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 18, 2011

that's the way to do it

This is the amazing restoration of Consall station on the North Staffordshire Railway.

Look at this carefully. Ignore the quality of the picture and this could have been taken 50 or 60 years ago. There are no anachronisms and none of that kitschy heritage mix and match of eras and sales outlets that sap all the atmosphere from a location.

This is EXACTLY how New S&D stations will look! As well as being easy on the eye they will be practical and built to last. Okay, when a (non heritage) train pulls into the station the illusion will be lost for a moment but this is a small price to pay. Whilst we'll hardly need to encourage passengers (expensive fuel and crumbling roads will do that) the fact that our stations will feel like real stations, will be staffed and have refreshment and other facilities, will make customers value the whole experience. There will be an excess of the feel good factor.

Thanks to Nick Howes for this. Sorry I couldn't print your comments re Ernest Marples. Whilst I share the sentiment this is, after all, a family blog site!


BertieBeatlefan said...

Fab picture! (Have I died and gone to Heaven?)

Brian said...

Perfect for "period drama" filming & history re-enactment events; they deserve to make some money out of the effort & care invested.

matthew jodrell said...

i work for this particular railway (the churnet valley railway) we are all very proud on our work at consall station and are looking forward to re-open other stations on our line (ipstones, leekbrook jcn, leek,endon and possibly oakamoor and alton towers

matthew jodrell said...

i am very proud to say that i work on this particular railway (the churnet valley railway) soon hopefully we will be re-opening other stations on our line such as, leekbrook jcn, leek, endon, ipstones , oakamoor and alton towers