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!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

you're wasting your time!!

Classic misunderstanding of what we're about (via the message board).

i've taken a while back to look at this from an outsiders point of view recently and have come to see that this whole idea of your new s+d really is pointless. a lot of the whole idea of this seems to be to 'get back' at the midsomer norton project and bring down the image of it between yourselfs with stupid bitchy comments going back and forth, they will succeed with their aims. your aims on the other hand are going to require such a stupid amount of investment that the chances of them happening are slim to none. as much as i'd like to see the S+D back its not going to happen, to much development has happened in the poole/bournemouth area, i doubt that bournemouth station could cope with the additional services required. and before you say bournemouth west station rebuilding, SWT arent going to give up their maintenance depot, and isnt there a car park there anyway now? at the bath end of the line there is nowhere anyone could put a station beyond midford and theres not much point building a railway line to nowhere. at radstock there is pretty much no way you can get through there, to much development has happened now, i know there's going to be talk of me being a troll so im not gonna even look back to see what is said.

My reply -

This is not about MN and never has been. MN provide a valuable rail corridor on the route and as a life member I'll always support what they do there. I can't say I've seen any bitching anywhere - but then I haven't been down to MN recently! We're all working towards the same thing - a restoration of the S&D. Why would anybody involved in this try to run down other aspects of this great revival project??
Jeff, you're going to have to live a lot more in the future than I am! How do you expect to get around or are you going to just sit in MN and grow veg?

We have looked closely at approaches to Bath and Bournemouth. There is every possibility of a chord line north of Midford connecting via the old Limpley Stoke line to the Bath route, giving an approach to Bristol as well. At the southern end there are several ways of returning to Bournemouth, and connecting on via the Ringwood route to Southampton and beyond.

I don't think you really 'get' the New S&D. As the fuel crisis hits big time then the government will have no choice but to restore the rail network. This process - a reversal of Beeching - is already happening. It will accelerate. We need to make sure that we are at the head of the queue. Already 1969 and 1968 closures are being reversed. The S&D closed in 1966 - the time for reopening is rapidly drawing near.
With a base at Midford we can publicise what we are doing and be taken seriously.

Negativity is a very 1970s thing. The world has changed enormously. It's your generation that will be doing the rebuilding of railways. You need to get involved in a huge project like this because you have to!

So don't listen to a few oddballs that just want to run steam trains and look backwards. We have to live in the future, not the past, and the New S&D is very much part of the future, even if we will incorporate the best elements of the world that existed before you were born!
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