a shame here in hampshire they arent doing the same, Hampshire County Council are planning on changing the redundant rail link from Fareham to Gosport to a Rapid Bus route, all isnt quite loss as its still not too late to have your say as the public consultancy process doesnt end until next week!

GMasterH said...

IF the anti-rail group objects I'd like to see what they're gonna do about transport problems in the future! I think if they don't want it they should not get it, then laugh at them in 20 years time when the roads are a mess, housing obstructs most of the trackbed and they are the ones everyone will blame!

Knoxy said...

I'm amazed to hear there is still an anti-rail lobby! Are they luddites? hippies? or just nimbys? They can't be motorists, as where do they think congestion comes from? a railway would help reduce it.
As a motorist, motorcyclist and an HGV licence holder and now a railwayman I would love to hear their suggestions as to how we are all to get about in the future when I’ve finished burning up all the oil I can afford.
The open road? A myth, that disappeared during the 1980’s.
Houses are worthless without an infrastructure to support them and Tavistock has the way forward.


E Carlisle said...

I think anti-rail people in Tavistock must be myopic Luddites who have their heads firmly buried in the 1960s. Britain as a whole has seen and is seeing a RAILWAY RENAISSANCE - look at Crossrail, the doubling of capacity at Reading, rebuilt of Birmingham New Street, reopening of 30 miles of the Waverley Route (Scottish Borders), new HSTs soon to come in for Great Western, the new Night Riviera, the Caledonian Sleeper, re-opening of Bristol Templemeads to Portishead, and you can see that these people are completely out of touch. Anyone who has to drive from Tavistock to Plymouth each day knows that it will be quicker and more convenient by rail, and that access to the National Network is years overdue.