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!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

back from bournemouth

Saurday's meeting at the Cumberland Hotel was excellent with a good turn out and a real feeling that we are moving forwards with this most elaborate of projects. It's also nice to pull another location into the history and iconography of the S&D.

The Cumberland Hotel is a classic art deco hotel on the cliffs overlooking the sea - with no obvious railway connections before Saturday!

It was an interesting meeting with several new faces. We had the Bournemouth Air Show in the background, sadly with the poignant (and possibly final) display from the Red Arrows. Our new committee member (Geoff Newman) and membership secretary (Dave Dakin) were attending their first New S&D meeting.

Thare are a few meetings coming up. This Sunday I'll be attending the joint meeting of all the S&D groups at Mkidsomer Norton. In September we have a 'Bath end' New S&D meeting here in Bristol, and in November the New S&D AGM in Templecombe.
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Anonymous said...

Altogether a good day out.
Any resolutions passed?
Any problems discussed?
Any thing that you can pass on to interested lay persons?
i.e.non members

Anonymous said...

I suppose the answers are:
No resolutions passed.
No problems discussed.
If you want to know what really happened,join the committee.

Sunshiner said...


Well we are always happy for people to join the committee!

However our meetings aren't really solely committee meetings, members and non-members also come along so they are more like semi-formal discussion meetings, which we find work really well.

The main areas discussed were Midford and Spetisbury, one of the attendees has taken over responsibility for taking Spetisbury forward. And we are having a meeting (again open to members and non-members) in Bristol in two weeks' time to discuss mainly Midford.

I'm sorry if this informal and totally open structure comes as something of a surprise, but it is the way we work - nothing in secret and hopefully never will be. Most non-members who come to meetings quickly convert to members! And any member can join the committee, or indeed the board of Wessex Links Ltd. I think this makes it very dynamic and democratic.

Sunshiner said...

I'll be happy to forward minutes of the meeting which I received yesterday. Please let me have your email address.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your comment to my ,perhaps,hint of sarcassism.It was late and i have a wife with Alzheimers.No excuse for my bad manners though.

Sunshiner said...


Please don't worry! You made a valid point that could have applied. To be honest your comment had got rather buried as new items were addded to the blog, and I couldn't answer until I'd had the minutes. Not that my memory is that bad but we did cover a lot of ground and I didn't want to jump the gun and say something had happened which hadn't! I'll email the minutes to you in the next few minutes.