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 09, 2010

we must unite

Not sure where the expression comes from but it's so apt for the S&D perhaps it was Ivo Peters ...

I've been getting some odd comments from down Dorset way. Most are attacking the plans for a loco facility at Shillingstone. The problem is all the comments are anomynous and most of them are trying to personalise the matter. This is ridiculous. The New S&D has no part to play in the internal politics of the other groups on the line and the last thing I want to do is to see this blog become a proxy battleground, entertaining though that would be. First reason is that some of the comments now flying around (on forums, not this blog!) look like they are going to attract a libel action but, even more importantly, this sort of to-and-froing is NOT good for the S&D.

My maxim is 'always put the S&D first'. Within the context of the New S&D that means to always look at the bigger picture when developments are planned on the route. We want the line back, the people living along the route need the line back, and ALL of us need to act in a way to make that happen more quickly. It does I'm afraid mean that there's little or no room for sentiment, that sometimes we'll need to make strange alliances and most of the time we'll need to curb our enthusiasm!

So before firing off a comment telling me how awful so-and-so is, how such-and-such a thing will 'never' happen, or worse, how 'they' will 'never' allow it to happen .... THINK! Is what I'm saying good or bad for the greater S&D?

Now I remember where that expression comes from. Not Ivo, but Enter Shikari!
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Anonymous said...

I quite agree with you there Steve. The railways that are professional, business focused, and quality heritage attractions and with ambition are the ones that will not only sustain the most interest and attract the most people but will also but in a better position to make the transition from heritage tourist line to community rail and eventually network reconnected. The railways that are scared of being bold will certainly stagnate and wither, and all the work would have been for nothing. My personal patience is wearing very thin, but it is good that our 2 groups are looking to the rail future together and have support from midsomer norton. Nick

Anonymous said...

However, the likes of Shillingstone are not about the wider S&D but the limited Stourpaine to Sturminster Newton route. I hope they can sort their differences soon as it is a lovely part of the line.

Anonymous said...

Down every plughole, is an enemy lughole!