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 09, 2010

caution - may contain nuts

I heard the daftest thing the other day. Apparently a lot of people don't want to get involved with the New S&D - and by extension the S&D revival - because they have heard we're a 'bunch of nutters'!

I'm really sorry to disappoint them, and I know how horrible it can be when the truth hits home, but there's never been room in the New S&D for anyone who isn't as sharp as a knife, well educated and professional. We'd spot a nutter from miles off and they'd never get in.

Not quite sure how this rumour came about, or what mischievous types spread it, but I'm sure the progress at Midford and the rapid development of the New S&D, coupled with an almost universal appreciation that the Beeching cuts now need to be reversed, and quickly, will knock it out of play.

So if you are a nutter, and feel that joining the New S&D will introduce you to a plethora of like-minded friends, forget it. We have a serious nut allergy ... and intend to keep it that way!
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George H said...

The real nutters are the ones who closed the S&D in the first place. The country is screaming out for better transport links. To either rationalise of mothball routes such as this, the Great Central, the Midland and Great Northern Joint, Woodhead etc... would have saved these lines in tact for when they were needed again and in some cases, kept running by volunter groups who were interested in them. A completely single line S&D or GCR doesn't sound very appealing but it would have been better than total closure.

Knoxy said...

It is an even bigger crime not to be safeguarding the formations even this late on. It’s almost that they don't want to be seen to be doing it as it would be seen as a perfect example of those leading us not having a clue?
This country has been busy destroying itself from within for the last 50/60 years and to make matter worse we paid for it!
Apparently it now pays to just sit on your arse and do nothing. That won't be the way for the future and rebuilding these lines will need to be part of putting the Great back in Britain.
We might even have to go back to digging for coal and making things?

I suppose I’ll be classed as a nutter for those thoughts?

LOL 1984?

Anonymous said...

You should be commended for having a vision and then endeavouring to make it a reality. Almost every challenge looks impossible and there will always be cynics and critics and moaners and whiners and whingers - but suggest you simply smile and get on with it.

Of course what is being suggested is massive - but there are little bits (here and there) of the old S&D which are coming back to life and there will be easier bits and bits that look impossible. But that's life!