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!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

website developments

One of our big projects is to create a superb S&D website. Up to now it's mainly been about the future, but I believe there is a continuum right through from the original opening of the line in 1854 through the temporary closure period, to its current stirrings and through to its 21st century role as a vital sustainable transport link.

I feel that the website should also serve as an important resource for S&D fans, past, present and future. To this end we've already half completed the 'stations' section, and have just made the first steps towards building a 'locomotives that have worked on the S&D' section, which will be an enormous job!

The ideal is to have a site that first and foremost keeps our diaspora of fans and members in touch with what's happening on the ground, at Midford, Midsomer Norton, Shillingstone, Masbury, Gartell, Washford and Sturminster Newton but which also contains within its depths every single piece of information you will ever need to write books, articles, build models etc etc. I'd like eventually a huge photo resource of the line at all points in time, video library and even an oral history section (with transcripts).

To this end all photos, stories etc etc, as well as offers of help with content, from ANY angle (not just the historical!) are most welcome!
Posted by Picasa

No comments: