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, October 02, 2010


Well Midsomer Norton have finally done it and are running trains on a regular basis, starting tomorrow at 11am. (Details in the superb poster above).

(There were a couple of earlier running days in September but these were kept deliberately low key, to get the feel for things).

Midsomer Norton was always the inspiration for the New S&D and the whole site is fantastic, a real credit to everyone who has helped it happen.

It really is a historic day as this is the first time the public have been able to travel on a standard gauge train on the S&D since the Radstock group moved to Washford in the 1970s. It's been a long time coming, and everyone deserves to travel on this fantastic route. This is yet another one of those small steps at different locations that proclaims loudly to the outside world - the one that still sits complacently and firmly in the 20th century - that the ridiculous closure of the S&D in 1966 was only temporary and that the line is coming back, yard by yard, mile by mile, town by town. The S&D is no longer a dead route but a living, breathing icon for the 21st century!
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MZ Mark said...

Excellent development that. Sadly, due to living far away I cannot use these first services, but next Spring I will make it a priority.

lonesomehobo said...

I went up there on Sunday with my mum, who has fond memories of the S&D. Lovely to see a train trundling up and down, and the greenhouse is looking great.

Knoxy said...

Knowing how much work has gone into that site this is an excellent development. this is just the beginning.....

see you all soon for the winter gardening!

steve said...

keep up the good work guys i really must coem see teh line and station soon .