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!

Monday, April 12, 2010


Nice car shots for our pro-car anti-rail infiltrators (you know who you are!)

DISCLAIMER : We have no links with the New Somerset and Dorset Railway, and never have done.
We are NOT involved with them in ANY way.

We are also NOT involved with the
Midsomer Norton group, Gartell Railway, Washford or any other groups or
individuals, living, dead or undead.

But what we ARE involved with is our beloved SOMERSET AND DORSET RAILWAY. This blog has, does and always will support each and every venture, big or small, that exists to bring back this important transport link. It is true that I am Chairman of the New S&D; I have been Finance Director of the SDRHT, I am a life member of the SDRHT and a member of the NDRT. I also love animals, skiing, swimming and visiting other countries.

This is a BLOG, not a mission statement. It exists to inform and entertain. If you love the S&D then please read it, if you don't love the S&D why are you even bothering - you will NOT understand what we are about!

The New S&D (in my view) is NOT an 'environmental' group - if the idiots that have tarred us with that brush actually knew what they were talking about they would know that Peak Oil types and environmentalists DETEST each other! The New S&D (in my view) does not exist to bring people's dreams to life. It exists to bring back the S&D as a freight and passenger line that makes a profit. That time is not now, but it is probably a LOT closer than most of us think. We will proceed (in my view) in a cold and unsentimental manner and acquire land and property to make this easier. We will also pester national, regional and local politicians to make sure that OUR line is the top of the queue when rail reinstatement starts in earnest. We will also (in my view) do all we can to retain the atmosphere, infrastructure and culture of the OLD S&D, where it does not conflict with wider economic requirements. And we will (in ALL our views) do everything we can to accomodate current and future heritage groups that already have a toehold on the route, and continue to recommend joining those groups to anyone who wants to get their hands dirty rebuilding railways and driving steam and diesel locomotives.

Now, can I make it any clearer????
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