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!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011


(44561 at Broadstone. Photo courtesy Jim Type, copyright C L Caddy Collection)

This is a view of 44561 at Broadstone. Broadstone was of course the junction for the S&D and the line from Poole to Ringwood. Broadstone was the only point on the S&D main line that I ever visited whilst (freight) trains were still running. I photographed both Broadstone and Wimborne on a freezing cold and very wet day in 1977, travelling from Sussex by motorbike, a truly miserable way of getting around in anything other than sunny and still weather!

This whole area has developed a lot since the S&D (and Ringwood line) closed - and is crying out for trains. This whole suburban part of Bournemouth and area will have a huge network of railways and tramways in the future and hopefully the S&D will become the premier line through the area. Broadstone will become a major station on the restored line south from Blandford, particularly after the Ringwood line is also reopened.

More from Broadstone over the next few weeks - with some really interesting shots!

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