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, June 29, 2009

brand new key

Yes, this is it - the key to Midford! It's totemic of course, as anyone can access Midford, but it does mean a lot.

We had an interesting first meeting with everybody attending coming at least 80 miles each way! We've now formed a committee of five with all the officer positions being filled enthusiastically.

All felt that we were far too early in the journey to take on the huge responsibility of ownership of the site at Midford. Realistically this should become a short-term aim (1 to 3 years). In the meantime we'll work very closely with the current owner who has taken on an executive committee role within the New S&D. Hopefully we'll establish some presence on the ground very shortly, so that visitors to Midford will know we exist and what we're all about. The intention is of course still to purchase Midford, so keep sending in those cheques!!

Although I'll retain the acting Chair role for the time being most of my energies will now be devoted to development of the New S&D. This will be a mixed finance/marketing role. The first ecommerce items have now been added, the website is days away from going live and I'm continuing the membership push. We'll also be churning out press releases, both to the railway/transport press and to the local press along the line. At last my writing MA will come in useful!
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GMasterH said...

One small key for us, one giant leap for the S&D!

Rockers73 said...

Well Done! Keep up the good work