Welcome to the 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway'
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Why do we sometimes worry that sections of the S&D have roads currently running on them? It wouldn't worry the Swiss - they'd simply run the trains down the middle, as here in Aigle. This line sees two trains an hour, one of which runs against the one way traffic flow. The Swiss have their priorities right! As car traffic falls and rail traffic rises this scene will become more common everywhere. In other parts of Switzerland ten coach loco-hauled trains regularly operate along roads.
This section of track is now disused, but this is because a new line has been built alongside the SBB main line which joins the original route a mile or so further south. This was the old AOMC line.
This is the brand new narrow gauge station at Aigle, where 3 metre gauge lines run up the mountains, serving many villages and towns. All three lines have an hourly interval service throughout the day. This was a major investment by a small company. The Swiss invest seriously in their railways, an example we should follow ASAP in the UK. These narrow gauge feeder routes are very successful, keeping many rural people connected to the outside world. All narrow gauge trains connect with main line services, making it very convenient to travel round Switzerland without ever needing a car. This is the future! And all powered by renewable electricity ....
Another view of the superb new Aigle station with AL (Aigle-Leysin) and ASD (Aigle-Sepey-Diablerets) trains waiting in the station. Aigle is smaller than Midsomer Norton but boasts a 14 platform station! It also has three or four other stations on the narrow gauge routes. Britain should hang its head in shame at the appalling provision of railways that we currently have to endure.