Welcome to the 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway'
Monday, January 03, 2011
q and a session
(Photos - all inspirationally Swiss!)
Recently posted - a gift for return of serve!
Wish you luck and agree with idea but you are living in a fantasy world if you think it will ever REALLY happen; too many plots sold off and millions upon millions of pounds of infrastructure to replace. Should never have been closed - but the time to fight was 60s, like the Settle and Carlisle Railway supporters did. The only REAL railway investment likely to happen now is HIGH SPEED links, not the local loss making railways. Despite this, you are right but that doesn't mean much!
My reply -
I hate fantasy - it's a waste of energy! You won't find any in the New S&D - we are a terribly straight-laced and unsentimental lot! Businesspeople, accountants, economists and academics in the main.
Please don't just wish us luck - join us!
Billions, not millions. We have no illusions as to the difficulty in raising money like this, but there are ways. And it will get easier as time goes by.
The S&C fight was in the 70s, the absolute nadir of railways. In fact I felt that was the turning point for rail in the UK and the S&C (I was born in Carlisle) is one of the inspirations for the S&D.
Most rail infrastructure investments in this country since have been for local routes - Robin Hood line, Airdrie-Bathgate, Ebbw Vale, Waverley route, Larkhall, Alloa, Welsh Highland Railway. HS rail is part of the future, but will hardly be ideal for freight, terrible for local rail traffic and is already causing controversy through the areas it runs, as the inhabitants can't see the benefits they'll get. It's not a zero-sum game. Remember all that former road development money is coming rail's way ...
And the S&D won't be a loss-maker in any case. Remember that dodgy accounting, hatred of the route by the regional management and a deliberate decision not to rationalise and dieselise the route, together with diversion of traffic, killed the line, not big losses. It certainly won't be a loss maker in the future - we hope to pay regular and good dividends to the shareholders!It will happen - the only question is what sort of S&D will emerge. Let's do it our way.