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!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

S&D v GWR - let the battle commence!


Typical Great Western main line station.

This has just appeared on a Facebook group - proof, even if tongue in cheek, that even today there are a few idiots out there that couldn't be cool if they lived in an igloo ...

the pines was a silly named train over Somerset's Dismantled Joke Railway, it's a good job it got closed down and the "pines" got diverted along lines with actual centres of population on them, and lines that were properly engineered. Plus the Red Dragon was 92220's moment of glory because it proved that 9F's were better than many mixed traffic and passenger designs.also I'm sick of hearing people crying over the loss of the S&D, it was just another branchline that if open today would just be a drain on resources.
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9 comments:

Knoxy said...

just jealous as the Western Region never managed to bury it for good...

hasn't he seen the Life of Brian?

Sunshiner said...

LOL!

I've never quite got this Western v S&D thing. Surely everyone can see the potential of the S&D - the scenery, the architecture, the variety of trains and the whole atmosphere of the line? How any true railway enthusiast could wish it remain dead is beyond me, or are they worried that once restored it will outshine every other line in the country, as it did in the past? There's room for all of us, but the S&D will always be head and shoulders above every other line.

steve said...

surely the S&D was a mainline not a branchline?

Sunshiner said...

Of course it was a main line, with full line occupancy at busy periods until the WR began transferring traffic away from the line.

Our proposals will mean that it will be a main line once again, hopefully with the previous single track sections doubled and with the two new routes to the north and south - Radstock to Bristol and the Ringwood line - taking some of the strain off the route. It will be even busier than it was in the 50s.

I don't think the writer understands the difference between a branch and a main line. He seemed to think that there were no centres of population on the route (ignoring Norton-Radstock and Blandford for example). In any case the lack of population on a route does not relegate it to a branch - if you think about it a branch HAS to have population centres on its route or it would have no traffic! And by his reckoning then the main line between Carlisle and Glasgow would count as a 'branch', the only sizeable town on the route south of Lanarkshire being Lockerbie! It is of course where the traffic originates from and is going to that counts, and the S&D will have FOUR very large population centres at the four ends of its route - Bournemouth/Poole, Southampton, Bristol and Bath. Branch indeed!!

Chris Warren said...

As has been said many times before, the S&D took a very direct route to Bournemouth. Catch a train there today, it is via a very tortuous path. Try driving there, an absolute joke. The A350 south of Shaftesbury is little more than a B road, clogged with 44 tonne lorries. It just about sums up the immense folly of a Transport Policy which swept away a massive amount of infrastructure only to replace it with another, far more imposing type of infrastructure. The people responsible should be locked up...

Anonymous said...

Having driven down the A357 to Blandford from the A303 for the first time yesterday there is no doubt in my mind that we need an S&D!

Anonymous said...

And a railway to stonehenge, the A303 was completely packed on friday!

Anonymous said...

Tell me about bloody Stonehenge!! I used to regularly lose much time [and patience] on returning from the long and early drive to Ipswich on fridays in this time of year because of that insane bottleneck at Amesbury onwards until almost at the A36 Warminster road. believe me, after a 5.00 am start with 4 hours continuous drive to do the delivery - plus unloading [a tedious process in which EVERY single item of thousands had to be checked off] and then another 4 hours at LEAST drive back with the A14, A12, M25, M3 and them A303 to contend with, the LAST thing I wanted was Stonehenge! [I was very tempted to go and beat those stones down to powder, thus ending the insane visitors who stand like herds of sheep gawking at the bloody things! Grrrrr!]

Knoxy said...

So even if there was an endless supply of oil, which I doubt, more reinstated railways would help relieve the traffic congestion on the roads.

If Marples & Beeching hadn't started off the excessive closure plan, we would all have enjoyed better journeys, road or rail...

long term closing the railways saved no money, as we now need to rebuild them, and the cost of the extra congestion on the roads, has been £bn's..