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, April 13, 2010

fantastic news!

We've been very lucky with our members, who have joined in their droves since we started just over a year ago.

Today two very special S&D people have joined the New S&D, Nick Howes and Ian Harrington. I worked with both of them at Midsomer Norton, in the days when I was more physical than cerebral, and their work on infrastructure was second to none. Now I don't expect either of them to get their hands dirty with the New S&D as they are key members down at Shillingstone, and have more than enough to do there, but both bring a wealth of knowledge and skills to the New S&D.
We all owe Nick Howes a huge debt - it was he who started the Midsomer Norton project when the site was threatened by housing development, and I don't think it's too over the top to say that there's a direct line from that event, through the Shillingstone revival to the setting up of the New S&D. Without him the S&D would be a dead trackbed.Posted by Picasa


Knoxy said...

The price of fuel is governed by the price we are willing to pay? It's £1.20 a litre, that's £5.50 a gallon! because most of us rely on it and have no alternative way of travelling. If we had kept our railways, trams & trolley buses we wouldn't be held to ransom over oil as we are being, and will be even more into the future. How much does fuel have to be before we question why we buy it?

Don’t buy a house on a disused trackbed, it won’t stay disused for much longer?

Anonymous said...

Well said Knoxy. I've always had the view that any idiot foolish enough to buy/build a house on a railway trackbed (a PUBLIC right of way in my book), deserves to be held in chains and forced to see it being bulldozed to the ground. WITHOUT compensation!!