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 15, 2010

switzerland - ahead of the game as always ...

The Swiss have today just completed the tunneling for the world's longest tunnel. It's the 35 mile long Gotthard Base Tunnel, which avoids the steep bad weather-prone climbs up the ramps to the existing tunnel, which will no doubt be retained. This will more than double capacity on the route which links Switzerland to Italy. Of course it's a rail tunnel - Switzerland is trying to force ALL through freight traffic off the roads and onto the rails, and realise that to achieve this they need to invest in infrastructure. The line won't be open for another 6 years by which time capacity constraints will no doubt be creeping up again - but I'm sure the Swiss will deal with that problem when necessary.

This is the future. Notice that all long tunnels are rail tunnels - even the backward Brits realised that the Channel Tunnel needed to be rail rather than road!
Posted by Picasa

1 comment:

Knoxy said...

Just checked out the Swiss Tunnel news. What a project. Some forward thinking too, considering over here back in the 90's we still thought railways didn't have much of a future, hence the nature of privatisation.

I love the sight of freight on rail, especially lots of it. Far better on rail, than a congested motorway..