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!

Monday, January 04, 2010

new year surprise

Whilst out and about on the southern end of the line Paul Beard found this interesting survivor at Corfe Mullen.

This is the one place where I remember seeing the S&D with track just before this section closed to freight traffic in 1969, sadly a few years before I started taking photos. It's nice to see that there is still a pretty obvious S&D presence here. Of course in a few years time trains should be running through here again, giving the residents of Blandford a high speed modern transport link into Poole and Bournemouth.

(Photos © Paul Beard Corfe Mullen 1.1.2010)
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Anonymous said...

that is never going to happen, putting the railway back in would be a stupid idea, especially as there are people living in this house, the last thing they would want to hear is the sound of a train going past,
my girlfriends parents own this cottage and putting a railway line through hear would be the worst and stupidest thing i have heard! leave it in the past. and just treasure the memories that people had of the trains lay to rest!!!!!

Sunshiner said...

LOL! I assume this is a joke post but will answer it anyway!

How is building a modern transport link 'stupid'? How would anyone seriously suggest that the interests of one family is more important than the needs of THOUSANDS of people in Blandford and Broadstone who will be left stranded once the oil runs out, and even now have a nightmare hour trip to reach the coast as opposed to the 20 minutes it will take by train?

Surely when they bought the cottage they understood that the line would return sooner or later?

Houses change hands all the time - the return of the railway will almost certainly boost property values in any case, especially those near to stations.

Whilst I respect your need for nostalgia and memories WE look forwards, not backwards. The line will be back and probably a lot sooner than most of us think. We will be launching a huge publicity drive later in the year urging early restoration of the Blandford route, and support locally is already extremely high. Just be glad that we are proposing this - nobody should stand in the way of progress, and i doubt anyone wil be allowed to. Railways are vital even now, withina few years they will be absolutely essential as the roads die.