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!

Monday, October 04, 2010

next stop spetisbury

Great news for our Dorset members - now we've safely saved Midford as a railway location for ever we are now in negotiation with Dorset County Council to take over Spetisbury. Aim here is to restore the station to 1950s style and, as at Midford, set up a shop and information office for the whole route. There is of course ample opportunity here to lay a single line of track, perhaps to demonstrate a Parry People Mover at a later date.

The two currently most important sections of the S&D are Midsomer Norton to Bath and Blandford to Poole. Both routes should really already be operating regular passenger and freight trains, with a catchment population well over 100,000 excluding Bath and Bournemouth. Hopefully soon both stretches of line will have a magnificently restored station acting as an information centre for the route. This will help bring about the restoration sooner rather than later.

We'll shortly be launching a Spetisbury Appeal to raise funds to restore the buildings, and hopefully set up work parties in the not too distant future, once we have secured the site.
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Knoxy said...


Looks like someone has already cleared some of the growth on the platforms, since our 09 visit, Steve?

yamfaz said...

I feel a little competition coming along, who can get their station finished first, will it be the Northern crew who have a head start or will the Southern crew overtake with their active support base. I'll be visiting both to lend a hand :)

Sunshiner said...

I think Paul Beard did a little clearance here back in the spring.

Knoxy said...

i want both to win!

i'll try and help with both and then move onto the next?