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!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

hardly a surprise ...

... it is the 21st century after all!

Wednesday, October 6th 2010 14:00

27 local jobs have been lost with the closure of George Taylor Limited.

The firm based in Bedminster will no longer carry out any haulage work after over a century of doing so throughout the city.

Bosses have blamed the effects of the current economic climate for the business' decline.

The company employs 17 drivers and 10 other staff. Managing Director Roger Scarrett said: "It is with great regret that after over 100 years in the haulage business the company will realign itself and completely withdraw from all its haulage related activities. The company will continue to manage its property and other resources.

"We have taken the decision because demand for our quality service has declined in the global recession and we did not want to compromise on that quality, which the George Taylor name has been associated with for so many years."

"Sadly the loyal and dedicated workforce who over a long period of time have continuously produced service levels of the highest standard through their commitment and professionalism are the innocent victims in this. They are all friends as well as work colleagues."

"In the current economy customers are putting low prices above value and we are not prepared to compromise our service levels."The company was originally started by George Taylor and his horse and cart over 100 years ago.

All of the firm's equipment and vehicles, including some historic pieces will be sold at an auction this weekend.

This is happening all the time. Perhaps they should go back to the horses and carts - at least they have a future!

Businesses should be staying ahead of structural changes in the economy. Transport in the 21st century exclusively means railed transport. The roads are dying, costs are going through the roof and the whole business model is flawed. Transport companies should, like Eddie Stobart is doing, have been realigning themselves for years to switch their business to rail in one way or another. Either by developing rail freight or even by building the vehicles that will be needed in the future - heavy goods locos, freight wagons and industrial and light railway equipment. It's no good crying for a world that is changing before your eyes, you need to make the adjustments before your rivals do. This is the beauty of capitalism, and the underlying principle behind the New S&D.

Me? I left road haulage over twenty years ago as the way things were going was clear to me even then.
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