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 14, 2011

more rail development

(All photos courtesy Brian Clarke and are copyright)

This was the scene at Honeybourne on Thursday 10 August 2011, as the new footbridge is put in place. This was needed to link to the new platform that has been built as part of the redoubling of this once neglected route. The doubling will increase the capacity of this line and is part of the huge revival of rail in the UK as more and more poeple switch to rail from the dying alternatives. One million people have given up their cars in the last year due to 'high' fuel prices. 'High'? The price of fuel is still alarmingly cheap in reality so this does auger well for when fuel costs really do start to rise. How many of us will still be using our cars when fuel reaches £5 or £10 a litre? This is the reason we need our railways to be rebuilt now. Colleges and universities should be packed with railway engineering, signalling, design and operation courses and any kid that wants a career with a future needs look no further than the railways.
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Toddington Ted said...

Awesome! Great to see Honeybourne coming back to life again. A rather larger place than when the old "Coffeepot" 14xx service to Cheltenham ceased in 1960!

Anonymous said...

Am of course happy to see this development for the sake of the railway, but it's become quite clear to me that the choice for this particular re-instatement is mainly due to David Cameron's constituency sitting a couple of minutes down the road...! Little Network Rail keeping the boss happy...

Would rather have seen the West of England Main Line (Exeter-Salisbury) re-doubled. It's a lot more worth while as an individual project...