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!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

shillingstone progress

(Photos Feb 2009 - more recent ones would be most appreciated!)

With the two panels of track laid on Sunday 21 June there are now six panels of flatbottom rail in the station at Shillingstone. There is now track between the platforms for the first time in over 40 years!

It is fantastic that there are now two bases on the route both with track in place. With Midford joining them very soon (fingers crossed!) there is now a genuine feeling that the S&D is coming back big time. Hopefully within a few years the next logical step - that the groups (including Washford) will combine - will happen. By sharing knowledge, staff, equipment and vision the S&D will quickly establish itself as the UK's premier private railway offering real passenger and freight services, unmatchable steam experiences and an ambience and atmosphere unrivalled elsewhere.
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1 comment:

GMasterH said...

The most obvious contribution Washfrod can eventually make is No 88, their 3 Highbridge coaches in a vintage rake and their collection of goods stock. (I still think 88 looks good in blue!) But more usefull for the short term would be the replica Midford signal box that can be of immense value as a museum piece untill needed for train operations again.