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!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

endangered transport

Railways have been documented in such depth that there's hardly a corner that hasn't been recorded for posterity through pictures and words.

But will our roads leave ANY trace once the last car is garaged for good? Will a stretch of road be preserved and open for the public to experience an otherwise extinct transport mode? I hope so.

I did have the foresight even back in the 80s to record this doomed transport mode and have a good collection of pictures. But I doubt there are 1% of the number of railway shots out there. I'd urge all of you to go out and try to capture this form of transport in its dying years.

But there are a few books on cars, and even a few on the road culture (an oxymoron if ever there was one!) New member Derek Lunn has an excellent range on his website, and an even bigger range of railway titles. Take a look at his site and grab some of those rare titles. He will be sending out the New S&D brochure with every relevant book sold.
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will said...

Perhaps not a great choice of pictures? The handyman, builder, plumber still needs to get to homes, and take a ton of tools with him.

Sunshiner said...

A TON of tools, or a toolkit full? Which could be carried in bike panniers/trailer, by horse and cart, or if near rail/tram carried with her. The pictures are from the mid 80s so are already historic. The fact that at the moment most tradespeople use cars and vans doesn't mean they'll always be able to. Once the oil's gone there'll be no choice - it's the ones that start making the changes NOW that will thrive. The dinosaurs will go to the wall. But this post wasn't really about that anyway, but about the way the car culture hasn't sparked any enthusiasm, and will pass into history barely recorded unless we act now.

Knoxy said...

we all need transport, but the fact that we are hooked on oil is the problem. It is the reason we fight wars in the Middle East, sorely to maintain our supply.

The Beeching/Marples period was just about getting us hooked and keeping us hooked.

the handyman, builder, plumber etc will just have to have a smaller round. I.e. local.

Anonymous said...

The National Motor Museum at Beaulieu http://www.beaulieu.co.uk
houses an excellent collection of these soon to be endangered species and is well worth a visit....

Anonymous said...

there's plenty of historic racing catagories as well keeping motor racing vehicles alive atleast