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!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

shepton surprise!

Well, wonders on the S&D keep happening.

This August bank holiday you will be able to travel - by steam train - over the magnificent 27 arch grade 2 listed viaduct that looms majestically over Shepton Mallet.

This is an initiative by the superb Kilver Court gardens that now lie beneath the viaduct.

It will be many years before standard gauge trains return to this section so I'd advise you all to take this amazing opportunity.

Now for the details (more in depth info has been requested)

Trains will be narrow gauge (probably 2 foot) and will be steam hauled, using a loco hired from the East Somerset Railway. The trains will operate on the viaduct itself, so expect fantastic views.

Trains will operate August Bank Holiday Weekend Saturday 29th - Monday 31st August 10am till 5pm. More details here.

This means that there will be TWO S&D stretches running narrow gauge steam over this weekend (the other is the Gartell of course). The S&D really is coming alive all over and diverse people are now appreciating what a fantastic asset this line is.

Hopefully a lot of you will get there - we'll certainly be going on one of the days at least! If you see me please say hello!
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1 comment:

jh said...

steve from what ive heard and read in the railway press its a minature railway, of 7 3/4 inch gauge, or around that mark