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, April 17, 2011

midford in 1991

This is a fantastic shot from Brian Clarke showing the miniature railway that operated along the platform at Midford in 1991. (Photo © Brian Clarke)

The picture shows the little steam train Bob Bullock brought to run along platform on iron track I made joined with ali track (like is in your garden) to get the length. This operated for insurance reasons as "Weston Miniature Rly" with scaled down replica "Pines Express" headboard & was the first steam train operation there since closure.


Tom Seale said...

Would be nice to re-create that scene. Perhaps we could arrange an event to mark the opening of the two tunnels route next year?

Sunshiner said...

We did actually get as far as putting together a plan to do this for 2010 but it was a little too early really. There will always be the problem of where will people park to visit it at Midford.

But it's still a good idea!

Knoxy said...

Get the Hope & Anchor in on it and do a deal over parking. Charge parking with a money off your bill in the pub. Coffees, teas etc..

In fact if you’re doing something when two tunnels opens, they'll be coming by bike?

A little tea bar on the platform? Or even a barrel?

start small, think big....

Knoxy said...

What time of year is Two Tunnels expected to open?

If it was like it is now, weather wise, a BBQ should go down well?

I can only imagine that the station is a good spot to be in today? Britain’s countryside at its finest.

Brian said...

Every report I've seen has indicated new Two Tunnels path is due for completion end of this year. That means mid-winter which is impractical for doing a miniature railway event on Midford platform, on its own or with other supporting features.

Easter 2012 seems a long way off now but is likely the first practical diary date for any event intended to take advantage of the new path opening.

Lets be practical & plan it properly so anyone who thinks they might contribute something useful or has relevant ideas, speak out !

Silence would mean no event & poor credibility, like the Americans say at some point of their politicians, "Wheres the Beef ?"

Sunshiner said...

Well all the planning for an event has already been done, we have somebody who can, if booked early enough, provide a mini railway plus steam loco etc so basically all we need now is for somebody to step forward and do the planning.

Volunteer(s) please. Email me at leysiner@aol.com