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!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

kyrgystan erupts

(Yesterday, Tuesday 6 April) BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan (AP) - Protesters angry over rising energy prices stormed a government office and held a governor hostage in Kyrgyzstan, sparking fierce clashes with police in unrest that threatens to spread with new demonstrations planned for Wednesday.

Hundreds of protesters overran the government building Tuesday on the main square of Talas, a town of 30,000 people west of the capital, Bishkek.

Baton-wielding police initially dispersed the demonstrators, but protesters fought through tear gas and flash grenades to regroup, burning police cars and hurling stones and Molotov cocktails. The ex-Soviet country's main opposition leader, meanwhile, was detained at his home in the capital and Internet access was cut off in some areas.

(Today, Wednesday 7 April) A state of emergency has been declared in Kyrgyzstan following violent clashed between police and anti-government protestors on Wednesday. Kyrgyz troops opened fire on demonstrators in the capital, Bishkek, outside the offices where President Kurmanbek Bakiyev was sheltering. Kyrgyzstan’s health ministry said at least forty people have died and more than 400 wounded. The opposition contends that 100 protestors have been killed.

Reuters reports that there was 'intense gunfire in the center of Bishkek and a series of blasts.'

Now the so-called 'doomers' will love all this angst, and this is probably just the first of thousands of stories of unrest that will erupt in the decades to come on the back of rolling energy crises, but the UK isn't Kyrgystan, and we've always proceeded in the belief that there is a gentler way of transitioning from a cheap oil to a post-oil economy.

The New S&D is very much a building block in this process. If our short-term minded governments, who think that we (the electorate) are all terminally stupid, aren't prepared to do the groundwork then hundreds of New S&D style organisations are more than willing to do it for them!

We are living in interesting times, and they are getting more interesting week by week!
Posted by Picasa


Anonymous said...

The unrest in Kyrgyzstan is mainly due to a massively corrupt government. Whatever the New S&D offers to the world, this particular news story is about as relevant to it's future as the new compulsory children's education act that's just become law in India. If the S&D really intends to help achieve its aims through lobbying, a sharper degree of focus might be useful. Perhaps an article explaining how and why a New S&D will be beneficial in a post-oil economy might be a start.

Sunshiner said...

The point I was trying to make is that the situation in places like Kyrgystan is NOT relevant to what we're doing, but that it's the sort of thing that people will try to tie in to Peak Oil and energy crunches. The so-called 'doomer' mentality, mainly an American phenomena, is aimed more at people's fears than prospects. My worry is that we'll be painted with the same brush, which would be totally unfair. Of course if the 'doomer' view was ours then we wouldn't exist at all!

Remember the blog is first and foremost entertainment, the website is more focussed. With the blog a post is only relevant for a few days, the website is forever!

Anonymous said...

Funny, the only person I can remember who was always saying, "We're doomed" was Frazer in Dad's Army!