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!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

melvyn, melvyn ...

So how did Melvyn Bragg's little railway programme go?

Much as expected. Lashings of patronising nostalgia, Pete Waterman, missing the point and some excellent archive film.

And two big mistakes, one of fact and one of opportunity.

Sheringham station was NOT closed by Beeching. Sheringham station remains part of the network on a branch from Norwich. True the NNR have acquired the original Sheringham station, but ownership was transferred by BR. The station was not closed!

And the piece where he interviewed the campaigner who fought for the Waverley route ... why didn't Melvyn make the point that the protestors were RIGHT, and that this essential Borders rail link is now being rebuilt, even if (for now) only as far as Tweedbank, which is almost Hawick where the film was shot?

Nostalgia ... your crimes are legion!
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Brian said...

Looking at your photo provided with todays entry, I can't help it morphing in my mind to become Westgate Street in Bath, which has always been something of a "benchmark challenge" for the various doomed tramp proposals.

Your picture does show rather well how it would be experienced if "along the street running" was allowed. Even though the architecture is rather different when I put my reading glasses on !

Sunshiner said...

It is of course the Aigle-Leysin line in Switzerland, making its way (against the one way traffic) down one of the narrow roads in Aigle. One train in each direction every hour, for 18 hours a day. Go along a few blocks and the trains of the Aigle-Sepey-Diablerets line doa similar stretch of street running for a mile or so, before taking to the mountains.

The picture was taken about three weeks ago, little has changed since my first visit in 1976! Shame about the GWR livery ...

Sunshiner said...

If you get the chance visit the Mollibahn in Bad Doberan, eastern Germany, where this is all done by steam on an equally narrow road with a similar service but much longer trains!