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!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

last look at switzerland - for now ...

At ten o'clock on a Sunday evening this Geneva tram was packed - and all on a line that wasn't even here five years ago!

One of the attractions at the end of one of the tram lines - the United Nations Geneva Headquarters. The chair is around 20 metres high and represents landmine damage. We were here around 10.30 at night on a Sunday with the trams operating every twenty minutes for another two hours. This is REAL public transport - and all FREE thanks to the tickets given out by every hotel which cover the whole public transport network in Geneva - including the boats!

There are more tram lines being built - every time we go something new has just opened. We visited my second cousin in Geneva, an engineer at CERN, and he was very proud that a new tramway was going to be built to CERN shortly. Other lines are planned to stretch right into France, bringing international trams back to the city after more than 70 years.

A step in the right direction of easing capacity restraints - double deck carriages. These were on a 14 coach train from Geneva Airport to the east. Not an option for us in the UK thanks to our stupid loading gauge - but perhaps an option for the new London-Scotland high speed line announced today?

Something for Mick Knox! New build COMPARTMENT stock. This was a real surprise as I wasn't aware of them. We will definitely be looking at providing the New S&D with new compartment stock. This is the most civilized way of travelling - not only by train but by anything!

Okay, it's back to Somerset and Dorset from tomorrow. I'm well aware of the amount of hate mail I get when I dare to move outside of certain readers' comfort zones LOL!!
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cheers for the comment Steve..
I've just returned from the Czech Republic (football match) and was very pleased to have sampled compartment stock with proper air conditioning (drop windows) between Brno and Olomouc. In both Czech towns there were trams, and in Brno there were even trolley buses. Seems silly to think we had both of those once. In Olomouc they were busy building a new tram interchange, with EU money, so at least we can say we are investing our money in transport, but unfortunately not in our own country.