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!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

scotland leads the way

Of course only an idiot would now say that the Beeching cuts were necessary. We need to forget that time and get on with rebuilding our rail network - firstly to reverse all the Beeching cuts, then start filling in the gaps with interurbans, light railways and industrial routes, ready for an oilless future. Not only does rebuilding and extending the network need to happen quickly but so does electrification of the entire rail network - and yes I do include heritage routes, narrow gauge lines etc!

Scotland is starting the process, albieit very slowly. Take a listen to this http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0120783/Reversing_Dr_Beeching/


Anonymous said...

I concur with this comment, if you look at what is happening to the Cotswold line at present from Charlbury to Evesham it is heartening to see the second track being put back in its rightful place.
Also Swindon - Kemble is now going to be restored to double track in the next few years. Remembering what the BR network looked like in the early 1980,s it is heartening to see these early beginnings. I hope that the Tisbury loop will be extended one of these days as it is very silly having to sit in the open countryside waiting to clear the single line to Wilton and these days many trains cross at this loop.

Sunshiner said...

The Salisbury-Exeter line has also been upgraded and will continue to be improved for 21st century traffic flows. Hopefully by the time you can change at Templecombe for Bath, Bristol, Bournemouth, Wells and Southampton the whole route will be double tracked and open again all the way to Plymouth and electrified throughout.

Yet still a few people seem to think that we are still in the 70s, lines are still being singled and freight traffic lost to the roads, while the reverse is the case.

The fact that the railways have been untouched by the spending cuts whilst roads are being left to decay shows just how far the transport tables have turned in the last 30 years.

But this is of course only the beginning!