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, March 07, 2010

back to barcelona

Some shots from Barcelona's very new tramway, the Trambaix. These are shots from the northern network of lines 4, 5 and 6. There is also an unconnected (and slightly less new) network to the south of the city which is also 3 routes. Interestingly both routes terminate on the same diagonal road that intersects the city but with about 2 miles between the routes. No doubt the network will expand enormously in the future and the lines will link up. It would be great to see modern trams rather than buses running along La Rambla and the waterside.

Britain's lagging years behind continental Europe on the installation of modern, sustainable transport systems, but we won't always be so backwards! I suspect that as time goes by the distinction between tram and train will continue to blur and that the New S&D will meet tramways at many points on our route, and trams may even work over some sections of our network. Alternatively we may need to run rails in the streets where building work has blocked our line and the alternatives are too expensive to justify, which will mean running heavy passenger and freight trains through the streets, as in Switzerland and the USA. Who knows?
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will said...


Nice report about a new tram system in Germany that part uses a heavy rail network. I got it off the ACoRP (Association of Community Rail Partnerships) site weeks ago - it has since disappeared into the bowels of the site
Ignore the headline: "Diesel Trams - A new way forward" - they are hybrid - primarily electric.

The trams are the first of their kind that can handle both the 15kV AC mainline and the 600v DC street car sections, and a diesel engine for parts with neither.
They are also up to both standards for signalling and operating on the line, saving a huge amount of money in unnecessary track building, and where electrification would cost too much - such as tunnels

Tram = Train

will said...

Ooops - small correction in my previous comment - there is still no Tram that can run on all three types of track - there are 2 types - one that is Diesel-electric 600DC, and another type that is 600DC-15000AC....