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!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

feeding the tigers

We spent this afternoon at the High Sheriff's Garden Party in Bristol. It was a very civilized afternoon!

What's this got to do with the S&D you may well ask!

Well, these are precisely the movers and shakers we will need to bring round to what we are doing. Not in Bristol of course, but in Somerset and Dorset.

Next year we will be launching a company with the sole aim of building and operating the New S&D. It will be a commercial company but owned 51% by the New Somerset and Dorset Railway group. It will be able to raise money through all the normal channels open to commercial companies, through bank loans, grants and subsidies and, of course, by share issues. A ballpark figure of two billion pounds has been suggested for building a New S&D. Whilst this sounds like a lot of money to your average heritage railway 'puffer lover' it's chickenfeed in the business world.

But the clever thing is that it will be owned 51% by a group that understands and appreciates the heritage and history aspect of the original S&D. It will also be well aware of the business case for manned stations, manual signalling and regular steam services overlaying the normal passenger and freight services.

If you're the sort that loves networking and making contacts then why not offer your services to the New S&D?
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Poor Debs being made to pose next too a 'dick turpin' lookalike lol