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, March 06, 2010

infamy and birthdays

Binegar 1967 (Jeffery Grayer)

Midsomer Norton 2005 (Steve Sainsbury)

The 6th of March will always ring out as a day of infamy, or at least until the S&D is fully restored!

But it is also our first birthday. From the germ of an idea the New S&D has grown into a vibrant organisation close to taking on two stations on the route and with a membership fast approaching 100! This is way beyond my wildest expectations and I'd like to thank you all for being part of it. Our second year will see us setting up the charity and limited company, and should see our first restoration projects begin.

I doubt you'll find anyone now who thinks that the closure of a major route linking Britain's only World Heritage City to its premier seaside resort via a string of important towns was correct. That doesn't make it any easier restoring the route, but it does make it right!

If you're not already a member then please join as soon as you can and help us to make the inevitable happen!
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