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!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

midford in the rain

Probably the last blog post I'll be able to squeeze out of last Wednesday's visit to Midford.

Even a sharp shower didn't put paid to the hard work being done last week. Tom and Stuart turn up whatever the weather (witness last December's photos and work in the snow!) and it'd take more than a shower (or even a hurricane) to stop Mick Knox in his tracks!

I'm hoping to get up to Midford in the next couple of weeks on a Saturday or Sunday, partly to cycle along the cyclepath, and also to salvage some of the firewood that will need to be cut up on site - for which of course I'll make a nice donation!
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Brian said...

Eye of Kraken winks at stamp flickshow

Steve may like this one being as is slightly into postage stamps, maybe other readers share that special area. Royal Mail's alphabetical landmark stamps series "has been started" and those shown here include three which immediately stood out, however tastes vary so the rest potentially attractive viewing.

Includes Forth Railwy Bridge, Glastonbury Tor, 1779 River Severn Iron bridge.


Every time I went exploring the old S&D remains around Glastonbury, the odd little structure up on the Tor was just "there" so I forever associate it with those trips and the pictures I took of things seen, which since destroyed by "progress" or just faded into oblivion.

Some images from UK stamps were sold as postcards, too nice for sending I thought. My favourite was a broad gauge steam loco on a breakwater brought to life in a watercolour painting. Like so much "stuff" cluttering my lair, where is that now? Its terrible getting old and confused.

Meanwhile in the Bat Roost

Still, some hope for me in short term as managed to get further into Clift last night (memories of doing that in my youth). Even over massive roof fall to see some of entombed railway there. Spied much Brunel Bridge Rail holding up the next lot ready to go when a bat wing flutters. Cranes next time, maybe! Mad and Red are having their birthday party in Clift, how cool is that?

Box stone only went out by road or the GWR but Midford had a goods yard forwarding stone from Limpley Stoke quarry, also wartime munitions stored in there. Not yet seen any archive photos of either in the yard. Military may have officially recorded their bit however those pictures are indexed in a hopelessly unsearcheable way.

Sunshiner said...

Holyhead Breakwater Railway - last outpost of broad gauge in the UK?

Brian said...

There was a description of that broad gauge loco, or the same sort, with scaled drawings in old issue of Loco & Carriage Review which photocopied and may be wherever that postcard resides. Possibly also features in Chronicles of Boultons Siding?? Its so much easier gathering such references on the pooter, but cannot input the pre-digital ones until or unless they are physically located in the strata, then laboriously scanned in !