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!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

a glimpse into the future ...

Well the Saltford meeting went extremely well!

This is Chris Warren's report -

Great shout again on the blog. Well, the meeting was an outstanding success! 138 people attended, a straw poll was conducted, 'who would support and use Saltford Station?' Only THREE against! We had a lively discussion and amazingly we had cross party support for the Station from Francine Haeberling, Tim Warren and Matthew Blankeley(CONS) and Roger Symonds who is the Lib Dem cabinet member with the transport brief. All these are BaNES councillors. We have a PRO RAIL local authority!!

Was very funny watching the former Chair of BaNES and Saltford councillor Francine squirm in her seat after I had handed her a flyer last week and she almost snatched it out of my hand and was very dismissive about the station, to suddenly have a 180 degree turn around in front of 130 or so of her constituents and say she was in full support!! She must be very upset that her pet project BRT along the Midland trackbed has been scrapped and here is a viable, low carbon transport proposal coming from her own back yard! Politicians eh?

Anyway, looking good for any S&D expansion.

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