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 24, 2010


THE SOMERSET & DORSET RAILWAYSomerset & Dorset Railway [VHS]Somerset and Dorset Railway (British Railway Pictorial)

I thought I'd just do a quick update on where the New S&D now is, and what we hope to do in the next year.

Firstly we will be taking Midford on within a week or so, once the paperwork's been signed. Paul Beard is still negotiating with the council over Spetisbury. Right Lines 2 will be out in a week or so. The landholding, line building and train operating company, Wessex Links Ltd, is now set up. The charity will be set up over the next few days, which will take up the membership, fundraising, social activities etc, as well as retailing and promotion/lobbying for the route.

You may have been a member for a while, or perhaps not even joined yet (!), but if you haven't taken an active role up till now there will be lots of positions arising over the next year. Right Lines Editor, Membership Secretary, Press Officer, Fundraiser are some of the positions up for grabs. We'd also love business-minded people to join us on the board of Wessex Links Ltd, where the workload is far more commercially orientated. If interested in any of these positions please email me at leysiner@aol.com

Hopefully by next year we will have published 'The Case for the S&D', contacted all councillors, MPs, businesses, media and other interested parties along the route, started rebuilding Midford and hopefully Spetisbury and be producing a quality A4 magazine, as well as operating sales/information stands at shows along the route.
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1 comment:

David B said...

We'd also like people to volunteer to help fill the gaps in the New S&D website... firstly writing station profiles, then reporting on the lines and trackbed status between stations. If you worked on the S&D, we'd also like to hear your lineside stories.