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!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

a giant leap for mankind

Things are moving quickly. We met up with David Bailey today who has agreed to get the website up and running. This is a really big step for us and we should soon have a very professional and modern website. He's offering his skills and time free of charge to us which is a real coup.

It also appears to be time to call the first meeting of the New S&D, as there is a lot to discuss. I'm more than happy to hold it here at home in Bristol. We'll lay on a nice meal and you'll have access to our impressive wine selection! As we're still small could you all contact me with some idea of when you are free and, of course, if you're willing to make the trip up to Bristol. We really need to get a committee up and running.

I envisage that meetings will take place up and down the S&D so that we all do a share of the travelling over the next year or so.

Also to counterbalance the Midford station project we should also set something up in the south of the line when the right location becomes available. We mustn't forget the branches either!
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