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, November 16, 2011

2012 AGM

Bedminster station is just a five minute walk from the farm  - if coming from Weston the trains are direct. Otherwise it's an easy change at Temple Meads, or if you're feeling fit  you can walk all the way to Bedminster from Temple Meads - it's under a mile.

Some bucolic shots of the farm!

The New Somerset and Dorset Annual General Meeting for 2012 will take place at the Windmill Hill City Farm, Philip Street, Bedminster, BRISTOL, BS3 4EA.

Entry to the farm is free but donations are welcomed! There is an excellent cafe on site which does hot and cold food. This is a great place for the kids too.

The meeting will run from 14.00 to 15.00 on Saturday, 21 January 2012. The meeting will take place in the John James Room. We have the room from 13.30 to 15.30 so there will be time to talk before and after the meeting.

All members are encouraged to attend - this will be our first AGM.

The last big meeting of the New S&D was in Bournemouth and all previous meetings took place in Blandford. We felt it was important to have the AGM near a working railway station but attempts to find somewhere at Templecombe proved a dead end. So we chose Bristol this time to make it easier for members at the northern end of the route to get to. Unfortunately with a line almost 100 miles long at least some meetings will be quite a distant from where members live! The farm is an excellent sustainable initiative so it's great to be able to support them. We'll ensure that the 2013 AGM takes place in the Bournemouth/Poole area. Hopefully as time passes there will be more places on the route reconnected to the network so we have a wider range of options!

Please do try to attend. The energy crisis is now becoming apparent to everybody (apart from our local and national politicians!) so we feel that we are all going to have to work harder in the coming years - so if you have the time and/or skills to get actively involved we have plenty for you to do!

I'll set up a Facebook group shortly so you can set up car shares etc = I'll announce on this blog when done.

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