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!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

hope for the future

I received this today, a map carefully drawn by one of our junior members. It's great to see kids that were not even born in the 80s getting involved with our railway. Matthew's 12 and it was his idea to introduce junior membership. We're still small enough for everybody to influence what we are doing, and hopefully that won't change even as we hit 100, 1000 and 10000 members!

He also raised £10 as a donation for the Midford appeal, by car washing. He should be an inspiration for us all!
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Anonymous said...

I always thought the first step would be to support the East Somerset Rlwy's push to Shepton, and also the line from Frome to Radstock re-opening. Then was join the dots between Shepton and Radstock with the S&D and you're main line connected (sort-of) both ends!

Anonymous said...

haha~ funny!.thank .you for .your ..share.....

Anonymous said...

First things first is to secure the trackbed.Our first step is Midford then when trackbed comes up for sale is to buy it back for the railway. Midsomer Norton future plans are to run from Radstock to Shepton. We include the hole line.

Anonymous said...

MSN is not tinkering at playing trains. When Prestleigh Viaduct was deliberately destroyed by BR in 1993, The Washford Trackbed Steward, Richard Stevens decided enough was enough and set up a breakaway trust to try and preserve the physical route. By chance 2 years later the 6 of us then heard that owners Norton Radstock college were going to demolish midsomer norton south for a housing estate to part pay for a new 1 million pound building on their campus site and so 2 of us met shirley steel in july 1995 to try and jointly save the site. In october 1995 the then s&d trackbed trust and wansdyke tourism association had the station leased to them after the council paid norton radstock college £70,000 for the site, and our return to railway use proposal was only won at a council meeting by a margin of just one vote, thanks to tom rees-mogg. So you see, now matter what the perception, 14 years on, we had to save the last most intact s&d station; failure was not an option, although it nearly failed in may 1998 had I not gotten John Baxter, Peter Russell and friends involved.