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, May 04, 2009

for sale ...

We've been advised that Midford station is up for sale. The deal is the platform, the trackbed to the Long Arch bridge and associated land. Offers in the region of £50,000 are invited.

Had the New S&D been running for ten years we may well have had funds like this available. But in two months the Trackbed Fund amounts to £55. That's a big gap to bridge!

Midsomer Norton to Bath is one of our first target routes (the other being Blandford to Poole). Midford would be a superb starting point as it is, in my opinion, the most scenic spot on the whole route. A New S&D presence so close to Bath would be an excellent advertisement, and no doubt could be monetized to raise further funds. But to do this we would need some wealthy S&D enthusiast to hand us £49,945. Are you out there?

Or should we start a fund to do this?

Now Midford has already been the site of an unsuccessful revival. It fell through because it lacked vision. A DMU shuttling up and down to Tuckingmill viaduct was always going to be a difficult one to sell! But as part of a larger revival Midford makes sense. It protects this iconic location no matter how long the rails take to return. There would be no need for difficult stock movements on narrow roads - stock could be loaded at Bath or Radstock, or even off the network as the New S&D expands.

Incidentally the offer of sale included the information that Bath has at least one councillor who is keen to see the Bath-Radstock section be restored ASAP. Only one?
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sleeper53 said...

Could Julian Burley (spelling?) help? I believe he is sympathetic and he seems effective at getting things done. Also Steam Railway Magazine.

jeff harris said...

if i get a mortgage, and buy midford station can i live there!! haha

GMasterH said...

I'll buy a Lucky Dip on the Euro-Millions on your behalf.