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!

Friday, September 18, 2009

last easy day ...

Tomorrow is the very important second meeting of the New S&D, down in Blandford. I've a feeling that Blandford is going to become a very active centre for us, with a lot of pent-up demand for the railway already existing. A town of almost 10,000 people being without trains in the 21st century is an absolute scandal. I suspect that tomorrow we'll be making some bold plans for the rest of 2009 and into 2010, particularly setting up our retail business, getting the sales and info stand up and running and starting work on 'The Case for the S&D'. We'll also be looking at land ownership along this stretch (and north to Templecombe) with the aim of buying up strategic stretches ready for the return of our trains. It's going to be very busy from now on, after the initial 6 months of getting set up, getting a committee formed and beginning to harden up our ideas and focus.

Please try to come along if you can - meeting details are on the sidebar.
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David Caddy said...

The Blandford to Sturminster Newton section seems to be well preserved
and with progress at Shillingstone there is every reason in the current situation to be optimistic. There is now a private landowner at Bere Marsh Farm on the line out of Shillingstone. This needs to be acquired before there is any possible move towards Sturminster Newton. On the positive side, since 1966 the local villages have grown considerably in size and population. To the east, the roads to Bournemouth and Poole are highly congested and there is great demand for that problem to be resolved. The old line is coming back to life with the opening of the trailway in both directions out of Blandford.

GMasterH said...

The Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway, Sabotaged and Defeated but by no means dead...