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, May 08, 2011

midford today





Tom and Stuart have been back up to Midford. This is their latest report -

Tom and I went down to Midford for an evening the other week and put in a few hours and returned again today for the full day.



We knew we had a fair bit of excavating but didn't realise the floor of the Gents toilets was buried quite so deeply. All the years of fly tipping is making life difficult.


Today we cleared over 40 wheelbarrow loads which we calculated came to over 1 1/2 tons and meant wheeling the barrow in total over 2 miles to drop off the spoil and another 2 miles to collect the next lot. We enjoyed the lunchtime refreshment in the Hope and Anchor!


We were very pleased to find the floor of the Gents toilets and, although we resisted using it, found that the urinal trough was there still intact.


We think we have more than 2 days work still to go in digging out at the station. You can see the depth we have had to dig in the photos where Tom is on the tiled floor of the Gents.

5 comments:

Martin said...

Fantastic work! I'm really impressed at Tom and Stuart's dedication. Please keep it up - we'll all benefit from your hard work.

Anonymous said...

Looks like these lads are nearly ready to start building the station, excellent work. Has anything been done regarding planning permission, also what is the financial situation? Do we have enough cash or are we going to have to fundraise/ lottery grant?

Sunshiner said...

We'll be looking at applying for planning permission in a few weeks' time.

The plan is to rebuild the oil store first so that we have a secure space on site for storage. We've the funds to do this.

The actual rebuilding of the station building will have to be done as and when funds allow - it will take a lot of fundraising and support!

I'm not sure where we stand re lottery or other grants as we are not technically a 'heritage' group although there are of course heritage aspects to what we do - I would say Midford is clearly one of these aspects.

I'd apprecaite it if someone with knowledge of this side of fundraising would step forward and handle this side of things!

Anonymous said...

good work. need to make sure those summer weeds are murdered though. nothing worse than perceived neglect or retro action than seeing greenery appear through recently hard work uncovering recent history industrial archaeological finds

Anonymous said...

good work. need to make sure those summer weeds are murdered though. nothing worse than perceived neglect or retro action than seeing greenery appear through recently hard work uncovering recent history industrial archaeological finds