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, January 24, 2010

S&D developments

Yesterday's meeting at Blandford was superb. A very good turnout, great fun and a lot of ground covered. And two new people have joined the committee, which will strengthen us enormously.

Andy Thompson, who has created the hugely successful Steamtube site has agreed to begin contributing to this blog, and has also set up a New S&D Twitter account. This will be an ideal way to keep up with what's going on, and wil help build the S&D community.

I still feel that this blog needs more direct contributors, particularly from Midsomer Norton, Shillingstone, Gartell and Washford, who can keep our readers up to date with developments on site. You'll have full posting rights for both text and photographs. Please contact me to start posting!

At the meeting we spent some time discussing both Midford and Spetisbury. Both stations will be restored and will then act as information and sales points for the whole route. The stations will be restored to their peak BR glory and other buildings such as signalboxes etc will be rebuilt, to get a real railway atmosphere. Having had sight of the lease agreement at Midford between the current owner and Sustrans there is a codicil which requires Sustrans to move the cycleway from the trackbed and allow a single track railway to be reinstated. We will never bring in rolling stock or locos to Midford as a discrete restored station, but only when it is a part of a longer route (probably Radstock-Bath) - but track at Midford will be a real possibility to create the desired cosmetic effect.

Purchase of Midford proceeds apace, with paperwork (going back to 1895!) now in our hands.

2010 is going to be a fantastic year for the S&D!
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Keep on posting such themes. I love to read blogs like this. Just add some pics :)