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!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

wasted money ...

The huge snowfall [and very low temperatures] we’ve had in recent weeks has done terrible damage to Britain’s road network. There are now millions of potholes strewn across the country - in fact around one in every 120 yards, that are causing treacherous driving conditions. The total repair bill is estimated to be £10bn just to get all the UK’s highways back into shape and safe to use - equivalent to spending another 2012 Olympics just on resurfacing work. Source.

So to keep our dying road network up to speed we have to commit DOUBLE the total rail subsidy? This is a total waste of resources, the roads should be allowed to gradually return to nature and we should be investing in the future, not the past. It makes the Road Users' Alliance claims (see earlier post) that only £4bn a year is spent on roads look ridiculous (and see the comment section on Jurassic Park for a complete forensic dissection of that stupid claim!)

I wonder how much damage (if any) was done to the rail network by the recent cold winter?
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