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, August 28, 2011

midsomer magnificence

All the timer I worked at Midsomer Norton the site of the famous greenhouse was just a depression behind the platform (as was the signalbox!)

I went there today for a joint Trusts' meeting and there it was, the greenhouse rebuilt and utterly magnificent. The woodwork, the brickwork and, most of all, teh flowers and vegetables were all just as I imagine they'd have been in the 1960s. Fantastic!

This taps in so well to the future, grow your own, staff on stations having the time in between trains to do something creative, a feature to delight the passengers ... all about as far removed from today's vile, antiseptic, dehumanized railway network, though even there the human touch is beginning to make itself felt. This is the future. I'm going to enjoy getting used to it!
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Brian said...

Memory fades by now for those of us who saw Midsomer Norton station in its slumbering state of apparent approach to oblivion. Also many readers here will have never seen that for real or not recently (if ever) viewed pictures taken then. How about a few "then and now" contrasts piccies to really emphasise the remarkable transformation of revival there?

The greenhouse is wonderful stuff, bring it on with the rehumanisation to help everyone feel a sense of belonging once more. Less need then perhaps for the cold eye of CCTV.

Sunshiner said...

I have pics going back to 2006 so could attempt this when time's available. Nick Howes has some excellent very early shots on his website which I think is listed on the sidebar to this blog.

Sunshiner said...

Sorry, Nick's site has changed - pics now at http://en.flickeflu.com/photos/10175342@N03

Anonymous said...

thats because fotopic went bust steve. i had a few dozen pics backed up but lost a lot of pics forever as they were online only to save space on my creaking hard drive.

Anonymous said...

Err... weren't you supposed to be the one rebuilding the greenhouse at MSN?

Sunshiner said...

I'm afraid diabetes and anaemia put me right out of contention, sadly.