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, May 01, 2010

the chilcompton extension

(All 19.4.2010)

Three recent shots of Midsomer Norton's Chilcompton extension. This brings the line into the open countryside for which the S&D was rightly famous. tree clearance is now giving views across the town (see pic 3). Midsomer Norton has grown a lot since the closure of the line, perhaps surprisingly. No doubt had the line not closed it would have grown even more!

With larger towns along the route and the gradual (hopefully!) decline in road traffic, coupled with modern sustainable motive power, the New S&D should have a very bright and profitable future. With a complex mix of local and express passenger, and a variety of freight traffic, both through trains and originating on the route, the line will be very busy, probably far busier than it was in its first heyday when trains operated around the clock. This is one of the main reasons that it will be reconstructed with double track throughout, even on those sections that were originally single track, and also why we will be promoting alternative northern and southern exits (via Pensford to Bristol and Ringwood to Brockenhurst respectively).


Anonymous said...

Hi Only Me but the photos are not showing Ps Great Site Well Done keep up the good work

Anonymous said...

I have just heard from an observant friend that, today, the American military have flagged that the Peak Oil collapse point in oil production will occur in 2015! Maybe a good use of funds now will be to plan the optimum sourcing of oil-cost-heavy infrastructure before that date? Good luck again.

Anonymous moral supporter in Hampshire

Knoxy said...

2015! makes it all the more important to use the oil now, to rebuild the railways. and i don't just mean the S&D.