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!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

fancy owning a bit of a coach?

(Photo Jeremy Woodrow MMOG newsletter)

Midlands Mark One coach number 26049 is now resident at Midsomer Norton - and it looks superb! (Sorry for the quality of the picture - it was taken directly from the newsletter - better quality shots are welcomed!!)

It is so important that the S&D restoration captures the feel of the line as it was in its prime. These Mark One coaches are every bit as iconic as Midford station, Midsomer Norton box, Templecombe, 9Fs, Ivo's Bentley and Prestleigh viaduct.

There are still a lot of costs looming to get the coach fully restored inside and to this end the MMOG are asking for further donations. If you would like to help with this please send a cheque made payable to 'Midlands Mark One Group' to Jeremy Woodrow, 1 Bathway Cottages, Bathway, CHEWTON MENDIP, Somerset, BA3 4NP. You can also make regular payments by standing order - again if interested please contact Jeremy at the above address for a form. (We will also do a pdf of this form on the New S&D website after David returns from his holiday this coming week, but please don't wait).
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