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

imminent launch

All New S&D members will soon be receiving their first ever newsletter/magazine. The first issue will be a computer generated mag, probably 4 to 6 pages, but we do have big plans for our magazine, inspired by the superb S&D Telegraph that is produced by Midsomer Norton.

I would LOVE to have correspondents from each of the active sections of the S&D - ie Midsomer Norton, Shillingstone, Sturminster Newton, Blandford and Gartell as well as from Washford. This will be a magazine for the WHOLE line. The New S&D exists in part to unify the disparate sections and groups currently operating along the route and at Washford. Almost all of our membership are members of these other groups and we get messages of support from individual members of these groups almost every day.

In addition to this we are developing our website as the primary historical resource for the S&D, searchable by everybody. This will be a particularly useful resource for writers and researchers, teachers and others along the route.

So what I'm asking for is correspondents who can send news and/or photos from Midsomer Norton, Gartell, Shillingstone, Washford, Blandford Arches and Sturminster Rail Group. Also photos of the line and stations from any point in its history including the temporary closure period, as well as stories from the line (again post closure is fine), oral histories, small artefacts etc etc.

This is all in addition to our primary role of purchasing sections of the route, lobbying government at all levels and supporting active groups along the route, financially and with manpower.

To get involved please email leysiner@aol.com or write to New S&D, 10 Bellamy Avenue, Hartcliffe, BRISTOL, BS13 0HW.
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