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!

Friday, October 01, 2010

musings ...

This has ended up buried in the 'comments' section so I've promoted it to the main page!

2 Items, firstly to all supporters who can't make the mid week working parties, let's set up some weekend ones. Best use the Midford Facebook group for this here. I live in SW London and am happy to give others a lift down to the site, it will be more cost effective. Please comment on my message there or reply to this comment here.

2nd Who owns the adjoining land and how do they feel about selling, particularly the old goods yard through Long Arch bridge? Because if we owned that?? Who knows what we could set up :)

Yes, let's get weekend work parties set up. Not only is it convenient for most members, but also there will be far more passing visitors who may well then take an interest in the route. I think this would be a huge publicity boost for us and hopefully Brett can quickly get a team together. I'll certainly do everything I can to make it up on the first occasion!

On the question of land ownership I'm sure Mick Knox, who has taken on the 'portfolio' of land ownership, would welcome help with getting this information together. The goods yard to the north of Long Arch Bridge would be an excellent base as there's a reasonable amount of land, there's access from the minor road and, most importantly, it's clear of other users ie the cycleway.

We certainly don't plan to sit still now Midford's under our belt, and further land purchases are inevitable - though it does depend on lots of good sized donations coming in!
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