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!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

midford 1.0

As we've dug more and more out at Midford some well preserved relics of the original station have reappeared. This is some of the tiling in the toilets. We are hoping to find the water supply eventually as water will be essential for the rebuilding and of course the station when it reopens, first as an information office and later as a real station with  trains!

Stuart and Tom look at the tiling that was in front of the fireplace in the station building. A year ago this was totally buried under rubble and weeds.

The original drainage channels are in excellent condition as the muck and rubble have protected them from the elements. It is a LOT of work digging them out though!

We think this brickwork, found around site, may have belonged to the base of the signalbox. Any ideas out there?
Posted by Picasa


Brian said...

If you look at the monochrome facebook photo of Midford signal box which I recently provided a link to "copy and paste" for (hoping you can see that) theres brickwork suspiciously like the chunks shown in todays pictures. It was not part of but next to the box and either supported the single line tablet catching/delivering stand, or possibly guided passengers away from the track when arriving or departing at the station. Maybe it did both those functions. There is more similar brick down the bank in chunks, with a puzzling rectangular hole built through it. By now it may be mossed to invisible though, its been a while.

Knoxy said...

I thoroughly enjoyed my time helping Stuart & Tom last Wednesday and will be down again soon to help bring an iconic location back to its former glory....

David Robins said...

Best make plans to protect the tiling from frost damage if it's to be retained? This is known to be a problem for floor tiles on archaeological sites - though Victorian tiles might be a tad tougher.

Sunshiner said...

Any idea what the best way is to protect them?

David Robins said...

I'm no expert but Cleeve Abbey has a few mediaeval floor tiles in the open, which I understand English Heritage re-bury every winter under a layer of earth. I think they may put plastic sheeting down first to keep them clean.

Sunshiner said...

That's just the sort of low tech solution I love!