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, January 18, 2011

beginning of the end?

Fuel prices seem to be hitting the news again, in amongst all the other reports of price rises.

The tanker drivers are whimpering, reminding us of nothing more than the coal miners in the 80s, haulage companies are whining about their costs, regular car drivers are moaning about the price of fuel. Anyone would think it was expensive! It isn't. It will never be this cheap again.
An amazing statement today, and I haven't made this up, was 'Drivers will ALWAYS pay whatever price is asked for fuel, even ten pounds a gallon!' There's an implication that ten pounds a gallon is some incredibly distant, almost unfeasibly high price that we won't see in our lifetimes. Really? The very use of 'gallon' suggests some old dinosaur fart, looking back to some nostalgic past where petrol was, for example, £1.98.7 per gallon. Well £10 per gallon equates to about £2.22 a litre. Some pundits are already expecting it to hit £1.50 per litre THIS summer, with crude oil reaching $100-$200 per barrel within a year or so. That price of £2.22 per litre will soon seem cheap.

But of course it won't only be the cost of petrol that's a factor, but its availability. And that will be the real crunch. A mix of high prices, crumbling roads and uncertainty of supply will drive almost all drivers off the road. And that's when rail will be the obvious answer to EVERYONE, not just those of us that are forward-thinking. Opportunity will knock far sooner than most of us expect.
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Toddingtonted said...

BBC Lincolnshire has stated that it will cost £300 million to sort out the damage done to the roads over this winter and the winter of 2009-2010, some repairs from the latter period have still not been fixed. Now I'm well aware that Lincolnshire is a big county but it aint exactly covered with lots of trunk roads (well the A1 and A52 I guess). The cost is phenominal but I'm pleased to say at last that more interest is being taken in railways, with the Sleaford-Skegness line being further upgraded. So things are turning.

lonesomehobo said...

With inflation at 4%, we're looking at a £10 gallon within 15 years anyway. £20 a gallon would have been a better superlative, but I'd be surprised if we didn't see that before 2020.

Sunshiner said...

£10 and even £20 a gallon will probably be a very optimistic forecast for 15 year's time, though of course the effect of inflation works both ways, with income also rising. £10 a litre will probably be closer to the mark within ten years.