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!

Friday, October 21, 2011

templecombe shed

(Courtesy Jim Type)

Not sure about the origins of this shot, but Jim asked me to confirm that it was Templecombe shed. It is of course - the distinctive roof of the shed is confirmation enough, as is the S&D style embankment in the distance which leads up to Templecompe (Upper) station.

I love this shot - it looked like a great place to work!

This is exactly the sort of small steam shed we'd like to set up on the route (possibly at Templecome) to allow visiting steam locos to refuel, clean up and rest overnight when running steam specials along the route, and also along the Salisbury-Exeter route and elsewhere.

We're also hoping to set up a sustainable transport engineering centre on the route, hopefully with both standard and narrow gauge demo lines, where we can experiment on energy delivery systems, ultra modern vehicles and all the other aspects of sustainable transport that we'll need in the future. Perhaps that should be our next step once Midford and Spetisbury are completed as information offices? There'll certainly be something for everyone on the new Somerset and Dorset!
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will said...

I really like the idea of a transport engineering centre - once you have a line that isnt electrified, there is not much choice in the carbon free transport market, or for tram-trains that are allowed to run on streets.

Scotland energy minister says that we (maybe 'they' soon?) are halfway through north sea oil reserves. Read past the headline and first two paragraphs to see he is totally out - the industry thinks it is four-fiths gone, and the minister counts ALL reserves, not just extractable

Sunshiner said...

I think we all need to learn the technical terms used by the oil industry and the watered down versions presented by politicians (who are convinced that we are all thick!) David Cameron was up in Scotland last week talking about these 'huge' finds in the North Sea which in reality amount to about 40 days' world useage (at today's rate!) yet extrapoloting from it a golden future for oil in the UK stretching out 2 or 3 generations forward! And even that's all spin if he's working on dodgy figures. He'd be better off investing those few billion pounds in new railways or at the very least promising the tax profits from this 'new' oil is spent on sustainable transport projects.

As I said, politicians think we are thick!