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!

Monday, August 29, 2011

midsomer norton then and now

One of my earliest digital pictures 3.7.2006 - I do have much earlier shots somewhere on film!

Brian Clarke has asked whether I could blog a series of before and after photos of Midsomer Norton station. I may be able to do a little along these lines, but Nick Howes has done a far better job already! Nick, with Shirley Steele, saved Midsomer Norton from development as a housing estate and was deeply involved with the project in the early years. He has some excellent early shots of Midsomer Norton before any real activity had taken place.

Take a look at his great early shots here.


Brian said...

Thanks for the pointer to Nick Howes photo set, that is just the sort of thing I had in mind as really shows the transformation which has been achieved, indeed still ongoing. I do hope others will take some time for a good look through those, its rewarding and thought provoking stuff viewed from where we are now at.

The first picture of this sort I encountered was one taken by a then schoolpal Jim Arnold on a bicycle mission to explore some abandoned S&D. It showed the little wooden shelter and a signal post which was swathed in weeds (creepers?) growing all the way up. That made a lasting impression which remains with me after about 36 years of "water under the bridge".

Brian said...

You may lose the will to live, but here two "Mister Magoo" politics news items from Auntie:

Competition to supply new London Crossrail trains is being delayed.

Transport Secretary announced review of guidelines after trains supply contract for Thameslink went to German Siemens instead of Derby-based Bombardier in June.

Will now go to tender late 2012 after review aimed at ensuring UK companies don't lose out to European rivals.

Tender documents 60 new trains for £16bn Crossrail scheme were due late 2011. Will connect Heathrow & Maidenhead in west with Abbey Wood & Shenfield in east.

Thameslink estimated £1.4bn deal had been regarded crucial for UK's last remaining train factory. Bombardier plans to cut half 3,000-strong Derby workforce. Full text:


Councillors wobbly on Edinburgh tram funding dither.

Alex Salmond warns, Scottish govt might withhold almost £60m, balance of its £500m investment, which could undermine economic case for Haymarket option. Councillors rejected plans to borrow extra £230m to take tramline into St Andrews Square. Backed Labour amendment to end line at Haymarket. Provoked furious reaction but decision can't be revisited for 12 months unless material change in circumstances eg first minister's intervention. Lib Dem council group may press colleagues to back taking trams on to St A.Squ.

"Wheels within wheels", its like wading through treacle just reading about it: