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!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

views from bournemouth west

If you happen to live in the Bournemouth West constituency and haven't decided who to vote for yet, Anna-Jayne Metcalfe has asked the candidates a few questions on the most important issue.

Alasdair Murray [alasdair@alasdairmurray.net] (LD)

"We will implement the largest expansion of the rail network since the Victorian era and undo many of the cuts made by Beeching as well as support the roll out of high speed rail links. This will be paid for by cutting funding from the major roads budget, much of which is used for motorway widening and hard shoulder running projects, and redirecting it into rail."

Question: Can you confirm whether the LD rail re-openings commitment includes the reopening of the lines from Bournemouth to Bath and Ringwood to Brockenhurst?

"I know we are committed to the Ringwood line but I would need to check on the Bath link (i would say it is fairly likely though)."

Conor Burns [conor@localconservatives.com] (Con)

"On high speed rail, we have one of the most comprehensive policies of all the major parties and will begin work immediately on a high speed rail line connecting London and Heathrow with Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds, with construction beginning in 2015, as the first step towards our vision of a national network joining up cities across England, Scotland and Wales. Stage two will deliver two new lines bringing the North East, Scotland and Wales into our high speed rail network. In addition we will support crossrail and the electrification of the Great Western line to South Wales and introduce a moratorium on building on disused rail lines."

Question: I would ask whether you will support re-opening secondary routes such as the direct line from Bournemouth to Bath?

No answer to that one yet.

No response whatsoever from Labour or UKIP.
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