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, January 31, 2011

down ringwood way

(All photos © Derek Lunn.)

The top shot is of the trackbed south of Broadstone looking towards Corfe Mullen. It shows a very minor incursion on the trackbed by a shed - hardly a problem but typical of the sort of chipping away of these essential transport links back when people didn't realise their value.

The two lower shots are of a fantastic bridge just north of Broadstone towards Wimborne. The trackbed looks very well preserved just waiting for the double track track to be relaid, and look at the superb brickwork in the long bridge/short tunnel - definitely built to last!

Derek has just taken on the Track Steward role for the stretch of line from Broadstone to Ringwood. This is one of the non-S&D routes we will restore, and will serve as an extremely useful route connecting Ringwood and Wimborne into Bournemouth, an essential commuter and freight route for the 21st century. Extending up towards West Moors and Fordingbridge, and on to Salisbury, will also be inevitable as time goes by. This will become a dense network of routes at the southern end of the S&D proper, with an additional route allowing trains to run from Bath and Templecombe direct to Wimborne, Ringwood and Brockenhurst created by a northern curve to the north of Broadstone connecting to Wimborne. Bournemouth will, at last, get proper transport to the north, routes that were destroyed between 1964 and 1966.

If you are keen on taking on a track steward role please email me at leysiner@aol.com - there are still long stretches of the line not currently covered. The role is not an onerous one, really just requiring you to keen an eye on a short stretch of the line.
Posted by Picasa

No comments: