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!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

more midford

Posted by Picasa
Some more shots of Midford taken last Wednesday, giving some idea of the progress made here in just over a year.

If I get a free hour or two this week I'll try to get some before and after shots put together for the blog, which will serve as a tribute to the work put in by the volunteers (particularly Tom and Stuart Seale) on site.


Brian said...

I think it is fair and objective to say that neither of the two previous restoration efforts at Midford got the station into the good condition it is now, which we know is mostly to the credit of just two people !

What would get the attention of moaning minnies out there in "serious railway enthusiast" circles, would be to put back details the first effort of Simon Castens installed. Here I am thinking of the quite small wooden poster board (which I have got but really is too frail for further use) and large station sign, wicket gate at foot of those steps, and maybe a few replica enamel advert signs? The station "comes to life" with these things, out of all proportion to the effort needed to make and put them in place.

Personally I would also like to see the Hope & Anchor sign gone and picket fence there as before. Does the pub pay rent for it, as its not on their property? I have explained to Steve that the legal boundary is further out than that. Its one of two blatent errors on the purported land map, drawn up I reckon by someone who never even did a site visit.

Just a point of view, other opinions are equally valid!

Sunshiner said...

As always things will fall in place as they become ready - once the building/s are back then signage will be a next step. Obviously everything will be reproduction, which is fine by me! Security reasons alone would mean that valuable signage simply couldn't be left on site, no matter how securely fixed! My own view is that the signage should reflect aparticular era, rather than be a hodge podge of styles and eras that spoil many heritage sites. And my own preference for era would be mid-50s, before the dreaded WR signage began to appear. But that's only my view of course.

I do think that the heritage aspect of the New S&D should aim to reflect a particular year, and it to my mind has to be BR, not the pre nationalisation companies, which very very few people can now remember. The S&D's heydays were in the 1950s, most of the classic photos are from that period and I feel that's the era we need to reflect.

Re the boundary - at the moment we're probably best leving sleeping dogs to lie - let's get the planning permission first, once we've rebuilt the station we can look at these little niggles ...