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, July 31, 2011

midford - looking great!!

(Midford 31.7.2011 all pics copyright Stuart Seale)

Midford is looking fantastic! The Midford Team are real heroes of the S&D and have done so much in less than a year. The whole site is now ready for the next step - rebuilding the buildings etc.

This is Stuart Seale's report for today.

We have now finished clearing the platform (see attached pics), hopefully some regular sweeping will be all that is required to maintain it. It is remarkable how much wider it feels to walk along, and it will make it much easier to access overhanging vegetation.

We still have some digging out work to do behind the station foundations, hopefully we will be able to salvage some of the rubble and brickwork for construction of the oil store. Much of the retaining wall is in pretty bad shape in places and could really do with re-pointing, we will try and remove any trees etc. growing out of the brickwork in due course, but if we have any budding masons it'd be an easier job than re-errecting a fallen wall.

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Brian said...

The bank above platform backwall has always responded to reduction of foliage or roots growing out of wall top by sending stuff down onto platform surface. Its a constant trickle of debris. This tends to choke drainage channel at foot of wall quite quickly. Also wall by steps going up is spawling with bits of stone falling into the channel too. Its going to be interesting seeing how much now deposits along nicely swept surface. Also what enterprising plant upstarts take advantage of crevices in extra light available, absent any weedkiller!

Its reasonable assumption that back in the day, railway management relied upon application along crevices of noxious dilutions from things now generally outlawed. Old photos suggest platform at and beyond oil store maybe not always well kept in previous operating era.

Anonymous said...

Is there a good reason for not using a good weed killer--- glysophate.
It would reduce the amount of manual labour immensly.

Sunshiner said...

A very good reason! As a sustainable transport initiative we don't want to be hypocritical by using chemicals that can harm the environment. We really want to use the techniques of the future rather than the past. When the station is up and running again there'll be plenty of time in between visitors (and trains eventually) for the people working there to keep the station spick and span, just as there always was!

Brian said...

Glyphosate damage to living things.

Glyphosate is the main ingredient in Roundup herbicide and the focus of several lawsuits in USA, over GM seeds being developed resistant to it. Glyphosate has been popular with some US farmers and domestic users. A decision on legal ban over there might be foot-dragged to 2015 or beyond.

How it damages plants:

linked to deadly diseases and birth defects:

The Effect of Roundup on Soil:

Theres a lot of stuff on this topic thrown up by search engines which is by shouty political activists. Dont read that, concentrate on hard facts not hyperbole.

Sunshiner said...

And somebody was suggesting we use this muck at Midford??

I always only use primary sources properly referenced for reseach - everything else is awash with agenda, 'common sense' and misinformation!