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 24, 2011

more rails close to the New S&D

This is the Hunters Rest Miniature Railway near Pensford. It may well be the only pub miniature railway in the UK! It's a mile or two from Pensford, which had (and will of course have again) a station on the Radstock to Bristol line. The line runs for about a third of a mile through woods and alongside the pub car park.

We went to the pub today but only photographed the line - I think my riding days of lines this small are over! It has combined track for both 7 1/4" and 5" guage trains. There are a couple of steam locos used on this line but today they were using this Hymek-style freelance diesel, pulling a single carriage.

The Bristol to Radstock route (which of course continues to Frome) closed in 1968 after damage to the magnificent (and still extant) Pensford viaduct in the massive July 1968 flood. The New S&D plans to reopen this route to ease capacity limits on the Radstock to Bath section of the S&D. Part of this route is now a cycleway between Radstock and Midsomer Norton, there is also the (moribund?) Clutton station revival with (at least a few years ago) a mark one standard gauge coach and a narrow gauge diesel alongside but unconnected to the Clutton scheme, plus this tiny line about a mile from the route between Pensford and Clutton. All worth a visit of course!

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