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!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

midsomer norton developments

These are now historical shots! Work is now truly under way on rebuilding Midsomer Norton's iconic greenhouse, the back and front brickwork is now just about finished, the remainder is woodwork and glazing. Not quite sure if the local vandals are going to give the restored greenhouse the respect it deserves, but no doubt there's a hi-def video camera or two pointing at it! I had hoped myself to get involved in this rebuilding but events (particularly the New S&D) sadly overtook me. I'd even taken a bricklaying course to give me the skills but if the partially rebuilt garden wall at home is anything to go by MN probably had a lucky escape!

The other big development is that the museum was officially opened today, at 11am. I had hoped to put an announcement on the blog in advance but was snowed under with other work.

Is there anyone out there who is able to supply copy and photos from Midsomer Norton - I'd be most grateful for a regular contributor as I can't get down there very often these days. The shots above were from my last trip there nearly a year ago! There are excellent shots of the greenhouse rebuilding here.
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