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!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

shillingstone heads south

(Photo copyright Dave Clark)

It's fantastic seeing Shillingstone getting on so well - today's shot shows track nearly breaking out of the station area. I remember when this happened at Midsomer Norton and we felt a huge sense of achievement, really underlining that the S&D was slowly and surely making a return after 40 years in the wilderness.

One day New S&D tracks will meet Shillingstone's (and Midsomer Norton's) and real trains will return to the S&D, giving people along the route modern transport again and also providing a superb run for steam locomotive owners as specials run along the route. These are incredibly exciting times, and everyone involved with the return of the S&D should be very proud of themselves.


Brian said...

Thats a super picture,today. Its also very much like the scene at Bitton in those early days of 1973 and 1974 when fresh ballast and track headed out from the "cattle dock" past the "goods shed" into a brave new venture!

I can almost hear again the patient but grumbling voice of Ted Amos as he coaxed the Dickinsons RH engine back into life there....

Dave clark said...

Well apparently according to ure home page were still on ketomine!!

Sunshiner said...

I suspect it's more rough cider these days - which is even better!