Welcome to the 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway'
Friday, October 07, 2011
We had a visitor from Marlborough on Wednesday who simply couldn't understand why the S&D wasn't preserved as a prime tourist attraction in the south west. I suspect that will be a question that comes to the fore regularly over the next few years! What were they thinking? Not only would the S&D have been a tourist attraction in its own right, but would also LINK dozens of tourist facilities up and down the route, from the superb Georgian city of Bath, through the magnificent Lyncombe Vale and Midford Valley (surely the finest scenery in England?), the Mining Museum at Radstock, Shepton Mallet, Wincanton racecourse, the villages of the Stour Valley and the UK's finest seaside resort at Bournemouth, as well as dozens of other little gems en route.
And he was also amazed that this tiny thread of land through the station could easily carry 14 coach expresses and long freights, keeping traffic off the roads. In the fifties, on busy summer Saturdays, the stretch of single line through Midford up to Bath saw an endless succession of trains. The S&D was a superb piece of engineering - I think it's only problem was that it was a century ahead of its time!
Of course all this is now changing and within a few decades the S&D WILL become the leading tourist attraction in the south west as well as providing a superb freight and passenger service to the people and businesses and towns and villages along its route.
The S&D is clearly a line whose time has come!