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!

Saturday, July 03, 2010

transport - past and future - in bratislava and vienna

Bratislava's latest metre gauge trams - though 90% of the fleet seem to be at least 20 years old.

Communist-era bus station.

The hydrofoil from Bratislava docks at Vienna.

The most elegant way of getting round Vienna!

Well and truly back from our visit to Bratislava in Slovakia. An absolute gem of a city and recommended to you all! It's so compact that you just need a pair of feet to get around.

But Bratislava has a superb public transport system, which we did dip in to. The backbone is, of course, the impressive tramway system. It reaches most parts of the city on the north bank of the Danube, with the longer lines almost taking on an interurban nature. Very fast, cheap and amazingly busy. There are also trolleybuses, a form of transport which surely will make a huge comeback in the UK on routes that are not quite busy enough for trams. And those old dinosaurs, buses, although the newer buses aren't bad at all.

Bratislava is only 64km from Vienna and will soon be reconnected by tram - there is only a 7km gap on the interurban from Vienna and the southern Bratislava suburb of Petr┼żalka, which will soon have it's own high speed tramway into the city. But for now there's the fantastic Twin Cities Liner hydrofoil which links the two cities in just 75 minutes via a very scenic and fascinating trip up the Danube.

Vienna of course is home to the world's second largest tramway network. But the only transport we used in Vienna was the fiacre - the famous horse-drawn carriage. This was a great experience and could quite well become a model for future road based transport, as the carriage was very well appointed!
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1 comment:

Knoxy said...

It seems to be a common theme of these former Eastern bloc communist countries: a decent public transport system! On my football related travels I’ve seen trolley buses, trams and plenty of rail. While we were busy destroying our network, they kept theirs'!

And of course we are still paying to update some of these vital transport systems, but unfortunately not our own?

Via EU money of course and don't we as UK taxpayers fund that?