Welcome to the 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway'
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Take a look at the picture above. It's a very nice atmosphere shot of the Wisbech and Upwell Tramway, in Wisbech. This is from the book 'The Wisbech and Upwell Tramway' by Chris Hawkins and George Reeve, published in 1982.
1982 was close to rail's lowest ebb in the UK. Even many rail enthusiasts fell for the con, others simply loved the 'romance' of closed lines and really believed that once closed a line would stay closed forever - regardless of the future of roads!
The interesting part of the above picture is the caption. Not sure if you can view it clearly in your browser, but the last line of text reads - Rails in the street are now largely unknown in this country and their like will never be seen again.
Hmmm. Just a few years later rails started appearing in the streets of Manchester, Sheffield, Wolverhampton, Nottingham and Croydon. And in a few months time not only will the streets of Porthmadog contain rails, but will see regular, daily STEAM trains running down 'em.
So when someone tells you 'The S&D will never reopen' remember the absolute certainty of the Wisbech and Upwell statement above. Not only will rails in the street become commonplace throughout the UK, of all guages, but many industrial concerns will run street lines connecting the factory to the network, most towns above 100,000 population will have street-based tramways, smaller towns and villages will have ultra-light rail, interurban street and roadside tracks will litter the countryside and the street railway will become more common than it ever was.
And, of course, the S&D will not only be fully restored but will probably have a dozen of more street-running tramways and light railways connecting to it, not to mention the industrial lines!
I even think the Wisbech and Upwell tramway will be restored!