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, September 18, 2010


A very useful resource for the restoration of the section of line between Midford and the Long Arch Bridge is this excellent work by Mike Arlett, out of print but still available on Amazon.

As well as a comprehensive history of the S&D at Midford there are also numerous photos that will help put things back as they were.

Remember that restoration of Midford is now proceeding and all members are welcome to go to the station and do some work. At the moment we are still at the clearance stage, which will probably take a few months.

Just a few rules if you do go up - please email me first at leysiner@aol.com so I'm aware you are there and can let you know what work is needed to be done. If possible please try to go with at least one other person. All work is currently done at your own risk so personal insurance is recommended. It is a good idea to wear steel toecapped boots if possible. We'll be getting New S&D reflective jackets made shortly - when they are ready ideally we'd like all people working on site to wear them. This makes us look more professional and, more importantly, visible. If people pass and ask what we're doing please take time to let them know what our plans are. You will be ambassadors for the project even if you are shy or just want to cut stuff down! If you have them please take some leaflets to hand out - if you need some please email me. No fires please - just pile up anything that's cut down, clear of the platform edges and, of course, the cycleway. Try to buy a drink or meal in the Hope and Anchor and let them know why you are there. Don't leave tools or anything else on the cycleway - it needs to be left totally clear at all times, this is one of our obligations as landlord. Take home ALL litter, including cigarette ends!
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1 comment:

Knoxy said...

Is there a station amongst all that growth!

Seriously though, I look forward to the challenge. All I need is a strimmer?

See you next year.