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

shillingstone's future

This is Nick Howes' projection of the locomotive shed/workshop that will be built at Shillingstone. It will be used to generate funds for the rebuilding of this stretch of the S&D based around Shillingstone station, and is the key to the location operating successfully into the distant future.

It is nice to know that eventually locomotives will be brought in by rail rather than road, the ultimate indignity! It is good that people are thinking far ahead into the future and helping to transform purely 'heritage' set ups into something far more vital - businesses that will offer employment and employment opportunities particularly in rural areas. Our country's future will be built on small, sustainable business initiatives tapping into future needs.

There does seem to be a whole new vitality at Shillingstone these days. I'd like to think that's partly because of the New S&D, but I'm probably wrong! However that is one of the main purposes of the New S&D - to make new initiatives (like the Sturminster Rail Group) as well as the existing S&D set ups feel there is something bigger behind everything we do. I expect a lot more groups and initiatives to spring up along the line now we are all working towards the same objective.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Steve. Indeed, the 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, One 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.


Anonymous said...

I should like to point out though, that before the 70's doom-mongerers who want a quiet life say "what's Nick Howes doing saying we'll be bringing stuff in by rail?!", It will be your new S&D group that will probably be achieving this - your words not mine - we'll be happy to work with you though in achieving it!

Sunshiner said...

Of course. Whilst I can see Shillingstone eventually heading to Blandford it will be the New S&D that proposes and builds the line southwards from there to connect to the network!