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 05, 2011

more broadstone

Broadstone was one of those strange junction stations (like Barnham, Melton Constable, Horsted Keynes etc) which brought very busy railway activity to a small place. These always had a rather odd atmosphere. At one time trains to Salisbury, Brockenhurst and the S&D ran northwards and eastwards from this location, in fact this was the case until 1964 but with closure of all these routes to passengers by 1966 things changed very quickly. The station lingered on in slowly decaying shape until 1977 when the last freight trains to Wimborne ran.

The station site today is encroached on by a sports centre, though I understand that it's easy enough to divert around it. I suspect Broadstone will once again become an important station in the future as there's been much housing and commercial development in the area, all potential future customers! The line to Ringwood from Brockenhurst is high on the list of rail revival plans, it doesn't take a lot of imagination to extend that back through Wimborne and down to Broadstone, with the line southwards to Poole obviously being restored as part of the S&D revival. Who knows, even the Salisbury line may make a comeback bearing in mind that it serves several currently thriving but road-dependent towns. In fact a 21st century Broadstone station will probably be far busier than it ever was in the 20th!

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