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, May 07, 2009

network travel - swiss style

We took the train up to London yesterday for a trip to the Body Worlds exhibition at the 02 Centre.

It hurts to be hauled by a loco called 'Isambard Kingdom Brunel' if you're an S&D fan as we still blame his bloody GWR for the unneccessary closure of the S&D! But all credit to First Great Western we left Bristol just 4 seconds late, arrived in London dead on time, left London dead on time and arrived back at Bristol 30 seconds early.

For all the popular press bleatings about the inefficiencies of our national network this is actually far more my experience of our privatized network with trains running on time, clean and cheap. Perhaps some of the people who never use our trains but have an awful lot of stereotyped 1970s-style things to say about them should actually USE our railways and see them as they are - a superb, quick, clean and sustainable form of transport that will survive Peak Oil.

It was all very Swiss, in fact better than our last Swiss trip in December, when we were assailed by avalanche problems and arrived an hour late in St Moritz after travelling across from Geneva.
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1 comment:

David B said...

Of all the times I've travelled from Bath to Norwich, the only occasions when I've been delayed were when there had been accidents on the line ahead of us.

Intercity trains almost always run to schedule... it's the local services that I experience delays on.

I think that's probably because our intercity lines are, for the most part, grade-separated. Local lines, in contrast, are often single-track, with many crossing points subject to obstructions.