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 06, 2011

charlton marshall

(Both courtesy Jim Type, copyright C L Caddy Collection)

Charlton Marshall is south of Blandford and closed in 1956, but even today is still remarkably well preserved - in fact the station site features on the front page of our brochure.

Once Spetisbury is up and running this may well be the next location in the area that we head for. Despite its early closure the station will reopen with the line when opened throughout from Blandford as part of the phase one restoration of the whole route.


Brian said...

The archive photos today are a delight Steve, hope they help more folks tune in regularly here. Meanwhile out there in Yahoo territory.....

On street running for Light Rail

One penalty of sharing road space is rail must slow down or consequences of collision become, lets say, significant. Hits at level crossings are shown of course as Tube Entertainment but we can learn something:


The train (they call it a tram but looks light rail metro to me) was going at quite a clip so the passengers were thrown about. Les Anderson used to argue they should be strapped in like car passengers not left to the mercy of such as this. But operators like their tradition of cramming in ever more standing passengers, so thats "out" from their viewpoint. Perhaps revision of seating would be more sensible to fit more in, if that "must" be done.

We may have little sympathy for the road truck or its driver who "failed to see a red light" but the way it was bounced into a trackside building has to be of concern in any urban environment where groups of people gather expecting to be fairly safe from sudden death.

Its only fair to show this "flip side" when been repeatedly keen on sharing road space. Its fixable I reckon in various ways, just needs facing up to.

Jim Type said...

Hi, If i remember right one of the station site names was up the hill over the bridge on the right hand side in the front garden of one of the houses, mind you that was in the 1980s!

Anonymous said...

I find it unbelievable that there is so much paranoia about trains/trams and cars together. The guided systems have a fixed trajectory - so don't interfere with it! Trains and cars mix on the Britannia bridge in Porthmadoc and (wrong though it is to do it) a car follows a train across with the lights still flashing and 'boom!', it's in the media! That same car could go anywhere, anytime when it's going down a high street, yet a train goes along rails and it's 'stand back/fence it off/danger to public' There is a lot of prejudice to overcome, but perhaps the Portmadoc topography will eventually make more people see sense!

Sunshiner said...

Exactly. You know precisely where a train or tram running along a road is going to go, though saying that I did once get sideswiped by a tram in Zurich but the curve was very tight! There was a picture in last month's Railway Magazine with a goods train running on street tracks in Glasgow - complete with man with red flag. Yet just feet behind there were lorries running wherever they wanted with untrained drivers but no man with red flag!

In Switzerland there are many miles of street running and not just on minor light railways. The Rhatische Bahn runs long trains on street on both the Arosa and Bernina lines. They are not crawling along either!

Of course it's not just Porthmadog with street running, Weymouth had street running for years and no doubt will again in the not too distant future. In fact right up to the 60s street running freight trains were not that rare in Britain. Poole, Dover, Folkestone were just a few places where this happened.

And now of course there are a fair few miles of on street tramway in the UK again. So I think the prejudice has been overcome - now to see it in every town and city! The roads certainly won't be getting any busier and as long as they are reasonably flat they'll provide excellent rights of way for future tramways, industrial lines and even, in places, regular railways.

Sunshiner said...

For Folkestone above please read Newhaven!

Anonymous said...

What has all the above[except Jim's] to do with the subject.

Sunshiner said...

No idea! I suspect the first off topic comment was posted to the wrong thread.

We live in an imperfect world - fortunately!