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 from new angles

The small road above the station has been transformed by the clearing of the bank on the right. Villagers walking up here now have a superb view above the valley!

This is the gate at the front in the first picture. It has a convenient sign erected by a mysterious benefactor - it is even ina  shade of SR green!

This small gate leads to the steps that reach the platform about a third of the way along. It may well form the main access in the future once trains are running again, but it's believed that this was NOT the passenger entrance during the line's original operation, but was used by staff only.

The view down the steps to the platform - this has all been cleared over the last year.

The restoration at Midford has opened up many new vistas around the station. Whilst never an eyesore the station site was quite overgrown when we arrived, and the bank in particular was very overgrown. The whole site is now opened up and it's clear to see why this was considered as possibly the most beautifully sited station in England.

There's a flat space at the top of the bank which may have been previously used to grow vegetables - this is certainly something we'd like to restore in the future! This melding of built environment, sustainable transport, organic food and superb countryside will become a defining feature all along the S&D, all very 21st century.
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