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, October 20, 2009


No, not the S&D in 1966 (though it might be in 2036!) but the recent S&D day at the Mid Hants Railway.

It's amazing that other lines have S&D days. This shows just how popular our line is! It also gives a taste of what we'll be able to achieve on the New S&D once we have a good stretch rebuilt. Imagine this up over Masbury, sweeping over the rebuilt Prestleigh Viaduct, powering through Midford or pacing through Sturminster Newton and Shillingstone on its way to the sea!

Although the New S&D won't be primarily about preservation, heritage or coal-fired steam, we still understand the huge appeal of the S&D to those who love steam and all it represents. We will do everything we can to provide steam services at all points on the route by encouraging steam locomotive owners to base their engines at our Steam Centre, to make access easy and free for the Midsomer Norton and Shillingstone groups and to research into new wood-burning steam locomotives for regular services. These will, of course, be in addition to the regular electrically-hauled passenger and freight trains.

(Pics © Mark Warr September 2009)
Posted by Picasa


Anonymous said...

The photos were taken at the Mid Hants Autumn Steam Gala with 92212 and Wadebridge on the Pines Express. 92212 was used on the S&D on the Pines. You could say with the motive power at the Watercress that Weekend. Sat on Medstead and Four Marks station. You could be at Parkstone in the 1960's. With Lord Nelson and an A4 on a special to Weymouth. Dreaming! With Midsomer Norton extending south and with the New S&D setting up a track purchase fund and Masbury with good will and collaboration we might not have to wait to long for this to be happening again on the S&D proper.

Mark Warr

Anonymous said...

on the other hand, such dreaming will be laughed at by the long established big league heritage railways, like great central and bluebell, that even with their might and connections, struggle to rebridge the midland mainline or empty imberhorne cutting. if they cant do it you got no chance and are totally wasting your time. the government, road lobby, and barons who run britain will never let the railways regain their power. wake up and go help some already established railway survive.

Sunshiner said...

What an idiotic comment. We have nothing in common with the big league heritage railways. they are the ones who will need to adapt if they going to survive in an oil depleted future where railway assets and routes are going to be the most important infrastructure items of all.

The road lobby is dying if not already dead, the goverment wil do EVERYTHING they can to keep freight and passengers moving and we wil be the new barons in the 21st century. All of us are already involved with established railways, but we've also seen the future and know that this is the way forward.

You are a left wing dinosaur.

Anonymous said...

Ask yourself this question- If the government is rebuilding the waverly route, building crossrail, extending the east london line as if his life depended on it (which practically it does) and opened High speed one how is rail dying? Why don't you wake up and realize that.

Sunshiner said...

That's why I think it was simply an ironic troll post. It looked like the sort of thing people were writing in 1965, 1975 at the latest. It smacked of conspiracy theory hysteria and a touch of old fashioned left wing anti capitalism. It totally ignored the last 30 years of incessant (if low level!) rail development!

On the good side I got a few posts out of it!