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!

Monday, October 31, 2011

new world order ...

More great progress with getting our railway network back! Source.

Moorland & City Success In Regional Growth Fund Bid

Posted 31st of October 2011 at 11:00:00

Moorland & City Railways’ project to create a 30-mile sustainable rail network has been awarded £1.65 million in the second round of the Government’s Regional Growth Fund initiative.
The grant – the only one awarded to a railway nationally – recognises the project’s major impact on creating employment opportunities in North Staffordshire. As well as around 50 direct employees, the railway will pave the way for 1,000 jobs in the area.
Award of the grant was announced by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg as part of a £1.4 billion initiative to create new jobs and attract business investment. MCR is one of only four organisations in North Staffordshire to receive the support.
“I am delighted to be able to announce this boost to business, which will jump start growth and create jobs that last in the places that really need it,” said Mr Clegg.
MCR Director David Kemp said the grant was fantastic news for the project and recognised the importance of the railway’s plans in providing jobs. “In addition to our direct workforce, the railway will unlock a whole series of employment sites along its route by providing sustainable transport facilities.”
Such developments include the Moneystone leisure development in the Moorlands, the Cornhill site in Leek and a number of sites in Stoke-on-Trent.
“To receive the grant our proposals have been scrutinised at the highest level and have effectively been given the government’s seal of approval,” David added.
“This gives renewed confidence to everyone who is involved in the project and the many who support it.”
MCR’s restoration of the rail line from the Moorlands into Stoke on Trent, creating a link with the West Coast Main Line, will provide a sustainable and low-carbon freight and passenger route. Major quarries, Alton Towers and the town of Leek will benefit from direct rail access.
Having already re-opened the eight-mile stretch between Leekbrook and Cauldon Lowe, MCR is now making progress with restoration work from Leekbrook towards Stoke-on-Trent. It is planned to have the line open as far as Endon by early 2012.

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