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!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

a peek at the peak

I heard the words 'Peak Oil' mentioned for the first time on television yesterday. It wasn't on some obscure cable channel either but on peak time BBC. For some reason the programme 'Bang Goes the Theory' had a little feature on Peak Oil. I'd expected them to come up with one of the myriad of miracle energy cures but in fact they never mentioned any such thing. Just mentioned Peak Oil. Their researcher needs a good kicking though for suggesting that Peak Oil was 'until recently' the exclusive concern of bearded hippies (cue an interview with Richard Branson). Of course the hippies daren't even mention Peak Oil as it destroys their whole climate change agenda - Peak Oil is, of course, the baby of economists, oil professionals and financiers, a totally different demographic to the green lot.

Nethertheless the fact that Peak Oil is at last being spoken about in the mainstream suggests that it is being eased in gradually, that the bad news so heavily cloaked in climate change posturing is beginning to seep through.

We also heard today that the price of petrol is likely to hit £1.20 per litre this summer. There is a relentless rise in the cost of hydrocarbon energy, and no amount of subsidy, taxation, quantitative easing or lobbying can hide it. You can't hide from cold hard economics.

If the New S&D is anything it is an unsentimental, forward-looking and hard-nosed organisation that is already beginning to exploit the effects and forecasts of Peak Oil. As I've said for years we are pushing on an open door and has any group ever been so firmly on the right side of history?
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Knoxy said...

Just watched it; recorded.
thankfully i now go to work by electric train, instead of drive 100 miles round trip.

Anonymous said...

Wheres this going to hit £1.20 a litre in the summer come from??

Most of the fuel stations i've seen already are, well £119.9

Knoxy said...

Last time I filled up with diesel on 1st of March it was £1.069 a litre, that’s £4.86 a gallon. £1.19 would be £5.41 per gallon, that’s some increase!

What was it in 2000 when the fuel protests kicked in? About 80p per litre? Which is £3.64 per gallon.

Now you can see why they don't price it in gallons anymore?

Don’t worry; we will all have electric cars soon, with the power provided by the French? They've forgotten about 1759, 1805, and 3rd July 1940 haven't they? Not forgetting they will need it for their own cars!

Ian W said...

I already have an electric car, powered by water according to Southern Electric. We still need to talk about congestion as that is the issue now. Petrol cars will be on the roads for at least the next two decades and we will wait for an eternity to rely on the public's acceptance of peak oil to switch. As I have said on here before, the car will be the last thing to go. Air travel, foreign holidays, new consumer goods and all other discretionary spending will decline before people give up their cars. if we are going to regenerate the railways today we need to sell them to the public in a language it understands.