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!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

forging ahead

(All Midsomer Norton, 19.4.2010)

There's a real feeling of something happening in the air railway-wise and I certainly think the New S&D is goig to benefit enormously from the huge changes that are starting to take place around transport.

It will soon be time to take the New S&D out to the public - that's the 99.9% of people who aren't railway enthusiasts (whatever that means!), but those people who are going to clamour for the return of their line as the energy crunch really hits home.

Why not get in at the start and get involved with us? We're still small enough for each person to make a difference, but big enough to be taken seriously.

Our next meeting is on Saturday, 24 April 2010 13:30 - 15.00 (lunch/social) 16.00 Public meeting (ALL welcome) The Railway Hotel, Oakfield Street, BLANDFORD FORUM, DT11 7EX

Try to come along if you can. There'll be a question and answer session in the public part of the meeting - or you can of course grill us (not literally) during the meal!
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