Welcome to the 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway'
Monday, November 14, 2011
One of my favourite lines is the Kent and East Sussex Railway, which managed to survive passemger closure in 1954 and freight closure in 1961 to reach the preservation era - with some serious problems along the way. The section from Tenterden northwards to Headcorn closed completely in 1954, the remaining section was reopened in stages from 1974, but the original intention was only to reach Bodiam - the remaining line to the network at Robertsbridge was abandoned completely, mainly because of the 'problem' of a level crossing on the A22. This was back in the days when roads were given priority over rail.
Of course things have changed completely now and this missing section is being restored - and at a cracking place. Take a look at the Rother Valley Railway's website which shows construction of this missing link. Hopefully when restored proper passenger and freight trains can return to the KESR, proving that Colonel Stephens was spot on with his light railways for rural areas - which are going to become a VERY important part of our transport infrastructure.
Hopefully when reopened it will spur other light railway construction, including the route north from Tenterden, the Selsey Tramway (desperately needed) and in our area, the Weston, Clevedon and Portishead Railway, to name just a few!