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!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

midford progress

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Latest pictures from Midford today (courtesy of Tom Seale).

Hard to believe this is the same jungle that existed back in September when work started! It's beginning to open up new vistas of the line, we now also have our own entrance to the site via the gate in picture 2 - this will obviate the need to use the pub car park for deliveries. It really is starting to look like a proper looked after station again - with the restoration of track not a physical issue at all!
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7 comments:

Toddingtonted said...

That's some excellent work there! Great to see Midford coming back to life at last - a long way to go but a real start has been made. I guess you know that cutting down trees such as Ash, which seem to love railways, just seems to encourage them and so regular flailing coupled with tree root poisoning or digging out (ok if you have a baby JCB!) is the only long term answer - my apologies if I'm stating the blooming obvious!

Knoxy said...

I think it’s brilliant. Starting to look better than the national network, although to be fair that doesn't take a lot of doing!

I can't wait to see it all cut back and looking like a 1950's station again, albeit without track, but who cares about that at the moment? Not me, that will come later.

Filled up yesterday. £5.91 per gallon. It won’t take long?

Sunshiner said...

Hopefully we'll be able to harvest the ash (and other wood) once we've got some secure storage on site. We really should maximise the site's profit potential even before the trains are running and there's no more sustainable product than timber! All those villagers with Agas are no doubt just waiting for a local supply of the best firewood there is ...

Anonymous said...

Great work again guys, looks really good. Sorry I can't help but living in Scotland has its drawbacks sometimes.

Stuart Seale said...

Hmmm, lots of wood to be cut then? Tom and I have only the use of Bow Saws, which makes for pretty hard work. Has anyone got and is proficient in the use of a chainsaw?
Regards,
Stuart Seale

Anonymous said...

Could someone do a bit of photoshop and add a 9F crossing the viaduct.

Knoxy said...

Knoxy has! Unfortunately I have been unable to get down there due to the pressures of work. I’m a signaller on the North London Line which is being re-signalled with transfer of control to Upminster IECC. As such many staff have moved on leaving those left to cover the remaining jobs until transfer. My last bit (Stratford C Workstation) transfers this weekend (22nd Jan) and I return to Slough IECC controlling Paddington. I was hoping this would give me more time to get down to Somerset and help out, but I’m not so sure. There are similar pressures?

It is my intention to get down to Midsomer Norton and do my usual strimming clearance of the embankment (postponed during the snow!) and get over to Midford as well. I just can’t say when this will be, but I will be down at some point. The chainsaw will travel with me of course. Sorry I can’t commit more than that, but I do live 3½ hours drive away.

Knoxy