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!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

radstock future?

These shots, courtesy of David Bailey, show the way that the new link line at Sheringham fits so snugly into the pre-existing environment. You would hardly know the railway was there, and note that it is unfenced! This is far more in keeping with continental European or tramway practice. In tandem with the tramway section through Porthmadog on the Welsh Highland Railway, it does show that the UK is beginning to catch up. This may well be a model for parts of the New S&D, I'm thinking of Radstock in particular. It may mean in a few places the trains are reduced to 5mph or so, but only over very short stretches. There again in Switzerland on some street running sections trains run at 20mph or so and can have as many as ten carriages!
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WestfieldWanderer said...

This is stupendous! What a wonderful thing to see, and in Britain too. The 'elf 'n' safety mafia must have been looking the other way when that went in. :-) Just shows what can happen with a bit of common sense and thought is applied.
And Radstock?
Not 'arf!
Bring it on!

Knoxy said...

Now they know, the palisade fencing is no doubt on order!

BertieBeatlefan said...

Stone me - no fencing! Just like France, Switzerland, etc etc. Is this proper 'harmonisation' with Europe then?