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!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

greenhouse progress

It's great to see the Midsomer Norton greenhouse reappearing. I had once hoped to be overseeing this project myself, and even took a bricklaying course, but events overtook me!

It looks like all the brickwork is now in place, the rest of the greenhouse being wood and glass. Hopefully the greenhouse will soon be providing fresh vegetables and fruit for the catering coach.

This was such an iconic feature at Midsomer Norton and another reminder that that which was once destroyed can easily be replaced providing the willpower, manpower and cash are available. This should be an inspiration to us all.

It also says a great deal that in the past workers on the railway were given the time and freedom to pursue these activities. Far from being a drain on the company's resources it would have given workers at the station one more reason to be loyal to the railway and to be happy within their working lives. The New S&D will be pursuing this modern attitude to worker relations as we restore the whole route. The greenhouse is a symbol of this.
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Toddingtonted said...

This greenhouse is no mean back garden variety! I had not realised that so much of it was solid brick and has/had its own heating system too if the chimney is anything to go by. I look forward to seeing it finished. Some very nice work there and another piece of the MN jigsaw coming back together. Fantastic stuff!

Anonymous said...

the original 1886 greenhouse had a cavity wall heating system to keep the frost off the plants, from a gas fired coal burner in a sunken pit by the entrance step and the chimney took the exhaust smoke.