Welcome to the 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway'
Sunday, March 28, 2010
a view from the board ...
(Round about Sturminster 2009)
Simon Ellison joined the board back in January and is particularly interested in the Sturminster Newton area.
He's just posted a comment which I think should be promoted to the main blog page as it covers much of the reasons why we exist and cleverly draws together many points raised (and challenged!) here over the last few weeks.
I note, with some disquiet, the rather 'negative' comments which seem to blight all aspects of railway restoration, in whatever form that takes.
Thing is: There are ALWAYS dissenters and ne'er do well's who delight in the negativity of their own lives, and like to project on to others their attitude.
If you do not believe in something with passion, then it's best not be get involved at all - applies to life generally, not just railways.
The obstacles to reinstating a continuous rail route from Bath/Bristol through to Poole/Bournemouth are huge, but not insurmountable. Of course there will have to be deviation from the original route at various locations, but, essentially, the route in its entirety should be, and MUST be reinstated, because rail will be the only sure way of transporting heavy freight and passengers in a viable way to smaller towns and villages in the future of road degradation and spiralling fuel costs.
Councils are being squeezed like sponges for funding which will not be forthcoming for essential road repair - here, where I live, roads are like rutted farm tracks, damage to wheels, tyres and steering geometry is becoming horrendous as well as unsafe.
Roads like minor 'B' and unclassified ones are left to their own devices due to lack of funding for repairs - that situation is fuelled by inclement weather which rapidly adds to the [rapid] destruction of surface 'black top'
How will we move anywhere in relative safety without wrecking our spines and our vehicle's suspension ? Are we to remain isolated in villages which have roads not fit for purpose?
At least a rail link would mean no more road wrecking heavy trucks - all commerce conducted by small trucks/vans from RAIL depot to destination - probably by electric engined vehicles.
But, before we all fall into the trap of 'electric' propelled vehicles [of ANY sort], just remember this: electricity has to be generated - which still means oil/coal/nuclear powered generating plants - so at whatever point, there will always be some form of 'unfriendly' fuel being used to provide all this 'clean' electricity. I'm sorry, but these pathetic wind farms will just NOT fit the bill for reliable and continous power supply, besides which, they are a blot on the landscape as well being a major threat to wild life, which also has the right to exist.
Remember this: Rail over road transport has much in it's favour:
A. It is fairly unobtrusive to the environment - noise is a minor consideration, once a train has passed the sound of its passage fades back into natural surrounding sound level, unlike the continuous drone of road transport.
B. The physical space needed to run trains is much less than an A class road!
C. Many more people die on the roads than on railways.
D. The cost of fuel is slashed as ton for ton, railway transport is far more efficient [much less frictional resistance on steel rail].
E. More economical - a typical train load is equivalent to many 44 ton trucks but in ONE movement and with ONE loco.
F. Faster - over distance, rail is MUCH quicker than road.
There are many other considerations which I have not entered here, but I am preaching to the converted ! It's the general public and local government who need to be 'educated'
The monopoly of road transport is over - it's time to bring back OUR trains for the betterment of OUR lives, our children's and their children's lives.
Short term-ism has been this country's failing - it's the reason for blinded politicians wrecking a once comprehensive railway infrastructure, and HERE lies our problem. It's so much easier to destroy than construct - all for short term profit/gains which gain NOTHING in the 'long run'.
We should DEMAND government aid in repairing the damage THEY were responsible for in the first place!