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!

Friday, June 26, 2009

just keeps getting better

The latest S&D Telegraph, from the Midsomer Norton group, has just arrived. As always it's a fantastic read and a credit not just to MN and the S&D but to the whole heritage movement.

It's nice to see in this issue that not only are they breaking out of MN physically but there are numerous references to the larger picture, ie the whole S&D. This is really heartening to see as MN really is the lynchpin in the whole S&D revival and a superb base for all S&D fans to gravitate towards. I could almost have written the editorial myself!

Remember that we have our first meeting tomorrow evening (details on the sidebar). Please try to attend - I promise that the second meeting will be down at the Bournemouth end of the line so it's not such a trek for our southern members. I'm both nervous and excited about this! Hopefully the weather will be sunny and we can do a lot of it outside. Pimms on the patio sounds great to me!

I'm getting a lot of correspondence from members and supporters, many with a very feisty attitude to getting the S&D rebuilt! Just a few years ago I felt like a lone voice in the wilderness, but more people are coming over to our way of thinking every day ...
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Geoff said...

An excellent read as ever, I've especially enjoyed the series on Wimborne as I remember the station in the seventies, and one of my ancestors was the crossing keeper at Lake. Good to see that the idea of the whole line as a public service is beginning to gain ground too.

Andy said...

How do we get a copy?


Sunshiner said...

You need to order it via the group at Midsomer Norton. The address is Midsomer Norton South Station, Silver Street, Midsomer Norton, BA3 2EY. Cover price is £2.95 - not sure what their policy on postage and packing is. Their website at www.sdjr.co.uk has a sales section with more info.