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!

Friday, June 24, 2011

yesterday at Midford

Here's the latest report from Tom Seale re work at Midford (yesterday 23.6.2011. Photos copyright Tom Seale)

Good day yesterday, we had Will, dad and myself there for most of the afternoon. We took Dad's strimmer to the top bank which now looks suitably subdued and tidier. We also made a start on digging out the layer of dirt and roots on the platform. The tarmac and gutter look in remarkably good condition considering they were buried for years, hopefully we can have the entire platform exposed in a matter of weeks. In the evening we were joined by the last group of Scouts, who have made quite a nice clearing half-way between the bridge and the end of the platform, some natural light should encourage some wild flower growth. It was dissapointing to see some more fly tipping on the parcels office, Will has moved the rubbish out of sight for now in an effort to discourage further contributions. Hopefully when the site is a bit tidier this practice will stop altogether.

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Brian said...

Well Done "Team Seale", you are like "supermen" tackling vexatious rootmass along plaform top. Thats an old enemy of mine so I know the effort it takes to shift, not like just shovelling up loose dirt. Really good to see the concrete drainage way starting to emerge along the back, its been a long time hidden (since about 1992 I reckon).

Maybe we might see some bluebells & primroses returning, beside the Sustrans path. I still have those growing in my garden rescued from when whole site seemed to be a carpet of wild flowers but doomed by Simon's roaring bonfires in 1985.

Mad World Off Adventures said...

I have just been told about this area and am very interested and learning more i cant believe such a beautiful place can be taken away little Railways stations etc should be made available the History is just amazing. If you require any help in anyway give me a shout please