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!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

network destroyed ... but coming back stronger than ever

Member Mick Knox has just set up an email address for information on S&D land ownership.

He would like to appeal for information on ownership, state of land etc, current use, location etc, for the whole of the S&D route, together with other lines in the area. If he's successful with this he may move onto creating a national database!

He would like to create, for the S&D, a database covering the original land purchased by each railway company, price if known, its subsequent ownership until sale by BR, i.e. Southern region, Western region etc. What type of work carried out etc before closure. I.e. Louth Station (Lincolnshire) received a re-wire six months before closure; goes against closure savings!

He is especially interested in its sale by BR and price paid, together with any snippets, gossip etc concerning its non rail use, i.e. why it was sold etc, any stories, any deals?

And of course he want to know who currently owns it and what is its use, status etc? Also, very importantly, the mileages/chains of each plot of land.

The email address is trackbedsurvey@networkdestroyed.co.uk

We are beginning to see the turning back of the insane and economically self-defeating Beeching cuts of the 1960s, the cruellest of which was the closure of the S&D. The networkdestroyed site should become a valuable resource for people researching this extraordinarily short-sighted transport blind alley in future years.

If you can help in any way with setting up the database for the S&D (and other routes) please don't hesitate to email the above address!
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