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!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

swiss inspirations

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.
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1 comment:

jeff harris said...

so, one station in one town smaller then midsomer norton in switzerland the same number platforms as the whole of banes?

(oldfield park 2, bath spa 2, keynsham 2, midsomer norton 2, freshford? 2, avoncliff? 2 bradford on avon? 2)