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!

Friday, September 30, 2011

spetisbury - an appeal!

(Blandford - how many years away before we reach there? Photo copyright Joe Robbins)

Dean Cockwell is progressing Spetisbury at a blistering pace.

This email has gone out to all members but I also feel that for non members who have been thinking of joining but for whom Midford is too far away this may be just the opportunity you've all been waiting for!

Firstly, I want to introduce myself, as I am a new member to the group, but I have also taken on the role of Project Manager of Spetisbury Station.
My name is Dean Cockwell, and I live within 15 minutes drive to the station.
To give you a little update of the situation regarding Spetisbury Station. I have been in contact by phone with the local council in charge of the site and track bed, which has been turned into a trailway since the track has been lifted back in the late 60's, early 70's.
I have put together a proposal outlining our intentions, and what we want to do with the site not only in the short term, but also in the long term. This has now been sent to them today (29/9/2011).
The next step is that I have a meeting with both the contact at the council, but also the ranger in charge of the area around Spetisbury Station.
 I can't tell you much more at the present time, but I would like to ask all of you the following.
Once we get the go ahead that we have taken control of the station and an amount of the trailway, both north and south of the station. We are going to need volunteers to clear the overgrown vegetation, and other tasks that don't come to mind straight away.
So, my first question is, Can you help?
Granted, there are going to be those of you that live too far away, but you may have skills that could be of benefit to the group that does not involve picking up a shovel or pushing a wheelbarrow. I will let you tell me if you are able to help, and in what capacity.
This also includes our junior members, of which we have a few. You may be able to help too. But we would need your parents consent and assistance, and we would not want it to interfere with your homework either! LOL
Now, its over to you to flood my inbox* with offers of help, (he says hopefully).
As I said earlier, until I have had the meeting with the council, I cannot tell you any more. But it would be nice to get an idea of how many volunteers we would have available for a whole range of tasks that will need to be done throughout this project.
Hoping to hear from you soon.

* Dean's email is deancockwell@ntlworld.com

You can join the New S&D via the sidebar on this blog or via the website where there is a downloadable membership form.

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