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!

Thursday, March 31, 2011


Last winter's cold December - itself almost certainly a result of climate change influenced atmospheric anomalies - has resulted in a nother rash of potholes on our crumbling road network. And the cost to fix it? Up to ten billion pounds!

That's almost £200 per person in the UK, a ridiculous subsidy for a piece of infrastructure that is surely in its twilight years.

But I do appreciate that it is needed, despite this. A crumbling road network, a very strong indicator that Peak Energy is with us, is a costly thing to not repair as well. Cars can travel more slowly but let's be realistic, the real damage is caused by our dinosaur lorries. That's why the ten billion would be much better spent on expanding the rail network so it can start taking the freight traffic. This will protect the roads for the few more years they have left. This is quite clearly a case of throwing good money after bad.

It won't be the end of oil that finishes the car culture, but the impossibility of maintaining the road network. Remember that road surfacing itself uses large amounts oif oil. Rail doesn't have this problem!


Anonymous said...

Have you seen the steam railway about 9f going to s and d 2016

Sunshiner said...

Yes, the first planning meeting for this will be next month so with nearly 5 years to get things ready it may well happen!

Sunshiner said...

Yes, the first planning meeting for this will be next month so with nearly 5 years to get things ready it may well happen!