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!

Thursday, October 13, 2011


2 above copyright Jim Type.

A look around Broadstone - 2 top shots are 1980s I think, the second shot is a particularly disgusting attempt at legal vandalism.

Bottom 3 shots are mine from 1977.

No matter what your views are on the reopening of the S&D, only a dinosaur would seriously suggest that Broadstone has no future as a rail transport hub! This whole area north of Poole and Bournemouth is crying out for a modern transport network. With the S&D route from Blandford and the loop from Ringwood and Wimborne and now the beginnings of a revival for the Salisbury to West Moors route, this will become a VERY busy station over the next few decades.

Why on earth did they demolish the station in the full knowledge that the site would be needed for rail again within a few years? I understood that the route was to be retained as a transport corridor, but has it been? It doesn't matter of course, once we start seriously rebuilding south of Blandford if there are any obstacles I suspect a lot of CPOs will be flying about!

Broadstone was a railway station in the northern part of the town of Poole in the county of Dorset in England. It opened in 1872 under the name of New Poole Junction and closed to passengers in 1966 and to goods in 1969. Between these dates there were several changes of name for a station which at its height provided a suburb of Poole with four substantial platforms and a goods yard. A prominent feature of the station was the large footbridge needed to span the four running lines.
Opened as New Poole Junction in 1872, as part of the Southampton and Dorchester Railway, the station was the junction for the new line into Poole that superseded the old station at Lower Hamworthy. When the line was extended to Bournemouth West Broadstone became the junction for the trains to the Bournemouth station. Then the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway constructed a cutoff line to avoid the need to reverse in Wimborne and Broadstone became the meeting point of two lines, although the construction of further cutoffs to improve access to Bournemouth reduced its importance.
[hide] Broadstone (position on network)
Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway
94.83Bailey Gate2.42
Ringwood Line
Southampton and Dorchester Railway
97.69Corfe Mullen Halt2.49
104.59Creekmoor Halt2.59
Hamworthy Junction
Poole Quay and original ferry link
Poole Original (now Hamworthy Goods Station)
Current Cross Channel Ferry Port
South Western Main Line
Distances and times from Bath on the
Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway

Decline and closure

The first line through Broadstone to close was the Old Road from Ringwood, closed in 1964. The line to Hamworthy Junction was lifted in 1966. This same year, the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway lost its passenger services. This left Broadstone the junction of two goods lines, one to serve a goods depot at Blandford via a stub of the SDJR and one which passed through Wimborne to serve the RAOC fuel depot at West Moors. The Blandford Forum freight line closed and was lifted in 1969 . The goods traffic to Wimborne maintained a track running through the site until 1977 after which the track was lifted and the land sold for redevelopment.

The site today

Today the site is occupied by Broadstone Leisure Centre, its car park and a traffic roundabout. A subway to Broadstone's shopping area passes under the roads where the railway bridge used to be. This, and the building of some houses on the old trackbed north of the station site, mean that the Castleman Trailway skirts the edge of the former site before regaining the old trackbed on the way to Wimborne.
Preceding stationDisused railwaysFollowing station
Creekmoor Halt
Line and station closed
 Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway
LSWR and Midland Railways
Line closed
 Corfe Mullen Halt
Line and station closed
Hamworthy Junction Southampton and Dorchester Railway
London and South Western Railway
Line closed
Line and station closed


Anonymous said...

It does seem strange that there are rarely any comments about articles on
locations south of Shillingstone but many on locations north of Shillingstone.
Is there really any enthusiasm in the south for re opening the S&DJR?

Sunshiner said...

This is illusory! The vast majority of New S&D members live in the Bournemouth/Poole area.

I think the reason is simple. At the moment there's no activity south of Shillingstone, this will change soon with the acquisition of the Spetisbury site. So blog posts currently focus on Midford, Midsomer Norton, Gartell and Shillingstone, because things are happening at all these locations.

There's also the more prosaic reason that this blogger lives in Bristol, so I tend to concentrate on this end of the line - I only visit the southern end once or twice a year. So there just isn't the quantity of blog posts to comment on.

There's loads of support for the S&D in Dorset, indeed it's this level of support that has encouraged us to take on Spetisbury. I doubt you'll find a person in Blandford, Broadstone, Ringwood or Wimborne who doesn't want the line(s) back! And now there is even a group stirring to reopen the West Moors to Salisbury line.

There's loads of support down there, but until something physical starts to appear there's not really a focus for it. That is all about to change!

Brian said...

All todays photos are so evocative of that desolation era which I was recording at High Wycombe in 1987 both officially with college camera as course work and for myself with trusty little Rollei and meagre 24 exposure transparency reel. Hence I also have both colour and monochrome of those times. It was not just railways which had that feel of resignation to decline and tawdry tacky add-ons.

I was drawn as moth to candle flame, churning out scratchy ink pen illustrations based on photos much as Steve shows for Broadstone. Now they make me blush realising what poor efforts those really were, and all thats left of camera is the now mouldy case (reckon its for the pedalbin too having seen it again like that). At least the pictures survive and may eventually get scanned to digital selectively. Some are worth that IMHO, though far off-topic here obviously.

Oh dear your Kraken is grumpy on pylons

Feared this would occur. Judging competition for next generation of electricity pylons chosen something horrid. Yes its modern and that just the problem, everything has to be modern, why? We are never asked if thats what want in our faces, in our beloved country environment forever though our lives. Its not so serious urban places, theyre often infested with modern so more dont break them. By modern I mean ugly just for the sake of it. There can be modern which looks good, but its a bit more rare than the crass.

This matters because as Auntie says in report, increasing number of pylons likely needed to connect new wind, nuclear, hydrolekky plants. Burying cables is expensive though sometimes done responding to intensive local lobbying. I dont know if this also causes leakage along the route, if so thats another cost additional to scarring the land like done for Natural Gas pipes (remember those? Its healed well by now.)

See what you think of the visualisation new "T-shaped" pylon design in landscape:


Sunshiner said...

At the risk of arousing the Kraken's wrath, I must say they look very nice. But I suspect a lot of that is because the artist's impression shows them on a sunlit frosty morn. This is pretty standard trickery, presenting something at its best when to really get an idea of what they'll look like they need to be shown on a miserable November morning with mist and drizzle.

Hopefully all this will either be underground or locally generated so there won't be aneed for pylons.

Brian said...

Yahoo shows alternative view of winning pylon and yes it too is in idealised setting:


More interesting perhaps, they show a gallery of some alternative designs, "lucky for some" who will have to live with whatever outcome in futureworld:


The models plinthed are perhaps more objective than "in setting visualisations" and sorry I peevish don't agree with Steve, still think the "winner" is just horrid. Not matter any though, reckon they will just do whatevers cheapest in the end!

Are gonna need the cables linking local generation though. National grid be our buffer against regional outages or its back once more to bleak winters with candles just like the "three day week" of yore, while other areas bursting with surplus they cannot feed (sell on). And that means electric trains marooned random with indignant passengers of course.