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!

Friday, January 22, 2010

working on the railway

Trackworks on the Chilcompton extension.

The bank behind the retaining wall looking clearer than ever.

Two excellent and VERY recent shots from Mick Knox of Midsomer Norton. The extension is looking fantastic and hopefully soon will be heading even further south over Mrs Wells' and the Duchy's land, right up to the infill. Then the real job of breaking through to Chilcompton itself, which then sets the line up for its eventual extension right to the outskirts of Shepton Mallet. Hopefully with all this frenzied activity looking south the Radstock extension and network connection isn't lagging too far behind!

Second shot is Mick's pride and joy - fifties style neat landscaping along the route. This was something that was very distinctive on the S&D and made it sit so well into the environment. The New S&D will have this as a priority, the new route sitting as comfortably and humanly into the environment as possible. Midsomer Norton is looking fantastic as always, whatever the weather!

On an unrelated, sort of, matter, I've just been watching the BBC local news, which featured a young female track worker on Network Rail. All very interesting, but why on earth did they keep describing rail work as 'old fashioned'? Surely even the dimmest reporter realises that rail is the most dynamic aspect of transport, and a job with the Network is a skilled job for life?

Ho hum ... there's still work to do!

See many of you tomorrow at Blandford.
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1 comment:

E Craggs said...

Very good to see the MSN progress - keep up the goood work.