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 19, 2010

midsomer norton today

It was great going back to Midsomer Norton, catching up with progress and chatting to John Bridges, Doug Auckland and Norman Allward. Most of the other faces have changed since I was a regular on the Monday Gang. With all the 'beginning of the end of air travel' angst of the last few days it was nice to be at a transport location with a future. All is not lost, we will still be able to travel - and it will be enjoyable. For the first time at Midsomer Norton I got the feel of a 'real' railway, a railway that will actually carry freight and passengers into the future. As I rounded the bend and the station came into view on the return walk I could see a modern passenger train - in my mind - easing round the curve on its way to Bournemouth. An inspiration as always ...


John nOwell said...

Sorry to be a pain but your photos are not showing in either IE of Firefox browsers

Sunshiner said...

Not a pain at all - they were still showing on mine so I'd never have known! Blogger's the pain - they sometimes get this bug where the pictures load but then stop showing.

Toddingtonted said...

Thanks for the photos. Some very tidy permanent way there! It will be great to see this spreading back along the old formation as it surely will.

Anonymous said...

You have a very big task ahead, and your no nonsense head will take you a long way. Persuasion, negotiation and finances would be your major tools for the moment. It may be that some support will come from this, Hampshire, direction - circumstances permitting. Good luck with the building an ever more viable 'company of the committed'.