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!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

momentous weekend

The committee and Debs who took the minutes.

Members present on the big day.

Spetisbury immediately after the meeting.

The third New S&D meeting was momentous, with three major landmarks being passed.

The setting up of the limited company - Wessex Links Ltd - who will purchase sections of trackbed etc, and eventually build and operate sections/all of the route.

The setting up of a charity - the New Somerset and Dorset Railway - which will cover fundraising and membership.

The agreement to purchase Midford from Laurence Skinnerton, which will happen as soon as the limited company details are received, which should be a week or so. This will give us our northern base, providing other interested parties are agreeable, the station and other infrastructure will be rebuilt and this will then serve as an information centre, office and shop for the New S&D.

After the meeting a lot of us went to Spetisbury which hopefully this year will become the southern base, with the same commitment to rebuild the infrastructure and set up a second information centre, office and shop.

From now the New S&D is not just a serious player locally but also nationally, being the first properly incorporated sustainable railway charity and business, no doubt the first of hundreds that will spring up as a reaction to the energy supply and affordability problems that are even now beginning to ear their ugly heads.
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yamfaz said...

Great new about Midford, it is where my support for the rebuilding of the S&D started back in the early '90s.

Well done

Knoxy said...

Count me in for the work party at Midford. not exactly sure when mind, as i'm too busy with the national system, but there i will be, sometime....

Midford is such a classic location, with wonderful views across the valley, hopefully to be seen once again from the platform?

its pure S&D even without the track!

Andy said...

what a lovely bunch!


Toddingtonted said...

This is very good news. Well done to you all for being tenacious and getting on with the job. I look forward to seeing Midford Station site saved and restored.