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!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

our first tiny step

This picture shows the extent of the land now owned by the New S&D. Everything within the red line is ours and is now set aside - for ever - for the use of the railway. As well as the platform and trackbed to the Long Arch Bridge we also own woodland on either side of the railway. We even own a tiny piece of the old canal!

Although a forward looking organisation we are also very aware of the huge historical significance of the S&D and ownership has led to us inheriting a lot of old paperwork going back over 100 years. I'll put this on this site over the next few months, and use this as the basis for an article in the 'past' section of Right Lines 3.

Over the next few weeks I want to put together a 'Midford Team' that will clear and rebuild the station area. This set up will be copied all along the route as we buy more and more parcels of land.
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Anonymous said...

Why not organise some local camping and have a working holiday week each summer? It'd give those of us who live elsewhere in the UK a chance to do our bit.

John said...

Quick questions-where was the other Midford station [a halt,i believe] situated on the GWR line? Is there any sign of its existence now,or is it obliterated? Good luck with the project BTW,can't offer any physical help,being in deepest Devon,but i'll pay my subs and give moral support.

Sunshiner said...

From Wikipedia - Midford Halt railway station existed for four years between 1911 to 1915. The halt was situated on the Limpley Stoke to Camerton railway that formed part of the Great Western Railway's development of the former Bristol and North Somerset Railway, and which followed the former Somerset Coal Canal. The line was only open to passenger traffic for seven years in all, from 1910 to 1915, and from 1923 to 1925, and Midford Halt opened a year late and then did not reopen for the second period. Midford Halt was in Wiltshire; the county boundary runs up to the B3110 road at the point where the canal/railway crossed the road, and the halt was on the Wiltshire side.

The halt was located about 400 metres northeast of Midford railway station which was on the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway line.


Knoxy said...

you and me both.

next visit i shall be off searching?