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 10, 2011

midford today

All photos copyright Tom Seale.

Midford is looking FANTASTIC. We should soon be on stage two which is putting the buildings etc back.

Tom Seale's report for today.

As the weather significantly improved we decided to head down to Midford again today, this time to clear more of the platform.

We made far more progress than I'd anticipated, only a small portion of the platform now remains to be cleared. The tarmac and guttering were again in remarkably good condition despite having been buried. We've also uncovered the base and foundations of the oil store. The concrete base has unfortunately succumed to time and is in need of replacement; however with the foundations unearthed I can start taking some measurements for planning drawings. Should need only one more visit to finish clearing the platform, then its on to moving that pile of rubble off the parcels office.

REMEMBER - all members are welcome to help out in the restoration of Midford!
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Brian said...

Where some Midford station platform details are found to have gone bad, likely from very old frost damage which was evident even during first (similar to present works) uncovering since closure, about 1984. Much of tarmac was in fact renewed along platform top during the 1990's which has weathered to look old since then. Apart from slow damage by roots of developing bushes, burial has been good defence against more frost crumblings.

Some of the red brick back wall is spawling badly so will eventually need significant renewal as it was an inferior job to the platform front wall from new. Engineers blue of much better material seems to have been used for other brick features, which ironically many since demolished then chucked down the bank. Those bricks still serving well in my garden with not a hint of frosting. They were the last wagonloads along ng tramway before its track got dismantled when Simon's lease ended.

Tom said...

I did wonder if the stone from the oil store is also at the bottom of the bank? Could save a few quid.