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!

Friday, April 02, 2010

more shillingstone

(All 17.2.2009)

More info on the loco works at Shillingstone courtesy of Nick Howes.

[T]he engineering facility has been at the pinnacle of the Trust's plan for a least 4 years and will provide employment, pass on important engineering skills and show the public, who are fascinated by steam, how things are done. Not only locomotives, but carriages and wagons too. Once Morning Star and another loco go through the contract overhaul works then the locos and other stock that follows will start to build up a healthy fund for whatever direction the project decides to take in future. This sustainable long term vision has been recently endorsed by our colleagues at Midsomer Norton. As I said elsewhere what is eventually needed is shared membership, [o]ne quarterly magazine and shared stock, artefacts, skills, knowledge and staff between all the S&D projects, which are currently, Washford, Midford, Midsomer Norton, Masbury, Gartells, Shillingstone and Spetisbury.
Posted by Picasa


Anonymous said...

The making of new parts, from simple nuts and bolts, right up to a brand new pony truck and the full over haul of the frames, wheelsets and axle boxes to MT276 has so far cost the 92207 Loco Company in the order of £110,000 since leaving Barry in 1986.

Knoxy said...

i'm sure it will be worth it in the end. i do like a 9F, and thats from a diesel fan?

Anonymous said...

To expand on the Shillingstone business plan, As soon as the current UK political uncertainty (which affects local government) is ironed out we shall be in a better position to battle for the funding we need to transform Shillingstone into a centre of engineering excellence, just like the Flour Mill, Ropley, Sheffield Park, Bridgnorth and Riley & Sons of Bury. When built, our shed, clad with traditional red brick will borrow architctural styles from both the old Highbridge works buildings and from the surviving Shillingstone/Cole Dorset Cental station design, with Portland stone lintels, corbelled facias and brindle dressing. It will be 121 x 35 feet in footprint. At the front will be 2 lines accomodating engines, coaches or wagons up to 70 feet long; one line having a full inspection pit, with a clear 4 feet of workspace down the 3 lanes and at each end.

The back (lower floor) will contain a 35 by 37 foot workshop with lathes and machines anticipated for different jobs; turning, boring, milling, drilling, slotting, grinding, shaping, a welding bay and a protected retractable viewing gallery for the public. Upstairs will be the main stores along with foremans office, classroom, kitchen and wc/shower and a viewing balcony of the 2 roads. Outside on a 56 foot 2 road concrete apron will be an A frame and loco/coach jacks. Boiler work will be sub contracted off site. The classroom and viewing galleries will contain interactive displays on all current and general aspects of railway engineering and help educate the public who it must not be forgotten are largely oblivious to the history and practices of the great railway age which was mostly wiped from the public psyche by 1970. Hard hat tours may also be permissable.

The grant package for the whole station project will encompass 92207, an RMB (Restaurant Mini Buffet Mark 1 coach) and another, (to be decided) ex BR engine to be the first to go "through the works" proper and then go earn their keep on larger preserved railways as ambassadors to the S&D. After this, a big heritage name will then "guarantor" further contract overhauls through the shed for many years to come as there are not enough uk sites to keep up with demand as more and more of the 215 Barry survivors are restored and need their 10 yearly overhauls doing to feed the ever growing heritage railway movement.

Sunshiner said...

And the incredible thing is - some volunteers at Shillingstone were OPPOSING this????? I'm glad it's now all been sorted and you can get on with it.

Anonymous said...

let's not go there eh? I'm sticking to facts, plans, vision and sustainibilty for future rail growth and education!


Knoxy said...

It’s a pity Radstock didn't see sense and turn the old wagon works into the NRM of the West (& South)? Instead they want to build houses all over most of it, highly sustainable!

I’m sure you'll be on a winner with this, and I shall follow the progress avidly from afar (on the internet). I shall not resist a visit though.