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, October 23, 2009

last chance to ...

... visit the Gartell Light Railway for this season, comes this Sunday (25/10/09). They're open from 10.00 and first train is at 10.30. Clocks go back the night before so use the extra hour in bed to be refreshed and ready to go and see them! Signed from Templecombe in the North and Henstridge lights in the South, you can't miss it. Take a leisurely trip down the Blackmore Vale behind a steam engine - they have two, remember! Food and drink are available on site, and the GLR is an ideal family destination.

(There are Santa trains in December for which booking is essential).

I am going to try to get down on Sunday so hope to see you there.

(All photos courtesy John Penny).
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John said...

I visited the Gartell a few years ago and the talk then was that they were going to extend back to Templecombe,but nothing seems to have happened.Is this still an aim of the Gartell,or are they content with the status quo? Down in my neck of the woods,the Launceston Steam Railway are planning to extend to Egloskerry on the old North cornwall line ,in conjunction with a cycle path,and i believe have already purchased the track for the purpose.Be nice to see this and Gartell widening their horizons.

Sunshiner said...

Narrow gauge has an extraordinarily bright future. I can see thousands of miles of new NG lines opening in the UK over the next 50 years. Many will serve industry, but many more will be new build routes linking villages and small towns into the main network. Both Gartell and Launceston are percursors of this trend.

Gartell has every intention of extending to Templecombe and I think they already own some if not all of the trackbed. They have put down, I think, a couple of lengths in that direction (which cross the approach road to the line) as a declaration of intent.