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!

Monday, May 17, 2010

oil - the future's looking bleaker

From Bloomberg via Daily Reckoning

“Senators from California, Oregon and Washington introduced legislation to ban oil drilling off the West Coast amid mounting concern about the spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

“‘We believe that offshore oil drilling is simply not worth the risk,’ Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat of California, told reporters today in Washington.

“The measure would amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to impose a permanent ban on drilling off the three states.“Offshore drilling was banned for decades after a 1969 spill about five miles off the Santa Barbara coast soaked California beaches in a 35-mile long oil slick. In July 2008, then-President George W Bush lifted the presidential moratorium. Congress allowed its own drilling ban to expire three months later.”

“This oil spill could destroy the future of offshore drilling,” adds our Family Office researcher, Charles Delvalle.

“More states will be allowed to decide whether they want drilling offshore or not. And senators are trying to allow neighbouring states to have a ‘veto’ over any one state’s offshore drilling decision.

“So let’s say Florida wanted to put some offshore rigs up close to Georgia. If Georgia doesn’t want that rig up, it can ‘veto’ Florida’s decision.”

[You] can see where this is going. Even if the oil were available beneath the sea, the oil industry is going to have more and more trouble bringing it to market.

[E]ven on dry land, the oil industry is facing disasters. A number of major exporters – Mexico, Iran, Venezuela and Peru – could take themselves out of the export business in the next few years [, ] thanks to their habit of using oil revenues for social/political purposes and failing to invest in additional capacity.

This is occurring as the number of cars – and the demand for energy – is exploding.

Implication: a higher oil price.

“There’s plenty of $200 oil,” [ ].

Trouble is, there isn’t that much $70 oil.
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