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 30, 2009

majorca's future

I'm away for a couple of days from this evening to enjoy the Halloween delights of Pontins, Brean Sands.

Still on the holiday theme just a few reflections on our previous trip to Majorca.

Majorca is investing heavily in its transport future with a rebuilt railway network, new metro and planned tramways. Everything is switching from road to rail, as it should.

Majorca is, of course, primarily a tourist destination and much of its economy depends on visitors, an excellent reason for providing cheap, modern and efficient public transport. But it's also an island, and this may cause real problems in the future. Almost all visitors currently arrive by air, but air travel is doomed, no matter how much we don't want it to be.

Whilst resorts on the mainland will be served by high speed rail in the future there's no such future for Majorca - the island simply lies too far off shore to be connected by tunnel. So visitors in the future will need to arrive by boat. Will people bother? If anything Majorca will have to make itself even more attractive so investment in public transport is likely to increase.

We had a comment the other day from a group in Majorca that are opposed to the extension of the Manacor line to Arta. They are quite seriously suggesting buses can do the job! To be fair to them they are not anti public transport, and think the money that will be spent on the Arta line will be better spent elsewhere. But they obviously haven't had their Peak Oil Moment yet. How exactly will buses carry freight? How will buses tempt travellers from their cars? They haven't anywhere else in the world, so what will be different in Majorca? Trams tempt people from cars, as do trains. Trains and trams can carry freight. They are also not subject to congestion.

The line to Arta will be built, as will the proposed branch to Porto Christo. The anti rail group are 100% wrong.

But then there are still people who think the Earth is flat!
Posted by Picasa


Anonymous said...

you mean road to rail?

Sunshiner said...

Yes, of course. Duly amended!