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!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

future junction

(1970s, copyright Rail Thing)

These were the remains of West Moors station in the 1970s. This line retained a freight service until about 1973, when the route was further cut back to Wimborne, which itself lost all its trains in 1983. But until 1964 this was a junction with trains on the main double track route between Poole and Brockenhurst plus trains on the branch to Salisbury.

West Moors has developed surprisingly since the railway closed and would now produce a fair amount of originating traffic. All the routes serving West Moors are likely to reopen over the next 20-30 years, the New S&D has always planned to reopen the old Castleman's Corkscrew route to Brockenhurst to give greater capacity and flexibility for trains on the southern end of the route, and a group is likely to be formally constituted to restore the Salisbury-West Moors line any time now.

Closure of these lines was always a little strange, depriving Ringwood, Wimborne, Broadstone, West Moors and Fordingbridge of modern transport - a mistake that will be corrected soon enough!

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